HomeNews & EventsThe Big Concert: A musical celebration of mentors

The Big Concert: A musical celebration of mentors

September 19, 2013

Standard Life and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal join forces to pay homage to Big Brother Big Sisters

BigConcertHeaderMontréal, September 19, 2013 -  Hundreds of mentors from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada and their mentees will attend The Big Concert on Sunday, September 29, at 2:30 p.m., organized specially for them and generously offered by the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) at the Maison symphonique. This private concert is an initiative of Standard Life and the OSM. It also provides an opportunity to celebrate the 80th, 100th and 180th anniversaries of the OSM, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Standard Life Canada, respectively.

Created for young people, The Big Concert is an introduction to classical music in an energetic and festive atmosphere. Under the direction of Nathan Brock, OSM conductor in residence, the program features works by:

  • Mozart - Overture to The Marriage of Figaro
  • Brahms - Hungarian Dances No. 5 and No. 6
  • Rossini - William Tell Overture
  • Rachmaninov - Piano Concerto No. 2, 2nd movement (with Xiaoyu Liu)
  • Bizet – Carmen (excerpts), “Aragonaise”, “Habanera” and “Les Toreadors”
  • Tomasi - Trumpet Concerto, 1st and 3rd movements (with Paul Merkelo)
  • Bernstein - Overture to Candide

BigConcert_photoThe invited soloists are Paul Merkelo, the OSM’s principal trumpet, and Xiaoyu Liu, the 15 year old pianist and winner of the 2012 OSM Standard Life Competition. TV and radio personality, Pierre-Yves Lord, aka PY (Occupation double, Testé sur les humains and Votre beau programme), will serve as emcee for the event.

The Big Concert is an opportunity for Standard Life to show its support for Big Brothers Big Sisters and raise awareness of the value and importance of youth mentoring and the need for recruiting new mentors.

“Through our community engagement program Invest in tomorrow, Standard Life helps young people reach their full potential,” said Charles Guay, President and CEO of Standard Life in Canada. “The Big Concert reminds us of the importance of investing in the personal development of our young people, so we can contribute to a promising path for future generations.”

“This is a great opportunity for our mentees,” said Bruce MacDonald, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada. “Most of them have probably never had the chance to attend a concert by the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal.”

“Many of our musicians benefited from mentoring throughout their career,” stated Madeleine Careau, CEO of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. “We are pleased to have created this program to celebrate all of the role models who have transformed lives.”

Standard Life has raised nearly $1 million for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada since 2009, including contributions from its employees and business partners. Donations have helped attract more than 2,000 active volunteer mentors. Standard Life renewed its commitment to Big Brothers Big Sisters earlier this year when it announced an investment of $1.125 million over the next five years.


About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada
For 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada (BBBSC) has been making a positive difference in the lives of Canada’s youth by developing and implementing a wide range of mentoring programs. BBBSC volunteer mentors teach by example the importance of giving back, of staying in school, and of respecting family, peers and community.

BBBSC provides quality mentoring services for more than 40,000 children and teenagers. The community-based youth mentoring organization currently has over 25,000 volunteer mentors working with 118 agencies serving children in over 1,000 communities from coast to coast.

About Standard Life
Standard Life provides long-term savings, investment and insurance solutions to more than 1.4 million Canadians, including group retirement and insurance plan members. Standard Life in Canada has been doing business for 180 years and has approximately 2,000 employees. The Canadian subsidiary is the largest business entity outside the United Kingdom of Standard Life plc, its parent company headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Visit: Standard Life

About the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal
Since its founding in 1934, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) has distinguished itself as a leader in the orchestral life of Québec and Canada. As a cultural ambassador of the highest order, the OSM has earned enviable reputation worldwide, thanks to its numerous recordings and tours of the highest quality. The OSM, under the direction of Music Director Kent Nagano, continues this rich tradition, while distinguishing itself through innovative programming that aims at updating the symphonic repertoire, and at firmly establishing the OSM’s position within the community. In September of 2011, the OSM and Maestro Nagano inaugurated the Maison symphonique de Montréal, the Orchestra’s new home.

After many international tours that have led it on all six continents, the OSM continues to bring excellence wherever it goes!

Visit: Orchestre symphonique de Montréal


Jennifer-Lee Thomas
Director of Marketing
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada
905.639.0461, ext. 47

Geoffrey King
Senior Consultant, External Communications
Standard Life
514.499.7999, ext. 8150

Céline Choiselat
Head of Media Relations
Orchestre symphonique de Montréal

Impact of Mentoring