Leadership By Design

 Students from Leadership By Design with conductor Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, fourth from left. 

On Friday, April 26, the TSO welcomed students, parents, and mentors from Leadership by Design to a workshop at Roy Thomson Hall. The workshop highlighted the work of Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, our visiting conductor for the week’s program of Let’s Dance! Daniel was joined by TSYO Manager & Education Associate Bradley Powell and TSO Board member Noelle Richardson.

Leadership by Design (LBD) is the signature program offered by the Lifelong Leadership Institute. LBD offers high-performing youth from Toronto’s African-Caribbean community opportunities to develop and practise effective leadership, and the program makes a multi-year commitment to the students selected to participate through continued workshops and mentoring. In December, members of LBD attended a performance of Handel’s Messiah.

This workshop highlighted three racialized people working with the TSO in different capacities, all of whom shared experiences from their youth, where and how they sought mentorship, what motivated them to take the paths that they took, and how they contribute to the TSO’s operations. Daniel talked about learning the tuba as a young man in Calgary, and encouraged the youth present not to be afraid of failure. Bradley spoke about making the choice to follow a passion, even when there is pressure to pursue something more lucrative, and encouraged the students to identify the intersection between passion and aptitude, and then follow that path.  Noelle spoke about her work as the Chief Diversity Officer of the Ontario Public Service, and encouraged the audience to recognize and value their minority perspective, talking about her personal experience of often being the only racialized person in leadership situations.

The following day, April 27, we welcomed back many of the workshop participants to watch Daniel conduct on stage at our Let’s Dance! Young People’s Concert.

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