with the Vancouver Island Symphony

Conducted by Cosette Justo Valdés
with the Noteworthy Kids Choir
Directed by Patricia Plumley

  January 27, 2024 - 3 pm
one performance only
Port Theatre, Nanaimo

Family Concert ages 5 and up
Single Tickets available online or by phone 250-754-8550

Adults: $33 / Youth: $16 (under 18) / Family 4 Pack: $79
To buy the Family 4 Pack call the Port Theatre Ticket Centre 250-754-8550


Click below for Preview of MY SYMPHONY on SHAW TV

           Rick Scott - MY SYMPHONY - with Vancouver Island Symphony

“The best symphony for children I have ever seen."  Principal, Quarterway Elementary, Nanaimo
"Rick Scott fills my bucket."  Abigail, age 5

MY SYMPHONY is a lively participatory concert introducing children to orchestral instruments, featuring internationall renowned folk musician Rick Scott, three time Juno nominee and winner of Parents`Choice, NAPPA Gold and Canadian Folk Music Awards. 

Commissioned by the Vancouver Island Symphony with funding support from BC Creative Communities, MY SYMPHONY premiered in February 2014 to standing ovations from 2300 grade 4 students and has since played to 10,000 students over five years and 12 shows at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo. It will be presented as a Family Concert matinee at the Port Theatre on January 27, 2024 conducted by Cosette Justo Valdés.  Come celebrate Mozart's birthday one of Canada's most dynamic family entertainers.

(Click photo for full image)


BASED ON 10 original Scott compositions orchestrated for 46 musicians and 40 voice children's choir orchestrated by the then 23 year old Rhodes, MY SYMPHONY was created as an inter-generational collaboration with writer Valley Hennell in cahoots with conductor Pierre Simard and choir mistress Patricia Plumley. In 2013 MY SYMPHONY was commissioned as an educational concert by the Vancouver Island Symphony and over 5 years played to 10,000 enthusiastic grade 4 students from mid Vancouver Island. Rick is thrilled to have opportunity to offer MY SYMPHONY to the general public. 

"Not a single child left their seat to use the washroom during this show!”  Usher, Port Theatre  
“Now I want to try the violin. When can we come to the symphony again?” Grade 4 fan letter 
MY SYMPHONY was the best day of my whole life.” Grade 5 choir member
“The best symphony for children I have ever seen."  Elementary Principal , Nanaimo
"Rick Scott fills my bucket."  Abigail, age 5

THE STORY: Everyone is surprised when Rick arrives to join the orchestra with his Appalachian mountain dulcimer and red plastic trombone, especially the Conductor who is nonplussed by this instrusion. Through humour, call and response and singalong, the audience and choir become Rick's allies as he connives and cajoles to convince the Conductor to give him a chance to be in the band. By the final reprise of the MY SYMPHONY theme, the audience is declaring the orchestra as their own. 

REPERTOIRE includes a Khachaturian overture (SABRE DANCE); an overview of orchestral families (MY SYMPHONY); an introduction to the art of listening (THE STORM and MY FRIEND HAS THE BIGGEST EARS); a musical tour of the string section (STRING THING); a New Orleans style celebration of horns (RICKY & THE RED TROMBONE); a lullaby that puts the entire orchestra to sleep (LAST LULLABY); and a hip hop tribute to Mozart (YO MO CONCERT0).

Read about MY SYMPHONY in International Musician magazine!


Former VIS artistic director and conductor Pierre Simard says: "The Vancouver Island Symphony's collaboration with author Valley Hennell, composer and performer Rick Scott and arranger-orchestrator Nico Rhodes has proved to be the most successful in the orchestra's history of producing educational concerts, on so many levels. Feedback from teachers and principals has been overwhelmingly positive; in many cases, the show was described as the best introduction to orchestra instruments they had ever attended."

Choir director Patricia Plumley says: "The transformation in the children who participated in this unique collaboration throughout the past fall and spring was a privilege to witness and guide. The inspiration, confidence and new level of musical awareness it brought to the 45 children in the choir and to the 2000+ children who watched their exuberant, engaged and polished performances on stage was invaluable."

24 year old arranger Nico Rhodes says: "When I was a kid playing in my pyjamas in the living room I would listen to Beethoven and then I would listen to Rick Scott, my all-time favourite performer. I idolized him. I used to write him letters and he actually wrote back. He was a large influence in my becoming a musician. And now he’s been in my living room, discussing whether a part should be a clarinet or oboe! I have overwhelming gratitude for everyone who agreed to have someone my age do this work.  Arranging MY SYMPHONY for 44 instruments and 45 voices has been an amazing once-in-a-billion opportunity that has taught me so much beyond my wildest dreams."

Concertmaster Calvin Dyck says: MY SYMPHONY is unique among in that it not only entertains and educates the children, but involves them in the show as participants.  Rarely do I see a "kids show" which keeps students as riveted to the program. Rick Scott is a sympathetic performer, as musicians and as audience we identify and empathize with his desire to play in the symphony, and his search for a "seat in the orchestra".  Professional musicians know how difficult it is to obtain that coveted "seat" or job, and the students observe and without realizing it, start to value the symphony, and vicariously want Rick to succeed. This kids program avoids the trap of playing at kids or playing for kids, but involves them in a story where they want to help Rick achieve his dream."

MY SYMPHONY 2014 poster

How I Wrote MY SYMPHONY Cartoon by Kari Burk

MY SYMPHONY Teachers Guide, download

MY SYMPHONY Teachers Guide, for print

MY SYMPHONY Rick Scott photo


Concept, script and lyrics by:               Rick Scott and Valley Hennell

Music by:                                            Rick Scott except where shown

Conductor:                                          Pierre Simard

Orchestrator:                                       Nico Rhodes

Music supervisor:                                 J. Douglas Dodd

Choir Director:                                     Patricia Plimley

Production coordinator:                        Valley Hennell


SABRE DANCE - Aram Khachaturian

MY SYMPHONY – Rick Scott & Valley Hennell



STRING THING – Rick Scott, Valley Hennell & Nico Rhodes

RICKY & THE RED TROMBONE – Rick Scott & Valley Hennell

LAST LULLABY – Rick Scott, Valley Hennell & Nico Rhodes

SIMON SEZ- Rick Scott & Nico Rhodes

OCEAN – Rick Scott

YO MO CONCERTO – Rick Scott, Valley Hennell, Harris Van Berkel, Nico Rhodes & Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

MY SYMPHONY REPRISE - Rick Scott & Valley Hennell