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Quarter Notes A newsletter for the VCM community - Summer 2011

Best Garden Tour Ever! The 29th Annual Garden Tour held on the weekend of May 7th and 8th was our most successful tour ever, raising $42,000 for the VCM! This, of course, could never have happened without the leadership of our committee Co-Chairs, Terry LeBlanc and Brian Johnson, and the hard work of all of the Volunteer Committee members. Stephanie Galipeau, Rae Gallimore and Elise Cassidy perform at one of the fabulous gardens.

In addition, over 80 garden volunteers, master gardeners and plant sellers donated their time to the event and 70 of our most talented faculty and student musicians volunteered their time and talent to play in six of the ten private gardens throughout Victoria. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all of the home owners who opened up their magnificent gardens to the over 1000 people who attended the tour this year. We would also like to thank our Presenting sponsor, Newport Realty, for their ongoing support and Thrifty Foods as our primary ticket distributor. This coming year marks the 30th anniversary of the Mother’s Day Garden Tour and we are already planning for special celebrations! In recognition of the founders of the first garden tour we will be honouring Mr. George and Mrs. Ann Nation who, along with Ann’s mother Mrs. Alix Goolden, created a legacy event which has helped sustain the work of VCM in perpetuity. Department Head Mary Byrne played at one of the gardens

So mark your calendars for the weekend of May 12th and 13th, 2012 and help us honour two of our most loved and treasured patrons.

900 Johnson

In this issue… Meet Blaine Jeffery, Manager, Marketing and Social Media Page 3 The VCM gets a facelift! Page 3 The new Faculty Lounge is unveiled Page 4 Mark your calendars Page 7

Adventures in Australia By Sarah Tradewell Now studying at the University of Victoria, VCM alumna Sarah Tradewell was one of five Canadian musicians chosen for the 101-member YouTube Symphony Orchestra. Sarah was selected from 336 finalists from 46 countries. Winners were chosen online on the basis of video auditions and popular vote. Here’s her story about her experience in Australia.

The idea behind the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, or YTSO, was to promote classical music while making use of the incredible technology of today. To audition you had to record yourself playing the assigned pieces and upload it to the YouTube symphony channel. Members of the London Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, and the Sydney Symphony would then select about three hundred finalists to be voted on by the YouTube community. Michael Tilson Thomas made the final selection and I wound up on a flight to Sydney, Australia in March! YouTube and Google paid for everything, including flight, meals and accommodation! The first day, Google put all 101 of us on a cruise of the Sydney Harbour, where we chatted in the sunshine while looking at the beautiful Opera House. After the cruise, we went for a tour of the Opera House and a welcome dinner. They even gave each of us a $500 Visa card to cover any incidental costs, as well as a brand new Nexus S Android phone, with free access for the whole week! Rehearsals started the next day. I walked over to the Opera House from our hotel, about a 15 minute stroll along the harbour. The Sydney Opera House has six theatres of various sizes, the biggest being the Concert Hall, seating 2679 people, and the smallest being the Studio, our first rehearsal space. We got out our instruments, warmed up, and finally it was time to start, bright and early at 9:30 am. Michael Tilson Thomas, or MTT, said a few words, then he brought down his baton to start Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. I immediately started beaming as the incredible, huge huge sound of a 97 person orchestra filled the theatre. It was a little shaky, of course, since very few of us had ever played together and even fewer had been conducted by MTT. We had to get used to his style of conducting and where each of the beats are, as well as how all the other musicians reacted. In MTT’s words, “Where is NOW is one of our big questions.” Even though it wasn’t perfectly together, I knew it was going to be a fantastic week and a fabulous concert. The week carried on far too quickly: morning orchestra rehearsal, and afternoon sectional or ensemble rehearsal. Every night of the week starting on Tuesday, a different section of the orchestra had their own concert: Percussion, Brass, Woodwinds, and Strings. Between rehearsals, the orchestra members and soloists got to know each other: where people were from, what else they liked to do, and how long they’d been playing for. Through his conducting, MTT melded us into a cohesive ensemble. A big part of playing music is bonding and communicating with each other, which was a key part of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra experience - making connections. We all walked away with some wonderful memories and many new friendships. To read more about my experiences, go to:


Welcome Blaine Jeffery We’re pleased to announce that Blaine Jeffery has joined the VCM as our new Manager, Marketing and Social Media, replacing Heidi Worthington who recently left the VCM to further her career in Vancouver. Blaine comes to us from Vancouver and brings significant and diverse experience in developing on-line marketing and advertising strategies, which include extensive use of social media. His expertise in on-line marketing and social media have led to key management roles in the Marketing/ Advertising agency sector and the sports and music industry. As many of you know, social media is literally changing the way the world communicates and is taking the marketing of organizations and products to new levels. Blaine’s skill set, combined with Susan Postma’s expertise as Manager, PR and Promotions, will position VCM as a leader in cutting edge marketing of arts organizations. Blaine, welcome to the VCM team!

