The Peninsula Orchestra is an amateur orchestra in the Niagara Region which has performed as volunteers in free concerts at senior homes and parks. The community orchestra was established as a branch of the Peninsula Music Club in 1978. The Club was an "umbrella" organization for amateur music making which originally comprised of a Concert Orchestra, Country-and-Western group, and Recorder consort. Over time, the Country and Western and Recorder groups disbanded, with only the Orchestra remaining, as a stable and functioning unit. In 1993 the name of the group was officially changed to the present "Peninsula Orchestra".
We draw our membership from different communities within the Niagara Peninsula. We are all non-paid volunteers who want to keep up with our instruments for the love of it. The 0rchestra has approximately 40 members. There are people young and old, from all walks of life, including doctors, lawyers, teachers, electricians, welders and students. Some of us are still working or about to work and others are retired...but we are all serious amateurs wanting to participate in the lifelong love and discipline of music.
We rehearse every Monday evening from 7:15pm until 9:30pm at the Holy Trinity in Fonthill. Our season starts mid-September and ends in June. We perform throughout the year with our busiest seasons being Christmas and Spring. We regularly perform in churches, seniors' residences and parks, including the bandshell at Queenston Heights. Competent amateur players of standard orchestral instruments are most welcome. There are no auditions required, nor restrictions as to age.
Membership fees are $60 per year for adults and $25 for students.
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Mercredi Musique is an amateur string ensemble which does a lot of volunteer work in the Niagara Peninsula. it has presented performances of Baroque to Twentieth Century music. Repertoire has included works by composers Mozart, Purcell, Vivaldi, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Holst and Bartok. The group includes active and retired professional musicians and talented amateurs who live in the Niagara region. The musical director and conductor for many years was Mr. H. Paul van Dongen [now deceased].
Mercredi Musique Chamber Orchestra had its beginnings as a String Quartet. In the fall of 1994, the group expanded to fourteen members with conductor, consisting of residents of the Niagara Region. The founding conductoro f this chamber orchestra was David Holler. The orchestra has performed throughout Niagara, including performances at the Mount Carmel Spiritual Centre, St. Julia Church and Brock University.
Since 2005 the orchestra has rehearsed at Knox Presbyterian Church with conductor Paul van Dongen. Our repertoire consists of music by composers from the baroque era to the present. Each season consists of two concerts. We have collaborated and exchanged concerts with the Corktown Chamber Orchestra of Toronto. Occasionally the orchestra has expanded to a full orchestra of 65 players. During the 2008/2009 season Schubert's Unfinished Symphony was performed. In the spring of 2010, the program included the Saint-Saens Symphony #3 with Organ performed at Knox Presbyterian Church, which has fine acoustical qualities. The orchestra in its sixteenth season, performed two compositions by area resident composer Michael Kositsky. The final program on May 1, 2011 included the Dvorak Symphony #8.
If you play violin, viola, cello or bass and would like to sit in on a rehearsal, we would love to hear from you.
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