New School Year Welcome! New Faculty at the VCM

Published September 3, 2019

We’re excited to welcome new Faculty joining the VCM team in the 2019/20 school year!

Department of Music Therapy

Lynette Lai, B. Mus, B.MT 

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 Lai, Music Therapy

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 practicum and internship under Julie Grannary, she worked extensively with seniors at long-term care homes, psycho-geriatric facilities, and assisted living facilities, as well as adults with developmental disability. Lynette is now working under the Victoria Conservatory of Music as a music therapist specializing in geriatric care.


Department of Early Childhood Music

Julie Ryning, BMUS, MMUS

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.Julie Ryning, Early Childhood Music

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 a musical future, while also building self-confidence and having fun.

Having been praised for her interpretation of historical music, Julie has enjoyed performing around the world, and studied and worked with some of world’s finest early musicians. Julie is also a founding member of Duo Corvi, a Victoria based early music ensemble. Duo Corvi has been twice nominated for Classical Ensemble of the Year by the Western Canadian Music Awards (2017/2018), and have been generously supported by FACTOR and MusicBC.


Chwyl Family School of Contemporary Music

José Vieira Dipl Music Performance (Camosun/VCM)

Contemporary Guitar (Electric, Jazz) Jose Vieira, Contemporary Guitar

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!

Originally from Brazil, José has lived in Canada since 2016. He started playing guitar when he was 12 years old and was inspired by Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Barney Kessel, and Wes Montgomery just to name a few. José studied at Selkirk College in Nelson and then transferred to Camosun/VCM in 2018. Upon graduation, he was awarded with two scholarships and was placed on the Dean’s Honour Role of Camosun College. Together with his wife, José has a young daughter and lives in Cowichan Valley.


Eli Bender BMus

Contemporary Cello and Fiddle Eli Bender, Cello

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.


Stephanie Cadman

Fiddle and Step Dance

Ottawa Valley step-dancing and fiddling sensation Stephanie Cadman won the world tap dance championships held in Germany while still a teen and has been at the forefront of Canadian step-dancing and fiddling for 20 years. Since moving to the west coast in 2018 she is keen to help spearhead a development of a west coast step dance style. She performs internationally with various artists and has recently begun performing with her boyfriend, Jay Malinowski, front man for the Canadian legendary band, The Bedouin Soundclash.


Ann & George Nation Conservatory School of Classical Music

Keyboard Department  Rachel Hill, keyboards, Music theory

Rachel Hill, BMUS 

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.


Eliza McClenagan BA

Eliza is currently working on her Masters of Arts at UVic, and comes to the VCM from Telkwa (near Smithers) in the BC interior. She graduated with her Bachelor of Arts from UNBC, and had previously completed her RCM ARCT diploma in performance. She has been teaching piano since 2015 to children as young as 2 years through to teens and youth, and joins the VCM as an instructor at the VCM’s Westhills-Langford location.


School of Music Technology and Creativity

Music Technology, Live Electronic Music Nathan Jonson, music technology

Nathan Jonson

Nathan Jonson is an electronic music producer and composer who has been releasing music internationally for almost two 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.
During his seven years living in Berlin, Germany he developed a close working relationship with and became an alpha tester for Ableton’s Live software, allowing him a view at the forefront of electronic music production and program development.

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