We’re just under a week away from Sistema Winnipeg’s Tannis M. Richardson Winter Concert, a celebration of music and achievement.  



“The biggest surprise, actually, is how fast (the students) learn,” says newly appointed Sistema Winnipeg Music Director Monica Chen, who stepped into the role at the beginning of the 2023/24 school year.  

After first crafting instruments on cardboard, students graduate to real violins after learning the basics.  

“The whole process is just very illuminating, and very inspirational,” says Chen, a violinist herself.  

The after-school program provides instruction out of Elwick Community School in Seven Oaks School Division and King Edward Community School in Winnipeg School Division to roughly 140 students.  

 “The students really like Monica and have grown under her guidance,” says Education and Sistema Manager Jeffrey Acosta. “All the students are very excited about Monday’s concert.”  

Audiences can expect a little bit of everything on the Winter Concert program.  

“It’s going to be a wide selection between our youngest, our middle... and more advanced group,” says Chen. Works include: “Boom Whackers Christmas” (yes, whacking is involved) and an original composition done by one of the divisional teachers.  

The Tannis M. Richardson Winter Concert takes place at Seven Oaks Performing Arts Centre (711 Jefferson Ave.) on Monday, December 18 beginning at 6:30 p.m.  

Admission is free of charge!