Christmas ornament

On concert night, a very special fundraising dinner

Consider a giving a gift to the Symphony by joining us for dinner before the
Dec. 10 concert. For $75 you can enjoy a very special dinner at 5 p.m. in the same location as the concert (St. James' Anglican Church) AND receive a $45 tax receipt.


Stratford chefs Paul Finkelstein and Dean Elieff will prepare the meal: 

Duck Spring Rolls, with an Asian slaw and dipping sauce

Lake Huron Fish Chowder (fish from Simple Fish Company)

Braised Short Ribs, with a roasted squash puree, Soiled Reputation braising greens, Montforte cheese

Orange Scented Panna Cotta, with ginger spiced cookies and cranberry jelly

Red Fife bread; produce from local farmer Laurie Neubrand


Readings celebrating the season (including Dickens) by Marion Adler.  

Buy your ticket by Thursday at Fanfare Books or Anything Grows, or online.

SSO orchestra banner
Con spirito: Inside the SSO
THIS MONTH: Baroque Again
December  2011
In This Issue
Fundraising dinner
Sadler, Handel headline concert
Guest conductor: Daniel Warren
In January: All Things Celtic
Pinafore packs house
Gingerbread house raffle
Andrew MacDonald

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Warm greetings from the Stratford Symphony Orchestra. Con Spirito enables us to carry on a conversation with music lovers in the Stratford community and beyond. Please feel free to send us an email  

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gingerbread house

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Ian at Cambridge
Ian Sadler
Ian Sadler, G.F. Handel headline Dec. 10 Baroque concert

Organist Ian Sadler and organist and composer George Frideric Handel share top billing in Saturday's (Dec. 10) Stratford Symphony Orchestra concert, Baroque Again: Bach, Handel and More, at St. James' Anglican Church beginning at 7:30. Guest conductor will be Daniel Warren (see profile below).


Mr. Sadler, well known to Stratford residents as organ soloist extraordinaire and director of the Stratford Concert Choir, was honoured in 2007 by the Royal Canadian College of Organists with its highest award, Fellow of the Royal Canadian College of Organists. He has also been nominated for The Premier's Award for Excellence in the Arts and The Order of Ontario. He was involved in the launching of the organs in three major Canadian concert halls: Jack Singer Hall, Calgary; Winspear Centre, Edmonton; and Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto.

G.F. Handel

He will perform two Handel organ concertos: Organ concerto op. 7 No. 4 and Organ concerto op. 4 No. 4. A renowned organist (who apparently outshone Domenico Scarlatti in a contest), Handel wrote the concertos as interludes for oratorio performances at London's Covent Garden and they are credited as the first works of their kind that paved the way for future composers.


The Symphony will also perform another Handel composition, The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, which opens Act III of Handel's oratorio Solomon. "Always an astute businessman, Handel praised and paid homage to his patron by highlighting the perceived parallels ... between Solomon and George II," comments British Choirs on the Net.  

Laurel Swinden

Flute soloist Laurel Swinden will be featured in J.S. Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 2 in b minor, described by as "a vibrant and fast-paced work, leaning towards the entertainment side of pure music." The final movement has become a showpiece for solo flute players because of its speed and difficulty.


Francesco Manfredini's Concerto Grosso op. 3 No. 12 "Per il santissimo natale" (For the holy birth), which rounds out the concert program, shows a "highly accomplished composer, well versed in the mainstream Italian school of composition," according to music publisher Naxos, which adds that the music is devilishly hard to play

Marlin Nagtegaal

Guest artist Marlin Nagtegaal, continuo, will perform in a number of the evening's selections. He has given numerous recitals in Canada, the Netherlands, and Germany. He has taught at Queen's University, and is presently the organ instructor at Wilfrid Laurier University. Nagtegaal is also director of music at the Church of St. John the Evangelist Anglican.  


Buy tickets online or at Fanfare Books or Anything Grows (Stratford); Stewart Books (St. Marys); Music (Sebringville); and Perth County Welcome Centre (Shakespeare).

Daniel Warren
Guest conductor: Daniel Warren

Daniel Warren has most recently been artistic advisor and conductor for Orchestra London Canada (2010-2011) and resident conductor of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (1998-2011). He has been guest conductor with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, Orchestra London Canada, Windsor Symphony, Symphony New Brunswick, The ERGO and Continuum ensembles and the Canadian Chamber Ensemble.  


He is also an arranger, his latest being played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, England.  Other arrangements include several works for full symphony including classical, jazz and rock. These have been performed by orchestras in Canada, the United States and Asia. 


All Things Celtic

Saturday, January 21, 2012, 7:30 p.m.

