Yasuko Eastman, Concert Master
Yasuko Eastman is one of the founding members of VCO. She enjoys every moment of her day teaching children, practising, rehearsing, performing. She feels very privileged to be playing under such a great musician Maestro Yariv Aloni, surrounded by friends who are all in love with music. She loves her studio and garden. She enjoys going to movies, theatre productions, art exhibits with her husband, and taking nature walks.
Gwen Isaacs is a semi-retired GP who is forever grateful to her parents for providing her with music lessons when they could least afford it so that she can now fatten her brain stem and enrich her life by playing in VCO and other musical groups to her heart's content.
Sue Innes, Principal
Sue Innes is a translator and academic editor. She leads the second violin section in the Victoria Chamber Orchestra and the Sooke Philharmonic orchestras. She lives on an acreage in Shirley, where only the bears and cougars can hear her practice.
Semi- retired as a math/science school teacher, I waste more and more of my time fiddling around on the violin and viola. Playing, practising and performing on a string instrument is such a wonderful way to enjoy life. Working on organization and support of the Victoria Chamber Orchestra is something I am proud to be part of - we are a wonderful team.
Alexis More, Principal
Lee initially studied violin until discovering the Joy of Viola as a teen and since then has never looked back! As a founding member and the first President of the VCO, Lee has enjoyed his association with the orchestra for many years and looks forward to many more.
Mary is an accomplished violinist, violist and conductor. She was violinist with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra for 17 years. She continues to play violin and viola with the Victoria Chamber Orchestra, the Sooke Philharmonic, and is Principal Viola with the Civic Orchestra of Victoria. She has more than thirty years' experience teaching individual violin and viola lessons and group string classes at all levels.
Catheryn moved to Victoria to teach and further pursue her musical education. At age four Catheryn began violin, and knew by six that she wanted to be a performer and teacher. Now as a certified Suzuki instructor, she has taught violin and viola for over ten years privately, at Neskowin Valley Private School, and now at the Victoria Conservatory as an instructor and department coordinator. Her dream is to spread the love of music and skills to as many young people as possible. She feels blessed to be under the lovely direction of Yariv and a part of such a great group as the VCO.
A pianist from childhood, Michele MacHattie loves playing in the viola sections of the Victoria Chamber Orchestra and Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra, making music with good friends. Michele is fortunate to have wonderful teachers: she studied for five years with VCO founding member Marian Moody and is continuing with Anne McDougall.
Mary Smith, Principal
Ellen is a recently retired teacher from her very successful private music studio in Sooke. She enjoys playing cello with the Victoria Chamber Orchestra, the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra and is learning viola for fun. Previously she lived in the Winnipeg area where she co-owned a sheep and goat farm, travelled in the touring orchestra of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet as principal cellist, and occasionally played with the Winnipeg Symphony.
Janis is a founding member of VCO. She learned to play the cello in the Victoria Schools Strings Program at Quadra Elementary. She is a former member of the Victoria Symphony. VCO is a highlight in her life.
Trevor is a retired engineer. He studied with Zdenek Konicek of the Czech quartet and Robert Dodson of the Vaghy quartet. He has played with the North York Symphony, the Kingston Symphony and Ottawa Chamber Orchestra. He now plays in the Sooke Philharmonic and Victoria Chamber Orchestras.
Richard Backus, Principal
Richard is a sport medicine physician in Victoria. He is a student of Gary Karr and Mary Rannie, and plays on a Brock Radelet bass with a Reid Hudson bow. He was the founding president of the Early Music Society of the Islands, and organized the Music Injuries Awareness Program at UVic.