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. (…)
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 (…)
Alex Chen is a collaborative pianist and vocal coach whose personal approach and intellectual curiosity bring fresh perspectives on a diverse body of musical works. In the words of mentor John Hess, he is “an immensely musical and sensitive player” with “a deeply inquisitive mind”. Alex has an MMus from the University of Western Ontario […]
Alex is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and has a Diploma of Jazz and Commercial Music from Capilano College. He is a Sessional Instructor of Double Bass at the University of Victoria and has been playing with the Victoria Symphony continuously since 1981. Alex teaches Double Bass at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, for both the Classical Strings program, and also for the Department of Postsecondary Studies. Born in Victoria, BC, Alex is seen often in concerts and gigs, not only in the capital region but also in Sidney, Duncan, Nanaimo and Vancouver. He has performed with […]
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, (…)
Dr. Alexander Richards is an active pedagogue and performing artist, having appeared in concert in Canada, the United States and Europe. As a concert saxophonist, Alexander has been a featured soloist with ensembles at the University of Victoria Wind Symphony (2011), the University of Minnesota Wind Ensemble (2013), and at the University of North Texas. In addition, Alexander has presented recitals, in both solo and chamber music capacities, at many prestigious festivals and conferences, including the Darmstadt International Musikinstitut, the Texas Music Educators Association conference, and many North American Saxophone Association conferences. As a both a performer and pedagogue, Alexander […]
Alfons has been performing, writing, recording and teaching music for over twenty years. His passion for improvisation started at the same time he picked up the trumpet. He recently furthered his education in music at the University of Victoria where he completed a Bachelor of Music in Composition and Theory (2014). Alfons teaches trumpet with a focus on improvisation to students of all levels and ages and stresses the importance of being a versatile musician. The lessons, which are individually suited to each student, include ear-training and aural development in conjunction with functional reading skills and technique.
Alison is a Certified Althletic Therapist and a student of Manual Osteopathy who works clinically in Victoria treating injuries of all kinds. She currently teaches Introduction to Performance Awareness as part of the VCM/Camosun College Diploma in Music Performance program. Previously a French Horn player, Alison completed a Bachelor of Music in Performance French Horn at the University of Toronto and subsequently went on to study at the Conservatoire de Musique de Quebec. During her music studies she unfortunately experienced a serious injury related to her playing which eventually caused her to switch career paths and inspired her to create […]
Allan Slade joined the VCM faculty in 2002 after 6 years of practicing music therapy on the Sunshine Coast. He received his Bachelor of Music Therapy Degree and a Diploma in Commercial Music from Capilano University. He has worked extensively with adults, youth and children with developmental disabilities, brain injuries and mental illness. With a passion for innovative technology, he uses Soundbeam and other adaptive electronic musical equipment to help his clients reach their full potential. He also works with the elderly in Complex Care and Independent Living facilities in the Victoria area. He is a past board member for (…)
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.
Andrew Clayden has enjoyed a wide variety of musical experiences during a career spanning nearly forty years. Andrew pursued musical studies at Douglas College, the University of British Columbia, and finally Northwestern University where he was awarded a Master of Music Performance degree. During his years in Taipei and Quebec City, he pursued a wide variety of musical projects in addition to his orchestral duties, including early music, dance bands, studio recordings, chamber music, large brass ensemble, solo performances, and jazz with the “Timononk Jazz Band.” His time studying psychology at Bishop’s University, focusing on applications of sport-, social-, and adolescent- psychology to training musicians, has had a pivotal role in adapting Andrew’s approach to teaching musicians to produce their best. (…)
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.
Anna (Acevedo) Lyman, is originally from Detroit, Michigan, and is a working musician, recording artist and educator, based on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Having studied ukulele and Hawaiian music with Ben Chong (Guitar and Ukulele player for Don Ho), among other Hawaiian instructors, Anna is an award-winning ukulele player, and as a now teaching ukulele in both group/ensemble and individual studio lessons at the Victoria Conservatory of Music’s new Westhills location in Langford. […]
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.
