I would like to introduce you to
'The Andre Stitchers'
Sonja Harper
Cincinnati, OH        

                   Hello, I am the guilty party who fabricates this website. I am a big Andre fan, you             
                     can find my story on Sonja's page.  

                   For the tour in 2005,  I came up with the idea to give something special to                        
                    every orchestra member.   I like all kinds of needle crafts and came up with the                
                    idea to make a special card for each of them. Andre always gets all kind of things            
                     from the fans, but the members of the orchestra generally do not get much.  With            
                     the help of  twenty inspired Andre fans I was able to give each orchestra member            
                     a cross-stitched card with their musical instrument.   You can see all the beautiful            
                      cards we made on Sonja's page under cards.   We made a total of fifty cards.   

When I gave the cards I was short  three cards, these were for orchestra members who were not on
Andre's website yet.   With help, I was able to get those three cards finished by the time I went to
Maastricht and every orchestra member who was on the US and Canadian tour in 2005, received a
card as token of our appreciation.

Please let me introduce you to 'The Andre Stitchers', the women who were inspired enough by Andre's
Music to help me make this hare brained idea a reality.   It was a lot of work, but it was a work of love,
and  the orchestra members were very appreciative and really enjoyed the cards.
Ann Smith
Deer Isle, ME

I am an Andre fan living on the coast of Maine.  I found Andre & the JSO while
flipping thru  TV channels on Sunday March 10,2002.
This man was playing a violin and  smiling.  It sounded so nice I stopped to
watch and found the whole orchestra was smiling and swaying with the music
and dressed so colorfully. It was so totally different from your usual classical
music.  I threw a tape in the VCR and recorded  Royal Albert Hall & La Vie est
Belle. I played them for any one who came near my house. One of my sons
copied the tape before I wore it out.  One of my grandsons suggested I try to
find them on the web and there they were. I could order all these dvd's and
Tapes. The guest book is full of wonderful  people who shared my enthusiasm
and comfort when needed. Sonja was such a help in so many ways I can't begin to list.

We went to our first concert in Portland, ME Mother's Day 2004 and last year in NH. This year we are
looking forward to going to  NH again on May 25th. We can't wait but are disappointed there will not be
a Meet & Greet. Hopefully there will be one next year.
Eileen Olin
Perry, NY

                     I have lived in the Western New York area all my life, I live only about 3 miles                 
                      from where I was born.  I have 4 grown sons, all married with families, who all               
                      live in this area. My parents were of German decent and they loved the Strauss              
                      waltzes, and it rubbed off on me. When I first heard Andre Rieu, I was                           
                      captivated, because I knew I had finally found someone who plays my kind of                 

                     I first "discovered" Andre Rieu in April 2004.  I have been to 3 concerts since                  
                      then, the first one was April 2004 in Toronto, then May 2005 in Cleveland where
                     I had a front row seat (AWESOME) and then again in Toronto, May 2005                      
                      where I met him at a Meet & Greet and had my picture taken with him and several
members of the orchestra. I'm looking forward to being at concerts this year in Cleveland in May and in
Toronto in December.
Nettie May Welton
Wray, CO

I live in a rural farm and ranching area, in eastern Colorado, about 180 miles
east of Denver.  I have 2 children, both live in the Denver area, 6 grandchildren,
and 8 great grandchildren... My husband passed away 6 years ago.
3 years before his death we moved from the farm and bought a home here in
Wray. My farm is 16 miles from town... I have someone that farms the ground,
and tends to the pasture.  I still manage the production and farm affairs

I have been an Andre fan for about three years, I am inspired by his wonderful
talent, and he has become the joy of my life since the passing of my husband.
I went to Atlanta, GA to see Andre's concert in 2004, what a thrill that was. I
was even privileged enough to get a picture with him at the meet and greet.   
I have tickets for is Denver, CO concert in Nov, 2006, perhaps I also will attend the Salt Lake City, UT
concert as well.  

