Rob Werner has been playing violin since a young age. He has performed with groups including the Delta Youth Symphony and Fraser Valley Symphony, and others. His show resume includes playing for Pirates of Penzance, HMS Pinafore, Fiddler on the Roof, Anne of Green Gables, Little Mermaid, and others. He also plays country fiddle for multiple groups, and when not fighting crime as his alter ego, he enjoys conducting choir at Christ Lutheran Church in Chilliwack.
Ann Griffiths comes to us with 50 plus years’ experience as a drummer and percussionist. After many years away from musical theatre where she played for such productions as Brigadoon, Carousel, and South Pacific she says, “It’s good to be back.” Ann also currently plays with Class Brass, Shallum’s Wall, Cascadia Wind Ensemble, and wherever she has the opportunity. When not playing music, Ann is an event speaker and a published author with a passion to leave a mark that makes a difference.
Vanessa teaches music locally at Cascade Christian School and performs with the Chilliwack Symphony. Vanessa received her bachelors of music from the University of Victoria in 2012. She is excited to be performing with Secondary Characters this summer.
Greg Teaches Classical Guitar, Sax and Banjo at Ebenezer Fine Arts. Greg plays Sax with Cascadia Wind Ensemble (nee Abbotsford Concert Band), Guitar with the Moonliters and plays with Rock and Jazz bands. He also can be seen playing Harmonica, Dobro or banjo at many local jams 2 or 3 times a week.
After a lifetime as a stockbroker, 15 years ago Greg decided he only wanted to play music.
Stacey grew up in Vancouver and has lived in Chilliwack for the past 18 years. She started playing the clarinet during high school and absolutely loved it. Twenty-five years passed and she decided it was time to take up playing again. Stacey joined the Chilliwack Community Band 9 years ago and never looked back. In addition to the CCB she is also a member of the Chilliwack Metropolitan Orchestra and plays in a quintet doing concerts throughout the year. This is Stacey’s fourth time playing with Secondary Characters (Little Women, The Sound of Music and Oklahoma), and her 10th musical in Chilliwack (Pirates of Penzance, Fiddler on the Roof, Bye Bye Birdie, Mary Poppins, Gypsy, and most recently, Oliver). “I’m extremely proud and excited to be a part of The Wizard of Oz.” It’s been so much fun!!
Helen has been playing saxophone since she was 12 years old. Over the years she has worked in almost every type of musical setting ranging from orchestra to Big Band; from jazz to Latin; and everything in-between. Her main love however, is rock and blues. She has spent most of the past 20 years working in these types of bands both here on the West Coast and in the Maritimes.
None of her instruments are new. Helen prefers to play vintage saxophones—most dating back to the middle of the 20th century or older.
Helen’s love for vintage horns has led her to research and write about vintage saxophones, and as a result she has acquired an extensive collection of vintage horns: the oldest of which dates back to 1886.
Helen plays all voices of saxophones from soprano through bass. She also doubles on clarinet and bass clarinet.
Although this is her first production with Secondary Characters Musical Theatre, Helen is not new to pit orchestra work. Most recently, in February this year she played for Fraser Valley Stage’s production of Guys and Dolls.
Jan has been an enthusiast when it comes to music. She's been an avid player of the violin for five years, but she also plays 5 other instruments along side of practicing the violin. Jan is a part of the Chilliwack Youth Orchestra directed by Mr. Louwersheimer and Mr. David Voth. She took part in several other school musical productions, including The King and I, White Christmas and Aladdin. What drew her to play the violin for this show was the vivid and beautiful music of the Wizard of Oz.
This is Shannon Budau's first Secondary Characters production... but it won't be the last! She is pleased to be a part of the riotously fun orchestra, in the percussion section. Shannon also spent some time this summer as the part-time rehearsal pianist. She recently completed her ARCT in Piano Pedagogy and teaches out of her home. This is truly some of the most fun music she has ever played - Enjoy the show, everybody!
