CCSO grew from Anne Scott’s wish to have an ensemble opportunity for her adult cello students. A cup of coffee with violinist Brigit Knecht in the spring of 2009 was all it took propel the idea into a reality. With Brigit as conductor, rehearsals began in September 2009 at Hillhurst United church with a small but dedicated group of 18 musicians. Fall 2010 found Brigit relocated to Ottawa, Ontario and Anne on the podium with violinist Diane Valentine on board as associate director and violin coach. Now, CCSO is 35 – 45 members strong and rehearses in the spacious Fitzgerald Hall in St. Matthews United church.
Anne’s cello studies began in Edmonton, Alberta and continued at the U of A, Mount Royal College, Banff School of Fine Arts & the Stanford Summer String Institute. Her teachers & mentors include Claude Kenneson, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Harvey Shapiro and John Kadz.
Anne’s music career has included teaching, coaching, adjudicating, conducting and performing as both a soloist and in ensembles large and small across Canada and into the United States.
Anne is presently the principal cellist of both the Calgary Civic Symphony and the Symphony of the Kootenays, and also performs with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Red Deer symphony and her own String Quartet ‘Black Dress’. She is a busy freelance musician who enjoys the wide variety of music styles that freelancing offers.
Over the years, Anne’s teaching studio has included students from 3 yrs old to adults. Her teaching career has its roots in the Suzuki method, which is how she began her own studies. Now her teaching style also encompasses more traditional approaches for younger students as well as an increased involvement in adult education including serving as a cello teacher and coach at the West Coast Amateur Musicians Association (WCAMS) summer camp.
In 2009, Anne co-founded the Calgary Community String Orchestra for beginner to intermediate adult string players where she continues to serve as music director, cello coach and conductor. In 2013 CCSO expanded to include an Adult String Orchestra retreat at the Valhalla Summer school of Music and in 2015 a Chamber Music coaching series for adult amateurs in Calgary. Anne continues to serve as music director, cello coach and conductor for these groups.
Calgary born, raised, taught and based, violinist Diane Valentine has been a part of the city’s music scene for many years. A member of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra when still a teenager, Diane played for many years as Assistant, then Principle Second Violin before choosing to expand her musical horizons and become a free-lance musician.
Though playing with the Orchestra continues to be a major part of her life, Diane has had many opportunities to perform in other ways and venues over the years, and with many exciting musicians. One of the highlights of her free-lance career was working with Richard Harris in “Camelot”. Another was playing with the Canadian Touring Company of “Phantom of the Opera” for several years, performing in several Canadian cities, Hawaii, Alaska, Hong Kong and Singapore. Over the years, she also played in “Les Mis”, “West Side Story”, “Jesus Christ, Superstar“, “Wizard of Oz” (with Mickey Rooney), “South Pacific” (with Robert Goulet), “Anne of Green Gables”, and most recently, Theatre Calgary‘s “Guys and Dolls“ and “Beauty and The Beast”. She also toured with the Frank Mills Orchestra in Japan and in 2003 spent four months on an English Cruise Ship playing with the Armadillo String Quartet of Canada.
In 1982, Diane and several friends formed the Allegra String Quartet. Now, over thirty years later, this well-known and popular group is still going strong with hundreds of performances and a popular CD to its name.
Diane has been with CCSO almost from the beginning and she enjoys working with an Adult Community Orchestra.