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Why do we call ourselves a Society?

When you consider our name: the Quinte Society for Chamber Music (or QSCM for short) you probably already understand the “M” part. In fact, if you are reading this, you probably already know what we do. You are probably a music lover, a musician, a patron of the arts, or even all of the above.

If you are reading this, you likely know the “Q” part. You may live, work, and/or play in the Quinte Region, or be considering a visit to the counties of Hastings and Prince Edward which make up this beautiful and historic part of Eastern Ontario.

And if you have been reading our blogs and enjoying our music you likely have a pretty good idea that the “C” part of our name stands for Chamber, as in Chamber music, musica da camera, or music for rooms, to distinguish it from the music intended for church services, musica da chiesa. Designed to be performed in private households, Chamber music has one instrument per part. The small ensembles encourage an interplay of voices that is not merely a dialogue between the musicians, but a conversation between the players and the listeners.

With that in mind, it may be a bit clearer as to why we call ourselves the Society for chamber music. Not only is QSCM an organization, it is also a community. Each aspect of the community is important, and though the roles are different, they are no more or less important.

We celebrate our artists, of course. They are our visionaries, our inspiration for conversations and communicators of our ideas and experiences. Without them the music would not exist, this is true. But how do they get their music heard?

The audience, then, is crucial and unlike the traditionally elite members of the grand courts of Europe, QSCM strives to bring our music to as many people in our region as possible. Accessibility (physical, financial, cultural etc.) remains at the top of our priorities. However, these wonderful concerts do not make themselves happen.

Just like our larger society, we too need our leaders. QSCM has a Board of Directors that put in countless hours behind the scenes (and in front of them as well!). Board members are volunteers who ensure that QSCM meets its mandate as a registered charity and Ontario not-for-profit. They manage the finances of the organization and take on many of the tasks that are associated with event programming. They make sure the lights are on and the spaces are available before any conversations can happen. It’s a big job that requires even more people on the actual event day.

And this is where we complete our vision of a society: with the helpers. Without volunteers, donors, and other supporters QSCM could not exist. We encourage our audience members to get involved in creating more events to enjoy by becoming an active volunteer, and perhaps even by taking on a leadership role on the Board. Sometimes just sending your feedback helps us be that much more in tune with the needs of the community. All of these parts must be played for our mission to be successful.

The conversation does not stop with the music. The conversation continues through this blog and other social media. It happens when we socialize during intermission, when we interact with our musicians at our outreach events, and later on in our homes. When we ask "what is to be done?" QSCM is also changing the conversation from being exclusive to being inclusive, and adding something meaningful to our greater society at the same time.

For more information about how to volunteer with us, please email

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An excellent description of why QSCM is a "society"! Great read Tamara.

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