One of North America’s major cultural festivals, Music and Beyond has a strong year-round commitment to youth. Young people who are exposed to music have stronger mathematical skills, better memories, longer attention spans, better social skills and are more creative. Music and Beyond provides many opportunities for young people to be engaged and experience classical music. Music and Beyond’s two-week long summer festival provides extensive programming for young people and families all at extremely affordable prices with some events being entirely free! The first Sunday of the festival includes the Ottawa Family Music Expo – a free day-long event held on the grounds of the University of Ottawa. This amazing event offers over 150 mini-concerts and hands-on opportunities for all to try out new instruments, the Expo attracted over 2,000 people in 2015. A “Pizza Concert Series” sponsored by Gabriel Pizza was introduced this year offering a close-up experience with performances by world-class musicians. The National Gallery Soiree offered a full evening of music with over 200 mini-performances throughout the entire gallery attracted many families this year.
A new element to the year round programming was launched in June of 2015 – Music and Beyond Reaches Out. This program offers hands-on opportunities and performances in the fall and spring in Ottawa’s elementary and secondary schools. In addition, throughout the year, Music and Beyond is proud to always include opportunities for local youth to rehearse and perform alongside some of the world’s best including Kathleen Battle, Oliver Jones, Julie Nesrallah and Emma Kirkby. These transformational experiences are performances youth will remember all their lives. Music and Beyond is a registered charity. More information on Music and Beyond is available at
Junior Thirteen Strings
Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Thirteen Strings is Ottawa’s premiere chamber orchestra, consisting of thirteen professional string players and directed by award-winning conductor, Kevin Mallon. The orchestra’s repertoire is diverse, covering music from the baroque era to the 21st century. The orchestra has a strong focus on celebrating and promoting Canadian talent, having commissioned more than 100 new works from Canadian composers. The orchestra also supports the development of the next generation of local talent through its youth program, the Junior Thirteen Strings, by providing high school students with mentorship and performance opportunities. The Thirteen Strings can be heard at its six annual concerts held in Ottawa, at local festivals and events, and through its soon-to-be released CD on the Naxos label. The Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra is a registered charity, and is supported by government grants, corporate sponsorships and individual donors. More information on the Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra is available at www.thirteenstrings.ca.
With the passionate belief in the transformative power of music, the OrKidstra program began in 2007 with 27 children. The OrKidstra program is first and foremost a community development program to give inner-city children the opportunity to learn life skills such as teamwork, commitment and responsibility through the joys and challenges of singing and playing music together. Now with close to 400 children ages 5-19 from 42 cultural and linguistic backgrounds, the OrKidstra program has become a world-class example of why music is called the universal language. The citizenship and musicianship achievements celebrated by Ottawa’s young OrKidstra musicians are an inspiration for all. For more information, including recent annual reports and strategic plans, please visit our website www.orkidstra.ca