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Strings Program: August 6-11th 2017

Orchestra North offers instruction in violin, viola, cello, bass for musicians aged 8 to adult, with ensembles for all levels including beginners. Perform and study with renowned faculty for a week of symphony orchestra, chamber music, workshops, and concerts. Advanced students may be invited to perform in the Orchestra North Symphony alongside our guest artists.

General Festival Information:

Orchestra North will be held from Sunday August 6 to Friday August 11, 2017, with the exciting “Spirit of the North” festival of concerts August 10-12 in beautiful Smithers, BC. Program and event times and locations are subject to change.

Sunday August 6th: Registration Day at NWCC
4:00-6:30pm Registration, auditions
5:30-6:45pm Free BBQ
7:00pm Faculty introductions and mini-concert 

Monday – Thursday:
Regular Programs: 9:30am-3:45pm
Orchestra North Symphony Orchestra: 6:00-8:00pm


Concerts and Events:

(For more information visit our events calendar)

Sunday August 6th:
7:00pm Faculty introductions and mini-concert 

Thursday August 10th:
12:30-1:30pm Classics on Main
6:00pm Soloist Concert
7:00pm Turning Point Ensemble Concert

Friday August 11th:
12:30pm Chamber Orchestra Concert
6:00pm Orchestra North Chamber Showcase
7:00pm Orchestra North Symphonic Finale

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Mary Sokol Brown, Violin

Active as both a performer and teacher, Mary Sokol Brown holds a prominent position in the first violins of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and has been featured as a soloist with the orchestra several times.

As a chamber musician, she performs extensively with many of Vancouver’s well-known ensembles including the Vetta Recital Series, Music in the Morning and the Turning Point Ensemble.

A musical high point for Mary has been her involvement as a founding member of Trio Accord. This dynamic string trio has served both as performers and clinicians throughout BC, and has been featured numerous times on CBC radio.

As part of her commitment to the communities’ musical life, Mary has played a leading role in the development of chamber music seminars which are held in some of BC’s most beautiful settings. Traveling extensively to work with young musicians, adult amateurs and community-based ensembles, Mary appears regularly at the Naramata and Gabriola String Ensemble retreats and has an association with Kelowna’s Festival of the Arts. She has also conducted many orchestral and chamber workshops with the Terrace Symphony.

During the summer months, Mary performs and teaches at music festivals. These have included Festival Vancouver, Courtenay International Youth Festival, West Coast Amateur Music Society, Bellingham International Festival, Marrowstone Music Festival, and the Midsummer Music Retreat. Typically, at these festivals and as part of her teaching, Mary performs in faculty concerts for the education of the attendees and the entertainment of the general public.

It is through these initiatives that Mary continues to realize her musical ambitions, and share with her audiences her passionate commitment to the violin.

kent pixilated headshotKent Dykstra, Violin (M.Ed, B.Ed)

Kent Dykstra was born and raised in the beautiful Bulkley Valley and trained as a youth in both violin and piano.

A strong proponent about music’s powerful place in community, Kent built a multi-faceted band program in Edmonton at Parkwood Immanuel Christian School from 2000 to 2008, eventually sending students to perform across BC, Manitoba, and Ontario.

Kent co-directs Reformed String Camp with his sister Roxi Dykstra, which is running its 11th season, has directed numerous tours and mass band and choir events across Canada, and enjoys working as church organist and choir director. Kent is currently a music teacher and principal at Credo Christian High School in Langley, BC and is the former music teacher and principal at William of Orange Christian School in Cloverdale, BC.

Kent’s passion is composing and arranging music for his students, for both band and stringed instruments, especially based upon the Genevan Psalms. In 2009 and 2014, he released CDs of Genevan Psalms arranged for string orchestra and has been commissioned to write music for numerous ensembles and events.

Roxi Dykstra, Smithers Artistic Director, Violin, Viola (ARCT in piano, Royal Conservatory of Toronto, BA, Trinity Western University, MMus, Université de Montréal, Prix de Master CNSMD)

Roxi Dykstra is a multi-faceted musician who is known for her enthusiasm, musical depth and versatility, working as professional violist, pianist and director. Her solo, chamber and orchestral work has taken her across Canada and Europe, into Turkey and Australia. Roxi’s performance work in Italy earned her the recognition at the Conservatorio di Musica in Milan for solo and chamber music, and was awarded the highest performance degree in France with excellence in 2011.

