- What is Conchordium’s purpose/mission, and how do you see it positioned within the wider music community?
Conchordium’s mission is to empower and connect young musicians through interdisciplinary and community applications of music. We do this through various events, advocacy projects, and awards and opportunities that show how music can be integrated into everyday lives. We also aim to become a network of young musicians of all skill levels and types in the Greater Toronto Area. I see Conchordium as acting as an alternative way for individuals to meet people in the Greater Toronto Area with the same interests as them. Many individuals may not have the time to join an out-of-school ensemble, so this is a way to connect with others with similar interests.
- What led you to found Conchordium?
I am fortunate to go to a school with a strong music program (despite it not being a specialized arts school). However, I noticed that when we would go to festivals, we would watch other schools’ performances, but otherwise have little to no interaction with these other ensembles. Additionally, in my grade nine year, I went to another school’s Winter Music Night and was intrigued as to how other music programs ran in other schools. I wanted to know more musicians outside of my A. Y. Jackson community, and I did not see an effective way to do that aside from joining out-of-school ensembles or music summer camps.
- Why do you think it’s important that Conchordium be youth-led?
While the maturity and experience of an adult is essential to the success of a youth organization, an adult simply wouldn’t be fully attuned to the needs of the youth community. All of us as high school/university students have current experience being a music student in the Greater Toronto Area, and would thus be more able to find beneficial ways to give to the [student] music community. Otherwise, being youth-led also has the benefits of giving youth the opportunity to give back to their communities and improve them for the better.
- What are some of Conchordium’s major past projects, and what’s on the horizon?
In late November, Conchordium partnered with another youth organization called OppOrg, to deliver a 3-part webinar series on university admissions (one of the three webinars focused on different undergraduate music programs). Then in mid-December, Conchordium released a music advocacy campaign video that called on the Ministry of Education to protect funding for arts programs, including music. It included testimonials from individuals in more than 20 schools, and received support from more than 25 organizations from multiple disciplines, many of which are youth-led.
We are currently working on running two potential coffeehouses that would run at the same time – one in the North York/York Region area and one in the Mississauga/Oakville area. More details will be announced, but the tentative date will be March 26th – the day before OSSLT day in Ontario. We will also be running an Innovation in Music conference in May/June 2019 (exact date to be confirmed), which will look into various ways music is integrated into our lives (e.g. science, technology, social issues, etc.).