September 19th, 2019

Winds & Brass Youth Chamber Music Intensive

For motivated students keen to explore the world of chamber music, this program will group students together into small chamber groups based on age, instrumentation and ability. Students will receive a 1-hour coaching and 30-minute masterclass each week, with the opportunity to perform in masterclass with their ensemble at least once per session, and final celebratory performance. Groups will be determined in advance of the start date and music will be distributed so students can come prepared to the first coaching.

For more information, please contact: Emily Nagelbach, Head, Winds & Brass Department 

To Register:

  1. Fill out the Application Form here.
  2. Complete your Registration via the link below.

Session 1: October 23, 30, November 6, 13, concert November 20 | Application Deadline: October 2
Session 2: February 12, 19, 26, March 4, concert March 8 | Application Deadline: January 15
Session 3: May 6, 13, 20, 27, concert June 3 | Application Deadline: April 8

Session 1: October 23, 30, November 6, 13, concert November 20 | Application Deadline: October 2
Session 2: February 12, 19, 26, March 4, concert March 8 | Application Deadline: January 15
Session 3: May 6, 13, 20, 27, concert June 3 | Application Deadline: April 8

Wednesdays, 7:00-8:30pm | $125/session | Downtown

February 13th, 2019

Masterclass Cancelled – February 13

Due to weather conditions, the Winds & Brass Masterclass is CANCELLED this evening. See the Contact page for a full list of cancellations.

February 26th, 2018

Next Up: Feb 28 7 pm – “Rhythm: A Musician’s Guide to the Galaxy” – with Joanne Allers

J Allers WS 20180228-1


As a teacher, Joanne J Allers WS 20180228-3has an extremely diverse musical background.  She has taught music to students in many different settings including public and private schools, maintained private trumpet studios in Chicago, Calgary and Victoria, taught very young students (ages 1-5) for the Calgary Boys’ Choir, mixed age general music classes, piano lessons, and equally important to her, coached her three sons as they acquired violin and cello skills over twelve years!

In all of these settings, Joanne saw that by teaching students to decode the rhythm puzzle, students’ fluency and sight-reading ability flourished.  In this class, Joanne will share a part of her teaching journey and help students figure out the abstract world of rhythmic accuracy in the shortest amount of practice (and teaching) time.  Bring your instrument and discover new techniques for learning rhythm in this fun, hands-on class for students of all ages and abilities.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018  |  7:00-8:30pm  |  Downtown  |  Room 302  |  FREE

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January 14th, 2018

How Improvisation Works – a Winds & Brass Dept Special Event featuring Monik Nordine, saxophone

Monik Nordine workshop

Improvisation is not a mystery, but rather based on ideas that we all know and understand well.  Monik will outline some historical examples of improvisation in the context of jazz and classical music and demonstrate some of those ideas to the group.  Bring your instrument – participation is welcome!

Monik Nordine is a freelance saxophonist and composer in the jazz genre and has been working as a musician for 30 years. Monik directs The Victoria Jazz Orchestra and has performed with Rob McConnell, Hugh Fraser and VEJI, Guido Basso, Michael Buble, and the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, among others.  Monik completed a Master of Music Degree in Jazz Performance and Composition at McGill University in 1997. She has been teaching privately since 1985 and has given clinics at numerous public and private secondary schools including the University of Victoria, the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Island University. She has studied privately in London, England and New York City and taught for 6 years at Vancouver Island University and now teaches at the Victoria Conservatory of Music in the Post-Secondary Music Program.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018  |  7:00-8:30pm

Downtown  |  Room 302  |  FREE

June 23rd, 2017

Summer Flute Choir Workshop 2017



Spend your summer traveling through time with some amazing flute choir repertoire!  Starting with the Renaissance period and ending with jazz music, learn more about history and play music that was new in each time period.  Each week starts with a group warm-up focusing on tone, a technical challenge based on études written in the period of study, and ends with a “musical oddity” from a composer of the period being studied that week. This course is the perfect way to gain further understanding of the progression of music over the past 400 years by playing through a variety of chamber works, written or transcribed for flute choir.  At the end of the summer, celebrate your hard work with a group performance at the VCM Open House on September 9th.  Everyone welcome!  No previous ensemble or flute choir experience necessary.

Adult Class: 7:00-8:30pm, Room 303 | $117.50 | 10 sessions | Wednesdays:  June 28 – August 30

Youth Class: 10:15-11:45am, Room 302 | $105.75 / 9 sessions Ÿ Wednesdays:  July 5 – August 30

Instructor: Judith Pazder

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October 17th, 2016

SPARK TO FLAME 2016-2017




AUDITIONS: Friday November 25, 5:30-9:30PM (Room 302) ; Saturday November 26, 8:30AM-5:30PM (Room 303)

FINAL REHEARSAL:  Thursday February 23 (time TBA)

CONCERT: Saturday February 25, 7:30PM


The VCM’s Spark to Flame is a program that supports emerging artists’ development, and is open to all students of the Victoria Conservatory of Music. It brings together the VCM’s Senior String Orchestra, along with members of the VCM faculty and Victoria Symphony Canada, to provide a high quality professional experience for both the students playing in the orchestra, as well as a group of promising student soloists, selected through audition, who perform under the direction of guest conductor Timothy Vernon, Founder and Artistic Director of Pacific Opera Victoria.

