1. What do you remember most about playing at Symphony Splash?
The most memorable part of Victoria Symphony Splash had to be either the view from the stage or the applause, not to mention the tens of thousands of people watching. This all made for a very memorable performance. The applause afterwards is staggering. Forty thousand pairs of hands do make quite a sound. You can feel the energy right on stage, from the audience and from your fellow musicians on stage with you.
Hugo Wong (2008)
I remember singing and looking out over the inner harbor, seeing everyone in their lawn chairs, boats and kayaks smiling and enjoying the sounds of music and summer blended together. I loved the way my voice rang out from the barge.
Heather Macleod (2005)
Splash is one of those special nights that you think back to and can’t believe it actually happened. Obviously, I could never forget the enormous number of people watching me, but as a performer I try not to focus on this fact. What stands out most in my memory was the long wait on the barge before it was my turn to play. I remember playing over my piece in my mind and desperately trying to keep my hands warm as the night got colder. Occasionally, I would take peeks of the audience, but my teacher was there waiting with me giving me reassurance.
Jordon O’Fiesh (2004)
My fondest memory of the Splash event was the unique environment and atmosphere. Being 12 years old at that time, I only had a few performances with an orchestra under my belt, all of which were held in moderate-sized concert venues. While waiting for my turn to perform, I remember observing from the barge, the millions of ant-size people, from the Inner Harbour to the fields of the Empress Hotel. The atmosphere was light, fun, full of joy and laughter. All this, plus the microphone and wires wrapped around me, I felt like a star! Nikki Chooi
I remember eating pizza beforehand because I was determined to have energy — I’d been going through a bit of nerves and anxiety that year before performing, maybe because of worrying too much about competitions. My violin teacher Yasuko made me promise to eat, and it worked!! I never felt sick again after that performance.
Timothy Haig (1994)
2. Has playing at Victoria Symphony Splash affected your career?
It definitely reinforced my desire to be a performer. It made me realize I had picked the right career path.
Sahara Sloan (2007)
Currently I am working towards my Bachelor’s degree in music at UVic and I am studying violin with Ann Elliott-Goldschmidt. I am also training to be a commercial pilot and so far I have obtained my private pilot licence.
Jordan O’Fiesh (2004)
It is definitely one of the highlights of my performance experiences. It really made me appreciate performing and I realized that a sense of enjoyment from playing piano and communicating music with others is something that I will always pursue personally, no matter what I decide to pursue as a career.
Shika Card (2005)
3. What are you doing now?
I am now in my second year at The Curtis Institute of Music, majoring in Violin Performance under Joseph Silverstein and Ida Kavafian. I also have an increasing performance schedule which, in the 2008-2009 season, includes performances with: the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, a CBC-broadcasted recital in Vancouver with pianist, Avan Yu, a European Concert Tour with violist, Roberto Diaz and pianist, Robert MacDonald, and the Coralwind Chamber Music Festival in Ucluelet and Tofino, BC.
Nikki Chooi (2001)
I am in grade 10 in St Andrew High school and I have just returned from two competitions – in Vancouver and in Washington DC (Johansen international competition). I was placed first in Vancouver and will be giving a recital of my own in the next season in Vancouver . On the competition in Washington, DC, I was a semi finalist in the Johansen international competition.
Timothy Chooi (2007)
I’m currently attending Harvard College in my first year of university. I’m hoping to study biology here and attend medical school after my Bachelor’s. This semester, I’m also taking an intensive chamber music class taught by Robert Levin, and we are playing a Mozart piano trio. I’m taking piano lessons at the Longy School of Music with Eleanor Perrone, which is also going very well.
Shika Card (2005)
4. Is there anything you would like to say to the young soloist of this year as advice, encouragement or anything else?
To whoever is chosen this year, all you need to do is relax. I doubt this year’s soloist needs a reminder to practice. But everyone needs a reminder that being overly nervous isn’t the best way to perform. From the first audition to the concert, keeping your cool is the best way to a successful performance.
Hugo Wong (2008)
Have a lot of fun, don’t stress and make sure to take a look at everyone watching and how happy they are.
Heather Macleod (2007)
If you are even remotely considering applying to be the young soloist, please do. You won’t regret it. I was quite unsure as to whether I wanted to be bothered to send in the application and go through the hassle of auditioning. Honestly, I did not think that I would be chosen as the young soloist, mainly because I felt the piece I was playing was not the right mood (slow, and lyrical) for the Splash. Boy was I wrong!! With A LOT of prodding from my mom, I decided to put in the effort and send in the application. It ended up working out! So my advice is, even if you think you won’t get chosen, do it anyway! It’s worth it even for the experience of auditioning. That experience could come in handy in MANY, MANY situations!!
Kevin O’Riordan (2006)
Practice your heart out before the concert! … but when you get on the stage, just have fun. The environment is very supportive and at the same time, very enjoyable. Enjoy your own performance as much as the audience will be enjoying it!
Carolyn Tsao (2007)