Shannon plays French Horn with the Chilliwack Metropolitan Orchestra and the Fraser Valley Symphony Orchestra. She is the Music Director of the Cascadia Wind Ensemble, and was previously the Conductor of the Abbotsford Concert Band. Prior to moving to Chilliwack 15 years ago, she played with various bands and orchestras in Regina, and conducted the Poltava Ensemble of Song, Music and Dance. She first became interested in musical theatre while attending high school, and has had the opportunity to play in the pit orchestra for many musicals. She has participated in most of Secondary Characters’ summer productions. Although she spends a lot of time on musical endeavors, she makes her living as a management consultant with her own company, Canatech Management Services Inc.
Uli Janzen started her music education with her mother, a piano teacher. At the age of six she started to take violin lessons with a member of the local symphony orchestra. After finishing her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Education in her native country of Germany, she moved to Abbotsford, Canada to marry her husband.
Uli is a member of the Fraser Valley Symphony since 2000. Besides playing in this orchestra she also enjoys playing in smaller ensembles and bands.
This production will be her second with this company and she is looking forward being part of bringing the’ Wizard of Oz’ to life.
Sarah has been a professional musician for the last 15 years in Vancouver and most recently in the Fraser Valley area including Abbotsford and Chilliwack. Sarah has had many years of experience playing with various ensembles, including the Fraser Valley Philharmonic Society,the Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra, and The FraserValley Symphony. In the past Sarah has been a member of the Vancouver Youth Orchestra as well both Intermediate and Senior divisions.
Sarah has been fortunate to be able to travel the world with her music on orchestral tours to Australia, Scotland, Germany, and the Queen Charlotte Islands. Sarah has also worked with various theatre companies in the orchestra pit including Gateway Theatre, Theatre under the Stars, Royal City Theatre, Footlight Theatre, and G.W. Graham Musical Theatre. In the last year, Sarah has had the pleasure of working with both CSOPA and Robert Bateman Highschool in their produciton of Mary Poppins, Chilliwack Players Guild producion of Gypsy, and Newbury Concepts production of Oliver! This is Sarahs 7th show with Secondary Characters.
Sarah holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in performance from the University of Victoria. During her studies, Sarah played principle piccolo in the Wind Symphony and principle flute in the Symphony Orchestra. Also, Sarah had the opportunity to perform with the Victoria Youth Orchestra as principle flute where she won their concerto competition and had the honour of playing both Mozart's Concerto in G+ and Vivaldi's Piccolo Concerto in C+.
Sarah also has her RCM Grade 10 for piano. She volunteers twice a week at the Abbotsford Hospital playing their beautiful grand piano.
Christine received a Bachelor of Arts with a major in music from TWU, and a Bachelor of Education from UBC. She focused on piano and saxophone, as well as conducting various ensembles. She began her career teaching secondary band and choir, but also enjoyed teaching preschool music and directing a “mature” German choir when she didn’t speak a word of German!
Presently, Christine owns and operates Millar Music Studio in Chilliwack providing services as an accomplished pianist, teacher, and director. In addition to teaching piano, Christine is also a piano accompanist for a variety of musical endeavors. She performs both as a solo pianist and as half of a violin/piano duo. She is on staff as pianist / organist / worship leader and choir director both at St. Paul’s Lutheran and Cooke’s Presbyterian churches.
In recent years, Christine has played piano in the pit orchestra for a number of musicals including Mary Poppins, Shrek, Seussical, Annie, Chicago, and the Drowsy Chaperone. In Spring 2014 Christine conducted the orchestra for Chilliwack Players Guild’s production of Anne of Green Gables the Musical.
For more info, www.millarmusicstudio.com
Hi. I am a grade 12 student, having been homeschooled from day one. I started taking piano lessons from Lois Voth when I was 7 years old, and am still taking lessons with her (for 11 years now). I have played for a couple of choirs led by Diane Szijjarto and Heidi Epp, and have played for a homeschool co-op musical theatre for Heidi as well. Through these experiences I have grown greatly in the areas of sight playing and – for a lack of a better word – “un-classical” rhythms such as swing. I just recently took my Grade 10 piano exam in the RCM system, and am now working on getting my ARCT in piano performance. This was my first time playing harp on a synthesizer, so it was a new experience. It was also my first time being a part of an orchestra. Thanks to Nicola for being patient with me and for answering my many questions about harp notation!
