VCC Music offers a two-year diploma and a subsequent two-year Bachelor of Applied Music Degree. Both credentials emphasize the development of skills and experience toward becoming a successful professional in music. VCC is highly regarded for its academic and skills curricula, as well as its emphasis on music and media, career opportunities and performance techniques courses.

In addition to classical and jazz studies, VCC welcomes instrumentalists and vocalists in rock and popular music, as well as music traditions from other cultures. This diversity is exemplified by our range of ensembles: Willan Choir, VCC Concert Choir, Madrigal Singers, Jazz Orchestra, Latin Jazz Ensemble, Pre-Bop Jazz Ensemble, Classic Jazz Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Electric Jazz (Fusion and Funk) Ensemble, Gamelan Ensemble, New Music Ensemble and others.

VCC faculty are among the finest artist-teachers in the province and, together with our alumni, continue to have significant critical and commercial success in the industry.

VCC Music has a $50,000 scholarship fund dedicated to entrance scholarships. Awards are based on the strength of an applicant's audition. The music program also offers generous ongoing scholarship support to continuing students.




Our approach is
one of unending exploration.

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Instructor Bios

Bernie Arai


Bernie Arai’s musical career as a performer, educator, composer and recording artist spans styles through jazz, improvised music, Japanese traditional, and electronic and computer music. On drum set, percussion and electronics, he works with some of Canada’s most accomplished musicians. Bernie has toured with various ensembles, across the country as well as through the United States, Japan and Europe. His recent projects include recordings with the Brad Turner Trio (Hindsight), the Paul Keeling Quartet (Ancient Lights), and duets with Chris Gestrin (Wabi).

During the course of his studies Bernie’s musicianship has been shaped by amazing educators, including Fred Stride (UBC); Brad Turner, Ken Moore, Dave Robbins and Dylan VanDerSchyff (Cap College), Ian Froman and Bill Stewart (NYC).

Bernie's own ensembles include his most recent quartet featuring VCC alumnus, Skye Brooks (also on drum set), Tommy Babin (bass) and Chad Makela (saxophone); a reunion of an electronic/acoustic trio with Chris Gestrin and Jon Bentley (on keyboards, woodwinds and electronics) called New Diversions; a quartet of two baritone saxophones and two drum sets, called Rubber Arms, and a cooperatively-run contemporary jazz quartet called Oddity. He also creates experimental electronic music using a Nintendo Gameboy. Densabi features Bernie using the Atari ST computer with Chris Gestrin and shakuhachi master, Alcvin Takegawa Ramos, to create improvised ambient music.

Along with saxophonist Jon Bentley, Bernie co-led the hard bop sextet Ugetsu, and the electronic ensemble Elevatorhead. Bernie also works ensembles such as: Brad Turner Trio, Hard Rubber Orchestra, Jennifer Scott Trio, Brad Muirhead Quartet, Ihor Kukurudza Trio, Fred Stride Jazz Orchestra, Sharon Minemoto Quintet and Quartet, Paul Keeling Trio and Quintet, Tommy Babin's Sendero Luminoso and Altered Laws.  

He remains in demand as an accompanist and band member for many legendary musicians from across Canada and around the world, appearing in concert at numerous music festivals worldwide, and on CBC radio jazz shows. 

Konstantin Bozhinov


Konstantin Ruslanov Bozhinov, PhD (ABD), is a lute, guitar, and accordion player, specializing in improvisation, composition, and arranging. Based in Vancouver since 2006, he enjoys a busy concert schedule as soloist, collaborator, and educator.

He holds a Performance Diploma in Classical guitar from Douglas College and a Bachelor of Music degree in guitar and lute performance from the University of British Columbia, where he studied with Michael Strutt.

Graduate studies include a Master of Music degree in lute performance from McGill University, where he studied basso continuo with Hank Knox and French baroque lute, baroque guitar and archlute, under Sylvain Bergeron. A PhD candidate in historical musicology at the University of Victoria, Konstantin is an active researcher of Baroque performance practice, French opera, improvisation, and compositional technique in the 18th century.

Konstantin is co-founder and former music director of the Renaissance group, Ensemble Musica Humana, with whom he toured Boston, Amherst and Montreal. He was also producer and audio engineer for the album Al Alba de España, which features his arrangements and reconstructions of Spanish Renaissance music. As part of the chamber group Stile Moderno, Konstantin has given numerous recitals with violinist Arthur Neele and gambist Natalie Mackie.

Konstantin is the accordion instructor at Vancouver Community College with recent performance highlights that include a tour of the Discovery Islands in BC (playing accordion and lute), a series of concerts with the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, and collaboration with renowned baroque violinist Marc Destrubé. He also tours with Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra principal cellist, Phil Hansen. As a specialist in improvisation, Konstantin gives frequent recitals of his own baroque compositions.

Individuality and originality through improvisation and composition are at the core of Konstantin's philosophy and approach to music. In the words of Matsuo Basho: “Do not look for the footsteps of the ancient masters; seek what they sought.”