Anne Marie Power is a native of Santa Monica, California, and has been with the Victoria Conservatory of Music since 2011. She teaches bassoon for the Winds and Brass Department, of the Ann & George Nation Conservatory School of Classical Music. Anne Marie studied with Benjamin Kamins at Rice University and John Clouser at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She has been a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival. Performing with the Victoria Symphony as second bassoon since 2010, she has also served as Acting Principal Bassoon during the orchestra’s 75th anniversary season which included […]
Armand Huang-Saberi is a Canadian pianist and piano teacher. His two favourite aspects of music are performing and teaching. 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 Ingrid Henderson, Dr. Jamie Syer, Michelle Mares, Mark Anderson and Rena Sharon. …
Brenda Morie is an international recording vocalist who has performed in front of audiences of up to 50,000 people in Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium and Universal Studios, trained in the Bel Canto vocal method, fluent in Latin, Blues, Jazz, Contemporary, Rhythm and Blues to country and folk music. Experienced in voice overs, jingles, narration and radio announcing to theatrical movie releases, Brenda invites you to learn and be inspired to find your “own” voice whether it be as a hobby or to enhance your professionalism. Learn, proper breathing techniques, phrasing, vocal care, approaches to live performances, and recording tips, including […]
Brian Yoon is currently the Principal Cello of the Victoria Symphony. Since winning First Prize at the 35th Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition, he has been presented in recital from coast to coast, with repertoire ranging from Bach and Beethoven to Shostakovich and Metallica. As a soloist, Brian has recently appeared with orchestras in works by Brahms, Dvorak, Haydn, Lalo, Morawetz, and Schumann. His main teachers include Judith Fraser (Vancouver Academy of Music), Paul Marleyn (University of Ottawa), and Desmond Hoebig (Rice University). Brian has received support from the BC Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation.
Based on Vancouver Island, Cari Burdett (2016 VIMA Vocalist of the Year) actively performs, tours self-produced works including her own songs, and produces shows. As Director of Lila Music Centre located in Duncan, Cari brings over 20 years of accumulated education and experience in both the Classical and Popular-Contemporary Genres, and since October 2017 teaches voice/vocals for the Victoria Conservatory of Music, as a faculty member in the Chwyl Family School of Contemporary Music, the Ann & George Nation Conservatory of Classical Music (Voice Dept), and the Department of Postsecondary Studies. […]
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.
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 (…)
I am a Canadian composer, and I teach theory and composition at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. Although my explorations into music composition began as a solitary pursuit, I have in recent years had the honour of collaborating with a wide variety of instrumentalists, vocalists, writers, and fellow composers. I have never specialised: I compose music for students and amateurs as well as for professionals. With the passage of time, my focus is shifting from my own development to that of young people who want to express themselves creatively through music.
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 (…)
CHRISTOPHER REICHE is a performer, composer and instructor. Originally from Ontario, he moved to Victoria British Columbia to pursue a Masters of Music at the University of Victoria. As a composer, his works have been performed by The Vancouver Miniaturist Ensemble, Mark McGregor and Brian Nesselroads, and locally by the Aventa Ensemble. His work The length of this piece is not arbitary – Painting Portrait of Glass has been recorded by Quatuor Bozzini and released on their CD À chacun sa miniature. As a performer, he specializes in contemporary music and free improvisation. In Victoria he has performed with the (…)
“Victoria’s Colleen Eccleston is a remarkable singer. She is a gifted songwriter and a very strong rhythm guitarist. Her on-stage ebullience makes her concerts a delight, but she can switch from a carefree song about life on the road to a sobering tale of environmental or interpersonal damage with consummate ease” – The Rogue Folk; “A dangerous blend of skillful song writing and gorgeous vocals makes Colleen an artist whose work is timeless and a must have for any true music aficionado’s collection.” – Naomi De Bruyn, Linear Reflections. After 14 years with The Ecclestons and many adventures on the road (…)
Crystal Wiksyk is a theory and musicianship instructor at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, where she coordinates the Classical Music Theory program within 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 of the BC Registered Music Teachers Association.
