Joanne Allers, B.Ed, M.Mus, has experienced a rich musical education encompassing mentorship and instruction from musicians and educators in Edmonton and Chicago. After graduating from the U of A, and teaching for the Edmonton Public School Board, Joanne benefited from four years of trumpet study in Chicago, studying primarily with Mr Luther Didrickson (Northwestern University) and Mr Mark Ponzo (Northern Illinois University), but also with William Scarlett (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), the late Arnold Jacobs, and Barbara Butler (Rice University). While residing in Calgary for 15 years, Joanne performed with Altius Brass Ensemble, with highlights including performing with the Bach Society (…)
With a repertoire spanning three centuries, Nancy Argenta has been hailed not only as the supreme Handel soprano of our age but also for her performances of works by such diverse composers as Mahler, Mozart, Schubert and Schoenberg. Conductors with whom she has collaborated include Ozawa, Gardiner, Davis, Blomstedt, Pinnock, Hogwood and Norrington. She has sung with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Boston Symphony, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, and the Toronto, Montreal, and Sydney Symphony Orchestras.
In opera, concert and recital, she has appeared at many leading festivals including Aix-en-Provence, Salzburg, Mostly Mozart, and the BBC (…)
Hailed as ‘a singer with uncommon theatrical sensibility and musical intelligence’, soprano Ingrid Attrot has appeared with the London Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra with conductors such as Dutoit, Marriner, Willcocks, Pinnok and Hickox. Her work with conductor Richard Hickox has included performances of the Britten War Requiem, Peter Grimes (Ellen Orford), and Beethoven’s Fidelio (Leonora). Opera companies with which she has worked include the English National Opera (as Miss Jessel in Turn of the Screw), Opera Northern Ireland (as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni), and Pacific Opera (…)
Laura Backstrom began her musical life as a pianist, switching over to cello in her teens. She studied cello at the University of Alberta with the renowned pedagogue Claude Kenneson, and participated in summer programs in Banff and Victoria. Upon graduation from the U of A with a Bachelor of Music, Laura was invited, with a full scholarship, to study with the Fine Arts Quartet at the University of Wisconsin. Her next few years were spent pursuing studies in Toronto with cellist Daniel Domb. While there, Laura completed two intensive training courses: the Orchestral Training Program, and the Musical Performance (…)
Russell Bajer has been a member of the Victoria Symphony for 19 years. He has appeared as soloist with the VS on both oboe and English horn. In 2011 he premiered Rodney Sharman’s Songs without Words for English horn and Orchestra which was recorded for CBC. He has played concerti and solos with the Sidney Classical Orchestra, The Galiano Ensemble, The Victoria Chamber Orchestra, Capriccio Ensemble and Linden Singers. Russell has been a guest oboist with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, The Vancouver Opera orchestra and the CBC Radio orchestra. He has toured as principal oboist with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (…)
Stella Barbon received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria and also holds an AVCM in Teaching. She studied piano with Winifred Scott Wood and Anne Brayshaw. Her Italian studies took place at the University of Victoria and the Instituto Dante Alighieri in Rome. Ms. Barbon is a qualified Kelly Kirby Kindergarten Piano instructor.
Kyron Basu, baritone, has taught at the Victoria Conservatory of Music since September, 2016. He earned his Diploma in Music and AVCM in Vocal Pedagogy earlier that year, studying with Ingrid Attrot (voice) and Nancy Argenta (pedagogy). As a teacher, Kyron strives to provide a supportive and encouraging lesson atmosphere to help students unlock their musical potential, regardless of experience level. He emphasizes the development of a free, healthy vocal technique capable of expressing a diverse range of music. An enthusiastic performer, Kyron sings regularly in the Victoria area. As a soloist, he has appeared with groups such as Fretwork, […]
Paul Beauchesne has been the principal tuba with the Victoria Symphony since 2004, and was selected in 2011 as the Distinguished Alumni Award recipient for the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Fine Arts. Paul is a founding member of the Beacon Hill Brass Quintet, and a Yamaha Performing Artist and Clinician. Paul was born in Montreal, however grew up in BC, where he completed his Bachelors Degree in Music at UVic. He has also studied at the Banff Centre and completed his Masters at the University of New Mexico. He was a longtime member of Calgary’s Foothills Brass Quintet, spent (…)
Shane’s approach to teaching is to provide a warm, friendly and professional atmosphere where positive reinforcement is used to encourage and celebrate student progress. Shane’s mantra with teaching is to lead by example; he aspires to be a beacon of positivity for his students and those around him. Shane tailors his teaching style to the individual needs of his students. It is Shane’s wish to be a flexible – yet focused – guide for each and every one of his students on their quest to realizing their musical potential, helping them discover insights into music that will enrich their music-making […]
June studied with Dr. Damiana Bratuz and Gwen Beamish-McMillan at UWO. June took the Professional Development Program at Simon Fraser University and Music Therapy courses at Capilano College. June studied jazz piano at The Banff Centre and in Victoria with George Essihos. She was an accompanist for Showboat in Toronto, Phantom of the Opera in Vancouver, and Banjo & Burlesque in Barkerville. June was the music director and accompanist for Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris in Victoria (Theatre Inconnu 2006).
She performed at the PEERS Benefit concert at Alix Goolden Hall…
Kristine started her piano career at the age of six, continuing though high school, and then attended the University of Calgary under Dr. Boris Roubakine. Transferred to the UVic studying with Dr. Robin Wood, where she received her performance degree.
Presently, Kristine is a Keyboard Faculty member at he Victoria Conservatory of Music, and is also teaching on campus at St. Margaret’s Girls School. She is in demand as an accompanist for Music Festivals and RCM Exams, and has a full studio of students whom she continues to inspire and motivate.