Updates to the VCM By Martin Borg Work on the beautification project outside Alix Goolden Hall on Pandora Avenue is well underway. The work is expected to end at the end of July. The project is very exciting for the VCM and is going to benefit us in a number of ways. When finished, the space will include additional green space, landscaping improvements, increased lighting and a beautiful new Music Plaza which will give us a wonderful opportunity to showcase the talents of our students and faculty to the Victoria community. We want you to start thinking about how you would want to use that space to create inspiring outdoor musical experiences! We are also happy to advise that in conjunction with the City project, we will be looking to find additional funding to allow us to make further improvements to the exterior of Alix Goolden Hall. Our goal is to replace the front doors of AGPH, rebuild the stairs, add ramps, replace exterior lighting and add some landscaping elements.

New Faculty Representative Guitar faculty member Michael Dias has been voted in as the new Faculty Representative to the VCM Board of Governors. Mike will gather facultyrelated issues, activities and concerns in a report to the Board every month. He will also report pertinent information from the Board meetings to the faculty. Feel free to drop him an email with some facultyrelated news, a concern or general message. In addition to communication with Dean Dr. Jamie Syer or CEO, Jane Butler McGregor, this is another way for the faculty’s voice to be heard.

In addition to all of the above, we also want to let you know that we are about to begin work beautifying our own internal space! We are thrilled to report that the much needed and much anticipated internal painting project is going to begin within the next 2 months, starting with the East Wing hallways and studios. We will work our way through the building during the summer months and finally begin the process of brightening our halls and studios, providing you with an environment in which you are proud to teach and our students are happy to learn! What a great way to start the new school year in September!


New Faculty Lounge By Martin Borg Re-establishing a permanent home for our Faculty Lounge has long been a goal for the Facilities Department and now with the assistance and cooperation of many others, we have done so in Room 121 located in the Metro Wing (opposite Metro Theatre). The new Faculty Lounge will feature a PC workstation with internet access, desk workspace, fridge and microwave and counter space, seating rest areas. Access to the lounge will be by special key; keys are available to all faculty members. Please contact Jeff Birmingham ( or 812-6134) to sign for and receive a key.

Clockwise l-r: Winifred Scott Wood, Jane Butler McGregor, Blaine Jeffery, Gordon Clements, Lynda Simms-McCliggot, Sandy Henderson, Jeff Birmingham, Guyonne Le Louarn

A special thanks goes out to Facilities Maintenance Staff and Micki Stirling for their assistance and hard work in bringing this project together.

Giving Kids a Voice - The Purple Project By Margo Doucette Purple Day is an international grassroots effort dedicated to increasing awareness about epilepsy worldwide. On March 26th annually, people in countries around the world are invited to wear purple and host events in support of epilepsy awareness. In Victoria, youth living with epilepsy came together to create their own CD to express their thoughts and feelings about living with epilepsy in honour of Purple Day. The exciting and creative music therapy sessions were lead by Allan Slade BMT, MTA and produced in the music therapy department at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. Youth needed no musical skill; they came and had fun while being guided through these truly special sessions sharing emotions, thoughts, and musical talent. The room was overflowing with all styles of music...rock, rap and pop. Youth not only took home their CD but a feeling of being truly understood, supported and empowered! The project was sponsored by a private donor and was a collaborative effort between the Music Therapy Department at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and the Victoria Epilepsy and Parkinson’s Centre. Let’s Make this Musical Adventure Possible Again! The Victoria Epilepsy & Parkinson’s Centre is looking for funding to offer this opportunity to their youth and adults living with epilepsy on an on-going basis. If you would like to join the Music Therapy Purple Project or make a donation, please contact: The Victoria Epilepsy & Parkinson’s Centre at 250–475-6677 or


Mark Lupin & Robert Holliston in Recital Sunday, February 13, 2011 By Sandy Henderson This wonderful fundraising concert for the VCM was a collaboration between two great musicians, Mark Lupin and Robert Holliston. They performed romantic classics for violin and piano and presented a truly powerful performance that divulged many virtuoso passages that held the audience completely spellbound. The standing ovations were a unanimous expression of everyone’s joy and support. We were thrilled that through ticket sales and donations, plus the matching gift from Mr. George Nation, the concert raised over $30,000! We are honoured and blessed by Mark and Robert’s generosity and are so grateful for their continued support. Thank you Mark and Robert!

