On May 4, 2020, during the Coalition for Music Education’s Music Monday @ Home broadcast, Noah Elliott Deptuck was announced as one of six 2020 NUFSICISUM Youth Leadership Award winners. With his NUFSICISUM Award in the Elementary Division, Noah, a 10-year-old student from Wellington, NS, earned the distinction of being the youngest ever NUFSICISUM winner!

“I now think it is great,” Noah said. “I was like, ‘Did they literally just call my name? Why?’” Noah, told us in an interview following Music Monday. Kerstin Boyce, his music teacher at Holland Road Elementary School, explained to him that he was chosen because of the outstanding musical contributions he has made to his school and community. 

In her nomination, Mrs. Boyce described a young boy who is enthusiastic and passionate about music, quick to offer help when needed, and demonstrates quiet leadership through actions that may not seem extraordinary to him, but are deeply felt and appreciated by others sin his school and community. 

“Noah is quick to volunteer for any musical opportunity, in school and in our community,” Mrs. Boyce wrote. “Every Christmas, Noah offers to welcome our guests by performing many carols on his violin as they enter our school. Any time music needs to be performed, Noah jumps in to offer.”

According to Noah, leadership means helping people and to create a sense of unity by keeping people “together as one.” According to Noah’s teacher, these are things he does regularly, through the simple act of bringing his fiddle to school, to perform at special events, or just to bring some joy to his classmates and teachers. He is also one of the people that other students go to when they need help with subjects like math, writing, or social studies – and he’s always happy to help.

In early June, Mrs. Boyce shared another example of Noah’s community-mindedness with us via email. Due to school closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the end-of-year tradition of singing “Farewell to Holland Road” to the tune of “Farewell to Nova Scotia” was not able to happen as planned. Noah took it upon himself to learn the song on violin and surprised Mrs. Boyce with a video recording of it. She said even during these uncertain times, “Noah continues to volunteer his musical talents by sending out music to encourage the school community.”

Performing for others is one of Noah’s favourite things to do, and while he is well known for his “effortless jigs on the fiddle,” his musical skills extend to the recorder, piano, and singing – he is a member of two choirs – and he hopes to one day learn the harp! When he isn’t practicing the fiddle and performing, Noah likes to read, write, swim, skate, play soccer, do Tae-Kwon-Do, go hiking, and take pictures. He plans to split his NUFSICISUM prize money evenly between music and nature activities.