The Calgary String Collective

Classical, and a little outside the box

Concerts & Events

The Calgary String Collective is back!

Join us for our concert on Saturday, December 4, 2021 at 2:00 p.m.

Woodcliff United Church
5010 Spruce Drive SW, Calgary AB

Thank you to our audience for making our debut concert in December, 2019 such a success.
We hope to see you again.

Photo credits: Lily Wong


Winter Concert Programme 2021

Chacony in G minor, William Purcell

Concerto for two violins, cello, and strings in D minor, Op. 3, No. 11 RV 565, Antonio Vivaldi

Capriol Suite, Peter Warlock


Libertango, Astor Piazzolla

Oblivion for Violin Solo and String Orchestra, Astor Piazzolla, arr. Robert Longfield 

Fuga y misterio, Astor Piazzolla

The Wexford Carol, Traditional, arr. Larry Moore

O Magnum Mysterium, Morten Lauridsen

Carol of the Bells: A Short Fantasy, Tony Matthews


Workshops and Master Classes are planned for each semester. Non-CSC players are welcome to participate. 

If you would like more information, please contact us at



We are now accepting registrations for the Calgary String Collective's (CSC)
2021 Fall/Winter semester
CSC Fall-Winter 2021 Registration Form.pdf

Start date September 8, 2021, every Wednesday evening, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for 13 weeks

Winter Concert
Saturday, December 4 at 2:00 p.m.

Woodcliff United Church
5010 Spruce Drive SW, Calgary AB

Calgary String Collective COVID-19 Policy

Our top priority as we resume rehearsals is for the health and safety of our players and audience. We continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and are taking a cautious approach.

To our players please note:

  • All participants must be double vaccinated.
  • Masks must be worn whenever you are in the church.
  • Participants are required not to come to rehearsal if they are not feeling well or if they suspect they may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
  • We will not be having snacks or using the kitchen.
As stipulated in our renter's agreement with Woodcliff United Church the following protocols apply:

  • We are required to maintain a list of names and contact information of all participants for each rehearsal (in case it becomes necessary to do contact tracing). A volunteer will be taking attendance as you enter the building.
  • Please remain only in our designated space and use the hand sanitizer stations provided.
The CSC Core Committee will revisit these policies and re-evaluate as conditions change. Thank you for your cooperation. It will be so good to be making music again.

Contact us for more information at


"The Calgary String Collective" - come play with us!

Formed in 2019 we are string orchestra for intermediate to advanced players based in Calgary, Alberta that is completely "player managed" hence the "clever" name!

Our group consists of players that have played together in different ensembles and music camps over the years... Blue Arch Strings, Baroque & Busking (Elisa Janz), Civic, Ambrose, Foothills Philharmonic Orchestra, WCAMS summer camps, Mountainside chamber music retreat, Shivering Strings to name a few. We are a "collective" of accomplished players, adults that started learning instruments later in life and players that are revisiting their instruments after a period of inactivity! In fact, some of our current players have played together in the Calgary Youth Orchestra way back :)

Playing music have forged friendships and a sense of community over the years and we hope that you will join us in making this coming season an awesome one!

"Classical and a little outside the box"

Our tag line is representative of the music we have played together in the past - baroque (a lot of Vivaldi - Elisa's favourite!), classical, new works written for us by Tim Janz, John Abram and Arthur Bachman, Celtic music arranged by Elisa Janz, tangos, and more.

In addition, we have also collaborated with choirs like the German Canadian Male Chorus of Calgary and performed with guest soloists (violin, cello, flute, guitar, lute, harpsichord etc) as well as singers - our favourite being Pergolesi's Stabat Mater. We are also fortunate to have worked with Linda Melsted ( in many workshops through the years. She is a brilliant baroque violinist, an inspiring and passionate musician with a great sense of humour and a lover of cats. That goes a long way in our books :), and of course, the bow in our logo goes beyond the boundaries of the box!! So in essence, we will play anything as long as we play together!

 Robert Penner returns as our Music Director and we look forward to continuing this collaboration.

Rehearsals are scheduled on Wednesday evenings at Woodcliff United Church, 5010 Spruce Drive SW, Calgary, Alberta ( Our Fall/Winter season will start on September 8, 2021.

Please feel free to contact us at if you have any questions


Music Director

Robert Penner

Robert was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, began playing the violin at the age of nine, and in orchestras a year later. His professional career includes three years as Assistant Concertmaster of the Regina Symphony Orchestra and 32 years a member of the first violin section of the Calgary Philharmonic. 

He holds a B. Mus. from Brandon University where he studied with the late Francis Chaplin. Robert is also a baroque music specialist, having studied with Jean Lamon, Stanley Ritchie, and Mark Destrubé. He has performed with the internationally acclaimed Tafelmusik and the Pacific Baroque Orchestra. 

He studies conducting with Gareth Jones at the University of Calgary, and participated in the SAITO International Conducting Workshop in 2021.

Robert also has extensive chamber music experience. He was a founding member of the Kensington Sinfonia and the Zabaglione String Quartet, with which he performed throughout Alberta. Cellist Tom Megee is a frequent collaborator, and the duo have played numerous concerts through the CPO’s Outreach and Education programs for children and seniors in Calgary. Robert continues to play in a number of other chamber ensembles.

Retired from orchestral performance since 2015, Robert has devoted himself to teaching and coaching violinists of all levels. He gives masterclasses through a broad range of repertoire and is a continuing coach of the Calgary Community String Orchestra, where he also coaches small ensembles. He continues to pass his expertise and love of music to new generations of musicians through adjudicating string classes for various music festivals around Alberta, as well as coaching the annual Youth Orchestra Symposium in Banff. He has been Music Director of the Calgary String Collective since 2019.

Robert’s mission is to bring joy through music with compassion, insight, generosity, and his signature good humor.

Contact Us


The CSC is a string orchestra for adult intermediate to advanced level players. There are no auditions for entry. Admission is at the discretion of the Music Director. Ideally players should have reached RCM Level 8 or higher. It is possible for players at RCM Level 7 to play most of the repertoire on our programmes, however to play the more advanced repertoire it is recommended to have the guidance of a music teacher.

Please fill in our registration form. You can scan or take a picture of the completed form and email it to us at

CSC Fall-Winter 2021 Registration Form.pdf