Having performed all across Canada, USA and Europe, Damian has been busy changing the way people think about the drums. Born in New Zealand and raised on the west coast of Canada, Damian’s musical diversity has led to performances with some of the finest musicians in the country and abroad. Damian maintains a busy live and studio schedule with his own ensemble and as an in demand freelance musician. Performance highlights have included sharing the stage with Joshua Redman, Albert Collins, Cecil McBee, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Holly Cole, The Shuffle Demons, Buddy Guy, Metalwood, The Paladins, Colin James, The Odds, (…)
Daniel Brandes has been a faculty member at the Victoria Conservatory of Music since 2015, where he has worked and taught in a number of areas. He teaches theory and ear training courses and lessons in the Postsecondary and Music Technology & Creativity program areas, as well as the Creative Impulse, a course focusing on cultivating creative practices. Additionally, Daniel is the program director and lead choir director for the VCM’s ChoirKids program delivered tuition-free through VCM Children’s Music Outreach into underserved schools in the Capital Regional District. As of July 2021, Daniel is the Artistic Director of the VCM’s […]
Daniel Lapp is a world-renowned singer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, teacher, archivist, band leader, sideman, producer, promoter and – no kidding – the list goes on. And like the true-blue Canadian he is, Daniel does it all with trademark energy and warmth. As a fiddler, jazz trumpeter and singer/songwriter, Daniel Lapp has played on over 100 albums and performed across Canada, United States, Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Finland and Germany with some of the world’s most renowned Folk and Jazz musicians. Daniel is the winner of the B.C. Fiddle Championship and has appeared as a soloist with the CBC Chamber Orchestra as well as (…)
Danuel Tate is a keyboard player and composer of electronic music. He has been writing electronic music for the past 18 years, and his work with the group “Cobblestone Jazz” has given him international acclaim. He has performed extensively at many of the world’s largest music festivals, including three times at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. In between touring he teaches piano to a range of students. Trained as a jazz pianist, improvising is a large component of his lesson set. He prefers to teach the fundamentals of music theory aurally, and then progresses to reading and writing. Danuel […]
A professional musician for thirty-five years, Darcy’s career has spanned all areas of music, including teaching, composing, performing, and recording. Since 1995 he has been keyboardist for Universal recording artist Jann Arden, accompanying her on stages throughout the world and co-writing songs on several of her recent recordings. Winner of the Alberta Motion Picture Industry Association’s Score of the Year award, he has composed original soundtracks for numerous theatre, feature film and television productions. Darcy has years of experience in recording studios, both as session musician and producer, and regularly performs live in blues, jazz, and pop settings. With a […]
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 […]
David Yates has a B.A. (2001) from The Evergreen State College, with equal time spent studying writing, theatre, music, and dance. Recently joining the Victoria Conservatory of Music, he currently gives lessons in Didgeridoo, and teaches Solo Concert Prep, Solo Concert Presentation, and the class Foundations of Stage Presence for the VCM’s Department of Postsecondary Studies, VCM/Camosun Diploma in Music Performance. David has performed as a dancer with the Vancouver Opera, has danced and choreographed for film, and spent several years performing in local theatre shows with the Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret, among others. He has worked in elementary and middle […]
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 (…)
Born in Nelson B.C, Dougal McLean is a versatile musician who grew into his abilities after a very early start in music. His mother was an elementary school music teacher for 20 years in Prince George, B.C., and bestowed on him a keen interest in many instruments, especially the violin. As a youth he studied at the Prince George Conservatory of Music with various orchestral musicians, and with distinguished Metis fiddler Sandra Flavel. At 17, Dougal took his instruments to UVic and began an entirely new adventure. There he met numerous like-minded musicians and was soon touring the country and […]
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 (…)
Born and raised in Sooke, B.C., Dylan Marks is a Montreal-based musician recently relocated to Vancouver Island. He has completed a Bachelor of Music in Jazz, with a Minor in Music Education, from McGill University. Throughout his studies at McGill University, where he studied music for early childhood, Dylan learned the practical skills of developing age and skill appropriate music games and activities, as well as Orff, Dalcroze, and Kodaly pedagogical practices. In 2015, Dylan earned a Diploma in Jazz Studies from Camosun College and the Victoria Conservatory of Music. This formal academic training has given him the confidence and […]
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.
Recently awarded the designation of “Professor Emeritus of Piano and Music” at Ambrose University in Calgary, Edwin Gnandt has relocated to the beautiful city of Victoria. As of September 2021, he will join the music faculty at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. He continues to enjoy a collaborative career in music as pianist, accompanist, author, adjudicator, competition juror, workshop clinician and international speaker. He adjudicates festivals across Canada and recently as a juror for the Canadian Music Competition (CMC), the National Stepping Stone Competition, the Bosendorfer (BC) Piano Competition and the Steinway Junior Competition. In 2022, Mr. Gnandt will be […]
[ON LEAVE FOR 2021-2022] Eli Bender completed his studies in Music Education at Michigan State University where his growth as a cellist was overseen by Suren Bagratuni. His work in the realm of creative musicianship led him to study with cello masters such as Mike Block, Natalie Haas, and Rushad Eggleston. Current projects include floor-fiddling cello duo Hale & Hearty, BC dance band Compassion Gorilla, and the chamber-folk sextet The Sound Accord.
Dr. Elizabeth MacIsaac has directed choirs of all ages in Canada, France and the United States. A profound believer in life-long learning and always honing her craft, Elizabeth seeks to generate creative musical engagement along the joyful path of collective singing. In making music a cornerstone in education and a lifelong activity, Elizabeth has received grants for choral outreach to school music classes in the Greater Victoria area, to commission many Canadian choral works and to found a conducting training apprenticeship for aspiring young choral conductors. Elizabeth maintains a dynamic double career as both singer and conductor. She lived in […]
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 (…)
Growing up in a musical household in Langbank, Saskatchewan, Emily Dubois fell in love with the Canadian fiddle scene as a young child. She grew up attending the Kenosee Lake Kitchen Party music camp where she learned many styles of fiddling from a multitude of famous Canadian musicians. The connections she made there helped create a love of performance, collaboration, and teaching of this rich tradition. Since then she has moved out to Victoria where she has studied under Ivonne Hernandez, performed for 3 years as a member of Coastline, developed Classical teachings and techniques under Simon MacDonald, and completed […]
Emily Mahbobi is pianist, composer, photographer, and music teacher, born and raised in Victoria, BC. In 2018, Emily became a member of the keyboard faculty at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, where she offers private lessons to piano students of all ages. In addition to her love of classical music, Emily has a passion for music technology, and during her undergrad, learned to play UVic’s famous Buchla synthesizer. In 2020, she became part owner of local music studio Quadratic Sound.
