VISITING GUEST MUSICIANS

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PABLO DIEMECKE is one of Canada’s finest virtuoso violinists. He appears as a soloist around the world, and has completed 20 years of service as concertmaster of the Victoria Symphony. 

Mr. Diemecke showed remarkable talent at an early age. He made his first public appearance at age 10, and his childhood quartet toured the US and Mexico several times. At age 17 he made his first solo appearance with an orchestra, playing the Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto #3. He studied with Henryk Szeryng and his assistant Enrique Espin Yepez in Mexico City, receiving honours at his graduation recital. He went on to study with Robert Gerle in Washington, D.C., and Daniel Majeske in Cleveland.

Mr. Diemecke has developed an enormous repertoire of important works, featuring not only all of the major concerti and standard works for violin, but also a large number of fascinating Latin American concertos by composers such as Manuel Ponce, Carlos Chavez, Lavalle, Rodrigo, Bustos and others.Two of these Latin American concertos were premiered and dedicated to Pablo Diemecke.​

Mr. Diemecke toured the Mediterranean, Europe, the British Isles, Iceland, Ireland, Greenland and Norway in 2007, playing a series of string quartet concerts in the Grand Princess Cruises’ Princess Theater, and in 2008, toured with together with the Artenostra Quartet. Mr. Diemecke participated in the opening concert of a Mozart Festival in Florida (USA).

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JAMES DARLING holds a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from VIU and has studied piano with Phil Dwyer, Bob Murphy and Steve Smith. He has spent a decade working on cruise ships in lounge bands and showbands, including with both Dane Warren and Rick Kilburn for several contracts aboard Princess Cruise Lines.

 

More recently James has been the keyboardist of the high energy dance band Johnny Inappropriate, the pianist for VIU’s Vocal Jazz Choir directed by Rosemary Lindsay and plays keyboards for the Etta James tribute Ms. Peaches And Me starring Jona Kristinsson.a Vancouver Island born and raised multi instrumentalist, singer, song writer and performer. He attended the jazz program at Malispina College in 1987 -88 before joining the touring blues / rock group Dave Gogo and the Persuaders.

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LAWRENCE SKAGGSFormer Principal Cellist of the Victoria Symphony for 35 years, Larry enjoys an active career in chamber, solo, orchestral and studio work.

He performed Victoria premieres of the Shostakovich Cello Concerto #1, Popper Hungarian Rhapsody, and Tan Dun “Crouching Tiger” Concerto, in addition to performances of many other standard concertos.

He made his conducting debut with the Victoria Civic Orchestra in January, 2012

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PHIL WIPPER is a Nanaimo, BC based professional drummer. Throughout his thirty + year career, he has recorded, toured and shared the stage with an array of performers throughout Canada and the United States.

Phil believes that one’s musical diversity is the key to a successful career. After years away, Phil has settled back in Nanaimo, where he continues to be one of Vancouver Island’s busiest drummers. He currently works with award-winning and three-time Juno-nominated children's music performers *The Kerplunks*, as well as the ever popular local-favorites, *Johnny Inappropriate* and *Wunderbread*. 

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PIERRE KOMEN is a Vancouver Island born and raised multi instrumentalist, singer, song writer and performer. He attended the jazz program at Malispina College in 1987 -88 before joining the touring blues / rock group Dave Gogo and the Persuaders.

Pierre is a founding member of the popular dance band, Wunderbread which was established in 1996 and still performs on special occasions today. Working as a front man he is currently with the group, Johnny Inappropriate. His main instrument is the tenor sax and has worked often for various groups as a side man in many different genres, notably The Colin James Band.

For the last 15 years he has been active in the 10 piece jazz band Decadence which is composed of alumni from Malispina College and Vancouver Island University. Other duties include doing studio work as a soloist and in horn sections. Pierre has recently launched a new project that aims it’s focus on roots music such as jazz and blues and is currently working on original material.

