Music to our ears!

Musicians from the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra show their love for the community by donating blood to help patients in need.

Image of Alex Conway holding a flute wearing a black shirt and with long brown hair.
Alex Conway, second flute​​​​​​

Since its debut performance in 1948, more than 70 years ago, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO) has been delighting music lovers in Manitoba and across North America. 

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Paul Jeffrey, associate principal trumpet player with the orchestra, saw an opportunity, for both himself and his fellow musicians, to support those in need.  

Image of blood donor Brent Johnson wearing a mask and a black jersey with blue shirt standing outside of a blood donor.
Brent Johnson, education and community engagement manager​​​​​

“When the pandemic struck and Manitoba went into lockdown, I thought of ways that we could show support to our community outside of our usual musical contributions. I'd been a blood donor since high school and for many years have told friends of the importance of a blood donation, not to mention the super-positive feelings a donor gets! 

“My son has had four heart surgeries, and one of my grandmothers receives regular blood transfusions, so I know first-hand how important it is to make sure the supply in our country is strong.” 

Image of Gregory Hay holding a banjo and wearing a white shirt with a blood donor badge
Gregory Hay, section viola

Since making their first donation together in June, the WSO continues to support patients through group blood donations, with more and more musicians and staff from the orchestra rolling up their sleeves on each successive donation day. 

“The response from the musicians and staff of the WSO has been very positive. Whether first-timers or multiple-time donors, my friends and colleagues are proud to participate in these blood drives.” 

Image of blood donor Isaac Pulford holding a trumpet wearing a red shirt standing near the front door.
Isaac Pulford, second trumpet