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 (…)
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.
Georgina Craig graduated from Christ Church University in Canterbury, England; undertook postgraduate vocal studies at Trinity College of Music in London, teacher training at Reading University and Orff training in Calgary. She brings to the VCM a wealth of experience working with students of all ages both in a class setting and on a one to one basis. In addition to her community outreach work at the VCM, Georgina is the conductor for the Concerto group of Viva Youth Voices. Georgina enjoys performing music of all genres and is a member of Ensemble Laude here in Victoria. She also sings (…)
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 (…)
Gina Johnson provides a safe, supportive, and fun environment with a balanced approach to learning. Depending on the age and needs of the student, a lesson usually will include lots of movement, creative learning ideas, and singing together. She focuses on helping her students learn to sing healthfully and learn basic music theory. She is also a Linguistics student, and finds that to come in handy when explaining the body mechanics behind talking and singing. Gina is prepared to help students through these complexities! She has prepared numerous young students for VCM Song Competitions and would be glad to help any student prepare for RCM exams […]
Born in France on December 27, 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 earning multiple gold medals in all disciplines. Meanwhile she earned a degree in Early Music under the tutelage of Daniel Cuiller in Nantes. In 1998, she won the Paris Interschool competition with outstanding grade and was a finalist at the National Viola Competition in Epernay in 1999. She also played […]
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 (…)
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 (…)
Issah Contractor has joined the Victoria Conservatory of Music Faculty to teach percussion and electric bass for the Chwyl Family School of Contemporary Music. Issah teaches lessons at both the VCM’s main downtown location, and at the Langford location in Westhills. Born in Canada but having grown up in Kenya, Issah’s formative years were unusual, and provided him with great opportunities to learn music and drumming mostly through experience in professional performance settings. After returning to Canada as a teen, and completing high school in BC, Issah attended the Vancouver Community College as a music major on a full scholarship. […]
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, […]
Jan Randall is a pianist, who played entirely by ear from childhood, started working in blues and pop music bands while still in high school, and after receiving formal classical and jazz training as a composer and arranger went on to spend a decade in theatre before moving on to make a career of composing sound tracks for broadcast. Jan has been the head song writer since 2011 for the hit CBC radio series “The Irrelevant Show.” He wrote songs and doubled as musical director for comedy shows with Second City in the early 80′s, where he collaborated with such (…)
Jany Lu is a keyboard faculty member at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, and she enjoys working with the next generation of musicians to enrich their musical life. While in Toronto, ON, she studied various curriculums and piano methods including Yamaha, Alexander Technique, and workshops with the Alan Fraser Piano Institute. She taught for three music schools including the University of Toronto Piano Pedagogy Program. There she taught group and private lessons using curriculum that she carefully designed. Jany is a Yamaha Certified teacher and has taught group lessons for young children from the age of three to five at a Yamaha School.
Jennifer Mitchell learned piano, violin, and pipe organ while growing up. She studied piano with May Ling Kwok at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and was a student in the founding class of the Collegium Program. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Victoria, and received a Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano from the University of Western Ontario under John Hess and Mark Payne. A teacher, church organist, and collaborative pianist, she enjoys performing with like-minded musicians.
