Reviews & Testimonials

    Terrace Symphony Alliance

    “The Terrace Symphony Orchestra/Trio Accord alliance began in 2000, when a conversation between the TSO president Bonnie Juniper and violinist Mary Sokol Brown led to a discussion of how the TSO could find coaches to travel north and tutor string players. It was suggested that the Trio could come to Terrace, coach the orchestra as a whole, but also do sectional rehearsals and give private lessons. Plans were set into action and thus began a wonderful relationship that resulted in six visits by the Trio as a group, and also as soloists.

    Several concerts were given, some including the TSO as part of the program, and some featuring the Trio on their own. The benefits to the orchestra were many. It is always better to bring people into a community to educate as many as possible, as opposed to one person travelling south for private lessons. The interaction between Trio members and TSO members was wonderful, everyone learned so much and had a great time doing it. Unique was the sincerity, on both sides, in trying to make an improvement in skill levels, which is varied in a community orchestra. It is hoped that this alliance can continue, as all TSO string players felt the bond between them grow, and the improvement in their playing made making music that much more enjoyable.”

    Bonnie Juniper,
    violin Naramata String Ensemble Retreat - 2004,
    2006 President, Terrace Symphony Orchestra

    Workshop Value

    “This being my first year at the retreat, I had some concerns about the cost. Once there, and after having experienced the superb quality of the coaching, those concerns vanished.”

    Cheryl Shizgal, violin
    Gabriola String Ensemble Retreat - 2002
    Past-President, Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra

    Gabriola Retreat Review

    I have been to every one of the Gabriola retreats – they are a high point of the year. I have attended many different kinds of string workshops over the years, and nothing compares to this combination of place and people. The location and accommodations are wonderful, my fellow participants are family, and being coached by Trio Accord is a joy. Their mix of impeccable musicianship and endless enthusiasm is magic.”

    Ken Williams, cello
    Seattle, WA, U.S.A.

    David Clark Workshop Impressions

    “The Gabriola String Ensemble Retreat was started in 2001 to provide an experience enabling serious adult amateur musicians to realize the satisfaction of playing in string ensembles. The goals were to increase confidence, to encourage a touch of musicality, and to inspire a degree of professionalism.

    For amateurs, attaining these goals requires a special understanding on the part of tutors to not only appreciate the amateur “playing mentality”, but to also provide a level and quality of teaching that ensure a steady progression of ability. Since its inception, the Retreat has been fortunate to have Trio Accord — under the leadership of violinist, Mary Sokol Brown — direct our musical activities and be the core of our tutoring.

    We have not been disappointed with the results. The Trio and their colleagues have provided top-quality professionalism and musicianship matched with appropriate teaching skills to encourage each group to attain their desired performance level, at a pace commensurate with the group’s abilities and desires. Many participants have remarked that the principal feature that makes our Retreat different from others they have attended, has been in the quality of coaching and the empathy shown by Trio Accord.

    As a result, and to satisfy demand for a fall retreat in the interior of British Columbia, we have also instituted the Naramata Retreat. Because this facility has pianos available, we have been able to incorporate repertoire for Piano/String ensembles to the greater benefit of the retreat as a whole. Of course, Trio Accord and their appropriate colleagues continue their relationship with us.

    The very fact that the majority of our participants have returned year-after-year, many to both retreats, is evidence of the high regard in which Trio Accord and their colleagues are held”.

    David Clark, violin
    Founder, Gabriola and Naramata String Ensemble Retreats President, Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra