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Welcome to the Kawartha String Orchestra (KSO)! We are a community orchestra featuring string musicians of all ages and backgrounds that serve Peterborough, Ontario and the surrounding communities. We offer two free community concerts a year to help raise money for local non-profit organizations.

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Our Orchestra

The KSO is composed of string musicians from all walks of life, from retirees to university students and everything in between. What we share is a love of playing music and giving back to our community.

​Our orchestra has been devoted to sharing our love of music with our community for over 8 years. In fact, you could say that the KSO is about “serious fun” - our rehearsals are both focused and friendly. We play a variety of musical genres and styles, ranging from Vivaldi, Manookian, and Christmas carols, to movie themes such as the Titanic and Pirates of the Caribbean, and more. There is something for just about everyone.

Our schedule is divided into two: the fall season, which culminates in our Christmas concert in late November or early December, and then the winter/spring season, leading to our year-end spring concert at the end of April/early May. The KSO is always open for new opportunities to perform.

Our Conductor

Tak Kwan, an award-winning musician, was born into a family with a rich musical background. His father was a violin maker in Hong Kong, and Tak began his musical journey by learning to play the violin at the age of seven. He pursued his passion for music by studying and graduating in England, Canada, and the United States.


Throughout his career as a soloist and chamber musician, Tak has held various positions, such as the chair of Concertmaster for the Peterborough Symphony Orchestra from 1996 to 2016 and the Northumberland Orchestra and Choir from 2011 to 2022. He has also performed as a soloist with several orchestras, including an invitation to perform for the Queen of England in Toronto in 2010. His solo performances have been praised for their technical excellence and emotional depth, with one review lauding his performance as "technically superb but delivered with a depth of emotion."


As a music educator, Tak has received recognition for his outstanding work. He was awarded the RCM Teacher Certificate of Recognition in 2020, 2021, and 2022 for his exceptional teaching skills. His students have achieved remarkable success, with many awarded Gold Medals in RCM exams from Level 1 to ARCT. Tak is also an appointed RCM Examination Officer and a member of the Examiner College.


In addition to his teaching and performing work, Tak is the Music Director and Conductor of the Kawartha String Orchestra and the Founder and Music Director of the Lavender Chamber Ensemble. He is a certified teacher of the Royal Conservatory of Music and a member of the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators' Association.

Tak Kwan

We would like to thank the following sponsors for generously supporting our 2024 Spring concert:

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Spring Concert 2024

Theme: "Innovation and Tradition"


This theme juxtaposes the innovative elements in both Mozart's compositions and Hans Zimmer's The Dark Knight with their respective nods to tradition, showcasing how they balance innovation with respect for artistic heritage.

Sunday May 5, 2pm at Emmanuel United Church. Featuring the music of Mozart, Elgar, Bach, as well as the movie music of Hans Zimmer.


Guest performers include Tak Kwan (violin), Rebecca Birrell (voice), Pamela Haskell (flute), Ron Kervin (percussion), and Karen Locklin (keyboard).


In support of YES Shelter for Youth and Families.

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Previous Concerts

Winter Concert 2023, Sunday November 26, 2pm at Grace United Church. Featuring Tak Kwan, Rebecca Birrell (voice), Max Debues (voice), and friends. In support of Kawartha Food Share

Spring Concert 2023, Sunday May 7, 2pm at Grace United Church. Featuring Tak Kwan, Rebecca Birrell (voice), Pamela Haskell (flute), Ron Kervin (bodhran), and friends. In support of One City Peterborough

Christmas Concert 2022, Sunday November 30, 2pm at St John’s Anglican Church, 99 Brock Street, Peterborough, Ontario. Featuring Tak Kwan, Ian Van Zyl, George Hamilton, Bob Grandy (organ), and Mike Brennan (piano). In support of Kawartha Food Share.


Spring Concert 2022, Sunday April 30, 2pm at St John’s Anglican Church, 99 Brock Street, Peterborough, Ontario. In support of the Salvation Army for humanitarian aid for Ukraine.

Get Involved

Interested in joining the Kawartha String Orchestra?

​Our orchestra consists of string instruments: violin, viola, cello, and bass. We accept new members throughout the season. Auditions are not necessary; our members typically have several years of playing experience.

​For more information about start dates, fees, or other details, please check out our Facebook page, or send us an email at



Spring 2024 session: Jan 10 - May 1


10:00 - 12:00 Wednesdays

Mark Street United Church, 90 Hunter Street East, Peterborough, Ontario

Support the KSO

Support the KSO

Don’t play a string instrument but still want to make a difference? You can - through financial support.

As a community orchestra, the KSO gratefully relies on the generous contributions and financial support we receive from individual donors, sponsors, and other participants. This allows us to offset our operating costs, which includes our rehearsal space, music, advertising, venue rental, social media, and more.


KSO concerts are benefit concerts for charity. By making a donation or becoming a sponsor, you are indirectly supporting local charities. 

There are two ways you can contribute.

Individual Donations


By making an individual donation to the KSO, you will receive recognition on our web site, FaceBook page, and in our concert program.  You can donate to the KSO either by:

  1. E-transfer to Please provide your name and contact information in the transaction. 

  2. Cash donations at one of our two yearly concerts. 


For other payment methods, please contact us at

Note that the KSO is not a registered charity and therefore cannot issue charitable receipts for individual donations.



Like many other community orchestras, the KSO needs the help of generous businesses to ensure that we can continue to provide free concerts while raising funds for local charities. By sponsoring the KSO, you can take advantage of the multiple pledge levels with unique benefits at each level.

Click here to learn the benefits of sponsorship and to get additional details about how to sponsor the KSO. We greatly appreciate your support!

Note that the KSO provides non-charitable receipts for sponsorships.

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