Sinfonia Ancaster has been a force in the Hamilton community since 2006, when Redeemer University College created Sinfonia, a full symphony orchestra led by Prof. Paul Thorlaksen, to expand their music program. Local professional musicians were hired as instructors and participated in the orchestra as playing coaches. Redeemer students formed the core of the orchestra and local community players were welcomed to fill out the sections. Concerts at Redeemer were well attended by area music lovers.
In 2015 Redeemer ended its instrumental music program. With the support of the players and coaches, and the hard work of a few, Sinfonia found a new home in Ancaster Performing Arts, with the promise of a new state-of-the-art facility in the proposed Ancaster Memorial Arts Centre. Sinfonia became Sinfonia Ancaster and continued without interruption as a community-based organization with professional coaches under the interim musical direction of Jacob Harmule. We performed a three-concert season each year to packed houses in the parish hall of St John’s Anglican Church in Ancaster.
Harmule was ready to pass on the baton in 2020, just as the pandemic arrived and performances were put on hold. By 2021 we had engaged a new and fully professional Music Director, Jeffrey Pollock. We began performing again in Meadowlands Fellowship Church in Ancaster and our audience slowly began to return. As we open the 2022-23 season in the Ancaster Memorial Arts Centre Peller Hall, excited by Pollock’s musical direction and programming, everything is in place to become a significant presence in the community, offering employment to professional coaches, musical training and performance opportunities to community musicians of all ages, and fine public performances in a stunning new theatre.