Oct 13, 2018 - The WIYSO mission is to bring together young musicians within an orchestral ensemble and enable them to perfect their music under the direction of a professional conductor. Each season we have the chance to meet and work with many talented young musicians between the ages of 9 and 25 years old.
Each musician arrives at orchestra with an interest in music and it is inspiring to see this develop into a lifelong passion for music. Today, we are proud to share two such stories from WIYSO musicians William Barbieri and Alexina Choma. They have written about enriching musical experiences they participated in during the summer of 2018.
WILLIAM BARBIERI, percussion
I am very grateful to be a member of the WIYSO that participated in the 2018 AOJQ festival last Easter where we collaborated and performed with the OSJJ (Orchestre Symphonique des Jeunes de Joliette) at Place Des Arts. Through this experience I had the opportunity of a lifetime to participate in a musical trip to France this summer to play in the Eurochestries festival in Pons, along with five youth orchestras from Spain, Russia, Mexico, Estonia, China and a Ukrainian boys choir.
Before the trip, I was worried it would be hard to understand most instructions as I am not as fluent in French as I would like to be. The orchestra and parents kindly translated messages if I couldn't find or understand the French words, which really made the trip more comfortable for me to communicate with others. Being the only Anglophone on the trip made me feel kind of special, in the sense that orchestras of different nationalities had to speak English to communicate with each other and would occasionally ask me to translate a word for them.
In addition to being immersed in the Québecois and Parisian French dialects, I made many connections with the members of other orchestras and tried learning a few more words in other languages, especially in Spanish and Russian as they were the two main languages of the other Eurochestries participating orchestras that we hung out with. After two weeks of collaborating with the Eurochestries for the two final concerts, our last stop was Bordeaux, where we spent a day touring the Cité du Vin wine tower, and the downtown core by tramway and petit-train.
The trip was well organised, visiting many Charentes Maritimes towns to perform in and explore. To my horror, I exceeded my roaming data limit after the first week and spent the next week in Pons constantly searching for wifi, which led me to spend a lot of time in the cafeteria entrance where wifi was free. During the last supper of the trip in Bordeaux, many awards were presented to the musicians of OSJJ such as to my percussion partner for losing the most valuables, to one of my other friends for having abs of steel and to me for spending, “mes deux semaines dans les escaliers wifi!”
At the end of the trip, I realized that despite incredible language barriers, the universal language of music united such diverse groups of young people from around the world to put on such a beautiful and talent filled classical concert and make lasting social connections. Thinking about this wonderful experience gives me the confidence to want to pursue musical opportunities in the future to travel internationally, even if the main language is not English. I thank all the people involved for making this experience so extraordinary and memorable.
ALEXINA CHOMA, violon
Nous avons tous une passion qui nous anime. Pour certains ce sont les sports, la danse ou le théâtre. Moi, ma passion c’est la musique ! Cette passion, à 12 ans, m’a fait découvrir le milieu orchestral. Cet été, grâce à mon orchestre, j’ai eu la chance de jouer avec le groupe bien connu ‘‘Piano Guys’’.
Piano Guys est un groupe qui comprend un violoncelliste et un pianiste qui sont également de multi-instrumentistes qui adore expérimenter et mélanger la musique classique et populaire. Leur producteur et ami font aussi parties du spectacle et ensemble, ces quatre forme le groupe Piano Guys.
En faisant parti de OSJWI, j’ai eu la chance de jouer avec les Piano Guys. Jamais je n’aurais cru avoir la chance de participer à un si grand concert puisque je n’étudie pas en musique. Il a eu lieu à la salle Wilfrid Pelletier à Place des Arts. Nous étions 8 violonistes en tout et avons eu accès a une loge et toute l’arrière scène.
Mon moment le plus mémorable a été de rencontrer ces musiciens super talentueux et de performer avec eux. Ils nous ont donné beaucoup de conseils et je me suis senti comme une musicienne professionnelle pour quelques instants, tout ça malgré le fait que je ne fais que de la musique par loisir. J’ai eu beaucoup de chance de pouvoir participer à ce concert et je m’en souviendrais toujours.