Ernst and Colleen Schneider of Penticton have made a significant donation to Penticton Regional Hospital. The South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation has launched a $3-million campaign to fund a new CT scanner at PRH. (Contributed)

Penticton composer makes donation for medical equipment

Ernst and Colleen Schneider have contributed to equipment purchase for Penticton Regional Hospital

[John Moorhouse, Submitted]

Ernst Schneider didn’t know a word of English when, at age 18, he arrived in Penticton from Germany in 1958. Fortunately music is an international language.

Now a well-known piano teacher and composer, Ernst and his wife Colleen have made a major donation in support of Penticton Regional Hospital.

Ernst had followed his older sister to the Okanagan. Elsa immigrated to Canada in 1957 and by chance picked Penticton.

“My sister got a topographical map of Canada at the Canadian embassy in Cologne. She studied the map and decided B.C. was probably the best province. It was so open and so few cities. Then she spotted this small town between two lakes and thought that should be nice.” he said.

READ ALSO: Penticton Regional Hospital receives $100K donation

READ ALSO: Former Kaleden resident makes second major donation to regional hospital

Ernst’s interest in music started when he was still in elementary school. They had a pump organ in the classroom and his teacher arranged for additional lessons.

As a teenager while apprenticing in the trades, Ernst was able to continue his music studies. When he arrived in Penticton he was already at an advanced Grade 9 level in piano.

“I was working on a Beethoven sonata – I remember that quite clearly.”

He managed to get further instruction in Penticton and Vancouver and later met renowned Canadian composer Jean Coulthard who was also a music educator.

“I was really timid – me asking such a famous composer to take me on as a student. But she said yes,” he recalled.

Ernst spent the next 10 years taking lessons from Coulthard in Vancouver. She acted as his mentor and helped Ernst publish his first composition and get his first orchestral piece performed.

Over the years, he has written more than 100 musical compositions – many of them performed by the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra.

Colleen Schneider was born in Hope and moved to Spences Bridge at the age of nine. She and her family moved to Penticton in 1958.

Colleen met Ernst while he was giving piano lessons to her younger sister. “He was teaching piano and my sister was taking piano lessons. I was her driver,” she explained.

Colleen was also studying German in high school at the time, and received some extra instruction from Ernst. “Things sort of developed from there,” she said with a grin.

They wed in 1967 and have now been married 53 years.

Colleen worked for about 30 years at the Penticton Library, describing it as “a wonderful place to work.”

They both became strong community supporters. Ernst was keenly involved in the Kiwanis Housing Society which developed low-cost seniors housing projects on Brunswick and Van Horne streets.

“That appealed to me – doing something really worthwhile for the community.”

The Schneiders decided to donate to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation to help provide medical equipment for the Penticton Regional Hospital.

At present, the medical foundation is raising $3 million for a new CT scanner to be located near the Emergency Department, now undergoing a major expansion.

“The thing with the hospital is we’ve been very lucky in that we haven’t had to use it much. What’s life without good health?” Colleen said.

Ernst’s mother and Colleen’s two sisters all died of cancer.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

HospitalsPenticton

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Shuswap potter’s empty bowls help fill food bank

Mud, Sweat and Tears’ Bruce Nyeste expects project to raise $12,000 for Salmon Arm’s Second Harvest

Morning Start: Naps could save your life

Your morning start for Wednesday, July 9, 2020

Columbia Shuswap Regional District warns ‘dock hogs’ to follow time limits

Boats have been moored for days in some cases at public boat launch docks

Volunteers pull off late-night eagle rescue in Salmon Arm

Bird bound for a rehabilitation centre in Delta

Salmon Arm firefighters respond to nighttime garage blaze

Residential structure fire at Canoe property quickly extinguished

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

South Okanagan RCMP member speaks out against criticism

Police have been the subject of intense scrutiny in recent weeks

Indigenous leader Ed John pleads not guilty to historical sex charges

Ed John’s lawyer entered the plea by telephone on behalf of his client

Woman who talked to unconscious husband for 30 years gets solace from B.C. study

Ian Jordan suffered a head injury when he and another officer were on their way to a call in Victoria in September 1987

RCMP investigate threat against Indigenous totem poles on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast

Police describe the nature of the threat as ‘sensitive’

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Security guard assaulted in Kamloops park thanks police, public for quick arrest

Glen Warner, 71, was attacked on July 2 by a man who was asked by Warner to not smoke

Portraits celebrating Syilx culture now on display at Kelowna International Airport

Sheldon Pierre Louis’ art will be on display at YLW from now until July 2021

After slow start, Summerland sees more tourism activity

Majority of visitors come from within British Columbia

Most Read