More Music!

We are pleased to announce that Summerhill Orchestra Strings will return to rehearsals on March 28th for a concert to be held May 30th at Eastminster United Church in Toronto.

We are looking for advanced violin and viola players to join us for this concert cycle.

If you are interested please contact us at

From our November 30, 2021 concert at Rosedale United Church


Orchestral Pianist/Keyboard Player

Auditions for orchestra pianist will be held in January 2022. This is a volunteer position with a small honorarium provided for each concert.

1. Copland: Appalachian Spring, excerpt
2. First movement of Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1 (4 min section of your choice)
3. Short piece of your choice

If interested please send a resume and cover letter to (attention: Sarah John-Artistic Director)
You must be available for rehearsals Monday nights between September and June.(depending on repertoire)

Applications will be accepted until position filled.

General Requirements

Previous orchestra experience, good reading ability, commitment to preparing music, good attitude, interested in growing a fun community ensemble.

Please contact us stating your full name, instrument, contact information, and a brief description of your musical background.

For violins: 

For all other strings: viola, cello, bass

  • J.S. Bach solo of your choice
  • Two short contrasting pieces of your choice.

Contact us at


We are THRILLED at the response to our concert! So much so that we’ve added a small block of seats to the show. So there’s still an opportunity for you to attend. We we look forward to performing for you!

Come and enjoy a lovely evening of string orchestra music!

In accordance with provincial restrictions currently in place we require proof of vaccination before patrons can be admitted to the concert space.

We are pleased to announce our first concert since March 2020!
Join us for an evening of string orchestra music by Mendelssohn, Florence Price and Anton Arensky performed without intermission.

Felix Mendelssohn – Sinfonia for Strings No. 7 in D minor (1822)
Florence Price – Andante Moderato (for string orchestra) (1929)
Anton Arensky – Variations on a Theme of Tchaikovsky (1894)

Gustav Mahler – Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen (arr. Ian Butterworth)

Monday, November 29, 2021
8:00 pm
Rosedale United Church
159 Roxborough Drive, Toronto

Summerhill Orchestra Strings
Sarah John, Conductor
Lauren Yeomans, Assistant Conductor


Our New Assistant Conductor!

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Lauren Yeomans as Summerhill Orchestra’s Assistant Conductor. Lauren brings a wealth of musical expertise and eagerness to work with our outstanding community orchestra. See bio below.

Conductor and Flautist Lauren Yeomans is an active performer in the Toronto area providing bold and robust interpretations to the worlds of solo, chamber and orchestral music. She is currently Principal Flute of the Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra where she has been invited as a concerto soloist as well as performed outreach concerts as a member of the EPO wind quintet. As co-founder and flautist of the Quintagious! wind quintet she programs thoughtfully curated concert experiences with a focus on expanding the repertoire to find hidden gems particularly from communities underrepresented in classical music. She has arranged a number of pieces for the quintet including Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite and Jim Steinman’s Total Eclipse of the Heart. She received her Master of Music from Rutgers University studying with Bart Feller as well as her Performance Diploma from the Glenn Gould School studying with Kathleen Rudolph.

Lauren has spent her time during the COVID-19 pandemic focusing on the study of conducting and starting this summer has conducted several large-scale chamber groups including founding the Lytton Park Chamber Ensemble. She is very excited to be joining Summerhill Orchestra as Assistant Conductor.


Welcome back to Summerhill Orchestra! We are excited about our upcoming season and hope you will join us at our live concerts starting in the late fall.

Auditions: Currently we are working on building up the orchestra to perform some dynamic works in the coming months. We are auditioning for all string parts. Auditions will take place on Zoom in August and in person in the fall.

For more information please go to our Auditions page.

Concerts: Due to Covid-19 restrictions we are still waiting to see when we will present our first live concert at The Church of the Messiah. Rest assured that all necessary safety precautions will be in place so we can all enjoy ourselves safely. More information on this and our concert dates will be listed soon.

