WSO Musical Discoveries: The Spirit Horse Returns

WSO Musical Discoveries: The Spirit Horse Returns

Available for streaming from March 15 – June 15, 2022 in Canada only
Grades 1 – 8

A symphony horn player and an Indigenous friend travel across time and all of Turtle Island (North America). Through art and music, we learn about a mysterious group of small horses who can teach people of all Nations the importance of taking care of each other and the land we share.

In The Spirit Horse Returns, a hornist in the orchestra who lives on a farm is gifted an Ojibwe Horse. Not knowing anything about this Indigenous-developed breed but intrigued, he and the audience go with the orchestra on a journey of discovery.

An Indigenous knowledge keeper takes us through time to meet the first of these mysterious “small horses of the deep woods” who were helpers and spirit guides to First Nations and Métis people. Exploring the diversity of Indigenous cultures, we visit the magnificent Horse Nations of the prairies, and jig with a joyous Métis kitchen party. The arrival of settlers also brings challenges and changes as the small “Indian Ponies” are pushed aside during colonization and used for such purposes as the Gold Rush and Pony Express.

But just when it seems they will be lost forever, the last few horses are rescued! Through the daring efforts of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people working together, the horses are given new life and new hope. Audiences are gifted a beautiful new song to carry with them as caretakers of the Spirit Horses. Finally, they are introduced to an inspiring prophecy that shows each child that they have a place in bringing about a better world where people of all Nations care for each other and the land we share.

The Spirit Horse Returns combines an all-new rich and tuneful orchestral score, delightful songs, traditional teachings, and stunning colourful visual art. It provides young audiences with an inspiring and age-appropriate explorations of truth and reconciliation.

Naomi Woo, conductor
Ken MacDonald, horn, narrator
Jodi Contin, singer & story teller
Rhonda Snow, visual artist
Kevin Lau, composer
Alison Cox, Elder
Double the Trouble, fiddlers
Sistema Winnipeg, violin ensemble

Cost is a flat rate of $100 per school. This includes unlimited access to the concert from March 15, 2022 until June 30, 2022, as well as access to the study guide and additional resources.

The Musical Discoveries program is usually designed for our youngest school audiences in grades 1 – 3. This year’s virtual program has such a compelling and important story that it is being expanded to include students up to grade 8.

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WSO Musical Discoveries: The Spirit Horse Returns