Adjudicators – Spring 2022 VAM Performance Exams

Meet the adjudicators!


Liz Parker (Junior/Intermediate)

Vancouver-born Liz Parker grew up a musical world consisting of practising, competitions, exams, master classes, and then more practising. While maintaining her piano studio, she pursued a career in music PR and never dreamed she’d find herself coming full circle and being an adjudicator and examiner. She considers it an honour. Liz teaches online from her Toronto studio and encourages her students to develop various interests to best complement their playing.

Liz has adjudicated several festivals based in Ontario and BC, such as the Toronto Kiwanis Festival, the Norfolk Music Festival, the Canada Children’s International Music Festival, the Vancouver Area Youth Arts Festival, and the Pickering GTA Music Festival. Currently, Liz teaches online from her Toronto studio via FaceTime, Skype, and Facebook messenger. Other music career stuff includes being a former blogger for Classical FM, and she continues to style photo shoots for musicians. Away from the keys, Liz experiments with Asian fusion cooking, loves long distance walking, and swings kettlebells (not all at the same time).

Jamie Parker (Senior)

In solo, chamber, and orchestral concerts across Canada, the United States, Europe and Scandinavia, James Parker reveals technical prowess alongside subtle artistry. Celebrated by audiences and critics alike, he has performed with every major Canadian orchestra, and has given recitals across North America. James studied with Lee Kum-Sing at the Vancouver Academy of Music and at the University of British Columbia, where he received his Bachelor of Music degree in 1985. For over a decade, James attended the Banff Centre, studying piano with Marek Jablonski, and chamber music with Lorand Fenyves. James then went to the Juilliard School in New York, studying with legendary pedagogue Adele Marcus, receiving his Master of Music degree in 1987, and his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 1992. During this period, James was a finalist and prize winner in the Montréal International and Gina Bachauer International Piano Competitions. Dr. Parker was an Associate Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University from 1996 until this past year, when he joined the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto as the Rupert E. Edwards Chair in Piano Performance. Jamie is also a member of the Gryphon Trio, one of Canada’s preeminent chamber music ensembles. Well known to CBC listeners, they have been nominated for Juno Awards, have toured many parts of the world, maintain a residency at Music Toronto, commission works from Canada’s best composers, and have just celebrated their 10th Anniversary season.


Fiona Carnie (Junior/Intermediate)

Fiona Carnie is the co-founder of the Amici String Program and currently maintains a large teaching studio and performs often locally while organizing and providing vision for the Amici String Program. Ms. Carnie has guided generations of string players to the fulfillment of their individual goals. Her students perform with major orchestras and teach at major institutions across the country.

In 1989 Fiona Carnie was invited to follow her mentor and much-loved teacher Dr LIse Elson as senior violin instructor in the Academy Program at Mount Royal College. In accepting this position, she interrupted a successful freelance career in Toronto where she played professionally in the National Ballet Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and many other groups.

Her academic credentials include a Bachelor of Music with Distinction from the University of Calgary and a Master of Music from Yale University, where she studied under New York Philharmonic concertmaster, Sidney Harth, and Syoko Aki. In 1996, Ms. Carnie was invited to join the College of Examiners of the Royal Conservatory of Music and she regularly tours Canada as an examiner and festival adjudicator. She recently completed the Rosza Arts Management Program.

William Van der Sloot (Senior)

William van der Sloot is a heralded violinist and teacher whose students have earned acclaim throughout the world. A native of Alberta, Canada, he is a graduate of the University of Calgary and continued his studies at the Eastman School of Music. He has toured extensively across Europe and North America. and is a former member of the Villa Marteau Quintet.

William Van der Sloot is a frequent judge of international competitions, including the Wieniawski International Violin Competition, the Brahms International Chamber Music Competition, the Stradivarius International Violin Competition, the Cooper Competition and the Chengdu International Violin Competition. His students and former students have earned top prizes in the National Music Festival, the Canadian Music Competition, the Menuhin International Violin Competition, the Stradivarius International Violin Competition, the Queen Elizabeth Competition, and the Tchaikovsky Competition, among numerous others. Many of his former students hold positions in major orchestras around the world.

In 2015, William van der Sloot was named an honorary fellow of the Royal Conservatory of Music for his contributions to music education in Canada and abroad. He is a regular guest at Orford Music, Morningside Music Bridge, Valhalla Summer School of Music, and Meadowmount during the summer.

William van der Sloot holds teaching appointments at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Oberlin College and Conservatory, and Mount Royal University in Calgary.


Chris Sandvoss

Chris Sandvoss studied violin with his mother, an early childhood specialist, and viola with the eminent teachers Harold Gomez, John Thompson, and John Lowry. He went on to work with some of the world’s legendary pedagogues, including Gerald Stanick, Hatto Beyerle, Karen Tuttle, Martha Strongin-Katz, and Donald McInnes. Mr. Sandvoss performed and taught at festivals in Europe and North America, and appeared as an orchestra musician, conductor, soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician on stage, radio, TV, and CD. He was the founding violist of the internationally renowned Lands End Ensemble, the 13th St. Trio, and the UCalgary Quartet. Mr. Sandvoss has taught at The University of Calgary and the Mount Royal University Conservatory, where he currently teaches Violin, Viola, Chamber Music, facilitates the Viola Academy/AP Program and conducts the Conservatory Sinfonia.


Hannah Craig (Junior/Intermediate)

Hannah Craig considers it a very distinct privilege to be studying music during a time in which the world requires art with great desperation. Cello has been the crux of Hannah’s life for as long as she can remember, having been born into a family of great musical talent. Prior to attending university she was a scholarship student under the tutelage of her mother, Joowon Kim, and David Hetherington at The Conservatory’s Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists. In 2013, she began her undergraduate studies at McGill University in the studio of Matt Haimovitz. It was during these four years that her love for the cello and her appreciation for its versatility was greatly amplified.

