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Sudbury schools join together for national Music Monday event

By: Heidi Ulrichsen - Sudbury Northern Life

 | May 05, 2014 - 4:22 PM |
Students participate in Music Monday celebrations at Sudbury Secondary School on May 5. Photo by Heidi Ulrichsen.

Students participate in Music Monday celebrations at Sudbury Secondary School on May 5. Photo by Heidi Ulrichsen.

Celebration of music kicks off Education Week

If you walked into any given school in Canada on May 5, chances are you heard students' voices singing the song "I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing)."

The song, co-written by Canadian Space Agency Astronaut and musician Chris Hadfield and Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies, was the official tune for this year's Music Monday, as it was for last year's. 

In fact, thanks to live-streaming technology, some schools participated in synchronized nationwide performances of “I.S.S.” with Hadfield and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Sudbury Secondary School didn't participate in the live-streaming event, but it did host a concert with performances by its students, as well as by pupils at Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth, Adamsdale and Lansdowne public schools.

The concert was capped off as the 250 students sang “I.S.S” together. Similar events were also held at many different local schools.

Music Monday, which was started 10 years ago by The Coalition of Music Education, celebrates the gift of music in our lives.

“The original idea of Music Monday was if anybody in any neighbourhood in Canada went outside their front door, they would hear kids singing and playing,” said Sudbury Secondary music teacher Carolyn Otto.

Music Monday is a “neat concept” because it brings people together in music, added Stephane Ostrander, who also teaches music at Sudbury Secondary.

“I think it's incredibly neat, especially with the theme of last year and this year's song – Is Somebody Singing,” he said. “If you listen to the lyrics of the song, it's very unifying.”

Lansdowne French immersion music teacher Dan Smith was there with his Grade 3, 4 and 5 students, who performed Pharell Williams' “Happy” in French. Despite a little nervousness, the students did well, he said.

Smith said he loves the idea of Music Monday. “It's a great way to bring people together and celebrate the wonder of music,” he said.

Grade 11 Sudbury Secondary student Rebekah Ederer, who performed at Music Monday with one of her school's vocal groups, said she thinks it's a great event.

“What a cool experience,” she said. “It's so important to celebrate music. I'm really glad we do this.”
For the Rainbow District School Board, Music Monday kicked off a week of activities in honour of Education Week, which runs May 5-9.

Among the many activities on tap are self-image workshops, an active living presentation with Sudbury Wolves alumnus Connor Burgess, a book fair and a talent show.

“Education Week provides a wonderful opportunity to celebrate teaching excellence, student achievement, parental involvement and exceptional community support in Rainbow Schools,” said Norm Blaseg, Director of Education for Rainbow District School Board, in a release.

For a full listing of the Rainbow board's Education Week activities, visit

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Heidi Ulrichsen

Heidi Ulrichsen

Staff Writer


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