At Sistema NB, our mission is to inspire children and youth to achieve their full potential through learning and performing orchestral music. Our goal is not to create professional musicians, but to foster our young musicians to become amazing members of their classes at school, amazing members of their community and amazing citizens. But sometimes we have a remarkable young person who is able to both exceed all expectations musically and also have a passion to better their community. Enter Chloe.
Chloe began in Sistema NB in 2011 as a grade 4 student. Like all new Sistema NB students, she arrived on her first day not knowing what her instrument would be and not knowing what this journey would entail. A few days later, she received her instrument. The largest of all instruments… the double bass!
Through the years, Chloe progressed through the 3 orchestra levels at Sistema NB, auditioned successfully into the Moncton Youth Orchestra, and auditioned successfully into our provincial youth orchestra: the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra. She has represented our program on tours to Ottawa and Montreal and even worked with Gustavo Dudamel in Mexico City. She is an amazing young musician.
Now, fast forward to January 2021. At our Sistema NB Moncton Centre, we found ourselves in need of a part time double bass teaching artist to support the progress of our growing double bass studio. Although many of our teaching staff come from across the country and around the world, the answer to fill this position was right under our noses. Chloe, now in her first year of university studying linguistics at Memorial University in St. Johns, Newfoundland (her program is online due to COVID-19) would come back to the program she began in grade 3 not as a student, but as a teaching artist.
“At first, it was a little daunting, entering into this world I used to know so well, but that has changed substantially since I knew it” says Chloe describing returning to Sistema NB, “But my experience here has been very positive. The team of staff are fantastic, and the kids remind me so much of myself and my friends when we were growing up through the program.”
Chloe joins the Sistema NB teaching team at a challenging and unique time for the program. Although we were able to operate in person for a few days in January, our programming has moved online due to continued risk surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Chloe has proved herself to be vital in our new online programming, creating video lessons and content that the double bass studio can interact with at home. Using Flipgrid, she has engaged with students to encourage them to continue their musical journey at home.
“Being in Sistema taught me that dedication and persistence pay off. Playing in concerts, coming to a passage that I had trouble with and being able to play it with confidence is such a unique feeling. I strive for that sense of accomplishment with everything that I struggle with in life – whether it’s studying for a test or applying for a job, I know that even though I don’t see the positive results right away, if I continue to work hard towards my goals, I will either succeed or fail knowing that I did the best I could.”
Chloe now takes that dedication and persistence to the world as she studies linguistics in university. We are so proud of all she already accomplished but can’t wait to see what will come next. Way to go Chloe!
“Being in Sistema taught me that sometimes you’ve just got to take a leap of faith and see where it takes you. Choosing to play the double bass was a leap of faith. Joining the NBYO at 11 years old was a leap of faith. Flying to Mexico was a leap of faith. And I have not regretted a moment of it. So I guess that’s the plan for now. I am studying something I love, and I am strapped in for the ride, comforted by the knowledge that my Sistema family supports me and is always ready to welcome me back with open arms.”
— Story written by Jonathan Astley, Centre Director of Sistema New Brunswick, Moncton program