Jennifer Turner is a classically trained soprano with a diverse repertoire that ranges from Baroque, Classical, and Romantic through to avant-garde and Musical Theatre. She earned her M. Mus from the University of Manitoba under the tutelage of Tracy Dahl as well as a Diploma in Music and AVCM in Vocal Pedagogy from the Victoria Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Ingrid Attrot and Nancy Argenta. As a voice teacher, Jennifer welcomes students of all levels, ages, and abilities to explore singing in a safe and supportive environment. Students will be encouraged to discover their unique sound and full […]
Jessie-Anne Tromsness strongly desires to make a difference in children’s lives by listening, educating, inspiring, caring, and bringing the joy of music to all in the most accessible, equitable, and inclusive way as possible. She is elated to have started teaching music in the Early Childhood Music department at VCM Oct 2020 and wishes to pursue continuing education in Orff Music Teacher Training. Jessie-Anne completed her Early Childhood Education Certificate (2015) and her Infant Toddler and Special Needs Diploma (2017) while working at CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning Center. Her passion for multiculturalism, community, and social justice […]
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 (…)
After touring for two and a half years with the Glenn Miller Orchestra as bassist and arranger, Joey Smith was married in Victoria and moved to Rochester, N.Y. to pursue graduate studies at the Eastman School of Music. For the past 18 years he has been bassist for many local groups and has collaborated with various artists during their stops in Victoria. Joey has written numerous arrangements for such groups as the Glenn Miller Orchestra and the Victoria Symphony, also arranging some of the music for the Commonwealth Games in 1994. Currently, several of his arrangements appear on recordings by (…)
Dr. Johanne Brodeur , Ph.D, MTA, holds a Doctorate in Health Science, Music, and Music Therapy and is an accredited music therapist in Canada. She is the Head of the VCM Music Therapy Department and also the Head of the Children’s Music Department. Dr. Brodeur has been a clinician specializing in paediatric music therapy for over 35 years and is the recipient of the two most prestigious Canadian music therapy awards: the Franni Award and the Norma Sharpe Award.
Jonathan Haek is a composer and flutist originally from Portland, Oregon. Dr. Haek is the Director of the School of Music Technology and Creativity at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. He currently teaches Aural Skills courses for the VCM’s Department of Postsecondary Studies, and is the designer, developer, and instructor of the new postsecondary Certificate of Music Technologies program offered in partnership with Camosun College. Jon’s interests lie at the intersections of music, math, and technology. His projects have involved collaboration with modern dance choreographers, free improvisation, interactive and computer music composition, and Fibonacci numbers as compositional tools. Dedicated to […]
Bringing a modern sound to VCM this year, José has experience with a variety of music styles including jazz, rock, latin, folk, funk, reggae, and more. José is a very patient guitar teacher, who teaches with enthusiasm and friendliness. José is teaching electric guitar for the Chwyl Family School of Contemporary Music, and the VCM’s Westhills location in Langford. He enjoys teaching people of all ages and abilities. José has shared the stage with David Vest, Daniel Lapp, Joey Smith, Daniel Tate, Adam Dobres, Kelby MacNayr, and many other incredible musicians! […]
Hailing from Victoria, Joshua Amendt-Moylan completed his Bachelor of Music performance degree in 2017 and is currently pursuing his Masters degree at the University of Victoria. He previously worked in the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music teaching guitar and ukulele. While living in Victoria he has performed at various events, ceremonies, and music festivals on his classical guitar. He rarely turns down an opportunity to perform, whether it’s for theatre productions on acoustic guitar, or experimental music concerts on electric guitar. Joshua keeps his roots in classic rock close to heart whenever he plays guitar because it’s the music that inspired him […]
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. Judith is also involved in recorder teaching, study and performance.
Julie Ryning holds a B.Mus honours in voice performance with a minor in music history, and a M.mus in voice performance, both from McGill University. Julie teaches Early Childhood Music classes at the VCM’s Westhills location, and at the Saanich Commonwealth Rec Centre. Julie also teaches Early Childhood Music in the Greater Victoria Community as part of the VCM’s Children’s Outreach. Having found a passion for early childhood music education, Julie believes that every child deserves to find their own musical potential and to enjoy music as a lifelong endeavor. She feels passionate about helping each child build skills for […]
Upon hearing the legendary Jacqueline Du Pre 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 of the Cello, completed in 1985. Since then, Karen has gone on to complete a Professional Teaching Certificate, the Camosun College/Victoria Conservatory of Music Strings Diploma and Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Education. Karen has also participated in six sessions of the Montreal Suzuki Institute, completing Suzuki Cello Books 1 – 8.
Karen teaches Suzuki Cello at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and Strings in the Greater Victoria School District. She enjoys performing with the Victoria Civic Orchestra and the Sooke Philharmonic. Karen plays a cello dated 2002 by Gregory Walke of Paisley, Ontario.
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 (…)
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 (…)
Kelly’s unique and personal approach to music education has a reputation for endearing and inspiring his students. Native to Canada’s West Coast Kelly has travelled internationally as a performer, music creator/writer and session musician. In 2013, Kelly celebrated the award winning debut release entitled “Dimensionaut” with the band “Sound of Contact”, featuring Simon Collins, Dave Kerzner and Matt Dorsey. SoC (Sound of Contact) was mixed by Producer Nick Davis (Genesis, Tony Banks, Mike + the Mechanics, XTC, Marillion…) and received the prestigious “Limelight Award” at the “Progressive Music Awards 2013” held in the UK for “Best New Band” marking an […]
Canadian-Norwegian mezzo-soprano Kiiri Michelsen is active in performance, teaching (voice/lyric diction), coaching (lyric diction) and research (lyric diction). Voice teaching (Dept of Postsecondary Studies – VCM/Camosun Diploma in Music Performance; Ann & George Nation Conservatory School of Classical Music) The ultimate goal of Kiiri’s teaching approach is the discovery of each singer’s unique sound. In […]
Kim Brame joined the VCM faculty in 2010. Kim brings to the VCM 25 years of work experience with infants to teens in Great Britain and in Canada. She graduated from Capilano University in North Vancouver with a Bachelor of Music Therapy (BMT) in 2001, and gained accreditation with the Canadian Association for Music Therapy in 2004. She developed her music therapy private practice in Vancouver between 2001 and 2010, including children and young adults with developmental delay and anxiety disorder. In addition, Kim works with adults with a mental illness. Kim has also worked five consecutive years as a (…)
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.