David Branter

Commercial ear training, jazz improvisation, saxophone

Dr. David Branter has a BM, MM and DM from Indiana University and performs as both a classical and jazz saxophonist and clarinetist.  He has acted as Music Director for the Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble (PSWE) from 1996-1999 and again starting in 2013. That ensemble premiered the Fred Stride work Caverns in July 2005 at the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) conference in Singapore with Branter as tenor saxophone soloist.  PSWE also premiered Branter’s pieces Cool in February 2007 and Hip in March 2012.  A new piece, The Tribe part 1, was premiered in November 2014. In July of 2015 Branter directed PSWE in two programs at the WASBE conference in San Jose California.

Dr. Branter has been saxophonist with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra since 1977 and has also performed as saxophonist with the Vancouver Opera.  He performs regularly with jazz groups led by Alan Matheson including the CBC Jazz Orchestra and is featured on Matheson’s cd Intrada.  Branter also performs regularly and has recorded with John Korsrud’s Hard Rubber Orchestra including concerts at the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival.  The June 2014 performance at that festival featured a major new work by Darcy James Argue.  Dr. Branter plays soprano saxophone with the saxophone quartet Saxophilia.  Saxophilia, established in 1996, has premiered works by Derek Charke, John Burke, Colin MacDonald and others but has a wide ranging repertoire.  Dr. Branter taught at the University of British Columbia School of Music from 1977-2008 and Douglas college from 1979-1991.  He has taught at Vancouver Community College Department of Music since 1979, was Department Head from 1991-97 and 2008-11, and remains an instructor at that institution.

Georges Couling

Music and media

Georges Couling is a songwriter, composer, producer, keyboard player, and educator, based in Vancouver, B.C. He is a graduate of Vancouver Community College's Bachelor of Applied Music Program, and has been on faculty at VCC since 2011 teaching recording, production, and online media. Georges has studied jazz piano with some of Canada’s top pianists, including Bob Murphy, Sharon Minemoto, Alan Matheson, and Bill Sample. 

His work in TV and film includes the feature film Dawn Rider (Christian Slater, Donald Sutherland), the documentary series Eastside Stories, and securing song placements on TV networks such as Showcase, and the CBC. 

In November 2010, Georges created Knuckleduster Music Inc., which has seen him produce folk, rock, and pop recordings for artists which include Terence Jack, Portage and Main, Redbird, Stef Lang, as well as Juno award winner, Elaine “Lil’ Bit” Shepherd, and Lydia Hol (both VCC alumni). Portage and Main’s Better Man - produced, engineered, and mixed by Georges - spent 10 weeks in the top 10 on CBC’s R3 Chart.

Georges’ piano and keyboard styles cross over many genres, with influences ranging from jazz great Bill Evans and country legend Floyd Cramer to organists John Medeski and Ray Manzarek. A versatile and sought after musician, he has performed with roots rockers The Matinée; the afro-beat group Camaro 67 (formerly Miami Device); reggae artist Elaine “Lil’ Bit” Shepherd; folk rockers Portage and Main; indie pop band BESTiE; singer/songwriter Nat Jay; and vocalist Jasmin Parkin (Mother Mother).

Jack Duncan

Latin percussion

Jack Duncan is a percussionist, band leader and educator who has studied with some of the world’s greatest master drummers. His dynamic and sophisticated percussion playing has earned him a national and international reputation. He is a founding member of Hugh Fraser's Vancouver Ensemble of Jazz Improvisation and performs with John Korsrud's Hard Rubber Orchestra, Orquesta Goma Dura, Drum & Light Orchestra and Zapato Negro. Jack has appeared on over 50 CDs and is a recipient of a Juno Award for his work on Alpha “YAYA” Diallo’s album, The Messenger. He has performed on movie soundtracks - most notably the Grammy and Oscar Award winning animated movie Ratatouille(Disney/Pixar) - and has acted as an expert music advisor for both television and movie soundtracks.

Marc Destrubé


Marc Destrubé enjoys a diverse international career on historical and modern violins, performing as soloist, chamber musician, concertmaster or director/conductor. He is co-concertmaster of the Orchestra of the 18th Century (Amsterdam), first violinist of the Axelrod String Quartet (Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC) and of the Vancouver quartet Microcosmos, and is a regular guest director and soloist with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Australian Haydn Ensemble and Lyra Baroque Orchestra.

In Vancouver he has been director of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, concertmaster of the CBC Radio Orchestra and first violinist with the Purcell String Quartet. He performs regularly for Early Music Vancouver, is Artistic Director of the Pacific Baroque Festival (Victoria), a member of the Turning Point Ensemble, and concertmaster of the Oregon Bach Festival Baroque Orchestra. His recording of Haydn violin concertos (ATMA) has been critically acclaimed, and he has commissioned and premiered numerous works by Canadian composers.

