A'Chord East

                       ©Photo by Lois Siegel©

Back Row:  Gerry Cheverie, Kem Hur

Middle  Row: Joy Rutherford, Mary Meuse, Donna Grimard,  Bea Leblanc, Rachel  Emery, Ralph Scribner
Front Row:  Jean Guy Lemay, Robert Emery

In September, 2001, Joan Henry and Judy Cliché, two east end cello players, started a string orchestra in the east end of Ottawa.  The ensemble "A'Chord East" was formed with the intent to play music in a group close to home. 

    ©Photo by Lois Siegel©
Gerry Cheverie

Gerry Cheverie left his native Prince Edward Island in 1954 to become a 30 year member of the Canadian Army. This was followed by an additional 10 years with the Department of National Defence. He retired in 1993. Prior to retirement, he took up the fiddle in 1988 at age 51 under the tutelage of Malcolm Dewar, Kanata Ontario. As a charter member of the Ottawa Fiddle Ensemble, Gerry played in the first violin section during the ensemble’s first 10 years (1992-2002). He has been a member of the Queens County Fiddlers of the Prince Edward Island Fiddlers Society since 1988 and plays with them when he is back “home”. His first “fiddle love” is Scottish/Cape Breton Music - and his favourite “mumble” is: “so many tunes - so little time.”

©Photo by Lois Siegel
Rachel Emery

Rachel Emery takes great pleasure in many of her pastimes, such as sewing and gardening.  She also loves listening to traditional and Celtic music.  She developed her interest in playing music in her 40’s.  After learning the basics of the flute, she volunteered for many years as a musician at a residence for seniors where many talented people, including the residents, participated.  This was truly a rewarding, challenging and very special experience for her. She is now a proud member of
A’ Chord East , which permits her, once again, to play in great company.

©Photo by Lois Siegel
Robert Emery

Robert Emery developed an interest in traditional French-Canadian song and fiddle music and began playing guitar in his youth in Ottawa and during extended vacations with family in Northern Ontario.  After many years away from music to pursue studies, a career and to raise a family, he has taken up the guitar again as a retirement hobby.  Today his interests range from traditional Celtic to French-Canadian and Eastern, as well as Western fiddling music and song.  He enjoys playing at family gatherings, weekly jams with friends and with A'Chord East.

©Photo by Lois Siegel
Donna Grimard

Donna Grimard's love of playing music began with the clarinet in her school orchestra and marching band in Kingsport Tennessee.  Playing music was put on hold while she was busy raising her three children and working as a mental health crisis counsellor.  Recently, she began playing the violin and now studies at Allegro Music School under the expert and patient guidance of Zelda Golub.  She is pleased to have the opportunity to play with A’Chord East. 

©Photo by Lois Siegel
Kem Hur

©Photo by Lois Siegel
Bea Leblanc

Beatrice Leblanc (Bea) is from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. She has always enjoyed listening to music of any kind, but has no musical background except for what she has acquired from workshops and lessons. Bea started playing the fiddle several years ago after her daughter persuaded her to take a fiddle course at Algonquin College: "East Coast Fiddling". Having more time on her hands, she decided to pursue fiddling a little more seriously, by taking lessons with Marietta Fraser.  Because of her patience and encouragement, Bea is now playing with A'Chord East. 

    ©Photo by Lois Siegel©
Jean Guy Lemay

Music has always been a passion for Jean Guy Lemay.  He loves all kinds of genres, including traditional folk, rock and roll, classical, country, Latin, jazz, blues, and gospel.  Jean Guy uses computerized music software technology in creating music. He plays acoustic guitar, electric guitar, banjo, and keyboard.  Playing with the A'Chord East has brought Jean Guy back to his first love, traditional folk music.

