A member of the Victoria Symphony since 1978 and past Music Director of the Pachelbel Players, Island Chamber Players, Chamber Music Victoria and Eine Kleine Summer Music, Martin Bonham’s ability as a chamber musician and expertise in Baroque music has a wide reputation with participation in the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Pacific Baroque Orchestra, the Musick Masters, the Victoria Baroque Players and Les Violes de Sainte-Colombe. He has performed with world renowned early music specialists in Victoria, Vancouver, Washington State and elsewhere. Currently a faculty member of the Victoria Conservatory of Music, he has served on the faculty of the University of Victoria and often leads workshops on Baroque music and dance.
Hometown: Victoria, BC
First season with the VS: 1978/79
Most memorable VS experience: The most remarkable tour with the Victoria Symphony I remember was the one that included a trip to the Queen Charlotte Islands as they were called. In those days, we toured for 2 weeks by bus up the center of the province to Prince George, on to Prince Rupert, then ferried back to Vancouver Island playing in communities on the island. In the winter of 1979-1980, we planned to fly in Otters and Grumman Geese, float planes which held only 6 to 8 passengers apiece, from Prince Rupert to the Queen Charlottes. Some orchestra members got to sit in the co-pilot’s seat since there was no co-pilot, adding one more passenger per flight. There was a storm that day, though, so our morning flights were delayed. Then, toward noon, the pilots decided to fly anyway. Because of rough waters, we landed at the airport on the Charlottes instead of in the harbour. That meant flying to the wrong island. I remember my flight vividly. I looked up at the control panel in the tiny airplane and saw blank holes where nearly all the controls and meters had been removed. I guess bush pilots don’t need such things. We bounced across the distance from the mainland and a particularly strong gust of wind hit us sideways just as we touched down so that I thought the wing would hit the runway before the wheels. Somehow, all the orchestra made it to the airport safely, but we had to go across the harbour to the other island. We packed in to a school bus and jolted across the harbour in a small, open decked, ferry. After dropping us, the ferry shut down because of rough seas. Unfortunately, we still had a long, treacherous ride in the school bus up to Queen Charlotte City. The bus driver crept all the way, pointing out cars that had blown off the road. Upon our arrival, well after dark, we were relieved to be able to go to our hotel rooms to recover, all except Derry Deane, our Concertmaster, who opened her hotel room door to discover that the ceiling had blown off her room.
Hobbies and interests: early music, viola da gamba, baroque dance, ballet, art and culture generally
Favourite things to do around the capital region: visiting gardens, walking in parks
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