We envision a future where the children of Toronto’s St. James Town feel their lives have been enriched through active participation in choral, instrumental and other music programs.

Reaching Out Through Music is a registered charity, that has been in operation since 2007.

Our goal is to offer high-quality music instruction supported by grants and donations, both private and corporate, in the high-density, low-income, multicultural area of St James Town, Toronto.

We believe that music crosses ethno-cultural barriers, builds community spirit and has a powerful secondary ripple effect for at-risk youth, laying the foundation for positive activities and relationships, mental health and good citizenship.

Since its founding, Reaching Out through Music has trained and educated more than 200 children from the St. James Town community in choral, guitar, piano and violin programs.

In 2013 the St. James Town Children's Choir performed as the demonstration choir for the Toronto District School Board’s Additional Qualifications Course in Vocal Music and for a workshop entitled Developing Choral Artistry, a joint project of the TDSB and the University of Toronto Faculty of Music. The SJTCC shared the stage with significant top-level Canadian artists, such as TSO violinist Carol-Lynn Fujino and Juno-nominated Autorickshaw Trio, and collaborated with the Canadian Children’s Opera Company.

Feedback from children and parents
attests to Reaching Out Through Music’s lasting impact in building confidence, strong work habits, and strengthening the social and cultural fabric of St. James Town. Reaching Out Through Music also provides students with opportunities to experience the world beyond their immediate environment, thereby broadening their vision to new possibilities. Several of our students have used these opportunities to excel in the wider music community outside St James Town. For example, three of our students were invited to join the Canadian Children’s Opera Company.

We were struck
by the enthusiasm and commitment of the children and their families”

— Suba Sankaran

Two time world-music
Juno Nominee

I really love studying music because it is 
a path to a fun world. We Love Reaching Out Through Music and we hope
you will help us”

— Brammi      Jayanthan

ROTM student (age 13)

The relationships built between students, teachers, 
family members
and volunteers
have been immeasurably 
enriching for
all involved”

— Patricia Parr

Renowned Canadian concert pianist, recipient of the Order of Canada, retired U of T music faculty, member of ROTM advisory council

In the past year, we have put more emphasis on instrumental group lessons, ensembles, workshops and smaller choral activities. This expanded focus allows us to increase enrolment and strengthens our overall impact in the community. Ensemble and
group training also fosters collaboration. It encourages students to perform regularly for peers and provides opportunities for more advanced students to develop skills in arranging, improvisation and composition.

Reaching Out Through Music offers children the opportunity to experience the joys of singing together. We encourage children to learn and arrange music from their own cultural backgrounds. 


Lindsay Beck
Andrea Boliero
Michael Braund
Spencer Higgins
John Loosemore, Founding Director 
David McPherson
Heather Oda
Patricia Parr


Guitar: Jamie Ruben
Piano: Halyna Popenko
Choral: Jenny Cohen