Let’s Meet Some of Our Members

Founded in 2008, The Chilliwack Metropolitan Orchestra is a community symphony orchestra which performs a wide variety of music – including symphonies and concertos – and collaborates with world-class guest soloists. We are a not-for-profit organization of local players who volunteer their time and talent to perform top-quality concerts for the patrons of Chilliwack and the surrounding area.

Gregory Douglas Johnson – Conductor

Chilliwack Metropolitan Conductor - Gregory Douglas Johnson
Gregory Douglas Johnson,
CMO Conductor

Our Artistic Director, Gregory Douglas Johnson, is an accomplished conductor and musician and has a Master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting. He is also teaching music in elementary school and directs other music groups in the Fraser Valley. 

Rick Barker – Concertmaster

Rick Barker,
CMO Concertmaster

  • Grandfather a founder of Chilliwack’s First Symphony Orchestra in 1920’s
  • Started playing at age 7

Concertmaster : Greater Victoria School’s Senior Symphony Orchestra 

Oak Bay Senior High School Orchestra

University of Victoria Orchestra

Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra

Chilliwack Metropolitan Orchestra

  • Won B.C. Congress of Strings scholarship to University of Southern California.

Graduated from Victoria Conservatory of Music – Teacher : Sydney Humphreys

University of Victoria Music Department – Teacher : Steven Staryk

1972 – 74 : composed synthesizer-based music and dodecaphonic music.

1974 – on : played with rock bands, classical ensembles, folk/bluegrass/Celtic/jazz groups

Selected Performance List :

Yehudi Menuhin

Nigel Kennedy

Elisabeth Perry

George Corwin

Richard Margison

Violin solo for world premiere of Murray Adaskin’s “The Raven”

Suzanne Gresham – Violin

(Photo courtesy
of Ian Meissner)

Suzanne is originally from southern California but has called Chilliwack home since 1993.  She was given the opportunity to learn to play the violin in Grade 4 through the public education system in San Diego.  Suzanne studied privately during her school years and was a member of the prestigious San Diego Youth Symphony for many years – it was here that she took her orchestral training.  She left music behind for many years while pursuing her higher education which then led to 29 year career in local government here in Chilliwack.  In the meanwhile she raised a family but finally got back into playing music.  Suzanne is a founding member and past President of the CMO.   She also performs with other community groups and volunteers with the Chilliwack Cultural Centre and the Chilliwack Players’ Guild.  Suzanne loves musical theatre and says that one of her guilty pleasures is taking in as much Broadway Across Canada as possible and performing with the Chilliwack School of the Performing Arts in the “pit orchestra” whenever the opportunity arises. 

Suzanne says it is impossible to choose her favourite piece of classical music or her favorite violin concerto – every composer and every composition is awe-inspiring and she says it is humbling to be able to [attempt] to perform orchestral repertoire.  Hilary Hahn is Suzanne’s favorite violinist and she loves her rendition of the Sibelius Violin Concerto.  And finally, Suzanne would like to acknowledge every conductor she has had the privilege of working under – she says that if she had to do it all again she would have liked to have been a conductor [or a blue-grass fiddle player!]

Cathy Maycock – Violin

Took piano as a kid.
Got grades 1 & 2 & 3.
Then I heard a violin –
Said that’s the instrument for me!

Dad piano-ed, I violin-ed
Easy music – Christmas carol.
Took a lesson – one or two,
But no violin path, long or narrow.

Years did pass – violin dormant,
Until at mid-life year 48!
Signed up for senior citizen lessons.
Hard & long my practice slate.

Within 2 years my teacher pushed
To get me in a symphony!
I happily play in two right now.
Come hear CMO’s musicality!!!!

Jessica Jou – Piano

Q:  What instrument do you play in the CMO?


Q:  When did you begin to study music?

At the age of 6, my Mom took me to a local music school for my first piano lesson.

Q:  What is your favourite piece for piano?

It changes often but right now it is Chopin’s Piano Concerto No.1 in E Minor.

Q:  What is your favourite piece an instrument other than the piano?

Andante from Violin Sonata No.2 by J.S. Bach.

Q:  Are there any music teachers you would like to acknowledge for us?

Nita Pelletier, my current piano teacher. Without her, I would not be the musician I am today. Not only she taught me the nuances of piano playing but also music history and theory, which helped me develop into a more musically mature pianist.

