Lifelong music lover creates musical instrument bank for New Brunswick Youth Orchestra

MONCTON, N.B. Dec. 14, 2023: A New Brunswick physician’s enduring appreciation of classical music is behind The New Brunswick Youth Orchestra’s (NBYO) new bank of professional-level instruments for the principal musicians of the provincial youth orchestra.

The ‘Dr Mary and Mark Pedersen Instrument Bank’ was announced at Sistema NB Centre in Moncton on Dec. 14. The new instrument bank, made possible by the Pedersens’ donation of $176,000, has enabled the NBYO to acquire 14 professional-level instruments, including Bass Clarinet, Oboe, English Horn, Bassoon, Bb & C Trumpets, French Horn, Trombone, Bass Trombone, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Double Bass for the orchestra.

“For some time we dreamed of the possibility of providing advanced, professional-level instruments for the section principals of the NBYO. It remained out of our reach until today,” said Ken MacLeod, President / CEO of the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra. “Our heartfelt thanks to Dr Mary Pedersen and her son Mark for seeing the potential of our young musicians, helping to nurture young talents and fostering a love for music.”

Dr Pedersen’s life-long classical music passion began when she studied piano with
Sr Marie Estelle, Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, Perth-Andover in the 1960’s.

An invitation to visit the Sistema NB program has now led to a novel philanthropic venture for Dr Pedersen and her son, Mark through the acquisition of professional-level instruments which will facilitate the careers of these young musicians.

Dr Pedersen states, “The future of classical music will continue through the passion of these so very talented and accomplished young people.”

“It’s not often you get a chance like this, and it’s going to be a win-win for the orchestra,” Dr. Pedersen said. “I see the future of the youth orchestra is huge. They are incredibly talented and accomplished musicians for their age. How exciting it will be to follow the careers of these young musicians through the sounds of these instruments!”

Maestro Antonio Delgado, NBYO Conductor and Music Director, explained ‘The Dr. Mary and Mark Pedersen Instrument Bank’ will provide the province’s most talented musicians an opportunity to build their musicianship. Some of the 100 young musicians in the NBYO will further their musical studies and go on to teach and perform as professional musicians.

“Professional-level instruments are crafted with exceptional attention to detail, resulting in superior sound quality. The nuanced tones and rich timbre produced by these instruments allow musicians to fully express their artistic abilities,” Delgado said. “By providing principal musicians with such instruments, their performances will be elevated, creating a more enjoyable experience for both the musicians themselves and the audience.”

Professional-level instruments allow young musicians to develop a deeper understanding of the instrument's capabilities and intricacies.

“This hands-on experience with professional instruments exposes them to a higher standard of playing, enabling them to grow as musicians and expand their musical horizons,” Delgado said.

Dr Pedersen said there are 7 professional-level instruments remaining to be purchased for the NBYO principal musicians and she is requesting friends, family, colleagues, neighbours, Veterans, music lovers - actually “Everyone” - to consider a donation for this new Instrument Bank.

“Several of these young people will be our professional musicians of tomorrow. How exciting it is to be part of this initiative,” she said.