A highly-respected teacher, he has been a visiting artist at the Paris, Utrecht, Sydney and Moscow Conservatories, the Banff Centre, University of Indiana, Case Western University, Australian National University, UVic, UBC and VCC. He is on the faculty of the new Berwick Academy at the Oregon Bach Festival. 

David Duke

Composition, history and theory

David Duke has graduate degrees in historical musicology from the universities of North Carolina and Victoria and teaches history and theory at VCC. As a composer he studied with Jean Coulthard and, at the Banff Centre, with Violet Archer. As a musicologist he has written about Canadian music and composers for the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada, MGG and several journals. He worked with Dr. Ida Halpern in her research on the music of the natives of the Pacific Northwest and received a Fellowship from the Society for Ethnomusicology.

Though he is best known for his many educational works, his music has been performed and broadcast at home and abroad by artists such as Jon Kimura Parker, Steven Isserlis, Desmond Hoebig, Elaine Keillor and Rena Sharon. His publishers include Waterloo Music and Frederick Harris; his work has been recorded by the Vancouver Symphony, Studea Musica, and the Circle Singers of Washington D.C., and broadcast on the CBC.

Stephen Fisk

Jazz and contemporary guitar

A veteran of the Canadian music scene, guitarist/bassist/vocalist Stephen Fisk has built a respected reputation for his creativity and musical openness. He has performed, toured and/or recorded in a variety of genres with innumerable national and international artists throughout his career including Rod Ellias, Ingrid Jensen, Aaron Alexander, Julian Priester, Antonio Sanchez, François Houle, Buff Allen, Chris Tarry, Ian Froman, George Lewis and George Russell.

Fisk has apprenticed over the years with acclaimed jazz artists Jim Hall, Paul Bley, Danilo Perez, Mick Goodrick, George Russell and Gary Peacock, studying all facets of improvisation, composition and musical philosophies. Holding degrees in Arts, Composition and a Masters in Jazz Performance from the New England Conservatory in Boston, Stephen has been the recipient of numerous awards for his studies and touring.

In addition to his long time work mentoring students and staff at the Sarah McLachlan School of Music, Stephen remains active as a performer, composer, songwriter, recording engineer and producer, as well as leading his own projects. Fisk has recorded numerous CDs on the Plunge Records label and has a new trio recording set for release in 2016.  

Ted Greene

Music foundations

Ted specialized in Music Education at the University of Western Ontario. Since returning to British Columbia he has taught at the Courtenay Youth Music Centre, the Delta Conservatory of Music, Trebas Institute of Recording Arts, Kwantlen University College and the Banff Centre as well as VCC. His teaching areas have included music theory, ear training, orchestration, computers and MIDI, ensemble and choral conducting in addition to trumpet and chamber music coaching.

After receiving a Certificate in Information Technology from Capilano College, new technologies in music has been added to his list of skills. Ted Greene is presently researching and developing computer assisted materials for the study of music online.

Helen Hall

Class piano, piano

Helen has been an instructor in the Music Department at VCC since 1998. She is also on the faculty of the VSO School of Music, the Vancouver International School of Music and the Wesbrook Community Centre and performs regularly in Vancouver as a collaborative pianist.

Helen holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Acadia University and an M.A. in Musicology from the University of Victoria. Her teachers include Dr. Teresa Dybvig and Susan Nowicki (Taubman technique), Louis Kentner (solo piano), Isobel Flinn and Paul Hamburger (collaborative piano-vocal repertoire), Marta Hunter (Alexander technique) and Dr. Joaquin Farias (movement therapy).

Kate Hammett-Vaughan

Jazz voice, jazz vocal improvisation

Critically acclaimed as one of Canada's preeminent jazz vocalists, Kate Hammett-Vaughan has been a member of the music faculty at Vancouver Community College since 1998. She teaches Jazz/Contemporary Vocal Master Classes, Lessons and Vocal Improvisation. A successful private instructor for over two decades, she has also been a member of the Jazz Studies faculty at Capilano University since 1998.

She has received three Juno nominations and numerous nods from the National Jazz Awards and the West Coast Music Awards. 

In 2014, Kate studied at the National Centre for Voice Science in Salt Lake City and became a certified vocologist, which adds the science and practice of vocal habilitation to her skill set. She is also a certified Level III teacher of Somatic Voicework™ – The Lovetri Method. Kate's work as a performer embraces the jazz tradition, improvisation, art song and more. A number of her students have gone on to establish careers as professional touring and recording artists.

Peter Hannan

Composition, electronic music, music and media, seminar

Peter has completed more than 60 commissions, both acoustic and electronic for widely diverse musical situations, including pieces for Vancouver Symphony, Icebreaker London, Stratford Festival and operas for National Arts Centre, Modern Baroque Opera and Vancouver New Music. 

His most recent recording, Rethink Forever, won "Best Classical Recording" at the 2011 Western Canada Music Awards. He also has many other ALBUM releases with positive Canadian and international press and web reviews, and numerous radio recordings for CBC Radio, BBC Radio, WDR Koln, Radio Bremen, Radio France, and NOS Radio, Holland.