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, […]
Laszlo Tamasik is a new member of VCM Faculty under the Victoria Conservatory of Music’s keyboard pedagogy mentorship program. He is working with students under the supervision of his own teacher, Robert Holliston, and with the mentorship of several other senior VCM faculty members. Laszlo caters especially to the adult beginner or returnee in classical piano, also working with younger students. Being in the mentor program, Laszlo offers lessons at Fee Group I. Laszlo is tenacious in the practice room and can teach practice techniques for efficiency in your own practice routine. In just 4 years of studying with Robert […]
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 (…)
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.
Joining the VCM’s Conservatory School of Classical Music Winds & Brass Faculty in November 2019, Dr. Liam Hockley is a versatile musician for whom “alternative or avant-garde approaches to his instrument are only part of the everyday tool kit” (Georgia Straight). Dr. Liam Hockley is a dynamic performer of classical music and passionate advocate for new and experimental music. His repertoire encompasses not only the standard clarinet repertoire from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries, but also the results of numerous collaborations with Canadian and international composers on innovative new works. Liam has performed as a soloist or ensemble member […]
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.
Louise Deschamps joins the Victoria Conservatory of Music this year, teaching Contemporary Violin, Fiddle, Electric Violin, and viola at the VCM’s Westhills/Langford location, or online. Students will be shown how to study efficiently, how to positively face music challenges and how to stay inspired through it all. Through various approaches and insights such as Sight-reading training, Ear-training and Tactile-training, students will explore and learn the fundamentals of the music language. Louise welcomes students of all ages, of all levels, and of all musical backgrounds, who will expand their technique fundamentals throughout a selection of world music styles. Originally from New Caledonia […]
Louise Rose has been called a living Canadian treasure. She studied classical voice in Pennsylvania with John Duddy and Todd Duncan; pipe organ with Catharine Brooke Morgan; piano with Oscar Peterson; conducting with Leonard Bernstein and arranging with Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington. Some of her independent studies have been with Carmen McRae, Ella Fitgerald and B.B. King. She has served as artist/mentor in residence at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA and at The Frank DeMiero and Soundsation Vocal Jazz Camps. Louise is a sought after vocal jazz ensemble clinician. She has played and sung with symphony orchestras in Canada (…)
Lynette Lai completed her Bachelor of Music majoring in flute at the University of Victoria in 2014, before pursuing her Bachelor of Music Therapy at Capilano University a few years later. Lynette always had a passion for music, but found that music performance lacked the human connection she was looking for. With music therapy, she is able to help others using the medium she loves. Lynette believes in using a humanistic approach in her work, as she values and respect each individual as their own unique person. She uses music to facilitate moments of connection, meaning, and healing. During her […]
An Accredited Music Therapist since 1997, Marie Slade specializes in working with the elderly and adults in residential care facilities. She has developed music therapy programs for many of the hospitals and residential care facilities in Greater Victoria. On the Sunshine Coast she provided a home based palliative music therapy program, and worked with adults with dementia, and developmental disabilities. She participated in the Neurologic Music Therapy Institute in Pasedena, CA. (…)
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 (…)
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 […]
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.
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 (…)
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 (…)
Mary’s musical training on string instruments was centred 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. From 1986 to the spring 2019 she taught at St. Michaels University School, leading its string ensemble program at various campuses. She currently is the principal cellist of the Victoria Chamber Orchestra. She takes part as a volunteer within the musical entertainment team at […]
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 (…)
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 (…)
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 (…)
Melissa is an active teacher and freelance clarinetist, bass clarinetist, and Eb clarinetist in Victoria, British Columbia. She performs music for solo clarinet, chamber groups, and music for large ensembles. In 2019 she joined the faculty of the Victoria Conservatory of Music and enjoys teaching students of all ages in private as well as group settings including chamber music, clinics for schools, and adjudicating for music festivals across Canada.
