Education & Outreach

From its beginning, Esprit has been committed to community engagement. Through several outreach programs, Esprit provides zero-cost opportunities for students and the public to meet and learn from Canadian composers. Esprit also offers subsidised student tickets for subscription concerts, as well as complimentary tickets for select community groups.

Introduce your students to new orchestral music!

Esprit’s education and mentorship programs foster a new generation’s appreciation for, and engagement with new orchestral music. Students not only observe professional composers at work, but through Esprit’s mentorship opportunities, they are guided in the creation of their own compositions.


  • Creative Sparks

    Creative Sparks

    Esprit's Mentorship Program

    Creative Sparks focuses on the creation of new music by providing hands-on performance and composition opportunities for young people from diverse backgrounds and varying levels of musical ability. The program aims to improve artistic and leadership skills, and to develop an awareness of and appreciation for our contemporary cultural environment. Students are paired with a composer over a period of months, and guided in the creation of their own musical compositions. These pieces, many of wonderfully high quality, are then showcased each spring as part of Esprit’s New Wave Composers Festival. The music is performed by student musicians combined with members of Esprit Orchestra. Creative Sparks provides students with the opportunity to creatively engage with professionals in the field of new music.

  • Toward a Living Art (TALA)

    Toward a Living Art (TALA)

    Esprit’s Education Program

    TALA has engaged thousands of students in workshops, rehearsals and concerts since 1985. Over the years, the program has evolved to suit the needs of different schools, but it remains focused around helping students understand how Esprit engages in the flow of creative energy that converts the imagined musical impulses of composers into real sounds. TALA sessions have taken place in rehearsal spaces, concert halls and classrooms. In this program, composers give lectures, demonstrations and workshops during rehearsals and performances. Conductor Alex Pauk takes time to engage with the student audience, explaining the repertoire being performed and how he works to interpret the music. Study guides are provided for every session to aid teachers and students in their understanding of the works being performed and in the inner workings of the orchestra.

  • New Wave Composers Festival

    Since 2002, the New Wave Composers Festival has consistently been a lively forum for young and emerging composers and performers to exchange ideas, meet the public, participate in seminars and panel discussions, and plan for participation in future Esprit events. The festival is a rendezvous, creating a sense of cohesion for new generations of creators, interpreters, and promoters of today’s music. The festival is held in many different venues each spring. Esprit’s Creative Sparks final showcase is a feature at each festival, which allows participants from a wide range of age groups to connect artistically. The festival highlights high school and university level composers, as well as emerging professionals. Their music is often performed by student performers in combination with Esprit players. Esprit’s New Wave Composers Festival provides an environment in which the future of Canadian contemporary classical music can thrive.

  • Student Audience Access Program

    Student Audience Access Program

    Esprit Orchestra is devoted to new music, and with that devotion comes the desire to foster audience deportment and awareness in a new generation of contemporary classical music audiences. The Student Audience Access Program provides subsidized student tickets to all of Esprit’s subscription concerts. This program is made possible through the generosity of Esprit patrons, who wish to encourage youth to experience the unique creative forces that resonate within Esprit’s orchestral setting.

    For more information on how to book tickets for your students, contact the Esprit office: or call 416-815-7887.

  • Pre-Concert Chats

    Pre-Concert Chats

    Each subscription concert is preceded by an informative discussion hosted by award-winning Canadian composer, Alexina Louie. During these sessions, guest composers and soloists explain the origins and intricacies of the works being performed. Each session includes a Q&A period, allowing audience members to engage with the composers and performers for a more enriching concert experience. Pre-concert chat access is granted to all subscription concert ticket-holders.