President’s Report – AGM 2016
We had a wonderful year of workshops and courses this past year. It began with our 40th anniversary workshop and celebration, even though it was our 41st year. Our actual 40th was during the strike, so we postponed our celebration for one year. The workshop was very well attended and was very inspirational. We tried a new format of “Children’s Day for Adults” and it was very successful. And Joe Berarducci, Susie Green and Leanne Roy are some of our best local veterans who lead that workshop. The celebration afterwards was fun and again, well attended. Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate at Cotto Restaurant. And thank you to Susie Green and Tisia Minicello for speaking at the celebration. And it was wonderful that Birthe Kulich could attend and so many of us who know of her could meet her.
Our new policy of making the workshops free for members living outside of the Lower Mainland has
been very successful and appreciated by those members. We helped bring Judith Hirsch to BCMEA last year. It is great that she is local to us now and can bring Orff straight from Salzburg to us. We will continue to support BCMEA and make sure Orff sessions happen at BCMEA. They continue to be the best attended and most inspirational sessions at the Conference.
Adam Con was our presenter at our January workshop. He focused on sequencing lessons for our students – a very important part of the Orff process. Not only did he teach us lessons that would be fun and engaging for our students, but he made us think about what we are doing on a deeper level. And I think he made many good points about how music education in Elementary school is so important and is the entire foundation of so many skills that children need to know. Starting in Middle School or Secondary is just not good enough. We need to rebuild our elementary music programs in B.C. so our children do not miss those important basics.
At the end of April three Board members, including myself, went to Saskatoon for the National Conference. It was very well organized and there were very good sessions to attend. I highly encourage all of our B.C. members to attend the Carl Orff Canada conferences. We were the least represented province, but the members who went were enthusiastic. Teachers from other provinces seem to have quite a bit of Pro-D funding from their districts to attend events like this. If you have the opportunity to go, the next conference will be in Niagara Falls in 2018.
We continued our outreach efforts this year by bringing workshops to other areas of B.C.. Karen Johnson presented a workshop in Abbotsford with Faith Veikle and in Kamloops. She was well received at both workshops. Make sure you contact us if you want a workshop in your area and we can help you find a clinician and we can help support the workshop financially.
In the summer we had 23 students in our Level One course at VCC. We only had 3 people in Level Two, but they worked very hard and did their best within their small group. Catherine West was very impressed with those three students and how hard they worked.
We also had two Birthe Kulich scholarship winners in the Level One course. Congratulations to Yvonne Fawcett and Jessica Nicholson! Jessica was also sponsored by the Burnaby School District. We appreciate the value that the Burnaby School District places on Orff training.
A presentation was made to Susie Green this summer and she is now an Honorary member of the B.C. Orff Chapter.
The summer Masterclass with Catherine West took place at the end of August. There were 12 participants in that course. It was a phenomenal group and Catherine had so much to share. Each day had a different focus: Canadian songs, Integration of the Arts, triple meter, modes and stories. We also got a chance to explore the Schuwerk and understand the reason Orff and Keetman wrote their arrangements and songs, and how to use the Schulwerk in our classes. She taught us lessons for all age groups and we had a good amount of time to discuss, ask questions, analyze her lessons and reflect on what we do in our own music rooms. I came away with many thoughts on how to alter my program, activities to share with my students and how to use the Schulwerk with my children.
We also had a children’s Orff program run through the Burnaby school district in the summer as part of their summer school programs. Faith Veikle taught 24 children for 3 weeks in a lovely morning Orff class. We would encourage our members to teach more Orff based courses with children so we can show parents how effective Orff is with their children and they in turn can advocate to the school systems how much they want Orff in their schools.
And now we enter our new school year and we have many exciting workshops coming up: Judith Hirsch is today, Sherryl Sewepagaham in January and possibly Keith Terry in April. We will be holding our Children’s Day in February this year on a Professional Development Day. Next September James Jackson will be coming here from Nova Scotia. He is their levels instructor and is currently studying at the Orff Institute this year.
There are some adjustments on and to our Board this year as well. Our co-President has left. Our Vice President is expecting. Congratulations Amy! Jacqueline Johnson and Geoff Westby are stepping down from the board. Denise and Lindsay are taking on new Board positions. Karin continues to volunteer by updating our website, but would like to finally step down if someone else is capable of taking this over. And we would like to start an Advocacy position to help promote Orff to all of our B.C. music teachers, teach our beginner teachers how important the Orff process is to their teaching and build elementary programs back into our Universities. There is interest in the local Universities and the school districts. We are the ones who need to advocate and create the demand for Orff. And lastly we are still trying to marry our newsletter with our website. Anyone who is technically proficient or interested in realizing this vision would be welcome on the board to help us add more content on our website.
Thank you for listening and being a member of Carl Orff Canada. I hope we continue to inspire you in the rest of 2016 and in 2017.