Jennifer MacLeod, Viola

Jennifer MacLeod was born and raised in Waukesha, Wisconsin. She holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Indiana University and a Master of Music Degree from the University of Victoria, both in viola performance.

Jennifer has worked with the Milwaukee Symphony and Ballet, as well as the Vancouver Symphony and Opera. She has been a full contract member of the viola sections of the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Symphony and the Calgary Philharmonic. From 1987 – 1993 she was principal viola of the Victoria Symphony and for several seasons she performed with the Galiano Ensemble.

Jennifer has taught and coached at both the West Coast Summer Music Camp and the Courtenay Youth Music Centre. She has also been a viola coach for the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra. She has served on the Board of the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival and for three years was the Section Head for Junior Strings.

Jennifer currently enjoys an active free-lance career, performing as an extra violist and violinist in the Victoria Symphony.

She is married to Keith MacLeod, principal clarinet of the Victoria Symphony. They are the happy parents of two lovely adult daughters.

Hometown: Waukesha, WI

First season with the VS: 1987/88

Most memorable VS experience: I would have to say that one of my fondest VS memories is our 1992 performance of The Seasons, Op.67 by Glazunov. Kees Bakels conducted, and even he was thrilled (which is saying a lot!).

Something I miss very much, now that I am part-time, is playing the operas. I did my undergraduate degree at Indiana University, which is a leading opera school. When I was a member of the Calgary Philharmonic we performed with the Calgary Opera, and I also played a few seasons with the Vancouver Opera. I love being in the pit and I love the repertoire. Victoria is SO fortunate: POV is an outstanding company, and a jewel in the crown of the city arts scene.

I also feel immensely proud of a stellar prank I played on my husband, Keith, who is the VS principal clarinet. A few years ago we were performing the “Last Night at the Proms” in Qualicum Beach, with Brian Jackson conducting. We were playing the Wood Fantasia on British Sea Songs, which at one point has a ridiculously long clarinet cadenza. It is performed everywhere as a bit of a “gag”, with orchestra members outdoing each other in an attempt to get the clarinet player to shut up. I arranged for our older daughter, who was in school at Louisiana State University at the time, to phone her dad in the middle of the cadenza. The phone was passed back through the orchestra to Keith, who had no idea who was on the line. Success! He actually stopped playing and had a chat with her. The wonders of modern technology…

Hobbies and interests: swimming and yoga

Favourite things to do around the capital region: Keith and I like to hike and walk – no matter what the weather or time of day!

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