Here’s the latest from Amy Kay, our NSO Youth Ambassador…
Spring Pops: The Final Frontier – April 20, 2018
Friday, April 20th, 2018 I attended the last NSO concert of the 2017-18 season. The whole show was one surprise after another and I am so glad I was able to attend. This was definitely an unforgettable night.
This year for the NSO spring pops concert the orchestra performed music from famous sci-fi movie and TV show scores. They performed everything from Star Trek to Doctor Who and it was all incredible. I loved getting to hear all the music from my favourite sci-fi productions live and on-stage. Having my dad accompany me was perfect as well as he is the one who introduced me to the amazing genre of sci-fi.
I could not believe how well the NSO performed every song in the program. Not only did they have the orchestra playing the music, but they also had a visual presentation comprising of clips and pictures from the productions. It added so much to the concert and it would not have been the same without it.
As well as the music part of the concert there were also the costumes. There were a good few people dressed up not only in the audience but the orchestra as well. They even had a costume contest at intermission which they brought the finalists of up on the stage before the music recommenced.
There were a lot more kids around at this performance so I had even more good conversations at intermission. Everyone I talked to was absolutely in love with the concert so far and could not wait for the intermission to end so they could hear more of the music the NSO had in store.
All in all, this was probably my favourite concert I have attended during the season even though every performance I attended was tremendous. This was a brilliant opportunity that opened even more doors for me and I would like to thank my school music teacher Ms. Angela Dawe for offering it to me. As well as Ms. Jennifer Brennan and Mr. Hugh Donnan for making this experience as pleasurable and enjoyable as possible.
Masterworks 4 – March 23, 2018
Friday, March 24 I attended the 4th NSO Masterworks of the season. It was absolutely phenomenal and the combination of both choirs as well as the orchestra made for a beautiful
sound. Beethoven was an absolute genius when it came to composing. Even deaf he created such a beautiful symphony, but the NSO really brought it to life. I am amazed with the emotion each
performer displays every time I see a NSO performance. It is impossible to fathom the amount of practice they have put in to manipulate the instruments the way they do. All the
instrumentalists look so at ease with their instruments and it really adds to the experience to see such well acclimated musicians.
The Philharmonic choir combined with the singers from Shallaway were wonderful. Their voices were so incredibly powerful. The whole theatre was filled with sound the minute they came in for
the fourth movement of the symphony. I did not realize that there could be a fuller sound than the NSO but when the Philharmonic choir and the guest singers from Shallaway joined in it was
The whole performance was incredibly moving and just a wonderful symphony to take in. This was a wonderful performance of a genius score and, as always, I cannot wait for the next NSO
NSO Chevron Symphony Goes to School…any Beyond Sing-in Play-in – January 29, 2018
Monday, January 29th my school, Brother Rice Junior High, attended a play-in/sign-in workshop offered by the NSO. It was very fun to play along with other schools and the Atlantic String Quartet and it was amazing to have Marc David conducting.
At the beginning of January, the band, choir, and orchestra of Brother Rice were given an arrangement of Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. We then spent January learning and memorizing the piece preparing for the workshop.
When we got to D. F. Cook Recital Hall on the 29th there was an air of excitement surrounding everyone. As we opened our cases and prepared our instruments people’s eyes were everywhere hoping for the smallest indication of what was to come. When Marc David came on stage the excitement reached a climax.
The Atlantic String Quartet opened the workshop and they were amazing. When it was our turn to begin playing we heard each section individually first. When Marc David brought us all together the sound was wonderful. The recital hall was full of students just having fun and playing music together and the product was absolutely wonderful.
I’m so glad that my school decided to go on this amazing fieldtrip because this is not something I would have wanted to miss. It was not only a great opportunity but a great time as well.
East Port Properties Big Band Show – January 26, 2018
Friday, January 27th I attended the NSO’s big band show. It was an amazing concert with great contrast between the first and second act. There was also an electric atmosphere throughout the whole show.
