Gillian brings the highest levels of training, experience, creative professionalism and a love of children and community engagement to her role as the VSO School of Music’s Early Years Department Director, responsible for coordinating and developing a diversity of high-quality programs for the school’s youngest students. Gillian returns to her native Vancouver after 13 years of studying, working and performing in the UK to assume her new role with the VSO School in March of 2017.
A graduate of the University of British Columbia (BMus in Voice and Violin), Gillian followed her passion for music education to the UK, completing a Masters in Music Education Research at the University of Cambridge, with a specialized area of focus on methods and techniques of music instruction for young children.
After completing her degree, Gillian worked with local government in and around Cambridge, England, to develop arts infrastructure, and support and direct a variety of arts programs, including teaching private and group violin lessons and as acting artistic director and manager of a musical theatre school for young children. From 2010-2017, Gillian served as the Education Manager for the City of London Sinfonia (CLS), a professional chamber orchestra renowned for its outstanding and innovative educational outreach projects. Under her leadership at CLS, the education program grew exponentially and now holds a strong international reputation for its high quality work with children. Adding to her 20-year teaching and administrative experience, Gillian completed Colourstrings training in Edinburgh in 2017.
Throughout her work in the music education field, Gillian has remained a keen performer, as a professional violist and singer in a variety of groups across the UK. Most recently, she has performed as part of a London based-string quartet, as well as singing and playing for a touring contemporary folk band. Gillian is a mother to two young children, whom she hopes will be budding Early Years musicians at the VSO School of Music.