FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 12, 2022
REGINA SYMPHONY RELEASES NEW ONLINE CONCERT FOR USE IN SCHOOLS
REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN: The Regina Symphony Orchestra (RSO) has released a new online education tool in the RSO in Schools program Li’l Shadd: A Story of Ujima. This is the third online offering from the RSO in Schools program, and the second program created for elementary school level students.
RSO In Schools is a long-running program with schools in the Regina area, where orchestra musicians would perform live at schools. In 2020, the program pivoted from in-school performances to a recorded performance, available to stream online, with accompanying Teachers’ Guide and resources. The entire program is available for free online. The other RSO in Schools videos, as well as other recorded performances from the RSO at Home series are also available for streaming online.
Li’l Shadd: A Story of Ujima, originally a picture book, is reimagined with music by composers of African descent performed by RSO Musicians, featuring narrator Sharon-Ann Brown, and singer/drummer Jeff Cappo. The story chronicles one of Saskatchewan’s first settlers of African descent, Dr. Alfred Schmitz Shadd. Through this story, students will learn about compassion, and the philosophy of social responsibility the led Dr. Shadd to become an engaged citizen.
The RSO’s performance of Li’l Shadd was created in partnership with The Saskatchewan African Canadian Heritage Museum (SACHM). SACHM is a provincial organization whose primary purpose is to celebrate, explore, research, document and preserve the history, heritage and contributions of people of African ancestry. Brown, who is also the chair of SACHM, said of the project, “We choose to collaborate with all organizations that focus on history, heritage, culture and arts. Part of SACHM’s goal is to provide education and we accomplish this goal by working with RSO on this milestone project”.
Li’l Shadd includes the concert, which is available for online streaming, as well as a teacher’s guide with detailed background on the story, activities and information the contributions Black composers have made to classical music. “We strive to showcase the history of people of African descent and Dr. Shadd is one of the first person of African descent in Saskatchewan to contribute in the area of Agriculture, Medicine, Communication and Politics”, said Brown when asked about the importance of sharing this story with students in Saskatchewan, “ It is all important for people to be aware of the history and heritage of people of African descent in our Province.”
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Financial support for the RSO in Schools program is provided by SaskTel and the Canada Council for the Arts, with additional support from SGI.