WSO vi­o­lin­ist dies at 87

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT -

Vic­to­ria Se­bas­tian Kere­luk, a mem­ber of the Win­nipeg Sym­phony Orches­tra at its in­cep­tion, died Aug. 18 in Vic­to­ria, B.C. She was 87.

She be­gan play­ing the vi­o­lin at four years old, grow­ing up in Transcona and study­ing at the Bornoff School of Mu­sic in Win­nipeg. In her early years, she was part of an all-girl orches­tra that played on the board­walk at Grand Beach and at the Bea­con Vaudeville Theatre.

“She prac­tised six hours a day, if you in­clude teach­ing pi­ano and vi­o­lin,” her sis­ter, Val Hast­ings, said in a phone in­ter­view from Hazel­ridge.

Vic­to­ria was in her late teens when she joined the Win­nipeg Sym­phony Orches­tra, which formed in 1947 and played its first con­cert at the Civic Au­di­to­rium on Dec. 16, 1948.

She also per­formed with the Win­nipeg Cham­ber Mu­sic Club and the Win­nipeg CBC Orches­tra.

Like fel­low Win­nipeg vi­o­lin­ist Donna Grescoe, Se­bas­tian earned schol­ar­ships to study in Chicago, and she moved to the Windy City to study there in 1950; she would even­tu­ally play with the Civic Orches­tra of Chicago.

She mar­ried Bill Kere­luk in Chicago and the cou­ple moved to Seat­tle in 1954. They lived in B.C. and Al­berta be­fore even­tu­ally set­tling in Vic­to­ria.

She per­formed with the Okana­gan Sym­phony Orches­tra, the Calgary Civic Orches­tra and the Vic­to­ria Sym­phony while teach­ing at the Craig­dar­roch Cas­tle Con­ser­va­tory in Vic­to­ria and the Banff School of Fine Arts.

CHRIS YOUNG / THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

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