All Ages: Freelance Musicians Meet-Up Hosted by Dr. Peter Gardner

Tuesday, October 17, 11am

Jumping Bean on Duckworth Street (TD Building)

As part of our on-going outreach, CFM Local 820 facilitates bi-monthly freelance musicians meet-ups.

These meet-ups are aimed at gigging musicians who work in bars, pit bands, corporate events, go on tour, do session work, and any other limited engagements. These meetings will provide a space for freelancers to chat about everything from promotion, social media, and stage presence to working conditions, pay, and contracts.

Host: Dr. Peter Gardner
When: June 20th, 11am
Where: Jumping Bean, TD Building, Duckworth Street Entrance (at Prescott)

Please leave a comment if you’d like to talk about something specific at next week’s event.

If you’d like to host a meet-up, please let us know at

About Dr. Gardner:

From the age of twelve Peter Gardner lived in South Wales where he was a member of several community and youth orchestras, including the National Youth Orchestra of Wales. He continued his studies at Trinity College of Music (TCM), London, with the noted international violinist and pedagogue Nicholas Roth. Dr. Gardner led the TCM Symphony Orchestra, and Chamber Orchestra under British conductor Bernard Keeffe. He subsequently worked in England and Wales as a freelance teacher and performer with such groups as The Marcello Ensemble, The Welsh National Opera and the Bournemouth Sinfonietta, and as leader of the London Opera Centre Orchestra and for many musicals, choral and orchestral concerts in and around London.

Upon leaving Trinity College Dr. Gardner continued to perform as a freelance musician and as a violin teacher for the Monmouthshire County Council with a special mandate to give private lessons to the twelve most gifted violin students in the educational area.

Dr. Gardner came to Newfoundland in 1971 as the Resident Artist and Concertmaster of the St. John’s Symphony Orchestra (now called the NSO) when one of his roles for the orchestra was to develop and conduct Saturday string classes for young musicians. Since 1971 he has established himself as a performer, conductor, teacher and arts administrator. He founded several ensembles – The Centre Group, The Abingdon Trio, The St. John’s Soloists, and the new music ensemble Fusion.

For forty years, Dr. Gardner committed himself to the steady development of the NSO and the NSYO. He was instrumental in the early development of many NSO activities including founding the NSO Sinfonia, the Philharmonic Choir, the NSO Light Orchestra, and the NSO Hibernia Gala which showcased more than 150 NL musicians of all genres. He also initiated and conducted for 20 years the NSO highly successful NSO Big Band concerts in which he presented more than 100 original film scores. He founded, and was for a number of years, the first violinist of the Atlantic String Quartet. In 1995 Dr. Gardner was engaged by the Government of Newfoundland & Labrador to develop and lead, as Executive Director and CEO, Festival 500, an international, non-competitive choral festival in Newfoundland which was acknowledged around the world as one of the leading choral festivals.

In 1991, with the support of many friends, Dr. Gardner founded the Newfoundland Symphony Youth Orchestra (NSYO), a wholly independent association with close ties to the NSO, he led and conducted the NSYO as director for more than 30 years. In 2013 he retired as founding Director of the Newfoundland Symphony Youth Orchestra (NSYO). He led the orchestra on many tours, both inside and outside the province and to the England, Wales, Ireland, and Japan. These tours he developed and organised.

Dr. Gardner has conducted many of Canada’s youth orchestras and held the positions of Vice-President, Executive Director and Festival Director of the Canadian Association of Youth Orchestras based in Banff, AB. Dr. Gardner was recruited to be Executive Director of the Banff International String Quartet Competition the most prestigious competition for string quartets in the world. He held the position for a decade. From 2002-2004, he was Associate Director of the Summer Program of Music & Sound at the Banff Centre in Alberta.

Dr. Gardner has acted as a jury member for various Canadian provincial arts boards, the Governor General’s Awards and the Juno’s and the Canada Council including the Canada Council instrument bank & the Molson Prize. For eight years Dr. Gardner was a member of the board of the Canadian Conference of the Arts including three years as Treasurer.

Dr. Gardner has received many awards and honours. In 1984, he was nominated for the silver medal of the Royal Society of Arts for his services to music in Atlantic Canada. In 1995 he was the recipient of the Northern Telecom Arts Achievement Award, presented by the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council, for lifetime achievement in the arts (1995), and in 1996 was awarded the Association of Canadian Orchestras Award In recognition of outstanding contributions and dedication to the orchestral community in Canada, (1996), The Telegram & The Fairmont Newfoundland 2002 NSO Achievement Award.(2001), The Ambassadorial Award from the Canadian Music Centre (2006) and In 2001, Dr. Gardner was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland. In 2013, Dr. Gardner was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

In 2010, Dr. Gardner retired from the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra after 40 years service during which time he held positions as Concertmaster (30 years), Director of Educational Programming, and until leaving the NSO as General & Artistic Director. In 2001, following 30 years as concertmaster of the NSO, Dr. Gardner was named Concertmaster Emeritus.

Dr. Gardner continues to spearhead an instrumental and orchestral program at Lakecrest Independent School in St. John’s, teaches privately in St. John’s and writes music both pedagogical and for professional musicians and continues to play on a casual basis in the NSO. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Cupids Legacy Centre in Cupids, Newfoundland and is Vice-President of CFM Local 820.

Peter has been a freelance musician for more than 50 years. Gardner was the founding President of the Newfoundland & Labrador Musicians Association (NLMA) – CFM Local 820.