DYFA - Dufferin Youth Festival of the Arts

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This past June, many students, staff and parents of Centennial Hylands Elementary School very much enjoyed the Grade One presentation "The Sky Is Falling". Mrs. Susan Thackeray's students presented it to all Primary and Junior classes as well as parents and it was superbly directed and accompanied by Grade Six teacher Mrs. Donna Jackson. The class took their play on the road to the Shelburne Residence where many seniors smiled, laughed and clapped along. Mrs. Thackeray and Mrs. Jackson were assisted by terrific Junior students and many wonderful parent helpers.  
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Orangeville Christian School was delighted to participate in the DYAF again this year. Our kindergarten class entertained with their poem about 5 monkeys. This gruesome story had a romantic twist. The alligator missed swallowing the last monkey, "You missed me. Now you've got to kiss me!" It seems not to matter what the K. children do but they are always a "hit."
Dennis Hahn led our band in a variety of music that had people clapping or nodding to the beat. A great way to end the festival. We, at Orangeville Christian School, are delighted with the organizers who did a superb job in making this festival happen. What a great way to share in the universal language of music! We are already making plans for next year and hope to contribute more art for the display and make sure we view all the other excellent displays!  
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As a first time participant and audience member of the festival, I was thoroughly impressed by the talents of our youth today. The kindergarten students were very captivated by the number of wonderful bands and groups that participated the morning we attended. Thanks for a great opportunity. I am looking forward to next year.

Primary Arts day was celebrated at Laurelwoods Elementary on Friday, May 13, 2005. All of the children in the primary division were given the opportunity to participate in eight different workshops throughout the day. We sang, played the drums, acted, painted, created with pastels and danced. A fun filled day was had by all.

Mrs. Leanne Truska

The Amazing Dufferin Youth Festival of the Arts

Primrose Elementary School was very well represented at the Dufferin Youth Festival of the Arts in Orangeville. Four groups of our students displayed their tremendous talents: Ms. Shedden’s Voice Band (composed of Mr. Mesesnel’s grade 2's plus a few junior students), Mr. McIntyre’s grade 3 recorder group performed "Don't Worry, Be Happy", the Grade 7 and 8 Band played "We Will Rock You", and Mr. Ardis’ percussion band performed an original piece called "The Orc's Advance".
Below are some comments from people who attended:

“Almost every school gets to go up on stage and sing or play what they have practiced. We played ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy”. We saw some great schools.
We were second. We had a good time.” By Cole, grade 3

“I sat on a chair and waited. When it was my turn, we went up on stage and sang. It made me feel very good inside.” By ?

“Thanks Mr. McIntyre, Ms. Shedden, Ms. Roberts, Mr. Ardis and the children for the fine musical performances today in Orangeville. The percussion ensemble was amazing (and held the ODSS concert band members and most of the audience entranced!) The soloists were super. As a parent, I really appreciate the extra contribution that you all make in teaching the children music, preparing the children for performances and inspiring their musicianship. We are all much enriched by your efforts.” Lianne Gorelle, parent

“From a student’s perspective, I think that Ms. Robert’s Intermediate band did very well. I know that everyone who went to the D.Y.F.A. had a lot of fun. The grade 3 and 4 performances were very cute, and the drumming and band sounded very good. All the kids who went, big and little, were on their very best behaviour. I’m pretty sure that a good time was had by all.” By Michelle, grade 8

PRIMROSE: Participation Respect Integrity Discipline Empathy

A couple of letters from our Gr. 2/3 students at Mono-Amaranth Public School.

Mrs. M. Runciman

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Music at ODSS

This year, the music program at ODSS has been alive with the sounds of guitar students, band instrument classes, the jazz ensemble, the junior and senior concert bands as well as vocalists. Both the Christmas and spring concerts were performed before an audience packed cafetorium.

Thirty-four senior concert band students participated in a performance four to Chicago in May. An awesome time with an awesome group of students was matched by awesome weather.

Once again, our jazz ensemble performed as part of the Orangeville’s blues and jazz festival on June 4th.

Finally, a standing ovation for Ryan Grist, Karen Landers, Al Luider and Doug McIlwain. Without your belief in the value of a strong music experience, many more students would be deprived of music’s impact to cultivate rich and life-long benefits

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East Gary Inspiring

This year's Dufferin Festival of the Arts was an all-round inspiring event! It seems the talent improves every year we attend (could the Festival be encouraging teachers and students to be reaching further and working harder?)! Our students were amazed by the musical talent demonstrated by so many schools this year. They particularly loved the contemporary band pieces. The rock bands were also a highlight for audiences of all ages. The buzz about their experiences continues and students are already talking about next year's Festival!

Melissa Dobson
East Garafraxa Public School

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Making Music is Magic!