Studies: UBC; Guildhall School, London; Sweelinck Conservatory, Amsterdam

Dorothea Hayley

Classical voice

Praised for her “very personal creative power” (Badener Zeitung), Canadian soprano Dorothea Hayley has been a soloist with the Vancouver Symphony, the Bourgas Symphony and Capriccio Basel, and has appeared in recital in Europe, Asia and North and South America. She has performed in festivals such as the Happening Festival, Gulangyu Piano Festival, Performer’s Voice Symposium, New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival and the Atempo Festival of Caracas, as well as with organizations like the SMCQ, Chants Libres, CIRMMT, Codes d’accès, Vancouver New Music, the Little Chamber Music Series That Could, and the Land’s End Ensemble. She is a member of the Erato Ensemble, the Broadwood Duo, Ensamble Atempo, and the Hayley-Laufer Duo.

Dorothea recently completed an artist residency at the Banff Centre, and was a visiting artist at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music. She is the founder and co-artistic director of the Blueridge Chamber Music Festival.

Dorothea pursued vocal studies at McGill University, the University of British Columbia, and the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien, and has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Koerner Foundation, the Social Sciences and Research Council of Canada and the Conseil des arts et des letters du Québec. She holds a Doctor of Music degree from Université de Montréal. 

François Houle

Career opportunities in music, clarinet, creative music improvi

Clarinetist François Houle has established himself as one of today’s most inventive musicians, in all of the diverse musical spheres he embraces. Inspired by collaborations with the world’s top musical innovators, François has developed a unique improvisational language, virtuosic and rich with sonic embellishment and technical extensions.  A sought after soloist and chamber musician, he has actively expanded the clarinet’s repertoire by commissioning some of today’s leading Canadian and international composers and premiering over one hundred new works. A founding member of critically acclaimed ensembles such as Sea and Sky, The Turning Point Ensemble and Standing Wave, François has also collaborated with leading ensembles in Canada, including ECM+, Bozzini Quartet and Fibonacci Trio.

His extensive touring has led to solo appearances at major festivals across Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia.  He has released over twenty recordings as a leader, earning multiple Juno Award and West Coast Music Award nominations. He is the founder of Afterday Audio, a record label dedicated to the documentation and dissemination of his many musical projects and collaborations. In 2006, François was the featured soloist in Lutosławski’s Dance Preludes with the CBC Radio Orchestra, a performance hailed by the Los Angeles Times.  In 2007, he composed and premiered a concerto for clarinet which he went on to record with the Turning Point Ensemble for a 2009 world wide release on the ATMA Classique label.

François studied at McGill University, and completed his studies at Yale University.  He has been an artist-in-residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts and at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbria, Italy, and was a featured soloist in the International Clarinet Association’s 2007 and 2008 ClarinetFests.  He served as Artistic Director of the Vancouver Creative Music Institute for five years. In 2008 he was appointed as “Associate Composer” of the Canadian Music Centre.

Daryl Jahnke

Jazz and contemporary guitar

Daryl has been an instructor in the guitar department since 2002, taking over as the primary instructor in 2009. 

He's also VCC alumni, with further studies including private composition and improvisation work in NY with seminal jazz musicians Kenny Werner and John Abercrombie, and time in Cuba studying son montuno with famous Cuban tres performer Pancho Amat.

As a performer Daryl has an extensive discography and travelled across Canada as well as to Cuba, Japan, New York and the UK to work with great musicians like Jorge Chicoy, Paul Jackson, Kenny Werner, John Stowell, Terumasa Hino and Jeff Berlin.

John Korsurd

Composition, Latin Jazz Ensemble

John is a composer, trumpet player and band leader. He has been commissioned by the Vancouver Symphony and the CBC Radio Orchestra. In 2010, her performed his own trumpet concerto, commissioned and performed by the American Composers Orchestra, at Carnegie Hall in New York. 

He is the leader and principle composer of the 17-piece Hard Rubber Orchestra, a highly-active jazz/new music ensemble that has toured to Europe and across Canada, released three albums and created several multi-media shows. Hard Rubber Orchestra was the recipient of Canada's largest arts prize, The Alcan Arts Award.

John is the recipient of the Canada Council's 2015 Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award, the 2012 City of Vancouver's Mayor's Award for Music, and the 2001 Canada Council Joseph S. Stauffer Prize. He has also won numerous prizes for his documentary scores. 

John studied composition with Louis Andriessen at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Amsterdam. 

Paula Kremer

Class piano, concert choir, Kodaly Solfege, voice

Educated at UBC and the Vancouver Academy of Music, mezzo-soprano Paula Kremer has studied voice with Marisa Gaetanne, Bruce Pullan, Phyllis Mailing and Laura Pudwell, and has sung extensively as a soloist. Holding an ARCT in both piano and voice, she began teaching music privately in 1987 and in 1997, joined the faculty of Vancouver Community College's School of Music, teaching the program's solfege courses. In addition to solfege, she currently teaches voice  and class piano, and directs the Vancouver Community College Concert Choir. 