©Photo by Lois Siegel

 Ed MacIver
Ed MacIver was born in Inverness, Nova Scotia (Cape Breton Island), June 7, 1938. He graduated from Baddeck Rural High School in 1956 and worked for the Canadian National Railway. Ed then joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and attended #1 Radio and Communication School, Clinton. He graduated as a Radar Technologist.  Ed spent the next 22 years on various sites on the Canadian Pine Tree Line across Canada.  The next 12 years were with the service at Fighter Group Headquarters and the National Defense Headquarters, and finally with The Department of National Defense. He retired in 1996 and began experimenting as a hobby with the violin in 1999.

©Photo by Lois Siegel

Mary Meuse
Mary Meuse was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, a city of music lovers and talent. She learned the classical violin as a child at the Conservatory of Music in Halifax and played in their orchestra for five years. Mary's music was put on hold when she became busy raising four children. Later, as an adult, she took some lessons while living in Halifax. Mary is now enjoying the revival of her music playing with A'Chord East. Her family was musical, and her mother played the violin, which she now uses as her own.

©Photo by Lois Siegel

Joy Rutherford

Joy Rutherford was born in Cape Town, South Africa. Her family immigrated to England and then to Canada. Joy started playing the violin at the age of seven, but she quit when she went to university and restarted when she turned 40.  Joy retired after 34 years of teaching across the province of Ontario.  Her roles in education included classroom teacher in elementary and secondary schools; department head, behaviour and learning disability classes, board teacher diagnostician, vice-principal, principal and supervisor of a college program for training Education Assistants.

When Joy is not playing the violin and viola or exercising at GoodLife, she can be found downhill skiing with Snowhawks Ski and Snowboard School and volunteering with Arteast and
Children's Creative Response to Conflict (CCRC).

©Photo by Lois Siegel
Ralph Scribner

Ralph Scribner is a Maritimer, from Moncton, New Brunswick, who came to Ottawa with the Department of Transport (Airways Navigation Standards) in 1986. He has always appreciated folk and bluegrass music with instruments of natural sound. A short course of piano lessons as a  youngster helped him play accordion with family and friends while raising his family. At age 60, Ralph picked up a guitar, using the self-taught method, and with the help of friends in his jamming group, he has enjoyed many hours of playing for family and shut-ins. He recently started playing the mandolin and enjoys playing the music of the A'Chorders with a Celtic flavour.

©Photo by Paul Jean
Lois Siegel

Lois Siegel is a filmmaker/photographer who recently started haunting the music scene in Ottawa.  When she isn’t playing the fiddle, she teaches Video Production at the University of Ottawa. Her documentary films cover a range of subjects:  “Baseball Girls” (women who play softball and baseball), “Lip Gloss” (female impersonators), “Strangers in Town” (albinos), and “Stunt People” (The Fournier Family performing stunts for films). Lois also plays with the Lyon Street Celtic Band, Celtic North, and Fiddlers and Company.

©Photo by Lois Siegel

Father Joe Vayalil

Father Joe Vayalil was born in India. He was ordained as a priest in the papal Seminary and came to Canada for more advanced studies.   Father Joe graduated from St. Paul University, and The University of Ottawa.  He joined the Canadian Forces as Chaplain, and after six and a half years, he settled down in Ottawa. Father Joe took fiddle and violin courses at the Ottawa Folklore Centre for six years and continues to take lessons twice a month. Father Joe Vayalil is an Associate Pastor at the Church of the Annunciation, 2414 Ogilvy Road, Ottawa.

The members of "A'Chord East" focus on learning new repertoire, playing various styles of music, including classical and Celtic, and improving their playing, but Rule No. 1 is that it has to be fun.

Our players have diverse backgrounds.  Some played when they were younger, some started playing much later in life, some stopped playing when they were young and decided to start again after retirement.  It's never too late.

"A'Chord East" is available for performances.

Rehearsals take place every Wednesday, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. at
Beacon Heights Retirement Residence, 2201 Montreal  Rd just off Shefford Rd., Orleans.
There are no tryouts
Requirements: Players should be able to read music. Please bring a music stand.

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