Isaiah Carvalhal-Smith beat hundreds of other young musicians to win the coveted Slaight Family Scholarship to Berklee College of Music. (Isaiah Carvalhal-Smith submission)

Peninsula student scores only scholarship in Canada for top music school

Isaiah Carvalhal-Smith and his electric bass off to Boston after successful Vancouver audition

A recent Stelly’s graduate from North Saanich has achieved his long held goal of winning a top scholarship at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass.

Isaiah Carvalhal–Smith beat out hundreds of other young hopefuls, and the 17-year-old is now set to attend the school on a full-ride scholarship, which covers tuition, a laptop, room and board.

ALSO READ: Think-tank’s B.C. school rankings given failing grade by educators

The school, whose graduates have won a collective 250 Grammys and even a few Oscars, offers a limited amount of scholarships per year, including one for the whole of Canada called the Slaight Family Scholarship.

“I was looking into Berklee in about Grade 9, so four years ago, and I came across this one Canadian scholarship that they give out every year,” says Carvalhal–Smith. “So I made that my goal and it’s been my dream over the past four years. I’ve been focused on it and visualizing it and working towards it.”

The process to apply was rigorous. An application was sent and then he was invited to an interview and live audition at the Sarah McLachlan School of Music in Vancouver. He describes the performance as being a little like American Idol. Two interviewers were in the room with him – one taking notes on a laptop, one asking questions before jamming with him.

ALSO READ: Light up August with a lantern building workshop in Sidney

“Music is my number one passion and what I love doing the most,” he says. “I will definitely try to pursue music as much as possible. I want to make a career out of it as a bass player in the industry. That’s my main goal.”

Carvalhal–Smith has been playing the electric bass for nine years and the stand-up bass for three. He mainly plays jazz and is inspired by a collection of contemporary and classic musicians. Despite his youth, Carvalhal–Smith has made the most of his opportunities, playing in the B.C. Music Educators’ Association bands and orchestras, B.C. Fiddle Orchestra and under Rob Johnson at the Peninsula Academy of Music Arts. He has also played in the Ryan Oliver High School Jazz collective and in numerous bands and orchestras at Stelly’s under Norbert Ziegler.

ALSO READ: Sidney considers bylaw change to allow weed shops

He says the news of his scholarship has been well received by friends and family, and he ships out to Boston in September for the next four years.

“I’m very excited to do it, nerves haven’t really kicked in yet. I’m sure they will, but at the moment it’s mostly just excitement,” he says.

To view Carvalhal–Smith’s music visit his Instagram account @zay_smith_.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Province rejects criticism from Saanich councillor over McKenzie Interchange

Transportation ministry says project will ‘significantly lower’ greenhouse gas emissions

UPDATE: Father on trial for murder describes being ‘tackled’ and ‘stabbed’ in Oak Bay apartment

Oak Bay father takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

Police rule out foul play in death of man found in Saanich

The B.C. Coroners Service will now conduct an investigation

West Shore RCMP snag suspected thief with bait bike

GPS-equipped bike leads police to arrest suspect in Langford

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town hit by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

B.C. music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

Most Read