On Wednesday, 31 October 2018, all music students of Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute attended a concert by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.

Students travelled on a school bus to and from the Hall to attend the concert, which began at 1:00 pm and ended at 2:00 pm.

Music students stand outside Roy Thomson Hall. Image: Evan Woo

Conducted by Gary Kulesha, the TSO played pieces including “Hopewell Cape” by Christine Donkin and “Galánta Táncok (Dances of Galánta)” by Zoltán Kodály. The pieces were all unique and contrasted with each other, keeping the audience captivated and making the concert interesting to listen to.

The last piece, “The Atizokan Suite” by Eliot Britton, incorporated Indigenous music, orchestra instruments, electric sounds, dance, and video; it was the highlight of the show. Students had the chance to see an extremely rare throat boxer (Inuit throat singing and beat-boxing combined), Nelson Tagoona, as well as the composer of the piece on stage. The piece was an extremely interesting combination of different styles of music that would typically not be incorporated in a concert.

The experience of attending the concert was special for students as it provided them with an opportunity to observe a practical application of music skills they were learning in class. One of the music teachers accompanying the students, Mr. Rakonjac, corroborated the value of the concert. He thought “the TSO performance was a great musical learning experience for the students. It also may have given some students a first time direct experience with First Nations music and dance cultures that certainly may have broadened their horizons. Overall a great effort by the TSO!”