Gillian Hunter-Gibbs, host
Gillian Hunter-Gibbs brings her love of classical music, teaching and fun to the VSO’s Little Kids Concerts. A Vancouver native, Gillian studied voice and violin at UBC before moving to the UK where she completed a master's degree in Music Education at Cambridge University. Following her studies, Gillian worked in arts administration and education in the UK for 12 years, most recently running the renowned education program for City of London Sinfonia, before returning to her hometown of Vancouver to take up a position at the VSO School of Music in 2017. The flagship programs she spearheaded at City of London Sinfonia focused on the areas of Early Childhood Music Education, developing a series of workshops and concerts for ages 0-5 which toured the UK, as well as health and wellness, bringing musicians into hospitals, care homes and hospices in London and beyond.
Gillian is an experienced Early Childhood Music Educator, having taught music classes to hundreds of children from newborns to age 6, as well as private violin teaching to young children. She believes in a child centered approach to learning, encompassing the best of respected music education methodologies including Kodaly, Suzuki, Orff, Dalcroze and Colourstrings, preparing even the youngest students for a lifelong love of music, something she has brought to the VSO School of Music’s Early Years program.
Gillian currently serves as Director of the VSO School of Music, a role which allows her to be involved in every aspect of the School, from babies to seniors, classical to jazz and world music. Gillian believes passionately in music education in its broadest sense – it’s never too early or too late! In addition to her work and musical pursuits, Gillian is mom to two young children, 6-year-old Ellie and 3-year-old Myles, both budding young music lovers!
Rosanne Wieringa, Flute - Michael & Estelle Jacobson Chair
Rosanne has held the position of Second Flute with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra since 2004. Before moving to Vancouver, Rosanne lived in Saskatchewan where she was the Principal Flute with the Regina Symphony Orchestra and taught at the Conservatory of Performing Arts and the University of Regina.
An active solo and chamber musician, Rosanne has appeared as a soloist with the Regina Symphony, the Georgian Bay Symphony and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. She has been a member of the Vancouver based Admare Wind Quintet since 2007, and has frequently performed in the Sweetwater Music Festival in Owen Sound, Ontario and the Gros Morne Summer Music festival in Newfoundland. Rosanne maintains a busy teaching studio for all ages at home and at the VSO School of Music. Her two young daughters, Grace and Lily, have recently inspired her to learn more about early childhood music education, including the Colourstrings and Colour Flute teaching methods.
Rosanne received her formal training from the University of Toronto, the Glenn Gould Professional School, and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Her teachers have included Jeanne Baxtresser, Nora Shulman and Kathleen Rudolph, former Associate Principal Flute and Piccolo with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
Andrew Poirier, trombone
Andrew Poirier joined the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in January of 2020 in the position of Second Trombone. Andrew hails from Lewisporte, Newfoundland and began his musical studies in the Salvation Army. After earning a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of British Columbia, he continued his education at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music earning a Master of Music Degree in Orchestral Performance. Andrew has studied with legendary trombonists Mark Lawrence, Gordon Cherry and Kenneth Knowles.
Andrew is a founding member of the touring Canadian Trombone Quintet iTromboni and has been a very active freelance musician in the Vancouver area, performing regularly with the VSO, the Arts Club Theater Company, and the Vancouver Island Symphony. Andrew is also the Low Brass Instructor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. He co-found the Vancouver Brass Orchestra which held its first concert in September 2019 and has an exciting Video EP debuting this Fall.
Andrew loves exploring our great country with his wife Natalie and daughter Annie, especially the mountains, oceans, and forests.
Cristian Márkos, Cello - Tim Wyman and Susan Gabe Chair
Romanian-Canadian cellist Cristian Márkos has been a member of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra since 1999. Born in Iași, Romania, Cristian earned his B.Mus in Music Performance from the Music Academy in Bucharest, Romania. He went on to the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee for post-graduate studies with Mr. Wolfgang Laufer, late cellist of the renowned Fine Arts Quartet.
Wanting to experience a ‘true’ Canadian winter, Cristian sat as Associate Principal Cellist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for the 2012-2013 concert season. As an accomplished symphony and chamber musician, he has toured with the Mont Blanc Symphony Orchestra under the baton of the late Maestro/cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, and as a soloist Cristian has performed on stages in Romania, France, Germany, Austria, Greece, Italy, United States, and Canada.
In addition to performing, Cristian is also a dedicated teacher and clinician and maintains vibrant private teaching studios at the VSO’s new School of Music and the Vancouver Academy of Music.
Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1919, the Grammy and Juno-award winning Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is the third largest orchestra in Canada, the largest arts organization in Western Canada, and one of the few orchestras in the world to have its own music school.
Led by Music Director Otto Tausk since 2018, the VSO performs more than 150 concerts each year, throughout Vancouver and the province of British Columbia, reaching over 270,000 people annually. Our extensive education and community engagement programs reach tens of thousands more. On tour the VSO has performed in the United States, China, Korea, Japan and across Canada.
The orchestra presents passionate, high-quality performances of classical, popular and culturally diverse music, creating meaningful engagement with audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
Recent guest artists include Daniil Trifonov, Dawn Upshaw, James Ehnes, Adrianne Pieczonka, Gidon Kremer, Renée Fleming, Yefim Bronfman, Itzhak Perlman, Bernadette Peters, Tan Dun, and more.
For the 2020-21 season the VSO has created the innovative streaming service TheConcertHall.ca, a virtual home for a virtual season, where more than forty performances will be released throughout the year.