Divertimento Orchestra


©Photo by John Perrins
(613) 820-8812

30th Anniversary



"Ottawa's best-kept musical secret" 
"A hidden jewel"
"High caliber of music"

Divertimento Orchestra is an Ottawa-based group
 of 75 musicians.
It began in 1984 as a small ensemble playing in someone's basement
 for their own pleasure and has evolved into a full-fledged
community symphony under the direction of Gordon Slater.

©Photo by Charles Frost


April 20 & 21, 2018

Bedřich Smetana, The Moldau

Antonín Dvořák Slavonic Dances, Op. 46
 Symphony No. 9 “from the New World”

All Concerts begin at 8 p.m.
 Woodroffe United Church - 207 Woodroffe Ave.

Adults $20; Seniors/Students $10
Children 13 and under Free
Advanced tickets available at the Leading Note
370 Elgin St., Suite No. 2
Tickets also available at the door

Divertimento Orchestra is now on FACEBOOK


Elsa Slater, Gordon Slater, Bob Brown, Angela Blackwell, David Sale
The fiVe 
Orchestra Music at the Library

The British High Commission in Ottawa
held a reception in honor of
Divertimento Orchestra
April, 2008

ŠPhoto by Lois Siegel
British High Commissioner Anthony Cary and his wife Clare
Divertimento Orchestra
conductor Gordon  Slater with his wife Elsa

Divertimento played two all-English concerts
Vaughan Williams, Overture to "The Wasps"
Coleridge-Taylor, Violin Concerto, Mark Hartt-Palmer, violin (Canadian premičre)
Elgar, Enigma Variations
And as an encore
 a tune that everyone left humming
Elgar, Pomp & Circumstance March No. 1


by John Worrall

Gordon Slater has conducted the orchestra since 1987

ŠPhoto by Charles Frost

The Seventh Berkeley Carillon Festival
The 66th Congress of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America
The University of California at Berkeley

The Berkeley Medal for Distinguished Service to the Carillon
was awarded to Gordon Slater, Former Dominion Carillonneur of Canada.


ŠPhoto by Benjamin Kim
Shirlee Mays

ŠPhoto by Tom Barnes
Conductor Gordon Slater
Composer Walter Babiak
"Movin' in My Heart" (World Premiere)
Fall 2005
Performed with the Kanata Choral Society

ŠPhoto by Lois Siegel
Judith Vachon and Gloria Jean Nagy, sopranos

ŠPhoto by Charles Frost

Listen to Divertimento Orchestra in Live Performance (mp3)

Strauss, Voices of Spring

Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 5, 4th movement

Babiak, "Movin' in My Heart:" Deep River
Performed with the Kanata Choral Society
Gloria Jean Nagy, soprano

Babiak, "Movin' in My Heart:" Ride On, King Jesus! Performed with the Kanata Choral Society
Gloria Jean Nagy, soprano

©Photo by Lois Siegel

 Suite No. 1



"I will never forget the emotions of last week. It has been a while 
since I had been "involved," and a longer time since the involvement 
was with such dear people. You are all very special to me, and I 
thank you and bless you for taking on such a "bold venture" with such 
exciting and heartfelt results. I am much indebted to you all.    
I salute all the artists, orchestra, chorus, Gloria Jean Nagy,  
 for unusual dedication and love for music."
You have much of which to be proud.
Walter Babiak
Composer "Movin' in My Heart"
First Performance, Divertimento
 Kanata Choral Society
 November 24-25, 2005.

I just have heard the CD you sent which included my Concerto for Bass Trombone.
I'm so thrilled with that performance!  Doug Burden sounds SO beautiful--what a
lyrical player!!  And your orchestra is just terrific - you got just the
right, lively energy and sparkle in the outer movements, and the middle
movement was wonderfully expressive - lush orchestral sound and beautiful
colors.  I give your orchestra my heartiest congratulations.  I really
thank you for introducing my music to your audience
 with such a lovely performance!  
Eric Ewazen

New York City

"Congratulations on your Divertimento concert last night...
my first opportunity to hear the whole orchestra in a final, polished performance."
Douglas Burden
Bass Trombone
National Arts Centre Orchestra

"I enjoyed the concert. I had no idea that such an ensemble exists in our city.
Faces of  the musicians clearly reflected their concentration and devotion to their art.
Evening well spent."  
Zdenek Viteznik

"Yesterday, I enjoyed very much the Divertimento concert.  As a matter of fact,
 it was amazing!  Congratulations!   I was impressed with the size of the orchestra." 
Daniela Witzman

"I saw Divertimento last night. Very impressive orchestra, impressive sound."
Richard McCarthy

"Deborah and I greatly enjoyed the concert.
We were blown away by the program and the skill that the musicians demonstrated
 in making this a very memorable evening."
Brian and Deborah Foster

"I really enjoyed the show. Lots of mood changes, and the orchestra sounded good."
Dayle Reynolds
Pendleton, Ontario

"The concert was fantastic!  We greatly enjoyed ourselves,
rocking out on the carols, and listening to the orchestra's selections.
The Sleigh Ride tune was a definite highlight of the show,
 as was the 'Toy' (Symphony) piece."
Jennifer Kershaw

"Great concert! You know, it's really a very good group.
And it's wonderful to be sitting out there in the audience. Apart from the
        fabulous flute section, Gordon's commentary was fascinating."
Fred Brown

"The Divertimento Orchestra music excerpts are wonderful.
I had no idea that you folks sound so good. And looking at the pictures of the strings,
 I see you have three ( count 'em!) double bass players.
Now it's gotta be hard finding double bass players,
who can play classical music in a smaller city like Ottawa."
Paal Juliussen

"The music is lovely, and the orchestra sounds impressive. 
Wish I could play like that...."
Marlena Yannetti

 Bizet, Ewazen, Borodin
              "....a wonderful program...very stirring and enjoyable."
   Sheldon Lewis 

"It was terrific hearing the orchestra last night. When you are playing, you don't hear the same way as you do when you are just listening.  I sat in the back. The acoustics were excellent, and I could hear all the changes in dynamics.  Very smooth. Sounded wonderful. 
I really appreciated the quality of the orchestra. 

And the audience was very large and attentive.  I noticed many people I knew who had been there before to hear Divertimento, people who do not have the same DNA as anyone in the orchestra, so you are building up a repeat audience of new listeners. That's excellent.
The word has spread that Divertimento is an orchestra of high quality."
Lois Siegel

"Six Thumbs Up" to everyone.
Brigid Fitzgerald

Divertimento Orchestra's
"25th Anniversary CD"
"Your new CD is excellent. Bravo!! Now you must begin planning No. 2"
Milford Myhre
 Former Carillonneur, Bok Tower Gardens
Lake Wales, Florida

"I couldn't get over how good the Pops CD was. It honestly sounded like a completely professional orchestra. You have such a great situation there
and everybody is so nice, it makes me wish I lived in Ottawa!"
Best wishes,
Elizabeth Raum


©Photo by Lois Siegel

©Photo by Lois Siegel

Carl Widstrand recently received a wonderful accolade. He traveled to Sweden for the jubilee , the 50th anniversary of the PhD that he earned in 1958 at the University of Uppsala. Since 1804 that institution has brought its PhD graduates back to celebrate their accomplishments with their colleagues. Only seven of the original class of 1958 returned to Uppsala, and it was Carl who delivered the convocation address.

Photography and Photo Web Page Design by Lois Siegel, violin

©Photo by Paul Jean