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This is my story:

When I was sixteen, my best friend and I joined the local symphony. Chatting with the other - older - members of this group I often heard the comment "Well, I hadn't touched my instrument in years and I got rusty..." I could never imagine this would happen to me. I started playing the violin when I was eight and the playing routine had become a part of my life. But I did make a mental note to always join an orchestra - whichever place I ended up living - to be sure to keep playing my violin.

So, years later, when I moved to Ottawa, I looked around for orchestras and ended up joining the Parkdale Orchestra.

Everybody was truly interested and friendly and I soon felt at home. I liked the repertoire - it is fun to play pieces that you know well, however it is even more fun to play pieces you do not know, and get to know them as rehearsals progress.

The other part I like is the "third half" of the rehearsals that takes place in a local pub.

Years after my friend and I joined an orchestra in the town we grew up in, and thousands of kilometres further, I again found friends with a musical touch!

Oh - I must admit: there has been a four-year hiatus in my violin playing in my late twenties.

Nathalie van Galen
President, Parkdale United Church Orchestra