Roxi balances a busy performing schedule around British Columbia and across the world, frequently traveling nationally and internationally for her work as a solo and orchestral violist, including regular work with the Vancouver, Toronto, Okanagan, and Portuguese National Symphony orchestras. She maintains a base in northern BC, investing herself as artistic director of both Orchestra North Summer Program and Smithers’ vibrant Spirit of the North Classical Music Festival, teaching masterclasses, and adjudicating.

Roxi is passionate about bringing musical quality and enthusiasm to BC’s north. She is active across the north as an adjudicator, directing various projects and workshops, including founding and co-directing the Orchestra North Summer Program. She is thrilled to be helping bring together musicians from across the north of BC to establish relationships and experience the joy of collaboration and the art of music.

Sebastian ONSP 2014 photoSebastian Ostertag, Cello (MMus, Artist Diploma)

Sebastian likes music. All different kinds, whether it’s Haydn or Hip hop. Raised in Owen Sound Ontario, He received a Bachelors of Music Degree in performance from Western University. Further training included an Artist Diploma at the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music with Paul Widner, where he performed in concerts directed by such esteemed conductors as Mario Bernardi, Johannes Debus, Leon Fleisher and Peter Oundjian. From 2010-2013, he was principle cellist of the Prince George Symphony Orchestra.

As a soloist Sebastian has performed with the Georgian Bay and Prince George Symphony Orchestras, Northern Orchestra British Columbia, the Kincardine Summer Music Festival Orchestra, and on CBC Radio and Classical 96.3 FM. Chamber music performances have included the Banff Centre Chamber Music Residency, Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, and the Sweetwater Music Festival.

Classically trained, Sebastian has also performed with many of Canada’s leading popular musicians. He recorded on Basia Bulat’s Polaris Prize nominated records Oh My Darling, and Heart of My Own, and performed at the Ottawa Blues Festival, the Osheaga Festival Musique et Arts, and throughout Europe. Sebastian can also be heard on ShadK’s Polaris Prize nominated album The Old Prince, JUNO award winning record TSOL, and Cadence Weapon’s critically acclaimed disc Hope In Dirt City.   He recently completed his Masters of Music in performance at the University of Toronto, studying with acclaimed cellists Shauna Rolston and Joseph Johnson.

David Brown, Bass

Bassist David Brown has been a member of Vancouver’s professional music community for thirty years. He has performed with almost all the musical organizations (Masterpiece Music, Curio, Music in the Morning, Vancouver New Music, Vancouver Children’s Festival, Vancouver Chamber Choir, Festival Vancouver, Vancouver Jazz Festival, Cantata Singers, UBC Recital Series, Vetta Chamber Music, Turning Point Ensemble, VSO) in existence during this time. In addition to live performance David has extensive film and commercial recording experience. He has toured with The Three Tenors and the Winnipeg Ballet.

A committed teacher he instructs both privately and has taught at most of the music performance departments (UBC, Capilano College, Kwantlen, VCC) in the lower mainland. During the summers he has performed at the Grand Teton, Sitka, Hornby Is. and Courtenay Music Festivals.

A recipient of two Canada Council Arts Grants, which enabled his studies at the Juilliard School, David has been a member of the Vancouver Symphony since 1978 and Principal Bass of the CBC Radio Orchestra since 2004. David enjoys a wide variety of musical opportunities and has a particular interest in small ensemble settings of a chamber music or improvisational nature.

General Festival Information:

Orchestra North will be held from Sunday August 6 to Friday August 11, 2017, with the exciting “Spirit of the North” festival of concerts August 10-12 in beautiful Smithers, BC

2017 Fees: Strings, Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion, and Composition:

Registration until May 1st: $250.00
Registration after May 1st: $299.00
Early Bird (until May 1st) Family discounts:
2 family members: $375.00
3 family members: $500.00
(after May 1 other fees will apply)

Orchestra North strives to be accessible to all musicians.  For financial aid, scholarships and bursaries, please email 

Click Here to Register for Orchestra North 2017