A multi-faceted musician, Stacey Boal teaches recorder, violin and viola at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, and plays the viola in the Victoria Symphony. In addition, she has taught at WCAMS summer camp, and led recorder workshops in Victoria, Nanaimo, Sechelt, Kelowna and Edmonton. Stacey has performed several recorder solos with the VS, most recently Bach’s 2nd Brandenburg Concerto. She has also played the recorder in Pacific Opera productions of Handel’s Rodelinda and Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. Stacey was born in Revelstoke and went to high school in North Vancouver. She is a graduate of Carson Graham and the UBC (…)
Martin Bonham is well known for his expertise in early music and sensitivity as a chamber musician. Over the last 30 years, he has directed the Pachelbel Players, the Island Chamber Players, Chamber Music Victoria and Eine Kleine Summer Music as well as served on the faculty of the University of Victoria and the Victoria Conservatory of Music and is currently a member of the Victoria Baroque Players. He has given many radio performances and recitals in the Pacific Northwest and has been a member of the Victoria Symphony since 1978.
Ellen studied piano with Robin Wood at the University of Victoria and Piano Pedagogy with Winifred Wood at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. Her studies have also included harpsichord with Eric Schwandt, Colin Tilney, and Doreen Oke. She received Suzuki certification with Merlin Thompson and holds memberships in the British Columbia Registered Music Teachers Association and the Suzuki Association of the Americas. She has collaborated with both singers and instrumentalists at the BC Festival of the Performing Arts and accompanist at MusicFest Canada and the Kathaumixw International Choral Festival. More recently, Ellen assisted the music ministry as pianist for Trinity (…)
Maureen Boileau Branch has maintained a busy voice studio since 1974, joining the Victoria Conservatory of Music as a Voice Instructor in 2005. Her professional credentials include a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Victoria and a Teaching Certificate from the Victoria Conservatory of Music. Maureen’s students study and perform repertoire from the classical, operatic, musical theatre and contemporary genres, and many have gone on to professional music careers and advanced studies in Canada and abroad. Maureen fosters a positive, supportive studio atmosphere, encouraging her students to fulfill their personal potential through the development of instinctive, artistic, skillful (…)
Daniel Brandes (b. 1985) is a composer who lives in Victoria, British Columbia with his wife and cat. In 2010, Daniel completed his Masters of Music at the University of Victoria where he studied composition with Christopher Butterfield and Daniel Bíro. In 2012 he founded A Place to Listen — Victoria BC’s only monthly experimental music series — which presents works from members of the Wandelweiser composers collective, and other fringe artists exploring the use(s) of silence in contemporary music. Daniel composes music that walks tight ropes — tight ropes between nothing and something, fragility and fierceness, beauty and ugliness. He likes art (…)
Darren Buhr has been on the faculty of the VCM and a core bassist with the Victoria Symphony since 1994. As well, Darren performs with the new music ensemble Aventa. He received his Master of Music degree from Indiana University. His principal teachers have included Bruce Bransby, Lawrence Hurst, Stephen McLellan, Thorvald Fredin (Sweden), and Gary Karr. Mr. Buhr is an active composer with over 40 works to his credit. Away from music, Darren is a fan of Sherlock Holmes and Inspector Morse, is an avid solver of logic problems and is a member of the Metchosin cricket team.
As an experienced adjudicator, and member of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s College of Examiners, Roger Buksa has judged festivals throughout BC including the lower mainland. His students regularly earn awards in regional and provincial competitions and have been selected to perform as concerto soloists with orchestra.
He has also participated in the VCM Summer Piano Academy as a teacher and performer and has performed in several concerts as part of the VCM Presents series, including with classical guitarist Dr. Alexander Dunn, and in an established duo-piano team with Anna Cal.
Roger Buksa studied with Eva Kinderman (at UVic and
Müge Büyükçelen was born in 1975 in Istanbul, Turkey, where she began playing music at the age of nine. She studied at the Istanbul State Conservatory, where her natural talent was quickly recaognized and she was awarded the “Best Young Musician” Award. She studied privately with Nicolai Chumacenko, Sandra Goldberg, Ayla Erduran, and Burkhard Godhoff. Müge holds a Masters degree in music performance from Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey, and an Associate Teaching Diploma from the Victoria Conservatory of Music. She has taught and performed at the Toulouse National Conservatory and is a former member of both the Bilkent Symphony (…)
One of the active and energetic musicians in Victoria’s artistic community, Dr. Mary Byrne _DSC1043 Low Res Colour_webhas devoted much of her professional life to performing, studying, and teaching the flute. She received a B.Mus. in Flute Performance and Music Education (1985) and a M.Mus. in Flute Performance (1986) at the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of Victoria, where her field of specialization is the pedagogy and performance practice of the flute performer/teachers at the Paris Conservatoire during the 19th and early 20th centuries. An active teacher, adjudicator, lecturer, recorded artist, and published author (…)
ANNA CAL is trained in the famous tradition of Russian piano schools. She studied at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg with well-known Russian performers and professors including Vitaly Berzon, Pavel Yegorov and the late Helen Shishko. She holds Master degrees with high distinction in three fields: piano performance, piano pedagogy and collaborative piano. After studying in Russia, Anna spent two years in Rome, Italy where she worked as a soloist and a voice coach. Anna is a senior teacher at the Victoria Conservatory of Music where she teaches piano, piano pedagogy and collaborative piano. She is Director of Collaborative piano and Interpretation in German Lieder Projects. Anna is a frequent performer in Victoria as a soloist and in collaboration with vocalists and instrumentalists.
Allyn has been enjoying teaching and making music for over 35 years. Allyn’s students learn the joy and discipline of playing the violin. Many of her students have won festival prizes, exam medals and have gone on to professional music careers. However, Allyn believes that life long learning, enrichment and love of music is the most important goal.
