QHarmony was founded in September 1997. By now we have had 4 lustrums and have celebrated our twentieth birthday in study year 2017-2018. Although this is pretty young for an association, a lot has changed already. As a student orchestra we have a great flow of members. Yearly 10 to 20 members change. Because of this we have already built up an old member list of more than 340 people!
Until 1997 Nijmegen did not have a student wind orchestra. Jan Medendorp (employee of the Radboud University) and Pieter Nollet (student dentistry) set out to change this. They founded the orchestra and were able to recruit 60 musicians for the first rehearsal! Jos de Kleijn directed the orchestra and we rehearsed in the student church at the Professor van Weliestraat. The name QHarmony was accepted as a reference to the Catholic University Nijmegen (KU-harmonie). Even though both the university and municipality preferred the more general name Keizer Karel Harmonie, because HAN-students and hospital employees were also welcome.
The first concert of QHarmony, in February 1998, even made the newspaper “de Gelderlander”:
Not every wind orchestra can boast its own internet page. QHarmony, the youngest member of the university ensemble-tree of Nijmegen, has one. […] A nice promotion for this starting orchestra. Noticeable is the size of the orchestra: approximately fifty members, of which thirty employees. […] The orchestra has proven that technical challenges can lead to optimal results.
By now QHarmony has rehearsed in several locations and has been led by four different conductors. The club magazine “Titus”, thanks its name to the second rehearsal location: Community center Titus Brandsma. Since then the orchestra has rehearsed in Gymnasion and our current rehearsal location: Community Center Villa Nova. The choice of every rehearsal location was based both on space to rehearse and the possibility to get a drink after rehearsal.
Each of the four ex-conductors brought QHarmony new highlights. Jos de Kleijn helped with the start of the association and led QHarmony through its first exchange concerts and first members weekend. Albert van der Heide brought a doubling of the repertoire on the music stands, helped QHarmony through a few rough years and brought the association great first and second lustrum years. Maron Teerds led the orchestra to a lot of musical highlights. Two of which with the title “Theatre Night: The QExperience”, which was performed in front of nearly 800 people with the help of the singer of 4more and comedian Cristian Pielich. Jan Nellestijn led QHarmony through several nice exchange concerts, a concent tour abroad and our fourth lustrum year.