ICYMI - May 2019 Event Highlights

A community-based arts creation project anchored in local schools, Listen Up! hands students the reins in the creative process. Students explore an artistic theme through words, visual art, movement, and music throughout the school year. The final result is an innovative showcase performance with the Gryphon Trio, featuring a new musical work for choir and piano trio using student-generated content across all artistic disciplines. Listen Up! was developed by the Juno award-winning Gryphon Trio in collaboration with music educator, composer, and conductor Rob Kapilow. The program has been running for 9 years and has taken place in cities across Canada including Yellowknife, NWT, Powell River, B.C. and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and in Ontario in Kingtson, Almonte, Ottawa, Hamilton, Midland. Currently the program is taking place in Etobicoke at Dixon Grove Junior Middle School.

The scope of Listen Up! relies on strong partnerships with teachers, artists, principals, local community leaders and agencies to ensure its success.

Top 4 Highlights from Listen Up!

1.    Arts Etobicoke: PAONE members met for lunch and a round-table discussion highlighting the importance of partnerships to help achieve success in arts engagement and connectivity. Patty Jarvis shared her experiences and learning curves around her involvement with Listen Up!, a community-based arts project anchored in local schools.

2.    Observed Listen Up! Rehearsals: Following lunch, members travelled to Dixon Grove Junior Middle School to watch rehearsals in singing, drumming and spoken word by Grade 6, 7 and 8 students. Led by New York based music educator, composer and conductor, Rob Kapilow, students practiced a piece from Moana. The Gryphon Trio and The Bedford Trio along with percussionist, Graham Hargrove accompanied the students’ performance.

3.    Audience Participation: The PAONE group were delighted to join students in singing in the round a mid-13th century song: Sumer Is Icumen In. It was harder than it looked – but another great example how partnerships connect community/audience engagement in sometimes-unexpected ways.

4.    Spoken Word: The afternoon wrapped up with a performance by four grade 8 students practicing their spoken word pieces. Led by artist, Paulina O’Kieffe Anthony, the pieces highlighted the overarching theme of Listen Up!: Identity. Members enjoyed brief informal discussion and question period with Paulina.