Kelly studied with Edward Parker and Robin Wood at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and with Alexander Kelly at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England (postgraduate) on a Vaughn Williams Trust Scholarship. He also studied Piano Pedagogy with Winifred Scott Wood at the VCM. An active performer as recitalist and collaborative pianist in England, France, Germany and Canada, he is also much sought after as an accompanist and vocal coach. Mr. Charlton has also performed for many years in London as conductor and harpsichordist for the acclaimed Renaissance chamber choir ‘The New Friends’ Musick’ which he founded in (…)
Award-winning pianist Rosabel Choi completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Piano Performance at Arizona State University (ASU). An adventurous musician, she collaborates with diverse artists and curates projects that find connections between music of all eras, from traditional to contemporary. Rosabel’s work is constantly in search of creating original and unexpected ways to communicate to audiences as a performer, teacher and arts administrator. During studies in Oberlin and Calgary, she received numerous top awards, including the Dean’s Talent award, Rudolph Serkin scholarship, Austrian-Canadian Mozart Competition, Kiwanis Rose Bowl, University of Calgary Open Scholarship, and the Roslyn McCowan Award. Performing […]
Mary is an accomplished violinist, violist and conductor. She was violinist with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra for 17 years. She continues to play violin and viola with the Victoria Chamber Orchestra, the Sooke Philharmonic, and is Principal Viola with the Civic Orchestra of Victoria. She has thirty+ years experience teaching individual violin and viola lessons and group string classes at all levels. She was one of the founders of the Strings Program in the Edmonton Public Schools where she taught for 29 years. She adjudicates music festivals in Alberta and BC and has been an Examiner for Conservatory Canada (formerly (…)
Private theory and composition studies under full scholarship with Srul Glick; advanced ear training with Robert Mundinger; electronic music studies at the University of Chicago; theory, composition, and conducting studies at the University of Victoria (President’s Scholarship). Compositions and arrangements performed and broadcast in Canada, the United States, and Central America; recorded by Denise Williams, Jacques Lorioz, and the Canadian Tenors. Teaches theory and ear training at the University of Victoria, where he was awarded the Gilian Sherwin Award for Teaching Excellence, Adjudicates many competitions, is a VCM examiner, and has been an examiner for the Royal Canadian College of (…)
Susan De Burgh
Susan de Burgh teaches the Camosun College Music Program at the Victoria Conservatory. She also teaches in the Community School at the Conservatory of Music and in her home studio, where she specializes in all levels of piano, pedagogy, and theory. Susan studied at the Dartington School of Music in England, privately in Minnesota with Frank Mannheimer, and with Doris Crofton and Robin Wood at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. With her teaching colleague, Dr. Michael Redshaw, she has mentored many young teachers, one of whom received the Royal Conservatory silver medal for the highest mark in intermediate pedagogy examinations (…)
Paloma De La Guerra
Paloma de la Guerra has been teaching at the VCM since in the very early days of its existence, and continues to this day to be an inspiration to the countless students who have learnt piano with her. Paloma received her Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music, Madrid, Spain. She also studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, with John Weatherseed and Alma Cockburn, and in Victoria with Robin Wood. She has taken specialized Suzuki training in Canada and the United States. Ms. de la Guerra offers instruction in both English and Spanish.
Alana Despins joined the Victoria Symphony as Principal Horn in 2009. She has since been featured as a soloist in Mozart’s Concerto No. 2 for Horn (2013), and in Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 (2012). Alana is also in demand throughout Victoria as a chamber musician. Recent highlights include a sold out performance of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, arranged for chamber ensemble, on the University of Victoria Faculty Chamber Music Series in 2014, and appearances on the Eine Kleine Summer Music Series, and the Christ Church Summer Recital Series. She is especially fond of performing with The Victoria (…)
Tzenka Dianova is an internationally acclaimed concert artist. She completed her musical education in Europe, Canada, and New Zealand, working with reknown pianists such as Dmitri Bashkirov and Tamas Vesmas. She has won numerous prizes, collaborated with leading composers of today, recorded solo and concerto albums, and published a book on John Cage’s piano music. Dr. Dianova has taught piano in schools around the world; today she teaches at the VCM, and is principal pianist with the Victoria Symphony. […]
An enthusiastic performer, musicologist and teacher, Michael Dias completed a Masters of Music in classical guitar performance under Dr. Alexander Dunn at the University of Victoria (UVic) in 2008. A Calgary native, he previously studied under Jacob Salomons and has had the opportunity to play in masterclasses with renowned artists such as David Tanenbaum, Roland Dyens, Benjamin Verdery, Adam Holzman, Judcael Perroy and Carlos Barbosa-Lima. Michael was the recipient of the first prize at the 2008 Northwest Guitar Festival. He is the Managing Editor of the UVic School of Music’s annual journal, Musicological Explorations, and is currently conducting research in (…)
Michael Drislane is an accomplished pianist, and offers piano lessons to students of all ages and levels. Using humour and metaphor, Michael is able to break down complex ideas into ‘ah-ha’ moments. He can take a student from a beginner to an advanced level. Michael has a Masters degree in Piano Performance from UBC, a Bachelors degree in Piano Performance from UVIC, and a Diploma in Piano Performance and Teaching from Camosun College. He studied under Dr. Robin Wood, Cary Chow, and Dr. Sara Buechner, and had masterclasses with Jane Coop and Rena Sharon. Michael also pursued advanced harpsichord studies (…)
Alexander Dunn has completed extensive summer studies at the Aspen Festival and Sommerakademie Mozarteum. His performances and activities at music festivals include Darmstadt, Salzburg, Vancouver New Music, International Guitar and Lute Institute, Stetson Internatioanl Guitar Workshop, Guitar Foundation of America, Boston GuitarFest, Northwest Guitar Festival, Paracho Festival de Guitarra, Vancouver Festival, Early Music Society of the Islands, CBC Festival de Printemps, Zihuatenejo International Guitar Festival, Appalachian Guitar Festival, Singapore Youth Festival, and many others. Dr. Dunn has performed in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Eastern and Western Europe, Russia, Ukraine, China, Southeast Asia, New Zealand, Japan, South Africa, Cuba, (…)
