NAC Orchestra’s Community Engagement Programs

Many orchestras are designing outreach programs, in order for their musicians to become more involved with their community. One of the more successful community engagement programs is that of the National Arts Centre Orchestra (NAC Orchestra) in Ottawa. In 2006 Polyphonic published two articles about NAC Orchestra’s outreach to Canada’s aboriginal population. NAC tours nationally and, while on tour, performs extensively for children, particularly students of First Nation schools, using an especially innovative program.

In her article “On Tour with Canada‚Äôs National Arts Centre Orchestra: Reaching Out to Aboriginal Children,” former Education Director Clare Speed describes in detail how the orchestra put together their outreach programs, particularly their in-depth outreach program designed entirely for students who attend First Nations (reserve) schools.

In a companion article, “Performing for Aboriginal Children: An Interview with Douglas Burden,” bass trombonist Doug Burden talks with Yvonne Caruthers about the experiences of his 7-piece brass ensemble when performing for First Nation children. He goes on to explain how the brass group integrated aboriginal customs with western customs in their presentation to the kids, and describe the welcome dance they received from students and elders of the community they visited.

About the author

Ann Drinan
Ann Drinan

Ann Drinan, Senior Editor, has been a member of the Hartford Symphony viola section for over 30 years. She is a former Chair of the Orchestra Committee, former member of the HSO Board, and has served on many HSO committees. She is also the Executive Director of CONCORA (CT Choral Artists), a professional chorus based in Hartford and New Britain, founded by Artistic Director Richard Coffey. Ann was a member of the Advisory Board of the Symphony Orchestra Institute (SOI), and was the HSO ROPA delegate for 14 years, serving as both Vice President and President of ROPA. In addition to playing the viola and running CONCORA, Ann is a professional writer and editor, and has worked as a consultant and technical writer for software companies in a wide variety of industries for over 3 decades. (She worked for the Yale Computer Science Department in the late 70s, and thus has been on the Internet, then called the DARPAnet, since 1977!) She is married to Algis Kaupas, a sound recordist, and lives a block from Long Island Sound in Branford CT. Together they create websites for musicians:

Ann holds a BA in Music from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an MA in International Relations from Yale University.

Read Ann Drinan's blog here.

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