farshid samandari

Spring award nominations for School of Music faculty and alumni

Two award winners and dozens of finalists —  of Music faculty and alumni have recently made a splash in major Canadian competitions!

This weekend, sopranos Anna Toumine (BMus’12) and Elizabeth Harris (BMus’16, MMus’18) won second and third place, respectively, at Vancouver Opera’s inaugural Vocal Competition. Conceived as a launching pad for young opera singers, the competition brought eight gifted young opera singers from across Canada together in front of a panel of judges that included renowned mezzo-soprano Judith Forst, conductor Jonathan Darlington, and more.

Meanwhile, the just-announced 2019 Western Canadian Music Award nominees include Turning Point Ensemble, Vancouver Chamber Choir, and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra for Classical Artist/Ensemble of the Year, Hard Rubber Orchestra for Jazz Artist/Ensemble of the Year, and Farshid Samandari (MMus’07, DMA’14) for Classical Composer of the Year. All four ensembles feature School of Music faculty and alumni.

Here’s the full list of personnel:

WCMA Classical Artist / Ensemble of the Year

Turning Point Ensemble: UBC faculty Jeremy Berkman (trombone), Brenda Fedoruk (flute), Vern Griffiths (percussion), Ingrid Chiang (bassoon) as well as clarinetist A.K. Coope (BMus’90).

Vancouver Chamber Choir: Matthew Gaskin (MMus’17), Christina Cichos (BMus’12), Emily Cheung (BMus’06), Eric Schwarzhoff (BMus’12, MMus’14), George Roberts (BMus’85), Karyn Way (BMus’96, MMus’98), Madeline Lucy Smith (BMus’07).

Manitoba Chamber Orchestra: concertmaster Karl Stobbe (BMus’94).

WCMA Jazz Artist /Ensemble of the Year

Hard Rubber Orchestra
Artistic director and composer John Korsrud (BMus’89); trumpeters Alan Matheson (faculty), Jamie Hovorka (BMus’95), Robin Shier (BEd’02), Bill Clark (BEd’99); trombonists Jeremy Berkman (faculty), Dennis Esson (faculty), Rob McKenzie (BMus’77, MMus’89), Bob Rogers (BMus86, BEd’92); saxophonists Mike Braverman (BMus’92, BEd’93, MEd’02), Monik Nordine (BMus’92); pianists Allen Stiles (BMus’84, MMus’86), Chie Nagatani (BMus’91), Adrienne Park (BMus’91); string players Finn Manniche (BMus’86), Cameron Wilson (BMus’88), Bob Clark (BMus’86), Sandy Fiddes (BMus’87); vocalists Siphiwe McKenzie (BMus’95), Elizabeth Skillings (BMus’95); percussionist Phil Belanger (BMus’77); and composers Keith Hamel (faculty), John Oliver (BMus’82), Bob Pritchard (faculty), Fred Stride, Cameron Wilson, Sandy Fiddes, Rob McKenzie.

WCMA Classical Composer of the Year
Farshid Samandari (MMus’07, DMA’14)

Congratulations to all of the winners and nominees!

New Recordings


Prof. Mark Anderson released the fourth volume of his series devoted to the music of German-Dutch composer Julius Röntgen. The album spans fifty-five years of the composer’s lifetime, and includes Ballad, Op.6 written in 1873, when the composer was a teenager, and the Sonata in C-sharp minor from 1928. Available on Amazon and iTunes (US).


MMus conducting student Jaelem Bhate (BMus’17) released his first album, On the Edge, with his group the Jaelem Bhate Jazz Orchestra. The record includes his multi-movement “Pacific Suite,” along with works that blend the influences of his jazz heroes of Thad Jones, John Clayton, Bill Holman, and his mentor Fred Stride with his parallel study of Western Classical music. Perfoming on the album are some of Vancouver’s best jazz musicians, including Steve Kaldestad, Brent Mah, Michael Kim, and Duran Ritz. Available at CD Baby.


Farshid Samandari (MMus’07, DMA’14) released his new album Apogee on Redshift Records in 2018. The album features flutist and UBC alumnus Mark Takeshi McGregor (BMus’95, DMA’12) and other Vancouver music luminaries. From La Scena Musicale: “Over the course of 70 minutes, the performances are impeccable, rich in tone and dynamics, with welcome clarity and sonic precision. [Samandari] is a master of silence, resonance and a variety of instrumental techniques…. An inventive and musical discovery.” Available on iTunes and Spotify.