Woodwinds, brass and percussion at the UBC School of Music

One of the largest and most prestigious music schools in Canada, the UBC School of Music offers a wide array of undergraduate, graduate, and non-degree training in performance, composition, and scholarship.

At the School of Music you will study, perform, and collaborate with some of the country's best and brightest faculty as well as student musicians and scholars. You'll have the opportunity to make lifelong friendships and establish exciting musical partnerships!

The goal of the Woodwinds, Brass and Percussion Division is to facilitate the best performance potential of each student. Enrollment is highly selective in order to provide the best possible opportunities for all students.


Private studio lessons are a central part of Woodwinds, Brass and Percussion education at the School of Music.

Our faculty are passionate teachers who care a great deal about their students. They are also award-winning musicians who perform in orchestras and ensembles around the globe, jury international music competitions, and record critically acclaimed and best-selling recordings


How to apply

Interested in applying to one of our undergraduate programs? The deadline is Jan. 15, 2020.

Interested in applying to one of our graduate programs? The deadline is Dec. 1, 2019.

Here are just a few of our faculty members:

  • Dr. Robert Taylor, Director of UBC Bands and Chair of the Woodwinds, Brass and Percussion Division

  • Julia Lockhart, Principal Bassoon with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

  • Dr. Julia Nolan, saxophonist

  • Larry Knopp, Principal Trumpet with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

  • Jeremy Berkman, Principal Trombone with the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, member of the award-winning Turning Point Ensemble and A Touch of Brass Quintet

  • Jose Franch-Ballester, clarinetist and chamber musician, hailed by the New York Times for his “technical wizardry and tireless enthusiasm"

  • Vern Griffiths, Principal Percussion with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and member of Standing Wave

You can explore all Woodwinds, Brass, and Percussion faculty here.

WATCH: Julia Lockhart, Adjunct Professor of Bassoon and Principal Bassoonist with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, talks about her approach to studio lessons



Large and small and incredibly diverse, our student ensembles range in size from trios and quartets to the 110-member UBC Symphony Orchestra. Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion students perform in the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Concert Winds, Contemporary Players, Collegium Musicum, Jazz Bands, UBC Opera productions, and diverse chamber ensembles. Check out our huge concert archive to get a sense of just how good our students are.

WATCH: The UBC Symphonic Winds perform Leonard Bernstein's "Overture To Candide" 



As much as possible, the School of Music helps students to explore and develop different career opportunities while still studying. There are a multitude of post-degree paths for musicians and music scholars. So whether you plan to pursue a career as an orchestral musician, a scholar, an educator, or a producer, you can get a head start by:

Graduates from the Wind, Brass, and Percussion Division currently work in major symphony orchestras, opera orchestras, chamber ensembles, musical theatre, early music group, and music production around the world. Many of our graduates also hold prestigious appointments in universities, colleges, and public schools. 



Our music students rehearse and perform in UBC's world-class concert halls and performance spaces. From the state-of-the-art Chan Centre for Performing Arts, one of North America's premier musical venues, to the historic Old Auditorium and intimate Roy Barnett Recital Hall, you will have the opportunity to train and grow as a professional musician in front of enthusiastic audiences.


The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts is one of three venues where UBC Music students rehearse and perform. Photo: Tim Matheson



Prospective students can meet faculty members by attending any number of concerts on campus from now until April. We invite you to attend our large ensemble concerts, performed by the UBC Choirs, Bands, and Orchestra, Opera productions held in the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts and the Old Auditorium.

Email for free tickets for certain events. A lot of our chamber music, divisional recitals, and student recitals are already free — just come and see.  If you’re applying from a distance, check out our concerts on Livestream and imagine yourself here!



Do you have questions about the application process? You are not alone! Sometimes the application process can seem complicated. If you'd like to talk to someone about the graduate or undergraduate programs here at the School of Music, please do get in touch. 

Katherine Evans, Manager of Admissions, is your primary contact for the undergraduate (B.Mus. and Diploma) programs. Juliet O'Keefe, the Graduate Admissions Secretary, is your contact for graduate program information. Robert Ablenas is our Music Advisor and can provide detailed information about certain programs.

Updated from December 22nd, 2017