History of Music

Program Outline

When learning to play music, a student encounters the “What” and the “How” as they perfect each and every note that is to be performed.  However, without knowing the “Why”, the student can never really completely understand the music that s/he is attempting to play.  Not knowing how a piece of music came into being, not knowing the story behind it, or behind the person who wrote the music, leaves the student with an incomplete picture, as if one were standing in front of a world famous painting, and seeing only the outline.  Learning about Music History brings much more detail to that painting and makes it complete.

The VCM offers three levels of Music History: History 9 (RCM History 1), History 10 (RCM History 2), and History ARCT (RCM History 3).  The instructor, Robert Holliston, is one of the most knowledgeable music historians in all of Victoria, regularly giving pre-concert talks for both the Victoria Symphony, and the Pacific Opera Victoria.

Program Details

Term 1: Sep 17 - Jan 14 (no class Dec 24, 31)
Term 2: Jan 21 - May 13 (no class Apr 14; 1 week break in Mar)
Sat • $346/term • Downtown

History 9 (RCM History 1)
9:00 - 10:00am

History 10 (RCM History 2)
10:15 - 11:15am

History ARCT (RCM History 3)
11:30am - 12:30pm




Robert Holliston

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 (…)