Domagoj Ivanovic – Classical Program Director, Violin

Currently the Co-Head of the Violin Department at Vancouver Academy of Music, Domagoj Ivanovic moved to Canada in 2007, after graduating with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Violin Performance at the University of Miami, where he held a post of a Teaching Assistant, as well as served as an Assistant Concertmaster for the Miami Symphony Orchestra.

As a performer he has shared the stage with some of the top ensembles in Vancouver, such as the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Opera Orchestra, and Turning Point Ensemble. He also adjudicated a number of festivals and competitions, such as the North Shore Music Festival, Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, Surrey Youth Symphony Concerto Competition, and University of British Columbia Concerto Competition, to name a few.

Originally from Zagreb, Croatia, he began studying violin at the age of seven. During his studies he was the recipient of numerous prizes and awards in violin competitions at the national and international level, the most important being First Prize in the National Violin competition and First Prize in the National Chamber Music competition.

As a soloist he appeared with several orchestras, most notably with the Zagreb Philharmonic orchestra, and the Miami Symphony orchestra. Described as a player with “clear technique and great sensitivity” he has performed all over Europe and North America, as well as China, Taiwan and Singapore.

Ben Goheen - Junior Strings Director, Cello

Ben Goheen holds his MMus degree in cello performance from UBC, where he graduated in 2008. Since then he has enjoyed performing with several symphonies in BC’s lower mainland including Vancouver Symphony Orchestra as well as Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Symphony.

He loves performing with a wide variety of chamber ensembles including the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra and his own Trio Amitié; and as an active soloist, he has enjoyed the opportunity to perform for a season with Ballet de Printemps, for festivals such as Vancouver’s Sonic Boom, and for countless concerts and studio recordings. As an instructor of over ten years, Ben has been on faculty for several music schools, including Surrey (Studio G Music), Langley (LCMS), Abbotsford (CVAM), and as far as Lillooet (Fountainview Academy). He has also been a dynamic coach and guest conductor with several ensembles including Surrey Youth Symphony and Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra, and has been on faculty for various summer music camps.

Ben continues to appreciate the camaraderie that develops from the time and energy devoted to all things music — with both professionals and students alike. When he is not practising or performing, he loves spending time in the garden or doing just about anything with his wife and growing family.

Ben Goheen

Noel McRobbie - Piano

Born in Winnipeg, Canada, pianist Noel McRobbie first received national attention after receiving top prize at the Eckhardt-Grammatté Piano Competition. In addition, he has received prizes at the CBC Début Concert Artist Series, Grand Konzerteum International Piano Competition, Seiler International Piano Competition, and the University of Michigan Concerto Competition.

Noel’s solo performances include the Steinway Series at the University of South Florida, Vancouver Chopin Society, Eastport Arts Centre in Maine, Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, Seoul Arts Centre, and the Asian Composers League at Sejong Chamber Hall. As concerto soloist, he has performed with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Bulgarian Chamber Orchestra, Jeonju Philharmonic Orchestra, Westcoast Symphony, University of Michigan Philharmonia, Dongduk Women’s University Symphony Orchestra and the New Westminster Symphony. Recent performances include the Victoria Conservatory of Music Summer Piano Academy, Turning Point Ensemble, and Canadian Music Centre Concert Series. His performances have been broadcast on CBC radio, and he was featured in International Piano magazine and KBS television’s Classic Odyssey.

For many years, Noel was a student of Lee Kum-Sing at the Vancouver Academy of Music and the University of British Columbia, where he received an Artist Diploma and Bachelor of Music respectively. Other teachers include Arthur Greene, Patricia Zander, and Svetozar Ivanov. He received a Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Pedagogy and Performance from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Music from the New England Conservatory. Previously Noel was Assistant Professor of Piano at Dongduk Women’s University in Seoul, South Korea, and faculty member at the Summer Music Festival for the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest and the St. Andrews Piano Festival in New Brunswick. Currently he teaches at the Vancouver Academy of Music, where he is on the college faculty.

Beth Nickel - Viola, Violin

Beth Nickel is active as a free-lance violist and plays with many professional orchestras and ensembles in the Lower Mainland. Beth has taught violin, viola, Suzuki groups, and chamber groups for over 20 years. She maintains a diverse studio of ages and levels and enjoys seeing her students develop their musical talents. In addition to her private music studio, she also teaches at Bakerview Music Academy. As a way to further support the musical students of her community, she is the chair of the Abbotsford Music Festival. Beth received her Bachelor and Master’s degrees from the University of British Columbia with a major in viola performance. She was fortunate to study primarily with Gerald Stanick and David Harding. Her early studies were with William van der Sloot on violin in Medicine Hat, AB. Beth resides in Abbotsford with her husband Joel and their three children Elijah, Katie, and Ethan.

Helena Jung - Cello

helena Jung

Helena Jung has had a diverse career as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, and teacher in Vancouver Island, B.C. She vigorously pursues an eclectic repertoire, having performed with many well-known pianists such as Sarah Hagen, Lynn Robinson, Dagmar Kilian, Linda Lee Thomas, Glen Montgomery and Sean Mooney, as well as with the Vancouver Island Symphony since 2005. Helena received her BMus and MMus from Ewha University in Seoul, Korea, and has performed with the Jeunesses Musical World Orchestra as a member, the Seoul Youth Philharmonic Orchestra and the Gyeonggi Provincial Philharmonic Orchestra as a principal.

As well, she joined various musical programs, such as the Ratzeburger Sommer Akademie Festival in Germany and the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. She has appeared as a soloist with the Seoul Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ewha University symphony Orchestra, the Gyeonggi Provincial Philharmonic Orchestra in Korea, and the Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra.

Helena is a member of the Comox Valley Piano Society and BC Registered Teachers Music Association. Furthermore, she plays with the Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra, the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, the Island Baroque Ensemble, and is the leader of Vancouver Island Cello Ensemble. Also, she has annually held her own cello recital series;“Cellobration” and her students` concerts ; ” Hello,Cello!”, since 2007.

For more information, please visit helenajung.com.

Melina Ivanovic - Violin, Viola (Junior Strings)

Melina Ivanovic was born and raised in West Vancouver and began playing violin at the age of three. Her studies brought her to the University of Miami where she was awarded a scholarship to complete her Bachelor's of Music in Violin Performance and her Master's of Music in Viola Performance. Melina has performed as soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral musician in Canada, the United States, and Europe.  She was a regular violinist and violist with ensembles including the Miami Symphony Orchestra, the Florida Classical Orchestra, and Divertimento String Quartet. Melina is also an experienced teacher, having taught privately and at schools for the last fifteen years. While in Miami she helped establish a violin program at Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart and taught group violin classes to all of the students in Kindergarten and Grade One. She was a teaching assistant at the University of Miami and taught private lessons and undergraduate classes. She was also a teacher for the University’s “Strings for Kids” program through which she taught private and group classes. Melina’s passion for teaching led to her return to Vancouver and her studies at the University of British Columbia in the faculty of education. Currently she teaches music at St. Helen's Elementary school and maintains a private studio in Vancouver and West Vancouver.


Sean Mooney, Choir Accompanist

Sean Mooney

Sean Mooney has been accompanying choirs, collaborating with other musicians, and teaching piano in the Comox Valley for many years. He is well known for his versatility, virtuoso piano skills, and his ability to convey the subtleties of any style of music.  Sean earned his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance in Ontario and was a top competitor in piano competitions.

Sean’s friendly, easy-going nature makes working with him a pleasure. He teaches private piano lessons in Comox, accompanies a wide variety of choral groups, and annually performs momentous piano works.