I enjoyed stitching some of the cards for the JSO.  A fun and happy thing to do.
Shirley Kirk
Joplin, MO

                   I am married to Dan, we have one daughter, Melissa,who also lives in Joplin.
                   It was in early spring 2004 when we first saw an Andre Rieu concert on our                     
                    PBS channel. We had the TV on but were not watching at the time till we heard                
                    this beautiful female voice. We both went to see who it was, and as we                           
                    watched and listened we were caught up in the whole "Live In Dublin"                              
                    video.(the female voice we first heard was Carmen).
                   We had never seen a concert like this,colorful gowns,smiling faces, people                      
                    dancing. We became instant fans of Andre Rieu. When I went out looking for                   
                    Andre videos in our town, I could not find one! So I thought, he must have a                     
                    website, and sure enough, he did.I ordered the Dublin tape and the book "My                   
                    Music,My Life".I signed the guest book. and found Maggie, who lived just a few miles
from us, and so my journey began.

Maggie asked if I was going to the concert that year, I remember saying "What! You mean he comes
here"!? I could hardly believe he had already been here before and I was just now hearing of him for
the first time. I was not able to go that year due to health problems. So I thought, when he comes back
I'm going to the first one I see listed(if it's within driving distance).The first concert listed was to be at
Grand Prairie, TX, a 6 hr. drive, so that was our first ever Andre concert. Later I found out that he
would be in Kansas City, a much closer distance, and as it turned out, I was able to go there with
Maggie, to see her present her quilt, and the two days later, we went to the two week-end concerts in
Chicago,  that is where I first met Sonja.  That was the most memorable, fun week I've had for quite a
while, not only meeting Andre himself, but a lot of the fans as well.

We will only be going to one concert this year,2006, and it will be back in Dallas, TX, mainly because
of a fan dinner planned there.

I volunteered to be an Andre stitcher because it was a way for me to contribute, in a small way, my
appreciation for Andre Rieu & his Johann Strauss Orchestra.
Ineke Cornelissen
The Hague, Holland.

I was born in Amsterdam, but from the age of 18 on, I have lived in The Hague,
a "green" city near the beaches of the North Sea.  I am married to Ruud and
we have 2 grown up children, a son and a daughter.

We are Andre-fans since the beginning of the 90s when Andre still performed
in small theaters in the Netherlands. Our first concert was in the Carre, a well
known theater in Amsterdam. Later on we travelled to Germany and Belgium
to attend his concerts there.  This year, 2006, we even purchased tickets for
4 concerts: Cologne, Brussels, Vienna and Maastricht. We have become

When Sonja asked me to do some stitching, I had to practice first, for I had not done any cross
stitching for many years. But I succeeded and I finished 2 trumpets for the guys.
Beverly Treichel
Ft Myers, FL

                     I first learned about Andre from my cousin who loves beautiful music as                       
                      much as I do.  She introduced me to Andre in 1996 when his first Cd's                         
                      came out.  But then a wonderful thing happened to me. One Sunday in                        
                      2000 I turned on PBS and there was Andre in person, with his 'Romantic                     
                      Moments' program. I finally had put a face to the beautiful music I had                         
                       been listening to for four years.  I was completely hooked on this                               
                       charismatic violinist and his orchestra.   

                    But the best was when I discovered his website in 2003.  Well the next                         
                     year I flew from my home in Ft Myers, FL to Ames, Iowa to see my very first concert.  
Can you believe it, I clapped so hard at his concert that I put my pinkie ring completely out of shape.   
My next concerts were in Cleveland and Cincinnati ant there I met so many wonderful Andre fans,
which will be very special to me for the rest of my life.  In Cincinnati I was very privileged to meet
Andre and have my picture taken with him.  

This year I will see Andre in Tampa and Milwaukee.  There is no one like him-a very good person
whose music had enriched my life so much.  What a wonderful gift we have been given.

