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Benjamin Promane, ON

Aurora , Ontario , CANADA

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01. How old were you when you started playing your instrument?/ Quel âge aviez-vous quand vous avez commencé à jouer votre instrument ?

02. Why did you choose your instrument?/ Pourquoi avez-vous choisi cet instrument ?
I chose the trumpet because it was the only instrument that wasn't played by a family member. I remember really struggling with the instrument in Grade 6, eventually trading it in for a clarinet...My dad convinced me to switch back to the trumpet for reasons that I will not say on the web...Needless to say, I never looked back!

03. Describe some of your professional goals./Décrivez quelques-unes de vos ambitions professionnelles.
I try to keep a very open mind regarding my professional goals. For me, it is very important to be performing at the best of my abilities on the instrument; however my interests reach beyond the orchestra. I really enjoy performing chamber and new music, along with jazz, theatre and indie-pop. Teaching is another passion of mine and I enjoy the challenges and rewards that come of it. I would also like to work towards a Master’s degree and possibly a DMA or PhD in some aspect of music. Clearly, I am trying to keep all of the doors wide open! I’m really looking to be successful in whatever it may be… you’ll never know if you don’t try.

04. What are your other interests and/or hobbies?/ Quels sont vos autres intérêts ou passe-temps?
Cooking is one of my favorite hobbies. I have been vegan for 1.5 years and it has been an enjoyable journey of learning proper nutrition and how it affects the body. I am also an avid runner and am looking into practicing ashtanga yoga. Fun fact, I am a huge Ancient Egyptian civilization fanatic and love reading books and watching documentaries on its religion and culture. The history is absolutely incredible.

05. Do you write/arrange your own music?/ Êtes-vous compositeur ou arrangeur de votre propre musique ?
I have only written one piece and it was for my first year theory class at U of T. We were instructed to compose a recitative and an aria for our final project. I decided to write a vocal/piano score to accompany the dramatic opening scene of R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closed," a brilliant and cutting edge hip-hopera.

06. Who is your favourite classical musician?/ Quel est votre artiste (musicien) préféré ?
Most of my favourite classical musicians happen to be opera singers. I have always been drawn to the beauty of the human voice and, naturally, it translates well to the trumpet. One of my favorite singers is Renée Fleming, and my personal favorite recordings include Strauss’ Four Last Songs with the Houston Symphony and Ravel’s Schehérézade with the French Radio Orchestra. Her breath control is next to none, and her her phrasing allows for such flexibilty in anything that she sings. Her sound is also irresistible!

07. What is your favourite piece of music?/ Quel est votre morceau préféré ?
My favorite classical piece of music is Mahler’s Second Symphony. This is a special piece as it is the work that ignited my passion for classical music. The melody and harmonies are so beautiful…it is easy to get lost in the throes of the music. I look forward to performing it someday.

08. What is your favourite concerto for your instrument?/ Quel est votre concerto préféré pour votre instrument?
The Arutiunian Trumpet Concerto is by far my favorite trumpet concerto. It has it all...high and low notes, runs, beautiful lyrical sections, mutes, and a phenomenal cadenza...all in less than 20 minutes!

09. For returning members: What is your fondest memory from a previous session and/or tour?/ Pour participants vétérans : Quels sont vos souvenirs préférés de la session ou tournée précédente de l’ONJC ?
There were some great moments last year! I really enjoyed spending time out in the mountains and with old friends (in the orchestra) who are living in other parts of the country/world.

10. What made you decide to pursue classical music?/ Pourquoi avez-vous choisi une formation en musique classique ?
I never really decided to pursue classical music…I fell into it. I decided VERY late in Grade 12 that I wanted to study music in university, as I was hoping to purse a science degree. I loved jazz but I knew that I did not have the vocabulary required for the instrument. My dad suggested that I try the classical route to build the fundamental skills needed to play the instrument well. It ended up being a great choice as I was able to learn and experience a genre of music that I hardly knew anything about.

11. What do you think is the biggest challenge you face in your pursuit of a career in music?/ Quel est le plus grand obstacle à surmonter afin de poursuivre une carrière en musique ?
The greatest challenge is balancing life, work, and practicing and making sure progress and connections are still being made once out of school. Play smart, remain active in the community and have a life out side of the horn!

12. Why did you choose to apply to NYO Canada?/ Pourquoi avez-vous choisi de poser votre candidature pour NYO Canada?
I applied to the NYO Canada in hopes to work with dedicated musicians, learn new chamber and orchestral works and improve my skills on my instrument.

13. How do you feel you will benefit from participation in NYO Canada?/ Comment bénéficierez-vous de votre participation dans le programme de NYO Canada?
NYO is a program that will very beneficial to my overall musicianship. I will be able to work closely with many of the best professional orchestral musicians Canada has to offer, and work with many like-minded and goal driven musicians in a chamber and orchestral setting. I’m looking forward to re-connecting with old friends and meeting new ones as well. The tour will be a great challenge for me to try (key word) and maintain good health, rest, and in-shape chops!

14. Were you accepted to any other summer music programs this year?/ Avez-vous été accepté/e à tout autre programme musical estival cette année?
I only applied to the NYO Canada this summer.

15. If you weren’t touring with the NYO Canada, what would you be doing during the summer?/ Si vous n’étiez pas en tournée avec NYO Canada, que feriez-vous cet été?
I would be spending most of my time at the cottage on Georgian bay.

16. What was the proudest moment of your music career thus far?/ Jusqu’ici, quel est le moment de votre carrière musicale qui vous a apporté le plus de fierté?
Many of my latest proud moments have been with the trumpet studio at the Glenn Gould School. My last two years have been extremely memorable and I have learned so much. Thanks to Steve, Matt, Alastair, Jon and Ujjawal, and of course Andrew!

17. What scholarships, if any, have you been awarded in the past year?/ Quelles bourses, le cas échéant, avez-vous remporté au cours de la dernière année?
All of the awards that I have received have been generously given to me by the Glenn Gould School (RCM)

18. What awards, if any, have you won in the past year?/ Quels prix, le cas échéant, avez-vous remporté au cours de la dernière année?
I was a finalist in the Orchestra Toronto Concerto Competition.