Corner Brook woman to tour Europe with American youth orchestra
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Katie Barrett of Corner Brook is heading off to Europe with the Long Island Youth Orchestra as its principal trumpeter for a three-week tour.
CORNER BROOK — Katie Barrett will be doing it in style when she goes to Europe for the first time in her life later this month.
The 21-year-old from Corner Brook, who convocated from Memorial University with a bachelor of music performance degree last week, has been selected to tour with the Long Island Youth Orchestra.
The tour, which runs from June 29 to July 22, will feature seven performances in four countries, including Scotland, Ireland, France and Iceland.
A glimpse at the orchestra’s itinerary shows there will be plenty of chances for local tours and sight-seeing adventure in between performances, rehearsals and travel days.
Some of the venues where they will be playing will be experiences unto themselves.
“We’ll be over there playing in 10th century cathedrals,” she said.
“Just to get this experience to go to Europe with the orchestra and to play with them will be awesome.”
For example, the orchestra will perform at a 10th-century era cathedral in Kilkenny, Ireland on July 9. On July 16, they will be playing at the 1,500-seat Cathedral aux Hommes, built in Caen, France by the Normans more than 10 centuries ago.
The orchestra will also be in Dinard, France for that country’s famous Bastille Day holiday and has been given the honour of starting the day’s festivities by performing “La Marseillaise,” France’s national anthem.
Barrett is not just another member of the roughly 100-person strong orchestra. She has been appointed principal trumpeter. That means she will perform most of the trumpet solos and be the liaison between the orchestra’s three trumpet players and the maestro should either of them have any concerns they need to raise.
“It’s not a crazy big job but you just have to have someone in the section to be the leader and you sort of control your own little section of the orchestra,” she explained.
Barrett got the gig after hearing about it while playing with the Canadian National Youth Band in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia last month.
“I met someone there who has connections with the Long Island Youth Orchestra and heard they were looking for a principal trumpet player,” she said. “So, I got in contact with the conductor.”
From there, it was a matter of sending the conductor a recording for an audition and the job was hers.
Rehearsals for the European tour begin in Long Island, N.Y. this weekend. Barrett, whose dad is Corner Brook Regional High School principal Steve Barrett, has been visiting with her mom Cheryl Gdyk, who lives in New Jersey, for the week leading up to the start of rehearsals.
Barrett began playing trumpet with the Salvation Army as a young girl. She joined the school band in junior high and continued to play into her high school years.
It was playing with an ensemble in high school, including a year of lessons from music teacher Darren White, that convinced her this could be a career path.
“Music was a passion to me, so I just went on and auditioned for music school,” she said. “I got in and have been doing it ever since.”
Barrett will return to Memorial in the fall to pursue a music education program, but has plans to do a masters degree in trumpet performance somewhere outside of Newfoundland and Labrador next year.