Students from the Miramichi Sistema program show off their brightly coloured Sistema shirts near the Miramichi river. PHOTO: SUBMITTED/MIRAMICHI LEADER
ERNESTO CARRANZA MIRAMICHI LEADER
While local Sistema New Brunswick students are preparing for their final performance of the year, one of its instructors said not only have students grown as musicians, but he’s seen first hand how they’ve developed a feeling of belonging in their schools, their homes and their communities.
The Sistema NB Miramichi season finale is almost here, showcasing the programs of Beethoven and Corelli Orchestras and performing the new pieces they have been learning all year.
Carlos Armao, one of the teaching artists for the program, said the children were excited to learn a more diverse array of instruments in the near future.
“In Miramichi, Sistema children learn how to play violin and viola, next year we are looking into adding cello to our roster, and the year after that, double bass,” said Armoa. “That way we will have a full string orchestra in a couple of years.”
Sistema NB is a free, after-school program for children to play and perform orchestral music.
Sistema NB has eight centres in communities across the province and is based on a program in Venezuela.
“We currently we have three teaching artists in our centre, Emily Field, Adora Wong and myself, and we’re all McGill graduates with vast music experience,” said Armoa.
“Since we began, we have seen positive changes in our children’s self-confidence and self-esteem, improved literacy and perhaps most importantly, the feeling of belonging and worth, and they are recognized as champions of Sistema, of their school, of their home and of their community.”
The program is offered five days a week and fosters better young musicians and self confidence.
It was launched in 2009. In 2015, the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra received the Prime Minister’s Award for Social Innovation for the work and leadership of Sistema NB in Canada.
“After months of hard work, we will be showcasing our Beethoven and Corelli Orchestras, playing the pieces they have being learning and also a few small ensembles of students with some special pieces for the audience,”said Armao.
“We are excited that some of our students will also be performing in Pops N.B. this summer as members of the Sistema NB Children’s Orchestra.”
The event will take place in Moncton on July 2, and will also feature the Moncton Youth Orchestra and the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra.
“It’s an excellent opportunity for our young people to perform with some of the best orchestral musicians in our province,”he said.
“Next school year, Sistema NB Miramichi center will be based at the brand new King Street Elementary School and we can’t wait to welcome even more children.”
Sistema NB Miramichi’s final concert of the year will be on Saturday, June 10, at 1 p.m. at James M. Hill Memorial High School.