Cora and Jim Fanning

For the Love of Music


Christine Feierabend, Second Flute/Piccolo and Jennifer Jones, Assistant Concertmaster with the Fannings at a post-concert reception.

Cora and Jim Fanning are passionate about music and deeply committed to supporting their orchestra. Longtime subscribers and donors, and more recently members of the Legacy Circle, they are familiar faces in the Symphony community.

Recently retired, Jim worked in the Finance Office at Dalhousie University and Cora was a nurse with a career that spanned over 40 years at the VG (QEII), IWK, and in Cardiac Research at Dalhousie.

They met in 1986 when they were paired up at a ballroom dancing class. Married soon after, they have lived in their Cole Harbour home for 30 years. They continue to lead an active life, immersing themselves in a variety of interests, nurturing an appetite for learning, and supporting each other’s musical pursuits.

Jim has studied piano since 1989 and has also taken university level courses in oral perception and theory. Cora played Principal Flute in an amateur orchestra for 16 years and also studied piano.

“It was a very busy life when we were both working, taking lessons, and practicing for hours,” says Cora. “We took exams and it was a bit chaotic with both of us trying to find practice time on the same instrument! I eventually switched over from piano to the flute. We were involved in choirs for a number of years: Dartmouth Choral, church choirs, the Dalhousie Medical School Choir, and the Dalhousie Music Department Choral, initially under the direction of Gary Ewer and subsequently others. Also, we both played hand bells in church for a time.”

The Symphony eventually became an important part of their lives as a matter of course.

Cora remembers the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra back in the ’70s playing at the newly built Rebecca Cohn: “I was a university student at the time. Tickets would sometimes be left for students at the women’s residence by subscribers who couldn’t attend the evening’s concert. What a treat to get a free night out and be exposed to this big, beautiful music.”

As for Jim, “I really became aware of Symphony Nova Scotia in the ’80s when the orchestra played in Cole Harbour. I was a regular at those performances. After the Cole Harbour Series was no longer available, Cora and I decided we needed to go to Halifax for the concerts. That’s when we started getting serious about supporting the Symphony.”

“I can’t imagine life without music,” he continues. “I believe it is one of the most amazing gifts we, as human beings, can enjoy. Whether listening to a CD, attending a live orchestral event, or just sitting down at the piano for a couple of hours, it allows me to ‘escape the real world’ which I think we all need to do at some point.”

Cora agrees: “There is joy and peace in music. In a busy world, filled with pressure and stress, we need good music to help us stay grounded. I am so proud of our orchestra and grateful that we can experience excellent classical music in our home city.”

Jim and Cora shared their thoughts on Legacy Giving:

“I have benefited in so many ways from our orchestra, it’s a no-brainer for me to provide for the orchestra after I am gone,” says Jim. “This beautiful music has survived for centuries. We must ensure it does not become extinct.”

“A gift in your will is the last wonderful thing you can do for the Symphony”,” says Cora. “It’s a gift that will help preserve a powerful and positive influence on generations to come.”


For more information on Legacy Giving call Rose Spicer at 902.421.4402 or email sns5@symphonyns.ca.