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“An Enchanted Queer Holiday Soiree” last night appeared to be a great beginning to the holiday season for both CCO musicians and our audience members! 


"Dear members,

What a memorable evening as it’s my first time collaborating with a Drag performer, and it went so well. Rebecca was simply magnificent.

Thank you so much for all your hard work.  You do not need me to tell you how much our audience enjoyed our performance.  

I wish you a merry Christmas and happy holidays.

I need your help in the next concert.  Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony is a monumental piece in western music and we cannot handle it lightly. While you are enjoying your well deserved break, do spend some time with the music.  

Last but not least, thank you again and I look forward to seeing all of you after the New Year.




It was wonderful to feature Rebecca Gray at last night’s performance. She was a talented first violinist when she played with the CCO several years ago, and it is clear that she is a truly marvellous opera singer and composer now; her presentation really personified the delight of sharing music. 

As Rebecca told us at the Dress Rehearsal, just a few days before, she had been in NYC to attend the Opera America awards, where she, with her sister Rachel, won an award for Digital Excellence in Opera from Opera America. This is an award that recognizes the best projects created for digital platforms for producers and organizations in the US and Canada. Rebecca and Rachel won for their work “Jess”, based on Rachel’s graphic novel about a childhood friend who experienced a stroke. And they accomplished this big win on a shoestring budget. 

Rebecca’s email today:

"Here is the Opera America website with info about the awards and links to all the winners

and here is the link directly to “Jess"

Please extend my heartfelt gratitude to the whole orchestra for a fantastic concert.  What a triumph!

OPERA America Announces Winners of the 2023 Awards for Digital Excellence in Opera | OPERA America

OPERA America announces the winners of the 2023 Awards for Digital Excellence in Opera.



What an evening! Everyone’s hard work paid off, musically, in ticket sales, and in fundraising. We should be proud. 

We offered a great holiday programme, thanks to Andrew, and received many, many compliments on our music. We may have been rather squeezed on the stage, but our sound really filled that large hall! The contrast of Rebecca’s sweet tones and our narrator’s dramatic delivery created a very entertaining and satisfying holiday event. 

This was the first time since our concert for Ukraine in June 2022 that we tried fundraising at a concert, and it was more successful than anticipated. The 50/50 raffle garnered the CCO $600, an amount higher than previous raffles - thanks Trish. Taking photos with our Drag Performers was a first-time initiative; the drag artists added a lot to the holiday feeling in the venue, and also raised about $250. The donations at the cookie table were the real surprise - about $350!!! Thank you to all the musicians who donated cookies. Em was probably our largest contributor - and hers were all home-made! - and to Daniel who obtained cookie donations from Whiskful Baking and from Craig’s Cookies.  

Really quite a wonderful event in every way. 

If you have photographs you’d like to share on the CCO website, please post to our website or forward to Tetsuya at

The few packages of leftover cookies will be donated to the Out of the Cold programme at East End United, and a few Christmas cookie tins will be available for pickup by their rightful owners when we meet in January. There will also be copies of last night’s programme for pickup - seeing the big numbers of attendees, the Door Volunteers encouraged guests to please share their programmes, and refused to distribute any to the musicians - you can have one now. 

We depend a lot on our volunteers at concerts and the crew we had last night did well, in their jobs, and in making the venue a welcoming place. 



No rehearsals Dec. 11, 18, 25, or Jan. 1. 

Monday December 18, 7:30pm - Board meeting by Zoom. CCO Members can contact for a link to attend. 

Monday January 8, 2024 - Rehearsals resume Mondays, 7:30pm to 9:30pm, at The 519, 519 Church Street. 

Friday March 22 - 7:00pm to 10:00pm Dress Rehearsal for “Romantic Echoes” at East End United Church

Saturday March 23 - 7:30pm Concert, East End United Church 

(No rehearsal Monday March 25) 

Monday April 1 - Easter Monday. Discussion required re rehearsal or not.

Monday April 8, 7:30pm - rehearsals resume Mondays 7:30pm at The 519 

(No rehearsal Monday May 20 - Victoria Day) 

Monday May 27 - rehearsals resume at The 519, 7:30 to 9:30pm

Friday June 14 - 7:00pm to 10:00pm Dress Rehearsal for “Melodies of Pride and Progress", East End United Church

Saturday, June 15 - 7:30pm 40th Anniversary Concert, a post concert reception, and other celebratory events, East End United Church.

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