Auditions Update

The deadline for auditions has come and gone; we received 55 auditions:

  • Five alto saxes
  • One bari sax
  • Three bass clarinets
  • Three bassoons
  • Six clarinets
  • Two euphoniums
  • Ten flutes
  • Four French horns
  • One oboe
  • Three percussion
  • Three tenor saxes
  • Four trombones
  • Six trumpets
  • Four tubas

The auditions have been shared with our reviewing team, which meets on June 8 to discuss the auditions.

The reviewing team may extend invitations to other qualified musicians to audition and/or attend boot camp if we need more players. We’ve done that in the past and it’s worked to everyone’s advantage.

Spring Cleaning and Looking to 2019-20

The 2018-19 season has now concluded and what a season it was. Take a few moments to reflect on what all of you have accomplished.

OK, enough… Now, on to 2019-20!

Auditions. Dr. Hopkins is choosing the audition music; it will be posted when the selections are made. Watch the News page for a post when the audition pieces are available on the website.

Website Membership. Your NSYWE website membership will continue until July 2019, giving ample time to download images you like and to keep abreast of planning for the 2019-20 year.

  • If you successfully audition for the 2019-20 season, you do not need to re-register for the website; your membership will continue for another year.
  • If you audition for the 2019-20 season, and you are accepted as a probationary or alternate member, your existing membership will continue until you are either accepted as a full member of the ensemble or declined.
  • If you do not audition for the 2019-20 season, your membership will be deleted in early July. The same is true if you are unsuccessful in your audition.

New NSYWE Membership Registrations. Currently, for security reasons, we are not accepting new registrations. We will re-open new member registrations when we are ready to begin the spring audition process.

2018-19 Music. It has been removed from the website for copyright considerations.

A Message from Artistic Director Dr. Mark Hopkins

Greetings, NSYWE members.

First, Happy New year.  I hope that each of you enjoyed a restful Christmas break.  We have a tremendous challenge before us as musicians.  The music is amazing, and very challenging at the same time.  Here is a summary of the program, with reference recordings.

1)  Opening Fanfare, Fanfare from the opera “La Peri” by Paul Dukas

(to be performed by combined Acadia U, Stad, and NSYWE Brass players at the very beginning of the concert)

NOTE: trumpets, it is a C trumpet part – you must transpose the part one whole tone higher than where it is written in order to play the correct pitches on your B-flat trumpet.

reference recording, led by Ernst Ansermet (a friend of Dukas’s) – our tempos will be different, but note the style changes

2)  Antiphonals by Donald Coakley

(to be played in the third set, by NSYWE alone)

Recording by the Acadia University Wind Ensemble, 2010, for the BRS publishing co.

3)  Overture from Don Giovanni by W.A. Mozart

(to be played by NSYWE ww’s alone)

4) Sonata Pian e Forte by Giovanni Gabrieli

(NSYWE brass alone)

5) all four movements of the Philip Sparke’s symphony for wind band, Dance Movements

note – the second movement is ww’s alone, the third is MUTED brass alone

(NSYWE plus Stad Band, led by Stad CO Brad Ritson)

We have a huge amount to accomplish in a short time.  Please print your music, then listen to these recordings, with music in hand, and try to imagine how your part fits into the context of the whole piece.  Identify difficult technical passages, and start preparing them.  See you next week.


Mark Hopkins

Lucas March Performs with NSYO, Nov. 24-25

NSYWE clarinetist Lucas March will perform with the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra on Nov. 24 and 25, in Lunenburg and Halifax, respectively.

Lucas, who hails from New Glasgow, was the featured soloist in NSYWE’s fall concerts this year, and is the most recent NS Talent Trust scholarship recipient.

“I wish to thank every supporter of young musicians like me because it encourages me to continue to strive and expand my craft. Being a musician can be extremely expensive. If it weren’t for the generous support of family, friends, community partners, and organizations like the Nova Scotia Talent Trust, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do.

“I hope to inspire other music students in my community and in the province.”

On the program:
Beethoven: Egmont Overture
Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No. 1
Béla Bartók: Violin Duos
Bedřich Smetana: Vltava (Die Moldau)
Johann Strauss: On the Beautiful Blue Danube

When and where:
Saturday, November 24, 2018, 7:00 pm
St. John’s Anglican Church, Lunenburg
Sunday, November 25, 2018, 7:00 pm
St. Andrew’s United Church, Halifax

Ilan Mendel wins national composition award

NSYWE trombonist Ilan Mendel recently won the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers Association’s (CFMTA) Helen Dahlstrom Award for his composition, Emergence.

Ilan, a grade 11 student at Halifax West High School, won first place at the provincial level and then prevailed in the 15 and under age group at the national level. Student composers in all age groups compete for the Dahlstrom award.

Each spring, provincial Canada Music Week Coordinators submit works by student composers for adjudication. The provincial winners then square off at the national level during the CFMTA’s Student Composer Competition.

Scholarships are awarded to winners in each age category and the Helen Dahlstrom Award is given annually to the best national composition, across all age groups,  as selected by the adjudicator. Helen Dahlstrom was the founder of Canada Music Week.

Ilan has studied trombone for six years and participated in regional choirs for seven years.

Besides NSYWE, Ilan also plays with the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra and has participated in several Halifax All City Music programs including the Intermediate and Senior Jazz Bands (piano and trombone), the Halifax Boys Honour Choir, and Soundtrax and Jazz Voices choirs. He also started and conducted the jazz ensemble at Acadia Summer Music Academy.

He has studied piano with Shahein Hamza since 2007, completing the first half of his Grade 10 Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) level in 2018, and is a certified RCM elementary piano teacher.

In his “spare time”, he swims competitively and enjoys travel.

Website Registration

Please apply to join the NSYWE, then register on this website.

Please remember: The e-mail address you use to register for the NSYWE website must match the e-mail address on your NSYWE application. We will reject registrations that do not match with the e-mail address you provide in your NSYWE application, the e-mail address of a parent or guardian you include in your application..

FAQ Added

We just added a Frequently Asked Questions page to the website, under Join NSYWE on the menu.

The FAQ answers questions about the season fee, available financial assistance, travelling to rehearsals and concerts and other need to know stuff.

Check it out.