Masterclass – Call for Scores 2018

Time: 23:59
Date: 2018 Mar 11
Location: Martha Lou Henley Classroom - VSO School of Music - 843 Seymour Street Vancouver, BC

Vancouver Pro Musica Presents

Sonic Boom 2018: Composers’ Masterclass

Call for Scores

Featuring Colin MacDonald and Nicole Linaksita

with Composer-in-Residence Owen Underhill


As part of our long‐standing commitment to encourage and mentor young composers, Vancouver Pro Musica would like to invite BC composers with all levels of experience to submit a piece for our Masterclass during Sonic Boom 2018. The masterclass will be held on Sunday, March 25th 2018 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm in the Martha Lou Henley VSO School of Music. Deadline for submissions is March 11, 2018.

About the Masterclass

The masterclass will be moderated by our Sonic Boom 2018 Composer-in-Residence, Owen Underhill. Participants will receive a professional reading of their work performed by Colin McDonald (Saxophone) and Nicole Linaksita (Piano). Owen Underhill and the performers will provide feedback regarding each piece. Participants will also have the opportunity to interact with the musicians and fellow participants in open discussion. This workshop is a rare and valuable opportunity for all student composers to learn about writing for these instruments and to engage with musicians of a high calibre.

About the Artists

Colin MacDonald

Colin MacDonald is a freelance saxophonist, composer and arranger living in Vancouver, British Columbia.  He completed a B.Mus. in saxophone at the University of British Columbia, where he studied with Julia Nolan and David Branter.  He teaches classical saxophone at Douglas College and St. George’s School.

Colin has studied jazz arranging with Fred Stride, world rhythms with Glen Velez and Trichy Sankaran, and Balinese gamelan with Michael Tenzer and Dewa Ketut Alit.  His works have been premiered by the Turning Point Ensemble, Continuum Contemporary Music, Ad Mare Wind Quintet, and The Microscore Project.  The Vancouver-based Fringe Percussion commissioned and recorded the percussion quartet Enginuity. His compositions Ex Libris and Dragons in the Air were part of the successful Vertical Orchestra spatial-music performances at the Vancouver Public Library.  In 2006 he formed his own chamber orchestra, The Colin MacDonald Pocket Orchestra, to present his original works.  Colin’s debut CD recording, Circle of Wind, was released on Cryptic Music Records in 2011.

Colin was a founding member and co-artistic director of the new music group Ensemble Symposium from 1995 – 2005. He has been a member of the Saxophilia saxophone quartet since 1996, and produces concerts of his own music as a soloist.  He has performed with and composed for the Balinese gamelan semara dana called Sekaha Gong Gita Asmara, and sang with the One Voice Harmonic Choir, a men’s overtone choir.

He has worked as a reviewer of new music events for the Georgia Straight newspaper, Discorder magazine, and Musicworks magazine, and hosted the radio program Are You Serious? Music on CiTR 101.9 FM for three years. In 2003 he was made an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre.

Nicole Linaksita

Nicole Linaksita has performed solo and chamber concerts in Canada, USA and Europe. A participant in national and international competitions, she was awarded First Place, Audience and Teacher’s Prizes at the 2011 Seattle International Piano Competition and was chosen as a semi-finalist for the 2015 OSM Manulife and 2013 Eckhardt-Gramatté Competitions. She was chosen to be the representative for the Vancouver branch of the BCRMTA Provincial Competition, winning Best Performance of a Canadian work for Butterflies and Bobcats by David L. McIntyre. She is also a two time national finalist for the Canadian Music Competition, and was selected to participate as one of 30 finalists in the CMC Stepping Stone Competitions in 2012 and 2016, placing among the top six in 2016.

Nicole has frequently performed the works of contemporary composers such as Carl Vine, John Psathas, Lowell Liebermann, Karen Tanaka, Randolph Peters, Nikolai Kapustin, Henri Dutilleux, Alexina Louie, Jean Coulthard, David Rakowski, Marc-André Hamelin, and William Bolcom. Her interest in new music has also led her to work with a number of composers, including Dorothy Chang and Yota Kobayashi. She premiered Kobayashi’s “Concrescence” for piano and electronics, and more recently, played with the Music on Main All-Star Band for their Vancouver premiere of Steve Reich’s “Music for 18 Musicians”. Additionally, she frequently plays concerts in the Müzewest concert series, and performs with the Postmodern Camerata, and Dunbar Heights United Church Choir and Orchestra.

Nicole recently completed undergraduate studies in Piano Performance and Computer Science at the University of British Columbia, studying under Corey Hamm and Ryo Yanagitani, receiving the Director’s Graduation Prize for Outstanding Piano Performance. Prior to UBC, she studied with Diana Marr and David Vandereyk. Nicole also received the Gold Medal prize from the Royal Conservatory of Music for receiving the highest mark in Canada for her LRCM exam in 2011. Further abroad, Nicole has participated in the Chetham’s Piano School, where she has had the opportunity to play for and study with distinguished artists including Catherine Vickers, Eugen Injic, Leslie Howard and Douglas Finch.

Composer-in-Residence: Owen Underhill

Owen Underhill lives in Vancouver where he is active as a composer, conductor, artistic director and faculty member in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University.

As a composer, Underhill writes for diverse combinations including orchestra, voice and choir, and a wide variety of chamber music ranging from traditional ensembles to groupings of unusual instrumentation. He has a special interest in large-scale interdisciplinary collaborations, having composed a number of works for dance as well as his 1994 opera The Star Catalogues.

As a conductor, Underhill is a member of the Turning Point Ensemble, one of Canada’s most distinctive and accomplished large-size chamber ensembles. In addition, he has made conducting appearances with orchestras and ensembles including the Vancouver Symphony, CBC Radio Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Vancouver New Music Ensemble, and musica intima. Underhill has been especially active in contemporary music and music of the early twentieth century.

Underhill has been an SFU faculty member since 1981, teaching music composition and conducting, and serving for a series of terms as Director of the School for the Contemporary Arts. He is currently Dean Pro Tem of the Faculty of Communciation, Art and Technology.

Who can submit a score?

We welcome submissions from composers of all levels of experience. Although typically applicants are from the secondary school to university level, we encourage any and all interested composers to apply!


Your submission should include a score and parts for a short piece (3 to 8 minutes) for one or both of the following instruments:

  • Alto (Eb) or Tenor (Bb) Saxophone
  • Piano

Application Guidelines

We welcome all styles/genres in either standard musical notation or graphic scores. BC composers of all levels of experience to submit a piece for our Sonic Boom Masterclass.

To submit, complete the online form at the bottom of this page. It is free to submit to the Masterclass!

Only submission forms completed through this website will be considered.

  • Applicants must be residents of British Columbia.
  • Submissions must be received by 11:59 pm on Sunday, March 11, 2018.
  • The submission of an application implies agreement to attend the masterclass.
  • Submitted pieces must be less than 8 minutes in length.
  • Applicants automatically become members in good standing of Vancouver Pro Musica, exempt from membership dues for one year.


Applications must include:

  • The composer’s name, teacher or academic affiliation, and e-mail address.
  • One Copy of all performers’ parts. Be sure to to provide saxophone parts that are appropriately transposed.
  • Two Copies of the score and any desired supporting material. One copy of the score should be anonymous, in the event that a jury is required to adjudicate submissions.

Masterclass participants will be contacted by mid March 2018 to confirm attendance.

SB 2018 Student Masterclass

  • Accepted file types: pdf.
  • Anonymous copy of score required for Jury adjudication
    Accepted file types: pdf.
  • Please ensure you have uploaded all performer parts.
    Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: pdf.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.