Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tovey on cuts to band programs at Vancouver School Board

Click on the title to read the article. EXCERPT:

The proposal to cease investing in the Band and Strings Program is one that the VSO strongly urges the VSB to withdraw. In many Vancouver schools we have witnessed first hand the benefits of the VSB supported band and strings program.  The option of a user-pay or school funded program does not embrace the inner city child whose only connection with live music may be the saxophone or drum set that has been offered to them. The saving of half a million dollars is paltry when  considering  the life enhancing benefits of this contact with the world of music.  In fact, I doubt this amount would even buy a family home within 10 blocks of the illustrious VSB building on West Broadway. When I heard the actual figure I found it hard to believe so much had been achieved with so little.

I do not bring these remarks to you from a lofty aesthetic perch. I grew up in England in the East End of London – my father died when I was a boy. Without the band and orchestra experience that I benefitted from in the state school education that I received, I would never have been able to compete and succeed in the music profession.  As a single parent my mother could not have afforded the cost of these activities.  I have a personal motive for standing here tonight – I don’t want a kid like me to fall through the cracks because of this proposal.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Click on the title to read the article. EXCERPT:

[BACKGROUND: The BC government is requiring BC schools to "meet their budget targets" with far less resources than ever before.]

"The budget shortfall affects all school districts in BC. Band programs across the board are on the chopping block. If children don’t have access to art programs in school, many will not have access, as parents can’t afford private lessons. What state is this province going to be in 5, 10, 20 years if children aren’t exposed to quality artistic practices through school? Please pass this call-out onto anyone who has a story to tell, we need them all."

John Oliver on music composition and performance Headline Animator