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Andrew Bell

Toronto , 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 only came to playing percussion after over 7 years of solely playing drum kit. I had played in several local bands and achieved moderate success as a kit player. However the music I was playing on drums over time broadened to include weirder styles such as progressive metal which is heavily influenced by classical music. I first decided to get a few lessons of classical playing in hopes of improving my drum set playing. However within two years I had fallen in love, and began focusing on classical percussion rather than drum set. I still try to play kit, whether in university productions of musicals or in metal bands that I form with my friends, but percussion has become the focus to my life. To play percussion is to have a fascination with sound, texture and precision all of which I find very appealing.

03. Describe some of your professional goals./Décrivez quelques-unes de vos ambitions professionnelles.
Professionally the end goal is to win a job playing percussion with an orchestra. However I doubt that any career will ever be that simple. Musically I have a wide range of interests, whether it be playing classically or jazz on vibes or metal on kit. I aim to be versatile and adaptable to many different settings and situations because I believe that is how you survive as a working musician in the 21st century.

04. What are your other interests and/or hobbies?/ Quels sont vos autres intérêts ou passe-temps?
Like I have mentioned I play drum kit when I'm not playing classical percussion. I have also started learning some jazz vibes. Outside of music I enjoy running occasionally because I find it cathartic and relaxing. During the summer I also spend some time refereeing soccer matches at my local club with helps to keep my sharp and perceptive.

05. Do you write/arrange your own music?/ Êtes-vous compositeur ou arrangeur de votre propre musique ?
Not as much as I should.

06. Who is your favourite classical musician?/ Quel est votre artiste (musicien) préféré ?
Alan Abel

07. What is your favourite piece of music?/ Quel est votre morceau préféré ?
Scheherazade - Rimsky-Korsakov

08. What is your favourite concerto for your instrument?/ Quel est votre concerto préféré pour votre instrument?
Sejourne-Vibraphone Concerto

10. What made you decide to pursue classical music?/ Pourquoi avez-vous choisi une formation en musique classique ?
I decided to pursue classical music on a whim. What has made me stick with it is my love of the pure variety of style, emotions and musics available to the classical musician. The mastery and knowledge required to be able to switch between mindsets and styles even in the same concert is appealing to me because it resists stagnation.

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 ?
I believe that there isn't really a biggest challenge. The life of a musician is not one large challenge yet many small challenges that one must overcome everyday to achieve goals and to be able to progress. It may look like a large insurmountable challenge if you look in the distance, but in the foreground if you pay attention you notice that is just many individual steps which all can be conquered by adhering to your process.

12. Why did you choose to apply to NYO Canada?/ Pourquoi avez-vous choisi de poser votre candidature pour NYO Canada?
It is an opportunity that cannot be passed up.

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?
I feel like I will benefit from the instruction of the faculty in becoming both a better musician myself and learning how to better be a part of the big picture. I'm trying to come in with an open mind and without too many expectations because I suspect that what I will actually wind up learning will be something wholly different than anything I could imagine now.

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?

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 likely be spending my time between work and practice and possibly reffing soccer and playing concerts on the side.

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?
There are two moments which come to mind. First is the release of my former band's (Release the Banshee) EP. To be a part of a concert where you're celebrating the music you have helped to create with the fanbase which has grown into the hundreds is extremely satisfying and fullfilling The second moment occurred mere months ago when I performed Prokofiev's 5th symphony with the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra at Koerner Hall in Toronto. Prokofiev 5 is my favourite symphony in the repertoire, and to be able to play it so early in my career is humbling. The fact that I will get to perform it again this summer with NYO Canada is incomprehensible and something I look forward to.