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 (…)
Joshua Amendt – Moylan
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 […]
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 (…)
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 (…)
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 (…)
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 (…)
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, […]
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 (…)
Shane Beech (on leave)
Shane’s approach to teaching is to provide a warm, friendly and professional atmosphere where positive reinforcement is used to encourage and celebrate student progress. Shane’s mantra with teaching is to lead by example; he aspires to be a beacon of positivity for his students and those around him. Shane tailors his teaching style to the individual needs of his students. It is Shane’s wish to be a flexible – yet focused – guide for each and every one of his students on their quest to realizing their musical potential, helping them discover insights into music that will enrich their music-making […]
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.
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 (…)
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.
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 (…)
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 (…)
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. […]
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. […]
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 (…)
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 (…)
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.
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.
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 (…)
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 […]
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 […]
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 (…)
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. (…)
Private theory and composition studies under full scholarship with Srul Glick; advanced ear training with Robert Mundinger; electronic music studies at the University of Chicago; theory, composition, and conducting studies at the University of Victoria (President’s Scholarship). Compositions and arrangements performed and broadcast in Canada, the United States, and Central America; recorded by Denise Williams, Jacques Lorioz, and the Canadian Tenors. Teaches theory and ear training at the University of Victoria, where he was awarded the Gilian Sherwin Award for Teaching Excellence, Adjudicates many competitions, is a VCM examiner, and has been an examiner for the Royal Canadian College of (…)
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 (…)
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: […]
Susan De Burgh
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 (…)
Paloma De La Guerra
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.
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 (…)
Tzenka Dianova is an internationally acclaimed concert artist. She completed her musical education in Europe, Canada, and New Zealand, working with reknown pianists such as Dmitri Bashkirov and Tamas Vesmas. She has won numerous prizes, collaborated with leading composers of today, recorded solo and concerto albums, and published a book on John Cage’s piano music. Dr. Dianova has taught piano in schools around the world; today she teaches at the VCM, and is principal pianist with the Victoria Symphony. […]
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 (…)
Christine Donkin is a Canadian composer and instructor of music theory, ear training, and composition at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. She is an active clinician and adjudicator; creator of theory and ear training games for Tonic Tutor, an online resource for music students and teachers; and author of the Compositional Devices Collection on the RCM online Teacher Portal. Her many pedagogical compositions, arrangements, and figured bass realizations are featured in the Royal Conservatory of Music repertoire books for cello, clarinet, piano, trumpet, saxophone, viola, violin, and voice.
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 (…)
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. 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, […]
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 […]
Nicholas Fairbank was born in New Westminster, BC. In his school years he studied piano, organ and French horn, later going on to study organ performance and conducting in London (UK) and Paris (France). He holds Associateship diplomas in organ performance from the Royal Conservatory (RCM gold medal 1981) and the RCCO (Willan Prize 1998), and Masters degrees from UCSB (French) and the Université de Paris VIII (musicology). After some composition lessons with Stephen Chatman in the 90s he went on to complete an MMus degree in composition at the University of Victoria under the direction of John Celona. (…)
Erin Frances Fisher’s teaches piano at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. Her students have received scholarships, attended Piano Academy and participated in RCM exams and masterclasses. She teaches ages four and up, offering Kelly Kirby Method lessons for young beginners. Erin holds an MFA from the University of Victoria, Diplomas in both Piano Performance, Pedagogy, and Composition from Camosun College, and an AVCM in Piano Pedagogy and Performance. She has received music and teaching awards such as the Woods International Piano Scholarship, and Teacher Training Excellence Award. In addition to her music studio, Erin is a sessional instructor in the (…)
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 and Victoria Chamber Orchestra. 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 Civic Orchestra of Victoria for the last three years. Ms. Fridman teaches violin and Suzuki violin at the (…)
Melissa Goodchild joins the VCM’s Conservatory School of Classical Music, Winds & Brass Faculty (Nov 2019), after recently moving to Victoria and having the pleasure of performing with groups such as the Naden band as well as solo and chamber music. She 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. After receiving her Bachelors of Music from the University of Windsor, Melissa Goodchild studied at the University of Western Ontario (now Western University) where she earned her Artist Diploma in Clarinet Performance […]
Tori Gould (on leave)
ON LEAVE FOR 2019-2020 ACADEMIC YEAR
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 […]
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 (…)
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 (…)
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.
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 […]
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 (…)
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. …
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. (…)
Pianist, conductor, and composer Yoomi Kim received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance at the University of Cincinnati where she also completed her Master of Music degree in Conducting with choral emphasis. In addition, she had the privilege of working with Dr. Joel Hoffman, composition faculty chair at the University of Cincinnati, for her cognate degree in Composition. Dr. Kim holds her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University and the University of Montreal respectively. She has studied piano intensively under the tutelage of Dr. Robert McDonald, (…)
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. […]
Ms. Tatiana Kostour, Moscow born, is a violinist from The Ukraine. In 1991 she graduated from Kiev Conservatory of Music and in 1993 immigrated to Canada. Besides performance, studying pedagogy, method of teaching and practical teaching courses under supervisions of very fine Ukrainian teachers, Tatiana always stood out with the highest marks in performance and teaching. Many years of polishing her teaching techniques brought to Ms. Kostour very successful results. Number of Tatiana’s students received Gold and Silver medals from The Royal Conservatory of Music and first places from The National Canadian Music Competitions. In addition to these awards her (…)
May Ling Kwok
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 (…)
Nick La Riviere
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. […]
Nicole Lavallee studied piano at the Victoria Conservatory of Music under Susan de Burgh and Linda Stobbe and received her Diploma in Music in 2009.
