Riverside Secondary music teacher Ms. Glenda Ottens is teaching Music Fusion, a class where young artists learn about the basics of music and how to compose their own.
Some of Ottens’ students caught the eye of Terry Fox runners at Riverside on October 2. Angelica Almirol, Aaron Brazeau, Jaclyn Chong, Jeffrey Kim, and Paulo Fortin are just a few of the students that participate in Music Fusion, and performed at the run.
According to Ottens, Music Fusion is a contemporary music class where students group into different ensembles to perform different styles and kinds of pieces. One class holds about 16-20 students ranging from grade 10 to 12, some of them focus on composition as well.
Ottens shared one of her projects that she and her students are working on. “We’re working on making our own CDs. So by this point some of them have about three songs that they’ve polished off, and the idea is to just get into different groupings of instruments and try a variety of different genres or styles of music,” said Ottens.
Ottens also hopes that her pupils can flaunt their savvy skills somewhere other than the school halls. The Gathering Place in Port Coquitlam offers a chance for youth to show off their talent the first Friday of every month. Ottens’ motive is for her artists to play a few community concerts starting next month, also the English Department maybe organizing a poetry café in the spring where they will have an opportunity to perform as well. Composing competitions are also on the horizon for the young melodists.
Ottens says Music Fusion was created since there were so many music related things and styles that students wanted to learn, and there wasn’t a class like that for them. “We have everything from heavy rockers to punk music to Christian rock! So it’s a diverse kind of group,” said Ottens. Although many of the students came in with one genre of music in mind, they have really learned to accept each other’s music and try it, according to Ottens. “They’ve learned to appreciate the differences in each other’s music, and the different techniques that are demanded as a performer,” said Ottens.
Music Fusion’s next official concert at Riverside is scheduled for January near the end of the first semester.