Niagara high school students have the opportunity to attend NSO concerts for free with their Cappies team to write concert reviews. This exciting new partnership with international organization “The Cappies” brings young critics into the concert hall to enjoy a live performance of their choice and develop their critical thinking and literacy skills.

Look for highlights from these reviews on our website and in local newspapers.


Students from Eden High School and Beamsville District Secondary School attended POPS! 2: The Nutcracker in Concert, in December of 2019 and were asked to write reviews as part of The Recap concert review program. Read what selecte students had to say about this performance below: 

"Sitting down for a couple of hours and listening to live music being performed in front of you by a symphony orchestra isn’t as popular of an activity as it may have been in the past, but the experience is one that all should receive once, even if it may not be their cup of tea. The Niagara Symphony Orchestra’s is a wonderful reminder of this, simply by executing a magical version of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker that gained a standing ovation from spectators."- Emily Lepp, BDSS 

"Simply put, a visit to see the Niagara Symphony Orchestra perform “The Nutcracker” will leave you feeling an abundance of feelings — satisfaction, fulfillment, happiness, excitement, but most of all, a greater appreciation for music and the escape that it can provide from everyday life, whether it be to faraway lands, or simply a reminder to the joys of Christmas." - Keerthana Srikanth, BDSS 

"The symphony lead by eccentric director Bradly Thachuk hit the musical scores with precise tempo and dedicated melodic intention that went above and beyond what someone would expect of a musical score that doesn’t leave much room for creative freedom. The bassoons, clarinets, and flutes wonderfully played out over a powerful band to make themselves heard and left each note ringing out beautifully. The trumpets must also be commended for their melodic accuracy, the trumpet players even switched instruments mid-show to produce a pretty new sound with piccolo trumpets. One also can’t forget to mention the violins who swung with the beat as they played. This gave a wonderful visual that flowed with the music and allowed the viewer something else to focus on."

"All in all, the show was an absolute success that no one could dream of topping. There was little to be improved upon. It is a fabulous way to end any evening. This classic will leave you enthralled and amazed. You’ll have to pick up your jaw off the floor or you may find it broken just as the nutcrackers did before the magic took hold. If you find yourself at the Niagara Symphony Orchestra’s production of the nutcracker, you will know you’re in the right place." - Nathan Boogers, BDSS

"I am impressed at the teamwork it must have taken to get everyone in the same beat. I admired the way the conductor, Bradley Thachuk kept the group in time and under his steady-handed control to guide them gracefully through the show. The musicians themselves were exquisite and kept the attentive audience under their spell from the moment they started playing." - Elena Berardocco, Eden

Read Complete Reviews: 

The Niagara Symphony Orchestra does not need ballet to bring The Nutcracker to life - Pauline Rotz, Eden High School 

Niagara Symphony Orchestra The Nutcracker Review - Emily Lepp, Beamsville District Secondary School 

NSO Nutcracker Review - Paige Garvie, Beamsville District Secondary School