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TONY JENKS has toured with several recording acts such as Canadian legend Doug and the Slugs, New Zealand's Rhodes & Marshall (music videos on CMT as well) and B.C.'s Suzanne Gitzi. With these projects he has headlinded shows and opened for the likes of Travis Tritt, Martina McBride, and the late great Johnny Cash.

Tony spends his days teaching his craft to young upcoming musicians while still performing weekly with several club bands on the Vancouver Island music scene.

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KATE RHODES - Born in Victoria, Kate began her early musical studies in London, Ont playing the violin in groups with family and friends. Later, more formal training took place at UWO,Indiana U. Bloomington (BM), Banff School of FIne Arts, and the Cleveland Institute.

She has been a full time member of the Vancouver, Winnipeg Symphonies and plays regularily with the Victoria Symphony, Palm Court Orchestra, Sooke Philharmonic as concertmaster, DieMahler Ensemble as well as directs the Victoria Mandolin Orchestra.

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NATHAN MCKAY is a multi-instrumentalist based in Nanaimo, BC. He has studied and lived across Canada, but calls Vancouver Island home, where he works as a children’s librarian and musician. Fluent in a diversity of styles, he has busied himself making everything from music for yoga studios, jingles for podcasts, pop albums, as well as 17 volumes worth of original Christmas music.

His primary instrumental focus is the keytar, which is widely considered to be the silliest of all keyboards, but he is also fond of other moderately silly instruments, including his electric melodica and his purple trombone.

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MORRISSEY DUNN has been involved in music in some fashion for literally all his life, having been introduced to and tutored on the piano at a very early age by his late father and well known musician, Gerard. After a brief period of music lessons, it was clear music would play a major part in his life and went on to study Conservative Music Theory and Practical.

Over the years, Morrissey has accompanied various artists on guitar and bass, but his true love, and what has been keeping him the busiest for the last while, is the piano.  Moe, as he is known in many circles, continues to be a featured solo performer at many venues in Atlantic Canada (An Evening with Moe Dunn), singing and playing ageless songs from the likes of Billy Joel, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, The Beatles and more.  To add to his performing resume, Morrissey has also found himself fortunate enough to act in several movies, TV specials and documentaries, notably Shattered City, The Halifax Explosion, Black Harbour, Star Track, Bruce Curtis Story and others. 

While performing has been on Moe's resume for a long time, it's not his only passion, as he can be heard weekday afternoons 3-7pm on Jewel Radio (105.1), a nationally broadcast radio format enjoyed by listeners who love their Lite Favorites.  

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TONY BOOKER has worked in the music business for over 50 years as a keyboard player (piano, organ, and accordion), vocalist, conductor, composer and arranger. Besides studying in England and Canada, he also studied in the former Soviet Union and the former Yugoslavia, where he developed his interest in Russian and Balkan music.

Having received a Masters Degree from UVIC, he remained at the School of Music on faculty as an accompanist for 30 years.

His interest in Slavic music led to him becoming conductor of the Victoria Balalaika Orchestra in 1983. In 2000 he formed and directed a choir "Voces Intimae", which specializes in Russian Choral Music. He also sings and plays keyboard with Victoria's most versatile (though predominately Balkan) band "Jamshed"

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GUYONNE LA LOUARN - Born in France on December 27, 1975; In 2001, Guyonne came to the Victoria Conservatory of Music. Guyonne has performed in France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, England, Oman and Canada.

Since her landing in Canada, she is holding multiple teaching positions in violin, viola and chamber music in the Greater Victoria area and Cowichan Valley.

She is the managing partner of Maggie Music LLP, a newly formed music school in Victoria with 12 faculty and 100 students, she is the section head of the Junior Strings section of the GVPAF and the assistant principal viola of the Vancouver Island Symphony and is a free-lance chamber musician and recitalist.

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AARON CURRY  is a bassist born and raised on Vancouver Island. As a young child Aaron watched and listened to his father's band with adornment. Following in his footprints,

Aaron has been playing the bass guitar for well over 30 years. Fully dedicated to the entertainment business, he continues to perform in a vast variety genres and venues. Most of all, he relishes the feeling of the audience connecting to the continuity of his bandmate's collaboration