Grand Forks piano player getting performance degree

Grand Forks resident Josh Caron is on his way to a degree at the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM).

Josh Caron

Josh Caron started playing piano at the same time he started Kindergarten and is now on his way to a degree at the Royal Conservatory of Music.

While there may be others in Grand Forks who have their degrees, he will be the first in the performer category to achieve it while still in high school.

What was it that got Caron here?

“Lots and lots and lots of practice and music teachers who really dedicated me to practice that much and to put a lot into it too,” Caron says.

Caron still has a course or two in theory before he gets the actual degree.

The Grade 12 student said that he likes the challenge that the piano brings to him.

“You wouldn’t come this far if you don’t enjoy it,” he says.

Caron says he practices at least a couple hours a day and enjoys romantic era music the most, like Chopin.

“They’re all difficult in different ways, but probably Bach’s Fugues, (is most difficult) because you have all these voices and they have to interweave,” he says.

“It has to sound really, really simple and it’s very complex to play. I spent a long, long time working on Fugue to get up to the level of exams.”

Despite the level that Caron is at, he says there probably isn’t a next step in terms of music.

“I’m not going to choose it as a career, it’s just more of a hobby. A very, very time-consuming hobby,” he says.

One thing that helped him on the way is that he had his piano donated to him by a woman at his church.

“She gave me her piano and we gave my old one, which was in a little rougher shape, to a piano student who was just starting out,” he said.

Erna Gobbett has been Caron’s piano teacher for the past 10 years.

He’s had Tracy Garvin as his other teacher for the past two years.

“I do lessons with the both of them every week,” he says. “It’s just to make sure I had all the bases covered. It’s worked out really well, actually, having both of them. They both work on different things and it really helps me along.”

Caron played a recital at the Grand Forks Secondary School auditorium on June 8.