Ms. Kremer has studied choral conducting in courses and workshops at Eton, Eastman School of Music, University of Michigan, Westminster Choir College, and Oxford.  She is the Artistic Director of the Vancouver Cantata Singers, one of Canada's pre-eminent vocal ensembles, and is also the director of two Vancouver Bach Choir ensembles for young adults:  the Vancouver Bach Youth Choir and Sarabande. 

Grace Lee


Grace Jong Eun Lee is a composer and performer dedicated to inter-culturalism. She received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from the University of British Columbia (Piano and Composition). She also received a diploma from the Korean Traditional Arts School in South Korea (Korean Music and Kayagum). She is the first Canadian Asian Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre. She received the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Award (Best Cultural Music Award, President Myung Buk Lee ) from South Korea in 2008.

Her compositions have been performed at the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Canadian Society of Asian Arts, Festival Vancouver, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, SOCAN, CBC, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

Her compositions reflect a combination of Korean, Chinese and Western instruments. She is strongly influenced by the sounds of nature and often uses them in her works to convey the East Asian sense of space and emptiness. Her interest in playing both traditional and contemporary music, and composing for the Kayagum, blossomed in Canada.

As a Canadian Composer she has had her pieces featured by: International Festival of Women in Music Today 2003 in Seoul, Korea; CBC Radio Orchestra (2005); Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra(2005); Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (2006); Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (2007); New York Philharmonic Orchestra (2008); Carnegie Hall in New York (2008); Saturday Serenades (A Co-Presentation of the Cathedral Guild for the Arts ) (2009); SBS Korean Main broadcast (Live show 2010); St Martin in Field London (2010); New York The Korea Society (Korean Music Lecture and Performances in U.S. University 2006-2010); CTV Multicultural Chanel seven (2011) and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Song of Love Solo Kayagum concerto with Symphony Orchestra, (2014).

Giorgio Magnanensi

Composition, new music ensemble

Described by acclaimed Italian composer Franco Donatoni as “... a composer, musician and conductor of great talent and one of the most interesting personalities of the Italian generation”, Giorgio Magnanensi (b. 1960) has gained an International reputation winning numerous composition awards and serving as conductor for a number of esteemed Canadian and international new music ensembles. He taught composition in Italy (1984–1999), at the School of Music of the University of British Columbia (2000–09) and currently he is lecturer at the Department of Music of the Vancouver Community College.

Besides his renowned work as artistic director of Vancouver New Music where he has been programming and producing innovative and original new music events, concert series, and festivals fostering a wide and experimental curatorial approach, he has become “ increasingly influential figure in Vancouver’s developing classical/jazz crossover culture […] one of the most outgoing, provocative, and multifaceted musicians on the local scene.” (Alex Varty). “His style disperses the ego-command model of western composition into an assemblage without centre or maybe with a myriad of them, evolving in relationship rather than static form.” (Carl Wilson)

From 2005, he has been regularly invited as faculty member at the Music & Sound Department of the Banff Centre, and in 2009 he was the recipient of the prestigious Paul D. Fleck Fellowship for Artistic Innovation and Excellence. In 2007 he founded the Laboratorio Arts Society to actively engage in creative work within and for the communities of the Sunshine Coast where he resides with his family.

Alan Matheson

Jazz History, Trumpet, Contemporary/Jazz Piano, Composition/Arranging

Alan Matheson is a Vancouver-based pianist, trumpeter, composer and arranger. He teaches at the music departments of the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Community College, where he is an instructor in jazz piano and trumpet. He also teaches at the Vancouver Symphony School of Music where he lectures in jazz history.

Alan is a graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and studied with Vincent Cichowicz. He has also studied with Barbara Butler, Joe Newman and Clark Terry.

Alan leads his own big band, nonet, septet and trio and has written arrangements for jazz legends Clark Terry and Bud Shank. As well, he has conducted big band tributes to Duke Ellington, Paul Whiteman and Louis Armstrong. He has also performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Louis Bellson and Phil Woods.

Alan’s compositions have been performed by Julia Nolan (saxophone), Sal Ferreras (percussion) David Palmer (pipe organ) and Martin Hackelman (horn). His arrangements for big band have been performed by the Tulane University Jazz Ensemble and the Northwestern University Jazz Ensemble. Alan’s first CD Intrada was released in 2004, and his newest CDs Duetti and Summer Evening (recorded in Finland with bassist Wade Mikkola) were released in 2013 and 2015 respectively.

Robert McKenzie

Jazz theory, arranging, composition studies, and trombone

Composer, conductor, performer and teacher, Rob McKenzie brings to his work a lifetime of experience in the Vancouver music scene.

His interest in composition stems from early experimentation with pop, rock, and jazz improvisation. This lead to jazz and classical training in Vancouver, Los Angeles, Banff and Toronto, culminating in a Masters degree in music composition from the University of British Columbia.

