May 18th, 2024

Playing to the next generation of classical music lovers

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - LETHBRIDGE HERALD on October 26, 2021.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman Norbert Boehm, alongside fellow members of the Musaeus String Quartet, Lise Boutin, Gabe Kasteic and Mark Rodgers, speaks to the audience about the differences between their instruments and answers questions from children during a concert this weekend at the Galt Museum.

The Galt Museum and Archives hosted the Musaeus String Quartet with Lethbridge Symphony’s principal strings for an afternoon of music for children on Sunday as an opportunity to introduce children to classical music.
As they planned their season for this year, the Lethbridge Symphony was looking for a way to bring music back, as well as to reach the next generation of music lovers, especially children and families. And it was then when a partnership with the Galt Museum and Archives was developed to do so.
“This is our first collaboration with the Galt, but we have another one planned for March, so we are really hoping to see another strong turnout to that one as well,” said Daphne Hendsbee, operations coordinator for the Lethbridge Symphony.
There were around 10 to 15 families in attendance on Sunday afternoon, with some mothers dancing to the music with their young children.
The Musaeus String Quartet had two members playing violins, Norbert Boehm and Lise Boutin, while Gabe Kastelic played the viola and Mark Rodgers played the cello.
Norbert Boehm took the opportunity to explain to the audience the differences between their instruments, from size to the way they are played, as well as taking questions from the children in the audience.
The Musaeus String Quartet members are also teachers. Most of them have studios and they teach private lessons. They have a real passion to pass on the gift of music to young students.
“For them to play together to create this ensemble, there is a whole other level of excitement that kids can experience not just on a one-on-one lesson. Hearing music play in an ensemble like this, I think it elevates music to a whole new level,” said Glenn Klassen, Music Director of the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra.
Klassen added that as music director of the symphony, he puts a lot of stock in collaborations, whether that is collaborating with a local choir, or a dance community or in this case with the Galt.
“I think that if the arts community can get together and collaborate and help each other out, and do things that by ourselves would be much more difficult to do, I think is a win for the community all around,” said Klassen.
This event was special for the symphony as they were celebrating their 60th anniversary, a year later, as they couldn’t celebrate last season due to the pandemic.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for us to be celebrating 60 years of making music in this community,” added Klassen.
They had their first concert of the season on Oct. 18 and they were very excited to play in front of a live audience once again.
The next concert is on Nov. 22, entitled Hungarian Rhapsody, and is sponsored by the Hungarian Society of Southern Alberta.
As per the Galt Museum and Archives hosting the event at their site, they were really excited to be able to host them during such an important celebration as their 60th anniversary.
“We thought it was a particularly good time to do an event like this, and we are very happy to have hosted for their belated 60th,” said Graham Ruttan, Marketing and Communications coordinator at the Galt Museum and Archives.
Ruttan added that they like to do these kinds of programs to expose their visitors to other organizations, as well as the music community in Lethbridge.
In the Galt collections they house thousands of artifacts and many of them are related to our musical history in Lethbridge. There is an exhibit that they put on last year right as the pandemic was hitting, called Swing, which was about the development and the big scene of swing music in Lethbridge in the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s.
“There is a lot to uncover, there is a lot more to know about history and we hope that people will continue to participate in these kinds of organizations that are really enriching the cultural and arts life of people in Lethbridge and southern Alberta,” said Ruttan.

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