The Peninsula 0rchestra was established as a branch of the Peninsula Music Club in 1978. The Club was an "umbrella" organization for amateur music making which originally comprised of a Concert Orchestra, Country-and-Western group, and Recorder consort. Over time, the Country and Western and Recorder groups disbanded, with only the Orchestra remaining stable and functioning effectively. In 1993 the name of the group was officially changed to the present "Peninsula Orchestra".
We draw our membership from different communities within Ontario Canada's Niagara Peninsula. We are all non-paid volunteers who want to keep up with our instruments for the love of it. The 0rchestra has approximately 40 members. There are people young and old, from all walks of life, including doctors, lawyers, teachers, electricians, welders and students. Some of us are still working or about to work and others are retired...but we are all serious amateurs wanting to participate in the lifelong love and discipline of music.
We rehearse every Monday evening from 7:15pm until 9:30pm at the Holy Trinity Church in Fonthill. Our season starts mid-September and ends in June. We perform throughout the year with our busiest seasons being Christmas and Spring. We regularly perform in churches, seniors' residences and parks, including the bandshell at Queenston Heights. Competent amateur players of standard orchestral instruments are most welcome. There are no auditions required, nor restrictions as to age.
Membership fees are $75 per year for adults, $35 for students and $100 for families..
The Peninsula Orchestra welcomed George Cleland as conductor in the 2007 season. Violinist/violist George Cleland is the Music Coordinator for the Niagara Suzuki Association and the viola coach for the Niagara Youth Orchestra. He has been an instructor for Brock University since 2004. A performer, teacher, and conductor, George is a founding member of the Luthien Ensemble, and he performs frequently as a chamber and orchestral musician with the Niagara Symphony Orchestra, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, and the Niagara International Chamber Music Festival. He is also the Conductor of the Brock University String Orchestra since 2017 - combining university students and community members in the performance of standard masterworks and lesser-known gems of the string repertoire.
Prior to moving to the Niagara region, George was a violin instructor for the Medicine Hat College Conservatory of Music and Dance, and the conductor of the Medicine Hat Junior String Orchestra and the founder and director for the Medicine Hat Community Orchestra.