Since September a small, but mighty number of students from grade four to eight have been meeting in Ms. Reid’s room to sing and learn about being in a choir. The choir’s first public performance was at the Remembrance Day ceremony held in the gym on November 11. This was a moving experience for audience and choir as the songs we sang reflected the need to remember, the need to learn from the past, and the need for peace in our world.
After this performance the choir doubled in number and we began to prepare for the “ By The Kids, For The Kids” festival in the Orangeville Mall on December 1; what an exciting experience to sing in front of complete strangers as well as our very enthusiastic families! We were invited to join three other choirs from the area to record a compact disc on December 11. How wonderful is that!

Our last performance this term will be for the school assemblies and the Community Christmas Sing-A-Long on December 14. We have learned some special Christmas music and we will have fun singing with our family and friends. All in all, being in our school choir is hard work, but we are really happy about how we sing, and hopefully, how we create a little magic for our audiences.

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The Parkinson Centennial Instrumental Band program is going well, and we have quite a number of different instruments. Flutes, clarinets, alto and tenor saxophones, trombones and trumpets mix with guitars and drums to create a unique, spicy sound. Right now, we are preparing for our two assemblies and hope to plan Jingle Bells, Good King Wenceslas. We hope to progress to harder, but well known songs by a variety of artists. Our band teacher, Dennis Hahn, has been teaching the band at Parkinson for four years. He is a great teacher and tries to help everyone understand their instrument.

Thomas W, grade 6 drum player

This year, we are developing a Rock Band which includes the drum kit,lead and bass guitars and keyboard. We hope to involve one or more singers; auditions are on December 10th. At first the Rock Band was kind of sloppy, but we are now playing real rock songs. Not only is it fun learning the songs, but playing with friends, as part of a team, is a great experience.

Bruce T, grade 7 guitar player

A wide variety of Orff and percussion instruments, helps us to provide a well rounded music program. Students develop a better understanding of beat and rhythm through the use of these instruments. Some groups are studying instruments and making their own musical inventions. There are lots of opportunities for students to work cooperatively on musically related projects. We are really looking forward to participating in this year's Festival in May!

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Grand Valley and District Public School is a K-8 school with 370 students.

Grand Valley Public School is proud to be able to engage students in a variety of Arts activities. There are opportunities provided for students to work with artists from handcrafters to storytellers to musicians in a fun and relaxed setting.

For those who love to sing, a primary/junior choir meets twice weekly for some singing and movement fun. They enjoy singing melodies and 2 part harmonies, rounds, and echo songs.

The grade sixes in the school are introduced to instrumental music through recorders in the classroom and an extra opportunity of playing in an instrumental band. Learning to play their favourite instrument, read music and perform as a band is a highlight of late junior students Arts education.

As a K-8 school, intermediate students are also invited to join in the band. First year players work together with our late juniors while our "seasoned" players, those who have played for 1 or 2 years, form an intermediate band. All Arts students perform throughout the year at assemblies, at special occassions, Christmas being a highlight, and when welcoming spring and at open houses.

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Musical Notes

Next week we'll be having an Open House and we have 2 choirs presenting to our parents.

The first group is grades 1, 2, & 3 and they are being led by Kathy Wray.

The second group is doing festive carols and some Beatles songs, our grades 7 & 8's and they are being led by Jeff Broderick and Paul Huddleston.

Also this year, Nancy McClellan has been introducing the recorder to her Grade 4's as well as singing and they are planning to do a short piece on the recorders for the DYFA.

Jim Bonter
Principal, Island Lake Public School

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Choirs Festival Canada, By the Kids, For the Kids

Choirs Festival Canada, By the Kids, For the Kids, arrived in Orangeville for the first time this year. The organization invited area school choirs to participate in a festival at the Orangeville Mall. Princess Margaret, Princess Elizabeth, Montgomery Village and Credit Meadows all took part.

The events were well attended by parents and members of the community. Doug Pettigrew, a professional MC, made the children comfortable in this unusual venue. All four schools will be featured a a Choirs Festival Canada CD. This CD will be sold in the schools, with profits staging the schools for music programs. Don't miss out on this opportunity next year.

Needless to say all the children are very excited about being on their very own CD, could be the beginning a future career.

Sharon Bonikowski, Credit Meadows

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Several schools in the Dufferin County area took part in the By the Kids, For the Kids choir festival at the Orangeville Mall this year. Here is one student's comments about the experience.

Kim Shillum
Grade 5 teacher

Two choirs, from Princess Elizabeth and Montgomery Village sang at the Orangeville Mall on December 1st. We sang near the A&P and Sears. The place was absolutely packed! On Saturday December 11th, four junior choirs sang again, recording a CD. Loads of people were there.

Thank you very much if you came to the recording of the CD. It encouraged us very much!
Stephanie E - grade 6 student

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To Be or Not to Be – Why the Arts Matter

Shakespeare in grade four. Who would have thought? Seven years ago St. Andrew teacher Astrid Smits thought, why not? She’d heard about kid-friendly versions of the classic plays written by Stratford teacher Lois Burdett. If Twelfth Night could be done in Stratford, why not Orangeville?

The next I heard was my nine-year-old practising lines like, “Cesario be mine. It is for you my heart does pine.”

