Composition Program

Composition Mentorship

Composition Mentorship Program

Orchestra North Smithers is pleased to announce the 2017 Northern Composition Mentorship in collaboration with Turning Point Ensemble’s acclaimed “Creating Composers”program.

Accepted applicants will be given the chance to work under the guidance of celebrated composer Rodney Sharman on a composition to be performed during the festival.   This exciting new program is open to composers of all ages, who are interested in furthering their compositional skills.

Chosen applicants are highly recommended to take part in the instrumental section of Orchestra North.

For more more information, email:

2017 Orchestra North Composition Mentor

Rodney Sharman is Composer-in-Residence of Early Music Vancouver’s “New Music for Old Instruments”. He has been Composer-in-Residence of the Victoria Symphony, the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. In addition to concert music, Rodney Sharman writes music for cabaret, opera and dance. He works regularly with choreographer James Kudelka, for whom he has written scores for Oregon Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet and Coleman Lemieux Compagnie (Toronto). Sharman was awarded First Prize in the 1984 CBC Competition for Young Composers and the 1990 Kranichsteiner Prize in Music, Darmstadt, Germany. His score for the dance-opera From The House Of Mirth won the 2013 Dora Mavor Moore Award for outstanding sound design/composition (choreography by James Kudelka, text by Alex Poch Goldin after Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth). 


Rodney Sharman has been mentor for a generation of young composers in Prince George, Victoria, Vancouver, North Vancouver and Langley through Turning Point Ensemble’s “Creating Composers”, the Canadian Music Centre’s “Composer in the Classroom”, the Victoria Symphony’s “New Explorations Workshop” (vsNEW), St James Academy, Seycove Secondary, and West Point Grey Academy. His pieces for beginner and intermediate performers are part of the Royal Conservatory of Music and Bavarian Music Schools’ syllabus for harp, published by the Avondale Press. His pieces for low brass are used in beginner brass classes throughout Canada and England. His music for beginner and intermediate piano is published by the Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music (London).

Turning Point Ensemble: Nurturing Lifelong Musical Expression Through Composition

Creating Composers, first initiated in 2005 by Turning Point Ensemble (TPE) with Burnaby Central Secondary, provides an opportunity for primary and secondary school students to experience the world of music through creation. With Creating Composers TPE members act as resource performers – encouraging and facilitating young composers to express their musical ideas, nurturing their role as a creative artist, an effective communicator, and valued citizen.   

Turning Point Ensemble in its full compliment is a chamber orchestra of 16 of British Columbia’s most accomplished instrumentalists, who individually also perform with the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Microcosmos String Quartet, Couloir Duo, Philharmonia Orchestra of London (England), and as featured soloists in festivals in Canada and internationally.  The ensemble was recently awarded for its “Artistic Excellence” by the Canadian Music Centre, and previously won the Rio Tinto Alcan Award (Music).  The ensemble’s most recent recording, Thirst, a collaboration with vocal ensemble musica intima, was nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award.  What separates Turning Point Ensemble from other ensembles in BC is its interest and success in large scale interdisciplinary and intercultural projects that range from creating new work in collaboration with Ballet BC (twice), creating new video/music work with Stan Douglas and other members of Vancouver’s visual arts community, to presenting a full scale opera project in collaboration with Westbank First Nation and Astrolab Musiktheatre entitled “The Lake/N-ha-a-itk”.    

The focus of the educational programming of Turning Point Ensemble has been to inspire new creation. It is important to appreciate that the focus of music education is primarily either as a performer or listener.  While the experience and skills that students acquire accessing music in these ways are necessary and wonderful, they rarely have the opportunity to express themselves notating original creative ideas.  Composition provides a path into this creative world.  With TPE’s educational programs, selected ensemble members help ensure that each student’s inner voice is nurtured, and their ability to articulate their imagination such that a professional musician is able to understand it meaningfully is increased.  The building relationship between Turning Point Ensemble members and the young composers of Orchestra North is guided by the same design template that TPE uses with the professional composers with whom we develop new work for our full ensemble.

Turning Point Ensemble wishes to acknowledge the wonderful educational leadership of Orchestra North Artistic Director Roxi Dykstra, who has organized this special class of young composers with whom we are thrilled to be creating music.  This project is only possible with the financial support of all Turning Point’s government, foundation, and individual supporters.   

Martha Lou Henley Charitable Foundation

2016 Mentor
Imant Raminsh

2016 Composers
Kiri Daust
Nicholas Denton
Judith Souman
Brent Yoder
Kaia Andal
Luke Ongman