As of 'The Andre Stitchers', I stitched Arthur's oboe, Tanja's cello and best of all-I stitched Andre's
violin for his card. What a privilege.  
Maggie Worman
Carl Junction, MO

When Sonja asked if I would do one of the roses, I remembered telling her a
couple of years earlier when seeing her beautiful cross stitched shirts, I wasn't
much of a hand at that. I make quilts, but I've never been much of a cross stitcher,
preferring embroidery and hand or machine sewing. I'd done a couple of pieces
years ago, but found it too time consuming and intricate a pastime to pursue
with 5 kids at home. However, that no longer being the case, I said I would give it
a shot. The minute I did, I thought what have I gotten myself into? Trouble, was
the answer.

Sonja sent the rose pattern. I bought the material, thread and needles required and started on a leaf. To
my surprise, it turned out rather well, and I thought -- okay, you can do this -- piece of cake, right?  
WRONG!  The farther along I got, the harder it got with all that shading and tiny half stitches. Once into
the rose itself, I was really lost, and had to take out stitches several times. Then I got stuck. I couldn't
make heads or tails of what I was doing, and was afraid I would have to send it back unfinished. But I
really didn't want to disappoint Sonja. She had her hands full with a dozen different tasks and didn't
need me adding to them. So I called around for help and finally found a lady who was a whiz at it. She
said she would be glad to show me what I was doing wrong. One suggestion was to get a magnifying
glass that hung around my neck and magnified the area to be stitched. After a couple of visits with her
and I actually got the hang of it.

But that wasn't the best part. During my first little instruction session, I discovered she liked classical
music and asked if she had heard of Andre Rieu? She hadn't. Well, I just happened to have a spare
cassette tape in the car and I left it with her. The second visit, she was raving about him. Our original
agreement was I would give her $20 for teaching me to do this right, but she was so delighted with my
tape, she said, forget it. This is worth every penny, and I've already bought two more.

The end result I had fun, saved $20, finished the rose, made a new friend, and a new fan was hooked
for Andre. What more can you ask?  Do I want to do it again, Sonja? Uhhhhh -- I'd be glad too -- if
you're desperate. Give me a quilt any day.
Tiny van Rooijen.
Calgary, Canada

Hello, I am one of the Stitchers. I am married to: Aad  for 47 years. My
husband and I were both born in Holland. (Wassenaar-Den Haag) I am the
oldest of seven children. I came to Canada in 1959, we have lived in Calgary
since then.  We have: four children, three girls and one boy. We also have:
six grand children, four boys and two girls. And we have: three great-
grand children, two boys and one girl. Needless to say, we have a house
full at Christmas time. I babysit my youngest granddaughter who at
two years old, sure keeps me hopping!! (And young).

One year we went to Holland for a vacation and one of my brothers in law
introduced me to Andre's music. I have  liked Johann Strauss music  ever
since I can remember. So, I was sold right away!! Before we went home again, I bought a couple of
tapes. So far, we have been to two concerts. In 2004 we went to the concert in Kerkrade. We were
there for my parents sixtyfifth anniversary.  We went with eleven people, parents, brothers and sisters
to the concert and what a concert that was!!!  I love the dresses the ladies are wearing!! (To bad I did
not run into Sonja and her friends)

When Andre came to Calgary last year, my daughter bought tickets for the two of us and we had a
marvelous time!!  When we saw that he was coming again next year, we
immediately went to get tickets. I can hardly wait!! I have quit a few d.v.d's
and lots of music.  I don't play anything but Andre music in my car. Even
my little grand daughter, when she is in my car has her little feet going up
and down. (Next Andre generation in the making)  

When Sonja asked for people to cross stitch for Andre's orchestra, I put
my name in right away. I love to do cross stitching. The walls in my house
are full of pictures made in cross stitches.
Paula Turcotte
Bangor, ME

                              Last year, Sonja asked me if I wanted to stitch a musical instrument
                              for one of the members of the Andre Rieu orchestra to be made into a
                              card. It had been some time since I had taken a needle to a piece of
                              cross stitch fabric and I was a little apprehensive to commit. But,
                              wow, am I ever proud when I see the Tuba displayed among all the                       
                               other beautiful renditions. I even showed it to my granddaughters,
                              MaggieBeth and Lauren, who watched my progress while I was                            

                             I was born the same town, Heer, where Manoe Konings was born. The town
borders Maastricht, and was annexed quite a few years ago. I attended high school in Maastricht and
would ride my bike every day to get to school.  My family and I left the Netherlands for Canada in 1953.

