2023 marks the return of our Spotlight On! program as part of the NSO’s 75th Diamond Anniversary Season. This program invites youth performers from across the region to perform in the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre main lobby for NSO patrons for 30 minutes prior to our concerts as well as during our intermissions.
Sunday, September 17: Adrian Papez – Guitarist from Brock University’s Marilyn I Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts’ Music Department
Sunday, October 22: Kalam Elgersma and James Romany
Sunday, November 19: Niagara Youth Orchestra
Sunday, January 28: Canadian Youth Chinese Orchestra
Dizi: Eddie Zheng, Tony Tong
Erhu: Anna Tan, Daisy Wang, Ryan Gu
Yangqin: Wesley Wong
Guzheng: Avery Wong
Sunday, May 5 (pre-concert only): Adrian Papez – Guitarist from Brock University’s Marilyn I Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts’ Music Department
Sunday, March 3: Niagara Youth Orchestra – Strings
Founded by Paul van Dongen, the Niagara Youth Orchestra is the premiere training ground for young orchestral musicians under 25 years old in the Niagara Region. Led by professional coaches and conductors who are affiliated with orchestras across the province, members of the Niagara Youth Orchestra receive extensive music education and performance experiences through regular concert seasons and special events. Membership in the orchestra is determined by a placement interview and can be scheduled by emailing [email protected]
The Concert Orchestra, conducted by George Cleland and Lisa Donati, provides young musicians with the opportunity to develop their skills, exposing them to challenging music in both their individual ensemble groups and as an orchestra, as well as providing them with performance experience.
The Symphonic Orchestra, conducted by Michael van Dongen, provides an excellent training ground for young musicians. There is a mix of elementary, high school and university level musicians in this group.
The Training Program is intended for aspiring musicians aged seven and up. These group beginner lessons are led by professional coaches affiliated with orchestras across Ontario. No audition or experience is necessary.
Kalam Elgersma is a percussionist, guitarist, songwriter, and producer. Kalam recently finished his first year studying jazz vibraphone for a BMus in music business, performance, and production at Berklee College of Music. He played with the Niagara Youth Orchestra from 2013 – 2022 and has attended SMC for most of his life. Kalam has played in the drumline, concert band, jazz band, and steel pan ensemble at Grimsby Secondary School and was the Music Council President at school this past year. Kalam will continue his songwriting and performing experiences throughout Niagara this Summer with his band, Lockheart, and his jazz quartet.
James Romany is a pianist, guitarist, songwriter, and overall music enthusiast. James is a grade 12 student at West Niagara Secondary School and is very involved in his school’s music community. He plays in the repertoire class, jazz combos, holiday events, and frequently does jazz gigs through the school with his trio. In the near future James plans on going to music school to study jazz piano performance and production. Until then James spends most of his time practicing and doing what he loves most, music.