Who Are The Apprentices?

The National Academy Orchestra of Canada is Canada’s only Professional Training Orchestra and is recognized as a Canadian National School for its effective “apprenticeship” pairing of young graduate musicians with seasoned “mentor” musicians from Canada’s finest orchestras. Apprentices come from every province and territory in Canada to live and work in the Hamilton/ Halton area for 16 weeks a year.

How Are The Apprentices Chosen For The Program?

This past winter, over 300 potential apprentices auditioned from across Canada for one of 43 spots in the orchestra. Most have just graduated from their undergraduate music programs, while some have completed their Master’s degrees. They have studied and worked hard all their lives to make a career as a musicians and the NAO program is their apprenticeship into the real world of rehearsals, auditions, performances and practical issues such as taxes, granting and publicity. While with the Brott Music Festival, the musicians perform schedule with 30 concerts throughout the Hamilton, Halton, Toronto and Muskoka regions.

Adopt Your Apprentice Today!

We are seeking adoptive parents for our current season. Please contact us to support your apprentice today!
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Did You Know?

In June 2009, the NAO performed for U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.
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The Adoption Process

For a cost of $500, you, your family or your business can ADOPT one of the NAO’s apprentices. You may choose the individual, the instrument or the section of the orchestra. We can also assign a musician to you, as certain instruments are more limited than others.

Benefits For The Musical Adoptive Parent

  • You will receive a biography and photo of your adopted musician.
  • Your adopted musician will correspond with you (via email) during the course of the summer season of the Brott Music Festival to update you on the activities of the orchestra.
  • You or your business will receive 4 complimentary concert tickets (value: $110) to the Mohawk Main stage concert of your choice. We will arrange for a post-concert opportunity to meet your adopted musician in person.
  • Your name or your business logo will appear on printed programs and projections on the backdrop screens at Mohawk College’s McIntyre Theatre as the “adopter” of your musician.

How Your Donation is Used

Performing at Brott Music Festival concerts is only one aspect of the National Academy Orchestra’s activity. The NAO places particular emphasis on entrepreneurial skills through master classes and seminars. It also incorporates a real-to-life rehearsal and performance schedule as part of its training programme. These are aspects of a musician’s life which are not taught in school, and help to “arm” the apprentice with real life skills and knowledge with which to make a successful career in the music field here in Canada and around the world.

The NAO Adopt An Apprentice Program gives our audience and local businesses an opportunity to put a face to their donation. Every dollar goes toward making the experience of each apprentice musician a full and rewarding one this summer, from covering operating costs such as venues, post rehearsal and post-concert receptions to absorbing some of the costs of a self-promotion and publicity seminar, complete with a day-long photo shoot by Toronto marketing guru Liz Parker. Ms Parker is Canada’s pre-eminent marketer of classical musicians and is renowned for her creativity in marketing young up and coming players with exciting marketing materials.

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Did You Know?

In July 2002, the NAO performed for Pope John Paul II and an audience of 800,000.
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