This Sunday November 20th through to Saturday, November 26 is Canada Music week. Music students and teachers from across the country will celebrating the vibrant music education landscape that runs from coast, to coast, to coast.

It is a week that was initiated in 1960 to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers' Association (CFMTA). Canada Music Week is celebrated during the third week of November.

Throughout this upcoming week music students from across the Province of Manitoba are performing and having their new compositions performed.

Melissa Gingrich is the Canada Music Week Representative and organizer for the Manitoba Registered Music Teachers’ Association (MRMTA) and is the organizer of the Student Composer Competition that the organization puts on.

“I think it is important for all of the Provinces to host events. It’s up to Canadians to uphold and share Canadian culture. We have a tremendous, vibrant scene…there is a healthy dose of Canadian content there, and the repertoire is really evocative and always a favorite with students,” states Gingrinch.

There are two big events that are happening in this upcoming week, that the MRMTA is hosting to mark Canada Music Week. The first is a concert on Sunday, November 20th at 1:30pm at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. This concert will feature 18 young musicians performing music written by Canadians. As Gingrich explains, “The only criteria for the concert were that they share a piece by a Canadian composer or that they be a composer themselves.”

The other event that is happening this week is on Saturday, November 26th, at 7:00pm again at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. The MRMTA is hosting a masterclass geared toward intermediate piano students. The masterclass will be led by beloved Winnipeg teacher and composer Julianne Warkentin. Gingrich explains the thought process behind the event this way; “This is a new venture for us… at other MRMTA events teachers expressed some desire for there to be events that cater specifically to that intermediate level of studies. Advanced students have a lot of opportunities to participate in scholarship competitions and masterclasses with visiting guest artists…it’s a steep learning curve to mentally prepare as a young person for those events.”

Canada Music Week is important for student composers as well. Caeli Palmer is the winner of the Manitoba Registered Music Teachers Association’s 19 and under Student Composer Competition. For her the desire to compose and express herself is very important. “I like how I can just play my emotions and my feelings. There is no wrong answer. You can do whatever you want and no one can say you are doing it bad.”

Canada Music week is a great way to celebrate our musical heritage and the vast landscape that is Canadian Music. Whether it is through the music written by Canadian composers who have passed on, or by young up-and-coming student composers, as a way to express themselves and have their music heard.

For more information on Canada Music Week and the events that the Manitoba Registered Music Teachers’ Association is hosting you can visit their website.

Celebrate Canadian Music with the MRMTA