If you find yourself in a music school or studio in the coming months and hear through the walls of a practice room snippets of Holst’s The Planets or of Strauss’ infamous Dance of the Seven Veils, chances are that if the musician inside is under 30 years of age, they have their mind set on summer. Not because they are yearning for long days and sunny weather alone, but because the National Youth Orchestra of Canada is as usual well under way with planning its program for the summer ahead, and the application process for participants has commenced.
The National Youth Orchestra of Canada is not your average musical summer camp. Billed as “Canada’s orchestral finishing school” for ages 16 to 28, the NYOC recruits members from across the country for its annual program and tour, coaching participants in chamber music and the orchestral classics. And with 14-hour days of training, six days a week from June to August, summer at Laurier University – where the program takes up its residency – becomes a veritable hotbed of musical activity.