Con Spirito: Inside the SSO


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Our heartfelt thanks to


Berthold Carrière

Barbara Steed Young 

Music Directors Emeritus 

  whose support and leadership have guided the SSO to a firm and stable position. 



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  

with your thoughts or comments.



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Orchestra Photo: 
Larry Folliott 

Mark your calendar:   


A Festive  Night


Friday, Dec. 19,
7 p.m.
St. James' Church, Stratford


Join Ben Bolt-Martin, the Stratford Perth Youth Orchestra, SSO musicians and friends in a celebration of festive music, carol singing and readings.
Tickets ($25) are available at Fanfare Books and at the door

Celtic Celebration: The Journey So Far

Friday, Jan. 23 
Saturday, Jan. 24
Loreena McKennitt
& Friends 


Volunteers needed for SSO activities

For information, contact the SSO office.


In-kind Sponsors 


OnSite Technology
The Canadian Men's Chorus

World War One Remembrance: 
The SSO's tribute in music

An impressive array of performers, including the audience, will join with the Stratford Symphony Orchestra Saturday, November 15, as it pays homage to those who fought for and supported the Allies in the First World War.


The orchestra's World War One Remembrance, in recognition of the centenary of the war, will include:


--Guest conductor Judith Yan, artistic director of the Guelph Symphony Orchestra 


--Loreena McKennitt, who will lead the singing of O Canada to open the concert and an audience sing-along 


--Canadian Men's Chorus, who with the orchestra will perform Our Murray and Field Mass, the two primary works in the concert, as well as In Flanders Fields (a capella)


--Chris Meyer's  composition Our Murray, inspired by love letters passed between a young Stratford woman and her love, a soldier serving in Europe. Our Murray will receive its worldwide premiere in this concert. (See the compelling story behind the composition.) Mr. Meyer is the SSO's composer-in-residence


--Mark Fletcher, who will be soloist in several piping sets, as well as in Dugout at Bellecour; all are authentic World War I bagpipe pieces


--Joanna Gorska, a 17-year-old violinist from London, Ont., who will be featured soloist as the orchestra performs the haunting Theme from Schindler's List


--Cedric Smith, distinguished actor, writer and musician, who will be narrator


--Stratford Police Pipes and Drums, who will provide pre-concert music


The Royal Canadian Army Cadets #233 Corps and ANAVETS Unit 261 will assist with ushering and presentation of colours.


See the complete concert program.


The concert will be held at Knox Presbyterian Church, at Ontario and Waterloo streets in Stratford, beginning at 7:30 p.m.


Prior to the concert, composer Chris Meyer will discuss the research and composing process that led to Our Murray. The half-hour presentation will begin at 6:30 in the Knox reception hall. See invitation.


Also in the Knox reception hall, Lesley Walker-Fitzpatrick will display her collection of poppy photos, inspired by her grandfather, a veteran of World War I. The photos will be for sale and Ms. Walker-Fitzpatrick will donate a portion of the proceeds to the orchestra. The photos will be on display between 6:30 and 11:00 p.m. See invitation.

Online tickets sold out for Jan. 24 concert

Although online tickets for the Saturday, Jan. 24, Celtic concert with Loreena McKennitt are sold out, tickets for that date are still available through purchase of season subscriptions or from local ticket outlets (Fanfare Books, Blowes Stationery downtown, Festival Marketplace kiosk and Lyric Flowers in St. Marys) two weeks prior to the concert.


Online tickets for Friday, Jan. 23, are still available.

Volunteers needed

Volunteers are needed to help with front-of-house activities for upcoming concerts, including Jan. 23 and 24. These activities include selling tickets, taking tickets, handing out programs, monitoring doors and elevator, and others.


Volunteers are also needed to form a small hospitality committee to look at ways to welcome the more than 300 international visitors who have already bought tickets for the two Celtic concerts featuring Loreena McKennitt January 23 and 24. Jean Hewitt, who has been helping organize volunteer efforts, says "We need enthusiastic individuals who would like to roll out the welcome mat to people coming from as far away as Brazil - braving Stratford in January!"


Two volunteers will be needed to manage silent auctions held in conjunction with the two Celtic concerts. These volunteers are not expected to get auction items but rather to set up and run the event. They will be provided with forms and everything else needed.


If you're interested in any of these volunteer opportunities, contact the SSO office by phone (519-271-0990) or email (



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George Pearson / Editor, Con Spirito