Apprenticeship gives university students a real-life orchestral experience

Shang Jung (Kitty) Chan © Jimmi Cai

It was an opportunity University of Ottawa (uOttawa) student Shang Jung (Kitty) Chan couldn’t pass up.  This was her chance to spend three weeks apprenticing with the NAC Orchestra.

“I’ve always looked up to the musicians in the NAC Orchestra,” says Kitty.  “Being able to rehearse with them was the highlight of my music career.”

Kitty was one of two outstanding uOttawa strings students selected for the apprenticeship which took place during the 2017–2018 NAC Orchestra season.  The young cellist, along with bassist Gabriel Sakamoto were given the opportunity through a custom-designed pilot project initiated by uOttawa and the NAC’s Institute for Orchestral Studies.

“After this opportunity, I’m more certain than ever about being an orchestral musician,” says Kitty.  “I’ve decided to pursue my Master’s in Music Performance and give it my best shot.”

The cellist enjoyed every moment she spent with the Orchestra and was impressed with how quickly the musicians were able to play through work even at the first rehearsal.  “Everyone is always fully prepared.  It’s very admirable,” she says.

Kitty is grateful to donors for being part of this life-changing opportunity.  “The investment you make can turn a student’s life around,” she says.  “Opportunities to work with professionals are important because students will not always receive the real-life experience of being in an orchestra in a university setting.  For students like me, an opportunity like this might be all the encouragement they need to continue their hard work.”

Thanks to donors like you, the NAC and uOttawa will continue the program next season.

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