The program instills in musicians the importance of personal responsibility in creating a professional performance. During the weeks leading up to the Spark to Flame performance in February, participating soloists are given the opportunity to work with VCM faculty and management to develop their professional and artistic skills, and along with all participating students assist with promoting the program, which culminates in a concert at the Alix Goolden Performance Hall in February.

Helping students gain a sense of co-ownership in the program is essential to its success each year, and as such, following the Spark to Flame concert, the students are invited to participate in one or two run-out concerts, that take place in local Elementary or Middle schools in the Greater Victoria Area.  This also forms an essential part to the program, giving students the opportunity to grow interest in their younger peers in school, and collectively nurture a love for music in all.

If you are interested in participating, please submit an application form available at the front office.


Instrumental applicants must audition with the concerto, or the movement of the concerto, they wish to play in the concert. Concertos for more than one instrument will be accepted. The audition will be 15 minutes long.  Candidates should bring one original copy of their audition repertoire to the audition for the adjudicator.

Please note: Candidates must also research the instrumentation for the piece they wish to present and include this information in the space below marked “Audition Repertoire”.

For 2017, the series will focus on instrumental works and vocal arias/duets compatible for Chamber orchestra accompaniment (i.e. with VCM String Orchestra + 2FL, 2Ob, 2CL, 2Bn, and 2Hn), and is open to all students currently registered at the Victoria Conservatory of Music for the 2016-2017 academic year, who have also been registered in studio instruction for more than one year at the VCM, OR who are currently enrolled in either the Collegium, Opera Studio, Advanced Voice Workshop, or Postsecondary Diploma program. The final realization of winds, brass, and percussion parts may be transcribed to the piano at the discretion of the audition committee.

Applicants must provide their own accompanist.

Notification of results will be Friday December 9 2016 or earlier.  Soloists will be chosen based on their performance in the audition. However, programming and representation from all disciplines may be considered.

For more information, please contact Rosabel Choi, Assistant Program Director, at: 250.386.5311 ext. 2190, or


June 22nd, 2016

Summer Flute Workshop and Ensemble Class

NEW: VCM Summer Flute Workshop & Ensemble Class with Judith Pazder! This class is designed for all ages and abilities and is just enough challenge and fun to keep your flute playing going strong this summer. There are seven sessions from June 29-August 24, with the first class next Wednesday, June 29th from 6:30-8:30pm. There is an optional celebratory flute choir performance at the VCM Open House on September 10th.  Register by calling the VCM at 250.386.5311


May 4th, 2016

Lots of availability left for upcoming Winds & Brass Masterclasses!

Dear Students:

We have a number of masterclasses remaining this term with lots of availability for performers.  We encourage you to sign up for this opportunity!  We have some fabulous teachers leading these classes and there is lots to gain both from playing and auditing.  If you would like to sign up, please email with the date you would like to play and your repertoire. Students of all ages and level are welcome!

Here are the remaining dates for the term:

May 18 – with Richard Volet

May 25 – with Marsha Elliott

May 4th, 2016

“Just Intonation” with Scott MacInnes

Scott MacInnes

Wednesday May 11, 7:00 – 8:30pm, Room. 303 – Free admission!

Whether you are new to your instrument and the concept of playing in tune, or a seasoned student looking to explore the more complex details of fine intonation, bring your instrument and come learn more about this fascinating topic. From tuning with a tuner or piano, to playing with drones and other instruments, this workshop will explore both the history and practical side of intonation.

Good intonation is essential for musicians of every level and instrumentation – you won’t want to miss this class!

For more information on any of the VCM’s Woodwind & Brass Department courses, please contact the VCM at


April 20th, 2016

Winds & Brass Department Collage Concert

Winds & Brass Department Collage Concert
Saturday, June 11, 10:30am, Wood Hall, FREE

Our Collage Concerts showcase the immense range of talent within our department, featuring students of all ages and levels on a wide variety of wind and brass instruments, playing solo, chamber and ensemble repertoire.  Students interested in performing can email Emily Nagelbach, Acting Winds and Brass Department Head at

April 19th, 2016

Super Winds and Brass Class – May

There will be no WB masterclass this Wednesday, April 20th.  We had originally scheduled our next Super Winds & Brass class for this date, however, we are looking to reschedule some time in May.  Stay tuned for more details!

Thanks Emily,

March 9th, 2016

Winds & Brass Masterclass – March 9th

There spots still available for the Winds & Brass masterclass this week (Wednesday, March 9, 7-8:30pm in Room 303).  Richard Volet, principal flute with the Victoria Symphony, will be leading the class with Wendy Stofer on piano.  Please email Emily Nagelbach to sign up to play.  As always, we welcome students of any ability!  Our VCM alumni, Leslie Opatril, will be playing in the class, so come down to say hello and hear some fabulous flute playing!

February 22nd, 2016

Winds and Brass Department Notices


Welcome to the VCM’s Winds and Brass Department notice board. This page is where the VCM will post news and other information related to our Winds and Brass Department programs. Bookmark the page or drop in regularly to keep in the know.