FInd Your Music!


Friday, August 5, 2016

Chordial Notes - August 2016

August 2016 Notes

Kerilie McDowall NCM

As musicians, as we progress throughout our studies and careers, goal-setting and planning becomes important.  It is often very easy to get distracted from our focus and get off track from our desired goals. The process of scheduling performances and rehearsing orchestral/ensemble/ band projects is a task unto itself. Working on your original compositional works and materials for commission, performance and recordings is also a lot of fun, but requires some serious work and study.

Working towards worthy musical goals and activities is very enjoyable. An organizational idea is to make a plan outline to follow for summer and also for winter on how you would like to organize your musical studies and activities for the year. The study of music is useful throughout our entire careers as musicians. Even the most accomplished professional musicians like to target new challenges on their instrument(s) and work on advanced professional development with a good teacher or highly renowned mentor. Decide which self-development musical projects you will focus on for summer and also fall. Will you be focusing on technique and performance skills, composition, auditions, competitions, festival and ensemble performances? Are you working on progressing with your RCM exams and improving your skill set? 

Ask your Nanaimo Conservatory of Music instructor to help you plan your musical studies for the next year. Are there areas that need improvement? Would you like to work on a new additional musical instrument? Are you considering becoming a music teacher as a future career? Perhaps you are working towards your first recording?
There are many challenging and fun goals that you can work towards as a musician whether you want to teach professionally, perform, compose, record or just have fun with music as an amateur hobby. Talk to your instructor or call the NCM office to learn more so that we can help you reach and accomplish your unique special goals and dreams!


The Board is pleased and excited to announce the appointment of Barbara Livingston as our new Executive Director.  Barbara hails from Vancouver, where she has most recently served as Executive Director of the Vancouver Bach Family of Choirs.  Barbara has had a thirteen-year career as a senior arts administrator, and extensive experience in governance. She is an accomplished voice teacher/opera coach, having been a member of the Victoria Conservatory of Music faculty, and served on the VCM Faculty Association executive, and the VCM Faculty Evaluation team.  Barbara also enjoyed a highly successful career as a professional opera and concert singer, performing principal roles throughout North America.  In 1998, she received the George and Jane Heffelfinger Pacific Opera Victoria “Artist of the Year” award.  She studied voice performance at the University of Victoria and has an Advanced Certificate in Arts and Entertainment Management, supplemented by courses in strategic planning, development, governance, leadership, grant writing, social media, marketing, and related subjects. Barbara has an outgoing, cheerful personality, and has been enthusiastically and unanimously endorsed by former employers and colleagues, as a leader who is able to find innovative solutions to challenges, and to encourage and foster commitment from colleagues.  We are confident that Barbara will lead the Conservatory to the next level, and we look forward to extending her a very warm welcome upon her arrival on August 1st


NCM is offering exciting FUN Ukulele lessons, World Music Guitar Lessons, Musical Theatre Workshops, Summer Jazz Intensive, Flute Workshops, and Kindermusik for ages birth to 5 years old in August this summer. We are now also accepting registrations for the fall and school year for all of our music lessons and classes. Individual lessons in a wide variety of instruments and voice are offered. Whether you are a serious music student, wish to upgrade your technique or are a complete beginner, we have the instructor for you!

All ages and skill levels are welcomed from beginner to advanced. All of our instructors are highly qualified,  caring professionals. Most instruction is held on a weekly basis in the studios in the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music building at 375 Selby Street, in downtown Nanaimo. A few teachers use their studios off campus. Scheduling is arranged with the individual instructors by mutual agreement. Here is a list of the instruments we teach in and their instructors:

BASSOON                   Katrina Russell                                  CELLO                         Brendan Millbank
CLARINET                  Susanne Bullock                                DOUBLE BASS           Ken Lister
FLUTE                         Jennifer Cluff, Cindy Speelman       FRENCH HORN         Karen Hough
GUITAR                        Patrick  Olmsted                                 HARP                            Marilyn Rummel, Hayley Farenholtz
PIANO, JAZZ               Dick Smith                                            PIPA                              Meijuan Li
PIPE ORGAN              Peter Orme                                          SAXOPHONE              TBA
THEORY (PRIVATE)  Teresa Borek                                       TROMBONE                John Capon
VIOLA                           Karl Rainer                                           VIOLIN                          Karl Rainer, James Mark, Joan Blackman 
VIOLIN                         Calvin Dyck   , Leslie Krull                  OBOE                           Pippa Williams
CHOIR                         Marian Smith, Lindsay Suddaby       VOICE                          Christine McMahon, Mary Jackson                PIANO                          Teresa Borek, Pippa Williams,                                               Carol Fetherston
                                      Nicole Arendt                                        CHOIR                         Marian Smith, Lindsay Suddab                          
Don’t miss out!  We also offer group ensembles and orchestras. Learn more about what we offer by enquiring at the office. Contact the NCM office at 250-754-4611 to find out more and to register. Please call the Conservatory to connect with these instructors so you can meet them and set up lessons. Hope to see you soon!

