Violinist Gabrielle Jacob leaves June 21 to join the National Youth Orchestra Canada for a summer training session and concert tour.
This is the Duchess Park Grade 12 student’s second time (the first was in 2014) being chosen to become part of a 100-strong professional training orchestra for emerging artists.
“I’m very proud to be a part of this,” said Jacob. “Being accepted into the NYOC means you can learn so much more and see so much more of the music world. I learned a lot from my peers and the conductor last time – and this time we’ll be playing a whole new repertoire. It’s such a gift to play in huge concert halls and with such a large orchestra and to get to perform in front of big audiences, playing in different venues with their different acoustics.”
This year, 28 violinists from across Canada were accepted out of the 500 musicians who auditioned to be part of NYOC 2015, she said.
“To audition, you make a video of your performance and put it on YouTube – you have to do it in one take. I heard in February that I’d been accepted.”
Musicians aged 16 to 28 are eligible to compete. Jacob, who is 17, is already excited about her plans for her summer orchestra experience.
“We start at the University of Kitchener,” she said. “We rehearse for the first few weeks, working in smaller groups on chamber music. Then we spend two and a half weeks with the entire orchestra. During the final week, the conductor comes in to work with us and then we go on a two-week tour of [Canadian] cities. We will be performing at the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal, so that’s very exciting.”
The NYOC tour includes stops in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Kelowna and Vancouver. They will record a CD at McGill University.
Jacob is well known in Prince George for her beautiful violin playing (her mother Carolyn Jacob is a violin teacher) and she often performs at community special events as well as with the local orchestra.
“I started as a ‘side-by-side’ player (mentoring program) with the Prince George Symphony Orchestra. Now I’m a community player with the PGSO. I also played with the Northern Orchestra with conductor Gordon Lucas. My teacher, Nancy Di Novo, helped prepare me for the auditions,” she said.
Next year, Jacob plans on entering University of Northern British Columbia and then she will apply to the Northern Medical Program. She hopes to become a doctor living in the North and perhaps playing in a chamber group.
Founded in 1960, the NYOC was created by Maestro Walter Susskind and has since evolved into Canada’s foremost orchestral finishing school providing a comprehensive training program, concert tour and recording session for young classical musicians, with no tuition required.
For more information about the orchestra and its programs, visit www.NYOC.org.