Music has always been a big part of her life. But so far, Marselina Lama is the first in her family to make music her career.
Lama, 25, plays principal second violin for the Prince George Symphony Orchestra (PGSO). She is also a sought after music teacher with the Prince George Conservatory of Music. Her life is busy, her schedule hectic. Yet, teaching and playing music professionally is all part of Lama’s master plan.
“I’m from Kiev,” she said, “In the Ukraine, music is everywhere. People sing on the street. There is always songs to celebrate every special occasion like marriages and birthdays. My father is doctor of biology and agriculture and my mother is an engineer. I am really the first musician but everyone in my family loves music.”
Lama is philosophical in her love of music. “I really believe that music has the power to heal, comfort and console. Music inspires positive thought. The violin, it has such a sweet sound, it can’t help but make people feel better.”
A gifted musician, Lama learned to play as a young girl.
“Piano and violin are closer to me than other instruments because I have been playing them since I was ten years old. But I like the viola and other instruments too. And I enjoy all kinds of music. I like playing Bach on the violin. Playing an instrument is a never ending process. You can always improve. Music will always be a part of my life because it makes me happy. It is part of me and who I am.”
Lama came to Canada six years ago and studied music at University of Victoria (she won several scholarships) “As an international student, I made many friends here. And the Ukrainian Society in Victoria helped me decide what it was that I wanted to do.” Last year, she ventured onto the music scene of Prince George.
“PGSO has allowed me to develop as a professional musician. And [general manger] George Sipos has been just amazing. It’s been fun. I want to grow in other ways both as a performer and teacher. But for this time in my life, playing with the orchestra is a very good experience and it has allowed me to work in an area closely related to my Fine Arts degree in music performance.”
As for using her muscial talents to teach others, Lama said it is she who learns.
“Here at the Prince George Conservatory of Music I feel at home. And I feel truly blessed that God has given me this opportunity. It is so inspiring for me to see students learn and improve. My youngest student is just six years old and the oldest is 78. And they are all such a joy.”