Ms. Ina Dykstra received her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance at the University of Alberta, where she studied under Dr. Ernesto Lejano, and Dr. Helmut Brauss. She also went on to complete Graduate Degree courses in Art Song, Collaborative Piano, Chamber Music and Solo Performance. Ms. Dykstra holds a degree in Music Therapy from Capilano College in Vancouver, and has worked with a wide variety of students of all ages and all abilities, from the very gifted to those with various special needs. Ina’s most recent venture is composing piano music for students, and she is presently collaborating on […]
Dr. Jack Edwards is Conductor of the Greater Victoria Junior Concert Band and SookeWinds, Director of the Victoria Community Marching Band, Director of the Harmony Project Marching Drumline, and bassoonist in the Raincoast Trio and Springridge Quintet. He has also performed as Principal alto saxophone and bassoon with the Greater Victoria Senior Concert Band and Principal alto saxophone with the Merideum Wind Orchestra. He is on faculty at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and the Sooke Music Academy. Dr. Edwards was born and raised in Northeast Georgia, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. On a full, four-year saxophone scholarship, […]
Canadian flutist Marsha Elliott is an acclaimed soloist, chamber musician and educator. Marsha holds a B.Mus. in Performance from the University of Toronto and a M.Mus. in Performance from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she studied with soloists Susan Hoeppner and Carol Wincenc respectively. Marsha also spent a transformative year in the Professional Winter Residency Program at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Her past teachers and mentors have included Julius Baker, Emmanuel Pahud and Jeanne Baxtresser among others. As a performer Marsha has toured throughout Canada and the US and has been seen and […]
Nicholas Fairbank was born in New Westminster, BC. In his school years he studied piano, organ and French horn, later going on to study organ performance and conducting in London (UK) and Paris (France). He holds Associateship diplomas in organ performance from the Royal Conservatory (RCM gold medal 1981) and the RCCO (Willan Prize 1998) and Masters degrees from UCSB (French), the Université de Paris VIII (musicology). After some composition lessons with Stephen Chatman in the 90s he went on to complete an MMus degree in composition at the University of Victoria under the direction of John Celona. Since the (…)
Hailing from Victoria, British Columbia, Simon Farintosh made his debut as a classical guitarist at the age of nine. His interest in the instrument and its repertoire grew steadily throughout his youth and spent his formative years at the Victoria Conservatory of Music studying under Stephen Lochbaum, Bradford Werner, and Dr. Alexander Dunn. He was accepted into undergraduate programs at the University of Arizona and the University of Victoria. He is currently studying at UVic with Dr. Dunn, and has performed in masterclasses with Pepe Romero, Kazuhito Yamashita, Roland Dyens, Professor Chen Zhi, and Jorge Caballero. Simon has recently become […]
Erin Frances Fisher’s teaches piano at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. Her students have received scholarships, attended Piano Academy and participated in RCM exams and masterclasses. She teaches ages four and up, offering Kelly Kirby Method lessons for young beginners. Erin holds an MFA from the University of Victoria, Diplomas in both Piano Performance, Pedagogy, and Composition from Camosun College, and an AVCM in Piano Pedagogy and Performance. She has received music and teaching awards such as the Woods International Piano Scholarship, and Teacher Training Excellence Award. In addition to her music studio, Erin is a sessional instructor in the (…)
Raya holds a College Diploma in Orchestra/Music Education from Russia and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Concordia University, as well as a Master in Music from the University of Victoria. Her performing experiences include the Chamber Orchestra of Leningrad, Montreal Chamber Orchestra, Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra, Victoria Symphony Orchestra and Victoria Chamber Orchestra. She has also enjoyed masterclasses with Pinkas Zukerman, Eleonora and Yuli Turovski, Richard Roberts, Thomas Williams and workshops with “I Musici” and “Quador Bozzini”. Raya has been leading Civic Orchestra of Victoria for the last three years. Ms. Fridman teaches violin and Suzuki violin at the (…)
Linda grew up in Calgary and debuted with the Mount Royal College orchestra at the age of eleven, under the baton of J.S. Bach (great-great-great grand nephew of the famous Bach). This award winning pianist has had the privilege of studying with a number of inspiring teachers in both classical and jazz disciplines including Robin Wood, Peter Turner, Randy Halberstadt, Georgy Sebok, and Karel Roessingh. In addition to a successful retail career, she has been teaching piano for over 30 years and giving concerts for longer. Performances include solo piano, concertos, chamber music, jazz combos and 2-piano concerts with her (…)
Mezzo Soprano Rebecca Hass is an active singer, actor, freelance writer, radio documentary creator, broadcaster and life and performance coach. She graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with an Honours Bachelor in Vocal Performance and continued her training with the Canadian Opera company Ensemble and Merola at San Franscisco Opera. As a freelance performer, she has had a widely varied career, appearing across Canada with almost every opera company and numerous symphonies as a principal performer in operas and concerts by composers from Mozart to Wagner. A swing in the Toronto Cast of Phantom of the Opera, Rebecca has also pursued (…)
Ingrid received the AVCM Diploma Teacher Award in 1985. She has been a part of the VCM Faculty for the past 30 years. She is recognized by the Glenn Gould Professional School as a teacher with exceptionally talented students. She specializes in preparing young talent for solo and orchestral piano performance. Ingrid’s students have received awards from RCM/VCM examinations, including the Gold Medal for the ARCT Performer’s Diploma; they have won local, provincial and national competitions, CBC Up and Coming and Young Musicians’ Competitions. her students have performed with the Victoria Symphony and other orchestras on many occasions, also in (…)
Douglas Hensley is an ecclectic and versatile musician who enjoys teaching students of all levels and ages, helping them develop a solid technique which will enable them to play whatever kind of music they choose. Since 2001, he has served with the Victoria Symphony on guitar, lute, mandolin, and banjo, and in 2008 joined Pacific Opera Victoria in Regina. As co-founder and co-director of the Continuum Consort, he explores a repertoire from 12th century Cantigas de Santa Maria to 21st century works written for the ensemble (including commissions funded by the B.C. Arts Council and the Canada Council), on a (…)
A graduate from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Music Degree, Rachel Hill also holds a Music Diploma in piano and voice from Douglas College in New Westminster. Her teaching career began at the age of 19 when she was selected for the music teacher apprenticeship program at an established music studio in Surrey, BC. Her established teaching practice includes knowledge of a wide variety of curriculum, individualised to meet the musical preferences of her students which range from classical to contemporary. She endeavours to pass on her enthusiasm and love of music to her students who range from the very young to adults.
