James McCusker Orchestra

Advanced training orchestra for experienced players AMEB level 5-7

Saturdays 9:00 - 12:00pm with Shilong Ye

Named after one of the original founding members of Canberra Youth Music, passionate musician James ‘Jim’ McCusker, the James McCusker Orchestra (JMO) is our second or training orchestra in the performance pathway, sitting just prior to the Canberra Youth Orchestra – which is typically where JMO musicians progress to as they develop musically.

Through its rehearsal and performance of carefully chosen repertoire, the James McCusker Orchestra provides an ideal environment for young players to gain exposure to the fundamentals of orchestral ensemble playing, as they develop their musical skills.

The James McCusker Orchestra works towards regular performances at venues & community events including at Llewellyn Hall, Floriade, the National Eisteddfod, and festivals in the ACT and wider region.

Approximate standard: AMEB 5-7 or equivalent (participants are expected to be taking additional individual instrumental tuition in addition to orchestra; this can be arranged with a Music For Canberra tutor if a student doesn’t already have a private teacher).

Do I have to audition to join the James McCusker Orchestra?

An audition is required to join the James McCusker Orchestra and we consider applicants throughout the year, dependent on chair availability. Please contact us if you would like register your interest in auditioning.

The James McCusker Orchestra is open to violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba & percussion.

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Conductor: Shilong Ye

Shilong Ye conductor James McCusker Orchestra - Music For Canberra

Born in Shenzhen, China, Shilong Ye started piano at the age of 4 and conducting at the age of 12. He came to Australia in 2004 and later finished Year 12 with the highest score in Music at Narrabundah College.

Shilong studied the viola major and violin elective with Tor Fromyhr from 2006, and performed in many major venues in the ACT and NSW. An alumnus of Canberra Youth Orchestra, Shilong led the viola section in CYO between 2005 and 2007 under Max McBride and Dominic Harvey, who later also became Shilong’s conducting teachers. Shilong’s conducting career took off when he conducted the ANU School of Music Orchestra in September 2009. Shilong has worked with Music For Canberra, and previously Canberra Youth Music, for many years, conducting the Canberra Youth Orchestra for their Occidental concert in 2015 which received glowing reviews.Over the years he has traveled to conduct ensembles in many places including Australia, China and Czech Republic. Shilong is a recipient of  the ACT Music Educators Network Conductors Encouragement Award, Allan Bellhouse Award for a Young Conductor, and founder of Arco Music Academy Chamber Orchestra (Sydney). Shilong completed his Bachelor with Honours at ANU School of Music and a Masters in Conducting at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, under Maestro Eduardo Diazmuñoz, Associate Professor Neil McEwen and Stephen Mould.