This August join faculty guitarist Patrick Olmsted and have fun exploring the music of the world through the guitar and other instruments! Courses may include Gypsy Jazz Guitar, Spanish Guitar, The Mighty Uke! (ukulele), Latin and African Guitar, and Finger Style Arranging. Ask also about our World Guitar Classes! World Guitar Classes run on Thursday evenings August 11, 18 and 25th, with novices at 6-7 pm and Intermediate from 7-8 pm. Ukulele class is held August 9, 16 and 23 with novices from 6-7 pm and Intermediate from 7-8 pm. Lessons are only $10 per class; do not miss out on this fabulous deal! Register at 250-754-4611, at 375 Selby St. or   
KINDERMUSIK- Kindermusik is a fun, special class environment where you and your child can play, sing, laugh and dance together as your child learns developmentally, cognitively and musically. Classes are for ages from birth to five years old. From babies, toddlers, to pre-schoolers and big kids, it’s a ton of fun! 2016 Summer classes for August are starting up very soon! Classes will take place Thursdays from 10:15 -11 am August 4, 11, 18 and 25th, 2016. Call the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music now to register at 250-754-4611 and reserve your spot now, as classes fill up fast!

Mary Jackson began her piano studies at the age of five in Ladysmith.  At seventeen, she moved to Victoria to study with Robin Wood at the University of Victoria, earning her Bachelor of Music degree with Distinction, followed by her ARCT in Piano Performance with First Class Honours.  As a Suzuki Method specialist, Mary studied and instructed at Suzuki workshops and summer schools in Canada, the United States, and Japan, and became a teacher trainer for the Suzuki Association of the Americas.

Over the years, several of her former students have successfully embraced music as a profession, but Mary loves to work with people of all ages and abilities, and her deepest satisfaction comes from helping students with less obvious gifts explore potential they didn’t know they had.

Mary studied voice at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, where she earned her AVCM diploma in Voice Pedagogy with Distinction.  Besides teaching solo singing, she has directed choirs, sung with opera and musical  theatre companies in Victoria, Kelowna and Kamloops, and coached children’s choruses for Pacific Opera Victoria and Viva Musica (Kelowna).


Isaac Cartmell lives in Parksville with his parents, Ben and Rosario. Isaac comes to the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music twice a week for Suzuki Piano lessons with Mary Jackson and also enjoys his Kindermusik classes with Nicole Arendt.

Isaac just turned four in June. He was very lucky to observe a fascinating prepared piano as played by a master and met with the highly renowned, top award winning prepared pianist from France, BenoƮt Delbecq when he was performing at the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music on June 28, 2016.
His father Ben says that Isaac Cartmell is an active little guy. Isaac enjoys riding his bike and has always been interested in music. There have been many guitars and a lot of other musical instruments like pianos, ukuleles, and cymbals around the house for Isaac to experiment with and play. Isaac likes listening to different types of music and loves to dance. He stays very busy and enjoys his Tai Kwon Do, music and swimming classes. Isaac’s plans for this summer include visiting the park, swimming, camping and enjoying his fun music lessons at the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music.      
NANAIMO CHAMBER ORCHESTRA (NCO) SUMMER PERFORMANCES- 2016 Summer Concerts: Wednesday, August 17, 2016. "Concert In The Park" Maffeo Sutton Park, Nanaimo 6:00 pm -7:30pm.  Admission is free.  Bring your lawn chair and picnic supper.