Robert Holliston studied at the Victoria Conservatory of Music under Robin Wood and Winifred Scott Wood, and at the University of British Columbia under Robert Rogers. As an accompanist and chamber player he has performed throughout Canada and the USA, England and New Zealand, and has been heard frequently on CBC-Radio. He has recorded CDs with the popular salon ensemble Viveza, trombonist Ian McDougall, tenor Ken Lavigne, his brother Tom Holliston, Show Business Giants, and members of the Hornby Island Ensemble. Robert has collaborated with many of Canada’s leading singers, including Richard Margison, Benjamin Butterfield, Judith Forst, Nathalie Paulin, Susan (…)
Cellist Paula Kiffner earned music performance degrees from Ohio State University and the Peabody Conservatory. While at Peabody she was principal cellist of the Annapolis Symphony and a member of the Washington Theater Chamber Players, both under the artistic direction of Leon Fleisher. Her teachers were Harvey Shapiro, Laurence Lesser and Stephen Kates. A former member of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Kiffner has also performed as guest principal cellist of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and appears frequently as a recitalist and concerto soloist throughout the Pacific Northwest. Her performances are heard on CBC Radio and KING FM (Seattle). Ms. (…)
Pianist, conductor, and composer Yoomi Kim received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance at the University of Cincinnati where she also completed her Master of Music degree in Conducting with choral emphasis. In addition, she had the privilege of working with Dr. Joel Hoffman, composition faculty chair at the University of Cincinnati, for her cognate degree in Composition. Dr. Kim holds her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University and the University of Montreal respectively. She has studied piano intensively under the tutelage of Dr. Robert McDonald, (…)
Ms. Tatiana Kostour, Moscow born, is a violinist from The Ukraine. In 1991 she graduated from Kiev Conservatory of Music and in 1993 immigrated to Canada. Besides performance, studying pedagogy, method of teaching and practical teaching courses under supervisions of very fine Ukrainian teachers, Tatiana always stood out with the highest marks in performance and teaching. Many years of polishing her teaching techniques brought to Ms. Kostour very successful results. Number of Tatiana’s students received Gold and Silver medals from The Royal Conservatory of Music and first places from The National Canadian Music Competitions. In addition to these awards her (…)
May Ling Kwok
May Ling Kwok studied with Robin Wood at the University of Victoria where she received her Bachelor of Music. She continued on to doctoral studies with Gyorgy Sebok at Indiana University, and was awarded the Distinguished Performer’s Certificate. Presently teaching at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and the University of Victoria, she is active as a teacher, adjudicator, and concert pianist. Concert tours have taken her to the United States, Mexico, Russia, Western Europe, and Russia. She has appeared as a soloist with the Victoria Symphony, L’Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, the Moscow Philharmonic, the (…)
Nicole Lavallee studied piano at the Victoria Conservatory of Music under Susan de Burgh and Linda Stobbe and received her Diploma in Music in 2009.
She obtained her AVCM in Performance with Distinction and Pedagogy with First Class Honours and was awarded the Diploma in Music Entrance Scholarship for the 2007/08 term, the Helen Gibson Memorial Award, and the VCM Piano Teacher Training Award as well as many other community awards.
She completed her ARCT under Linda Stobbe and continues to enjoy teaching young students at the VCM. Her future plans consist of obtaining her Bachelors in Music from the (…)
Guyonne Le Louarn
Born in France in 1975, Guyonne Le Louarn began to study violin at the age of five in Rennes, then Nantes. She switched for the viola in 1993 and went on to study chamber music, theory and history of music, orchestral work and conducting in Nantes and Paris. In 1998, while doing a degree in early music in violin with Daniel Cuiller in Nantes, she won the Paris Interschool competition with outstanding grade in viola and placed fifth in the national viola competition in Epernay in 1999. In 2000, Guyonne moved to Toulouse in the CEMS’ soloist program, receiving the (…)
Ed studied with Dr. Robin Wood and Arthur Rowe at UVic and Ann S. Miller at Lewis and Clark College. His master classes include John Perry, Gyorgy Sebok and Menahem Pressler. Mr. LeBarron has won numerous awards both locally and nationally. He has performed as guest soloist with numerous orchestras along the Pacific Northwest. He is an active accompanist, soloist and adjudicator. His students regularly receive high honours and honours with distinctions in RCM exams.
Cathy Fern Lewis
Catherine Fern Lewis is renowned as a highly versatile soprano and sound artist. An ambassador and active exponent of Canada’s new music and art scene, Lewis has premiered over one hundred pieces by prominent composers and created her own multi-media works that push the boundaries of performance. Lewis earned a BMus from the University of Victoria, BC; and devoted three subsequent years to vocal training in Europe and Canada, studying under luminaries Frances James Adaskin, Selena James, Mary Morrison and Pierre Bernac. She appears as soloist with symphony orchestras and in recitals of new and traditional music. Her improvisations have (…)
Violinist Victoria Lindsay has consistently distinguished herself as an exuberant and varied performer and instructor. In 2006 Ms. Lindsay joined the Victoria Symphony Orchestra in British Columbia, Canada, in the position of Principal Second Violin. She has also held the Assistant Principal Second Violin chair with the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony and can frequently be seen performing with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Past orchestral experiences include acting guest Concertmaster of Symphony Nova Scotia and numerous performances with the Houston Symphony and Houston Grand Opera orchestras. A widely hailed solo performance with the National Repertory Orchestra and with the Victoria Symphony as (…)
Linda. Low has achieved the Victoria Conservatory of Music/Camosun College Diploma in Music Instruction – Piano Pedagogy and Literature, Keyboard Skills. She studied with Dr. Robin Wood at the University of Victoria and the Victoria Conservatory of Music. Ms. Low is a Silver Medalist with the Royal Conservatory of Music. She has twice been a National Finalist in the Canadian Music Competition. She was a Guest Soloist with the Victoria Symphony on their West Coast Tour. She is an active adjudicator, examiner, and clinician, as well as a qualified Kelly Kirby piano method instructor.