She received her Bachelors of Music from the University of Windsor and also studied at the University of Western Ontario (now Western University) where she earned her Artist Diploma in Clarinet […]
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 (…)
Born in Karlstad, Sweden in 1966, saxophonist and composer Monik Nordine has lived on the West Coast of Canada for most of her life and spent her formative years on Salt Spring Island. Her first gigs at age 16 were at the Vesuvius Pub backing a local vocalist. In 1984 she moved to Vancouver to attend Vancouver Community College where she studied saxophone with David Branter and met Alan Matheson. Working with Alan’s big band Monik met many of the important jazz players in and around Vancouver. During that time she was also introduced to Campbell Ryga, who became her (…)
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 (…)
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 (…)
Nathan Jonson is an electronic music producer and composer who has been releasing music internationally for almost 2 decades as a solo act and as a part of numerous group projects. Live performance and DJ tours have taken him to the United States, all over the UK and Europe, Russia, and through Asia while teaching production masterclasses along the way. At the VCM Nathan specializes in teaching Ableton. […]
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 […]
Nick La Riviere has made a full time living as a musician for the last 12 years. He has toured with award winning bands that play jazz, folk, pop, latin, Celtic, klezmer, classical, ska, and more. He plays trombone, conch shells, bass, and sings. He’s also known for using a programmable harmonizer with his trombone to make one horn sound like a three piece section. Nick plays with many different bands including The Paperboys, Locarno, The HiFi, Adonis Puentes, and Michael Kaeshammer, and more. […]
Since a young age, Nicole has been passionate about music and people. After pursuing performance and teaching for some time, Nicole decided to take up music therapy to bridge her passions of bringing music into communities and building relationships with people.
Nicole holds a Master of Music Therapy from Wilfrid Laurier University (2021) and a bachelor’s in music performance (harp) with a minor in psychology (2018). Nicole has extensive experience working with children and youth in a variety of settings, and her master’s research focused on music psychotherapy for existential suffering in palliative care. Her graduate clinical work was in […]
Nicole Lavallée studied piano at the Victoria Conservatory of Music receiving her AVCM in Performance under Linda Stobbe and her AVCM in Piano Pedagogy with Linda Low and Winifred Scott Wood. She continued her studies at the University of Victoria obtaining her Bachelors with May Ling Kwok and Masters in Music with Bruce Vogt. Nicole is a qualified Kelly Kirby instructor and regularly teaches masterclasses at the VCM. She enjoys teaching students of all ages, performing in the community, and actively works with other indigenous performers and musicologists in Canada in the pursuit of truth and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.
Nicole has played classical guitar from the age of seven when she started lesson at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. After completing the VCM/Camosun Diploma in Music, majoring in Classical Guitar Performance, she pursued a Bachelor of Music at the University of Victoria and afterwards a Master’s in Music Performance at the University of Ottawa. Nicole has taught private students of all ages and abilities and enjoys helping students find their own music voice.
Noa Kay holds a Bachelor of Music Therapy degree from Wilfrid Laurier University, with specializations in Community Music and Psychology. Her passion for music began with singing at a young age, exploring a wide variety of musical genres including classical voice, musical theatre, jazz, pop, and music from around the World. Noa has clinical experience in pediatrics, rehabilitation, long-term care, mental health and special education. Using a client and family centered approach, she is passionate about collaborating with clients to harness individual strengths in order to achieve goals. Noa believes musical interactions can foster connections within clients, their families, and communities.
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.
Clarinetist Patricia Kostek has a distinguished career as recitalist, symphony orchestra musician and university professor. Her performances have garnered international acclaim and she has been recognized for “…rarely heard clarinet tone, so pure in all its registers” and “complete technical mastery” of the clarinet. Patricia has given recitals and master classes, and served as competition jury member in major cultural centers of Europe, Asia, Canada, the USA, Mexico and South America. She has adjudicated for International Music competitions in Spain, Brazil, Belgium, Paris, Quebec City and Buenos Aires. An active recording studio musician, Patricia has performed on the soundtracks of dozens of television and Hollywood motion picture scores as well as video games. She is Professor Emeritus at the University of Victoria. […]
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 (…)
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. 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. (…)
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 (…)
[ONE LEAVE FOR 2021-2022] Rachel Capon is an innovative and boundary-pushing multi-genre cellist. It is Rachel’s desire to be a lifelong student of the cello that has set her apart from many others. Her ability to adapt and engage in new musical settings is what has made her one of Canada’s most exciting cellists. Her versatility has made her an active session musician working on projects from hip-hop, Cuban, jazz, folk, country, bluegrass and classical. Having recently relocated to Victoria, Rachel is stepping into her new position as Instructor of Contemporary Cello at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. […]
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.
