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Week-at-a-Glance: The Artist in Residence Program

Week-at-a-Glance is a weekly message from Lois Rowe, Deputy Head and Director, Senior School. 

There was a moment in the school on Thursday that put a spotlight on one element of the strategic plan that has been transformational for many in the school. The Senior School spent time this week celebrating Hispanic culture and traditions. Food, language, dance, festival traditions such as piñata, and the music of Hispanic culture were scattered through the week for the pleasure and edification of everyone. It’s been fun and interesting. The many students who study Spanish particularly enjoyed themselves. Anyway, on Thursday, from my office, I could hear the sound of music and laughter coming from the lower foyer. Que pasa? Looking over the rail, it looked like there is a party going on. There was, and in the middle of it all is Devin Roth, our 2018-2019 Artist in Residence. Mid-day bit of fun and there was Devin doing what Devin does so well, making music and connecting with students through music.

The Artist in Residence program is in its second year, and it is a value-added element of the educational program. Last year, many students were introduced to and grew as artists due to their connection to a multi-disciplinary artist, Tsēma Igharas. This year, Devin Roth is having a positive impact on the experience of our music students. Like Tsēma, Devin shows up in the life of our school over and over. Sometimes you will see him conducting larger ensembles or leading smaller instrument-specific tutorials. At other times, you will see him accompanying others either at the keyboard or in the middle of the orchestra. The one unique element that he has brought to our school is the world of composing, arranging, producing and publishing music. As a result, more and more students are finding their way to his school-based studio where technology meets music.

We are pinching ourselves at our good fortune. The calibre of artists that we are attracting to the school through this program is tremendous. What is taking this over the top is that the artists were selected from the many that apply are embedding themselves in the school. They are interested in connecting students to what has become their purpose in life and showing the developing artists in the school how it is possible to make their art their future.

Back to Devin and Thursday. His open nature and genuine love of making music are contagious. It didn’t take long before students joined in either making music or trying out some dance moves. All the while, Devin is taking it all in and smiling. That is a moment I will remember because, for a brief time, no one was thinking about the test that did not go well, how they were going to get to their after-school activities and complete their homework, or about the party they didn’t get invited to attend. I wish there were more moments like that in our day; this was one to savour.

Examples of Devin’s work are available on his website

In closing, I want to thank the adults who joined the Grads this morning and after school. Two more wonderful moments in the year. This one brought together a class of students and the adults in their lives to share food and each other’s company in celebration of the girls they have watched grow up together.

Kind regards,

Lois Rowe