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Ottawa Bluesfest Launches 11th Blues in the Schools Program

Cisco Ottawa BluesfestThe Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest organization launched the eleventh edition of their longstanding Blues in the Schools program on Monday, March 2. The two-week residency program, which sees professional artists/educators visit 17 area schools this year, will run through March 13.

The program begins with a series of assembly-like presentations. A variety of musicians visit two schools per day, performing a total of 66 presentations over the course of four days. The following phase involves classroom-size core groups, with students enjoying a more formal workshop approach that typically includes song writing, singing, and exploring various instruments. The workshop phase culminates with students performing for their families, teachers and peers. Ultimately these students are offered an opportunity to perform at the Cisco Ottawa Bluesfest, during the festival's Blues in the Schools day.

Initiated in two Ottawa-area schools in 1999, the Bluesfest’s Blues in the Schools program has seen tremendous growth. This year, visiting artists/educators and local musicians will deliver the program to more than 7,000 students in Ottawa-area schools.

"The intent of the program," says Bluesfest executive director, Mark Monahan,” is to expose students from all backgrounds to music and to encourage them to use music as a positive outlet in dealing with the world around them."

For more on the Ottawa Bluesfest’s community initiatives, please visit ottawabluesfest.ca

Above item courtesy of: Ottawa Bluesfest

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