A Letter to the OrKidstra Family
To our dearest OrKidstra family,
The last week has been heartbreaking to see the injustice, discrimination and division in the U.S. Sadly this inequality is not only in the U.S., it is in Canada and the world over. We hope that this moment in history will be the time of real change.
We stand together knowing that OrKidstra is a family with the core values of love, courage and excellence. Playing and singing together gives our kids a voice that transcends social, linguistic and cultural differences and creates a joyful community that celebrates diversity.
Kathryn Patricia Cobbler, a remarkable Teaching Artist who has worked with OrKidstra for many years, wrote the following e-mail to her OrKidstra students. It was so powerful, inspiring and moving that we asked her if we could share it with our full OrKidstra family and happily she agreed. In her response, she thanked OrKidstra for helping to build a community where all students can experience safety, love and care, as they learn and grow as citizen artists.
Thank you Ms. Kathryn for embodying love, courage and excellence.
Tina Fedeski, MSM, CEO & Artistic Director, on behalf of OrKidstra
Dear OrKidstra Students:
I was preparing to send out weekly lesson plans and thought about sending an email as if it were “any other week,” but felt the need to address the current life events.
Many of you may be aware of the events in the news, as related to the injustices that are prevalent in our world today.
In reflection on this, my own experience as a black woman, a violist and teaching artist, I wanted to take the time to address race and how it applies to us as musicians.
To all our students, I want to say that at OrKidstra we value each of you, your character and your unique voices. It is because of all of you, that I have hope for a world that will be filled with people who know how to be good citizens and take care of each other well.
To our students of colour, I want you to take heart. You belong to a community that sees and knows you; your voices are both precious and valuable. Something we need to remember is that it was not always seen as acceptable for people of colour to engage in classical music, but was made possible by many composers, performers and educators of colour who paved the way for us.
Below you will find links to some of my favourite pieces from a few of the many black composers along with some of their life stories. Through their artistic excellence they have contributed greatly (and for the living composers continue to contribute) to the field of classical music:
Wishing you all a wonderful week,
Ms. Kathryn (Kathryn Patricia Cobbler), OrKidstra Teaching Artist