Sheldon Faulk

Sixteen-year-old trumps the Strathcona Symphony

You can hear him play The Trumpeter’s Lullaby in the symphony’s upcoming concert

Sheldon Faulk is a trumpeter so talented that Strathcona Symphony conductor Pippa Williams predicts he will have a brilliant future.

“Sheldon produces a clean, beautiful sound, something that usually takes years to acquire. As with a great singing voice, this ability is something he was born with — something that comes naturally,” Williams said.

And she might be right. Faulk comes from a family of musicians. His parents Ken and Violet both studied music and his five siblings have also played trumpet.

As the symphony’s principal trumpet player, Faulk takes the honour in stride. Unlike the often extraverted personalities of most first trumpeters, the Grade 11 student, who attends Campbell River Christian School, is somewhat self-effacing and humble. He credits the SSO with much of his success.

“The atmosphere of the SSO is very nurturing, super supportive. I want to stay with the orchestra as long as possible,” Faulk said.

The Black Creek-born student plans to study architecture in Alberta upon graduation, so his tenure with the SSO might be short.  But while he is still with them, you can hear him play The Trumpeter’s Lullaby in the symphony’s upcoming concert, Spring Bloom. This Leroy Anderson classic, written in 1949, features this bold, brassy instrument in a gentle, moving melody that audiences will instantly recognize.

Faulk’s piece will be one in a bouquet of pieces chosen by Williams to welcome spring.

“I’ve assembled a mix of composers and styles that will include a few surprises,” said the SSO conductor. “It’s a program of beautiful melodies to welcome spring. I want to offer the audience some new experiences, some musical surprises.

“The Lyric Suite by Edvard Grieg, originally written for piano, but newly arranged for orchestra, and the moody Verdi Overture to La Forza del Destino, will highlight the skills of the orchestra as they move between modern and classic pieces. Also on the program is Tchaikovsky’s emotive Andante from Symphony No. 5. This is a challenging program, one that has pushed our players. But they’ve nailed these pieces. I’m delighted with the sound and skill of these musicians.”

The Strathcona Symphony is a community orchestra with players ranging from 12 to more than 70 years of age. In its sixth year, it offers new and experienced players an opportunity to make music and share it with the community. As with so much that happens in the Valley, the SSO is volunteer-driven and operates on a limited budget.

“It’s a privilege to work on behalf of this orchestra,” said SSO president Michele Morton. “We are a small community that does great things, and the SSO is an example of what can happen when people work together. Volunteers do everything, from setting up chairs for concerts, to providing treats at intermission, to sitting on our board of directors. Our reward is listening to the beautiful music the orchestra creates.”

Spring Bloom takes place on Saturday, May 26 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 27 at 2 p.m. in The Old Church Theatre, 755 Harmston Ave., Courtenay. Tickets are $15. Available from Long & McQuade, Blue Heron Books and Laughing Oyster Books, or at the door.

– Katherine Gibson/Special to the Mirror