A second performance takes place Saturday, August 20th, 2016 at St. Mark's Anglican Church, 138 Hoylake Rd, Qualicum Beach, 6:30pm. Enjoy coffee and dessert followed by the concert at 7:30pm. Tickets (cost includes coffee and dessert): $20 Adults/ $5 Students/ Children under 5 are free. Tickets at:

VANCOUVER ISLAND SYMPHONY PEFORMS AT SYMPHONY BY THE SEA- August 6 at 6 p.m at Maffeo Sutton Park. A free event. Conductor Calvin Dyck will perform his famous Yankee Doodle and Variations wearing his favourite hat, Flamenco guitarist Eric Harper will delight you, a waltzing couple will dance to Strauss’ Voices of Spring and the Skipping Sensations (ranked as #3 in Canada) will perform the Can Can!! A highlight of the concert will be when the audience pops over 3000 paper lunch bags to get a dramatic exploding canon effect for the 1812 Overture!!  For more information, visit or call 250-754-0177.

HITS ON FITZ- August 5, 2016, 11:30, The Old City Quarter. Join Hits on Fitz in the Old City Quarter for a fun and laid-back singing competition with cash prizes for best youth, solo/duo and band. If you'd like to compete for cash prizes, head on over to the OCQ website to download an entry form. a singer? Then come hang out with us at the Gallery Row Stage all day on August 5th starting at 11:30am. We'll be taking in the sweet sounds, tapping our toes and singing along.

YAMAHA BAND COMPETITION-The contest runs from July 4th 2016 to August 31st 2016. The winner will be announced in September. Yamaha Canada Music Ltd. is pleased to announce that for the first time we will be participating in Asian beat 2016, a Yamaha Corporation event.  Asian Beat is one of the biggest amateur band contests held in Asia each year, where one winning group from each local competition advances to compete on behalf of their country to be named the top amateur band. This contest is open to bands and performing groups of up to 6 members, in any musical style. One grand prize winning group will win a trip to Tokyo, Japan, where they will compete on behalf of Canada at Asian Beat 2016.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Chordial Notes - July 2016

July 2016 Notes

Kerilie McDowall NCM

SUMMER MANIA! Summer music delights are here once again and it is time to play your musical instrument and enjoy this beautiful July summer season with your favourite composers and compositions! Bring some new ideas to your instructor on what you would like to focus on with your study. What composers appeal to you? Would it be gentle and pleasing Liszt or Chopin or Debussy? Stormy Beethoven or Rachmaninoff? Or fun and lighter fare with Mozart or even some serious fugue study from the one and only J.S. Bach? Have you explored the exciting modern repertoire from past or current contemporary composers from North America and abroad? Composers such as Ruth Crawford Seeger, John Cage, Gyorgy Ligeti, Charles Ives, Stravinsky and Bartok are modern staples that are sure to inspire as are the many exciting modern day composers from Canada and other parts of the globe.

Make sure to note the fun summer classes we are offering this month in jazz, musical theatre, flute, Kindermusik and world music this summer! Explore the amazing creative opportunities that music has to offer with your instructor. Remember your skills will improve with practice and dedication and know that you will always be able to enjoy the wonderful gift of music for the rest of your lifetime, it will bring you much joy for many years to come.

A suggestion to our students of all ages is to also try tackling writing your first song or fun musical composition. Your instructor can help guide you through the challenges of the composing process and offer many ideas to help you create your own original music that you would like to enjoy just for fun or even consider presenting to your audiences in the future. The exciting world of music has something new or unique to offer our entire island community at the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music. Talk to your instructor today!

JULY AND AUGUST 2016 SUMMER MUSIC CLASSES:  NCM is offering exciting FUN Ukulele lessons, World Music Guitar Lessons, Musical Theatre Workshops, Summer Jazz Intensive, Flute Workshops and Kindermusik for ages birth-5 years old in July and August this summer.  Don’t miss out! Contact the NCM office at 250-754-4611 to learn more and to register.

SUMMER JAZZ INTENSIVE: In July we are very excited about our Summer Jazz Intensive workshop for students aged 14-adults for all levels and instruments! Learn important jazz mastery techniques, improvisation and performance. The program consists of lessons, Master classes, musicianship and two concerts of a student and faculty performance.  Summer Jazz Intensive is held from July19-22 this year. The workshop price is $450. Summer Jazz Intensive concerts feature multi-JUNO winners Christine Jensen, Ken Lister, Joel Miller and rising young star talent and award winning drummer Ethan Oylynyk with special guests to be announced. The Summer Jazz Intensive faculty Super Star concert performance will take place July 21st and the free student performance concert will be held on July 22, 2016 at SIMONHOLT restaurant at 6582 Applecross Rd, Nanaimo, BC. Tickets can be reserved and purchased at: 250-933-3338 at SIMONHOLT and 250-754-4611 at the NCM office. Last year’s event was completely sold out and was a tremendous amount of fun. Reserve your tickets now to get your dinner table now for the amazing shows coming up at SIMONHOLT this summer!                        
Summer Jazz Intensive is offered under director Christine Jensen and the Nanaimo Conservatory’s multi JUNO winning bassist Ken Lister and various visiting star guests. Ken Lister has been a professional jazz bassist since 1983, earning rave reviews and prestigious multi-JUNO awards. He performs and teaches in Vancouver and on Vancouver Island and is the faculty bassist and jazz combo instructor at the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music.

