Local student musicians will be part of the World Premiere Streaming Event of the Apollo Initiative, a work created by Canadian and Juno award-winning composer Jordan Nobles specifically for the 350 participating young musicians to perform collectively in a digital format. This premiere is taking place on National Child and Youth Mental Health Day, Friday, May 7. The event is a fundraiser with all proceeds going to support youth mental health through the B.C. Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Participating are the Coquitlam Youth Orchestra, Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra, Langley Community Music School Orchestra, Surrey Youth Orchestra, the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra. The local students, which includes Chris Ollinger, Liam Stagg, Karrah Cochrane, and Nadya Henrie, are all part of the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra. Following COVID-19 protocols, they have been practicing with the Youth Orchestra each Sunday.
Salmon Arm Secondary Grade 12 student Chris Ollinger comments it’s been a really unique experience to be a part of the Apollo project. “It was my first time playing a virtual ensemble, and it was fun to be a part of something with other kids across BC. We recorded the piece in small groups. My “group” was just me by myself. It was strange to be a part of something so big, but still playing by myself. Nevertheless, it’s an exciting event and I’ve been patiently waiting for the release of the video.”
“Music can be so good for mental health, and I’m glad that the launch is all about supporting Youth Mental Health,” he adds.
Karrah Cochrane comments taking part in the Apollo project has definitely been a fun experience – both learning the music and doing the recording. “Having students from all over B.C playing this piece to bring awareness to youth mental health makes me very happy. There are too many people that struggle with mental health and i definitely think watching all of us play will put a smile on people’s faces.”
To watch our talented youth musicians tune in on Friday at noon (12 p.m.) via Facebook Live or YouTube.
The Apollo Initiative, like the name suggests, has some large goals including:
- to raise funds in support of youth mental health in British Columbia, under the auspices of the Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division (CMHA).
- to support the mental wellness of our youth, many of whom look to their participation in music as an important tool in their mental wellness strategy.
- to provide a musical goal and to keep the students motivated in this unusual season.
- to facilitate social connection for our youth, especially in this challenging time of social distancing.