McKenzie's works have been recorded and performed on CBC Radio, at Pro-Musica's Sonic Boom series, as well as the Vancouver and Montreal Jazz Festivals and Festival Vancouver. Recent completed works include commissions for The Commission Project and Dee Daniels. He is an associate member of the Canadian Music Centre and his works are published by Warwick Music.

As a trombonist, Rob has performed with orchestras, chamber ensembles, big bands, jazz and rock groups, played in concerts, musicals, with touring groups and on studio sessions for television and radio with Maynard Ferguson, Slide Hampton, Aerosmith, Muhal Richard Abrams, Clark Terry, Kenny Wheeler, Mötley Crue, Phil Woods, Phil Nimmons, Harry Connick Jr., Vancouver New Music, Vancouver Opera, the Vancouver Symphony and Rob McConnell.

A regular with the Alan Matheson Septet, the Alan Matheson Big Band and the Red Onion Rhythm Kings, he also leads his own group Solid Brass, a jazz nonet featuring five of the West Coast's finest trombonists.

In his role as educator, Rob has taught trombone, composition, theory and arranging at VCC since 1988.

Sharon Minemoto

Contemporary and jazz piano, class jazz piano

Since the age of sixteen, Sharon Minemoto has been performing to audiences around the world. She is the leader of a trio, a quartet and a quintet. Her trio and quintet have each released one CD as well as several shows for CBC Radio. Her quartet's first recording will be released in 2016.

In addition to her own ensembles, she has performed in groups led by Jill Townsend, Cory Weeds, James Danderfer, Laura Crema, Alan Matheson, Mike Allen, Tom Keenlyside, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Phoenix Chamber Choir. 

She is the recipient of two Canada Council for the Arts grants and one BC Arts Council Grant. Her last grant took her to New York City for 4 months to study with Renee Rosnes and Kenny Werner. Recently, Sharon teamed up with vocalist Melissa van der Schyff for two very successful concerts, one at Birdland Jazz Club in NYC and the other at The Abbey Theatre in Orlando, Florida.

Laurence Mollerup

Electric and upright bass, guitar sight reading, jazz improvisation, jazz fusion ensemble

Laurence has performed with the Good Noise Gospel Choir, Vancouver Opera Orchestra, Chor Leoni, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Victoria Symphony, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Vancouver Men’s Chorus, Elektra choir, Vancouver New Music; and with Mike Stern, Barbra Streisand, Alan Matheson, Charlie Byrd, Herb Ellis, and Louis Bellson. Theatre work includes Wicked, Avenue Q, Fiddler on the Roof, Hello Dolly, Guys and Dolls, and The Music Man for the Vancouver Playhouse, Arts Club, and for Broadway Across Canada. He also records soundtracks for feature films, jingles, video games, and NFB features.

Laurence is on faculty at both Vancouver Community College and Capilano University. He holds a B.Mus from UBC and an M. Ed from SFU. He has also served on juries for the Canada Council and the BC arts council.  In his spare time, Laurence cycles, works on his Danish, and runs.

Deirdre Morgan

World music

Deirdre Morgan is an ethnomusicologist, performer, and arts administrator who holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (UBC 2006), and an M.A. in Ethnomusicology (UBC 2008). She is currently a PhD candidate in Music at SOAS, University of London, where she is completing a dissertation on the jew's harp revivals of Norway, Austria, and Sicily. Her research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) as well as a Research Scholarship from SOAS.

For the past decade, Deirdre has sought out the jew's harps of the world and the people who play them, and her travels have, so far, taken her across North America, Europe, Russia, and Bali. Deirdre is also an interdisciplinary performer whose interests include vocals and jew’s harp in both traditional and improvised settings.

As an arts administrator, Deirdre has worked for several professional performing arts organizations (Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, Vancouver International Song Institute, Pacific Baroque Orchestra, musica intima). She is currently a Board member with the International Jew's Harp Society.

Deirdre joined Vancouver Community College in 2015. Her course World Music (Term 1: African Music, Term 2: Asian Music) focuses on the principles of ethnomusicology, with an emphasis on listening analysis, history, and world music performance skills. 

Ken Morrison

Department head, theory, rhythm studies, and music

Ken Morrison began his music studies at VCC and transferred to UBC where he finished his Bachelor of Music and M.A. in Music Theory. He completed his Ph. D. in Music Theory at the University of Washington. His primary research interests are contemporary compositional techniques, rhythm, interactive computer music design, and perception.

Ken has presented papers at the Society for Music Theory and the West Coast Conference of Music Theory and Analysis, and has published articles in Open Space and Nuvo magazine. 

He is also a performing percussionist and can be heard on two recent recordings by Los Angeles based saxophonist Robert Reigle on the Acoustic Levitation label. 

After teaching full-time at McGill University, he returned to Vancouver. He teaches music theory and rhythm studies at VCC and UBC, and is now the VCC School of Music's department head.

