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OSSIA: A History of Musical Excellence

A History of the OSSIA Music Concert Series: by the Music Department of
Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate and Vocational Institute (KCI)


In the fall of 2003 the KCI Music Department redefined itself within the school and community. With a change in teaching staff and the arrival of Ms. J. Schultz-Janzen, new initiatives were begun and students began planning for what would be the first OSSIA concert. In November of that year, at a music council meeting in the humble environs of Room 110, history was in the making. KCI students were planning a music concert to celebrate the accomplishments of their curricular and extra-curricular achievements. The need for a concert title arose in discussions amid preparations for this event. Several ideas were proposed and rejected until a student suggested the term ossia after having read it on the insert of a band folder. The title was immediately embraced. It was simple, musical and had the perfect blend between allure and mystique.


The word ossia is an Italian musical term that refers to a less demanding section of a work that a composer has written to create a more readily achievable alternative for the performer than the original arrangement.

In addition to titling the concert series OSSIA, each concert has subsequently been given a subtitle that is a reflection of the zeitgeist, or particular mood of the Music Department at the time the concert is being planned. In the fall of 2004, Mr. S. Surian arrived as a second music teacher within the department. The practice of numbering each concert began, and a legacy of memories has been created through these wonderful musical concerts. Over the years, with different teaching, directing, and support staff, KCI Music has flourished and been shaped by the talents of Ms. Weston, Mr. Morris, Ms. Ritchie, Ms. Weber, Ms. Fry, Ms. Schmelzle, Ms. Enns-Hildebrand, and Ms. Spaulding. Ms. Spaulding continues the vision as the head of the department.


The following is a list of past concerts, including dates and subtitles. If you performed in these concerts, we hope they remind you of the joy of music! Please keep in touch with KCI Music! Each concert is strongly connected to the graphic design used to advertise the concert. Be sure to view all our past concert OSSIA posters here.


OSSIA: Expressions Through Music ~ December 4, 2003

OSSIA: Regeneration ~ May 13, 2004
OSSIA 3: A Winter Melody ~ December 16, 2004

OSSIA 4: The Awakening ~ May 12, 2005

OSSIA 5: The Fifth Symphony ~ December 15, 2005

OSSIA 6: Ad Libitum ~ May 4, 2006
OSSIA 7: Dynamic Storm ~ December 14, 2006
OSSIA 8: It's What's For Dinner ~ May 17, 2007
OSSIA 9: Feel the Pulse ~ December 12, 2007
OSSIA 10: There is No Finale ~ May 15, 2008
OSSIA 11: repeat repeat ~ December 11, 2008
OSSIA 12: Midnight Madness ~ May 14, 2009
OSSIA 13: Turn the World Around ~ December 15, 2009

OSSIA 14: Sound in Motion ~ May 11, 2010

OSSIA 15 in 3D: Discovering Different Dimensions ~ December 14, 2010

OSSIA Suite 16 ~ May 10, 2011
OSSIA 17: The Places You'll Go ~ December 13, 2011
OSSIA 18: Infinity ~ May 9, 2012

OSSIA 19: [KCI Music's first digital concert] ~ December 18, 2012

OSSIA 20: Da Capo [10th Anniversary Concert] ~ May 16, 2013

OS21A: The 21st Century ~ December 17, 2013

O22IA: Space ~ May 22, 2014

OSSIA 23: Flight ~ December 16, 2014

OSSIA 24K: Gold ~ Thursday, May 21, 2015

OSSIA 25: Mint Collection ~ Tuesday, December 15, 2015

OSSIA 26: The Marathon ~ Thursday, May 19, 2016

OSSIA 27: Oasis ~ Thursday, January 12, 2017*

*The 2016|2017 season was unique. Our December OSSIA was rescheduled due to inclement weather. Then, for the first time since its inception, an OSSIA concert was not offered in the second semester. Instead, KCI Music together with KCI Art and KCI Drama produced and presented the Broadway musical The Addams Family. Creating some space in our program allowed us the opportunity to experience this wonderful collaboration and a dazzling synthesis of the arts, long a part of the vision of the KCI Music Department.

OSSIA 28: Rise ~ Thursday, December 14, 2017

OSSIA 29: Elements ~ Thursday, May 17, 2018

OSSIA 30: Enlightenment ~ Thursday, December 13, 2018*

*The 2018|2019 season will feature the next whole-school collaboration with a production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame in the second semester. KCI Music, KCI Art, and KCI Drama are excited to join forces with Cosmetology, Construction, Communication Technologies, and Student Leadership to vision and mount a breathtaking experience for performers and audiences alike.


OSSIA 31: Perception ~ Thursday, December 12, 2019

OSSIA 32: Vision ~ Thursday, May 14, 2020*

*In an unprecedented set of circumstances, OSSIA 32, scheduled for the second semester, did not take place due to school closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The last day of regular classes took place on Friday, March 13, just two months before this OSSIA was to take place. While no one could have foreseen that we would not return from the March Break this year, we believe in the power of music to bring respite, healing, and hope in a time of great uncertainty. We look forward to sharing our VISION with your when it is safe for our program to resume. We wish you good health and much happiness.


OSSIA 32: Renaissance ~ Thursday, December 15, 2022

*Like phoenix from the ashes, we are thrilled to resume our OSSIA concert series. We hope you enjoy this post-pandemic rebirth of the KCI Music performing ensembles.

OSSIA 33: Valour ~ Thursday, May 18, 2023

OSSIA – obscure, mispronounced, misinterpreted, with strange connotations in other languages – but ultimately the charming title of our beloved KCI Music Department concerts. Thank you for being a part of our musical community. 

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