Simon MacDonald began playing the violin at age seven, here in Victoria, British Columbia. Following studies with Frona Colquhoun and Sydney Humphreys, Simon earned his AVCM Teacher and Performance Diploma from the VCM, Bachelor’s degree from New England Conservatory in Boston, and Master’s degree from the Schulich School of Music, at the University of McGill, in Montreal. Simon’s musical education also included performing at music festivals in Europe and North America, including Schleswig Holstein Music Festival (Germany), The Festival of Two Worlds (Italy), the Spoleto Festival (Charleston, South Carolina), Tanglewood Music Festival and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (Massachusetts), and at ArtSpring Festival on Salt Spring Island. […]
Scott MacInnes has become a leader in the musical community as a performer, conductor, composer, arranger and clinician. In the fall of 2005 Scott moved to British Columbia to play bass trombone for a season with the Victoria Symphony. The following year he joined both the University of Victoria and Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra (VISO). As a member of the VISO for the past 10 years he has held the position of Principal Bass Trombone. In addition to his studio teaching and leading the Brass Choir at the VCM, Scott teaches private trombone lessons as well as conducts the brass (…)
Carol MacIsaac is a Vancouver Island born and raised violinist and violist. She received her Bachelor of Music, majoring in Performance, at the University of Victoria in 1984. Her teachers included Sydney Humphreys, Jaroslav Karlovsky and Gerald Stanick. Carol is a passionate, creative teacher, committed to the Suzuki method. Her Suzuki training was completed at Calgary and Edmonton Suzuki Institutes.
Mary Jill Mcculloch
Mary Jill McCulloch is principal flutist of Civic Orchestra of Victoria. She performs with Voces Intimae as both flutist and singer, and plays violin with Sooke Philharmonic. Since coming to Victoria in 1989, Mary Jill has appeared as flute soloist with St. Cecelia Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Victoria, Victoria Chamber Orchestra, and Sidney Community Music School Orchestra. She has performed frequently in the Christ Church Cathedral Summer Recital Series. She enjoys teaching students of all ages and levels of proficiency, using a wide variety of music. Her students have often won top honours in their Conservatory exams and excelled at (…)
With a repertoire spanning several centuries, from renaissance polyphony to modern opera, Nathan McDonald, baritone, is often lauded for his vocal versatility. With a diverse musical background including a degree in trumpet (UVic) and seven years as a church Music Director, Nathan brings a wealth of experience and musicianship to his craft. In his teaching, Nathan emphasizes the exploration of resonance through body awareness, and the importance of an emotional connection to both music and text, regardless of style or genre. Nathan’s approach to pedagogy stems from his extensive work as a student of soprano, Nancy Argenta, combined with his […]
For Kiiri Michelsen, music is a passion to be shared, whether on stage or in the teaching studio. She is active in performance, teaching (voice/piano/lyric diction), coaching (lyric diction) and research. Since 1998 (piano) and 2002 (voice), Kiiri has taught both privately and on faculty at various music schools, including the Sidney Community Music School, Brentwood College School, and Con Brio Music School. She has taught in both Victoria and Montreal, and is now pleased to be part of the VCM faculty. Kiiri’s teaching approach focuses on the development of healthy technique through the elimination of tension patterns and mental (…)
Gilbert Munroe. Pianist, teacher, administrator, was born in Winnipeg and studied piano with his mother, Zoë, and later with John Melnyk, as well as theory with Frans Niermeier. He won the Aikins Memorial Trophy at the 1949 Manitoba (Winnipeg) Music Competition Festival, and continued piano study 1954-6 in London with Harold Craxton and John Simons. He returned to Canada and, after teaching music in Winnipeg schools for several years and performing occasionally, became music director at Medicine Hat College and founding director of the Medicine Hat Conservatory of Fine Arts in 1971. He also served 1974-5 as vice-president of the (…)
Emily Nagelbach, Faculty Department Head, Winds and Brass, Conservatory School of Classical Music. Emily plays second flute/piccolo with the Vancouver Island Symphony, is a member of Pedagogy Committee of the National Flute Association. As a freelance musician, she frequently performs with many orchestras, including the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Victoria Symphony Orchestra. She served as the Artistic Director of the Summer Music Discovery Camp at the VCM for many years. Emily holds an AVCM from the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto), a B.Mus. in Performance and Theory from Wilfrid Laurier University and a M.Mus. in Performance from the University of (…)
Judith Pazder graduated from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance. She has taught in Windsor, Halifax and Vancouver, where she founded the Millennium Flute Ensemble. Judith is on faculty at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and has been the director of the Academy Flute Choir for the past 10 years. In 2014 she started organizing Flute Boot camps and the program has now been expanded to include trumpet and saxophone. Judith is also involved in recorder teaching, study and performance.
Frances studied with Charles Marshall and Robin Wood in Victoria, Lyell Gustin in Saskatoon, and Rucky van Mill at Trinity College of Music in London. Ms. Perriam has been pianist and harpsichordist with the Victoria Symphony for over 20 years, during which time she has performed as soloist and in the orchestra. She is also the pianist for the Palm Court Orchestra. As an ensemble player, she has given many performances and has recorded for the CBC.
