Dear Jamieson Parents,
As some of you are aware, the Pops orchestra was suspended this term. Auditions that were highly anticipated by intermediate students, did not occur. In its place, Mr Colpitts lead a smaller group of cellists (nicknamed “Cello-bration”) who performed at the Magee Stringvitational and for the 2018 CBC Music Class Challenge last week.
The Pops orchestra and Cello-bration, as well as the Grade 6 and 7 Advanced Strings orchestras are part of Jamieson’s extracurricular groups which are much loved by students. The idea was conceived by Mr Colpitts to offer budding musicians additional opportunities to develop their skills and perform for audiences within Jamieson and beyond.
The strings groups are open to all students to audition. Acceptance is based on the child’s willingness to work hard and improve. These students have competed at music festivals, performed alongside secondary school students and competed in the CBC school challenge. In 2016, Jamieson won top spot in the Junior High School category in CBC’s Canadian Music Class Challenge. This, in addition to 20+ gold and silver certificates, and numerous trophies accumulated over the years. These accomplishments are the culmination of countless hours of practice and preparation outside the school schedule by students and Mr Colpitts.
Today, there is doubt and anticipation amongst students about the continuation of the advanced orchestras next term, and in future years. The program’s vulnerability and the uncertainty around its future demand clarification and a commitment from administration to support the program.
If you are concerned and want to advocate for your child’s learning, you can help.
- Attend the PAC General meeting on Wednesday Nov 28th, 6pm at the Library and address your concerns with the Principal
- If you are unable to attend, speak with the Principal about your concerns – Chris Wong, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Write to the Vancouver School Board – School Trustee Fraser Ballantyne, email: email@example.com and copy your message to Superintendent Suzanne Hoffman, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our children have done their part to make our school proud. It’s our turn to rise to the challenge and ensure future students have the same opportunities as our kids.
From a concerned parent:
“Our students know that if they show promise and a willingness to work hard, they have a chance to be part of one of these orchestras. Children willingly give up time during recess and lunch to audition for a spot! This speaks to the incredible ability of Mr. Colpitts to spark our children’s interest in music and to inspire them to excel with a strings instrument. The students in these advanced orchestras serve as ROLE MODELS for all students in the school, both those already in the strings program and primary kids awaiting the day when they are old enough to participate too, irrespective of their family’s financial situation or their parents’ educational backgrounds. If parents do not fight for the advanced orchestras, Jamieson’s strings program will become a diluted and rudimentary version of the exceptional program that it has been in the past…. Once programs are cut, they risk being gone forever, so parents have to act now.”
For families with younger students who have not yet experienced Jamieson’s musical journey, know that:
- Our school is home to Canada’s largest school string orchestra program.
- Students join the program in Grade 4, many having never played a string instrument.
- By the time students graduate Grade 7, they will have learned to play over 100 pieces of music and performed in more than a dozen concerts, equipped with advanced musicianship skills far beyond their age.