IT’S not every day you meet someone who’s passion shines through like the sun bursting through from behind clouds.
It’s worth it for your business.
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Doctor Chris Hawkins is someone who’s love for music and her home in the bay will take you along for the entire melody.
Following a loss, Dr Hawkins came north to find friendship and eventually, love.
Love for her new partner and the area.
Having found that love for Port Stephens, Dr Hawkins wants to share it around.
“My aim is to put Nelson Bay on the musical map,” Dr Hawkins said.
“It’s amazing to see how many string players were in the bay but I didn’t know of any teachers.
“I came here to retire and I found a lovely home in Salamander Bay.
“I did that for a few months but I had to get back into it.
“I decided I would start up an orchestra.”
Starting an orchestra is a herculean task but well-trodden ground.
Previous orchestras Dr Hawkins has brought together include the Provectus String Orchestra created for older musicians to continue learning and playing.
As part of her PHD, Dr Hawkins investigated music as an intervention for terminally ill patients and another orchestra was born.
In forming The Bay String Orchestra, she was looking for players of all abilities, which plays to her strengths as a composer and teacher.
Her experience allows her to adjust pieces to her players abilities and she believes she “can teach anyone to play the strings.”
One of their first performances was short notice in a shopping centre.
“We practiced in my living room and in a week and a half were able to pull something together to perform.
“People were shocked to see a string orchestra play in a shopping centre.”
Hopefully Doctor Hawkins brings many more musical surprises to our part of the world.
By Victoria HENDERSON