Band on the Run Completes TC10K This year’s Band on the Run team was the largest yet! On Sunday, May 1st, team members Allan Slade, Kristen Davis, Jonathon Tsukishima, Bethany McNeil, Susan Postma, Jamie Syer, Mark Loria, Jacalyn Weech, Bob Waldhaus, and Kolina and Susan Ecklin took part in the TC10K. It was a beautiful day for a run or walk! Afterwards CEO Jane Butler McGregor hosted a team party. We’ll keep you posted on future Band on the Run events – we’d love to see you out there!

VCM Olive Oil Fundraiser Buy this everyday cooking ingredient, save money, and support the VCM at the same time!

PHILEOS Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Cold Pressed) This very limited shipment has just arrived from Greece!

5 Litre Tin $75 3 x 1 Litre Bottles $60 1 Litre Bottle $25 A portion of all sales goes to the VCM. Partial tax receipts available upon request.

Available at the VCM or by appointment at

After-run celebrations (clockwise l-r): Mark Loria, Bethany McNeil, Jane Butler McGregor, Susan Postma, Kolina Ecklin, Susan Ecklin, Board member Leslee Farrell, Micki Stirling, Darrell Long and Erin Fraser.


Round of Applause  Karnsiri Laothamatas (piano student of May Ling Kwok) won the Roberto and Mary Wood Scholarship Competition, in conjunction with the Victoria Performing Arts Festival.  Haekyo Lee (violin student of Michael van der Sloot) is this year’s Symphony Splash soloist. Symphony Splash will take place on Sunday, July 31st.  Natasha Galitzine (violin student of Michael van der Sloot) is one of only three Canadian violinists chosen to attend Morningside Music Bridge in Calgary.  Three students from the Jazz Department, Ilsa Gurtins (Foundations Jazz voice), Claire Coupland (1st Year Jazz voice) and Shanna Dance (2nd Year Jazz voice) were accepted into Humber College’s Jazz program in Toronto.  Two 1st Year Jazz students, Andrew Bishop and Maureen Washington, won Monday Magazine “M” Awards for their work: Favourite Band - Rocky Mountain Rebel Music (saxophonist Andrew Bishop) and Favourite Jazz/Blues Artist or Group - vocalist Maureen Washington.  Congratulations to the winners of French Song Competition on March 16th: Junior Division: First place: Sheyda Shams Intermediate Division: First place: Emlyn Sheeley Second place: Emma Raatz Senior Division: First place: Elizabeth Humphries Second place: Rebecca Genge Special Mention: Eva Bild

Collegium DVD By Jamie Syer The Collegium Program celebrated a great year of music-making with our final concert on May 15th. Now available: our second DVD of chamber music, featuring these fine young musicians. It's available at the front desk for the bargain price of $25. Visit for a sample performance posted on June 10th! End of May was the time for our annual auditions. This coming year, we will inaugurating our Junior Collegium, for students keenly interested in making music, but not quite at the performance level of our senior students. Altogether, we expect a group of over 40 students in the program next year. Aside from the wonderful musical opportunities, the Collegium provides a chance for these teenagers to get to know others of their own age, and with the same strong interests in exploring music and developing their musical talents. For further information contact Jamie Syer, Collegium Artistic Director, or Micki Stirling, Animateur.