Donations: If you are interested in making a donation to Summerhill Orchestra you can find out more about how to do that on our donations page here.

We thank you for your patronage and look forward to seeing you very soon!

Assistant Conductor Search

ANNOUNCEMENT: Summerhill Orchestra is now accepting applications for Assistant Conductor (volunteer)

Position:     Assistant Conductor (volunteer)
Reports to:    Artistic Director/Conductor

Starting Date:   TBD-Fall 2021
Deadline for applications:  Friday, July 16, 2021

This position was created to offer students of conducting more opportunity to work with a full orchestra in all aspects of preparing performances. In addition to these conducting opportunities the AC will receive a small honorarium.


  • Serve as cover conductor for rehearsals and concerts as assigned for 2021-2022 season.
    • This includes personal preparation of all scores and providing feedback on artistic matters relating to repertory (balance, intonation, dynamics, ensemble issues, etc.).  May be asked to coach sectional rehearsals.
  • Administration: Participate in planning and administrative meetings as needed.
  • Library: Preparation, distribution and maintenance of performance materials for the orchestra.
  • Performance: Rehearse and conduct a short piece in each of two concerts with Summerhill Orchestra as part of their regular season. Concert dates and repertoire to be decided by Music Director and Concertmaster.
  • Recordings: The Assistant conductor will be offered an opportunity to rehearse Summerhill Orchestra in two short reading/rehearsal sessions during the season in order to obtain video recordings for use in grants and school/employment applications.


  • Candidates should possess meaningful conducting experience and broad knowledge of orchestral repertoire and concert programming.
  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) in orchestral/instrumental or choral conducting preferred.
  • Fluent in English and able to communicate effectively to musicians, staff and a wide range of audience members.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills that engage audiences of all ages.
  • Highly effective organizational skills and self-motivating drive to consistently meet deadlines
  • Provide assistance to the Production/Artistic staff with various projects such as program/music research and auditions as needed.
  • Possess a deep appreciation for, understanding of and sensitivity to the needs of community musicians.  

Individuals should submit a cover letter describing what they hope to receive from the experience, current résumé with repertoire list, and contact information for three professional references. Candidates will be contacted for an interview as well as conducting audition: Dates/times TBD

All applications must be received by Friday, July 16, 2021

Applications should be sent to  

About our orchestra

Summerhill Orchestra will soon embark on its fourth season under the direction of conductor and artistic director, Sarah John.  The orchestra meets to rehearse Monday evenings 7:30-10pm at The Church of the Messiah in downtown Toronto.  The orchestra performs concerts three times a season.

The Summerhill Orchestra is a not-for-profit community organization that operates thanks to financial and in-kind contributions. ALL proceeds from ticket sales, membership contributions and sponsorships directly benefit the orchestra. Our community orchestra is comprised of musicians of all backgrounds, both professional and amateur, who gather weekly in a journey to explore rich and varied musical works.

It’s Our Third Season!

Friday, November 29, 2019
Mozart  – Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra with Noru Gogovita, Clarinet
Dvorak  – Symphony No. 8
Dvorak – Festival March – Carlos Vasquez, Guest Conductor
Monday, March 9, 2020
Wagner  – Siegfried Idyll
Beethoven  – Symphony No. 5
Beethoven  – Coriolan Overture – Carlos Vasquez, Guest Conductor
Tickets available at Eventbrite: TICKETS
Friday, May 8, 2020
Unfortunately, we will be postponing this concert until November due to the current COVID19 outbreak. Please check back for details.
Verdi – Overture to La Forza del Destino
Ravel – Pavane pour une infante défunte – Carlos Vasquez, Guest Conductor
Sibelius – Violin Concerto – Victoria Yeh soloist
All concerts take place at The Church of the Messiah in Toronto.
Programs are subject to change without notice.
We look forward to sharing this music with you in the coming season!


AUDITION!  If you are interested in auditioning for the Summerhill Orchestra please contact us at  to book an audition at the end of August.