Summer Intensive Program: Baroque

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Program dates: July 15-22, 2023

This course is presented with the support of Victoria Baroque and Early Music Vancouver.

This intensive training program is an exciting opportunity to immerse yourself in baroque performance on period instruments, and develop your technical and stylistic understanding and ensemble skills in a focused and friendly environment, led by leading early music specialists from the West Coast and beyond.

Programs Offered:

Baroque for Instrumentalists

This course is for students already experienced in baroque instruments, as well as those with no prior experience. The program welcomes music students, professional musicians, and advanced amateurs. Instruction is available for strings, woodwinds, and harpsichord.

The Instrumental Program includes:

  • Ensembles and chamber music
  • Private and group lessons
  • Lectures
  • Masterclasses
  • Performance opportunities

Instrumental students will receive private lessons, play in 2-3 ensembles including a chamber group and orchestra, participate in group classes and lectures, and have an opportunity to play in a masterclass (optional). Ensembles are formed according to students’ level. Students may work on solo repertoire in private lessons and masterclasses.

Baroque for Singers

Career-track singers over the age of 18 are welcome to apply.

The Singers Program includes:

  • Private lessons and group coaching
  • Daily Masterclasses
  • Lectures
  • Staging and character work
  • Performance opportunities with period instruments

Singers will receive lessons and coachings, and sing in masterclasses. Singers may also stage a scene or aria from a baroque opera. Each singer will have an opportunity to perform an aria or in an ensemble with baroque instruments.

Auditing (Instrumental and Singers)

Auditors receive access to audit all vocal and instrumental masterclasses, group classes, lectures, student and faculty concerts, and ensemble rehearsals. Please note: auditors observe, they do not sing or play their instrument. Auditors are welcome to ask questions and engage in discussions.

Registration deadline: April 21, 2023

Bursary application deadline: April 21, 2023

Please note: the application deadline has now passed; late applicants may be accepted on a case-by-case basis. Please inquire via email to [email protected] before applying.

Learn more

How to Apply
Auditing only

No application process or fee. Registration by July 1.

Register now

Instrumentalists and Singers
Please follow the steps below to complete your application. Please note, your application is not complete until we have received your form, application fee and video.

1. Submit your application

Apply Now

2. Pay your application fee ($32.00)

  • Pay online.
  • Phone the VCM with your credit card at 250.386.5311 | toll free in Canada & the U.S. 1.866.386.5311 (Please note, a 2.86% convenience fee applies to all credit card transactions.)
  • Send us an e-transfer. See instructions here.

3. Upload your application video

  • Instrumentalists: 3-5 minutes of unedited audio or video recording of music written between 1600 and 1780 played on either modern or a baroque instrument. Accompaniment is not required.
  • An unedited video or audio recording of:
    • An aria by either Bach or Handel.
    • A second aria by any composer (different from the first aria) written between 1600 and 1750.
  • One of the arias must include a recitative. Accompaniment is required.

Video upload

In addition to helping to make sure this programme is a good fit for you, the recordings will help the faculty to place students in ensembles.
Fees and Deadlines
Instrumentalists: $680 + $32 application fee
Application deadline: April 21, 2023

Singers: $825 + $32 application fee
Application deadline: April 21, 2023

All applicants will be notified by May 1, 2023.
Students may be accepted after the application deadline if spaces are still available.

Auditing Only: $200
No application process or fee. Registration by July 1, 2023

Some bursary assistance will be available. Applicants must comply with all deadlines and requirements. Late applicants will not be considered for financial assistance.

Bursary application deadline: April 21, 2023.

Bursary application here

Dates and Daily Schedule
Program start: Saturday July 15 | 9.30am Program end: Saturday July 22 | 5:00pm Classes run daily 9:00am-5:30pm with breaks and some time for private practice (individual schedules may start later or finish earlier). Practice rooms are available.

All programs will take place onsite at the Victoria Conservatory of Music (900 Johnson Street) in downtown Victoria. There are many cafes, restaurants, and grocery stores within walking distance.

