Giocoso Strings and young string players play Oh Canada at the Canada Day celebrations in Merrickville

If you were one of the people braving the rain on Canada Day in Merrickville, you would have had the pleasure of hearing a group of diverse string players who played “Oh Canada” and “God Save the Queen” for the crowd during the celebrations in the Blockhouse Park.

The group included adults from the Giocoso Strings, as well as the young pupils of local violinist, Polly McCombe, who worked extremely hard to get ready for the performance. “I thought it would be nice to teach my students how to play by ear and in a group,” Polly says. “It was an opportunity for them to come together, practice and work towards a common goal.”

Polly says she also wanted to make sure her students had something special to remember about the sesquicentennial year. She herself remembers fondly being part of a choir that sang at Expo67 when she was a girl, and hoped to pass that sense of pride on to the younger generation. “I wanted to make it special for them,” she says.

The Giocoso Strings consists of three violins, a cello, a base and a viola and there were eight children, from ages six to 17, who played violins, and one who played double base. “I admire the parents that encouraged [the kids] to go for the performance,” says Gloria Stowell, one of the members of the Giocoso Strings. “It was a great promotion of music and an example of many generations working together.”

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