Knox Presbyterian Church, Stratford


Conductor    Nigel Evans 

Rant Maggie Rant

Stratford Police Pipes & Drums

Program to include:

2 sets by guest artists                                               

F. Weatherly                            O Danny Boy 

Chris Meyer                             Uncle's Jig / or new work 

Chris Meyer                             Farewell to Ireland* (feature Laurel Swinden)

J. Foulds                                  Keltic Suite - Selections

Christmas                                Celtic Medley (with dancers)

J. Horner arr. Chris Meyer       Braveheart End Credits*

Solo set by Pipe Band             Highland Cathedral                 

w/ Stratford Police                   Auld Lang Syne
Pipes & Drums

Bert's benefit 'Pinafore' concert
plays to full house 
Berthold Carrière and friends packed the house Nov. 12 for their concert to benefit the SSO. Let's tell the story in the words of board chair David Murray's letter to the editor that appeared afterward in the Beacon Herald and the Gazette:

"How fortunate is the Stratford community - and the Stratford Symphony Orchestra in particular - to have such special people on the cultural scene! The orchestra was delighted and honoured to have Berthold Carrière as its guest music director and conductor Saturday evening for a concert of favourite songs from Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore. Mr. Carrière, for more than 30 years the beloved and respected music director of the Stratford Festival, brought together an all-star cast of performing artists, all of whom, along with associate director Barbara Young and facilitator Nora Polley, also Festival veterans, donated their time, talent and energy in support of the SSO. A wonderful chorus of men and women from Stratford and beyond donated their services as well.     


"The concert hall was packed and the audience enjoyed every minute, including a rousing sing-along with 'Little Buttercup.' We are deeply grateful to Mr. Carrière and friends (Douglas Chamberlain, Eileen Smith, Barbara Dunn-Prosser, Marion Adler, Brad Rudy, Van Abrahams, David Dunbar, Scott Wentworth and Kelly Walker) for a memorable evening and a huge boost for the orchestra's finances and visibility. Special thanks to our corps of volunteers, our board and our many supporters in Stratford and beyond, for whom we make the music."

gingerbread house  

Gingerbread house raffle

The SSO is raffling a two-story, four-room, fully furnished gingerbread house as a fundraiser for the orchestra. The house is the work of Shari Langis, who offered it to the Stratford Symphony when the United Way declined it. She values it at $2,500. Photos of the house were featured in the Beacon Herald on Monday, Dec. 5. 


The orchestra displayed the house and sold tickets Friday evening during the Festival Marketplace shopping centre's Christmas Walk, and all day Saturday at Start the Holidays Art Show and Sale at 163 King Street. The house is back at Festival Marketplace this week for more ticket sales. Tickets are also available at Fanfare Books and Anything Grows. They are $5 each and three for $10. The SSO goal is to sell 500 tickets. The drawing will be Monday, December 19.

Andrew MacDonald


Andrew MacDonald: Principal horn, board member, legal counsel, planner 

Keeping today's symphony orchestra afloat requires hard work, resourcefulness and versatility. The SSO has benefited substantially from the multi-faceted capabilities of Andrew MacDonald: principal horn player, chair of the orchestra's artistic committee, board member and legal counsel. Coming into this season, the orchestra faced a heavy debt load that threatened its very future. Andrew and his committee planned a six-concert season that is artistically rewarding as well as financially responsible, and the SSO has recaptured the vibrancy of its earlier years.


Andrew was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, and raised in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Music was at best "a side interest," he says. But as a member of the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra he was taught and inspired by horn player Derek Conrod, also a Dartmouth native, who has been a longtime horn player with the Stratford Festival Orchestra and a fixture in Stratford's music community. Andrew received his bachelor of music from McGill University and master of music from Arizona State University.


He has held positions with the Windsor Symphony, Boulder (Colorado) Philharmonic and Central City (Colorado) Opera Company and performed with many orchestras, including Symphony Nova Scotia, Calgary Philharmonic, Orchestra London and Royal Winnipeg Ballet. While studying in Phoenix, Arizona, he met Liesel Deppe, also a musician (flute). When they married in Durban, South Africa (Liesel's family home), he was invited to spend three weeks as guest co-principal horn with the Kwa-Zulu Natal Philharmonic.


Andrew's doctoral music studies at the University of Colorado and his plans for a career in music were derailed by the onset of focal dystonia, a neurological motor disorder that causes muscles to contract and spasm involuntarily. That same affliction ended the violin career of Peter Oundjian (now music director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra) when he was leader of the Tokyo String Quartet.


Faced with the need to change careers, Andrew chose law and received his LL. B. from the University of Western Ontario in 2006 and was called to the Ontario Bar in June 2007. He has a general law practice in association with Hugh D. McDonald. And he continues his music pursuits. He plays regularly with the SSO and Guelph Symphony, and is an extra with Orchestra London. He and Liesel, along with two cats, Oscar and Bert, live in Stratford.

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George Pearson / Editor, Con Spirito