I still speak my native dialect fluently and with the proper accent. (Important!) The "language" is called
Mestreechs (Maastrichts). The city Maastricht is called Mestreech by the natives. We are very
chauvinistic about our city and are not afraid to express that. Of course, I still speak Dutch, too.

The first concert I attended was in 1997 with Sonja and other Dutch friends. We traveled from Cincinnati
to Columbus, Ohio. When Andre introduced one of the pieces the orchestra was going to play, he
asked if someone wanted to go with him. I could not resist and, in the dialect, yelled out that I would
love to go with him. Silly me, I did not know that I was interrupting his introduction; I thought he was
serious!  During the intermission I was able to go and meet Manoe.  We had not seen each other since
1979 when she and her Oma and my aunt Paula and my children went on a bus tour to Paris. My
daughter Debbie and Manoe were about 18 years old at that time and together they had a good time,
albeit under the sometimes disapproving glances from Manoe's Oma.

The next concert I attended was in Portland, Maine, in 2004.  My husband, Paul, and my daughter,
Debbie, and MaggieBeth and Lauren (4-1/2 and 3-1/2 at that time) drove from Bangor and had
reservations at the same hotel where the orchestra was staying. We arrived there 10 minutes before
the buses arrived. The little girls were so excited!  They had watched several videos and could not wait
to meet Andre and Manoe.  Many of the girls in the orchestra made quite a bit over them and they loved
it. They were asked to go backstage during intermission and a video was made of them. We all went to
the Meet and Greet where Andre took them on his arms so Ward could take a picture. Lauren is
solid as a rock and as he gave her back to me, he said, "Ze is zwoer!" (She is heavy!") The look on the
girls' faces, though, is priceless.

I next went to the concert in New Hampshire in 2005, and when the pictures of Limburg were shown, I
experienced some home sickness. You never really leave a place you love.  I ordered the DVD of the
concert in Maastricht and the girls and I watched it together and we danced. At last I was able to show
them a little bit of my hometown. Even the church towers of Heer were in the background.

I am proud to have been able to participate in the stitching of the cards. Mine went to Ton Maes and
Manoe introduced me to him during the intermission in Durham, NH, and he thanked me for my gift.

The cards portray the most beautiful pieces of needlework I have seen. They are special because they
were stitched with love for the music and the wonderful people who bring it to us.
Thea Buys
Rozenburg, Netherlands

Hello, my name is Thea and I live in Rozenburg, the Netherlands.  I am
Married to Cor, have 2 children, a son and a daughter.   I am the proud
Oma of three grandchildren.   Two from my daughter and one from my son.
I have been a fan of our Dre from many years and have been to many of
his concerts.  

Over the years I made many friend all over the world, thanks
to our Andre. At the concert in Kerkrade in 2004, I met Sonja for the first
time and when she later asked if I could help with the cards I was happy
to do so.   She was three cards short and wanted to give them in Maastricht to the three orchestra
members she had missed in the US.  My card went to Nadja, who was so surprised that she still
received a card even though she was missed in the US.   She was sitting on the steps of the house
were the JSO changed their clothes and were they had the catering, when we went up to her to give it,
and she reacted so appreciatively.  I enjoyed being part of the embroidering project.

Cross stitch in one of my hobbies, although with two brand new grand babies, I do not have much time
for it these days.    This summer I will again join many of my Andre friends and hope to meet some
new ones when I will be in Maastricht for Andre's concerts.   Looks like it is going be a great weekend
Betty Walton.
United Kingdom

                            I live in the North of England, I am married and have 3 children, I also                      
                              have 4 grandchildren, 3 granddaughters, and 1 great grandson. Cross                    
                              stitch is my hobby, so I was pleased to help with the cards.

