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Geena Salway

Regina , 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 was originally a violinist. At the end of grade 7 I was ready for more of a challenge in my musical studies and I told my teacher I wanted to join the South Saskatchewan Youth Orchestra in the fall. He said "You should join as a violist". Before I knew it, I was learning alto clef and loving it; I never looked back!

03. Describe some of your professional goals./Décrivez quelques-unes de vos ambitions professionnelles.
I would love to play in a professional symphony orchestra and have a private teaching studio while remaining active in chamber and solo performances.

04. What are your other interests and/or hobbies?/ Quels sont vos autres intérêts ou passe-temps?
I enjoy yoga, pilates, and riding my bike in those rare spare moments where I'm not practicing.

05. Do you write/arrange your own music?/ Êtes-vous compositeur ou arrangeur de votre propre musique ?
I used to do a lot more composition but I haven't had the time or inspiration in the past few years. I was working on a viola concerto which I performed with piano reduction at a recital last year. I worked on the orchestration as a summer project in 2013 but didn't quite finish.

06. Who is your favourite classical musician?/ Quel est votre artiste (musicien) préféré ?
Impossible to choose!

07. What is your favourite piece of music?/ Quel est votre morceau préféré ?
No matter how many amazing pieces of music I'm exposed to as I progress in my musical career, there is always a place in my heart for Beethoven's Seventh Symphony and Schubert's Trout Quintet.

08. What is your favourite concerto for your instrument?/ Quel est votre concerto préféré pour votre instrument?
Der Schwanendreher! Harold en Italie is also an incredibly fascinating piece as well. I actually wrote a paper in music history class that was a comparative study of those two works.

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 ?
Where do I even begin? The session at WLU was so much fun! I particularly enjoyed going to the Canada day fireworks, hanging out in the lounge after rehearsal, the Christmas in July party, exploring the nearby shops/restaurants, trying sushi for the first time (and liking it!), and going out for ice cream with the viola section. The tour was so much fun as well! It's really neat to see and perform in all of the major cities of Canada in just 2 weeks. Our performance of Mahler 1 in Vancouver last year was also the most breathtaking and intense performance I've ever been involved in!

10. What made you decide to pursue classical music?/ Pourquoi avez-vous choisi une formation en musique classique ?
Probably the very first time I played with the youth orchestra in the fall of 2007. I remember thinking it was the coolest thing ever to play with a full orchestra, even though I could barely keep up in reading the music at that first rehearsal! I knew from that moment that I wanted to pursue classical music and become an orchestral musician.

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 ?
One of the biggest challenges I find in a university music program is balancing solo music and ensemble music. In university programs, there is a large emphasis on solo performance, juries, and recitals. I plan for my career to consist of playing in an orchestra and teaching, but I find I tend to put a lot more time and effort into my solo music during the school year. I enjoy playing solo and I would love to be able to continue doing occasional solo performances after I am done school, but it is a hard balance. Sometimes I feel like I am spreading myself too thin in terms of my solo playing as I hear about festivals, competitions, and non-credit recitals that my fellow students are doing, but at the same, doing programs such as NYO benefit me more in terms of an orchestral career as I don't get the same kind of focus and training on orchestral playing during the school year. It's incredibly important not to compare yourself to others and not to let what other people think prevent you from doing things you want to do.

12. Why did you choose to apply to NYO Canada?/ Pourquoi avez-vous choisi de poser votre candidature pour NYO Canada?
Playing in NYOC has been a long term goal of mine since I first heard about it when I was around 13. After several years of hard work I was selected for the orchestra in 2014 and couldn't have been more excited! I was originally going to take a summer off and attend a different music program or work in 2015, but I remembered all the fun times I had last year and realized I couldn't wait another 2 or 3 years to do it again! Also, who wouldn't want to tour around Canada playing The Planets?

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?
Playing in NYOC last year was very integral in refining my technique and overall musicianship. I found when I returned to school in the fall, I was much more motivated to practice and achieve excellence than I ever was before. I also felt I had much more to offer in leadership both in orchestral and chamber ensembles. I hope that by participating in NYOC a second time, I will refine these skills even more and continue to make more connections/friendships with such an amazing group of musicians.

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?
Orford Academy, Domaine Forget, and the Rosamunde Summer Academy (which I plan to attend right after the NYO tour finishes)

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 have attended another music program such as Orford or Domaine Forget most likely.

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?
This year I was one of two music students from the University of Manitoba students selected to participate in an apprenticeship program with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. I had the opportunity to play in the viola section for the musical outreach concert series and develop a presentation with the other participant for a group of students in grades 3-5. Playing with the WSO was a lot of fun and a valuable experience, but going to the schools and presenting to the students was incredibly rewarding in a very special way. I felt like I had shared my passion for music in a totally different manner than I had before and it felt amazing to have inspired the students in some way. I remember being that age and having musicians from the Regina Symphony come to the school and do similar presentations and being so inspired and excited about music. Now, it's my turn to inspire the next generation of classical musicians and it's very rewarding and exciting!

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?
Scholarships from the University of Manitoba

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?
Various scholarships/awards from the Regina Music Festival in 2014