The Guelph Youth Symphony Orchestra is administered by a Steering Committee representing both the Guelph Symphony Orchestra and the Guelph Youth Music Centre. The Steering Committee draws on the help of many volunteers, and uses the administrative resources of the GSO and GYMC when required. The Steering Committee is overseen by the GSO and GYMC Boards of Directors.
Steering Committee 2017–18
Ralph Blackman – Chair firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark McDowell – GYMC representative
Tilly Kooyman – GYMC representative
Elayne Ras – GSO representative
Catherine Molina – GSO representative
Steering Committee CHAIR, Ralph Blackman
Ralph Blackman began his musical studies at an early age starting on piano and violin. From the age of 5 until he was 16 he focused on the cello before falling in love with the double bass. Still in High School, Ralph became Associate Principal double bass in the Regina symphony. Professional music studies continued in New York and Vancouver before Seminary at Salisbury Cathedral in England took precedence and he was ordained an Anglican Priest. Ralph has continued to play Bass throughout his ministry, as Principal Bass and soloist with the B.C. Sinfonietta in Vancouver, with the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra and Tacoma Opera, as bassist for Schubert’s “Trout” quintet with Chicago Symphony players (twice) and in countless duo performances with professional cellist and dearly beloved spouse (who sold his cello when they got married!), Marlena Tureski. Ralph Blackman is now Rector of St. George’s, Guelph and continues his bass playing in local orchestras and ensembles.
Ralph also has a wealth of experience with youth orchestras including being a member of the Regina Intercollegiate Youth Orchestra (cello and bass), South Saskatchewan Youth Orchestra (cello and bass), Saskatchewan Summer School of the Arts (orchestra – primarily cello), and National Youth Orchestra of Canada (5 years on bass; one year on staff). In March 2016, he also played bass on a tour of China with a youth string orchestra made up of students from Suzuki schools in Guelph, Etobicoke, Kingston and Montreal. He was also a Sessional tutor (sectionals) cello and bass with the Vancouver Youth Orchestras, Delta Youth Orchestras and Suzuki String School of Guelph (bass with Concorde Strings).
His work on organizational committees includes the Advisory Board of the Guelph Connection Concerts; Board of Directors, Rush Hour Concerts, Chicago IL; Member of the Board of the BC Sinfonietta; and Member of the Union contract negotiating committee – Tacoma Symphony Players.
Ralph is very excited to be part of the GYSO team, and looks forward to helping the orchestra chart a path to even greater success.