Local musicians teaching Saskatoon students on a strict budget

SASKATOON – A local group of musicians called Sistema Saskatoon is attempting to implement a music program into inner city schools.

One of the main goals of the program is to give underprivileged students a chance to play instruments in an orchestral setting.

“The cool thing about playing in orchestra rather than playing on a soccer team is there’s no competition. We’re all working together as team for ultimate goal,” said Stephanie Unverricht, a bassoon player.

The only problem is the instruments are costly and they need help with the funding.

Music teachers only have two violins and a cello to work with.

“We’re hoping for a set of 30 violins and a child size violin is about $300 and about ten cellos and a child sized cello is about $900,” said Unverricht.

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The program originated in Venezuela 35 years ago and has had much success.

“They started with children who had no privileges in the poorest parts of Venezuela and some of those people have become the strongest musicians out there,” said Jim Legge, a violinist whose been teaching for 15 years.

The group has already started teaching classes once a week at the Vincent Massey community school in Saskatoon and the students seem to be enjoying it.

“I think that they’ll feel pretty special that they’re part of it and I think it’ll open up all kinds of possibilities for them,” said Legge.

For more information on volunteering and making donations visit the Sistema Saskatoon website.


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