Candice Turner-Smith and Bradley Thachuk from the Niagara Symphony Orchestra were our guest speakers for March. Candice has recently taken over as Managing Director of the Symphony and Bradley is the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor who joined the Symphony last season after spending nine years as the Associate Conductor of the Fort Wayne Symphony Orchestra. Candice gave us a brief history of the 65-year old Symphony and an overview of the process used to select Bradley as the conductor.
Bradley began with the question, “Why do we need an orchestra?” He asserted that arts organizations have an intrinsic value to society, in fact he suggested that “… progress as a society is tied to progress in the Arts… every major era in history can be traced achievement in the Arts.”
Mr. Thachuk left a comfortable position in the U.S. to be here in St. Catharines as the Symphony strives to build its audience in preparation for the move to the new Performing Arts Centre. He sees great opportunity here and believes the region is ready for growth. He told us about the Symphony’s mandate to carry out music education in the community and described the “Composer in the Class-room” program and the annual summer Music Camp that has been in operation for over 50 years now. In closing, Mr. Thachuk outlined some of the upcoming program directions the Symphony will pursue in its role as a provider of entertainment, and said that he hoped to see us all in the audience.
At our April monthly meeting, the speaker will be Corrie Kellestine of the Bruce Trail Association speaking, of course, about the Bruce Trail.