Saturday April 24 2021, 7:00 PM

The Gaelic Symphony

St. Andrews United Church
Saturday 24 April – 7:00 PM


Melissa Doiron


Under the direction of local alumna Melissa Doiron, hear Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra perform the Nova Scotia premiere of the Gaelic Symphony! Written by the American composer Amy Beach in 1894, the Gaelic Symphony was the first symphony ever composed and published by an American woman – who also happened to be a child prodigy, musical genius, and virtuoso pianist, and whose work earned accolades from her contemporaries as “thoroughly artistic, beautiful, and brilliant” (Boston Evening Transcript, 1884).

While Beach’s brilliance has often been neglected over the past century, the Gaelic Symphony is a rich, romantic, sweeping work that’s currently earning a well-justified resurgence throughout the orchestral music world. Inspired by old English, Scottish, and Irish melodies and folk songs, it’s “an unalloyed masterpiece” (Arts Fuse), full of “big heart, irresistible charm and confident progress” (Gramophone). The concert is co-presented by Symphony Nova Scotia and Musique Royale and will be livestreamed on Symphony Nova Scotia’s YouTube and Facebook channels on Saturday, April 24 at 7 pm.

About the Director

Melissa Doiron is the assistant conductor of Chebucto Symphony Orchestra and Music Director at Charles P. Allen High School in Bedford. She has guest-conducted ensembles such as Nova Sinfonia, the Dalhousie Wind Ensemble, and the Dartmouth Concert Band, among others. Melissa is a featured clinician with numerous ensembles, including the Nova Scotia Youth Wind Ensemble. She currently sits on the board for the Early Music Society of Nova Scotia, and is the Director of Education for Opera Nova Scotia.

Melissa has proven to be a leader in music education, presenting frequently at the Nova Scotia Music Educators conference on subjects such as conducting basics, and yoga for conductors. She is an advocate for mental and physical health in the fine arts, incorporating that into her pedagogical practice.

Melissa performs frequently with numerous ensembles throughout the city such as Nova Sinfonia and the Chebucto Orchestra. Along with her colleague Pam Paddock, she is a co-founding member of the all-female wind ensemble Glass Winds, an ensemble focused on highlighting women performers and composers. Melissa has studied conducting with Dr. Philip Djokic, Dr. Vernon Reghr, Dr. Doug Dunsmore, and Dr. Mark Hopkins. She holds degrees from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Saint Mary’s University, and Acadia University.

Information on the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra

For over 40 years, the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra has fostered a strong sense of community through high-level orchestral music-making, and engaging talented young musicians province-wide. Its members have the opportunity to work with nationally and internationally-acclaimed visiting musicians, as well as professional musicians from Symphony Nova Scotia. The more than 1000 alumni of the NSYO continue to speak of the tremendous impact that this community has had on their artistic and personal lives. Through rehearsals and performances, workshops and leadership opportunities, the NSYO continues to stimulate talented young minds and develop young musicians’ talent.

The orchestra has been described by renowned professional conductors and musicians as one of the finest youth orchestras in Canada. It has positioned itself over the last four decades as a major contributor to the artistic and cultural landscape of Nova Scotia. As a beacon of opportunity for those who seek to embark upon a journey of personal and professional discovery, the NSYO provides a unique experience that enhances, encourages, and inspires each member to strive to fulfill their greatest potential.

Through the ongoing support of its donors, supporters, and community partners, the orchestra embodies the fundamental tools, resources, and skills required to fulfill its mandate while at the same time consistently providing meaningful and influential opportunities generation after generation. Its impact can be measured by those of our alumni who have gone on to successful careers in music, including as performers, composers, university professors, and school teachers. Others have applied the skills learned at the NSYO toward other fields, having since become doctors, lawyers, teachers, company executives, and more.

These achievements are a testament to the extremely powerful impact the NSYO has on its members and those who experience its performances as patrons. The NSYO’s season runs from the end of September until the end of April and includes an orientation weekend. The orchestra performs between 4-6 concerts in a typical season.

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