Collegium

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“If you dream of pursuing performance as a career, The Young Artists Collegium at the VCM will give you a distinct advantage. If you aren’t dreaming of pursuing performance as a career, the discipline, dedication, and problem solving skills learned in the Collegium will benefit you for the rest of your life. “

~Simon MacDonald


So what does the word ‘Collegium’ mean?

‘Collegium’ comes from the same Latin roots as ‘colleague’. The Collegium Musicum was one of several types of musical societies that arose in German and German-Swiss cities and towns during the Reformation and thrived into the mid-18th century. Both Bach and Telemann directed these groups in Leipzig.

The VCM Collegium program provides colleagues or peers for these exceptional young musicians, supporting and challenging them to become the best they can be, in music and in life.

Collegium Overview Page Photo

The Young Artists Collegium Program

Nurturing excellence in a community of emerging musicians

Collegium is an enriched program for talented young classical musicians – singers, pianists and other instrumentalists – brought together with outstanding teachers to create a lively, collaborative educational experience devoted to the pursuit of musical excellence.

Collegium is designed for serious students who want to study music at the highest standard in a comprehensive setting.

Founded in 2006, the Collegium includes students studying piano, violin, viola, cello, voice, flute, oboe, clarinet, and guitar. Instrumental Collegium applicants must have achieved at least the Grade 9 RCM level; Junior Collegium is for players in Grades 6-9. Placement is based on yearly auditions.

The Collegium is an academic year program, running from September to May with auditions the previous May.

Students participate regularly in master classes, chamber music, working with accompanists, lectures and performing events. All Collegium students are expected to take (at least) weekly private lessons on their Collegium instrument, whether the lessons are part of the Collegium tuition package or booked separately.

The Collegium program is highly successful and rated among the best in the country. Our students have won top prizes in the local, provincial and national music festivals. Students’ solo playing is on a similar level, winning many local and provincial festival awards. Our graduates have earned placements at UVic, McGill University, Robert McDuffie School, New England Conservatory, Curtis Institute and at the Juilliard School of Music.

The Collegium is evaluated annually by its students, parents and teachers.  To see the 2021 Evaluation Summary, click here.


For more information contact or to become a supporter:

Simon MacDonald, Artistic Director | [email protected]  |  250.386.5311 ext. 2090

Micki Stirling, Animateur | [email protected]  |  250.386.5311 ext. 3360

Application deadline for 2022/23: May 8, 2022
Audition dates: May 25-30, 2022

Click HERE for information on programs and how to apply

Notice: This program does not require approval by the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training. As such, PTIB did not review this program.


Voice Collegium

Following two years of cancellations, we are excited that Voice Collegium will return for 2022-23! See the Voice programs tab for more details. Application and bursary deadline is September 15, 2022.

For more information or to apply, contact: [email protected]


COVID-19 Update

Welcome to the Collegium.  We have an incredible group of talented students in this remarkable Young Artists Program, and we are very happy to announce that the program is continuing in person at the VCM for 2021/22. As well as the VCM COVID protocols we also:

  • Require all faculty and students to be fully vaccinated
  • Use only large rooms to coach collegium ensembles
  • Engage local clinicians, coaches, and ensembles (Lafayette String Quartet and Emily Carr String Quartet for example)
  • Create ensembles of only duos or trios (smaller ensembles in larger spaces)
  • As much as possible, schedule Woodwind and Brass players mostly in separate groups, and always in the largest possible rooms
  • Hold Masterclasses and Performance classes in Wood Hall or AGPH, keeping everyone socially distanced and masked
  • Run air purifiers in each room