Local El Sistema program expanding thanks to donation

By Sarah Rae
November 4, 2016 - 6:45am

A local after-school program that provides music education to youth who may not otherwise have the opportunity to be involved in the arts, is able to expand after a $7,500 donation from the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group.

Terra Karp, who leads the arts portion of the Battlefords Community Youth Strings Program, said it has been a success since it started four years ago.

“The students are thrilled to attend the strings program,” she said. “They’re so excited after school they usually come with a huge smile on their faces and ready to either do art or learn a few notes on their violin. They’re always happy to be here.”

The program is based off El Sistema from Venezuela, which provides free classical music education to young people who wouldn’t otherwise have access to it. The local program divides students’ time between learning violin from instructor Anjuli Dynna and learning about and making art with Karp.

The Jim Pattison Broadcast Group donated $7,500 to the program, as well as $7,500 to another local music venture, the Battlefords Kiwanis Music Festival.

Karp said the group really appreciates the donation, as every bit helps kids get quality arts education.

It operates out of St. Mary School and École Monseigneur Blaise Morand, but students from the Battlefords area attend also. The portion at St. Mary School is now going to extend into the school day.

Student Alexis Sunshine started the program this year and said she’s enjoying learning the violin.

“We get to play these awesome songs that I've heard of and it’s really fun,” she said. “This is my first year of doing violin and I'm catching up pretty fast.”

Kaffyna Santos has been in the program for two years now and said she likes how she gets to learn music and art in the same program. She said she loves music because of how people can express themselves through it.

 

 

 

Sarah Rae is battlefordsNOW's court and crime reporter. She can be reached at [email protected] or tweet her @sarahjeanrae.

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