Today's Canadian Music Week feature is Chris Todd who has been a dedicated member in past VCO productions. Remember if you donate this week 50% of funds will go directly to the artists and donations of $50 or more are eligible for tax receipts! Click here to donate.
Chris Todd, a native of Parry Sound, Ontario, just completed his Honours Bachelor of Music, majoring in Music Education and minoring in Chemistry at Wilfrid Laurier University. He has been studying with Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra principal clarinetist, Peter Shackleton since 2013. He was a member of the Wilfrid Laurier Wind Orchestra for the first three years of his degree and a member of the Wilfrid Laurier Symphony Orchestra for his final year. He has been a part of the Vera Causa Opera Orchestra for the past two years, performing in The Death of Maria, Echo, The Daughter of the Regiment, and, most recently, Don Giovanni.
Chris has been playing clarinet since grade 9 and was largely self-taught throughout high school with help from his music teacher Nikki Brown. He also began learning piano in grade 8 under the guidance of William McArton, choirmaster of the Parry Sound Choral Collective which Chris has been a part of since it began in 2005. In 2011, he completed his Royal Conservatory of Music Grade 6 Piano and Advance Rudiments exams obtaining First Class Honours and First Class Honours With Distinction, respectively. Chris was awarded a Gold Medal from the Royal Conservatory of Music for achieving the highest grade on his Grade 8 Clarinet exam in 2013. Throughout high school he was a member of many different honour bands including the Northern Ontario Music Festival All-Star Honour Band in 2011 and 2013, the Ontario Provincial Honour Band in 2011 and 2012, and the Denis Wick Canadian Wind Orchestra in 2012. He was also a member of the pit band for his high school’s production of Roger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.
Since attending Wilfrid Laurier University, he has been an avid participant in a plethora of musical endeavours. Whether it’s a classical piece by Mozart or new works written by student composers, Chris never turns down an opportunity to perform. He has been the principal clarinetist for Vera Causa Opera for the past two years, doubling on e-flat and bass clarinets as well. In February, he performed in Student Budget Productions’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In addition, he has performed in many student composition concerts, often premiering pieces written by the student composers. This year, Chris was a part of the Chamber Music class at Laurier and a member of the wind quintet “Game of Tones” with Jillian Carney, Mark Pinder, Isabelle Marcucci, and Ian Fong. Most recently they premiered a piece written for them, Vignettes, by student composer Sandy Wright.
Collaborating with such passionate and fun musicians has sparked a love for chamber music within him and he hopes to continue to be a part of musical ensembles in the future. He will be attending Nipissing University in the fall for his Bachelor of Education degree in pursuit of becoming a high school music and chemistry teacher. Chris hopes to inspire his students and instill a love for music in them no matter what their future aspirations may be.