Fall 2021 Letter from ESPA Board President

Dear Parents and Students,

Welcome to a brand new year of orchestra!  The past two years have seen a lot of upheaval and uncertainty for the arts and for youth programs, so I wanted to take a minute as your board president to just send you a personal note thanking you for your continued support of the Music Enrichment Program.

To those of you who are new, I would like to extend an extra-special welcome.   We are excited to welcome you to the orchestra, especially the kids who have never played in a group setting before and are having a brand-new experience.  I still have fond memories of playing in an orchestra when I was a teenager, and how much impact it had on me as a musician – you’re giving your kids a real gift by giving them this opportunity.  (I think you can always recognize a former orchestra kid, because the sound of a tuning note makes us all nostalgic.)

Of special note to all Thursday students:  This coming Thursday, September 30th, has been designated nationally as Truth & Reconciliation Day.  Although there is no school that day, rehearsals will be held at the regular time.  At the beginning of each rehearsal, your conductors will take a moment to acknowledge the significance of the date, so I would like to ask you to make sure your students arrive on time.  If for some reason you are delayed, please remind them to enter quietly and to wait respectfully before going to their seat if the conductor is speaking.  If you will be unable to attend, please remember to let your conductor know via email or text.

Music connects us all… if you would like to explore some Métis history and music with your students, these two pages are good resources:

I would also like to personally invite you all to get involved in helping this program succeed and grow.  New parents and members, that definitely includes you!  Please don’t feel like we only want to hear from people who have been around for years – your perspectives and your energy are just as valuable.  You may get a call this week from one of us about getting involved, but even if we miss you on the phone we’d still love to hear from you.

Board Positions: As a registered non-profit, we are legally required to have a Board in place in order to operate – if you would be willing to invest the time to be a part of our board, you would not just be helping to direct the program but would also quite literally be allowing it to continue operating.   We will be holding a Board election at the AGM on Saturday and need to fill at least three positions which can only be filled by a parent or an adult student.

Fundraising: We will not be having a casino this season due to Covid-19, and we have decided as a Board that with added restrictions and ongoing uncertainty bingos are not the best use of our resources.  But we are not limited to these!  There are many opportunities out there and we will be looking for volunteers to head up and to participate in projects through the year.  Right away, I am looking for someone to take charge of a FundScrip gift card campaign.  Is that you?  Email me and let’s talk!

And finally, what are you great at?  In any organization, our people are our greatest strength, especially if we can tap in to what you love.  If you have a passion for bookkeeping, if you are a social media guru, if you love writing letters to government agencies and corporations seeking donations, if you have skills or connections that would help MEP to grow and thrive, we want to give you an opportunity to invest in the future of the program!

Quick reminder: Our AGM is this Saturday, October 2nd – an RSVP form will be coming out by email this week – please do respond if you are coming as we can’t hold the meeting without at least ten members in attendance. 

Once again, thank you all so much for putting your confidence in MEP this year.  We are looking forward to a great year of music!



Karen Hipson | President
Edmonton String Players Association
o/a Music Enrichment Program

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