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Weekly Speaker Program

October 1, 2018: Manon Mitchell, Calgary Civic Symphony Orchestra

Our guest speaker was introduced by our own David Wartman, who is on the board of the Calgary Civic Symphony. Manon Mitchell is President and Chair of the Calgary Civic Symphony Orchestra and its Board and is a violinist herself. The orchestra was the subject of her presentation.

David also introduced the members of the Wintergreen Trio who so wonderfully entertained us over lunch; Laryssa Warne on violin, Maria Vander Hoek on cello and David Dixon on keyboard.

Manon went over the history of the Calgary Civic Orchestra. It has entertained Calgarians for 42 years. It was started as a venue for non-professional or retired musicians. It is still about 50% non-professional and is now 50% professional musicians. She spoke about the types of programs that they do, both musical and community involvement: for instance exposing children to music they might not otherwise hear, plus allowing them to get up close and personal with the instruments.

Manon said that orchestras are basically like a team sport, with three groupings of instruments; the strings, the wind/brass and the percussion instruments, and how they all must learn how to work together. The musicians range in age from 17 to 85 years, with an average age of 51 years ,and have an average of 16 years playing.

She said they have several involvements with Rotary, as well as other community groups. She also played a video about the involvement of one orchestra member and a bit about his outside employment.

The program for their upcoming season is:

  • Romantic Russians — October 28th, 2018
  • Holiday Stories — December 9th, 2018
  • Immortal Beloved — February 10th, 2019
  • Fantastic Firebird — April 7, 2019
  • Rising Stars — June 2, 2019

Check them out at and consider ordering tickets.

Manon closed her presentation by fielding a couple of questions from members.

Judy Cochran thanked Manon for her presentation, and the Wintergreen Trio for their wonderful, music. Judy then presented Manon with our world-famous Boltman.

  • Manon Mitchell, Judy Cochran, and Tim Anderson Manon Mitchell, Judy Cochran, and Tim Anderson
  • The Wintergreen Trio: Laryssa Warne, Maria Vander Hoek, and David Dixon The Wintergreen Trio: Laryssa Warne, Maria Vander Hoek, and David Dixon

reported by Bernie Ward

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