Head of Music
Teacher, Senior School Strings
Junior House Parent, Winslow House
Degree:BMus, AMus, LMus, AVCM (University of Manitoba)
Great musical moments stay with students forever; as a teacher, I am the catalyst for these moments.
Donna began her career as a professional violist and vocalist, singing and playing in and around Winnipeg, in both professional and community projects. She then moved to Alberta where she spent two years in Graduate Studies at the University of Calgary, and summers at the Banff School of Fine Arts, where she was privileged to work with some of the finest musicians of the day. She moved to Victoria in 1987 and was hired to teach voice at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, and violin on Mayne and Galiano Islands. Shortly after, in 1991, she joined SMUS as a strings specialist.
Although a talented professional artist in her own right, Donna finds enormous pleasure in watching the performance, and in facilitating the progress of her students, thus enabling them to achieve what they may not believe is possible.
“One of my proudest achievements has been the growth of the music program at SMUS and knowing that I have been a part of the team that made it happen,” says Donna.
In addition to teaching strings and vocal jazz, Donna, along with Anna Forbes, is the teacher facilitator for the Arts Council. She is also the Music Director of the annual SMUS Summer Musical Theatre Workshop, and she oversees the contemporary music scene at the school. She enjoys staying in touch with many fine musical alumni who are still eking out a living as touring musicians. One such musician is her son Brin, who began his love affair with the bass in Mary Smith’s Grade 4 strings class at the Junior School.
One of the major ways Donna has contributed to the music program is by starting Keep the Beat, an annual music marathon fundraiser for War Child Canada. She has won a SMUS Award for Teaching Excellence twice and is a proud house parent to the girls in Winslow. Outside of the school, Donna loves to perform on local stages, attend local shows and concerts, and spend down time with her pets Jazz and Cleo.