Hannah had the opportunity to be a member of UCCELLO, Haimovitz’s Grammy-nominated cello ensemble in which she performed jazz and rock as well as classical music.
Currently, Hannah is a tenured member of the Victoria Symphony and is
on faculty at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. Hannah Craig plays on a 1920 Bourguignon Belgian Cello, graciously handed down to her from her mother.

Brian Yoon (Senior)

Brian Yoon enjoys a multifaceted career as soloist, chamber musician, teacher and Principal Cello of the Victoria Symphony. He has performed as guest principal with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in New Zealand.

Since winning First Prize at the 35th Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition, Brian has been presented in recital from coast to coast, with performances of repertoire ranging from Bach and Beethoven to Shostakovich and Metallica. He maintains a strong commitment to contemporary music, often programming works from the 21st century. In 2012, CBC Music featured Brian as “Canada’s next cello superstar” with a national broadcast of a recital recorded at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto.

In addition to teaching at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, Brian appears regularly as faculty at summer festivals throughout Canada. His students have been accepted into cello performance programs at the University of Victoria, the University of Ottawa, McGill University, the Glenn Gould School, and the New England Conservatory.


Heidi Elise Bearcroft

M.Mus (Juilliard), B.Mus (Juilliard) Recently hailed by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette as a performer who plays “with a flair that we are coming to know well,” harpist Heidi Van Hoesen Gorton has been described as one of the most outstanding solo, chamber and orchestral musicians of her generation. She has been presented in solo recitals everywhere from New York to Los Angeles, Vancouver to Vienna. She is currently Principal Harp with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and has performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra with maestros Manfred Honeck, Andrew Davis, Marek Janowski, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, Gianandrea Noseda and James Levine. Ms. Van Hoesen earned two degrees in harp performance from The Juilliard School of Music under the tutelage of Nancy Allen, and has also studied with Gretchen Van Hoesen, Anne Marguerite-Michaud and Elizabeth Fontan-Binoche. She has been a member of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony (ID) since 2001, and has been a participant in the Strings Chamber Music Festival (Steamboat Springs, CO), National Repertory Orchestra (Breckenridge, CO), Aspen (CO) Tanglewood (Lenox, MA) andInterlochen (Traverse City, MI).Actively competing in domestic and international competitions, she was awarded first place in the Young Professional Division of the American Harp Society (AHS) National Competition in June of 2009. She has been a winner of the Anne Adams Awards (2010) held in Tacoma, as well as the Victor Salvi Awards (2008) held in Chicago. In 2004, she was winner of the Lennox Young Artist Competition playing Gliere’s Concerto for Harp and Orchestra and the 2005 Juilliard School concerto competition in Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp. In 2004 she was the First Prize winner of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) National Solo Competition. She was invited back to ASTA to be a guest lecturer and master class clinician at the 2012 National Conference in Atlanta, GA. She has been featured twice as a soloist on ‘From the Top’ on NPR. Heidi has taught master-classes in Toronto (University of Toronto), Pittsburgh (Carnegie Mellon University), New Orleans (Tulane University), Charlotte, Denver, San Francisco, Syracuse, and Milwaukee. In 2010 she joined the faculty of the Advanced Chamber Music Seminar Summer Camp in Pittsburgh, PA.Professor Gorton can be reached at [email protected]


Joanna Soh 

Partnered with the Flute Center of New York, Joanna Soh creates livestreams and videos of flute reviews for her YouTube channel, JustAnotherFlutist, of over 45,000 subscribers. She livestreams every practice session she has had since early 2019 on Twitch and enjoys teaching the flute privately to an online studio of students from around the world. Most of all, Joanna loves connecting with other musicians, no matter their skill level, and creating communities that foster a safe environment for thoughtful musical dialogues and discussions.

Joanna holds a master’s degree in flute performance from San Francisco State University under the tutelage of Linda Lukas and previously graduated with a bachelor of music in flute performance from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.


Alain Desgagne

Alain Desgagné won a “Premier Prix” from the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec and later obtained a Master’s and Certificate degrees from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, under the direction of Robert Marcellus. He started his professional career in 1989 with the Victoria Symphony, then became solo clarinet of the Winnipeg Symphony in 1996 and finally, in 2001, he won his current position of “clarinette solo associé” with the “Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal”.

Desgagné has held several positions in summer music festivals around the world. For 15 years he has been on the faculty of the Marrowstone Music Festival in Washington State, he was principal clarinet of the National Orchestra of Italy in 2005, and Principal Clarinet of the New European Chamber Orchestra in Seattle. Alain has been a featured soloist with the Winnipeg Symphony and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.  He is currently a faculty member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and Associate Professor at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University.


Bill Linwood

Bill Linwood studied with renowned percussionist George Gaber at Indiana University and continued his studies with Cloyd Duff (Cleveland Orchestra) and Kurt-Hans Goedicke (London Symphony Orchestra). Bill has been Principal Timpani with the Victoria Symphony since 1982. Since 2000 Bill has been the Percussion Instructor at the University of Victoria. Highlights with the University of Victoria Percussion Ensemble include the Canadian premiere of George Antheil’s Ballet Mécanique (original version 1924), a program dedicated entirely to the music of Edgard Varèse and a collaborative concert with Montreal’s Quasar Quartet.

Bill continues to offer masterclasses and clinics for professionals, students and educators across Canada. He has contributed to several journals including a series of articles for the Canadian Band Journal and is currently the percussion instructor at Powell River’s Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy.