Meet The Orchestra

The orchestra is a mix of different students and instructors from various backgrounds and culture within the country of Belize. Musicians from both the Pallotti School Of Music and The National Youth Orchestra of Belize comprise this group.


CONCERTMASTER: bryce young

A 16 year old musician from Belize, Bryce Young has been involved in music from the age of 3. He has learnt to play numerous instruments over the years, but has maintained his love of the violin and kept it as his main instrument. He is also a music teacher at the Pallotti School of Music, where he is also involved with various ensembles and is also the current concertmaster of the National Youth Orchestra of Belize.


2nd chair: cindy burgos

Cindy Burgos is a Belizean born violinist and teacher who has been playing for over 18 years. She currently teaches violin at the Pallotti School of Music in Belize City, Belize and coaches violin students in the National Youth Orchestra of Belize. She has toured with YOA Orchestra of the Americas and played in concert halls throughout Eastern Canada and South America.


3rd chair: a.j. gongora

Edwin A.J. Gongora began studying violin and music theory at the age of 6 under his aunt Daniela Gongora who was a music instructor at the Pallotti School of Music. Eventually, he continued learning music under Mr. Colville Young Jr. which led to spending many years performing with the Belize Chamber Orchestra. At age 28 he currently is working towards becoming an instructor and is a current member of the National Youth Orchestra of Belize.


4th chair: Curt Smith

A 13 year old high school student, Curt Smith has been playing the violin from the age of 7. He has grown to love music and is a current member of the National Youth Orchestra. Apart from music he enjoys playing volleyball and video games.


Principal 2nd Violin: Amber Lee-Shi

Amber Lee-Shi developed a love for classical music at the age of 6. Her main instruments being the violin and piano (both at the ABRSM Grade 8 level). She has been a devoted member of the National Youth Orchestra of Belize for more than 5 years now: she currently plays second chair of the first violins.


3rd Chair 2nd Violin: Naty Quetzal

Naty Quetzal, a young Belizean violinist, has been playing violin from the age of 6. Presently she is an eleventh grade student at Saint Catherine Academy in Belize. Moreover, she is a great fan of classical and pop music.


Principal Viola: Anselma Jones

Anselma R. Jones is a 28 year old music student and violin/viola teacher at the Pallotti School of Music. She has been playing the violin for 21 years, the steel drums for 18 years and has now been focusing on the viola for the past 2 years. She is a current member of the National Youth Orchestra.


Principal Cello: Phillip De Shield

Philip DeShield was introduced to the cello at the age of 12 and has been playing with the Pallotti Strings ever since. Although classically trained in piano, for the past 16 years most of his cello practice has been self-directed with intermittent master classes through visiting musicians. In addition to contributing to various music ensembles in Belize, Philip is a practicing veterinarian.


Principal Bass: Christopher De Shield Artistic director: Peter illavsky

Dr. Christopher De Shield is a semi-professional double-bass player. He has been involved with the Pallotti School of Music since 1998 as a student of piano and later double-bass in the PSM-based Belize Chamber Orchestra. Christopher currently contributes to the Pallotti Music School as a board member in various ensembles of the Pallotti Strings and he is also a member of Project Orchestra, (honorary) member of the National Youth Orchestra of Belize and a founding member of the Chabil Quartet.

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artistic director: peter Illavsky

Vienna born cellist and composer Peter Illavsky received his first violin tuition at age 5. His father, an accomplished Opera-singer discovered his sons talent and send him to study and train with the Vienna Boys Choir. From there on, he has developed an excellent musical career whereby he learned various musical instruments which include Violin, Cello, Double-Bass, Piano, Oboe, Percussion, Singing and Composition.