Date: May, 1998
Article printed in the St. Catharines Standard
The NSO celebrated 50 years with a special concert. Irmgard Baerg was a guest soloist.
Mrs. Sibyl Bergenstein was a member of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra’s Board for 21 years. She remembers attending her first board meeting, and walking in to one member in tears over a disagreement. She thought “What have I gotten myself into?” yet stuck with it. Much of the success of the Symphony is due to the board.
During her time with the Symphony, both as a board member as well as a patron, Mrs. Bergenstein has seen it survive a lot. While she was on the board in 1998, the Symphony was hours away from declaring bankruptcy, and they were rescued by David Atkinson, then President at Brock University. He managed to raise funds for the orchestra in a weekend, and made them Orchestra-in-Residence at Brock, meaning they had use of the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre for no charge. From this, Sibyl has seen it grow into a first-class symphony. The NSO has been through some downs, but has always come out triumphant.
I can go to a concert and feel so full of pride that we have this wonderful orchestra, and that I’ve been a part of it.