Naomi Burns Delafield
Naomi Delafield, a violinist, freelance performer, and conductor in Alberta, Canada, also maintains a private studio in Lacombe, Canada. She was a lecturer in music from 2005 to 2010 at Canadian University College, where she taught violin and viola, directed the university chamber orchestra, and coordinated chamber music activity. She serves as the concertmaster in the nearby Red Deer Symphony Orchestra, a position she first held beginning in 2004.
Born and raised in Australia, Delafield attended Columbia Union College, now Washington Adventist University, in Maryland, where she completed a B.Mus. in 1998. From 1994 to 2001, she was concertmaster in and a soloist with the New England Youth Ensemble, under the direction of Virginia-Gene Rittenhouse. Following graduation from college she worked as her assistant and tour manager.
In her time with the NEYS, they toured throughout Europe, the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, China, and the Middle East. She performed as a soloist with the group in concerts at the Sydney Opera House in Australia, St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, Carnegie Hall in New York City, and Cape Town City Hall in South Africa.
In 2001 she married David T. Delafield, a violist in the orchestra, and they moved to Canada when he accepted a teaching position in biology at CUC. In 2005 she completed a master's degree in violin performance at the University of Calgary and began teaching at CUC, where she organized a small chamber orchestra of seven. By the end of the group's second year, it had grown to include 27 members. The ensemble, which was recognized as an enhancement to the university music program, continued to increase in size until she resigned in 2010.
In 2002 she founded the Rosedale Valley String Orchestra, a group of young string students from Central Alberta, which she continues to conduct. In addition to providing an orchestral experience for young string players, members of the group are committed to making a difference with each note they play, both in their local community and in the lives of children around the world.
In their ten years of existence they have raised funds to aid orphans and mothers in Afghanistan and Africa and have provided funds for schools, medical needs, and food. In the last three years, they purchased land for an orphanage in Mwanza, Tanzania, built a dormitory, and installed a solar generation system and a well. The first group of boys moved into the dormitory this last fall.
This past year during the Christmas season the RVSO gave a series of three concerts locally which raised $48,000. They are also assisted in these projects by A Better World Canada and the Red Deer Youth and Symphony Orchestra under the direction of RDSO principal second violinist Louise Stuppard. RVSO recorded a CD which was released in December 2013.
In addition to performing often as a soloist, Delafield is a frequent adjudicator and master class clinician at festivals and workshops throughout North America. Her areas of interest and specialty are in violin technique, string pedagogy, and baroque violin performance. Her modern violin is a 1996 Douglas Cox, made in Vermont, and her baroque violin is a fragile pre-1750 English instrument. She also enjoys performing the traditional music of Scotland.
The Delafields have two children, Anya and Annika.
Sources: Interviews in 2008 with Naomi Burns Delafield and David Delafield in 2014; Canadian University College Website biography, 2008.