500 students from Killarney Secondary gave a thunderous applause when Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Maestro Bramwell Tovey visited the school to give students a crash course in composition, classical music and Q&A around composing. In addition to playing several pieces of classical music, Tovey regaled students with an improvised "birthday" song for one lucky student.
The unique composition had all sorts of flourishes composed on the spot by the master musician. Then Tovey indulged the audience with a "rap" on his piano titled "homework", drawing a massive applause from the audience.
Killarney teacher Angela Toth says his presentation hit the perfect note with the audience, the vast majority of whom play musical instruments themselves, making the school's music program one of the biggest in the province.
"His presentation was particularly powerful because almost all of the kids whom he was speaking to play their own instruments and are part of the massive Killarney music program," she says. "For the students it gives them a sense of where they can go and who they can be to hear from someone like him. It starts to give them an idea of a level that they could aspire to."
Toth says there are a few incredible musicians in her program who she expects may one day find themselves also playing in the Orpheum.