Orchestra North Academy Residency Ensemble Artists
Roxi Dykstra (Masters, Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et Dance Lyon, France, M.Mus. Univ. de Montréal, ARCT Piano) has been working as a professional musician since 2004. She held the principal viola position of the Prince George Symphony for three years, an assistant principal viola position in the Orquestra do Norte in Portugal, and a permanent full-time position at the National Portuguese Orchestra (with the national opera at the historic Teatro Sao Carlo). She performs chamber, orchestral, and solo work across Europe and Canada, including with the Vancouver, Toronto and Okanagan symphonies and with chamber ensembles in the area, and most recently, has been filling in for concertmaster for the Prince George Symphony.
An enthusiastic northerner, Roxi works hard to promote musical opportunities and musical excellence in the north. She is the founder and co-director of the Orchestra North Summer Program, and director of its Academy program, which is committed to developing professional development opportunities for northern professionals and emerging artists from across BC.
Roxi has extensive experience as a teacher, director and workshop host- she has been a Royal Conservatory of Music instructor for over 15 years, adjudicates with the British Columbia Performing Arts Festival Association, as well as on many occasions directed bands, choirs and orchestras, including most recently in 2021, a production of Peter and the Wolf with the Prince George Symphony Orchestra. She is artistic director of the Spirit of the North Classical Music Festival which typically brings dozens of classical concerts annually in August to Smithers and area. Roxi is a current doctoral candidate at the Kunstuniversitat Graz, Austria.
Violinist, Erin James, is equally at home as a chamber musician, soloist and orchestral player. She holds a masters degree from the Royal College of Music in London and her performances have been aired on CBC Radio and taken her across Asia, Europe and North America. Erin’s musical interests range from
baroque to contemporary and she thoroughly enjoys any piece that is singable or danceable. Erin has performed at the Music By the Sea festival, played with the Vancouver and Edmonton Symphonies and with the Vancouver Opera and Allegra Chamber Orchestras. Erin is currently pursuing her doctorate in violin performance as well as a degree in fashion design and her thesis work combining textiles and music has been fully funded by a Bombardier SSHRC grant. A Pocket Concert in Toronto is one of several upcoming performances and a Johann Strauss Foundation scholarship to pursue studies in Austria is the most recent in her collection of numerous scholarships and grants.
Julien Haynes is an emerging musician based in Victoria BC. An accomplished violinist, Julien has had the great opportunity to perform as soloist with the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra, play numerous concerts as a member of the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and lead the University of Victoria Symphony Orchestra as concertmaster. Upon completing his BMus in Violin Performance (UVIC 2021), Julien picked up the viola and was captivated by its warm and intimate sound. Within months, Julien progressed to the final round of an online international musical competition (NAVIMC) and now plans on continuing his Viola studies with a Master’s Program at UVIC.
Viola & Composer-in-residence
CMC associate composer and violist, Thomas Beckman serves as Festival composer for the Artists for Conservation, in-house-composer for Mills Pictures Studios and acting principal violist for the Prince George Symphony orchestra. His projects have varied widely from independent film scores, to concert music, and to educational multimedia shows for the Vancouver Maritime Museum and the H.R. MacMillan Centre. As composer he’s received performances of his work by such groups as the Borealis String Quartet, the Postmodern Camerata, the Vancouver Symphony, the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra and the PGSO. Recent compositions consist of Caulfield in the Cape Suite and the St Roch Suite, both commissioned and premiered by the PGSO under Michael Hall. In 2018, Thomas released ‘Life in the Universe’ featuring the Borealis String Quartet through Redshift Records. When not composing or performing, Thomas writes fictional stories and is currently half way through the Creative Writing course at Langara College.
Cello & Composer-in-residence
Nicholas Denton Protsack is an emerging composer and concert cellist, originally from Kelowna, BC. His creative work often explores connections between music and the natural world. Nicholas’ compositions have been receiving increasing national and international recognition over the past few years. Most recently, his work Into this Fracturing Land (for cello and electronic media) was the recipient of a prestigious BMI Foundation Student Composer Award (2021), and his orchestral work Vision of a Flaxen Sea was a recipient of the James Highsmith Award (2019).
Nicholas is currently undertaking a PhD in music at Victoria University of Wellington, studying with composers Michael Norris and Dugal McKinnon. His other major teachers have included David Garner (composition), Jean-Michel Fonteneau (cello), and Jennifer Culp (cello).
As a cellist, Nicholas is an active freelance performer and advocate of new music—often performing works by his colleagues, as well as his own. He has also appeared as a soloist with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra.
Collaborating Musicians with the 2021 Academy Residency Program
Originally from Calgary, Ken spent over twenty years in Toronto as a musician and arts administrator, having originally moved there to complete his Masters in flute performance at the University of Toronto. He recently moved to BC to become the new Executive Director of the Prince George Symphony Orchestra.
Ken is particularly fond of chamber music, and has appeared in concerts in Ontario, Alberta, and Europe. He has also performed in recitals, various orchestras, and with the Canadian Children’s Opera Company, where he worked for many years.
With eclectic musical tastes, Ken enjoys playing music from Medieval to modern, and has performed on many different instruments, including medieval gemshorn, tin whistle, and fife, in addition to the modern flute and piccolo. A passionate believer in the storytelling power of music, he especially enjoys working with artists in other disciplines to create immersive experiences and to bring new relevance to older pieces.
Ken is thrilled to have this opportunity to meet and collaborate with musicians in his new home in Northern BC.
Kiri Daust fell in love with the violin at age 5 at his first fiddle camp. He has been nurtured by many wonderful teachers in the Bulkley Valley, and has played with a variety of fiddle, chamber, Klezmer and folk groups. He is well known on the festival circuit for his passion and energy, and often plays with Mark Perry. He particularly enjoys classical music and has been concertmaster of the Smithers Community String Orchestra and an import musician and guest soloist with the Prince George Symphony Orchestra. In 2014, he spent an incredible summer touring Canada with the National Youth Orchestra. Kiri also enjoys composing and was privileged to have his violin and viola concerto performed at the Orchestra North Summer Program in 2015. Currently, Kiri is completing a science degree at UVic, and is excited for this opportunity to play some amazing chamber music!
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.
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.