VSO starts orchestra training program at Whistler, July 2015

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    “The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra has announced that the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) and the Vancouver Symphony Society (VSS) have entered into an agreement to create and develop the Vancouver Symphony Orchestral Institute at Whistler (VSOIW).
    The VSS will work to develop, promote and produce the inaugural VSOIW in the summer of 2015. VSS President and CEO Jeff Alexander says, “this is an opportunity for the VSS to create a new and distinct educational activity by offering regional, national and international students the opportunity to hone their musical skills while studying with members of the VSO in the beautiful landscape of Whistler.”
    The VSOIW will target experienced young adults aged 15-22 years, (I will look into having a higher age limit for harp students), who would audition as part of the application process to the VSOIW. The successful applicants will participate in an intensive program including private lessons, master-classes, chamber music, and orchestral rehearsals and performances, with instruction from members of the VSO.”

    I look forward to sharing my knowledge from my collection of 400 marked orchestra parts and 32 years of playing with the VSO.

    Philippa mcauliffe

    That sounds great Elizabeth. Is Whistler nice in Summer? I am quietly seething having learnt two new orchestra pieces this week as requested (with a weeks notice) by one of the state youth orchestras. They both had quite hard bits in them and there was no recording of one anywhere at all. Then I get there all ready
    to rehearse and they have cut nearly everything with the harp in it – it was a toddlers concert with lots of songs and stories woven in. All I got to do was play an arpeggio during “introduce the instruments”, a few chords in a few nursery rhymes and a very very cut down version of L’Arlesienne while they told the story of Goldilocks to it. Luckily I had played that one before so didn’t have to learn it from scratch. They didn’t even give me a kazoo for the Teddy Bears Picnic – all the wind section had one as they were not playing…!!! I think orchestral harp players must be very patient people. I bet no one ever wants Blakes Nursery Rhyme Overture or Quilter’s Childens Overture again too!


    Whistler is beautiful in summer, and year-round as well. It is famous as a great ski resort in the winter (with year-round skiing on the glacier). There will be an announcement in early November as to the exact dates, but it will be held during the first 2 weeks on July.


    The dates have been announced for the new VSO Institute at Whistler! It will run from June 28-July 5, 2015. I will be coaching the harp students and also performing in the faculty recital.

    #184699 is the new web site. Check for details on how to apply.

    #184965 has the audition repertoire up. They used two items from NYOC’s list and PDF’s, so that the students who are applying for NYOC don’t have to learn other repertoire. The selections are excerpts from Salomes Tanz and Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances. I also have PDF’s of the same excerpts which are edited for enharmonic re-spellings, to eliminate pedal changes and some leaps.


    The application form has been amended to allow a choice of a solo and three standard orchestral excerpts, in case there is not enough time to learn the excerpts from Salomes Tanz and the Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances. The deadline for receiving video auditions has also been moved to March 12.


    Today’s the deadline! There’s still time to tell students about the VSO Institute at Whistler! We have a fantastic pool of applicants from all over the world and we’ve almost tripled our target numbers for year #1. Summer music in one of the most beautiful places on earth- June 28-July 5. Help us spread the word!

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