catching up with our students

Catching Up with Our Students: UBC students tour with the National Youth Orchestra, the Opera ensemble visits the Czech Republic plus more

Simran Claire

Simran Claire

Six School of Music students and alumni, including Eva Toncheva (BMus’18), violin; Madelynn Erickson, violin; Nina Weber, viola; Emily Richardson, flute; Carlos Savall-Guardiola, clarinet; and Lukas Hildebrandt (BMus’18), percussion, have been accepted to the 2018 National Youth Orchestra of Canada. This summer they embarked on an exciting Canada-European tour, with stops in Ontario and Quebec and in Germany and Scotland.

John Stetch has won the BC Canadian Music Centre’s Pentland Prize, a $1,000 scholarship awarded annually to a graduate composition student at UBC, SFU, or UVic. You can read more about Stetch and his unique synthesis of jazz and classical music here.


Mezzo soprano Simran Claire (BMus'18, current MMus student) has won a position with the Glimmerglass Ensemble and will begin performing with the ensemble in June 2019.

The UBC Trumpet Ensemble in San Antonio

The UBC Trumpet Ensemble in San Antonio

Members of the UBC Trumpet Ensemble — Dasa SilhovaWilly WangMatheus MoraesErica Binder, and Shira Adam — were selected to participate in the International Trumpet Guild of Miami, Florida in June. They travelled to San Antonio from May 27th to June 3rd, attending valuable workshops, lectures, masterclasses and concerts. 


The UBC Opera Ensemble had a successful tour to the Czech Republic this past summer, where they performed Rossini’s Italian Girl in Algiers in Teplice, Decin and Jablonec. They returned to Vancouver in August to performed an evening of opera and operetta excerpts at Bard on the Beach. They were joined by members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra. 

Silverman Piano Concerto Competition winners Benjamin Hopkins, Evgenia Rabinovich, Ayunia Saputro and Aydan Con performed iconic concerto movements with the UBC Symphony Orchestra at the Chan Centre this September. Hopkins, the grand prize winner, performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, while Rabinovich, Saputro, and Con played movements by Beethoven and Mozart. Watch their peformances online.

At the 2018 BC Provincial Music Festival, BMus student Julia Johnstone won first place in the National Vocal Variety category and was the runner-up in the National Classical Voice category. MMus student Thomas Law was the runner-up in the National Woodwinds category, while BMus student Braden Eguia won Honourable Mention in the Senior Piano category.

PhD student Curtis Andrews and his world jazz ensemble, The Offering of Curtis Andrews, collaborated with legendary South Indian percussionist Trichy Sankaran this September. The concert, “A World of Rhythm,” presented music rooted in South Indian classical Carnatic music, with an exciting array of rhythmic exploration, improvisation and devotional compositions.

Catching up with our students

Azura Quartet, winners of a National Music Festival award

Azura Quartet, winners of a National Music Festival award

Musicology PhD student Christina Hutten recently began a one-year residency at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel, Germany, for her dissertation research. She is the recipient of a fellowship from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (German Academic Exchange Service).

UBC Opera students and alumni made a sweep of the 2017 Metropolitan Opera National Council Western Canada District Auditions, which took place on Nov. 12, 2017 in the Old Auditorium. The winners were BMus student Shane Hanson and alumna Francesca Corrado (BMus ’12, MMus ’14). Honourable mentions went to Marie Civitarese (MMus ’17) and BMus students Yeeun (Yenny) Lee and Ian McCloy. Francesca and Shane move on to the regional auditions in Seattle. Best of luck!

In October, DMA student and 2017 UBC Concerto Competition winner Benjamin Hopkins performed Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15 with the UBC Symphony Orchestra at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. You can watch the performance online. Benjamin also participated in the Aspen Music Festival, Van Cliburn Institute, performed numerous concerts with Concerts in Care, and won a Bronze Medal at the Vancouver International Music Competition. 

Two students and five alumni presented papers at the Society for Music Theory annual meeting in November: PhD students Antares Boyle and Grant Sawatzky and alumni James Palmer (PhD '15), Daniel Goldberg (MA '10), Chantal Lemire (BMus '06, MA '13), Caleb Mutch (BMus '08), and Eric Smialek (BA '06).

Shane Hanson and Francesca Corrado

Shane Hanson and Francesca Corrado

DMA student Aaron Graham recently joined the Scholarly Research Committee of the Percussive Arts Society. Instrumentalist Magazine recently published his article "Proper Playing Areas — Instantly Improve the Sound of Your Percussion Section,” while another article, “Practicing Tabla Without the Tabla: A Place to Begin for the Interested Student,” will be published in the January 2018 edition of the journal Percussive Notes. Aaron gave a percussion clinic at the recent B.C. Music Educators Association conference and won recognition for his composition “Manifesto,” which will be performed at Colorado State University as part of the 2018 Aries Composers Festival.   

The Azura Quartet, featuring School of Music students and alumni Mia Gazley (BMus student), Mo Miao (BMus student), Chinley Hinacay (BMus ’17), and Haley Heinricks (BMus’17), won first prize and $1,500 in the Chamber category at the 2017 National Music Festival in Ottawa, Ontario. Alumnus Ryan Hofman (MMus ’17) won second place and $1,000 in the Voice category. Congratulations to all!