Since young, I have enjoyed performing in fundraising events around town as a way to give back to the community in Ottawa. My mom would also make it a point to bring my brother and I to retirement homes and hospitals around the city, where we would perform as a trio for the sick and elderly. Therefore, it was the return of a familiar feeling when I was invited to play with members of the National Arts Centre (NAC) Orchestra at the 2013 Christmas FanFair concert, which raises money for the Ottawa Food Bank and Snowsuit Fund.
Aside from performing the 5th movement from Lalo’s Symphonie Espangole, I also helped out in the violin section of the orchestra. The Ottawa Regional Youth Choir and some young singers from KidSingers and Orkidstra also took part in the concert. The programme included classic Christmas tunes, and the children in the audience were in for a carol sing-along at the end. It was very heart-warming to see this kind of close communication between the performers and the audience.
Concerts like this make me realize again and again how important it is to go out and share your music for the good of the community. It reminds me how music is such a powerful and communicative art form that can change people’s lives, both directly and indirectly. As a musician, it is indeed a wonderful feeling to be rewarded in so many intangible ways for one’s contribution.