Raya Fridman is a dedicated and fully trained Suzuki violin teacher at the VCM. She believes that every child can succeed in life if she/he has support of the family; music will be one of the many achievements. 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, Victoria Chamber Orchestra, various theatre companies such as Victoria Operatic Society and Gilbert and Sullivan. 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 the Civic Orchestra of Victoria since 2006. She is conversant in Russian, French, and English.
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 (…)
One of the West Coast’s best jazz guitarists, Rob is also Southern Vancouver Island’s busiest guitar teacher. Rob has accompanied such legends as Tommy Banks, Herb Ellis and Paul Horn, and his playing and composing have received acclaim on recordings by Gord Clements and Roy Reynolds.
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 (…)
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. […]
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 […]
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 (…)
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 (…)
Simon Farintosh (b. 1995) is an award-winning classical guitarist from the west coast of Canada. Please note: Simon currently teaches Classical Guitar for the Victoria Conservatory of Music via online instruction only. Simon earned his Bachelor of Music Degree at The University of Victoria where he studied with Dr. Alexander Dunn, acclaimed guitarist and protege to Pepe Romero. Recently, Simon completed his Master’s Degree at The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he was a student and teaching assistant to famed virtuoso Rene Izquierdo. Simon has garnered top awards at various competitions in Canada and the US, including 1st Prize at the […]
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. […]
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 (…)
Stephanie Cadman joins the VCM Faculty of the Chwyl School of Contemporary Music, as instructor in fiddling and step dance (Rhythm Tap, and Ottawa Valley Step). She is a world-renowned dancer, an accomplished actress of stage and screen, a celebrated violinist, and a great singer. Maintaining a busy touring schedule both as a Canadian Folk Award-nominated solo musician and as a member of the all-female country trio Belle Starr, Stephanie has rocked audiences across North America and beyond. For most artists, that would be enough. Not Stephanie. Between her starring role in the Mirvish Production of Once, her celebrated career as an in-demand […]
Stevan Paranosic is the Principal Trumpet of the Vancouver Island Symphony. Previously he performed as Acting 2nd Trumpet with the Victoria Symphony for 7 seasons and has appeared with trumpet sections of the Vancouver, Kamloops, Prince George, and Okanagan Symphony orchestras. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Windsor and a Masters degree from the University of British Columbia. A big fan of brass chamber music performance, Stevan is active as a member, arranger and organizer of many brass groups. He is a core member of the Festive Brass quartet, which performs at The Butchart Gardens […]
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 (…)
Ms. Tatiana Kostour is a violinist from the Ukraine, and a graduate of the Kiev Conservatory of Music. In addition to studies in performance and pedagogy, including teaching methodologies and practicum, under some of the finest teachers in the Ukrainian, Tatiana always stood out with the highest marks in performance and teaching. Believing in life-long learning, Tatiana has continued to polish her teaching techniques over the years, and has achieved a very high level of success. Many of her students have won Gold and Silver medals from The Royal Conservatory of Music and placed first in The National Canadian Music […]
Thilo Schaller teaches Music Technology courses as part of the VCM/Camosun Certificate in Music Technologies, and works with students via the Camosun Distributed Learning Platform (Desire2Learn). Thilo composes autonomous music as well as for various media contexts. His works have been performed in England, Scotland, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Tanzania, Spain, Canada, and Italy. Thilo’s music is often described as contemporary and accessible. His first score for Canadian film was nominated for the Alberta Film and Television Awards in 2014. […]
As an educator Tim has taught theory and been a peer tutor as well as lectured in jazz appreciation classes, all at college level. He has also taught at numerous music camps in Canada and the US, including CYMC; one of the leading and longest running music camps in Canada.Tim has toured much of the country and has played everything from cruise ships to concert halls. Since arriving on the west coast in 2010, Tim has been very active and can be found playing nearly every week anywhere between Port Hardy and Victoria. He has performed in numerous festivals, including: […]
Violinist Victoria (Tori) Gould (née Lindsay) has consistently distinguished herself as an exuberant and varied performer and instructor. In 2006 Tori 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 […]
Each year the VCM is pleased to welcome a number of guest teaching artists to work with our students in one or more program areas. Guest program instructors can either be an existing member of faculty teaching in another program area, or one from our ever-expanding artistic community!
Wynn Gogol is a music producer, mixer, educator and author who enjoys working in a wide range of genres and styles. With more than twenty years of experience, his work has received Juno nominations, a Maple Blues Award and a Canadian Folk Award. Wynn joined the VCM in 2017 to teach the newly developed postsecondary Diploma in Music Performance course “Composing as Singer-Songwriter”. As a faculty member of the VCM’s School of Music Technology & Creativity, Wynn has since expanded his involvement with the VCM to include teaching digital school notation, as well as recording, mixing, and editing, as part of the VCM’s new Music Technology Lab programming currently under development. […]