Junior Original Concert

The Junior Original Concert (JOC) is a unique activity in which children under the age of 16, who have enrolled in Yamaha Music Education programs, perform their own original compositions. The JOC nurtures creativity and composition taught in the Yamaha curriculum.

A wide variety of musical styles are presented in JOC from piano solos to large ensembles including piano concerti involving a full orchestra. JOC also features spontaneous improvisation on themes supplied by members of the audience.

The JOC was established by Genichi Kawakami, the Honarary Chairman of the Yamaha Music Foundation, to develop the limitless potential for creativity in all children. The first JOC was held in Nemu-no-Sato, Japan, in 1972. Since then, JOC concerts have been held in 28 countries and with renowned orchestras such as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, D.C.. The number of JOC applications has steadily increased over the years and currently more than 45,000 compositions are submitted by Yamaha students each year. Children from around the world participate in the annual International Junior Original Concert.

On Saturday, April 30, student composers from across Canada gathered for the 16th National Junior Original Concert. Held at the Glenmore Christian Academy Theatre, Calgary, this special event also marked the first time such a concert was held in Calgary!

Three local students from Sonata School Of Music performed their original compositions and they were joined by students from Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg and a special USA performer. With performances on piano and STAGEA - solo and ensemble - styles ranging from Classical to Jazz to Pop, there was something for everyone in the sold out crowd to enjoy. Once again, the concert was a good demonstration of the creative capacity of students and the musical approach that the Yamaha Music Education System takes. A rousing version of “We’re Making Music - La Di Da” sung by the Yamaha Children’s Choir - a choir of 50+ from Sonata School of Music and Musica Academy with live accompaniment was a fitting finale.

Following the concert, the students were then greeted by Yamaha Canada Music Ltd. President, Ken Hiraoka at the post-concert reception who presented each composer with an award and encouragement to continue with their musical development. Congratulations to all students, parents and teachers involved in making the concert a great success and a special thank you to the teachers and staff of Sonata School Of Music and Musica Academy for all their efforts!