Then came the call for costumes. We fashioned swords out of cardboard and tin foil and robes from old curtains fastened with gold chord and fake jewels. She looked fabulous. And on the night we parents all crowded into the church hall for the play, we were amazed. Not only were our children successfully wrapping their tongues around the bard’s fantastic phrases, they knew the story and they were loving it.

I knew Ms. Smits had started something, at least in our household. It’s still paying off. Today I have a grade eleven student at ODSS who is totally turned on to Macbeth. To me that’s priceless.

Bernadette Hardaker

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“Dave Euale’s Note”
Upper Grand District School Board Superintendent of Education:  2003 DYFA Impressions

  The Dufferin youth Festival of the Arts is not only a wonderful asset to the educational program in Dufferin, but it is also an essential learning opportunity for our students. In these times of high accountability for literacy and numeracy through provincial testing, it is natural for educators to concentrate their instruction on directly related activities. For some this could mean giving instruction in the Arts a lower priority. Enlightened educators, such as those employed in Dufferin, acknowledge not only the importance of instruction in the Arts as an essential learning, but understand how experience in the Arts compliments the learning in numeracy and literacy.  

The DFYA inspires schools to maintain the Arts as key components in their curriculum. Students are excited about the festival and practice to prepare for their opportunity to demonstrate their skills. The Festival indeed is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of its value in engaging students.  

I would ask that you please pass on my appreciation to all those involved in providing the wonderful opportunity for our students. Please also accept my appreciation for all that (is done) in working with our principals and teachers to ensure that this event is such an annual success.  (The)  effort seems tireless, dedication exemplary and contribution to education invaluable.

David M. Euale
Superintendent of Education

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Through the amalgamation process of the Dufferin and Guelph Boards of Education, several parents and teachers got to know an incredible principal, Judy Massey. She now is with the Peel Board and sends along her greetings!  

The Arts: A Necessary Part Of Education 

Many of us who were given early opportunities to express ourselves through drama, music, dance or visual arts know how critical the arts have been to our personal development. We know how they have affected us in a way that completed us as we strove for balance and harmony in our lives. They also assisted our growth by encouraging the development of a diversity of skills as well as both commitment and focus. This feeling was reinforced yesterday for me when I visited a school and was treated to a performance by a number of students during a school celebration.  

These performing students created dances, raps, and several musical compositions, along with a visual display to help the school celebrate its official opening. This was an exciting show, which stretched the students' skills and provided a vehicle for expression and an outlet for emotions and creativity. The confidence and enthusiasm of the student presenters was impressive as well as the way in which they combined movement, language and sound. They were definitely on their way to developing the type of skills they would need to face our ever changing and challenging world. The students' presentation was far more interesting and held the audience's attention much better than a flat, didactic monologue would have done. It is therefore my belief that the time we spend at home and in our schools focusing on the arts will never be wasted. It not only provides our students with a way in which to express themselves creatively but supports their social and emotional growth. The arts can also be integrated easily into all other avenues of our students' educational experience, adding both depth and breadth.  

There is a world of colour, song and dance to be offered to our students. Those who never immerse themselves in it will narrow their opportunities and blind themselves not only to the beauty around them but also will limit their understanding of themselves and others. Those who embrace the arts will never be disappointed as it provides much richness, skill development and opportunity in their lives allowing them to move from a world, which is primarily black and white to that of colour.  

Judy Massey

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I would like to thank you and the many volunteers who make the “Dufferin Youth Festival of the Arts” possible. This program not only engages our students in the arts but also compliments our academic curriculum. In preparing for the festival each year, students participate in artistic endeavors which allow them to develop specific artistic skills and also further develop competencies in communication, literacy, team building, problem solving and many other critical like skills.

The Festival allows students to demonstrate their skills and talents to the community. It is a celebration of the learning that has taken place. Consistent with the philosophy of the Festival, students are recognized for their efforts and dedication as well as their prowess. Clearly the values and objectives of the “Dufferin Youth Festival of the Arts” are in line with those of the Upper Grand District School Board and thus our long standing partnership for arts education is strong and enduring.

Rosemary Fyfe
Superintendent of Education
Upper Grand District School Board

On behalf of the Centre Dufferin D.H.S., Orangeville District S.S. and Westside S.S. and the 3000 students who attend those fine educational institutions, thank you for your efforts in organizing and producing the “Dufferin Festival of the Arts”.
The Festival allows our secondary arts students the opportunity to demonstrate their fine talents to the Dufferin community. In doing so it is a very clear testimonial to the quality of the arts programs in our schools. The quality of this program is due to the many fine teachers who go above and beyond their responsibilities to provide opportunities for students to get involved in artistic endeavors. I know that a critical promoter of our school program is the encouragement that students receive when given the opportunity to perform for the public. The Festival of the Arts, and in general the work of the many volunteers who promote and support arts in Dufferin County, give our students the outlet to demonstrate their artistic talents and join in the community of artists that enrich the Dufferin community.

David M. Euale
Superintendent of Education
Upper Grand District School Board

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©2005 DYFA & Dufferin Youth Festival of the Arts