Angela Hewitt Visits OrKidstra On Valentine’s Day
Angela Hewitt took time out of her busy performing schedule to visit the OrKidstra classes on Valentine’s Day. Her visit (you didn’t know she played violin, did you?) was graciously captured by board member Claire Marshall in the following letter to the Ottawa Citizen:
When you love music, there is no better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than to play music together—no matter your skill level. And differences in skill level were certainly evident in Mac Hall at the Bronson Centre Thursday night. Angela Hewitt, world-renowned pianist, shared her joy and energies with youth in OrKidstra—the music program for inner-city kids run by The Leading Note Foundation.
Ms. Hewitt gave generously of her time, playing a 3/4 size violin with the beginners, clapping and snapping along while the kids chanted their music principles (treasure your instrument, it is your voice, etc), and conducting the young orchestra through a sprightly march. “Don’t forget the dynamics!” she urged “They’re really important to the music.”
Answering questions like What is your favourite piano? What other instruments do you play? How much do you practise? Do your hands get tired? she provided insights into the focussed dedication demanded of a concert pianist. “Do you ever get bored with all the playing?” “Never. There is always something new to learn.”
“I started when I was three, and always loved to practise. I hope you do, too. If you can practise even just 20 minutes every single day it’s better than practising a whole hour one day and not doing anything the next. If I don’t practise every day I get all itchy! ” “What’s your favourite piece?” “Bach’s Goldberg Variations. It takes about an hour and twenty minutes to play it all straight through and I think it is the most moving piece of music there is.”
Thank you, Ms. Hewitt, for passing on your enthusiasm to these children. More than just learning music, these kids are building a community of respect and joy. The large red, hand-lettered Valentine card they gave you is their way of showing their love for music and their thanks for your encouragement. Happy Valentine’s Day!