Multi-JUNO and Downbeat award winning Montreal-based saxophonist and composer Christine Jensen has been described as, “an original voice on the international jazz scene… [and] one of Canada’s most compelling composers,” - Mark Miller of the Globe and Mail.  Jensen’s past opus, Treelines - The Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra on Justin-Time Records, won her the 2011 Juno Award for Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year, along with Quebec’s Opus Award for jazz recording of the year.

Jensen also won a JUNO award for her most recent release Habitat. Christine Jensen brings top jazz star friends along with her for Summer Jazz Intensive. Past guests have included globally acclaimed JUNO award winners Ingrid Jensen, Order of Canada recipient Phil Dwyer and Joel Miller as well as America's Jon Wikan. Inquire with the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music office at 250-754-4611 to learn more about Summer Jazz Intensive, and see you at the upcoming special concerts at SIMONHOLT!

MUSICAL THEATRE WORKSHOPS IN JULY AND AUGUST AT NCM WITH LINDSAY SUDDABY: This year the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music’s Musical Theatre "Summer Camp -The Musical" for children aged 9-12 takes place July 25-30. Instruction is from 10 am- 4 pm but working parents can take advantage of supervised care from as early as 8:30 am and as late as 5 pm. A class for teens is also being offered in August from August 8-13, 2016. This workshop and unique class allows teens to be a part of creating their very own one-of-a-kind show with a special performance!
These workshops will teach students to build confidence and learn about co-operation with others and allows students to express themselves creatively through singing, drama, playing a character and stage movement with gifted NCM instructor and Nanaimo Youth Choir assistant director Lindsay Suddaby. The program offers exceptional performance training, with a focus on theatrical characterization, teamwork, exploring creativity and problem solving.
The cost for both of the July workshops is $360.00. The August workshop price for teens is $300. Register now space is limited. Call 250-754-4611 or drop by the office at 375 Selby register or for more details. Email Oriana Tierney at the email address for further information.

WORLD MUSIC PROGRAM SUMMER 2016 WITH PATRICK OLMSTED: This summer join faculty guitarist Patrick Olmsted and explore the music of the world through the guitar and other instruments! Courses may include Gypsy Jazz Guitar, Spanish Guitar,The Mighty Uke! (ukulele), Latin Guitar, African Guitar and Finger Style Arranging. Ask also about our World Guitar Classes! World Guitar Classes run on Thursday evenings July 14 ,21, 28 and August 11,18 and 25th. With novices at 6-7 pm and  Intermediate from 7-8 pm. Ukulele class is held July 12, 19, 26 and August 9, 16 and 23. Novices from 6-7 pm and Intermediate from 7-8 pm. Lessons are only $10 per class, do not miss out on this great deal! Register at 250-754-4611 and 375 Selby St. or

SUMMER 2016 FLUTE WORKSHOPS WITH CINDY SPEELMAN: Flute-lover's delight! It is time to get your flute out and participate in a wonderful summer flute workshop! Classes are taught by Nanaimo Conservatory of Music faculty member Cindy Speelman and will focus on technique, musicianship, tone, reading, ensemble skills, preparing for auditions/exams, memorization and much more! Courses offered are Quick Start on July 23rd from 12-2 pm, Flute Intensive, July 23 from 2:30-5:30 pm, Intermediate August 5-6 from 9-12 pm, Advanced Aug. 5-6 from 12:30-4:30 pm and Introduction to Suzuki Flute August 17th from 11-12:30 pm. Headstart Suzuki takes  place August 22-26 from 11-11:45 am for ages 3-6 years. Beginners class takes place from August 27-28 from 9-11:30 am and Beginners Adults August 27-28 from 12-2:30 pm. Call 250-754-4611 for details and to register before the July 8th deadline for July classes and the later deadline July 22nd for August courses. See you there!    