As an active chamber musician and recitalist, violist Christine Prince has participated in festivals including Academia Chigianna (Italy), the International Musicians’ Seminar (Cornwall, U.K.), and the Hornby Island Festival (Canada). She performs regularly in several local chamber music series, including West Coast Chamber Music (Vancouver) and the Victoria Conservatory of Music’s Faculty Concert series, which she founded and directed for 13 years. Her eclectic musical interests include historically informed performance on period instruments and works by women composers. Christine has commissioned and premiered a number of works for the viola, including those of Canadian composers Steve Tittle, Sylvia Rickard, Stephen (…)
Corey Rae is currently the Principal Percussionist with the Victoria Symphony. Before he began playing with the Symphony he attended the University of Victoria and then the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music, where he studied with John Rudolph and David Kent. In 2008, Corey began playing with Aventa, a new music ensemble based in Victoria. This was his introduction to contemporary music and his continued relationship with Aventa has fostered a passion for the genre. He has played with this ensemble in New York, Munich, and Copenhagen, as well as various cities across Canada. In 2011/12 (…)
Coming from a musical family, Kathryn Appleby Ranger started her musical studies at an early age. By age thirteen, she had premiered sonatas written for her, soloed with symphony orchestras (Houston Symphony and Interlochen Arts Center Orchestra), and given solo recitals. Kathryn Ranger had the privilege of studying with the foremost teachers of the twentieth century: Dorothy DeLay, Josef Gingold, Ivan Galamian, Oscar Shumsky, and Sidney Harth. She has her undergraduate degree from Indiana University and Masters degree in chamber music from Sarah Lawrence College. She has also studied Suzuki pedagogy at the School for Strings in New York (…)
Csinszka Redai graduated with her Master of Arts in Music as a harpsichord artist and teacher, and an accompanist/coach at Budapest’s Franz Liszt Academy of Music in 2002 and 2004. From 2003-2010 she taught at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music as an accompanist-coach in the vocal and Opera Studies Department. Csinszka is now on the faculty at the Victoria Conservatory of Music where she continues her work with vocal students as an accompanist and coach. Csinszka also accompanies for the Pacific Opera Victoria.
Armand Saberi is a Canadian pianist and piano teacher, whose two favourite aspects of music are teaching and performing. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the University of Victoria and a Master’s degree in piano performance from the University of British Columbia. During this time, Armand had the opportunity of studying with internationally acclaimed artists such as Dr.Jamie Syer, Michelle Mares, Mark Anderson and Rena Sharon. Armand also regularly attended summer festivals in Canada and abroad to further his education. This allowed him the fortune of having masterclasses with master pianists Prof. Anton Kuerti (Order of Ontario) […]
Silvina Samuel was born and raised in Victoria, British Columbia. In 2008, Silvina moved Silvinato Maui and from 2008-2012 she was principle cellist of the Maui Pop’s Orchestra. She played with the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra and Hawaii Opera Theater on Oahu. She is a member of Cellano, with Lotus Dancer, pianist, performing annual recitals on Maui. Her acoustic rock collaboration with singer-songwriter, Jim Major, brought her to the stage opening for such bands as Santana, Mick Fleetwood & Island Rumours, Smashmouth, Train, Huey Lewis and Henry Kapono. While in Hawaii, Silvina recorded for a number of albums including Grammy nominated (…)
On Faculty at the VCM since 1998, Marnie has also taught at Pearson College and the Victoria School of Ideal Education. She has adjudicated for the VCM Lieder Competition and has taught Children’s Voice for the VCM Diploma Program. Her major teachers have been Catherine Young (VCM) and French Tickner (UBC). As a performer, she has sung professionally as a recitalist in Winnipeg (Women of Note), Vancouver (Cantata Singers), Kelowna (Philharmonic Orchestra), and Victoria (Bel Canto/Viva). A believer in professional development, Marnie has sung in Master Classes for Richard Miller, Edith Wiens, and Cornelia Prestl. She conducts Viva’s Foundation Choir (…)
Mary F. Smith
Mary’s musical training on string instruments was centered in Toronto and Kingston. She has developed skill in playing violin, viola, cello and double bass and, therefore, is comfortable in directing orchestras of varying sizes. Her teaching degree in music education is from the University of Toronto (1975) where she also studied cello at a performance level. Since 1986 she has taught at the junior and intermediate levels of the St. Michaels University School string ensemble program. She currently is the principal cellist of the Victoria Chamber Orchestra. Mary maintains a long lasting belief that being involved in musical pastimes fills […]
Sharonne has taught at the Victoria Conservatory since 2009. A graduate of the Victoria Conservatory/Camosun College and the University of Victoria, she holds an AVCM in Vocal Pedagogy and very much enjoys both performing and teaching. She teaches students of all ages, with a focus on healthy technique that is grounded in classical training, while applicable to multiple styles. Sharonne has studied with Ingrid Attrot, as well as with Eve-Lyn de la Haye, Erinn Roberts, Deborah Millar, and Evelyn Tubb. In the academic arena, Sharonne is interested in the social dimensions of music. She has conducted research and published on (…)
Annabelle Stanley is the principal harpist of the Victoria Symphony, a position she has held since 1982. During this time she has frequently been featured as a soloist with the Orchestra. She is also an active chamber musician, soloist and performer of new music. Annabelle is the harp instructor at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and UVIC. She has adjudicated harp students throughout Western Canada. Last year she made a CD with the great American Bassist Gary Karr of familiar classics arranged for Bass and Harp.