Patricia Plumley

Class piano, concert choir, piano, voice, Willan Choir

Patricia studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, receiving scholarships for studies with Reginald Godden and Gordon Kushner as well as for participation in the Chamber Music Program under Greta Kraus. She attended the Courtenay Youth Music Centre, where she returned over the next eight summers both as a student and pianist for the choral, vocal and chamber programs. In 1986 she studied with Kristina Sutor at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, where she worked as a vocal, choral, instrumental and ballet pianist. In Vancouver she has studied with Rena Sharon, piano, and Jacob Hamm and Lynn Williams, voice. Patricia continues her vocal studies each summer at the Sola Voce Workshop on Salt Spring Island with Eva Bostrand.

Her musical activities include chamber music, teaching piano, theory and voice at her studio in Nanoose Bay, piano workshops on Salt Spring Island, instructing and conducting at WCAMS Summer Music Camp and directing the Vancouver Island Symphony Children's Choirs, the VIS Symphonic Choir, the Island Chapter of the British Columbia Boys Choir and A Capella Plus.

At VCC she currently teaches piano, voice, class piano, conducts the Willan Choir and co-conducts the  VCC Concert Choir.

Plumley enjoys combining a love of yoga and movement studies with music and has presented her workshop Body Awareness for Musicians at VCC, Douglas College and at Beethoven Studios in Hong Kong. She has also taught yoga at VCC and is currently exploring the world of movement studies through the Alexander Technique.

Bill Sample

Composition, contemporary and jazz piano

Bill Sample has been a force in the West Coast music scene for many years. A recent highlight of Bill’s career includes playing on the 2008, Grammy-winning Ratatouille soundtrack. During his tenure as Music Director for David Foster, he worked with Brian Adams, Celine Dion, Peter Cetera and Kenny Loggins, to name a few. His recording credits include Leon Bibb, Eric Bibb, Michelle Wright, and Simple Plan. He has also performed with Ray Charles, Mel Torme, and Robben Ford. 
In 2003, Bill was inducted into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame. In 2010, Bill received both a Lifetime Achievement Award and Most Influential Jazz Musician from the Royal Canadian Music Project, and his band, Sample Stearns Band (from the 70’s), received the Most Influential Group Award. 
In 2013, Bill was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2014, Bill and playwright Bob Sarti were awarded the Ovation Award for Best New Work, for The Raymur Mothers, a musical.

Craig Scott

Classic jazz ensemble, drums

Craig Scott is an accomplished drummer and vibraphone player. His drumming credits include concert and club dates with such Canadian jazz luminaries as Tommy Banks, Oliver Gannon, Ian McDougall, Hugh Fraser, Campbell Ryga, PJ Perry, Brad Turner, the Alan Matheson Septet and Nonet, as well as international artists such as Randy Bachmann, Pat LaBarbara, Allen Vizzutti, Chuck Israels, Ernestine Anderson, Dianna Krall, Larry Goldings, the HI-LOS, Dee Daniels, The Nylons, Joan Rivers, Don Rickles,  Ashley McIsaac, Natalie McMaster and the late Harry "Sweets" Edison, Rosemary Clooney, Phil Woods, Herb Ellis, Clark Terry, Bud Shank, Frank Wes, Ross Taggart, and Charlie Byrd.

Craig has extensive recording experience in television, film, radio and video games. He has been featured on radio programs such as AlmanacHot Air, Jazz Beat, and West Coast Performance. On television, Craig has played for the series Millennium, performed on Gabereau and, on film, played for the movie Music of the Heart. As a session player, he has played on countless local independent jazz albums and has played drums on the video game Monsters Inc., and on the music software Band-In-A-Box. Craig played on Randy Bachmann’s album, A Jazz Thing, and Craig is featured on two Ian McDougall albums, In A Sentimental Mood, and The Very Thought of You, which were both nominated for  JUNOAwards.

As a vibraphone player, Craig plays in the Benny Goodman/Lionel Hampton tribute band, Slipped Disc, and has just released his album Introducing the Craig Scott Quintet with saxophonist Cory Weeds.

Craig holds both BMus and BEd degrees from UBC, and he teaches at both Vancouver Community College andCapilano University. In addition, he occasionally writes for Modern Drummer, and Percussive Notes magazines. 

Jon Siddall

Gamelan ensemble

Jon Siddall is a Juno-nominated music producer who has worked with a wide range of artists for over 20 years. As a producer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, he has recorded live and studio performances by artists of international, national and local importance for use on television, radio, compact disc, and the web.

As a composer, performer, educator and ensemble director, Siddall has engaged deeply with the traditional instruments of Java and Sunda known as gamelan.  In 1983 he founded the Evergreen Club, Canada’s first professional gamelan. 

Siddall’s compositional activities include pieces for many different western ensembles as well.

For CBC, Siddall has produced recordings of Oasis, The Killers, Mother Mother, Sarah Harmer, Rufus Wainwright and many others. In 2006, Siddall produced a special project bringing together Canadian rapper k-os with the CBC Radio Orchestra which was captured in a documentary, Burning to Shine.

