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Canada Life Little Kids Concerts

An Alphabet of Songs

March 20, 2021 10:30 AM

Gillian Hunter Gibbs, host and performer

Did you know the ABC’s are for more than just words? Join the VSO School of Music’s early learning expert Gillian Hunter-Gibbs and members of the VSO in a delightful morning of musical discovery and learning.

Discover the songs and activities in the VSO School of Music's Early Years music book: An Alphabet of Songs. Purchase the book here.

Gillian Hunter Gibbs, host and performer

Gillian Hunter-Gibbs brings her love of classical music, teaching and fun to the VSO’s Little Kids Concerts. A Vancouver native, Gillian studied voice and violin at UBC before moving to the UK where she completed a master's degree in Music Education at Cambridge University. Following her studies, Gillian worked in arts administration and education in the UK for 12 years, most recently running the renowned education program for City of London Sinfonia, before returning to her hometown of Vancouver to take up a position at the VSO School of Music in 2017. The flagship programs she spearheaded at City of London Sinfonia focused on the areas of Early Childhood Music Education, developing a series of workshops and concerts for ages 0-5 which toured the UK, as well as health and wellness, bringing musicians into hospitals, care homes and hospices in London and beyond.  

Gillian is an experienced Early Childhood Music Educator, having taught music classes to hundreds of children from newborns to age 6, as well as private violin teaching to young children. She believes in a child centered approach to learning, encompassing the best of respected music education methodologies including Kodaly, Suzuki, Orff, Dalcroze and Colourstrings, preparing even the youngest students for a lifelong love of music, something she has brought to the VSO School of Music’s Early Years program.

Gillian currently serves as Director of the VSO School of Music, a role which allows her to be involved in every aspect of the School, from babies to seniors, classical to jazz and world music. Gillian believes passionately in music education in its broadest sense – it’s never too early or too late! In addition to her work and musical pursuits, Gillian is mom to two young children, 6-year-old Ellie and 3-year-old Myles, both budding young music lovers!

The musical pieces in this concert are short excerpts from some of our favourite works for orchestra! Learn more about these pieces and share the “Little Program Notes” below with the VSO’s youngest audience members.

Aragonaise from Carmen

Georges Bizet (1838-1875)

This music opens Act IV of Bizet’s famous opera, Carmen, which uses Spanish rhythms and harmonies to create an atmosphere of flair and anticipation. While the opera was originally indifferently received, it has now become culturally iconic, especially the “Habanera” and “Toreador Song.”

Largo from Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”

Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904)

Dvořák landed in New York in 1892 and composed this symphony the following year. Dvořák had always been interested in folk music, and he incorporated the traditional melodies of Bohemia, his home country, into many of his previous compositions. In this piece, he was inspired by Native American music and African-American spirituals, which he believed should provide the foundation for the future of “American” music.

The Fog is Rising from Moderen (The Mother)

Carl Nielsen (1865-1931)

Nielsen is one of Denmark’s most famous composers, and he brought a love of traditional Danish folk songs to his music. This melody, originally for flute and harp, was composed for a scene in a play by Helge Rode, in which a mother says goodbye to her son as the fog lifts around them.

Blue Sun

Jocelyn Morlock (b. 1969)

Vancouver composer Jocelyn Morlock wrote “Blue Sun” in 1998 for violin and viola while captivated by folk music. Though this piece doesn’t use folk melodies, its atmosphere permeates throughout, like a ghost sun lingering in a person’s vision after staring at the real one.

Troika from Lieutenant Kijé

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)

This music depicting a brisk winter sleigh ride comes from a film called Lieutenant Kijé. As Prokofiev had never composed film music before, he was initially reluctant to accept the commission, but changed his mind to appeal to a larger audience. With its witty, melodious character, it was one of the best regarded film scores of the era.

The Swan from Carnival of the Animals

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)

“The Swan” is a movement from Saint-Saëns’ Le carnaval des animaux (Carnival of the Animals). Originally featuring the cello, this was the only piece from the suite he allowed to be published in his lifetime, since he feared the rest of the movements would damage his reputation as a “serious” composer. It is now one of his best-loved works! If you would like to hear the VSO’s full performance of Carnival of the Animals, see the Origino Kids Concert here.