                            I was introduced to Andre's music by my brother in 2000, when he                           
                             recorded a concert from German TV.
                            Since then I have been an avid fan, checking Andre's website regularly. I                  
                             have most of his DVDs', videos and CDs.

                            I have not yet been to a live concert but live in hope that Andre will return                 
                             to England in the near future.
(I 'met' Betty a few years ago.  Mike (My son-in-law) was in Iraq and we were all a nervous mess.   Betty was kind enough to put
Mike's name on the board of her church and had her whole congregation pray for him.   It was greatly appreciated.  Sonja
Elke Freitag
Münster, Germany

I was born in Hannover.  I am married to Nino and we have one daughter Nicole.
I work as a secretary for the manager of a large Company.

I have always enjoyed the lively Waltz Music, but I also like different Music;
for instance Elvis Presley, Bob Marley and Reggae music.

When my cousin in San Diego, CA, totally enchanted told me about her
collection of CDs from Andre Rieu, and she played his music the whole day
during our visit in 2001, I had to travel that far to rediscover my love for Waltz Music.

In December 2002, I heard that Andre Rieu would perform in my home town of Münster, but before I
was able to buy tickets they were all sold out.  But then I found out he would give a second concert
the following day and I was lucky enough to get two tickets.   That was the first time my husband and I
were at a concert of Andre Rieu and the JSO.

I was fascinated, I was so impressed by the harmony under the orchestra members, and the charming
way Andre Rieu led the orchestra the whole evening.   Days after the concert I still walked on air, and
I absolutely wanted to go to more concerts.

In the mean time, we have been to 24 concerts, and I am still an inspired fan.    
On December 7, 2006 my wish to see Andre and his orchestra in the USA became a reality.  We had
the good fortune to be at the concert in San Diego, CA.  My cousin of course joined us, after all she is
the one who reintroduced me to this wonderful Music.

When Sonja asked for Stitchers I was happy to help out and enjoyed the result of all the cards.
Mary Crowley,
Ann Arbor, MI

                              I was born in Atlanta, Georgia.  I grew up in Glendora, California and                   
                               Las Vegas, Nevada.  I now live in Ann Arbor, Michigan and have lived                  
                               here since my husband Tom obtained his MBA at the University of                       
                               Michigan.  We have five children, from Kindergarten to High School.  I                  
                               have a daughter who plays the violin and piano, a son who plays the                    
                               trumpet and guitar, and another son who plays the french horn.

                             I was a member of a dance group in college that toured all over this                      
                              country and Europe giving performances and participating in dance                       

I learned of Andre Rieu from my mother and mother-in-law and have many CDs and DVDs.  We went
to our first concert last May in Detroit and my family and I will be going again this May.  Very

One of my interests is genealogy.  My mother-in-law's (Laurie Crowley's) colonial Dutch ancestral
roots came from Holland.  And I have recently discovered a Dutch line of my own.

Another of my loves is cross-stitch.  I began cross stitching as a way to occupy my time on the bus
during a dance tour.  Laurie asked me to help with the cross stitch cards, and I was happy to do it.  I
made cards for two of the double bass players.
Rosemarie Friedli
Boulder co.

I was born in Switzerland. My mother took me every Christmas vacation to
see a theater in Lucerne, like " the White Horse Inn" {im weissen Roessel }
Since we did not have TV. We would sit around the radio and listen to music
and did crafts.

After I got married, we moved to the States { New Jersey }. I missed
hearing the waltzes until I saw Andre on TV in 1997 and I was hooked.  In
1998 I went to my first live concert in Chicago. that concert was soon
followed by 3 more in New York City.

Last year's motherday weekend, my 3 daughters and I met in Chicago for another concert,with as
mothersday surprise a meet and greet with Andre in person.
(see pict on Andre and his fans page)

Sonja asked me to stitch a violin,a drumset and the piano, the piano especially was very
challenging,because it had 64 different colors.

