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From the Noticeboard

AHA workshops and retreats

Alison Hart & Associates (AHA) are hosting a series of workshops and retreats this fall from the [ ... ]

Linking Together LGBTQ2S+ people

PEERS Alliance is looking to build community among LGBTQ2S+ people in PEI by launching a new project [ ... ]

PEI Symphony, then and now

On PEI, there is another anniversary besides Canada’s 150th to be celebrated this year: the 50th anniversary of the PEI Symphony Orchestra. In 1967, Thomas Hahn, Hubert Tersteeg, Conn Zaat, and a group of other musicians and community members met and started the discussions that eventually led to the formation of the PEI symphony.

Thomas Hahn was the first conductor of this new orchestra. When he moved to another community, Bert Tersteeg became interim conductor. I became the third conductor in the fall of 1970.

The first orchestra performers included a mixture of professional musicians, students and seniors (some of whom took lessons to be in the orchestra). It was a bit of a motley but dedicated crew that began the PEISO’s history.

At one of my first concerts, I walked out on stage, opened my music, and behold, someone had placed a large handwritten note in my music folder which said “Who’d you think you are, Toscanini?” At the next rehearsal, I declared to the orchestra that I would rather be Artur Fiedler!

Over the past 50 years, the orchestra has grown and continued to improve through the excellent conductorship of several fine musicians.

We are now going to be treated to another wonderful season of PEISO performances in 2017-2018. There will be four concerts, three in Zion church and one in the Homburg Theatre.

The first concert, on October 15, will include Beethoven’s Eroica symphony and the guest artists will be Ten Strings And A Goatskin.

The concert on November 19, to take place in the Homburg Theatre, will feature a new composition, Cantata for Canada 150, a commission made possible by a grant from the Canadian government. This cantata has been composed by four world-class Canadian composers: Richard Torly, Leo Marchildon, Ken Morse and Andrew Staniland. The text is provided by four talented young Island poets. The performers joining the full orchestra will be the Confederation Centre choirs, soloists, and Hey Cuzzins M’kmaq drum circle, all conducted by the Music Director, the internationally renowned Mark Shapiro.

It is my pleasure to have played a part, particularly in the formative years of the PEISO, in what has become a truly sophisticated, professional orchestra whose performances never fail to leave the audience feeling delighted and rewarded. Bravo to all of you on our tiny island who have helped to create and sustain this fine contribution to the culture of PEI.

No matter how much the entertainment world changes, a live performance still outranks any other kind of music…and the PEISO affirms this!

—Dr. Alan Reesor is Music Professor Emeritus, UPEI; Organist and Choirmaster Emeritus of St. Peter’s Cathedral, Charlottetown; Recipient of Honorary Doctorate from King’s College, Halifax; and holds Honorary Fellowship, Royal Canadian College of Organists.

Suggest a guest

This month The Buzz resumes its Guest Book column in which we invite someone from our PEI community to write a short essay on the subject of the cultural life of PEI. We’ve had informative and thought-provoking contributions covering a wide range of perspectives on the subject. We are now compiling a list for 2018. If you would like to suggest someone who would have something to say on the matter (you can suggest yourself), please let us know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Events Calendar

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Some Upcoming Events

ACT to present Rainbow Valley—An Island ...

November 8–10 & 15–17
The Guild ACT (a community theatre) has announced a family musical, Ra [ ... ]

The Children Act

September 27–October 4
City Cinema PG, language warning
Dir: Richard Eyre, UK, 105 min. Emma Thomps [ ... ]

Trailside Café 2018

Select dates
Trailside Café  Nick Doneff | September 28 Nick Doneff has won a large PEI follo [ ... ]

Recent News & Articles

Drawing the line

Profile: Sandy Carruthers by Jane Ledwell Retired for a year now after twenty-five years teaching  [ ... ]

Filmworks Summerside

Film series is back for 7th season Filmworks Summerside opens for their 7th season on September 12  [ ... ]

An Island wish

On August 23, 4 year old Cooper Coughlin will arrive on Prince Edward Island soil for a once in a li [ ... ]