The Alphabet of Songs

Libby Donald, Guillaume Forbes, Claire Henry, Gillian Hunter-Gibbs, Yvanna Mycyk, Nadia Petriw, Angela Elster

The songs for letters C, F, K, R, and U come from the VSO School of Music’s new book, An Alphabet of Songs. Created for learners 0-6, this resource fosters playful musical learning, literacy and creativity, and each letter is accompanied by an original song and beautiful illustration! Recordings of all songs are available online. The book and associated colouring book can be purchased at: https://vsoschoolofmusic.ca/shop/.

An Alphabet of Songs was developed by the VSO School of Music with the generous support of the Ministry of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

Little Program Notes

Aragonaise by Bizet

This piece comes from an opera called Carmen! An opera is a musical story performed by singers and orchestra. Everyone sings instead of talking!  What type of person does the oboe sound like? Shy? Brave? Can you come up with actions that would go along with the music?

Largo by Dvořák

This comes from a symphony that is best known by its nickname: “New World.” That’s because Dvorak wrote it when he first moved to New York, and he was excited by the big city and all the new music he heard. Have you ever travelled somewhere that’s very different from your home?

The Fog is Rising by Nielsen

Nielsen is one of Denmark’s most famous composers. He loved traditional Danish music and lived in Copenhagen, which is next to the sea. Does the music sound like fog to you? What else does it remind you of?

Blue Sun by Morlock

This piece is written by a composer from Vancouver, who loves folk music! Do you have any favourite songs you love to sing? Do you make up your own songs?

Troika by Prokofiev

This piece depicts a musical sleigh ride, like Jingle Bells does! In this version, the triangle sounds like the sleigh bells. Can you find something at home that sounds like a triangle?

The Swan by Saint-Saëns

This comes from a funny piece of music called Carnival of the Animals. The smooth melody of the violin represents the graceful swan. Which instrument sounds like the rippling water?

Series Performances

This is some text inside of a div block.
Do Re Mi Fa Snow!
This is some text inside of a div block.
An Alphabet of Songs
More series performances to be announced.
Donate

STREAMING IN:

00
DAYS
00
HOURS
00
MIN
00
SEC
Some web browsers automatically mute video players. If you do not hear audio during the performance try adjusting the volume in the video player.

STREAMING IN:

00
DAYS
00
HOURS
00
MIN
00
SEC
Some web browsers automatically mute video players. If you do not hear audio during the performance try adjusting the volume in the video player.
Subscribe Now
Subscribe now to make sure you have access to complete performances as they are released
Subscribe Now
Subscribe now to make sure you have access to complete performances as they are released

Canada Life Little Kids Concerts

An Alphabet of Songs

March 20, 2021 10:30 AM

Gillian Hunter Gibbs, host and performer

Did you know the ABC’s are for more than just words? Join the VSO School of Music’s early learning expert Gillian Hunter-Gibbs and members of the VSO in a delightful morning of musical discovery and learning.

Discover the songs and activities in the VSO School of Music's Early Years music book: An Alphabet of Songs. Purchase the book here.

Gillian Hunter Gibbs, host and performer

Gillian Hunter-Gibbs brings her love of classical music, teaching and fun to the VSO’s Little Kids Concerts. A Vancouver native, Gillian studied voice and violin at UBC before moving to the UK where she completed a master's degree in Music Education at Cambridge University. Following her studies, Gillian worked in arts administration and education in the UK for 12 years, most recently running the renowned education program for City of London Sinfonia, before returning to her hometown of Vancouver to take up a position at the VSO School of Music in 2017. The flagship programs she spearheaded at City of London Sinfonia focused on the areas of Early Childhood Music Education, developing a series of workshops and concerts for ages 0-5 which toured the UK, as well as health and wellness, bringing musicians into hospitals, care homes and hospices in London and beyond.  

Gillian is an experienced Early Childhood Music Educator, having taught music classes to hundreds of children from newborns to age 6, as well as private violin teaching to young children. She believes in a child centered approach to learning, encompassing the best of respected music education methodologies including Kodaly, Suzuki, Orff, Dalcroze and Colourstrings, preparing even the youngest students for a lifelong love of music, something she has brought to the VSO School of Music’s Early Years program.

Gillian currently serves as Director of the VSO School of Music, a role which allows her to be involved in every aspect of the School, from babies to seniors, classical to jazz and world music. Gillian believes passionately in music education in its broadest sense – it’s never too early or too late! In addition to her work and musical pursuits, Gillian is mom to two young children, 6-year-old Ellie and 3-year-old Myles, both budding young music lovers!