The first act of the night was Mark Fewer playing Changing Seasons and it was incredible. Fewer’s violin concerto was brilliant. He was amazing at conveying each new emotion as the seasons changed throughout the piece. The orchestral accompaniment by the NSO was absolutely exquisite. When they were replicating the sound of wind you wouldn’t have been able to tell it wasn’t just wind whistling outside. It was perfect.
Before this night my knowledge of ELO was limited. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the second half of this show. One thing I didn’t expect though, was Jody Richardson coming on stage in a gold suit. Jody Richardson’s energy engaged everyone. The way that the other vocalists were dancing along on stage really encouraged the audiences enthusiasm. When Mark Fewer came back on stage for a few songs it pushed the whole performance over the top. The whole theater was clapping, or tapping, along to the beat for most of the show.
All in all, this show was quite different from past NSO performances but still just as good. I’m definitely looking forward to their next Masterworks.
Sing We Joyous- November 25, 2017
Saturday, November 25th I attended the matinee show of Sing We Joyous. I was absolutely amazed. It was such an excellent concert and a great start to the Christmas season.
The Atlantic Boychoir were wonderful. Their voices blended beautifully. They were singing many different harmonies at the same time but you never lost them, you could always hear what each group was singing. Their soloists were fantastic, also.
The NSO were incredible, as always. The balance between the symphony and the choir was very good. You could always hear both clearly and neither overpowered the other. The trumpeters were impeccable. I very much enjoyed their little section.
The little sing along they had near the end was really fun, too. They had a mix of different carols and songs and the whole audience was invited to join in. From what I heard most everyone did. A few people around me were even dancing along to the music and there were smiles on everyone’s faces.
It was an amazing concert. I hope I get to see the Atlantic Boychoir perform again, and as always, I can’t wait until the next NSO performance.
Masterworks 2- November 17, 2017
Friday, November 17th 2017 I attended the NSO’s second masterworks of the season. It was absolutely incredible and I loved it just as much as the last. The fire with which Mr. Marc David conducts ignites both the symphony and the audience.
The NSO were incredible, as always. Their versatility never ceases to amaze me. I cannot even imagine what it’s like to be playing so many different styles of music a year. The (bag)piper was wonderful, as well. He played with such skill that you would think it was easy. It was a very nice surprise to hear him play.
Blake Pouliot was absolutely phenomenal. The emotion with which he played is unparalleled. He could draw you in until you were completely mesmerized. Pouliot’s movement and facial expression pushed the whole performance over the top. Meeting him was a great experience, he was very sociable and easygoing. He interacted delightfully with everyone at intermission.
There were even more elementary, junior high, and high school students there this time. They had very interesting things to say about the music. It was easy to tell that they were all engaged during the performance; due to the enthusiasm with which they spoke.
Masterworks 1 – September 22, 2017
Friday September 22nd, I attended the NSO’s first Masterworks of the season as the Youth Ambassador. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget for many reasons and I cannot wait until the next Masterworks.
Everyone I met and talked to were very nice, and were eager to try to improve the experience in anyway they could. Mr. Hugh Donnan, the NSO’s CEO, was highly spirited, funny, and a great guide. Mr. Marc David was a very kind person, and, of course, is a very talented conductor. It was a dream come true to meet such a talented and skillful pianist such as André Laplante.
The skill of every member of the NSO is astounding. They had my complete attention from the first few notes of O Canada. I was hanging off of every note through the whole performance. They created such an enticing atmosphere that you didn’t want to look away. There was not a single bow or breath out of place. When it came to Laplante’s solo during Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor it was completely silent. If there was any noise before that point it stopped immediately. Laplante is absolutely phenomenal.
Getting to talk to everyone at intermission was great too. It was wonderful to see so many elementary, junior high, and high school students and to get to talk to them all. They all had very interesting things to say and I found it quite gratifying. I also got offered an amazing opportunity to further my skills on the clarinet.