Siddall has also produced recordings of gamelan, Vietnamese, Indian, and other forms of world music both for CBC and independent productions.

Jon Siddall offers a wealth of experience in working with artists of all different stripes together with a strong technical knowledge of how to use a recording studio.  His latest work for CBC often involves working with video as a director, producer, editor and shooter.

Eva Solar-Kinderman

Classical piano

Born in Sweden, Eva Solar-Kinderman studied piano in Prague where she won the Czech Youth Music Competition in 1965. She holds advanced degrees from the Zürich Conservatory and the Vienna State Academy of Music (with distinction), where she studied with the renowned pedagogue Dieter Weber.

She has been privileged to work with such distinguished artists as Wilhelm Kemff, Sir Alfred Brendel, and Andras Schiff. As an active performer of both solo and chamber music repertoire, she has been heard on the CBC and, in the US, on National Public Radio. She was a soloist with several symphony orchestras in Canada and Europe. Her recording of the last two Schubert Sonatas was released on the Bayer label in Germany in 1999.

Since 1980, Ms. Solar-Kinderman has taught on the faculty of the University of Victoria and the Victoria Conservatory of Music. She is currently also a faculty member and head of piano at VCC and, until recently, was a guest professor at the International Piano Masterclass held annually, during the summer, in the Czech Republic.

Her concert career has taken her on tours of Canada, the USA, Europe and Japan. She has adjudicated music festivals in BC and given numerous master classes and workshops in Canada, the USA, and Central Europe. Her former students are pursuing music careers as acclaimed performers, teachers and conductors.

Recently she served as an adjudicator for the BCRMT auditions in Vancouver. This coming spring  Ms. Solar-Kinderman will be participating in a conference featuring the distinguished class of Prof. Dieter Weber in Vienna, Austria. 

Gerald van Wyck

Conducting, Madrigal singers, music history

Musicologist, conductor and organist, Gerald van Wyck has studied at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music with Douglas Bodle (organ), and Charles Heffernen and William Wright (choral conducting).

Gerald teaches Music History and Conducting at VCC, and also conducts the Madrigal Singers, a choir presenting a wide variety of music and open to all students. He is Conductor of the Pacific Spirit Choir, a North Shore community choir with whom he has toured Europe extensively, and with whom he presents large scale oratorios with professional orchestral accompaniment. He is also Music Director at West Vancouver United Church, where he oversaw the design and implementation of a Baroque style mechanical action pipe organ.

He has been Assistant Conductor to Sinfonia, Orchestra of the North Shore, and to the Vancouver Island Symphony Conductor. Gerald has also been Music Director of the Vancouver Island Opera, and of the British Columbia Boys Choir, with whom he made five recordings. He is Artistic Director of EnChor, a choir for experienced choral singers based in Vancouver. He is sought across Canada as a choral adjudicator and clinician.

Dr. Tones is a proud endorser of Yamaha percussion and SABIAN cymbals, and has taught at VCC since January 2008.

Adrian Verdejo

Classical guitar

Adrian Verdejo is a classical guitarist living in Vancouver. He performs as a soloist, with the Victoria Guitar Trio and has also performed with ensembles including the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Turning Point, and Aventa Ensemble. A versatile performer, he specializes in contemporary music with equal fluency on electric guitar.

Verdejo holds a Master of Music degree in guitar performance from the University of Ottawa and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Victoria; he studied with Dr. Alexander Dunn and Patrick Roux. He has also performed in master classes of guitarists such as Pepe Romero, Fabio Zanon, David Tanenbaum and lutenist Nigel North. Adrian Verdejo has been a classical guitar instructor at VCC since 2015. 

Jazz History, trumpet, contemporary/jazz piano, composition/arranging

Alan Matheson is a Vancouver-based pianist, trumpeter, composer and arranger. He teaches at the music departments of the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Community College, where he is an instructor in jazz piano and trumpet. He also teaches at the Vancouver Symphony School of Music where he lectures in jazz history.


Alan is a graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and studied with Vincent Cichowicz. He has also studied with Barbara Butler, Joe Newman and Clark Terry.


Alan leads his own big band, nonet, septet and trio and has written arrangements for jazz legends Clark Terry and Bud Shank. As well, he has conducted big band tributes to Duke Ellington, Paul Whiteman and Louis Armstrong. He has also performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Louis Bellson and Phil Woods.


Alan’s compositions have been performed by Julia Nolan (saxophone), Sal Ferreras (percussion) David Palmer (pipe organ) and Martin Hackelman (horn). His arrangements for big band have been performed by the Tulane University Jazz Ensemble and the Northwestern University Jazz Ensemble. Alan’s first CD Intrada was released in 2004, and his newest CDs Duetti and Summer Evening (recorded in Finland with bassist Wade Mikkola) were released in 2013 and 2015 respectively