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Jun 17, 2013

Pallotti School music teacher plays to higher heights

The National Institute of Culture and History and the National Youth Orchestra and Choir of Belize announce the international recognition of young Belizean violinist Courtney Gillett. Gillett, who lived her entire life in Burrell Boom, is the daughter of Lincoln and Antoinette Gillett. Her star is shining brightly as she recently completed a two-weeks intense music training at Julliard’s 2013 Starling De-Lay Symposium for Violin Studies. But her accolades don’t end there as she is preparing to leave Belize to tour Central America with the Youth Orchestra of the Americas. This notable achievement of Courtney Gillett continues to underscores NICH’s national commitment to the musical arts in Belize via relatively new NYOCB. The organization currently comprises of thirty youths and thirteen coaches specializing in a broad array of musical instruments. Courtney Gillett currently serves as principal violinist and coach in the group. A meet and greet session was organized this morning at the Bliss for the rising star as she prepares for her next adventure.


Courtney Gillett, Musician

Courtney Gillett

“At Julliard, it was a five-day symposium on violin pedagogy or violin teaching and it focused on the practical application of violin technique in advance pieces and in this case specifically, the Bach, Partitas, Sonatas and some other repertoire, but it was just to demonstrate how you could get your students to produce different sound to create music.—not play the notes, but to create music. And every time, you play music, the music is supposed to change. It is not supposed to…the same way you play it today, you play it tomorrow. It should always be evolving. And so that symposium focused on how to push yourself and your students as a musician and music teacher to do it.”


Diane Haylock

Diane Haylock, President, NICH

“We, of course, have for the first time, a Belizean actually participating in the Youth Orchestra of the Americas and she is actually going to be participating in the Youth Orchestra of the America’s Central American Tour which takes place in July-August this year. The tour will go to all the Central American countries and it will end here in Belize on the fourth of August. Courtney will be a part of that as well as the National Youth Orchestra and Choir of Belize will be a part of that concert and will open the concert in the way that it will be the opportunity then to formally present our own efforts in this regard.”


Courtney Gillett

“We tour the rest of Central America. We have different pieces of the repertoire: classical as well as some Spanish pieces and some pieces like crouching tiger hidden dragon and I really, really hope to gain some fundamentals for myself as a musician, gain confidence in myself as a music teacher and also very important when I come home to get other students to do the same thing and more. I want to pursue music or pursue the arts as a career.”



Colville Young Jr.

Colville Young Jr.

“We’ve scratched and clawed our way up to get to where we are. And yes we are still lacking in instruments and we are at this point in time still trying to get other people, other embassies and so to contribute to give a hand, to help. On this end, we have gotten some help…Mister Gillett was very helpful. Also Mr. Elrington also helped us a lot in giving some instruments for us to use.”


Jose Sanchez

“This youth orchestra program, the culmination of it in August is just the beginning?”


Colville Young Jr.

“Oh yes, it’s just the beginning. We do want to incorporate as many young people as possible…having them, get them back to the skill mode, acquiring skill. Music is also education and it is just part of what we want to do in the society on a whole.”


Courtney Gillett

“You can push yourself. You can push yourself how you want. Remember I said, this is my life; this is my second life. I’ve already gone through English, politics, and everything and it come full circle back to music. So life can take you sometimes where you don’t expect to go. And I would encourage you if you like music, do pursue. Pursue it not so I can be an amateur musician, but I want to see if I can be the best musician out there and even teach it if possible.”


Gillett has been a music teacher at the Pallotti School of Music since 2007 and has served as the School’s Co-Director. Most recently, she acted as the conductor of its Junior and Senior Orchestras. Ms. Gillett holds a Master’s of Science in Democracy and Democratization from University College London, and has been a Commonwealth Scholar as the 2005 winner of the Belize Open Scholarship. 

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1 Response for “Pallotti School music teacher plays to higher heights”

  1. Initiate says:

    Courtney Gillett, an outstanding lady!

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