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Source: Memorial University of Newfoundland

Memorial University and IOC partner to boost cultural opportunities in Labrador West

October 10, 2006

exciting new partnership between Memorial University of Newfoundlandís
School of Music and the Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC) will help enhance
cultural and music opportunities for school-aged students in Labrador West.
IOC is contributing $15,000 annually towards a new dynamic program that will
bring professional student musicians from the School of Music into every
school throughout the region. Northern Soundscapes: A Community Music
Initiative will include up to six modules presented to students over the
next three years.
"The Iron Ore Company of Canada has reaffirmed its strong commitment to
community arts and education, by supporting innovative music projects that
will be accessible to all school-aged children," said Mike Shannon,
vice-president of Operations and Engineering with IOC.
Northern Soundcapes will include individual modules performed by senior
ensembles from Memorialís School of Music, the largest professional music
program in Atlantic Canada, which will be geared towards youth audiences.
In addition, curriculum and teacherís activities will be created for each
show for distribution through the school system in advance of the tour.
During the second phase of each module, recent graduates and young
professionals from the School of Music will take up weeklong residencies in
a school to engage a group of students in a project of creating their own
production in response to the performance just seen. Among the ensembles
visiting the Lab West Schools will be the Scruncheons Percussion Ensemble
and the MUN String Quartet.
"This partnership is a brilliant example of how the private sector can
complement the initiative of the provincial governmentís affirmation that
the future of Newfoundland and Labrador is closely bound to cultural
expression. Like the governmentís Cultural Connections program, IOCís
sponsorship of Northern Soundscapes will encourage the young people of Lab
West to express their identity through the language of music," said Dr. Tom
Gordon, director of Memorialís School of Music.
The benefits of this project are multiple. School-aged students will have an
opportunity to hear a gamut of musical styles and languages, while
interacting with musicians who are at the peak of enthusiasm for the careers
they are launching.
"At the same time," added Dr. Gordon, "Northern Soundscapes will provide
university music students with the opportunity to witness the catalytic
affect they can have in a community. Our students will become role models
while learning the role they can play."
The Northern Soundscape project will be launched in October 2006. The
Scruncheons, Memorialís renowned percussion ensemble, will travel to
Labrador West to present a series of performances. An alumnus from the
ensemble will return for a residency that will centre on African drumming,
which will complement a project that the elementary school is doing with a
school in Africa.
The School of Musicís String Quartet will travel to Labrador West in 2007,
performing for students and teaching students the basics of fiddling in the
tradition of the Newfoundland and Labrador jigs and reels.

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For further information, please contact Jeff Green, communications
co-ordinator (Marketing and Communications), Memorial University, at
709-737-2142 or, or Michel Filion, director, Communications
and Community Relations, at 514-217-6253 or



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