CHEK Upside: Youth orchestras uniting to raise money for youth mental health

CHEK
WatchThe Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra is one of six orchestras across B.C. participating in a fundraiser for youth mental health.

Throughout the pandemic, Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra members Lexie Krakowski and Devin Hawthorne have leaned on their love of music.

“It’s one of the very few things that’s gotten me through this pandemic,” says Hawthorne. “To just be able to sit down and play by myself and later in the pandemic with others as well has been a huge privilege.”

“It’s always been there for me really, music and practicing and really everyone I’ve met through music as well,” adds Krakowski.

“No matter kind of what happens in your life it’s kind of comforting to know that something that we work so hard at is always going to be there,” adds Krakowski.

With live concerts and in-person practices across the province cancelled, an exciting virtual project involving several youth orchestras across B.C. was announced.

“It’s a collaborative composition project across six different youth orchestras in the lower BC south coast region and it’s to raise funds and awareness for the Canadian Mental Health Association and to just promote that cause,” says Hawthorne.

“We saw it also as a stress relief and that’s why the idea came that the proceeds from this charity go for the Canadian Mental Health Association,” adds Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra music director, Yariv Aloni.

The concert provides an opportunity to raise awareness about mental health while giving performers an avenue to channel their creative energy and showcase just how much music means.

“It’s been really nice that we still get to see each other, see our section members, even if it’s not the whole orchestra together, but still be able to rehearse and put together a really meaningful project,” says Krakowski.

“It’s been something that I can count on even when other things seem to be disappearing,” says Hawthorne.

The performance of Jordan Noble’s Apollo will premiere on Friday, May 7. To watch it visit the CMHA B.C. YouTube channel or the Apollo Initiative Facebook page.

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Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

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