NYOC creating music on campus

It’s summer at The University of Western Ontario and that can mean only one thing – the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYOC) is back in town.

The 90-member orchestra, which includes Western students Kathryn Wiebe (violin), Daniel Brown (viola), Peter Gajdek (trumpet) and Kyle Nurse (percussion), were chosen from nearly 500 students from across Canada who auditioned for one of these coveted spots. Jonathan Darlington, music director of the Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra and music director of Vancouver Opera, is this year’s conductor.

Running through the end of July, the first week is devoted to chamber music, with the next three to prepare the repertoire for the tour, coaching, masterclasses, sectional and full orchestra rehearsals, lessons, movement, roundtable discussions and workshops on musician health.

The group will tour the Maritimes after their first concert 7:30 p.m. July 21 at Alumni Hall. Admission by donation. They also perform 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 24 at Central United Church in Stratford.

Music lovers can experience the talents of faculty and students throughout their stay at Western. The following free events take place in von Kuster Hall, Music Building at Western, except for CBC’s Tom Allen who will present repertoire analysis in Talbot College Room 101:

Concert/Lectures: Tom Allen presentation, 4 p.m. Monday, July 4 as well as 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 5; Madrigal Concert, 8:30 p.m. Thursday, July 7; Brass and Percussion, 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 13; and NYOC Idol, 9 p.m. Tuesday, July 19.

Faculty recitals (all starting at 9 p.m.): Tuesday, July 5; Friday, July 8; Thursday, July 14; Saturday, July 16; and Monday, July 18.

The NYOC is a professional training ground for Canada’s orchestral musicians, with 40 per cent of professional orchestral musicians in Canada being NYOC alumni. The organization has developed an instructional program dedicated to honing the talents of Canada’s best young musicians for careers in the country’s music industry. The intense summer training program is followed by extensive touring and recording, both integral parts of preparation for professional careers.

The NYOC is funded by TD Canada Trust Music, the Ontario Arts Council and Canadian Heritage. For more details or to follow the musicians’ blog, visit the organization’s website.