Workshop and Practices - CANCELLED

Due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, today's scheduled workshop was cancelled.  Additionally, all regular Saturday practices at Andrews of Stratford have been suspended until further notice.

Workshop Day

Please note that there will be no DNTS rehearsal at Andrews of Stratford on Saturday, March 14th due to the annual orchestra workshop taking place at the Cotton Centre in Stratford.

Saturday rehearsals will resume on Saturday, March 21st at Andrews.

Passing on the Baton


The baton raps the music stand three times and Jan (Conductor) asks Susan (First Violin) to play an A.  And the practice begins.

This is how Definitely Not the Symphony (DNTS) usually begins its weekly practices. 

DNTS,  however, is looking for a new Music Director/Conductor.  Jan, who has been with the orchestra since its creation is planning on enjoying a well-deserved retirement from the orchestra and Liam, who began playing with the orchestra when he was still in junior high school, and has co-conducted for the past three and a half years is about to pursue graduate studies off-island. They will both be leaving the orchestra at the end of June this year.  

DNTS celebrated its tenth anniversary last year and over that time the orchestra has tackled over 60 pieces of music. There are current members who started learning to play the recorder who are now playing the flute and violin.  

We have orchestral instruments such as violin, cello, flute, clarinet, French horn, trumpet, and percussion. But we also have some unconventional instruments not normally found in an orchestra including: celtic harp, recorders, alto saxophone, keyboard, electric bass guitar, and acoustic guitars.

We have performed for cruise ships, the Superstore at Christmas, and Stratford City Hall, but mostly  given concerts for the staff and residents of Andrews of Stratford who welcome us into their Activities Room every week and allow us to practice.  

We have made a quilt, a musical travelogue and a soundscape composition and played kazoos in unison! We know each other by our instruments such as Ken (Flute) and Carol (Harp).

There has been the happiness of discovering that we could play something together, and sometimes disagreements about how this should be done. There has been moaning about having 37 bars of rests and anxiety about the challenges presented by a particular piece of music but there has always been mutual support and joy in playing music together.  

There have been high school and university graduations, three weddings, five new babies, several new grandchildren, retirements, some great parties and plenty of laughter.  

Some members have moved away, some have moved on, and some sadly have passed away but through all that there has been the musical oasis of DNTS every Saturday morning and the community that surrounds it.

We have played terribly and we have played well but we have always tried our best to learn and improve. The joy that music brings continues to hold us together and to now look for a replacement conductor to share our community with.

The deadline for expressions of interest in the Music Director/Conductor position is 31st March 2020 and may be submitted to Chris at dntsstratford@gmail.com.

If expressing interest please include a few words on what it is that interests you about the role and what experience you have that may be helpful in this position. We hope that you will want to join us and help keep this community alive.

To learn even more about DNTS please visit us on Facebook or contact Chris (Second Violin) at 902-569-3818.

10 Years and Still Going Strong...

In the spring of 2019, Definitely Not the Symphony celebrated its tenth year making music together.  A concert celebration was held in June 2019 at Andrews of Stratford.  That concert was a musical retrospective of where we started and how far we've come, beginning with some of the simpler pieces we have mastered and concluding with longer more complicated compositions that challenged us.

We are proud of the longevity this group has had and how many of our original members are still with us.  We've learned and grown together and owe so much to our co-conductors, Jan Gomersall and Liam Payne, for supporting our growth as musicians and creating a real sense of community within the group by holding workshop days; providing time for individual and small group showcases; creating an original soundscape piece; and special concert themes, one of which resulted in the design and creation of a quilt and another for which we created an accompanying slideshow of pictures from around the world.  We look forward to many more years of music and fellowship!

Paula (Guitar) Gauthier and DNTS co-conductor, Liam Payne

Another Season Begins...

Some members of the DNTS strings section (photo by Ann Winslow)

Saturday, September 2, 2017 will see members of Definitely Not the Symphony reconvene after our summer hiatus. Anyone interested in coming out to hear what we're all about, please do join us and bring along your instrument.

Practice will begin at 10:00 a.m., so arrive before that to give yourself time to introduce yourself to everyone and to set up and warm up. Please bring your own music stand.

Currently, our woodwind section is rather thin. Any clarinetists, flutists, oboists out there looking for someone to play with? We need you!

This year we'll be working on a medley of Strauss waltzes and eventually a medley of some of Andrew Lloyd Webber's compositions. We have a whole repertoire of other pieces, classical and otherwise, that we will continue to play.

We regret that we do not have any recent performance footage or audio files to share, but be assured that we have come a long way since our first practice in 2009. Worried about fitting in and not having what it takes to keep up with us? If you're a bit rusty and your instrument is a bit dusty, don't despair. We're improving each year, but we're still definitely not the symphony! Give DNTS a try. We play music for fun.

Co-conductor Liam Payne playing 1st violin (photo by Ann Winslow)



DNTS Spreads the Love on Valentine's Day

DNTS performing Saturday, February 14, 2015 in our beautiful practice and concert space, the activity room at Andrews of Stratford
 
Winter and love (not love of winter!) were the main themes of our latest concert held at Andrews of Stratford on Valentine's Day. We also threw in some dance pieces, folk tunes, and classical fare with Hadyn's St. Anthony Chorale and Beethoven's Choral Symphony Theme ("Ode to Joy"). The encore was Scot Joplin's "The Entertainer". 

Don Mazer (alto sax), Pam Forrester (trumpet), our conductor, Jan Gomersall (flute), and Carol MacDonald (electric bass guitar) serenaded our appreciative audience with some old standards including, "Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two)" and "Over the Rainbow". 

We did not record this concert, but did receive a short clip of the orchestra playing Offenbach's "Can Can" recorded by an audience member.








We are a mix of both traditional orchestral instruments and non-traditional.




Multimedia Performance Captured on Video!



On Saturday, June 14, 2014, DNTS wowed its audience with two slideshow presentations: one set to live music; the other the premiere of a soundscape, a creation of our own making. The season-ending concert closed with a sing-along medley of well-known folk tunes. The entire concert was captured on video by Perry Williams of Virtual Studios and has been uploaded to YouTube (click on this link to view).

The first slideshow took the audience on a trip from Canada to Russia, Greece, Italy, Scotland, Ireland, and finally, back to Canada. Many of the photos had been taken by members of the orchestra. Musical selections were played to accompany the photos from each country.

The soundscape, which was created over a six-month period as a 2014 Project, was called, "A Journey Through Stratford." Photographs taken by orchestra members illustrated an original poem about Stratford written by a member of the orchestra. The strings section provided musical accompaniment while the rest of the orchestra used their instruments, feet, voices, and various props to mimic sounds commonly heard in the Stratford area.

The residents of Andrews of Stratford and other members of the audience were invited to sing-along with the final selections presented at the concert. These included, "The Log-Driver's Waltz," "Grandfather's Clock," "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain," "Clementine," and "This Land Is Your Land." 

We've come a long way in our 5 years together. What is next for this community orchestra?!?