Winnipeg based Victoria Sparks is an active solo, orchestral and chamber percussionist. She completed her bachelor’s degrees in Music and Education studying with Rob Gardner and Jauvon Gilliam (University of Manitoba) and she completed her Masters in Percussion Performance with Jon Crabiel (Butler University).
Active as a soloists in a variety of chamber music series in Winnipeg (Music’n’Mavens, Millennium Library, Virtuosi etc) Victoria also performs regularly with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. She is Principal Timpani/Percussion with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra as well as working with many other local arts organizations including the Brandon Chamber Players, the Groundswell New Music Series, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Virtuosi Chamber Series and the Winnipeg Singers. In 2016 she had the honour of premiering Sid Robinovitch’s Concerto for Percussion and Strings with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. In 2021 she will again be featured as a soloist with the MCO, giving the world premier of Alexina Louie’s new concerto for percussion and string orchestra called “Waking the Lion”.
Victoria works closely with clarinettist Cathy Wood in their collaborative project Viđarneistí. This duo has commissioned works for their unique instrumentation and they perform regularly in Manitoba and as well as at conferences and festivals throughout Canada and internationally. They have given world premieres of worlds by Fjola Evans & Kenley Kristofferson and are currently developing new works with Glenn Buhr and Stefan Bauer. They have recently been invited to the Faroe Islands to perform at the Nordic Music Days Festival presenting a program entitled “New Music from New Iceland”.
In 2018, Sparks was delighted to be join the faculty at the University of Manitoba teaching percussion as well as directing the percussion ensemble. She is honoured to be working full time with the faculty and students in the Desautels Faculty of Music. Before beginning this exciting new chapter she was the Coordinator of Percussion Studies at Brandon University (since 2010). She is the founder and director of the MBA Prairie Percussion Workshop (since 2012), an education and performance based event for percussion students in middle and high school. She also maintains an active schedule as an adjudicator and clinician in Manitoba and Saskatchewan through various organizations and festivals. Victoria is honoured to be a part of the Yamaha Artist family and is proud to endorse their world class instruments and artistic initiatives.