Help us set the stage for musicians of tomorrow.
Your gift to music education helps every student reach for the stars.
Music matters now more than ever.
It brings people together and transcends every border. Music will play a significant role in the recovery of our community as we face down the global COVID-19 pandemic.
At the Victoria Conservatory of Music we nurture the musical talent of the future.
During COVID-19 the VCM has had to adapt, change and encourage our students to keep studying, learning and performing to achieve their musical dreams. We are on this journey together to keep music thriving at a time when live music performances are at a standstill. All our students are musical stars of the future and we must do everything we can to make that journey successful for them now, and in the future. Music matters here at the VCM, in our community and all around the world. Help us as we navigate along this rough road to financial recovery and into an optimistic future by giving the Gift of Music today!
Double your impact!
All donations from now until December 1 will have double the impact as every gift will be matched up to $10,000 by our generous sponsors Cameron Izard Snell LLP and Odlum Brown Limited’s Brian Howe and Gareth Dickson.
Spotlight: Meet some of our students and read the stories they are sharing by clicking on the “Spotlight” tabs to the left (or below on mobile devices).
Your gift goes toward providing every student with the opportunity to pursue their musical goals and reach for the stars.
Funds raised allow the VCM to:
- Keep music education as affordable as possible for every student of every age and musical ability.
- Innovate new ways to provide online learning and better serve our students, ensuring they get the quality training they require.
- Engage local master musicians to provide masterclasses, providing students with the best mentorship possible while also employing local talent.
- Provide performance recording support for students to prepare for auditions and competitions.
- Ensure a safe, healthy and respectful environment for all our students while accessing our facilities.
Hearing the ‘bubbly sound’ of the clarinet in middle school was something that really captured Camilo’s imagination – the clarinet spoke to him! Eureka!
Encouragement from the school band director brought out Camilo’s enthusiasm to learn more about playing the clarinet. Once enrolled in the VCM Collegium program, studying music took on a new meaning and Camilo was embracing every opportunity to learn and to take on new challenges.
Collegium has brought Camilo unexpected rewards, helping him to build strong social connections rooted in a mutual passion for music.
Just as the ‘bubbly sound’ reached out to Camilo, little did he know that through the creative process, he was starting to make sense of all the music he constantly had in his head, and he began to channel those thoughts into composition. A second Eureka moment!
Discovering composition has given Camilo a life changing creative outlet to explore. He has taken inspiration from daily or significant events and channeled his emotions into composing a piece of music he can share with others.
Camilo has already recorded several of his compositions and he is looking forward to completing his clarinet concerto for the 2022 Spark to Flame audition.
Listen to one of Camilo’s compositions:
Camilo (clarinet) with Dr. Jack Edwards (clarinet) and Marsha Elliott (flute) “Op. 5 – Walking Woodwinds”.
Coming from a family with no musical ties, McKenna was inexplicably drawn to music from a young age. She had studied piano and classical voice for many years at the VCM. Out of curiosity, McKenna enrolled in a single harp lesson and has found her true musical passion. She has flourished during her time at the VCM, thanks to financial support through Scholarships and Bursaries. She spent two years as part of our Young Artist Collegium Program and has gone on to graduate this year from our Postsecondary Music Performance Program.
She has won numerous accolades, including obtaining the highest marks in 2019 for her level of harp exam, winning the Royal Conservatory Gold Medal for the BC/Yukon region. She is currently the principal harpist for both the UVIC Orchestra and the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra and is pursuing her BA in both Music Arts and English at UVic. Your support enabled McKenna to pursue her goal to teach and inspire the next generation of harpists.
“My ties with the community at the Victoria Conservatory of Music have been integral to my personal and musical growth. Throughout my years at the VCM, I was always made to feel welcome. Both when I was a beginner musician, and when I grew more advanced, I always felt that I had a place at the VCM. The exceptional quality of teaching, the perfect balance between challenge and encouragement, and the ample performance opportunities created the perfect environment for me to pursue my musical aspirations. Thank you, VCM!”
Watch McKenna perform “A Moorish Garden” by Nancy Gustavson.
The drums were waiting to be played when Michael Wilford was born in Smithers BC, a vibrant musical community. Surrounded and inspired by musical mentors, and a supportive school band program, Michael was on a clear pathway to becoming a drummer and making his mark within the strong musical traditions of where he grew up.
