Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra's principal French horn player David Watson

Philharmonic profile: David Watson

The SPO Society is profiling some of their members and musicians

Some people just exude energy, diversity of interests and talents.

David Watson certainly is one of those persons. David is the Principal French horn in the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra but also plays the piano expertly, the trumpet well, and even some violin and saxophone.

Music is central to David’s background and his formal training. It began with his father, frustrated with his own lack of formal lessons in violin, who decided that all four of his children were going to have weekly violin lessons. That may be easy for parents close to facilities, but David’s family lived in Dauphin, 250 miles north of Winnipeg and the violin teacher! Every Saturday morning without exception, David’s father rounded them up for the four-hour drive to their lessons and four hours back. Think of Winnipeg’s winters and how paramount musical training and appreciation was in their family. As the oldest child, David saw opportunity emerge when at 16 years of age he became the designated driver for his siblings on the weekly journey.

David was just 16 when he achieved a position playing in the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and soon afterward, a position with the CBC Orchestra. Eventually David attended the University of Regina for a double degree in instrumental performance (French horn and piano). Upon graduation, he entered the teaching profession and moved to Vancouver. He then had the pleasure of meeting and playing with Norman Nelson. When David took a teaching job on Vancouver Island at Colwood Elementary School, he started playing for the Victoria Symphony Orchestra. He took a well-deserved break, then joined the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra and has been here ever since. But he continues to surprise with his talents. He may just pull up to the orchestra rehearsal revving his motorcycle, or he may be found rebuilding boats or bikes. His sparkle and energized approach to everything he does is infectious and delightful!

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