Mary & Ron Macnab


Longtime Symphony subscribers Mary and Ron Macnab at their Dartmouth home.

Mary and Ron Macnab have been Symphony subscribers and donors since 1992. With a home base in Dartmouth for close to 50 years, they raised four children and built their careers: Ron was a Marine Geophysicist at the Bedford Institute and Mary worked for the province as an HR consultant. They now enjoy an extremely active retirement pouring their energies into volunteering for a number of charitable organizations. They are world travelers with a love for adventure and a passion for their home province. Music is also a big part of their lives.

The Macnabs love to get into their Volkswagen van and explore the back roads. No reservations – just going where the road takes them and never knowing from one day to the next where they’ll end up. The most recent adventure was a nine week trip that took them to all ten provinces in Canada. They have enjoyed plenty of memorable times traveling in Europe as well. One of their favorite trips was celebrating their 70th birthdays by walking 800 km on the Camino de Santiago in Spain.

“Travel is wonderful,” says Ron. “It broadens your perspective on so many levels and helps you appreciate the depth of the culture of where you came from.

“Music is a part of culture that we are always interested in. We attended a beautiful performance of Mozart’s Requiem in Salzburg. I remember being in the Galician town of O’Cebrerio where the local music and instruments had Celtic origins… When you listened to them you would swear you were in Cape Breton.”

“We just love music,” says Mary. “It has always been a big part of life. Our tastes are eclectic and at the Symphony we make a point of seeing a variety of concerts through the year. We also go to events like Celtic Colors and the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival.”

“Music resonates,” Ron says. “When I’m listening I find myself remembering other places, special times. I feel inspired by the lift of feeling. It makes you imagine what the composer might have been feeling when writing the piece – and what might have been going through his mind.”

The Symphony Explosion in 1996 at the Metro Center is one of the more memorable concerts they attended. Mary recalled, “It was a fundraiser back when we were in danger of losing the Symphony. We went there not knowing what to expect and it turned out to be a magical evening.”

Ron agrees. “There were musicians from all walks of life united with the Symphony; Natalie McMaster, the Mass Choir, opera singers… The performance threw a bridge across the chasm between popular and classical music. It was exceptional music – all of it.”

The Macnabs talked about what draws them to the Symphony and why they love it.

“We really think of Symphony Nova Scotia as our Symphony,” says Mary. “We are so proud that we have this orchestra in Nova Scotia.”

Ron adds, “When I’m at the Symphony, I do have a sense of pride… Here we are on the edge of this country with a world class group of artists. We don’t have to go to another country to see what music is all about… and by extension, see what life is all about.”

“It’s also the live performance,” says Ron. “Key to enjoyment is sharing the experience with a room full of people. The music makes you connected to others around you. You all leave the hall a little richer for sharing this community experience.”

When asked why they add an annual donation to their subscription, Ron explained: “Donating to the Symphony is another way of showing your appreciation. You can clap your hands but this is another way of thanking the orchestra. It’s a bit like tipping in a restaurant… If you have enjoyed the experience, you tend to go the extra mile to underscore your appreciation.”

For more information about how to donate, please call Jordan Fisher at 902.421.4402 or email [email protected].