"All year I have been working very hard with my students to improve their speaking and presentation skills. Many of them were very timid when presenting, even when just presenting to small groups of other students. I don't know where and how the magic took place, but there was something about the practices and the concert that raised the proficiency in their oral language and presentation skills and bolstered their confidence."
Michelle Hornof, Grade 5 teacher, Alderwood School, Bellingham, WA
"I am still hearing from parents and community members about how much they enjoyed and valued their experiences at the Rock the Salish Sea concert created and presented by you and The Wild’s at Southlands. Comments include: “Absolutely spectacular!” “That was the best concert, and I’m not just talking about school concerts, I’ve ever attended!” “My kids are still singing the songs and I can’t believe how much they learned about sustainability and the environment.” “I could not believe the confidence of my shy child as she sang her heart out, complete with actions, on stage!”
Annie O'Donoghue, Principal, Southlands School, Vancouver, BC
"The Voices of Nature concert my students attended was fantastic. It was a terrific way to culminate the month of preparing songs which were not only fun and upbeat, but educational, informative and relevant. My students were enthusiastic from the beginning of learning the songs until the concert performance which they participated in energetically. Kevin and Holly's compositions are pertinent to the environmental issues in which we should all be concerned and do something about. I know my students are more aware after this experience. As a composer, producer and musician myself, I was thoroughly impressed by the songwriting talents and amazing musicianship and showmanship of everyone involved in the production. Way to go, everyone! I look forward to future concerts..."
Colin Oberst, Music Specialist, Holy Family School, Edmonton, AB
“There are moments in the life of a school when you know something very special has occurred. These moments change you and have the ability to chart a different course in the future. The “Up Your Watershed!” tour was such an event”
Judy Zacharias, Principal, Conrad School, Prince Rupert, BC
“Watching Holly and Kevin work with 200 students at a practice is an awesome experience. Within minutes they have all of the students eating out of their hand, creating, revising, risking and loving every moment of it. They make a fantastic team. Holly calmly demands that the students reach for the best quality performance possible, while Kevin drives them up into an insane level of enthusiasm.”
Brian Pritchard, Grade 3/4 teacher, Kispiox Elementary, Kispiox, BC
“It’s been two weeks since you left our school and your beautiful songs are still ringing in our hallways. WOW! What a tremendous impact your Voices of Nature program has made on our students, both in song and in their thinking. I’ve heard more mature, thought-evoking conversations in the past three weeks then I’ve heard in my entire teaching career.”
Katherine Key, Music Specialist, Watson Road Elementary, Kelowna, BC
“As we rehearsed, the words of these songs imbedded themselves deeper and deeper into our hearts and our minds. Being a music specialist, I have always known the power of music and its ability to accelerate the learning process; I just wasn’t prepared to feel a change come over me during this unit of environmental study. As we sang about leaving a healthy earth to our next generation, about over consumption and sustainability my students would ask deep questions of me.”
Rhonda Draper, Music Specialist, Glenmore School, Kelowna, BC
“I had a wonderful experience with Kevin and Holly. They were both wonderful and they were magnificent instrumentalists and singers. Kevin and Holly are very professional and here are some ways how: they have strong vocals, they work together very well, they both are awesome instrumentalists and they both have lots of talent.”
(M. West –Grade 7)
"Dear Holly & Kevin,
My seven year old daughter Pascalle was part of your concert on Tuesday night. She is in Mrs. Murray's/Mrs. Irving's grade one class at Forest Park elementary school. I cannot tell you how thrilled she was to be a part of such a special night. She has been singing and dancing to your wonderful music for months and there are at least a couple of mini Voices of Nature concerts daily in our house even now. It is apparent how amazing you both are with the children; what a great connection you have with them. The energy and feeling in the theatre was unbelievable that night! You are incredible performers and talented artists. The lessons you are teaching could not be more important and it makes me proud as a parent that even at the age of seven, my daughter is starting to understand how she impacts this world in terms of her behaviours and her influence. It also reminded me of my responsibility to my children and their future. Thank you for a wonderful night and for all of the work you did. It was magical."
"Last night, the kids sang with passion and full voice, backed up by a rockin' 5-piece band. They sang lyrics like: "We map the deepest ocean, send photographs to Mars, we're so enchanted by how clever we are, why should one baby feel so hungry she cries, saltwater wells in my eyes." (Julian Lennon). You could see the connection they felt to the words, to the message. They sang it heart and soul, no doubt inspired by the full and unfettered commitment of Holly and Kevin. Artists do that--- they give over completely and don't worry too much about how it might look to others. Passion is a hard thing to teach, but it can be modeled."
Sue Huff, parent and school trustee, Edmonton, AB, from her blog
"The premiere event of Sustainability Awareness Week was the Voices of Nature Concert by the Artist Response Team, that involved approximately 300 elementary school students singing about sustainability and the environment. The concert, delivered by Holly Arntzen, Kevin Wright, The Dream Band, and the 300 students was fantastic. It was both charming and professional at the same time, was a fun and positive way to learn about sustainability and the environment, and the messages delivered by the young students were very powerful and moving."
Len Sereda, former Director, Sustainability Facilities and Operations, University of Alberta, Edmonton
Now in our 10th year at the U of A 2017