Navy Violinist Soothes Sailors At Sea


Peter Mallett
Staff Writer

The idea of learning a musical instrument usually elicits groans from a child. It’s usually seen more as a chore than a delight.

That was not the case for S2 Giovanni Marco Bellosillo.

As a boy, he sought out learning the violin after seeing one in a music store and asking his mother to buy it.

Music lessons taught him how to hold the bow, proper finger and chin placement, body posture, and a few recital songs.

With age came a taste for classical, electronic, and pop music, all trialled on his violin with hours of practice. He has a knack for listening to a piece and playing it on his violin, he says.

“I see music as a gift from God that was given to me and provides me with a sense of comfort and relaxation when I perform for people or when I am by myself in my spare time,” says S2 Bellosillo, 22, who serves in HMCS Regina as a Marine Technician.

In high school he joined the Strathcona Symphony Orchestra, a regional orchestra for residents of Comox Valley and Campbell River. Founder and fellow violinist Blaine Walbauer schooled him in the more complicated aspects of playing the instrument, adding in a few tips on performing. 

“The best part of playing violin and performing for other people is seeing how happy they become when I play my violin,” says S2 Bellosillo.

Much of that happiness takes place on board Regina where he shares the limelight with two other musicians – Saxophone player S1 Marianne Mojica and Baritone saxophonist MS Justin Grant – together forming 3-Deck band.

The trio often perform in the ship’s mess and other locations for special occasion, normally playing jazz, but also capable of serenading sailors with classical, rock, R&B, and country music cover tunes upon request. 

His violin is always with him on deployments, carefully stowed away in his quarters.

“Engineers and other trades on the ship have stressful jobs, so being able to play violin is a great way to relax after work, while also providing some relief to people on board the ship,” he says.

He joined the navy three years ago after a sampling of sea life with the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps in Campbell River. His grandfather served in the Philippine Navy.


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