WATCH ABOVE: Arco Violini is an ensemble of highly advanced students from Etobicoke Suzuki Music. A key element of Arco is social consciousness and giving back to the community. Susan Hay has the story in this week’s Making a Difference.
TORONTO- Dr. Zachary Ebin is the director of Arco Violini, an ensemble of young students from Etobicoke Suzuki Music, who strive to give back to the community.
Ebin has performed extensively in the U.S., Israel, and Canada. He has a master’s degree in music and violin performance from the Boston Conservatory.
“The most important factor in the success of a student is how much they practice,” said Ebin.
“They could have the best teacher in the world, they could have the best equipment in the world, but if they don’t practice they don’t go anywhere.”
The group started with five violinists, but has matured into a small chamber orchestra. It consists of students, like eight-year-old Rosanna Scopacasa, who dedicate their free time to intensive practicing, rehearsals and performance.
“My mom and dad thought it would be pretty amazing to have me start at the age of four, to study violin, and it teaches me something very special,” said Scopacasa.
“When we play concerts I know it brings joy to the audience and I want to pass it on.”
A key element of Arco is giving back to the community. The children have performed at hospitals, senior homes, and various fundraisers.
“I think everybody needs to learn how to give back and it’s just what’s going to make this world a better place,” said Ebin.
“Whether they become doctors, lawyers, or musicians, I think they’ll take a sense of what it feels like to give back to the community.”
Senja Rogers is the mother of Meigan and Jazlyne, who were once very shy and introverted children before joining the ensemble.
“It’s given them an identity, because they now say, ‘I play the violin,’ and they’re proud,” said Rogers.
“The music isn’t always just about the practice, but about a group experience and giving back to the community.”