Since 1959, the Music Enrichment Program (M.E.P.) has provided quality and affordable string music lessons to children ages 8 to 18. M.E.P. offers group class and orchestral instruction on various string instruments after regular school hours. Founded and administered by the Edmonton Public School Board, M.E.P. grew in the 1960s to include three children’s after school hours choirs.
Challenged by budget cuts to tours and instrument purchases, a group of parent volunteers banded together to found the Edmonton String Players Association (E.S.P.A.) in 1976. As a federally registered charity, E.S.P.A. provided fundraising for the Music Enrichment Program to pay for tours, workshops, seminars, some stringed instruments, as well as all instrument repairs, instrument accessories, music books, music stands and much, much more.
E.S.P.A. worked in a long and fruitful relationship with E.P.S.B. to deliver the Music Enrichment Program. Thousands of children received not only musical education, but timeless life lessons in dedication, perseverance, hard work and building character. We were not just training young musicians, we were building young men and women to be solid, responsible citizens.
E.P.S.B. decided to withdraw its funding for M.E.P. effective May 1, 2013, and informed parents of such. After a challenging transition process, M.E.P. re-emerged in the 2013/14 season under the full control of the parent volunteers alone. E.S.P.A. now administers and finances all aspects of M.E.P. With our traditional funding gone, we now rely on the support of the community to keep Music Enrichment vibrantly alive – please consider donating today. Tax receipts are issued for all donations of $30 or more.
Our pledge to our students, and to the Greater Edmonton Area community as a whole, is to continue to deliver a high-quality, affordable strings program on a not-for-profit basis. We also pledge to be completely open and honest about our finances to all parents at all times.
Join with us by registering your promising, young student in our music programs today – or by providing us with your help, including suggestions on how our parent volunteers can work to improve and grow Music Enrichment Program!
Take a moment to listen to some of our wonderful students.