NANAIMO YOUTH CHOIR NEWS: Nanaimo Youth Choir Director Marian Smith has announced that the choir’s fundraising efforts have been a tremendous success!! The choir met their goal of $65,000.00 successfully thanks to your support and the Nanaimo community’s amazing outpouring of donations!! Thank you Nanaimo and Vancouver Island! They had a hugely successful performance in New York and had much fun rehearsing for their big performance. Congrats to the choir, volunteers, instructors and community supporters and donors on reaching success!

The Nanaimo Youth Choir is the only Western Canadian choir as one of two Canadian choirs out of seven North American choirs that was invited! We are so proud of their hard work in reaching their goal with the many Hot Dog sales, Beer n’ Burger events, Bottle Drives, Grocery Store bagging  and all of their other concerts and spectacular amazing efforts! A huge congratulations to all the choir, the parents, the volunteers, our wonderful faculty and very generous community! The choir was publishing updates on facebook. You can view their posts about New York on facebook by searching for Nanaimo Youth Choir. We are so proud of their incredible efforts. Bravo and well done!


NCM MUSIC THERAPY FACULTY- JACQUIE DE JONG-SEINEN. Jacquie de Jong-Seinen has been singing since she was a child.  This passion to sing brought her to the Victoria Conservatory of Music to study with Catherine Young, and then to the music program at Vancouver Community College. From here, an interest in health and wellness led her to complete a degree in Music Therapy at Capilano College/Open University in 1997. She has since used her voice and guitar to facilitate healing in a variety of settings. Jacquie has worked extensively with children. She loves their curiosity and playfulness. While raising her family on a small farm in the Cowichan Valley, she is employed as a voice coach/pre-primary music teacher/music therapist and she co-facilitates an elder college singing program and elder choir. Jacquie is excited about her new position with the Music Therapy Department at the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music. To learn more about the new Nanaimo Music Therapy program offered in partnership with the Victoria Conservatory of Music on location in downtown Nanaimo at 375 Selby St., contact the Victoria Conservatory of Music at and inquire with Dr. Johanne Brodeur 250-386-5311 ext. 1030.

Jonathan is an 8 yr old boy with CHARGE Syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes deaf and blindness.  He can see well enough to learn sign language and function daily, but is profoundly deaf.  He is also trached, tube fed and has global developmental delays. Although so medically complex and challenged, Jonathan is progressing and thriving!! He loves his music therapy sessions and can't wait to go!  He is responding to vibration and is more tactile receptive... keeping beat with the drumming and so interested in all the instruments!!  We all look forward to the multi-sensory room this summer at the VCM and the future progress with Jacquie and the NCM!! Thank you for providing music to my deaf son!!!- Grace (Jonathan’s mom)

Jonathan is calmer, happier, and more willing to reach out to other people.  He loves his music time and it’s good to see him relaxed and willing to explore different ways of learning. -Constance (Jonathan’s driver, respite worker, after-school EA)

Music therapy has the effect of making Jonathan calmer, more attentive and more open. For example; if he’s had a stressful, high-energy day, by the end of his music therapy session, he has ‘found his centre’ again. He feels vibrations from various instruments and often reacts differently to each.  Because he is profoundly deaf, it’s very interesting and rewarding to see Jonathon respond to music in a positive way. -Ken (Jonathan’s nurse)


NANAIMO CHAMBER ORCHESTRA (NCO) SUMMER PERFORMANCES- 2016 Summer Concerts: Wednesday, August 17, 2016. "Concert In The Park" Maffeo Sutton Park, Nanaimo 6:00 pm -7:30pm.  Admission is free.  Bring your lawn chair and picnic supper.

Another performance Saturday, August 20th, 2016 at St Mark's Anglican Church, 138 Hoylake Rd, Qualicum Beach, 6:30pm coffee and dessert followed by concert at 7:30pm. Tickets (cost includes coffee and dessert): $20 Adults/ $5 Students/ Children under 5 free.

VANCOUVER ISLAND SYMPHONY PEFORMS AT SYMPHONY BY THE SEA- August 6 at 6 p.m at Maffeo Sutton Park. Free event. For more information, visit or call 250-754-0177.

VOLUNTEER THANK YOU AND HELP NEEDED- The NCM would like to thank our many very irreplaceable and valuable volunteers who assist with gardening, repairs and other on and off site duties! A new volunteer is needed to help sort and take out recycling items regularly. If interested please inquire at the office with Oriana Tierney at 250-754-4611.