Small Ideas: $10,000


Guelph Symphony Orchestra's project is to mount a "Pop-up Orchestra" Festival, in the month of February, wherein members of the Guelph Symphony will mount a series of free concerts, in imaginative, unexpected and less formal settings, designed to engage, entertain and to be interactive. The Festival will culminate in a performance on March 3, at Harcourt Church, with a sampling of the music from each of the festival concerts and with audience members from the festival having the opportunity to recreate their 'interactive roles' as part of this main series concert for our regular patrons!
Music is a powerfully communicative and transformative language. It is one of the most basic and joyful forms of human expression.
GSO has been operating youth outreach programs for eight years and in that time we have observed the strong desire in parents of young children give them opportunities to experience live classical music. We see such overwhelming joy in reaction to our KinderConcerts and Museum concerts. (Parents call to ask how they can prepare for the next show, and children regularly dress up as the characters in the shows we are presenting, and leave singing the beautiful melodies). We think that in presenting a series of engaging and participatory concerts as a Pop Up Orchestra Festival, we can reach out to an even broader demographic.
As the principal orchestra for the city, we believe that we have the mechanisms, passion and experience to turn this into an annual celebration within our community!

The Festival would launch on Family Day weekend and culminate in a main series highlight concert at Harcourt Church on March 3rd.

* A costumed performance of "Carnival of the Animals" , with animals present, & an instrument petting zoo

*Two costumed, fairy-tale concerts at the Civic Museum 
free admission to the Museum that afternoon
*Orchestra Karaoke at City Hall
(Mayor Cam Guthrie, Markus Howard (choreographer) & the Guelph Youth Singers
*Siegfried Idyll performed on the staircase (as originally intended) of a historical home and possible repeat performance at Doors Open next April)

(people at the top of the stairs-Cosimas perspective and people at the bottom of the stairs- Richard’s perspective)
*St Joseph's Health Centre (Karie Bilger) featuring an orchestra sing-along and opportunity to try percussion (Amy Di Nino School, formerly of W. Ross MacDonald School for the Blind)
* A "Harry Potter" costumed concert and petting zoo for Family Children’s Services on Family Day weekend.

The GSO Pop up Orchestra Festival is aiming to cultivate in audiences of all ages, a passion for and awareness of music through not just listening, but through direct experience.
With this project we are trying to remove the financial barrier that bars many from attending and participating in classical music presentations. Through this initiative, we also want to foster a greater sense of community and connection to the arts. With funding cuts for music education in the schools, the GSO has been increasingly called upon to fill the void. As educators, it is our obligation to fulfill that role in providing access to musical experiences, preferably at no cost, to all participants.

We believe that music has the ability to unite people, with the potential to reduce or even eliminate socioeconomic differences; to foster a sense of wonder, a sense of belonging, and to provide opportunities to experience classical music in less expected settings! 

Our long-term goal is for the Pop Up Orchestra Festival to become an annual event that allows community to regularly interact with classical music and musicians in a way that celebrates teamwork.
In symphonic music, everyone has a role to play, and all the independent and beautiful musical lines come together to create a magnificent and celebratory whole!
Funds from Aviva will help support venue, musician and marketing costs.

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Guelph Symphony Orchestra

Location: Guelph