A Noteworthy Opportunity in our Community
A Noteworthy Opportunity in our Community
For me, it all started about a decade and a half ago, on a Thursday evening, at the old Wesley United Church when I came to observe a Little String Orchestra rehearsal for the very first time. My mind was blown! First, by the excellently fun and energetic leadership of Mrs. Virginia Little and Natalie Williams Calhoun. Secondly, by the sheer talent of so many very young musicians, most of them students at that time, of the Brant Suzuki String School, playing with adults of all ages to create this magic together!
Since that fateful day, my life, my children’s lives, and many of my violin students’ lives have been immeasurably enriched by joining in the fun!
The LSO has always been like a second family for me, a group of string and percussion players of diverse ages, backgrounds and abilities, entire families of children, even multiple generations of some families. The children grew up together, the parents and grandparents became friends and we all connected through music. We shared it with the community and were supported by a tireless army of dedicated parents and volunteers.
I am so very grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in this unique orchestra from a number of perspectives over the years. As parent of two young violinists and a little cellist, now all grown up, and 2 more little ones just starting out, What can I say?… I have watched all my children’s faces light up with big smiles every single Thursday when the rehearsal room filled with that electric energy created by musical teamwork. They developed so many valuable life skills by learning to play stringed instruments from a young age and playing with the LSO was like the icing on top of the cake!
As an adult violinist playing in the senior orchestra and a helper with the juniors for many years, I have enjoyed the chance to learn a carefully chosen and diverse selection of music each year. The pieces challenged me to work hard and helped me to grow in my playing, thanks to the gentle and encouraging leadership of wonderful conductors.
Helping with the Juniors allowed me to observe even the youngest players learn and respond with enthusiasm to the music, often in harmony with adults and seniors just starting out on their musical paths. Where else can one find this sort of collaboration?
As a Suzuki violin teacher, I have seen my students of all ages and abilities blossom in their playing with the LSO. It is a safe place to try out new musical ideas and techniques and to develop orchestral skills such as watching a conductor, balancing melodies and harmonies, and playing in unison with others. There is no better motivation for string players!
As a volunteer member of the executive committee of the LSO, I have also learned new skills! Like bookkeeping for instance, and program writing, and concert planning! I have met and collaborated with wonderful people, all dedicated to keeping our orchestra running smoothly. We are always in need of fresh helping hands if anyone reading this is feeling the call.
And lastly, I feel so fortunate to have been musical director and conductor of the Junior Little String Orchestra for the past several years. I want our musicians to have fun and be challenged and inspired at our Thursday evening rehearsals! Please accept our open invitation to come and visit us on any Thursday between 6 and 9 pm at the Hellenic Community Centre on Park Rd. N in Brantford. Who knows? It may be the start of something amazing in your life too! The Little String Orchestra welcomes violin, viola, cello, bass and percussion players across all levels of musical ability. We recommend that beginners have been working with a private music teacher for at least one year and can read some music.
The orchestra is open to all ages. Rehearsals are very supportive and inclusive. There is a long and rich history of string music in the Brantford, Brant county and Norfolk county community. To find out more information and to contact the orchestra please visit its website: littlestringorchestra.com. We can also be found
We will be working within the government’s covid-19 framework for rehearsals and we are hopeful that this season will be even better than the last. Hope to see you there