October 26, 2023 – The Hamilton Musicians’ Guild and the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra are aligned in our dedication to making orchestral music accessible to communities throughout our region. Thanks to this shared commitment, the Hamilton Musicians’ Guild has generously helped the HPO secure $26,000 in funding from the Music Performance Trust Fund. $20,000 will fund our Fall School Concert Tour throughout all 13 HWDSB secondary schools, and $6,000 goes toward supporting our Educational Concert at FirstOntario Concert Hall on December 8. 

The Music Performance Trust Fund’s mission is to provide admission-free, live, quality music, performed by professional musicians to the public of all backgrounds throughout the United States and Canada. They seek to enrich the lives of the public, young and old, through music and to contribute to the public’s knowledge and appreciation of music. They also strive to make music and music education an exciting experience and to expand it to every child’s life experience. 

“I’ve long been an advocate of the value of educational programs such as this going back to the sixth grade when The Canadian Brass played at my school,” says Hamilton Musicians’ Guild President Larry Feudo. “I fondly recall being moved by the poignancy of their playing and it inspired me on my musical path. Programs like this are vital to the cultural enrichment of young people which is probably more important today than ever before, and we are pleased to fund this wonderful project and look forward to more in the near future.” 

HPO’s School Concert Tour from October 27 to November 7 brings Brass Quintet and Woodwind Quintet to all 13 HWDSB secondary schools. These secondary schools will also be inviting grade 7 and 8 students from their feeder elementary schools to join them for the concert. Our 23-24 HPO School Tour will reach over 3,000 HWDSB students during those 2 weeks. This year’s Educational Concert, The Hockey Sweater, brings hundreds of Hamilton and Burlington schools to FirstOntario Concert Hall. They will hear Composer-in-Residence Abigail Richardson Schulte‘s orchestral composition The Hockey Sweater, with guest narrator Tom Allen of CBC. This work is set to the text of Roch Carrier’s iconic children’s story, The Hockey Sweater, illustrated by Sheldon Cohen. 

“I can’t tell you how many times I have been told that seeing a concert as a child was what inspired someone to learn an instrument,” says HPO Music Education and HPYO Manager Megan Benjafield. “It is the pursuit of that spark of inspiration that informs our dedication to reaching as many young people as possible with our educational programming. Since we are also aiming to make strong pedagogical and curricular links to music programming, our school tour explores the cultural context and significance of dance music from various countries and eras, and the educational concert focuses on using music as a story-telling device.” 

Megan Benjafield can be contacted for any inquiries from schools or homeschool families regarding tickets to our Educational Concert at 905.526.1677 x 203 or mbenjafield@hpo.org.  

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About the HPO: For over a century, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra has presented orchestral music and education programs with a mission to enrich the wellbeing of the greater Hamilton region. Music Director Gemma New and the professional musicians of the HPO present dynamic orchestral performances ranging from standard classical repertoire to popular music and world premieres by living composers. As one of Canada’s leading professional orchestras, the HPO has proudly contributed to the shaping of Hamilton’s cultural landscape and continues to uphold values of high calibre, inclusive and accessible orchestral music and education for all. 

Media Contacts: 

Varinder Nandhra 
Marketing and Communications Manager 
Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra 
905.526.1677 x 205 
Megan Benjafield 
Music Education and HPYO Manager 
Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra 
905.526.1677 x 203