The Primary and Elementary Music Program at St. Bonaventure’s College offers a very comprehensive classroom and choral instruction for all students in Kindergarten through Grade 6 under the guidance of Brenda Gatherall.
Classroom music starts in Kindergarten where the children are introduced to singing through folk songs, nursery rhymes, as well as the Kodaly and Orff pedagogies of Music Education. All Kindergarten students participate in a Kindergarten choir and perform in school concerts and the annual Rotary Music Festival each year in April where they are continually awarded first place awards and gold medal standings for their high achievements in choral singing.
The Primary grades (1-3) build on the foundations of Kindergarten music program and also includes a tin whistle program starting in Grade 3. Christmas plays are an integral part of the music program at St. Bonaventure’s College and every child is given the opportunity to perform on the stage in school productions. The children also participate in Remembrance Day assemblies and celebrate the various holidays of the calendar year through song.
The foundations of music theory and music history are also firmly established in the younger grades at the school.
Elementary music (Grades 4-6) includes classroom music instruction, participation in Christmas musicals as well as Elementary Choir and Elementary Chamber Choir. Membership in the Elementary Chamber Choir is voluntary and this group has been invited to participate in Festival 500 in 2007 and 2009 putting the young students from St. Bonaventure’s College on the international singing stage! The Elementary Chamber Choir has also been invited to sing at the launch of the Dr. Jack Hand Legacy Foundation where they had a chance to perform with local celebrity, Alan Doyle. They have also been invited to perform with the Canadian Tenors as part of the “Holiday on Ice” skating show in 2011 which was televised internationally. April 2016 brings an opportunity for them to workshop and perform with Rollo Dilworth, an internationally acclaimed conductor and composer during his visit to St. John’s!
Commitment to community service is also very important here at St. Bonaventure’s College. Throughout the year, the children sing at hotels, the airport and hospitals to share their talents and the music of the school year with friends, family and the elderly of our community forming their commitment to becoming “Men and Women for Others”, a pillar of Jesuit education.