The stars lined up for Michael while he was searching for somewhere to taking his drumming passion to the next level. The timing was perfect. In 2015 the VCM launched the new School of Contemporary Music, led by Daniel Lapp (well known in Michael’s community) and Michael was first in line! Suddenly, rock, blues, folk and much more were all on the table! Michael gives credit to the many musical mentors at the VCM who inspired and motivated him. Graduating in 2018 with a Diploma in Music Performance, Michael has a busy program touring and recording with bands, including his favourite ladies, ‘Old Soul Rebel’ and many more.
Now a full time faculty member at the VCM, Michael teaches at Westhills and also at the VCM location. With COVID impacting our concerts and performances, Michael has been extremely busy helping to record and produce some of the VCM concerts that we are bringing to our supporters. Glad to have you on board Michael!
Watch Michael’s VCM Spotlight video.
Emily Dubois is a young musician with no shortage of musical ambition. Born and raised in a musical household in Langbank, Saskatchewan, she fell in love with the fiddle and Canadian fiddle music as a young child. Emily began playing at the age of 6 and has since immersed herself in developing her skills.
After graduating high school, Emily’s musical passion brought her from small-town Saskatchewan out to Victoria to pursue her studies at the Victoria Conservatory of Music (VCM). Emily has just completed her Postsecondary Diploma in Contemporary Music Performance under the instruction of Daniel Lapp. She was the first contemporary soloist selected to perform at our Spark to Flame concert in February 2020.
“I thought the Spark to Flame concert was just for classical students, but it is open to everyone! I was so excited when I was chosen to perform my solo fiddle piece, just before COVID hit.”
Emily is eager to continue sharing her love of music and to continue growing as a musician.
“I want to be able to keep the world of Canadian fiddle music alive and well, and want to continue to carry on this rich and lively tradition so that I may pass it on to many others.”
Today, Emily continues at the VCM taking one-on-one classes with our Head of Strings, Simon MacDonald and continuing her studies in Music Theory.
“The VCM gives me the challenge I need as a musician!”
Watch Emily (fiddle) and her sister Zoe (guitar) perform “Cheryl’s Fancy,” a song Emily wrote for her mother.
“Jaxson first saw the violin at age five – he didn’t look at any other instrument and he couldn’t stop talking about it! He won a term of lessons and his uncle bought him a violin for Christmas that year. At the time we couldn’t make it work financially, but his interest and connection with the violin continued. We knew we had to make it happen for Jaxson.” Cara – Jaxson’s Mum.
Knowing the VCM helps musicians to pursue their musical education, the family applied for Bursary assistance with tuition fees. Once Jaxson came to the VCM in 2018 he never looked back.
Now 10 years old, Jaxson has been studying under Raya Fridman in the Suzuki program at the VCM. Suzuki training has many benefits to developing potential in children, helping them to unfold their natural ability to learn. Encouragement at home and in the classroom are an essential part of a child’s success and musical growth.
Jaxson’s dedication to the violin has trickled down to his younger 8 year old sister, who also joined the group. All our students are rising stars at the VCM!
“I will cherish for life the friendships I have at the VCM with fellow musicians.”
Music has been a part of Alyra’s life from a very early age. As a child she would write poetry and transmit the emotion of the poem through piano and voice. In school she sang in choir and practiced violin in an after school string program. In high school she became passionate about literature and poetry which inspired her to write more lyrical music, performing at literary festivals and music festivals.
Alyra enrolled in the Diploma of Music Performance, offered through the VCM Department of Post-Secondary Studies, as a classical voice major to further her academic understanding of music. She studied a broad range of courses from choral singing to cello as a secondary instrument, music theory, history and the art of performing. Studying at the VCM has greatly enriched every aspect of her life in music, and has set her on a steady course to further enhance and encourage her growing talent.
Alyra is the first recipient of the 2019 Recording and Production Award for emerging artists, though an entrepreneurial project. Alyra was also awarded the Van Hall Scholarship for second year post-secondary students in 2020.
Listen to Alyra’s ‘Nocturne Reflections, her entrepreneurial project inspired by nature.