2021 WMC Scholarship Winners
WMC Scholarship, $3000 – Juliana Moroz – Cello
A consistent prizewinner in local and provincial music festivals, Juliana Moroz won the Aikins Memorial Trophy at the Winnipeg Music Festival in 2017, the Festival's highest prize for instrumental performance. In February of 2020 she was a winner at the WMC's McLellan Competition for Solo Performance with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Juliana has attended the Aspen Summer Festival, Morningside Music Bridge Program, Orford Arts Festival, Centre Stage Strings, and was a participant in the inaugural Josef Gingold Chamber Music Festival, held in Miami Beach in 2019. She has also performed as soloist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and enjoys performing chamber music, especially with her family as a member of the JAGD Quartet. She began studies in the fall of 2019 at the Robert McDuffie Centre for Strings at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, as a scholarship student in the class of Richard Aaron, Julie Albers and Leo Singer.
WMC Scholarship, $2500 – Christina Thanisch-Smith – Soprano
Praised for her “exquisite and ethereal presence with a lovely lyric coloratura” (GigCity Edmonton), Christina Thanisch-Smith is quickly making a name for herself as one of Canada’s up and coming young artists. Born in Fredericton and raised in Winnipeg, Ms. Thanisch-Smith now resides in Montreal, Quebec, as she works towards a MMus. in Voice Performance at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University under the tutelage of Professors Dominique Labelle and Michael McMahon. Ms. Thanisch-Smith completed her BMus. (Vocal Perf.) at the University of Manitoba with Monica Huisman in 2020. In her 20/21 season with Opera McGill, Ms. Thanisch-Smith demonstrated a variety of skillsets in both early music and new music projects. She sang the title role in Handel’s Partenope in collaboration with the McGill Baroque Orchestra, and workshopped the role of Hero in Much Ado!. She also had the opportunity to perform Alban Berg’s Sieben frühe Lieder and Debussy’s Chansons de Bilitis in concert.
Madeleine Gauvin Scholarship, $2000 – Elena Howard-Scott – Soprano
Hailing from Winnipeg, Elena Howard-Scott is a versatile soprano residing in Toronto, Ontario. A graduate of the University of Manitoba (B.Mus) and former student of soprano Tracy Dahl, Elena is currently working on her Artist Diploma in Voice with Adrianne Pieczonka and Peter Tiefenbach at the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Competition highlights include receiving the Kurt Weill Foundation Prize in the Lotte Lenya Competition, placing first at the North Dakota/Manitoba District in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, placing first in the CFMTA National Vocal Competition, and placing twice in the Women’s Musical Club Scholarship Competition. Elena has enjoyed a wide variety of performances ranging from opera to musical theatre to cabaret. Stage credits include: Pamina in Die Zauberflöte (Opera NUOVA); Lena in Svadba (Glenn Gould School Opera); Strike! the Musical, Beauty and the Beast, Ring of Fire (Rainbow Stage); Kiss of the Spider Woman (Dry Cold Productions), Chicago (PizzaParty Productions) Evil Dead, The Rocky Horror Show (Wasteland Productions), Pippin (Winnipeg Studio Theatre). Elena thanks the WMC for all that they do to support emerging artists such as herself.
Holtby Scholarship, $1500 – Simon Proulx – Clarinet
Simon Proulx is in his second year in clarinet performance at the University of British Columbia. He is currently studying with Jose Franch-Ballester and has previously studied with clarinetist and composer Chris Byman. Simon has won second (2019) and first (2020) place in the Winnipeg Symphony Youth Orchestra Senior Scholarship Competition and won the Winnipeg Wind Ensemble Student Solo Competition in 2020. Simon has participated in masterclasses with world-renowned clarinetists Franklin Cohen and David Shiffrin. He hopes to continue his studies with the goal of playing clarinet with a professional ensemble as well as teaching at a university.
Phyllis Ilavsky Scholarship, $1500 – Alexander Moroz – Viola
Currently in his last year at the University of Ottawa studying with Michael van der Sloot, Alexander (Sasha) Moroz was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. A consistent prizewinner in local and provincial competitions, Sasha has won the Aikins Memorial Trophy, and performed as soloist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. He particularly loves and has extensive chamber and orchestral music experience, most notably performing with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and his family piano quartet.
Berythe Birse Scholarship, $1000 – River Sawchyn – Violin
Violinist River Sawchyn was born in Winnipeg in 2003. He studied violin with WSO concertmaster Gwen Hoebig and is excited to now be attending the Robert McDuffie Centre for Strings at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. Participating in local festivals and competitions since he was eight, River is a five time trophy winner at the Winnipeg Music Festival and has taken the stage twice as a Virtuosi Young Artist of the Virtuosi concert series. River enjoyed serving as concertmaster of the Winnipeg Youth Symphony Orchestra for two seasons and as winner of the senior division of the Winnipeg Youth Orchestras Scholarship Competition, was thrilled to perform with them as a soloist in the spring of 2021. Also busy writing music, River has studied composition with Canadian composer Michael Van der Sloot and had an original orchestral composition premiered by the Winnipeg Youth Orchestras in 2021. As well as an accomplished classical musician, River is a frequent collaborator with a variety of folk ensembles, choral and instrumental groups and is a skilled fiddle player. Also experienced on the technical side of music production, River has produced many collaborative music and video projects, both self-organized and in collaboration with organizations such as Rosamunde Music Academy, the Back to Bach Project and Sopilka Ukrainian Dance School. River appreciates music in all forms and enjoys performing in a wide range of venues.