Max Francis: Spark to Flame Student Feature

Published March 7, 2022


Meet Max Francis!

One of the student performers at the 2022 Spark to Flame Student Showcase!

Max Francis Spark to Flame ConcertMax Francis is a 10-year old homeschooled student who is equally at home playing fiddle tunes and classical repertoire. He has won numerous national and international fiddle contests and was recently featured in the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Competition Youth Showcase. He is in his fourth year of study under Ivonne Hernandez, and he also studies with Daniel Lapp, Simon MacDonald, and Adam Dobres. A composer and multi-instrumentalist, he is currently working towards recording his original compositions in a professional studio. He is in his second year of Junior Collegium and third year in BC Fiddle Orchestra at Victoria Conservatory of Music. 


Why did you apply to perform at Spark to Flame?

I was inspired by a previous performer, Emily Dubois, who played an orchestrated arrangement of fiddle tunes. I thought it was so cool to hear traditional music played with a whole orchestra. Also, the opportunity to play with a professional orchestra is a real thrill and honour. I am so grateful to VCM for giving me this opportunity. 


What piece are you performing and why did you choose it? 

The Mathematician/Sleepy Maggie, arranged by Scott MacMillan. Scott MacMillan is a great musician from Nova Scotia who has arranged many traditional fiddle tunes for orchestra. My teacher Daniel Lapp introduced me to this arrangement and I fell in love with it right away. The set I am playing is really challenging and complex. It shows how traditional music can be musically sophisticated, just like classical music 


What are your aspirations in music? 

I just hope to spread love and joy and bring people together through music.  


Tell me a bit about yourself, outside of music 

I have a yellow/orange belt in judo and enjoy swimming, riding bikes, camping, and other outdoor activities. I also love reading—right now I am reading the Lord of the Rings series. I also like volunteering and helping others.  


2022 Spark to Flame Student Showcase

Featuring some of Victoria’s brightest and best, the Victoria Conservatory of Music (VCM) is proud to present the Spark to Flame Student Showcase on Saturday, March 12th at 7:30pm in Alix Goolden Performance Hall. This in-person, live concert is a magical evening of exciting works for 7 student soloists accompanied by the VCM Chamber Orchestra and led by Maestro Timothy Vernon. VCM faculty artists and local professional musicians join our students to, once again, produce the high-caliber Spark to Flame performance experience that fuels the love of music in our emerging young musicians and audience members alike.


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