The musical pieces in this concert are short excerpts from some of our favourite works for orchestra! Learn more about these pieces and share the “Little Program Notes” below with the VSO’s youngest audience members.

Aragonaise from Carmen

Georges Bizet (1838-1875)

This music opens Act IV of Bizet’s famous opera, Carmen, which uses Spanish rhythms and harmonies to create an atmosphere of flair and anticipation. While the opera was originally indifferently received, it has now become culturally iconic, especially the “Habanera” and “Toreador Song.”

Largo from Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”

Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904)

Dvořák landed in New York in 1892 and composed this symphony the following year. Dvořák had always been interested in folk music, and he incorporated the traditional melodies of Bohemia, his home country, into many of his previous compositions. In this piece, he was inspired by Native American music and African-American spirituals, which he believed should provide the foundation for the future of “American” music.

The Fog is Rising from Moderen (The Mother)

Carl Nielsen (1865-1931)

Nielsen is one of Denmark’s most famous composers, and he brought a love of traditional Danish folk songs to his music. This melody, originally for flute and harp, was composed for a scene in a play by Helge Rode, in which a mother says goodbye to her son as the fog lifts around them.

Blue Sun

Jocelyn Morlock (b. 1969)

Vancouver composer Jocelyn Morlock wrote “Blue Sun” in 1998 for violin and viola while captivated by folk music. Though this piece doesn’t use folk melodies, its atmosphere permeates throughout, like a ghost sun lingering in a person’s vision after staring at the real one.

Troika from Lieutenant Kijé

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)

This music depicting a brisk winter sleigh ride comes from a film called Lieutenant Kijé. As Prokofiev had never composed film music before, he was initially reluctant to accept the commission, but changed his mind to appeal to a larger audience. With its witty, melodious character, it was one of the best regarded film scores of the era.

The Swan from Carnival of the Animals

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)

“The Swan” is a movement from Saint-Saëns’ Le carnaval des animaux (Carnival of the Animals). Originally featuring the cello, this was the only piece from the suite he allowed to be published in his lifetime, since he feared the rest of the movements would damage his reputation as a “serious” composer. It is now one of his best-loved works! If you would like to hear the VSO’s full performance of Carnival of the Animals, see the Origino Kids Concert here.

The Alphabet of Songs

Libby Donald, Guillaume Forbes, Claire Henry, Gillian Hunter-Gibbs, Yvanna Mycyk, Nadia Petriw, Angela Elster

The songs for letters C, F, K, R, and U come from the VSO School of Music’s new book, An Alphabet of Songs. Created for learners 0-6, this resource fosters playful musical learning, literacy and creativity, and each letter is accompanied by an original song and beautiful illustration! Recordings of all songs are available online. The book and associated colouring book can be purchased at: https://vsoschoolofmusic.ca/shop/.

An Alphabet of Songs was developed by the VSO School of Music with the generous support of the Ministry of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

Little Program Notes

Aragonaise by Bizet

This piece comes from an opera called Carmen! An opera is a musical story performed by singers and orchestra. Everyone sings instead of talking!  What type of person does the oboe sound like? Shy? Brave? Can you come up with actions that would go along with the music?

Largo by Dvořák

This comes from a symphony that is best known by its nickname: “New World.” That’s because Dvorak wrote it when he first moved to New York, and he was excited by the big city and all the new music he heard. Have you ever travelled somewhere that’s very different from your home?

The Fog is Rising by Nielsen

Nielsen is one of Denmark’s most famous composers. He loved traditional Danish music and lived in Copenhagen, which is next to the sea. Does the music sound like fog to you? What else does it remind you of?

Blue Sun by Morlock

This piece is written by a composer from Vancouver, who loves folk music! Do you have any favourite songs you love to sing? Do you make up your own songs?

Troika by Prokofiev

This piece depicts a musical sleigh ride, like Jingle Bells does! In this version, the triangle sounds like the sleigh bells. Can you find something at home that sounds like a triangle?

The Swan by Saint-Saëns

This comes from a funny piece of music called Carnival of the Animals. The smooth melody of the violin represents the graceful swan. Which instrument sounds like the rippling water?

Series Performances

This is some text inside of a div block.
Do Re Mi Fa Snow!
This is some text inside of a div block.
An Alphabet of Songs
More series performances to be announced.
Donate