Q:  Do you play any other instruments?

I also play the flute.

Q:  How did you end up at CMO?

After graduating high school and entering university, I have a more flexible schedule, so I started to look for orchestras to join. CMO is one of the orchestras that I applied to. It has always been a small dream of mine to play in an orchestra, especially to play classical repertoire. I hope to join a professional orchestra someday as a pianist or flutist.

Linda Ragan  –  Violin

Hi I’m Linda & I play the violin.  I love it! I’ve been a part of the CMO for 5 years, I think? My violin teacher Gwyneth Jones introduced me to the orchestra, I play 2nd violin with a great group of friends.   I first started playing drums as a kid,  always into music 🎶  Then later made a big leap to the violin.  My favourite piece to play & my favourite to listen to changes with my mood. I love playing a variety of music & will be playing forever.  

Lydia Foulds – Violin

Q:  What instrument do you play in the CMO?


Q:  When did you begin to study music?

At the age of 6.

Q:  What is your favourite violin composition?

Czardas, V. Monti 

       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHO6KOPWXtc  (5:18)

Q:  What is your favourite non-violin composition?

Adagio in G minor for organ and strings, Albinoni & Giazotto

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XN5BFIHXs_I   (8:34)

Q:  Are there any music teachers you would like to acknowledge for us?

Lydia Gailus, Luba Semchyshyn 

Q:  Do you play any other instruments?

 The Piano and hopefully with time, the Theremin

Q:  How did you end up at CMO?

In the spring of 2014, I was encouraged by a friend to respond to an advertisement which appeared in the local newspaper: “The CMO is looking for String Players”.   

As luck would have it, after a long absence from playing the violin, I made the cut. The following year, I also assumed music librarian duties for the CMO.

Anne Fleming – Violin

Q:  What instrument do you play in CMO?

Second Violin. Joined the orchestra in 1999.

Q:  When did you begin to study music?

I started playing in Grade Six in the Ottawa elementary school system.  There were string programs.

Q:  What is your favourite violin piece.

Beethoven’s Romance in D major.

Q:  What is your favourite non-violin piece?

Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no. 5, “The Emperor.”

Q:  Are there any music teachers you would like to acknowledge for us?

Mrs. Yvonne Navratil in Ottawa and Mr. John Clemecky at the Vancouver Community Music School. Both, sadly, have left us.

Q:  Do you play any other instruments?

No, sadly not.  I would like to play the harp.

Q:  How did you end up at CMO?

I started in 1999.

Vince Curran – Flute

Q:  What instrument do you play in the CMO?

Second flute.

Q:  When did you begin to study music?

I began in grade six on recorder (as one does).  However, my father had vinyl recordings of Herb Albert’s The Lonely Bull and Bert Kaempfert’s Wonderland by Night.  (Yes, I am THAT old!).  I played those records over and over again, thinking I was destined to play the trumpet.

In junior high school, I did start on trumpet.  That lasted about two weeks.  It just wasn’t me.  A shipment of new clarinets arrived at the school, so I played that and then alto saxophone.  After high school, real life began and there was little room for music.  Somewhere, though, there was a flute calling in the distance.  Finally, as a treat for my 50th birthday, I bought a flute.

Q:  What is your favourite flute piece.

Easy answer.  Doppler’s Fantaisie Pastorale Hongroise Op 26.  The best flute piece ever, IMHO.

Q:  What is your favourite non-flute piece?

That one is a little tougher to narrow down.  There are quite a few out there, you know.  But, I would have to say Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 18.

Q:  Are there any music teachers you would like to acknowledge for us?

Other than general band “group” lessons, I am self taught.  I never have had a private lesson in my life.  (At times, this is painfully obvious!)

Q:  Do you play any other instruments?

I play woodwinds:  Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone.  I also play ukulele and can find my way around a piano.  Strictly amateur, mind you.

Q:  How did you end up at CMO?

I went to the “Christmas Craft Fair” at the Chilliwack Heritage Park in autumn of 2018.  Fellow violinists, Anne and Cathy, were at the CMO booth there.  At the time, there were no vacancies for flute, but I left my name and contact information.  In spring of 2019, a second flute was needed for the upcoming “Rising Stars” concert.  The rest, as they say, is history.