The Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts Music Department is dynamic, energetic and always busy!
We are 360+ students and 7 teacher- musicians strong, with courses in Instrumental Band, Instrumental Strings and Vocal Music. Our music students perform many times in the year in school based concerts at Christmas and in the spring. We also frequently perform outside of the school in large groups, small groups, at music festivals and competitions, and nationally and internationally on our biennial music trips.
There are 5 rehearsal classrooms, 3 practice studios and our state of the art, professional theatre, but you’ll find Carter music students practicing their music all over the school, wherever there’s a little space!
We organize the opportunity for our students to receive private instruction (at an additional cost) in your instrument or voice, from some of the top professional musicians in the country. Our private teachers are performers in the National Ballet Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company and Orchestra, The Toronto Symphony, Brampton Symphony, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Talisker Players, Hannaford Street Silver Band, the Shaw Festival Orchestra and many other professional jazz and choral ensembles. Private lessons are offered optionally, at the school during instructional time.
As a Catholic community, we have monthly Liturgies and Para- liturgies and the Music Department is a big part of these celebrations, with the choir, small instrumental ensembles and vocal and instrumental soloists having opportunities to lead the community in prayer through music every month.
Musical Theatre The CCAA community has produced and presented amazing musical, including Guys and Dolls (1995), Oklahoma! (1998) The Music Man (2002) Seussical (the Musical) (2005), Crazy for You (2007), Footloose (2009) and Les Misérables (2011). The Music Department is an integral part of these productions, with many string, brass, woodwind and percussion players playing in the Pit Orchestra. Many vocal students have earned leading roles and many more sing in the cast and chorus for these productions. Some instrumental students expand their horizons and dance, and sing and act as well.
In all instrumental music courses, students learn music theory, music history, listening, dictation, ear training and the performance of repertoire, studies, chamber music, technique and solos. There is opportunity to compose and arrange music, attend performances throughout the city as field trips and plan and perform in your own solo recital as a senior student.
Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts has a multi level string program, offering enrichment in 4 different groups comprised of students from grades 7-12, in addition to regular class work. This allows each student to grow and also to stretch themselves technically and musically. The nature of this ensemble work creates a sense of fulfillment and achievement. Students learn to be in a team and work cohesively together, experiencing personal growth and maturity.
Junior Strings – are primarily the students in Grades 7, 8 and 9
Intermediate Strings- are primarily the students in Grades 9 and 10
Senior Strings- are primarily the students in Grades 11 and 12, with deserving younger musicians integrated into the ensemble.
Senior Chamber Strings- are a chamber string orchestra who perform select standard repertoire for String Orchestra
Performances include school concerts, participation in the Kiwanis festival, the TCDSB Music Festival and various outreach events to which we send string quartets and other smaller ensembles.
Achievements and awards The CCAA String Orchestras have earned over 100 first place finishes in the Kiwanis Music Festival. CCAA has been the recipient of the Brian McCool Award, awarded to the school with the best overall standing in the Kiwanis Music Festival, four times. Multiple scholarships have been awarded including: The Best String Ensemble in Ontario (2000-2010), the George Heinl and Company Award for Best String Ensemble (2004). The CCAA Strings were invited to perform at the Ontario Music Educators’ Association Conference in 2008.
The CCAA Strings were the Kiwanis Showcase Scholarship winners in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
CCAA Chamber Strings was the only Canadian string orchestra to be invited to perform at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago in 2008.
CCAA Chamber Strings performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City, in 2011.
Junior, Intermediate, Senior, Senior Chamber strings and our harp duo were all awarded scholarships for their performances at the 2014 Kiwanis Music festival. Intermediate and Senior Chamber strings have also been invited to compete in the provincial finals this spring.
"There are many moments in our lives that we remember forever. Tonight’s performance of the first movement of Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto was one of those moments. As often as this work is performed, it is always welcomed from a new artist with a fresh and new perspective.
Sonia Szokolay, one of Cardinal Carter for the Arts shining lights was a guest soloist with the Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra’s season opening concert on October 26, 2012. Sonia is a grade 11 student at CCAA. She plays in the Senior and Senior Chamber Strings at school as well as the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Sonia played with maturity beyond her years. Impeccable tuning and thick lush tone were consistent throughout the performance, punctuated by nerves of steel. Sonia played with confidence and passion. She deserved the spontaneous standing ovation and shouts of bravo she received.
Everyone at CCAA is proud of Sonia. She has a bright future ahead of her. I am looking forward to following her career with great interest. Congratulations!"
written by Julia Bowkun, strings teacher at CCAA, October 28, 2012
The above link will take you to the performance of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto by Sonia Szokolay!
The above link will take you to the performance of the Szokolay Concerto by his grand daughter Sonia Szokolay!