Light & Verity

A job, with strings attached

A new graduate gets a coveted spot in a major orchestra.

Allison Park ’21

Allison Park ’21

View full image

Finding a job of any kind in these uncertain times is reason for a new graduate to celebrate, but Henry Shapard ’20 found a whopper. In March, Shapard secured the position of principal cellist with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, making him the youngest current principal cellist of a major orchestra. It’s an unusual path for a history major in a liberal arts program, but Shapard decided in his sophomore year to begin auditioning for orchestra positions. “I faced a lot of failure bordering on humiliation,” he says, but he honed his skills with help from his Yale cello teacher—Ole Akahoshi ’97MusM—and Yale Symphony Orchestra music director William Boughton. Shapard, a native of Cleveland, will play in Vancouver’s socially distanced fall season, Canadian visa policies permitting.

The comment period has expired.