She obtained her AVCM in Performance with Distinction and Pedagogy with First Class Honours and was awarded the Diploma in Music Entrance Scholarship for the 2007/08 term, the Helen Gibson Memorial Award, and the VCM Piano Teacher Training Award as well as many other community awards.
She completed her ARCT under Linda Stobbe and continues to enjoy teaching young students at the VCM. Her future plans consist of obtaining her Bachelors in Music from the (…)
Guyonne Le Louarn
Born in France in 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. In 1998, while doing a degree in early music in violin with Daniel Cuiller in Nantes, she won the Paris Interschool competition with outstanding grade in viola and placed fifth in the national viola competition in Epernay in 1999. In 2000, Guyonne moved to Toulouse in the CEMS’ soloist program, receiving the (…)
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.
Cathy Fern Lewis
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 (…)
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.
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. […]
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.
Mary Jill Mcculloch
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 (…)
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 (…)
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 (…)
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. Nicole is excited to join the faculty in the Department of Early Childhood Music, teaching classes out in the Greater Victoria community, and looks forward to […]
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.
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.
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 (…)
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 (…)
[CURRENTLY ON EXTENDED LEAVE] Csinszka Redai graduated with her Master of Arts in Music as a harpsichord artist and teacher, and an accompanist/coach at Budapest’s Franz Liszt Academy of Music in 2002 and 2004. From 2003-2010 she taught at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music as an accompanist-coach in the vocal and Opera Studies Department. Csinszka is now on the faculty at the Victoria Conservatory of Music where she continues her work with vocal students as an accompanist and coach. Csinszka also accompanies for the Pacific Opera Victoria.
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 (…)
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 (…)
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 (…)
Mary F. Smith
Mary’s musical training on string instruments was centered 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. Since 1986 she has taught at the junior and intermediate levels of the St. Michaels University School string ensemble program. She currently is the principal cellist of the Victoria Chamber Orchestra. Mary maintains a long lasting belief that being involved in musical pastimes fills […]
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.
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 […]
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 (…)
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 (…)
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 (…)
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. (…)
Bradford Werner resides in Victoria, BC, Canada where he teaches classical guitar at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and works as a freelance musician. Bradford teaches a wide range of students from dedicated youth, hobbyists adults, and emerging young professionals. He adjudicates festivals, and has given exams and masterclasses for a variety of organizations including The Alberta Provincial Festival, Mount Royal University, Calgary Guitar Society, The Northwest Music Festival, and many more. Bradford holds a diploma in music from Camosun College, an A.V.C.M. in teaching and performance, and a BA in history from the University of Victoria. He is a member of the Quelus Guitar Duo, and the Victoria Guitar Trio with Michael Dias and Adrian Verdejo. The trio has commissioned numerous premieres and has recorded an album on RedShift Records showcasing contemporary Canadian composers with support from the Canada Council for the Arts. (…)
Canadian/British singer Dr Kathryn Whitney was raised on Vancouver Island and now divides her time between Britain and Canada. A versatile musician whose work combines concert and recital performance with a wide range of collaborative research, educational and other projects, she is a lyric mezzo-soprano with an “impressively wide dynamic range” (Oxford Times) and a “special gift” for interpreting text (Nanaimo News) whose singing has been described as “meaty”, “prophetic” (Oxford Times) and “very touching” (Sir John Eliot Gardiner). Kathryn is a freelance performer, teacher, researcher, and solo and choral clinician. She is currently an Associate Fellow at the Institute (…)
Upon hearing the legendary Jacqueline Du Pré 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, completed in 1985. Since then, Karen has completed a Professional Teaching Certificate, a Camosun College/Victoria Conservatory of Music Strings Diploma and Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Education. She is beginning her certification as a Suzuki Cello Instructor. Karen teaches music and strings in the Greater Victoria School District and cello to private students at VCM. She has worked with both the VCM Music Discovery Camp and the (…)
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.
Brian Wismath is music director of Civic Orchestra of Victoria, Linden Singers of Victoria, Victoria Choral Society, Victoria Conservatory of Music Chorale, and Vox Humana Chamber Choir. With a rich musical background, Mr. Wismath is in demand as a clinician and has served as director of Vancouver Peace Choir, University of Victoria Chamber Singers and Tucson Masterworks Chorale, associate conductor of Orpheus Choir of Toronto and Chorus Niagara, and assistant conductor of St. Jacob’s Youth Choir (Stockholm, Sweden), Ontario Youth Choir and Opera in Concert Chorus (Toronto). A passionate advocate for the performance of new music, Mr. Wismath has commissioned […]
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.
Cellist Brian Yoon has been described by the CBC (Canadian Broadasting Corporation) as “Canada’s next cello superstar”. Currently the Principal Cello of the Victoria Symphony, he has also been a guest principal of the Kingston Symphony and National Arts Centre Orchestra. Since winning First Prize at the 35th Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition, he has been presented in recital from coast to coast, impressing audiences with intelligent and passionate performances of repertoire ranging from Bach and Beethoven to Shostakovich and Metallica. As a soloist, he regularly performs with orchestras across Canada: his performance of Shostakovich’s Concerto No. 1 at the National Arts Centre (…)