The North Shore Chamber Music Society is dedicated to promoting the value of lifelong participation in music. We believe that community music-making fosters personal development and healthy self-expression, and strengthens social cohesion. For over 40 years, the Society has encouraged amateur musicians of all ages to participate in the North Shore’s rich cultural life.
The Society’s orchestra (NSCO) gives amateur string players the opportunity to learn a range of orchestral works for strings under a skilled conductor, and share them with a broad audience in accessible North Shore venues, through regular concerts throughout the year.
We engage in six practices to encourage the appreciation of orchestral and chamber music and the benefits of participating in community music-making on the North Shore:
- We operate as a friendly, democratic ensemble, where new members are welcomed without audition, and everyone is encouraged to suggest programming ideas, music and new venues for concerts. As well, members are encouraged to solo with us, and to form smaller ensembles to perform with us in concert, to promote the many varieties of chamber music that exist in the world. This year, we have an active string quartet – and a viola da gamba trio is being organized.
- We encourage local youth to continue their music studies by welcoming them as colleagues in open music-making sessions; we also regularly invite young musicians to join us as guest soloists in public concerts. We support Capilano University music students by providing them the opportunity to gain Large Ensemble experience, and earn course credits.
- We collaborate with local visual and performing arts groups with inventive and diverse programming. We intend to increase our collaborations by commissioning new works for string orchestra this season, with an emphasis on multicultural music and local, young composers.
- We believe that music has the power to enliven institutionalized seniors, therefore a core part of our programming is created for seniors at several North Shore and Greater Vancouver care facilities. Four to six times a year, we bring a mix of classical works and popular songs to seniors right in their homes. Our Christmas concerts always feature a Christmas carol sing along.
- We hold our formal Winter and Spring concerts in a central, accessible venue on the North Shore, and welcome all comers with flexible ticket prices (suggested donation). We also play free concerts in non-traditional venues, such as gardens, art galleries and cafeterias, where people can enjoy chamber music as they wander by, or choose to linger. We have found this to be an effective way of attracting families with young children.
- We seek out opportunities to support local professional musicians by hiring them to conduct, compose, coach and play alongside us. As keen, knowledgeable amateurs, our members regularly attend professional concerts and workshops on the North Shore and Greater Vancouver.