Acadia Youth Orchestra to perform Nov. 23



SaltWire Network


Members of the Acadia Regional Youth Orchestra (ARYO) are getting ready to perform with the Acadia Orchestra across a whole spectrum of musical talent and ability. The concert is set for Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Festival Theatre in Wolfville, and Elizabeth ARYO program director Sircom says the players are happy to move beyond COVID-19 audience restrictions. During that locked down time, the ARYO performed a YouTube concert and shared music analysis research on Zoom. “We’re happy to make live music together,” Sircom says. The string program offers beginner and elementary instruction in violin, viola, cello, and double bass, and participation in two different levels of string orchestra, for students ages 10 to 24 years, along with a fiddle group open to all ages. It was following an invitation from the Acadia University School of Music, that the ARYO moved to Acadia from Horton High School in the fall of 2018. ARYO clinics and rehearsals are generally held in the Festival Theatre. Musicians as young as 10 come from as far away as Hantsport, Canning and Kentville to take part in the orchestra rehearsals. Over a 10-week term they are involved in core teaching and learning technique. Sircom notes that workshops and performances at seniors’ homes are added whenever possible in December and at the end of the school year. The aim of the orchestra has always been to provide string music education and to promote string music in the Annapolis Valley, Sircom says, and that is fostered through the association with Acadia’s collaboration School of Music and with other musical groups in the Annapolis Valley. The fiddle group also allows for the promotion and preservation of Nova Scotia’s fiddle and folk music heritage through instruction and performance. Sircom, who is both a cello performer and instructor as well as a visual artist, works with the introductory level orchestra. She also has private students. In 2021, the Hantsport native was awarded the Janet K. Leffek Professional Development Fellowship by the Nova Scotia Registered Music Teachers Association Trust. A third-year music student, Keigan Richard conducts both the introductory orchestra and the ARYO. He has played violin for the past 12 years, and piano for the last seven years. In the past, he played with the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra. Klorissa Farnsworth is a third-year music therapy student, from Pictou, who is attending Acadia and instructing ARYO members. She has played the fiddle for the past 16 years and started studying violin four years ago. Shauney Paul, who hails from Eskasoni, is leading the fiddle section this year and producing a great sound in Sircom’s estimation. Two viola players have also joined the orchestra this year. Sircom says new players will be able to participate “after Christmas if they have some experience, especially adults. I am happy to answer questions, happy to collaborate.”