“Every rehearsal with Norman Nelson” says Sue Innes-Martin emphatically, “is a learning experience and that is why musicians come here.”
Norman Nelson, the conductor of the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra, has international fame as a leading musician and director and thus draws many with superior musical talent to join his semi-professional orchestra. It was his reputation and expertise that influenced Sue even though she was very busy in her career as a linguist, a translator and high school teacher of German and French, both in Europe and various cities across Canada.
She is passionate about her music, her violin work and her commitment to playing with the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra. Her first music lessons were in piano, but at age 10 she became enamoured with the violin.
Her teacher was a little 85-year-old lady, “so skinny that a good wind could blow her right over.” She had started lunch time violin lessons at her high school. From that beginning, Sue then took private lessons followed by university in London, where technique training was excellent.
Sue came to the Victoria region to retire after her years of teaching. It was while looking for a house that she talked to Norman Nelson about starting an orchestra in the Sooke area. That meeting ultimately led to playing with the orchestra as the principal second violinist as well as being one of the founding members of the Ekoos vocal ensemble. Often she plays in string quartet ensembles with other orchestra members Anne McDougall, Trevor and Michele MacHattie, and Lee Anderson as well as being the principal second violinist in the Victoria Chamber Orchestra.
What she thoroughly enjoys is the opportunity to play her beloved instrument, a violin of antiquity and of beautiful sound quality, built in the 1730.
Sue, who hailed from Darbyshire, England, now is relocating from her seaside home in Shirley back to Victoria.
However, thankfully she and her beautiful violin will continue making music wherever Norman Nelson leads the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra.
The next performance for the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra is the Solstice Spectacular on June 20 and 21, featuring soloist Alice Haekyo-Lee on violin. The performance will include works by Beethoven, Tchaikovsly and Bartok.
For more information on the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra Society go to: www.sookephil.ca