Malcolm Kellett-Cooke

Tuba – NYO Member: 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 – AB


Originally from Edmonton, AB, Malcolm received his bachelor’s in performance from McGill University in Montreal and is currently pursuing a masters degree at Indiana University. Malcolm has played with such ensembles as the Royal Conservatory Orchestra in Toronto, the Agora Symphony Orchestra in Montreal, and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, in addition to his scholastic opportunities. Malcolm is a three-time alumnus of NYO Canada, having won an award of excellence in 2016. Malcolm’s principal teachers include Scott Whetham, Sasha Johnson, and Daniel Perantoni, and Malcolm has also worked closely with such players as James Gourlay, Steve Campbell, Annejelle Visser, and Dennis Miller.

Favourite NYO memory

My favourite NYO moment was playing in the Winspear Centre, in Edmonton, during the Edges of Canada tour in 2017. In high school I had seen the NYO play there, and I remember feeling so excited that I might one day get to represent my hometown and province nationally. All the stars aligned that day, as I happened to be an MC for that tour, so not only did I get to stand up for Alberta but I was able to personally hype up the crowd and express how much it meant for me to be performing that day. The concert featured the overture to Die Meistersinger — a tubist’s dream piece — as well as Strauss’s Death and Transfiguration. The concert was a huge success — in my opinion the best of the year — and I remember the kind thoughts my family and former colleagues and teachers shared with me afterwards. The next few times I played with the ESO, members of the orchestra who’d seen the show would commend both the orchestra and my MCing. I also hosted a pretty sick party after the show, where all of my music friends were able to get a feel for my life before studying music, all in all that short couple of days in Edmonton served as a wonderful reminder of why I love what I do.

Advice for new NYO applicants

What I would say to someone debating auditioning for the first time is that auditioning isn’t about valuing yourself so much as it is about process. I wasn’t accepted to NYO until the fourth year that I applied, and where it was difficult sometimes, I feel that the process always contributed to my growth as a musician. Even if you’re not sure if you’ll get in, committing to preparing an audition list — especially one as extensive as NYO’s — is a challenging and rewarding experience in and of itself. I would suggest that anyone seriously considering auditioning should at least commit to learning the repertoire to the best of their ability. Whether or not you even apply, these excerpts are apt to be a part of your life for a long time, and becoming acquainted with them would likely be beneficial. That being said, if the rep is entirely out of your comfort zone (which was definitely for the case for me) it might be worth taking another year to work on your instrumental technique and acquaint yourself with the music before biting off more than you can chew.

To contact Malcolm with any questions (English and French), please fill out the form below.