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Sistema N.B. expanding to St. Stephen

By Regis Phillips Apr 30, 2024 | 5:35 AM

St. Stephen will be the second rural centre to receive a Sistema NB program through the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra (NBYO) as part of their new expansion.

This after-school program provides free musical education across New Brunswick, particularly for those without access to such opportunities.

NBYO President and CEO Kenn Mainville said the orchestra’s long-term goal is to expand the music programs to nine communities over 15 years, mostly in smaller communities. They were able to establish the program in Bathurst last year and St. Stephen was second on the list.

A violin program will be introduced in September to 25 students at St. Stephen and Milltown elementary schools. Mainville hopes to continue expanding over the next three years until the program reaches 75 students with three teaching artists.

“The intensity of our program, three hours a day, five days a week throughout the whole school year, in a very short period of time they become excellent musicians,” said Mainville.

NBYO officials say St. Stephen Elementary will provide the space for the program and the district will bus students home at the end of each day.

Sistema NB will present to all students at the eligible grade levels in May. Interested families will be given an opportunity to apply for a space in the program.

The St. Stephen community needs to fundraise 30 per cent of the annual budget each year and Sistema NB will contribute the other 70 per cent.

Fundraising details can be found by contacting St. Stephen Elementary School’s Community Coordinator Catriona McLanaghan at catriona.mclanaghan@nbed.nb.ca.