Patrick Courtin: Singing in Harmony

Patrick Courtin is a Vancouver Island-based pianist, multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger, and music director/teacher. From his first professional gig accompanying a choir at the age of 14, Patrick has been a career musician. Patrick completed grade 10 piano with the Royal Conservatory of Music at the age of 17, and went on to complete a Bachelor’s Degree of Music in Jazz Studies from Vancouver Island University.

Since graduating, Patrick has taught piano and clarinet lessons to all ages, music directed many theatre productions, played recording sessions, created cinematic music for film, and toured across Canada, the United States and China. Patrick is comfortably at home in many genres of music, having played in professional ensembles in jazz, classical, rock, funk and musical theatre.

Selected favourite experience includes the following: many years performing and recording with, and arranging music for the celebrated tenor, Ken Lavigne (founding member of the Three Canadian Tenors). As well, for the last 7 years Patrick has been a musical director, pianist and historical interpreter at the Theatre Royal in Barkerville Historic Town and Park. Patrick also leads his own bands – primarily the Mahogany Swing Band, a collaboration with vocalist Simon Paterson and a revolving cast of instrumentalists. Together they have hosted swing dances, Christmas concerts, performed on innumerable stages and recorded a debut album.

Trish Horrocks: Colliery

Trish Horrocks grew up on Vancouver Island and feels very fortunate to be a part of Nanaimo’s wonderful music community. Community-based music education is the thing that moves Trish the very most. She taught violin and viola for several years in Alberta and Ontario before opening her teaching studio in Nanaimo in 2002. Trish also spent several years teaching strings to children in remote fly-in communities in the Northwest Territories and the Yukon. She is the founder and co-director of two local community string ensembles including Fiddelium, an award-winning  youth fiddle group.

In recognition of their community education work, Trish and her husband Geoff were the recipients of the City of Nanaimo Honour in Culture Award in 2020. As a composer and arranger, Trish has created hundreds of classical, pop and folk string ensemble arrangements for groups across Canada. However, arranging for community choirs was a new experience, one that was very rewarding and more than a little humbling! 

Nico Rhodes:

Angels Do
Love is Love
Singin’ On      

Nico Rhodes is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and instructor who inhabits all styles, eras, and genres of music. Having begun his studies on piano at the age of 3, Nico committed himself to music from the very beginning. By the age of 16, Nico had won several classical and jazz competitions, including being invited to perform with the Yamaha National Jazz Band on both piano and saxophone. At 17, he began his professional career working in pit orchestras for musical theatre as a side-man and as a musical director. By the age of 30, Nico has now conducted and arranged over 40 professional musicals across Canada. 

Along the way Nico has received several awards and recognitions. This includes several top 3 placements in international jazz competitions, multiple Ovation Theatre Award nominations, two Jesse Award nominations, and a SATA award nomination (for musical direction and arranging). Recently, Nico was awarded the Emerging Cultural Leader Award from the City of Nanaimo. 

Aside from theatre, Nico is active both as a recording side man, a choral director, an arranger and composer and a performer in his own right. With three original musicals to his name, several dozen recording credits (Piano/Sax/Clarinet/Vocals) with artists like Juno Award winning song writer Rick Scott, Jesse Award Winning chanteuse Joelle Rabu, local blues and country artists and many more. Nico’s original compositions and arrangements number in the hundreds including choral works, two symphonic pop shows, chamber works and a portfolio of over 75+ original commissioned cinematic works. Meanwhile, Nico has also developed his own historic-musical show “The Art of Ragtime” in which the audience is given a century long journey through this classic American music. 

An avid believer in the joy of sharing experience and knowledge, Nico teaches piano, woodwinds, music-theory and arranging to a variety of ages and skill levels. Having being blessed with incredible teachers, Nico strives to engage any and all students with fun, disciplined and insightful lessons that delve into everything from synthesizer design to string quartet writing.

Kenton Willem:

Somewhere on the Island

Kenton Willem is a saxophonist, pianist, flutist and composer/arranger from Nanaimo, British Columbia. He started his musical interests learning the saxophone at the age of 10, and soon after, he began performing and composing through Nanaimo’s Wellington Jazz Academy program. In his 15+ years of experience playing music and learning from masters, he has been recognized all over North America for his work and talents.

Some of his most notable accomplishments include receiving a Downbeat Magazine Composition Award, winning California’s Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival Outstanding Ensemble category and Outstanding Soloist category, and being the first Canadian to receive the full-tuition Jimmy Lyons Scholarship to Berklee College of Music. Kenton is currently teaching at the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music and performing with various groups throughout the year, including Skye Douglas Project, and the NMA (Nanaimo Musicians Association) Big Band.