• victoria sparks profile picture
  • Instructor, Desautels Faculty of Music

    Room 105 Taché Hall
    150 Dafoe Road
    University of Manitoba (Fort Garry Campus)
    Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2

    204-474-7521

    Victoria.Sparks@umanitoba.ca

Active as a soloist in a variety of chamber music series in Winnipeg, Victoria Sparks also performs regularly with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, is principal timpani/percussion for the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and works with many other local arts organizations. She is also the founder and director of the annual Manitoba Band Association's Prairie Percussion Workshop for aspiring young percussionists.

  • In the faculty

Education

Drum Love is the heart of my teaching philosophy. I’m fond of saying that I teach “drums and life” and you know what? I love what I do! I love foraging in scrap yards for brake drums as much as I love playing everything from tambourine to timpani with an orchestra, or playing beautiful marimba solos, or accompanying choirs on hand drums. Its all Drum Love to me!

I believe in community and teamwork and collaboration. I love the variety and complexity of percussion music and I believe strongly in the value of supporting my students and their interests by providing diverse and creative opportunities for them to develop their technical and expressive skills.
Victoria SparksInstructor, Desautels Faculty of Music

Performance highlights

Sparks has performed as a soloist in a number of chamber music series in Winnipeg (Music ’n’ Mavens, Millennium Library, etc), performs regularly with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, is principal Timpani/Percussion with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and works with many local arts organizations, including the Brandon Chamber Players, the Groundswell New Music Series, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the Winnipeg Singers.

In February 2019, Sparks performed in the Manitoba premieres of John Luther Adams' Inuksuit and Terje Isungset's Beauty of Winter, at an outdoor venue for the Winnipeg New Music Festival, accompanied by members of the University of Manitoba Percussion Ensemble. In 2016, she had the honour of premiering Sid Robinovitch’s Concerto for Percussion and Strings with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. In 2018, she also performed with the Brandon Chamber Players, performing duets and trios for percussion and trombone with Graydon Carter and Aaron Wilson. The group performed Libby Larson's Bronze Veils, John Mackey's Harvest Concerto, and Myles Wright's Pair Up! In 2015, for Groundswell, Sparks performed chamber works by Christos Hatzis and Derek Charke, on vibraphone and multiple percussion instruments. In 2014, Sparks performed at Carnegie Hall with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in the Spring for Music Festival, which included a prominent marimba solo.

Ongoing research and creative works

Sparks 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 at conferences and festivals both domestically and internationally. She is honoured to be a part of the Yamaha Artist family and is proud to endorse their world class instruments and artistic initiatives. Sparks is also the founder and director of the MBA Prairie Percussion Workshop,  an education- and performance-based event for percussion students in middle and high school. Sparks regularly receives project grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Manitoba Council for the Arts for her work in percussion education and performance.