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APRIL 14, 2023 

Greetings! Trust everyone is enjoying Toronto’s hot weather, and poor air quality, ahead of the return of the cold. 

As part of these Announcements, the COVID Safety Committee is seeking feedback from members about recommendations it intends to make to the Board at the Board meeting on April 27. Comments or responses are due by April 24, 2023. 


The next rehearsal is Monday, April 17, 7:30pm  at St. Barnabas Church (361 Danforth Avenue - Chester subway). Our Music Director expects to rehearse as follows:

New World symphony movements 1, 3 BreakMovement 4Trumpet concerto.

Musicians are expected to bring their own music - available on the Musicians’ portal on or by asking our Librarian, Bob Mitchell, to bring a part for you. Bob is available at The IMSLP link to Dvorak’s New World Symphony is 


Director Andrew Lam has confirmed the venue for our June 10 concert:  St. Simon and St. Peter-the-Apostle. This venue worked very well at our March concert, received positive comments from audience members, and is easily accessible on the TTC. 

If you have photographs from the March concert, please post them on the website. You will find photos and a recording are already posted on the Musicians portal at


 The COVID Safety Committee met and considered how, or if, the CCO’s current COVID safety precautions should be amended, since, while not over, the pandemic has lost some of its terror, and the CCO;s policies are now more stringent than most other institutions now require.First, thank you to everyone for your compliance with the CCO’s policies. We have been performing together now for over a year, without incident, and are proud of that and proud of the members willingness to co-operate on this health and safety matter.. The Committee reviewed what other orchestras of similar size, and other arts organizations are currently doing about COVID safety, and will be recommending changes to the Board on April 27. Our recommendations at this point are tentative as the Committee also decided to get feedback from the persons most affected - the musicians who normally rehearse together - before going to the Board. Accordingly, please review the following recommendations and provide your comments/feedback in person at the rehearsals or by email to by no later than the rehearsal on April 24. The tentative Recommendations: For Musicians, to be effective on May 1, 2023: 1. MASKS - use of masks at rehearsals and at concerts for musicians will change to “strongly recommended”, not mandatory2. SHARING STANDS - remove the restriction on sharing stands at rehearsals, and leave it up to the musicians to decide if they want to share. 3. RISK ASSESSMENT FORMS - drop the requirement that these be signed by new members.4. VACCINATIONS - maintain the requirement for proof of 3 vaccinations from members, but apply a two rehearsal trial period for new musicians, as described in paragraph 5. 5. VACCINATIONS AND TRIAL PERIODS - any new musicians, including ringers, those who may become members, and those who want to be placed on a CCO waitlist, waiting for a vacancy for their instrument, will be made aware of the CCO’s 3 vaccination requirement for all musicians playing in indoor venues with the CCO. Those who attend a rehearsal with no proof of any vaccinations shall be barred from attending the rehearsal or concert. Those who show proof of two vaccinations will be permitted to attend a maximum of two indoor events, but will be required to wear a mask when not actually playing a wind instrument; they will be told that proof of a third vaccination will be required should they wish to attend any further CCO indoor events, including rehearsals. At their third attendance, the musician will be expected to show proof of 3 vaccinations in order to attend, unless other arrangements are made with one of the COVID Safety Co-Chairs (Holly Price and Liz Mitchell).For Concerts:6. MASKS  - strongly recommended, not mandatory for audience members.7. MASKS AND CONCERT VOLUNTEERS - concert volunteers will be asked to wear masks in order to reinforce the CCO’s commitment to its recommendation that masks be worn. A volunteer will be assigned to offer free masks at the venue entrance to all attendees at a concert.8. REFRESHMENTS AT INTERMISSION - the COVID Committee believes the current concert format, of a shorter programme and no refreshments, should carry on although it has no objection to water being available at intermissions, and will work with the Board on any changes to the concert format proposed by the Concert organizers. We look forward to your comments at the rehearsals or by email to by no later than April 24, 2023.


(i) Playing in the Park: Following the members’ Zoom discussion on March 27, CCO Vice Chair Daniel Payne has done a report and is recommending to the Board that the Playing in the Park series be continued this coming summer: six Sunday afternoon concerts in Allan Gardens, starting July 10.  If you would like to read Daniel’s report, please ask him at the rehearsal or email him at

The recommendation is to repeat last summer’s format: one hour of rehearsal, usually sight-reading new or somewhat familiar music, followed by a one hour concert, playing the pieces just rehearsed and featuring small ensemble guest performers. All CCO musicians are invited to participate. There will be a sign up sheet so that music appropriate to the instruments expected to attend can be chosen. But all are welcome to attend, with our without notice, although flutes and clarinets may have to play violin parts, bassoons play from the cello part, etc.  

A Volunteer or two would be welcome to take charge of bringing “stuff” to these events, assisting with attendance, organizing a members’ picnic at the final concert, etc. 

(ii) CCO’s 40th Anniversary in 2024. Planning has begun for our anniversary events. The Anniversary Committee Chair, David Brownstone, will convene a Zoom call soon for members’ input, and is looking for volunteers. The anniversary concert in June will be the “big anniversary event”, but not necessarily the only event. 

Please consider volunteering, or suggesting to friends and family members who may be interested, that they volunteer. This Committee needs all kinds of skills and expertise to plan a successful events,  including programme planning, researching venue(s), budgeting, fundraising, marketing, community outreach, etc. If you or someone you know wishes to be part of the Anniversary Committee, please email David at or

(iii) Fundraising Generally: The CCO is fortunate to have a healthy bank balance, thanks to the generosity of our many donors. However, some funds are ear-marked for specific purposes and projects (such as commissioning new works, supporting the concertmaster chair, etc.) and the CCO is committed to honouring the wishes of its donors. We spend more on our day-to-day activities than we generate from fees and concert sales; fundraising is necessary to fill the gap.  Volunteers with experience in fundraising, and in seeking grants, are particularly encouraged to get involved. Members are likely to hear more about fund-raising in the months to come. Email your expression of interest to,. 

V. IMPORTANT CCO DATES Monday April 17 - rehearsals resume 7:30pm St. Barnabas Church. Also on April 17, 24, May 1, 8, and 15.  Thursday April 27, 7:30pm - CCO Board meeting by Zoom. Members may attend - request the Zoom link from May 22 - No Rehearsal, Victoria Day. May 29 and June 5 - Rehearsals at St. Barnabas 7:30pm Friday June 9 - Dress Rehearsal, St. Simon and St. Peter-the-Apostle. Saturday June 10 - CCO’s final concert for its 39th season, St. Simon and St. Peter-the-Apostle.Sunday Afternoons, July 10 to August 14 - Recommendation that Playing in the Park outdoor concerts be held in Allan Gardens. To be considered by the Board at the April 27 meeting. 

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