CORINNE FITZHERBERT THE VICTORIA STAR
The Sistema family keeps on growing and making music. Almost 50 children and youth took part in the Sistema NB Tobique Centre Christmas concert held at Andover Elementary School on Friday, Dec. 14.
The group includes 21 new members who joined the orchestral music program last September. They are the Andante players and they demonstrated their skills by playing Etude No. 1, Concierto Al Aire and Obertura Al Aire.
Dave Halpine, centre director, said the new players have come a long way since they received their instruments in mid-October.
“They are playing open string songs,” he said.
Confident young musicians including Makayla Kinney-Bear demonstrated their talent on the cello and violin during the Sistema NB Tobique Centre Christmas concert. PHOTO: CORINNE FITZHERBERT/THE VICTORIA STAR
Halpine explained the Andante players are one of three groups at the centre. The more experienced young musicians form the Allegros and the Presto ensemble. The latter played Vivaldi’s Concerto Alla Rustica, Vivaldi’s Concerto XI Op. 3 and Adeste Fideles.
Austin Brown was one of about 50 children and youth entertaining family and friends at the Sistema NB Tobique Centre Christmas concert held at Andover Elementary School on Friday, Dec. 14. PHOTO: CORINNE FITZHERBERT/THE VICTORIA STAR
Jonas Joya is the cello and violin instructor and Liz Torrealba teaches viola. They teamed up with the Halpines to perform Por Una Cabesa.
Torrealba is from Venezuela and she led the Sistema members in singing and playing the song Con mi Burrito Sabanero. The piece is about a donkey following the star to find baby Jesus. The story was brought to life by the choir performing actions while the sound of the burro’s feet clopping along kept the beat.
A final burst of Christmas music closed out the concert with the Andante and Allegro groups playing Jingle Bells, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, We Wish You a Merry Christmas and Russian Dance.
A song about a donkey following the star to find the baby Jesus was told with the help of lots of actions by members of the Sistema NB Tobique Centre choir. PHOTO: CORINNE FITZHERBERT/THE VICTORIA STAR
Halpine said Sistema Tobique Centre continues to enjoy “great support” at Andover Elementary School and from Tobique First Nation. Chief Ross Perley was unable to attend the concert, but sent his greetings to the group.
Andover Elementary School Principal Dan McCarthy said he is always impressed by the program and the proficiency of the young musicians it produces.
“We are one of the lucky communities in New Brunswick to have a program like this,” he said.