New Brunswick Youth Orchestra

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New Brunswick Youth Orchestra (NBYO)
Founded 1965
Location Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

The New Brunswick Youth Orchestra, NBYO for short, (French: L’orchestre des jeunes du Nouveau-Brunswick, OJNB) is a youth orchestra based in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Founded in 1965, the orchestra has approximately 80 members (from ages 10–24) from across the province. The NBYO tours New Brunswick each year, and occasionally performs in other countries, funded by a Board of Directors as well as private, municipal, and provincial grants.


The New Brunswick Youth Orchestra was founded in 1965 under Philip W. Oland, who was the president of the New Brunswick Symphony Orchestra (NBSO) at that time. The NBYO eventually became New Brunswick's main orchestra at the NBSO's discontinuation in 1968. The NBYO gave its first performance at Woodstock, New Brunswick on October 22, 1966.

The NBYO went on to give many other performances, including musical presentations at Expo 67 and the National Arts Centre. It also participated in several festivals such as the Dominion Centenary Festival of Music for Senior Orchestras, the Festival of International Youth Orchestras, Canadian Festival of Youth Orchestras and the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival Competition in Vienna, Austria.

NBYO strategic direction[edit]

In 2008, the Board of Directors of the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra engaged in an intensive strategic planning process in order to further define and advance the work of the organization. The strategic plan was revised in 2010 and the following mission and key objectives were adopted by the Board.

NBYO Mission[edit]

The mission of the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra is to inspire excellence among children and youth through the learning and performance of orchestral music.

NBYO Key Goals & Objectives[edit]

  • Goal 1: Develop an outstanding provincial youth orchestra program.
  • Goal 2: Expand participation in orchestral music in New Brunswick.
  • Goal 3: Increase awareness and appreciation for orchestral music in New Brunswick.

NBYO’s Newest Program: Sistema New Brunswick[edit]

In September 2009, the Board of Directors of the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra adopted its newest program, Sistema New Brunswick. Designed to meet one of the key objectives of the NBYO, Sistema NB is the first Sistema-branded program in Canada, and is inspired by the internationally recognized El Sistema in Venezuela.

The mission of Sistema NB is to promote the collective practice of music through symphony orchestras in order to inspire children and youth to achieve their full potential and to acquire values that favor their growth and have a positive impact on their lives and society.

The NBYO is successfully implementing a five-year plan that, by 2014, will engage more than 500 children daily in the Sistema NB program, learning and performing orchestral music, including multiple orchestras in four orchestra centers in New Brunswick.


Principal conductors[edit]

The NBYO's first principal conductor was Dr. Stanley Saunders. At the NBYO's fortieth anniversary celebration at the Imperial Theatre in Saint John, he was the guest conductor for a string selection. A chronological list of NBYO conductors can be found below:

  • 1965–1968 – Dr. Stanley Saunders
  • 1968–1969 – Dr. Kelsey Jones
  • 1969–1970 – Prof. Clayton Hare
  • 1970–1974 – Dr. Stanley Saunders
  • 1974–1975 – Capt. Kenneth Elloway
  • 1975–1982 – Prof. Rodney McLeod
  • 1982–1983 – Dr. James Mark
  • 1983–1987 – Prof. Rodney McLeod
  • 1988–1989 – Maestro Nurhan Arman
  • 1989–1990 – Prof. Paul Pulford
  • 1990–1994 – Prof. Paul Campbell
  • 1994–2010 – Dr. James Mark
  • 2010–Present – Antonio Delgado

Assistant conductors[edit]

Assistant conductors of the NBYO include:

Guest conductors[edit]

The NBYO has had several guest conductors, including:


The NBYO contains many musical instruments regularly used in an orchestra, but may include some other instruments not usually used, including bass clarinets, saxophones, and cor anglais. The current (2010–2011) NBYO is composed of the following musical instruments:

Woodwind instruments

Brass instruments

Percussion instruments

String instruments

Special Performances[edit]

The NBYO has performed in the following places:

Carnegie Hall 2003[edit]

You don't just go and perform at Carnegie Hall. First of all you have to be recommended. And then you audition. And at the end of the rainbow (perhaps) you may be invited to play. No one today can quite re-trace who it was that first recommended the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra. But somebody did, and Carnegie Hall followed up on it. NBYO conductor Dr. James Mark admits he was a bit skeptical when that first enquiring call from Carnegie came. Could this be for real? It was indeed. Real, and more than a little bit breathtaking. All performances conducted by Principal Conductor Dr. James Mark.

Virtuoso Italia 2005[edit]

In July 2005, the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra was invited to Parma, Italy to study, perform and record a world premiere composition. Virtuoso Italia 2005 presented a unique opportunity to contribute to the musical development of the members, an occasion to showcase, on an international stage, the talent of New Brunswick’s finest young musicians. All performances conducted by Principal Conductor Dr. James Mark.

Forbidden City Tour 2007[edit]

In summer of 2007, the NBYO performed at the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, thanks to the help of Dr. Francis Pang, a Chinese businessman. The orchestra recorded a CD, Forbidden City Tour, produced by Richard Gibson, a music professor at the Université de Moncton. Guest performers included: Roger Lord, a critically acclaimed pianist; Samantha Robichaud, a provincially renowned fiddler; and the Saint John String Quartet. All performances conducted by Principal Conductor Dr. James Mark.

Musikfreunde Tour 2011[edit]

The 2011 SCL International Youth Music Festival NBYO members, staff, and chaperones traveled to Austria from June 28 to July 9, 2011 to perform and compete in the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival. Concerts were performed in Salzburg, Vienna, Poetsching, and Berndorf. Two NBYO performances were given at the magnificent Wiener Musikverein Vienna—Golden Hall, reputed to be one of the three best concert halls in the world. The Festival jury praised NBYO in the competition, awarding the orchestra "1st place in the category Symphony Orchestra with outstanding success" (the only Canadian orchestra to ever do so). NBYO performed Conga del Fuego Nuevo by the Mexican composer Arturo Márquez at the Gala Winners Concert. The NBYO won over six string, wind and symphony orchestras included in the competition, culled from approximately 30 that applied to compete (OLIVER MOORE, Globe and Mail, Wednesday, Jul. 06, 2011). All performances conducted by Principal Conductor, Antonio Delgado.


  • 2008 East Coast Music Award: Won – Classical Recording of the Year (Forbidden City Tour). Conducted by Dr. James Mark.
  • 2008 – Orchestras Canada Betty Webster Award for outstanding orchestral achievements. Conducted by Dr. James Mark.
  • 2010 - TD Canada Trust Award - Arts Organization of the Year
  • 2011 - East Coast Music Association. Nominated - DVD of the Year (live performance DVD 'Blues on the Boulevard')
  • 2011 - Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Competition (Vienna, Austria) - 1st place in the category ‘Symphony Orchestra’ with the highest distinction of ‘Outstanding Success’
  • 2011 - Music New Brunswick. Nominated - Classical Artist of the Year
  • 2012 - East Coast Music Association. Nominated – Classical Recording of the Year, "Musikfreunde". Conducted by Antonio Delgado.


New Brunswick Youth Orchestra discography
Studio albums 4
Video albums 1

Studio albums[edit]


  1. ^ There is no specific audition held for the keyboard; it is performed by a member of the NBYO with proficiency in playing the piano.

External links[edit]