This is a wonderful opportunity for a student pianist looking to improve upon their collaborative piano skills, learn more about the voice and choral art form, and gain experience working with an excellent ensemble, established conductors and a fantastic collaborative pianist as coach. The student pianist would function as an apprentice collaborative pianist, playing for rehearsals for the
Nova Scotia Youth Choir and receiving coaching from NSYC’s current collaborative pianist, Mary Castello.

For more information about the Nova Scotia Youth Choir program visit by clicking here.



Rehearsal Dates Required:
● June 12-14 – Rehearsal Weekend in Halifax
● August 6 -9 – Four-day rehearsal camp at Berwick United Church Campgrounds
● September 17-20 – Four-day concert weekend in Halifax, with a tour finishing in Halifax

The selected pianist will also receive private voice instruction from university-level vocal instructors, in addtition to two private  collaborative techniques sessions with Mary Castello.


The cost for this program is $375 and includes accommodations throughout the programs. Meals will be provided during the August camp weekend, and dinners will be provided during the final rehearsal weekend in September. All other meals are the responsibility of the participant.

Audition/ Registration

Auditions for the NSYC Apprentice Collaborative Pianist will take place on April 18th, 2020, at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

Each applicant must prepare one piano piece that demosntrates their playing ability and will be tested on their collaborative pianist skills. This may include playing an excerpt from an open score or playing warm-up patterns for choirs.

To register for an audition please complete the form, linked below:
NSYC Apprentice Collaborative Pianist Audition Registration

Deadline to register is April 1st, 2020. 

Resident Collaborative Pianist- Mary Castello

Mary Castello is the Staff Accompanist for the School of Music at Acadia University in
Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Mary’s work as a collaborative pianist has primarily focused on the vocal art forms. Mary has played
for Opera Nuova, Opera on the Avalon, as a member of the Yulanda M. Faris Young Artists Program, and the Wilfrid Laurier
University’s Chapel Choir. She holds an MMus in Collaborative Piano Performance from McGill University, where she studied
with Michael McMahon. Originally from Kitchener, Ontario, Mary received a BMus in Piano Performance from Wilfrid
Laurier University, as a student of Leslie De’Ath. Mary is based in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, where she maintains a freelance
performing and private teaching schedule in addition to her work at Acadia University.