Written by David Klassen, Director of Performing Arts

As a music teacher, I carefully plan the year, working towards many goals with my students, including Music Festival and Provincials, recitals, and, in the university stream, a final exam.  This year, the end came abruptly, and without a lot of time to prepare.  I sent an email to my students in an effort to encourage them all to stay enthusiastic about the repertoire they’ve been working on, and to stay excited about their practice.  I told them that this pause in our lives gives us opportunity – a chance to STUDY, to RESEARCH composers and shows, to EXPLORE repertoire that they love, and to concentrate on their PREPARATION without interruption.

This strange “new normal” gives us the chance to search for INSPIRATION.  From musicians and artists to business owners and teachers, we’re all looking for some inspiration to keep us moving forward.

It’s hard sometimes to know what you’re preparing for in a time like this – I assure you, there are things to prepare for!  Imagine the thirst for live performance that is developing in our world, our nation, and our community.  Or think about the first opportunity someone has to visit a public gallery after months of isolation and “distancing”!  As performing artists, visual or literary artists, we are all a part of the relief that comes with creation.

I began graduate school the fall of 9-11 (September, 2001), and there were many of us in the large faculty of music who asked ourselves, “why bother, when there are many bigger things to worry about in the world?”

It was one of my professors who said very eloquently (paraphrased…) – “the arts are part of healing, and an escape from the devastation that many of us feel or experience.  As artists, we play an enormous role in the world, providing countless people with the hope they need.  We never know when our work impacts an individual, or saves a life, but there is proof that it does.”

Take note of where art happens in your lives.  Is it a movie, or film score?  A piece of visual art, poetry, or an album you listen to on the treadmill?  We belong to an industry that is tied to nearly EVERY working in the world.  From High Opera to Hockey.

Continue living your passion…

“To send light into the darkness of (the human heart) – such is the duty of the artist.”  (Robert Schumann)