Spark to Flame Student Showcase

Spark to Fame Event header

Spark to Flame Student Showcase

The annual Spark to Flame program is presented through the Ann & George Nation Conservatory School of Classical Music and supports the development of young emerging professional artists.

Open to all students of the Victoria Conservatory of Music, soloists are selected through two rounds of auditions, and then offered the opportunity to be mentored by various VCM faculty over the weeks leading up to the concert, including rehearsals with orchestra.

The concert is a magical evening, and this year’s performance on Saturday February 25, 2023, will feature six very talented student soloists chosen this year to be accompanied by the VCM’s Chamber Orchestra, consisting of fellow student peers who are joined by faculty artists and other professional musicians.

Admission is free. Please use the Victoria Conservatory of Music entrance at 900 Johnson Street.

Supported by the Henwood Family Foundation and BC Gaming.

Spark to Flame Student Performers

Camilo Aybar

Camilo Aybar began studying clarinet at the Victoria Conservatory of Music in January 2018 under Dr. Jack Edwards’ instruction, after picking up the instrument in middle school band because of encouragement from the band director, Jennifer Kelly. He is currently studying under the instruction of Patricia Kostek, and is a member of the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra and the Young Artists Collegium program. He finds the experience of performing in ensembles, large and small, with other young musicians to be highly powerful and rewarding. In his free time, Camilo also enjoys musical composition, as the emotions that can be expressed and evoked through music far exceeds the capabilities of language. Camilo, being a relatively shy person, turns to music composition to depict his experiences and release his bottled-up emotions in a manner that he finds deeply fulfilling and satisfying (see for more information.

Joanne Jiang

Joanne is currently studying the cello under Brian Yoon’s instruction and she started off the cello with Karen Whyte. Joanne absolutely adores the deep, rich and vibrant sound of the cello. She is in her second year in the Collegium programs, but the very first year in the Senior Collegium. She is a member of the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra as well. Joanne is a 13 year old, grade 8 student at St Michaels Universities School, and is very honoured for the opportunity to perform in the Spark to Flame showcase.

Channing Mar

Channing Mar has given solo recitals and has performed in chamber groups and ensembles around Victoria. Channing graduated with a Bachelor of Music from the University of Victoria in 2021 and is continuing her advanced studies with Patricia Kostek at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. She currently teaches clarinet at St. Margaret’s School and Tapestry Music. Channing is looking forward to performing the Krommer clarinet concerto with the VCM chamber orchestra at the Spark to Flame concert in February!

Layla Park

Layla is 17 years old and studies violin with Simon MacDonald and Müge Büyükçelen. She started playing violin at the age of 6 and discovered her passion for music once she began to perform chamber music. She is a member of the Young Artist Collegium Program and the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra (GVYO). Layla received numerous awards and scholarships from the Victoria Conservatory of Music, GVYO, Victoria Chamber Orchestra (VCO), and Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival (GVPAF). For 2 consecutive years, she represented Victoria both provincially and nationally, winning at the provincial level in solo and chamber music. Additionally, she placed first in the Louis Sherman Concerto Competition as well as third place in the Don Chrysler Concerto Competition last year in 2022. She has also participated in music theory and chamber music programs at the VCM.

Walter Rees

Walter Rees is a 14 year-old violinist who has won a multitude of awards and scholarships. He is currently studying under Müge Büyükçelen, and is a member of the Senior Collegium program at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. He is also studying Grade 9 Harmony under Christine Donkin. He is enrolled in the Esquimalt High School Challenge Program, and enjoys playing board games with his family as well as spending time with his dog.

Vivien Ye

Vivian Ye is 14 years old and currently studies piano with Ingrid Henderson at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. She has performed regularly in the community including the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival winning the Senior Piano Concerto Cup in 2022 and the 21st Century Century award in 2019. In addition to her love of music, Vivian enjoys dance, badminton, drawing and fundraising for various causes. She is also a grade 9 student at Mount Douglas Senior Secondary school, enrolled in the challenge program.

Maestro Timothy Vernon conducts Spark to Flame

Founding Artistic Director of Pacific Opera Victoria and Conductor Laureate of Orchestra London, the esteemed Maestro Timothy Vernon returns to the Victoria Conservatory of Music’s Alix Goolden Performance Hall stage to, once again, conduct Spark to Flame. Timothy has always shown a great passion for working with young musicians and inspiring their artistic development, and as such has conducted the vast majority of Spark to Flame concerts over the past decade. His ongoing support of VCM students extends past these concerts to include leading masterclasses, adjudicating voice competitions, and supporting the VCM’s Opera Studio program. Maestro Vernon began teaching at the Faculty of Music, McGill University, and became conductor of the McGill Symphony Orchestra and associate director of Opera McGill in 1986. Over the years he has made many regular guest appearances with opera companies and orchestras across Canada. He is one of the VCM’s most cherished alumni who, in the early stages of his career, studied conducting with Otto-Werner Mueller at the Victoria School (now Conservatory) of Music, and was one the first students at the VCM when it opened in 1964!

Donations gratefully accepted in support of the Spark to Flame Program

Please consider donating to support our emerging young artists on their musical journeys and help ensure that we can continue to provide our students with these exceptional performance opportunities. Thank You!

Ways to give:

Online: CanadaHelps

Phone: 250.386.5311 (Mon-Thurs 8:30am to 8:30pm, Fri 8:30am to 7pm, Sat 9:00am to 4:00pm)

Donation by e-transfer:

1. Log into your Online Banking and click the link for INTERAC or EMAIL MONEY TRANSFER and send to [email protected].

2. Email [email protected] to let us know the amount that you have e-transferred and confirm that it is a donation.

NOTE: We are on AUTODEPOSIT, so we do not need the Password/Challenge Answer.