Con Spirito: Inside the SSO

December  2012

SSO logo

Bert Carrière

Music Director


Barbara Young

Associate Music Director 


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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Up next:  

A Celtic Rant

Friday, Jan. 19 

7:30 p.m.  

A concert like no other, this one combines the symphonic power of the SSO with the supercharged Celtic rhythms of Rant Maggie Rant. Last year they had a full house stomping and clapping. Don't miss it!


Tickets at Fanfare Books, online and at the door. 



 Volunteer opportunities abound in the SSO   

All sorts of talents are needed in support roles for the SSO. Interested? Send us an  email today.


Join Bert Carrière, Barbara Young and friends on Friday evening, Dec. 21, for what may well be Stratford's most rousing Christmas carol sing. Don't miss it!

Bert Carrière and Barbara Young            Photo by John Lederman


THE EVENT: "A Festive Night," an informal evening of carol singing, readings, food and fun - a fundraiser for the Stratford Symphony Orchestra

WHEN: Friday, Dec. 21, 7 p.m.

WHERE: Falstaff Family Centre, 35 Waterloo St. (between William and Elizabeth streets)


$20 at Fanfare Books or by phoning the Symphony office: 519-271-0990; ticket sales limited to 100; order your tickets now 

GUEST PERFORMERS: Patricia Collins, Aggie Elliot, Lucinda Jones, Sadie Palach, Teddy Payne (see more about them, below) - plus Bert and Barbara, of course!

MUSICIANS: Bert, piano; Marilyn Dallman, senior pianist for the Stratford Festival, grand piano; David Murray, SSO past president and board member, keyboard; Stephan Szczniak, drums; and members of the Symphony


Barbara will conduct the carol sing: "Bert and I are thrilled to be sharing our love of Christmas music with our symphony community."


More about the guest performers


Patricia Collins is a multi-award-winning actress (two Doras, a Gemini, a Wilderness Award and a Critics' Award among others) who makes Stratford her home, where she uses the awards as doorstops.

Patricia Collins


Patricia is pleased to be asked to help support the SSO. Music, especially classics and jazz, have been a love and inspiration throughout her life. When asked what music means to her, Patricia answered "A world without music would be intolerably sad," a sentiment, she points out, not shared by everyone. U.S General and President Ulysses S. Grant is quoted as saying, "I know only two tunes. One of them is Yankee Doodle, and the other isn't." Ed Gardiner said, "Opera is when a guy gets stabbed in the back and instead of bleeding, he sings." Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote: "Swans sing before they die - 'twere no bad thing should certain persons die before they sing."


Aggie Elliot's career in musical theatre has taken her across Canada and the U.S. (including Broadway) as well as to London's Old Vic. Aggie also spent several seasons at the Stratford Festival in the 80's and 90's, where her roles included Gianetta in The Gondoliers, and Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance. She is the recipient of three of the Stratford Festival's Tyrone Guthrie awards, and also appeared in the original production and subsequent tours of Brian Macdonald's internationally acclaimed version of The Mikado.


In addition to various TV and radio appearances, Aggie spent several years as a Kindermusik Educator in Stratford where she was director of the very popular KINDERMUSIK Studio. She has moved back to Toronto where she is pursuing a career as a recording artist. Her favourite quote: "When words fail, music speaks."


Lucinda Jones has been described as an artist by day and a sultry jazz singer by night.  She is most known in the community for her excellent work as the owner /operator of My Custom Framer as well as her exhibitions of fine art at local gallery events. 


Lucinda's musical background began at the age of six singing in choirs and performing solos.  More recently, she was the 2012 winner of the Life-Long Musician Award at the Kiwanis Music Festival of Stratford for an outstanding life-long singer from ages 30-90.  Lucinda's love for the art of printmaking in its complexity and spontaneity dovetails with the expression that is possible through the music of jazz and blues.


Teddy Payne is a well-known watercolour painter, writer, and raconteur. He comes from Constable country, the counties of Suffolk and Norfolk in eastern England, and completed his formal art education in Norwich and London. After many travels and adventures around the world, he has found his Shangri-La in Stratford, Ontario.


Teddy Payne

Teddy has completed two volumes of memoirs, The Apricot Blooms in The Desert and The Streets of Odeon. He has done a book of narrative and watercolours titled Teddy Payne's Stratford. When The Devil Drives, A Historical Romance, set around the time of the First World War, was recently published, and a sequel is imminent. The Man Who Loved Women, his latest publication, is a compilation of pictures, short stories, and poetry. He has authored a Teddy Payne's Restaurants Of Stratford, a charming little volume of watercolours, reviews, and signature recipes from the chefs (who number among his friends) of some of the world's great restaurants which call Stratford home. He donated this book as a fundraiser to the Stratford Symphony Orchestra. Music holds an important place in Teddy's heart and he usually listens to classical music as he paints. He is honoured to help support the SSO.


Sadie Lou Catherine Palach, 13, was a 2012 Kiwanis Festival winner in the Voice - Musical Contemporary and winner in multiple categories in the 2011 Kiwanis competition. She's a Grade 8 student at Sunshine Montessori School, Stratford Campus and has a slew of competitive dance medals, ribbons and awards. She is studying voice with Barbara Young.

Sadie Palach


In her words, "I love to dance and sing and I love musical theatre. I have seen dozens of musicals including A Chorus Line in New York and many musicals at the Stratford Festival since I was three. I want to be in theatre because of some great experiences I have had: After I went to see a dance performance of Edward Scissorhands in Toronto, I cried all the way home to Stratford because through the dancing, you could feel what they were trying to say, but yet they weren't talking.


"I just love theatre. Period."



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George Pearson / Editor, Con Spirito