Mark Your Calendars Annual VCM Staff and Faculty Orientation Wednesday, September 7th, 2011 - Alix Goolden Hall 10:00-11:45am (with lunch to follow) This was a very successful event last year, and we hope to repeat that success-and improve on it. This is a great chance to say hello again to those VCM members you know well, meet those you don't, and to hear from the Dean and others on staff regarding the year ahead. As last year, there will also be time to discuss issues of importance to you, and ask questions of those who may have some answers. Further information will follow later in the summer. Micki Stirling ( would be glad to start hearing now from those who know they can attend. VCM Open House Saturday, September 10th, 2011 10:00am-3:00pm Join us for a very special day as we open our doors to the whole community to experience the VCM! This is a great opportunity for everyone to find out what they need to know to get the most out of their musical journey at the Conservatory. We will be looking for performers, teachers of mini-lessons, and volunteers of all kinds, so let us know if you’re interested in helping out! This year will have a slightly different twist – it will be planned in conjunction with the City of Victoria as part of the official opening of the Pandora Green Beautification Project and the launch of the new Music Plaza which has been created right out in front of the Alix Goolden Performance Hall. It will be exciting to program student and faculty performances throughout the day in our lovely new outdoor space! Contact Susan Postma (, 250-386-5311 ext. 214) for more info.

VCM PRESENTS: The Conservatory Concert Series 2011/12 Cecelia String Quartet October 16, 2011 New Music Giants November 20, 2011 January Jazz January 25. 2012 Robert Holliston & Jamie Syer in Recital February 18, 2012 Faculty Spotlight featuring The Aurora Trio April 28, 2012 Sara Davis Buechner May 26, 2012

Prayers for Japan CD Project By June Bender In May, my piano students took the initiative to develop their own CD as a fundraising initiative for the tragedy in Japan. After a year of improvisational practice, they created their own music – short poignant pieces that are truly well worth a listen. All proceeds will be donated to Unicef. The CD will be available in September. For more information please contact me at We’d really appreciate your support!


Each summer, the VCM offers a series of oneand- two-week summer programs for a wide variety of instruments in a range of musical styles for all levels of ability and interest. Under the artistic direction of our excellent faculty members, students have the opportunity to learn from renowned local and visiting guest artists. The Summer Academies offer exciting and diverse learning experiences, performance opportunities on VCM’s two great stages, and world-class faculty concerts. Registrations are still being accepted for most programs – contact us or visit our website for more information.

Summer Jazz Workshop, July 4-9 Gordon Clements, Artistic Director

Flute Academy, July 11-22 Mary Byrne, Artistic Director

Piano Academy, July 4-15 Susan De Burgh, Artistic Director

Vocal Academy, July 23-August 6 Nancy Argenta and Ingrid Attrot, Artistic Directors

String Academy, July 4-15 Michael van der Sloot, Artistic Director Theory Academy, July 4-August 5 Crystal Wiksyk, Artistic Director

Music Discovery Camp, July 18-22 & August 15-19 Emily Nagelbach, Artistic Director

Share Your Love of Music Online! As a valued member of our VCM family, we encourage you to also become part of our online communities: ‘Like’ us at ‘Follow’ us at ‘Subscribe’ to victoriaconservatory

The VCM will be presenting over 20 exciting concerts this summer featuring rising young stars, renowned VCM faculty and international guest artists. Satisfy your thirst for live music all summer long with refreshingly affordable tickets from $10-25. See more concerts online!

Michael van der Sloot & String Academy Faculty In Recital Sunday, July 3 / 4:00pm St. Michael’s University School

Music for a Midsummer’s Night V Mary Byrne, flute and Wendy Stofer, piano Sunday, July 17 / 7:30pm Wood Hall

Walter Prossnitz in Recital Classical Piano Friday, July 8 / 7:30pm Philip T Young Recital Hall University of Victoria

Summer Oratorio Faculty Recital Featuring Daniel Taylor, Catherine Wyn-Rogers, Nancy Argenta & members of the Vocal Academy Faculty Wednesday, July 27 / 7:30pm Alix Goolden Performance Hall

Don Thompson & Summer Jazz Workshop Faculty Friday, July 8 / 8:00pm Alix Goolden Performance Hall Brad Turner & The All Star Faculty Big Band Saturday, July 9 / 8:00pm Alix Goolden Performance Hall

One great example of the VCM online is a project put together by Jeff Birmingham and Nicholas Fairbank showcasing “Cassie”, our newly restored Casavant Organ. Check out this amazing video on our YouTube channel!

Handel’s Solomon Featuring singers from the Vocal Academy Oratorio program Conductor: Laurence Cummings Saturday, August 6 / 7:30pm Alix Goolden Performance Hall


VCM Quarter Notes - Summer 2011  
VCM Quarter Notes - Summer 2011  

The VCM quarterly newsletter for staff, faculty and students.