Strong Harbour Strings Program is a social program designed to offer youth transformative learning experiences through music. This program offers string education to children residing in areas that possess little opportunity for music enrichment, providing equal opportunity to learn music in ways that will positively benefit their growth and learning.

Both educational and performance components are included, endeavoring to create sparks of inspiration, outlets for creativity, and community building moments for students, their families and teachers. There are two Strong Harbour Strings centres in the St. John’s metro area.  Students in the SHS Buckmaster’s Circle centre come twice a week to learn music in individual and group settings. Students in the Shea Heights centre attend two group classes during their lunch break at St. John Bosco School.   The instruments and all the musical materials are offered to the students for no cost. The instruments stay on site until the students can demonstrate responsibility and proper instrument care. SHS PRO 12

There are currently four Teaching Artists who teach and perform with this program. These Teaching Artists perform, plan and conduct educational workshops, and accompany students to and for performances.

The Strong Harbour Strings Program is modelled after the influential arts organization Community MusicWorks.  Carole Bestvater, Founder and Director, had the great honour of completing CMW’s two year Fellowship Program, which trained her to create and manage a community music program.


Strong Harbour Strings was formerly known as the Newfoundland Symphony Youth Orchestra Suncor Energy Strings Program, a community outreach initiative by the NSYO.  After two pilot seasons with the NSYO, Strong Harbour Strings became an independent organization to continue their mission of strengthening communities through music.

Strong Harbour Strings is managed by an Artistic Director and governed by an elected, volunteer Board of Directors.  The Board of Directors is comprised of parents, and community members who are dedicated to the mission and vision of creating equal access to music education for children and youth. Strong Harbour Strings is registered with the Canada Revenue Agency as a Charitable Organization.  We can provide tax receipts to anyone who provides a financial donation, or a donation of a stringed instrument.

artsnl-colourStrong Harbour Strings is grateful to acknowledge  the support of ArtsNL, which last year (2016) invested $2.5 million to foster and promote the creation and enjoyment of arts for the benefit of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.