The Circus is Coming! The Circus is Coming to the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra!

Halifax/K’jipuktuk, NS – Symphony Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra (NSYO) are thrilled to partner with Halifax Circus to bring a new original program of music and spectacle to audiences in both Halifax and Truro, directed by Nova Scotia’s own Louise Renault, former CBC Radio host.

“I’ve been a fan of both the youth orchestra and the circus for a while now,” says Renault.

“I thought they were the perfect two organizations to come together to create a fantastic new program that would mix music and motion. There is so much good that comes from being active, both emotionally and physically, and especially for young people.”

More than 40 young orchestra musicians will perform lively and energetic compositions by Julius Fučík, Johann Strauss, Camille Saint-Saëns, and Dimitry Kabalevsky. The concert will be conducted by Halifax conductor, composer, arranger, and clinician Gary Ewer.

While they NSYO plays music, five young circus students will perform aerial, juggling, tightrope, and unicycle feats under the direction of Halifax Circus founder Mike Hirschbach.

The synergy of our two groups has been amazing,” says Hirschbach, who credits NSYO General Manager Jack Chen for his enthusiasm and openness to the partnership.

“Giving our circus students the opportunity to perform to the music of great composers – live – is the perfect chance for them to deepen their performance skills.”

Hirschbach, who is professionally trained as a character clown, will join his students onstage.



The NSYO will also premiere a brand-new work by Canadian composer Rebecca Adams. Performing Singing to the Skies, the NSYO pays tribute to this emerging Canadian composer and NSYO Administrative Assistant.

With a Bachelor of Music in Composition from Dalhousie University and a Graduate Certificate in Music Scoring for Screen and Stage from Sheridan College, Adams was asked in 2022 to compose a work especially for this concert.

The piece draws inspiration from the unique elements of collaboration between the NSYO and Halifax Circus during the orchestra’s 2022/23 season.

Setting aside the more direct interpretation of the youth orchestra quite literally performing music alongside an aerial act, Singing to the Skies also leans heavily into the idea of two similar yet separate worlds colliding, interacting, changing, and creating something new and beautiful.

The convergence of many counterparts can be considered when listening to this piece: Earth versus sky, divinity versus humanity, music versus motion, or perhaps two areas in life that have come together for the first time to create something distinct.


Sunday, April 30, 2023 at 7:00 pm
St. Andrew’s United Church, Halifax
For tickets, please visit the Symphony Nova Scotia website:

Saturday, May 6, 2023 at 7:00 pm
First United Church, Truro
For tickets, please contact: 902.895.8098.


The Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra has been described by renowned professional conductors and musicians as one of the finest youth orchestras in Canada. It has positioned itself over the last four decades as a major contributor to the artistic and cultural landscape of Nova Scotia. As a beacon of opportunity for those who seek to embark upon a journey of personal and professional discovery, the NSYO provides a unique experience that enhances, encourages, and inspires each member to strive to fulfill their greatest potential. Visit to learn more.

Conceived and operated since 2005 by professional character clown Mike Hirschbach, Halifax Circus provides specialized performance, aerial and tumbling training, as well as other circus study. As a school and performance company, Halifax Circus holds a pre-eminent position as circus trainers and performers in the Atlantic provinces, and wide professional affiliations in the professional circus community. Visit to learn more.

Symphony Nova Scotia (Music Director Holly Mathieson) is Nova Scotia’s orchestra. With a home base in Halifax and performances across the province, Symphony Nova Scotia is proud to be a vibrant, vital part of Nova Scotia’s rich cultural community. From sold-out orchestral concerts to free family events, youth and seniors’ activities, and educational partnerships, Symphony Nova Scotia creates unforgettable experiences with truly great music. Visit to learn more, listen online, or get tickets today!


For more information, please contact:

Carol Kehoe
Director of Marketing and Communications, Symphony Nova Scotia
[email protected]