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Happy New Year SYO!

I spent some time over the holidays reflecting on new year’s resolutions. So often they are about things that we want to change. But I think there’s also a place for resolutions which affirm things that you are already doing well and then resolve to continue in those habits. That is part of the genesis of what follows below. It is a reflection on what values I hope everyone (players, coaches, and myself included) can continue to bring to our youth orchestra community. I believe that these values not only help make the music better, they are a primary ingredient in our success. From our dedicated Players’ Executive to the newest players to join our orchestra, I see these values play out every week we gather. I list these values here not because I think we need to change our behaviour, but to affirm that when we lean into these values, we bring out the best in ourselves and our community. I’m excited for this new year; through the lens of focus, friendship, and fun I look forward to making great music together.


The SYO values…

  • Focus

To that end, constructive criticism is a part of the rehearsal process. Whether being offered by a director, coach, or player, constructive criticism will aim to foster growth and self-confidence. Put downs or comparisons to specific players would not only inhibit growth, but would be an action that stands in opposition to our value on focus

  • Friendship

The SYO is a place where life long friendships are forged. While not every member of the SYO community will become a close personal friend, all members of the community will embrace this value in their actions towards one and other. Friends are kind in their words with each other. Thus, any gossip about another member of the SYO community or of the musical community at large would be a betrayal of this value of friendship.

  • Fun

It’s not a coincidence that the verb we use to describe the act of music making is ‘play’! Great music making at every level embraces and celebrates the concept of play and fun. The fact that we value fun does not negate the value on focus. The SYO will always strive towards performing at the highest possible level of which we are capable. But we can’t forget to have fun along the way. Focus and fun run side by side in developing excellence in the SYO. As a community, let’s embrace those opportunities to have fun and put a smile on each others’ faces. Genuine and positive reinforcement from everyone in the SYO community will fuse focus and fun. Sometimes we have to leave our warm houses in -40 weather to get to SYO rehearsal. For all that effort it better be fun!

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