VCM Welcomes New Head of Strings

Published August 9, 2017

The Victoria Conservatory of Music is pleased to announce its recent hire of Simon MacDonald, who will join the VCM effective September 1 2017, as Head of Strings for the Ann & George Nation Conservatory School of Classical Music.  Within this role, MacDonald, a highly respected performer, pedagogue and leader, will bring forward the high standard of achievement his predecessor Michael van der Sloot established during his 7-year tenure leading this department. The VCM’s String Faculty continue to produce some of Canada’s most renowned performers.

Simon Macdonald

“We are so pleased with Simon’s appointment to Head of Strings, as he brings with him a genuine love and keen interest to look deeply into the process of teaching. His many years of experience mentoring students from school age to seniors, and at all levels, will underpin the high quality teaching found throughout the department,” said Stephen Green, VCM Dean.  

MacDonald comes to the VCM from Regina, where he was Concert Master of the Regina Symphony since 2014, and co-curator and performer with the Regina Symphony Chamber Players.  Prior to this position, Simon played with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for over 15 years, and his extensive experience performing as orchestral and chamber musician has also included the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Brandon Chamber Players, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, New World Symphony Orchestra, and Boston Philharmonic Orchestra.

“With the lives of our students being so busy in this day and age, learning music at the VCM is not just about managing one’s practice time, but rather about managing life in general,” said Green. 

“As Head of Strings, Simon will use his ability to think outside the box and together with Strings Department Faculty, continue to shape the course of music education in this discipline, to respond to the needs and interests of the 21st century student, and help guide aspiring future professional string players to successful careers in the music industry.” 

In addition to his prior performance experience, MacDonald is a highly respected violin teacher and clinician, with over 14 years’ experience in a broad range of settings, including as guest artist and clinician for the Regina Summer Strings and Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (Perth), member of string faculty for the Rosamunde Summer Music Academy (Winnipeg), Cadenza Summer Strings (Winkler), Brandon Suzuki Summer Institute, Brandon University, and University of Manitoba Summer Chamber Camp, as well as maintaining his own private studio.

With a Masters of Music (Violin Perf) from McGill University (principal teacher – Yehonatan Berick), Bachelor of Music (Violin Perf) from the New England Conservatory (principal teacher – Malcolm Lowe), Simon’s journey as professional violinist and teacher began in Victoria, where he studied with Frona Colquhoun and Sydney Humphreys at the Victoria Conservatory, earning both the AVCM Teacher and Performance diplomas. He will commence his duties as Head of Strings on September 1st 2017.






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