Guest Conductor Michael Newnham leads the NBYO in Saint John this weekend
Saturday, February 11, 2017
Guest Conductor Michael Newnham leads the NBYO in Saint John this weekend
Guest Conductor Michael Newnham will conduct NBYO at the Imperial Theatre in Saint John on Sunday, February 12th

Saint John, NB: Symphony New Brunswick Maestro Michael Newnham, will be conducting the young musicians of the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra this weekend for what is the NBYO’s only Saint John concert this season.  

“I feel very honoured to guest conduct the NBYO in this exciting program,” says Michael Newnham, Music Director and Conductor of Symphony New Brunswick. “Participation in a youth orchestra is one of the most rewarding activities that a young person can have: through rhythm, harmony, melody, and colours, and through over 300 years of great music to discover. This contributes to a stronger, better-informed and compassionate future generation, which brings us the leaders and creative thinkers of tomorrow.”

“Inspiring Excellence”, the theme for the event, brings together 75 talented young musicians, including 13 who hail from Saint John - violinists Heather Meisner, , Gawon  Suh, Bryce Stockford, Younseo Heo,  Yeauen Kim; cellists Signe Anderson, Hannah Oh, Maria Mason, Harold Oh, Conor Britt; double-bassist Luke Chapman; French horn players Ejub Balihodzic and John Mytropan.

The Orchestra, which was founded in Saint John by businessman Philip Oland, will perform at the historic Imperial Theatre at 2 pm on Sunday afternoon.  This weekend’s performance includes performances by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Moncayo. The program also features a fantastic marimba performance by Concerto Competition Award winner Jocelyn Blanchette.

Tickets are available at the online and at the box office of the Imperial Theatre.

Celebrating Canada’s 150th Birthday

The Saint John show is also the first since the NBYO announced its special plans in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday. Academy award-winning composer Howard Shore has been commissioned to create a Canada 150 song which the NBYO will premiere at a Canada Day concert in Moncton.  Shore has written the scores of many famous films including “Lord of the Rings”, “Silence of the Lambs” and “Mrs. Doubtfire”. The world premiere of the Canada 150 song takes place on Canada Day weekend at Riverfront Park in Moncton.

“Our Canada 150 concert promises to be an unforgettable experience,” says Ken MacLeod, CEO of the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra. “We will have 400 musicians performing, soprano Measha Brueggergosman, a choir and fireworks. It will be a wonderful evening that celebrates pride in our province and in our country.”

Former Lieutenant Governor Herménégilde Chiasson and First Nations artist Natalie Sappier have also been commissioned to create a literary essay and visual art piece respectively, to commemorate Canada’s 150th.

The NBYO has also launched a “Happy Birthday Canada” video challenge to encourage Canadians from all over to record themselves singing Happy Birthday to Canada. Videos are easily uploaded on to the website where they will become part of a large video montage celebrating Canada’s birthday.

Beginning in July, the NBYO will also embark on a Canada 150 tour, where the young musicians will perform in several locations, including at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

About the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra

The mission of the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra is to inspire children and youth to achieve their full potential through learning and performing orchestral music. The NBYO is one of the most innovative and distinguished youth orchestras in Canada, and features some of the province’s most talented young musicians. The NBYO has performed in some of the world’s great concert halls, including Carnegie Hall in New York, The Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, China and the Musikverein, the home stage of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, in Vienna, Austria. In 2011, the Orchestra was awarded first place in the category of Symphony Orchestra at the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival in Vienna, Austria.  It has five CD recordings and has received an East Coast Music Award for best classical recording.  In addition to performing with a high level of excellence, the Orchestra continues to commission original works, collaborate with guest conductors and performers, and tour both in New Brunswick, Canada and internationally.

The NBYO’s key goals are to develop an outstanding provincial youth orchestra, expand the participation of young people, and create greater awareness and appreciation for orchestral music in New Brunswick.  For more information about the orchestra, members and upcoming events across the province, visit