Now I am looking forward to Andre's concert on Nov.2. in Denver. Two of my
daughters,son-in-law,my husband {who has never seen a live concert from the Maestro } and a very
good friend will join me at the concert.
More to follow. Just one more.  
Can you believe Tiny even cross
stitched Rembrandt's Night watch!!!
Patty Blackwell  
Raleigh, NC

                 I was born in Poughkeepsie, NY, 6/8/62
                 BA Theater Arts with Emphasis in Communications, German                                              
                  US Air Force veteran, 1st Gulf War (left due to reduction in 1992)
                 Work as CMMS Clerk/Admin Asst, Meredith College

                 1st time I went to Andre Rieu concert:  The Music Dept of the Meredith                              
                  College, had tickets for the concert at the RBC Center.  I took my son, Sam                       
                  along.  He was determined he would hate it, but I knew he'd love the music.                       
                  After seeing the gorgeous costumes, hearing the beautiful music, and                                
                  experiencing the wonder of the entire performance (balloons & all), we were                      
                   both enthralled.  I've been hooked ever since.  Sam admitted he loved it too.  SInce then,
my mom has discovered she really likes the Cd's & DVD's as well.  She also shared them with my
older sister.

I was taught when I was little that the best gift you can give is something of yourself.  My father never
liked purchased gifts as much as he did handmade gifts. This was another reason I learned to do
crafts. The best gift I can give others is either in service or in handmade gifts.  This way I am giving of

Ever since I was old enough to hold a tatting shuttle or needle & thread, my relatives have taught me
handicrafts.  My grandmother was a member of International Old Lacers, and taught both my sisters
and me to tat.  My mom taught me crochet, knitting, needlepoint & embroidery.  I learned pottery and
macramé in school.  I also learned via books more embroidery stitches and cross stitch.  I loved cross
stitch and learned to create my own patterns.  I would get a picture in my mind and try to create it on
paper by using symbols.  I use graph paper when I'm creating.  I have a series of dragons I've created
in colors of the rainbow.  Each has a little story of its own.  I am hoping someday to create a little
pattern book.  I've also created wedding samplers, toaster covers, bibs, etc.  I have also taken some
drawings from my sister & created patterns.  Though I don't have nearly the time I used to devote to it,
I still love to keep my hand in as I can.  I especially love it when it benefits others. Therefor when Sonja
asked if anyone wanted to help with the stitchery project, I jumped at the chance.  I wanted to be able
to give back something in return for the wonderful music Andre & the JSO always give of themselves.
Suzie Henise
Lake Almanor, CA

                               I first became and Andre Fan in 1999.  My mom found him on PBS   
                               doing “100 Years of Strauss”.  It was being shown several times in a
                               row so besides purchasing the CD, she  also taped it and loaned it to
                               me.  We were both hooked immediately!  My comment to my girlfriend
                               was, “He’s the sexiest man on the planet…..even his feet are sexy!”  I
                               told my husband, “If he EVER comes to the US, I’m going to go see
                               him…I don’t care if I have to go to New York!”  (we live in California)
                               Neither Mom nor I had computers at the time, so did not have access
                                to his “agenda”.  Eventually we got them and in 2004, I saw that
                                Andre and his JSO were coming.  Mom, hubbie, sister and I all flew to
                                Chicago to see him.  The following year it was Cincinnati and
                                San Jose, and this year will be San Jose, again.

When Sonja asked for Stitchers, I said, “Sure, I’ll do 5 of them.”  She said, “Boy, you are ambitious!”  
Little did she know, I had never in my life done counted cross-stitch!  But being a crafter, I knew I
would be able to do it.  HA!!  Using 16 ct Aida, I was averaging about 2 hours/sq inch.  Every waking
moment I was cross-stitching.  I had volunteered to do 2 cellos, 2 flutes and the accordion, of all
instruments!  It didn’t take me long to realize that I’d never get them all done in time so I put together
a kit with the Aida and all the floss and regretfully sent the accordion back to her.  Sonja to the rescue
(I am very impressed that she never did cross stitch before.  She did a great job. Sonja)