Plan your visit

Students are responsible for finding their own accommodation. There are many AirBnB options in the area.


Soile Stratkauskas, Artistic Director

Chloe Meyers, violin

Christi Meyers, violin

Mieka Michaux; violin & viola

Martin Bonham; cello and viola

Christina Mahler; cello

Christina Hutten; harpsichord

Soile Stratkauskas; flute

Katrina Russell; bassoon

Curtis Foster; oboe and recorder

Christopher Bagan; harpsichord, vocal coach, orchestra director

Vicki St Pierre; voice

Erin Bardua; voice, acting, and stage direction

Suzie LeBlanc; voice

Nancy Argenta; voice


Faculty Concert
Tuesday, July 18, 7:30pm | Alix Goolden Performance Hall | Tickets on sale now!

Purchase Tickets

Small Ensemble Final Concert; Chamber Ensembles
Friday, July 21, 5:00pm | Alix Goolden Performance Hall | By donation

Small Ensemble Final Concert; Arias and Opera Scenes
Friday, July 21, 7:30pm | Alix Goolden Performance Hall | By donation

Large Ensemble Final Concert
Saturday, July 22, 2:30pm | Alix Goolden Performance Hall | By donation


Join us for four, 45-minute talks by early music specialists on intriguing aspects of Baroque music and performance practice.

Lectures are open to the public at $15.00 per lecture, register now to reserve your spot. (If you are already enrolled in this year’s Baroque Intensive, the lectures are included in your tuition and there is no need for you to register.)

Register now

Saturday, July 15 | 4:30-5:15pm
Baroque Ornamentation – A How-to Guide: Contra-alto Vicki St Pierre sheds light on the art of baroque ornamentation in a lecture filled with humor and practical advice.

Monday, July 17 | 4:30-5:15pm
Basso Continuo Explained: The history and art of one of the most foundational elements of baroque music, explained with demonstrations by the formidable harpsichordist, Christopher Bagan.

Wednesday July 19 | 4:30-5:15pm
Women in Baroque Music: Organist and harpsichordist Christine Hutten explores the richly varied ways women contributed to music-making in the Baroque Era.

Thursday July 20 | 4:30-5:15pm
Meeting Quantz: Understanding one of the seminal performance practice treatises, its time and its author – lecture by oboist Curtis Foster on one of the Baroque Era’s most fascinating pedagogues and his teachings.

Instrument-Specific Requirements

Students are expected to be competent at reading music, and technically proficient on their modern instrument, if no prior period instrument experience already.

Keyboard players will be playing basso continuo parts in ensembles and exploring solo repertoire in lessons and group classes. Keyboard students are not required to have prior experience on harpsichord or with basso continuo playing, but are expected to have solid understanding of keyboard harmony and proficient keyboard technique. The Conservatory has designated practice rooms with harpsichords.

Baroque instruments are encouraged but not required. Those using modern instruments will need baroque bows, gut strings on the top two strings, and to tune to A=415. There are some string instruments and bows available for loan, and we can assist with acquiring gut strings. For inquiries, please email [email protected]

Flutes, oboes, recorders, bassoons
Baroque instruments are required and must be pitched at A=415. There are some wind instruments available for loan, and we can assist with acquiring gut strings. For inquiries, please email [email protected]

Instrumentalists under 18
The programme includes designated ensembles for middle and high school aged students. Minimum level grade 6 RCM or equivalent. Instrument requirements as described above.

The Fine Print

Please note: all fees must be paid in full by the registration deadline (excluding those waiting on the result of their bursary application).

Online registration requires payment in full. Payment by credit card will incur a 2.86% convenience fee. If you do not wish to incur this fee, please contact our office for other payment methods.

Those awaiting acceptance (where applicable) or the results of their bursary application are encouraged to contact us directly to register.


Victoria Conservatory of Music Front Desk
250.386.5311 | [email protected]