Why We Exist
Imagine a family farm in southern Alberta. There are pigs, chickens, cattle, sheep, even a few horses. The family works hard, and is happy. The 3 children have diverse interests including sports, music, art, horsemanship, and more. They all take piano lessons with a neighbour. One day, the piano teacher informs the mother that the eldest child should find a new teacher, as his talent needs an expert teacher to guide it and develop it.
The mother enrols her eldest child in the Conservatory at the University of Lethbridge, and the lessons would continue for 10 years.
Small Town Mindset
In small towns, there are two cliché ways to get off the farm, either become a Doctor, or go to Law School. If you don’t possess that sort of acumen, you stay on the farm and take it over. Of course, the eldest son was pushed by well-meaning friends and advisors toward medicine or law (despite an obvious musical talent). In a small town, there are no professional musicians, and one simply wouldn’t waste a good mind on a hobby!
Fast forward a few years – that eldest son is now 25 years old, and a friend has finally invited him to experience a live symphony orchestra for the first time. Eventually at age 31, he re-enrols in a University Music Program, and flies through the program of studies.
You might ask, “why would this young man find himself at age 25, never having had the opportunity to hear a Symphony Orchestra, not even once?”
Well, the answer is quite simple. He never had an easy, affordable, chance to hear one.
Had that little boy heard the orchestra in his youth, would he have gone straight to music school, rather than wasting 13 years? Possibly.
Where would he be now?
That little boy – he is now our Music Director and Conductor. In 2019, the Calgary Herald named him as one of the Compelling Calgarians – in recognition of his work to bring accessible performances to ALL Albertans.
At the RMSO, we believe that inspiration and encouragement, especially of our young people, cannot happen too early. Inspired by our Music Director’s experience, we want to help every Albertan have the opportunity to hear a live symphony orchestra at least once!