Spark to Flame Student Feature: Deanna Sills and Gina Johnson

Posted on February 19, 2020

Meet Deanna Sills and Gina Johnson!

An incredible vocal duo who will perform at the February 29, 2020 Spark to Flame concert!


Deanna Sills, Spark to Flame student concert


Deanna has a degree in Voice Performance from the University of Victoria where she studied with Susan Young. Over the years, she has performed in the chorus of several Pacific Opera productions and with the Victoria Gilbert & Sullivan Society. She has recently returned to studying voice with Ingrid Attrot and has taken part in several of the VCM’s programs in the last two years including the Vaughan Williams and Mahler Song Projects (under the direction of Kathryn Whitney and Anna Cal) and the 2018 Summer Baroque Adult Soloist program (performing as a soloist in Handel’s Solomon). Deanna plans to continue studying voice at the VCM and to take part in the upcoming French Song Project this Spring.



What program are you enrolled in at the VCM?

I’m a private student studying with Ingrid Attrot. I’m also enrolled in the 2020 French Song Project.

Why did you apply to perform at Spark to Flame?

I was encouraged by my teacher and I wanted to challenge myself and have an opportunity to perform.

What piece will you perform and why did you choose it?

O Lovely Piece, from Handel’s oratorio Judas Maccabaeus (HWV 63). As I am sharing my performance with the lovely soprano, Gina Johnson, this piece was recommended to us by our teachers.


Gina Johnson, Spark to Flame Student Concert



Gina Johnson, from Caronport Saskatchewan, began her studies at the Victoria Conservatory of Music in 2016. She completed her Diploma of Music Performance last year, studying with Nancy Argenta. A highlight Performance of Gina’s was singing the role of Pamina in the 2019 Opera Studio production of Die Zauberflöte.





What programs are you enrolled in at the VCM?

I am currently in Advanced Voice Workshop and weekly voice lessons, and I recently completed the Camosun Music Performance Diploma and the VCM Teaching Certificate. I have also been in Opera Studio and Collegium in the past.

Why did you apply to perform at Spark to Flame?

There is something special about performing with an orchestra. It just brings an out-of-this-world energy to the musical dynamic! Spark to Flame is such an exciting opportunity to get to experience and share that crazy expansiveness with an audience. As a singer, I spend a lot of time performing with wonderful piano accompanists, and that is intimate and wonderful; it is also wonderful to feel the force of a larger group coming together to bring life to a piece of music!


Spark to Flame

The Victoria Conservatory of Music’s Spark to Flame program supports emerging artist’s development and is open to all students of the Victoria Conservatory of Music. Selected through audition, students are given the opportunity to work with VCM faculty in the weeks leading up to the performance to develop their professional and artistic skills. The final concert is a magical evening featuring students performing with professional musicians and the VCM Senior String Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Timothy Vernon.

This year’s Spark to Flame student showcase is Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 7:30pm in Alix Goolden Performance Hall. We hope you’ll join us for this special evening!

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