FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – April 22, 2019 (Toronto, Canada) – On Monday, May 6th, thousands of Canadians will join together once again to celebrate Music Monday. This annual national event – this year celebrating its 15th anniversary – showcases the importance of quality music education across our nation. Year after year, students, teachers, musicians, music lovers, and parents continue to strengthen the Music Monday message by engaging community members, leaders, and influencers. The ongoing and ever-expanding growth of Music Monday has proven to be one of the largest nationwide celebrations of our time. For the last 15 years, Music Monday has given young people a platform to spread the message of the importance of music education within the lives of youth across the country. Music Monday has brought communities together to demonstrate their immense love for music and the important role it plays in the shaping of young lives. In 2019, The Coalition for Music Education in Canada has also announced the new Music Monday anthem, written by Canadian jazz legend, Oscar Peterson.

Hymn To Freedom, written during the Civil Rights Movement, carries a strong message of unity, inclusion, and equality amongst all people, and speaks to the importance of walking the path to freedom in harmony with one another. Peterson’s composition (originally written in 1962) and the lyrics written by Harriette Hamilton (Merolla) has widely been considered his most well-known work to date, and in Canada has been covered by the likes of Oliver Jones, Doug Riley, and Jackie Richardson. The lyrics state quite simply, “When ev’ry man, joins in our song, and together sings in harmony, that’s when we’ll be free”, which is exactly what all who join in the Music Monday celebrations will be doing on May 6th at 12:30PM EST.

With close to 1,000 events nationwide already registered, the thousands of Canadians working to share the message of the importance of music, are ensuring that their voices are heard on Music Monday. From St. John’s with a performance from the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, to our nation’s capital where a 350-piece youth choir led by Jackie Hawley will perform during a bilingual event, each individual celebration is considered to be a stand-out and is sure to leave you inspired. The Victoria School for the Arts in Edmonton will get the students involved in both workshops and sing-alongs, while the Coalition for Music Education in BC will take to the steps of the BC legislature in Victoria with a free public concert that will feature varying musical ensembles from a number of local schools. In Peterson’s hometown of Montréal, The Coalition for Music Education in Canada has partnered with the Montréal Museum of Modern Art at the stunning new Pavilion for Peace, which will showcase youths of all ages singing and playing for one another as well as a host of educators, dignitaries, and fellow musicians from across the island.

The recording of Peterson’s Hymn To Freedom as the Music Monday anthem brought 3 decorated Canadian jazz musicians together with 3 young musicians from the Toronto hub of The Coalition for Music Education in Canada’s Youth4Music intitiative. 4x JUNO Award-winning pianist Robi Botos worked with 18 year-old Ben MacDonald, while Member to the Order of Canada, Dr. Dave Young worked with fellow bassist Irene Harrett, and fellow JUNO Award-winner Jim Doxas teamed up on the drums with Humber College student Worrell McFarlane. During the 2-day recording sessions, MacDonald, Harrett, and McFarlane recorded the instrumental portion of Paul Read’s choral arrangement of Hymn To Freedom, which would later be joined by the Cantiamo Choirs of Ottawa’s vocal recording.

On May 6th, Canada will come together to play and sing in harmony, just as Peterson wanted. Having been a strong supporter of The Coalition for Music Education in Canada since its inception, we are proud to be able to celebrate the legacy of one of our country’s greatest musical icons, as we mark the 15th anniversary of the largest celebration of music education in Canada. The anthem audio, video, learning resources and all promotional materials can be found on

Music Monday is made possible with the generous support of TD Bank Group, the NAMM Foundation, the SOCAN Foundation as well as support from Yamaha Canada Music Inc., Long and McQuade and all of our partner organizations.  For a full list of sponsors please visit



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Music Monday is a signature program of the Coalition for Music Education.  It is Canada’s nationwide celebration of the power of music in our lives, especially our schools.  Music Monday is the only national celebration of music education that actively engages children and youth in their schools and communities. The first Monday in May (this year, Monday, May 6, 2019) music makers of all generations and genres gather in their schools and communities to make music, and at the same time during the day, join their voices, for a simultaneous sing-along of the Music Monday anthem.


Youth4Music is Canadian youth inspiring and building communities through music. Inspiring youth leaders are empowered to collaborate in the development of projects that raise the awareness of the benefits of music in our lives. Youth4Music is a program of the Coalition for Music Education in Canada . Led by youth, for youth, through music.


Music Monday is an annual initiative of The Coalition for Music Education, an organization made up of parents, students, educators, and  business people  from varying walks  of life  who support school music programs and highlight the importance of music education for all young people in Canada. For more information, visit