A Guelphite has been selected to perform in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestral Institute, the largest orchestra in Canada.
Bridget Walsh, a 16-year-old girl in Grade 12 from GCVI will play the violin as part of a residence program for multiple concerts.
As a Grammy and Juno award winner, the VSOI presents a unique opportunity to learn from some of the best musicians in the country and the world and gives artists the opportunity to partake in chamber ensembles, masterclasses and repertoire classes from June 24 to July 4.
“It was so great to find out that I could be a part of something so wonderful with so many talented and amazing musicians such as the people who are also going to be going,” says Walsh.
“When I found out I got in, it was really exciting and motivating for me to know that somebody in a small town like Guelph can go to an international program.”
She says the feeling is one of belonging and it is difficult to describe.
With an incredible passion for music, Walsh has been very active in participating in music groups in the community. She plays the violin, trumpet, piano, guitar and the flute.
As a concertmaster in the Guelph Youth Symphony Orchestra, a trumpet player in the Guelph Concert Band, a director of GCVI’s first string’s group and now a selected performer for the VSOI, Walsh has been striving for excellence in music since she was a child.
“The very first time that my parents realized that maybe they should put me in music lessons was when I was two years old, they found me in the living room playing a ukelele a tambourine, and I was singing along,” says Walsh.
Walsh says her parents decided to give her a challenge by introducing the violin because it is a difficult musical instrument to play.
She took on that challenge at the age of three and now tries to incorporate an hour and a half of music practice a day to maintain a good balance between music and school. She also credits her teacher Catherine Molina from the Guelph Symphony Orchestra for being a positive influence in her life.
“She has really helped me to learn and grow and really show who I am through my music,” says Walsh.
For someone completing high school at the age of 16, Walsh does not plan to go to university just yet.
“I plan on taking the year off next year to learn on my own. I plan on entering competitions for the violin,” says Walsh.
“I have so many different opportunities, I just wanna explore them all.”
Walsh will be performing at the season finale for the Guelph Symphony Orchestra on April 27 at the River Run Centre.
The strings group she directs was selected to perform at the MusicFest Nationals in Ottawa on May 13 to 18.
“This is great for GCVI because I think its the first time that we've had all of the categories to classify for that competition,” says Walsh.
One of the pieces they will perform is written by Walsh.