COURT, Kathleen Jean

On August 8, 1930 Jean was born into a Scottish family in Winnipeg. At a very early age she showed a marked aptitude for the violin. Under expert tutoring, she soon developed to the concert level, giving her first concert at the tender age of seven. She soon became the darling of Winnipeg. She specialized in Scottish classical as well as fiddle music. In addition, she had by her early teens, an astounding repertoire of not only Scottish music but also recognized classical standards of Mozart, Mendelssohn, Bach and Vivaldi.

She married a Scot, Edward Johnston, and came west to Vancouver, where she became concert mistress to many Lower Mainland orchestras. Later, the Johnstons moved to Nanaimo and Jean became prominent in several orchestras. Many of these groups eventually merged to form the Nanaimo Symphony. Unfortunately, she lost Eddie to cancer. It was at this point in the Symphony, she met violinist James Court. They became “stand partners” sharing a music stand in the first violin section. They later married, in 1994, in Hawaii. After retiring from the NSO, Jean formed her own Scottish Orchestra, the Scottish Strings, a group of some 8 Scottish fiddlers she trained to concert standard. The Scottish Strings performed in malls, theatres, and Retirement Homes, including Lakeside Gardens, where she and Jim finally moved to until her illness in August of 2013.

She is survived by her husband, Jim; two children, Denise (John) Heenan in France, and Roger Johnston, in Port Coquitlam; grandchildren: Morgan (Samantha), Clare, Dane, and John.

A Funeral Service will be held on Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at First Memorial Funeral Services, 1720 Bowen Road, Nanaimo. Interment at Nanaimo Townsite Cemetery, Reception following. Donations to the Alzheimer’s Society or the BC Cancer Foundation would be appreciated.

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