A young Victoria man is getting the opportunity of the lifetime, a chance to tour Canada, playing his cello.
Ethan Allers, 18, was selected through a highly-competitive audition process, with 500 vying to join the National Youth Orchestra of Canada’s 100 spots.
“They send you five excerpts of pieces and you have to learn those, record them and post them on YouTube for them to look at, then they tell you if you’ve made it,” he said.
Allers has played the cello, since the age of seven.
“My parents both play brass instruments so they always thought it would be good for us to try strings,” Allers said.
He got his competitive start playing in a Calgary festival.
“I started in a local festival in Calgary when I was 11 or 12 where you compete against other cellists. Throughout that time period it’s gotten more and more competitive.”
Allers decided to audition for the youth orchestra after hearing about it from friends who had been in the summer program themselves.
Created by maestro Walter Susskind in 1960, the orchestra has transformed into one of Canada’s top, providing an intense training program to the best of Canada.
“It combines orchestra and playing in smaller groups which are two things I really enjoy about playing music. The orchestra plays at a high level that’s going to be great experience,” said Allers.
Part of the summer program includes is a cross-canada tour lead by internationally-renowned conductors. Stops include Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton.
“That’s [touring] is going to be really fun jumping from one place to another. Hopefully I’ll have enough time to look around,” he said.