The New Brunswick Youth Orchestra played in Saint John Sunday for its only concert date of the season in the region.
For many of the musicians, playing in one’s own backyard is particularly rewarding.
Elizabeth Trecartin of Quispmasis is one of 15 musicians from the Saint John area.
“It’s a nice feeling to be home and to be able to play for your own community and to show them that there are people from their community who can play this music,”said the Grade 11 student at Kennebecasis Valley High School.
“It feels like an honour to me to be able to do that.”
With 82 musicians scattered around the province, getting everyone together is no easy feat. That’s why concert dates are usually incorporated into rehearsal weekends – to make the most of having everyone in the same place at the same time.
The young musicians from other parts of the province were billeted in the Saint John area for a weekend of rehearsals in advance of Sunday’s concert at Saint John High School, the orchestra’s fourth concert of the season.
Under the direction of conductor Antonio Delgado, the internationally acclaimed New Brunswick Youth Orchestra, whose members are between the ages of 12 and 22, performed works by Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saëns, Strauss and Dvo ák.
For Rothesay resident Katie Buckley, playing in the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra runs in the family.
“When my dad was my age, he and six of his siblings all played in the Youth Orchestra at the same time,” said Katie, who plays the bassoon and is a Grade 12 student at Rothesay High School.
“They all played string instruments, so I’m the first Buckley to play a wind instrument, which is pretty cool. Breaking the mould.”
Coming from such a musical family, music was always around, but it was never pushed on her.
“I was really surprised that [my dad] didn’t push it. He just let me grow to love it. I think that’s why I still love it today, because it wasn’t forced on me. It was my own choice.”
Katie started with piano lessons at age five or six. When she reached the music program in middle school at Rothesay Park School, she chose the saxophone.
“I wanted to join the Youth Orchestra, so I had to choose an orchestral instrument of some sort and I wanted to play an instrument that no one else played. So, obviously, the bassoon was a good choice,” said Katie, who is now in her third year with the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra.
Unlike Katie, Elizabeth does not come from a musical family. She credits the former District 6 string program will igniting her love of music.
“If it wasn’t for the string program, I would probably never have picked up an instrument, let alone a violin,” said Elizabeth.
“I would have never been involved in the Youth Orchestra. … I would have never had this extreme passion and love for classical music that I do. I can’t imagine my life without music and I really hope that programs like the String Program that I first started in can stick around because I think they teach a lot – even beyond music – life skills like responsibility, having a well-rounded education and mind, exploring new things and communication. It teaches so much.”
This is a big year for the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra. This summer, they will compete as the only Canadian orchestra in the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Competition in Vienna, Austria. In 2011, the NBYO won first place in the same competition – the first time a Canadian group had ever done so.
Elizabeth Trecartin, along with the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra, played a concert at Saint John High School Sunday. Photo: Cindy Wilson/Telegraph-Journal