David Visentin is widely known throughout Canada as a performer, conductor, pedagogue and arts administrator whose leadership and creative experience in the performing arts has successfully advanced classical music from coast to coast. In 2011, founded Sistema Toronto and was appointed as the organization’s President and CEO. Sistema Toronto is a free and uniquely immersive after-school social program through music for at-risk children and youth, modeled after the highly successful program known as el Sistema. For six years, as dean and associate dean of The Glenn Gould School and Young Artists Performance Academy of The Royal Conservatory of Music, David […]
Richard Volet began his musical studies with Victor Harris, the long time piccoloist with the New York City Ballet. His later teachers were the legendary flutists Thomas Nyfenger and Samuel Baron, and Stuart Knussen, Principal Double Bass of the London Symphony. Richard has taught extensively at all levels, from beginners to aspiring professionals, for thirty five years. His students have ranged in age from four to eighty, and many have gone on to study at the finest post secondary institutions, and become professional flutists. Richard has performed extensively in solo, chamber and orchestral music, including numerous CBC recordings in these (…)
Rachael Wadham is a performer, composer and instructor based in Metchosin. Rachael was trained classically from a very young age and has always been a keen improviser. She studied Jazz Piano Performance for 3 years at Humber College in Toronto but was drawn back to classical music and eventually transferred to UVic where she completed a Bachelor of Music Composition and Theory. As a teacher, Rachael teaches all ages, and has a focus in music education for young children. She likes to gather material from numerous sources to provide a well rounded introduction to piano performance. Rachael has been working (…)
DEXINE WALLBANK was a member of The Canadian Opera Company Orchestra and also played with the National Ballet Orchestra of Canada, both in Toronto. Apart from the years she spent in eastern Canada, Dexine has played with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra since she was twenty years old. Over the years she has also played with various chamber groups including the early music group, Victoria Festival Consort. Dexine received Suzuki teacher training form the Suzuki Kingston institute as well as the Guelph Suzuki institute. In addition to many years of giving lessons privately from her home, she has also taught at (…)
Aaron is a multi-instrumentalist, in demand accompanist, studio musician and teacher. His ability to switch genres has led to performances and recordings on guitar, accordion, clarinet, shakuhachi and sitar to name a few. He has worked with vocal ensembles, accordion orchestras, gypsy jazz, country, punk, indy rock and avant garde groups. He has performed extensively throughout Japan, played in schools in Africa and more locally he can be found regularly in Victoria’s care homes, cafes and concert halls. He is a performs regularly as member of Cold Cut Combo, a Victoria-based acoustic group of improvisational musicians specializing in Gypsy Jazz. (…)
Originally from Nelson, British Columbia, Bradford now resides in Victoria where he teaches over thirty classical guitar students ranging from youth to adults and post-secondary students at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. Bradford also works as a freelance musician, and is member of the Victoria Guitar Trio with Michael Dias and Adrian Verdejo. The trio has twice been awarded Canada Council Grants for commissioning and production of a studio recording, and as such has commissioned numerous world premieres and are currently recording an album showcasing their commissions and contemporary Canadian music including works by Rodney Sharman, John Sherlock, Jordan Nobles, (…)
Canadian/British singer Dr Kathryn Whitney was raised on Vancouver Island and now divides her time between Britain and Canada. A versatile musician whose work combines concert and recital performance with a wide range of collaborative research, educational and other projects, she is a lyric mezzo-soprano with an “impressively wide dynamic range” (Oxford Times) and a “special gift” for interpreting text (Nanaimo News) whose singing has been described as “meaty”, “prophetic” (Oxford Times) and “very touching” (Sir John Eliot Gardiner). Kathryn is a freelance performer, teacher, researcher, and solo and choral clinician. She is currently an Associate Fellow at the Institute (…)
Upon hearing the legendary Jacqueline Du Pré perform in Vancouver, Karen became enthralled with the cello. Lessons with Judith Fraser and Ian and Colin Hampton preceded a Bachelor of Music Degree in Performance, completed in 1985. Since then, Karen has completed a Professional Teaching Certificate, a Camosun College/Victoria Conservatory of Music Strings Diploma and Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Education. She is beginning her certification as a Suzuki Cello Instructor. Karen teaches music and strings in the Greater Victoria School District and cello to private students at VCM. She has worked with both the VCM Music Discovery Camp and the (…)
Crystal is a theory and musicianship instructor at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, where she coordinates the Classical Music Theory programming through the School of Music Technology and Creativity, for the Ann & George Nation Conservatory of Classical Music. Crystal teaches group classes as well as individual lessons at the VCM, and has taught theory and musicianship classes for the VCM/Camosun College Diploma program. She is the co-author of three publications for the Royal Conservatory of Music, and also leads the Music Theory programming for the VCM’s Summer Academy. Crystal is a Royal Conservatory certified theory teacher and long-time member […]
Brian Wismath is music director of the Victoria Conservatory of Music Chorale, the Victoria Choral Society and Vox Humana. Brian began his education in choral music as a chorister in the Toronto Mendelssohn Youth Choir, and after completing a Bachelor of Music at Queen’s University, he received a Master’s in Choral Conducting from the University of Arizona. Brian has a rich choral background. He has served as director of the University of Victoria Chamber Singers and Tucson Masterworks Chorale; as associate conductor of Orpheus Choir of Toronto, Chorus Niagara, and Ontario Youth Choir; and as assistant conductor of Opera in (…)
Laura Wood has played piano since 4 years of age. She studied at the Conservatory beginning at five years of age with Ivy Screech. Starting at nine years old, she studied with Edward Parker obtaining consistently high marks in her exams. She successfully completed the teacher training program with her AVCM and first class honours. She particularly loves teaching children and adult beginners, and in addition to her studio teaching, offers piano group instruction at the VCM.
Cellist Brian Yoon has been described by the CBC (Canadian Broadasting Corporation) as “Canada’s next cello superstar”. Currently the Principal Cello of the Victoria Symphony, he has also been a guest principal of the Kingston Symphony and National Arts Centre Orchestra. Since winning First Prize at the 35th Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition, he has been presented in recital from coast to coast, impressing audiences with intelligent and passionate performances of repertoire ranging from Bach and Beethoven to Shostakovich and Metallica. As a soloist, he regularly performs with orchestras across Canada: his performance of Shostakovich’s Concerto No. 1 at the National Arts Centre (…)