Clark plays trumpet in the Chilliwack Community Band. He has played with the Chilliwack Metropolitan Orchestra, Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra and numerous pit bands for productions by Secondary Characters, Chilliwack Players’ Guild, CSOPA, Sardis Senior Secondary and G.W.Graham School. It is a pleasure to be involved once again with the talented group which makes up Secondary Characters.
What drew you to work on this show?
I had been involved with theatre in Chilliwack since 2011 and as a musician, I wanted to see what it was like to be a part of a production from the role of an orchestra member. Sort of combining my two worlds in a way.
What is your past experience with theatre, and what has been your favourite previous project?
I grew up on musicals, and finally got to be part of them in high school. Since then I've been in musicals every year on stage and I love it! My favourite was Anne of Green Gables with the Players Guild in 2014 because of the incredible dancing we had to do. That was a whole new level for me, and a challenge I enjoyed so much to take on.
Who is your favourite character from The Wizard of Oz and why?
My favourite character from the Wizard of Oz has always been the Scarecrow. As a kid I found him the most fun to watch and I suppose I've just carried that with me.
What was your first show ever?
My first show ever happened to be the Wizard of Oz with Sardis Secondary School. I was cast as the Cowardly Lion, and that was an incredibly fun role to play.
What was your primary introduction to the story of The Wizard of Oz, the movie, or the books? And what is your memory of your first impression of the story?
I saw the movie first as a young child. I've since read the book and didn't actually care that much for it. My first impression I can remember was the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lion at the beginning. That gives you an idea of how young I was when I first saw it.
What is the most exciting element of this story for you?
For me, the most exciting element is how classic and silly it is. It's really become a staple of popular culture, and it offers so many classic quotes. At the same time, it's really all quite charmingly silly: the lollipop guild, the Ms Gultch ordeal, anything with the Oz guard.. It reminds me that it's okay to not be so serious all the time!
How long have you been working in your field for?
This is my first time playing in a pit orchestra, but I've been playing trombone for eight years now, and involved in music for twelve years.
What is your favourite musical of all time, and why?
As my knowledge of musical theatre grew, I began to love Next to Normal, West Side Story, Les Misérables, and anything by Steven Sondheim, but my favourite has to be Singin' in the Rain. Like the Wizard of Oz, I knew this one from when I was just two years old. I would dance and sing around the house, and pretend I was right there with Don, Cosmo, and Kathy (I'm sure we all did this with our favourite movies and TV shows... Right?). I love it because I've always known it, and I adore the classic music and wonderful dancing. I was fortunate enough to get to play the role of Don Lockwood in it with Sardis Secondary, just a year after being in... The Wizard of Oz!
On double bass and electric bass, Johan brings a wide scope of experiences in many different styles of music.
His big band jazz experience includes The Night Band at Douglas College, The Moonlighters in Abbotsford, The Urbana Jazz Ensemble in Vancouver and The Other Big Band in White Rock.
Some of his small group jazz and rock experiences in the lower mainland are with Lloyd Bates, The Nelson Boschman Trio, The Bottom Line, Groovedaddy, Horizon, Lee and Rankin, Now's The Time, Linda Szentes & Jazzlinks and his own group, The Best of Worst.
As well as these groups, Johan enjoys working in many other styles of music including blues, rhythm & blues, country, folk and classical:
In Vancouver, he’s with Big City Soul, while in Abbotsford and Mission his various country and folk experiences include work with groups such as Texas Gait, Blue Magnolia, Russian Judge and JD Miner.
In a classical vein, he very much enjoys playing in the bass sections of The Fraser Valley Symphony in Abbotsford and The Chilliwack Metropolitan Orchestra in Chilliwack.
On the 'Broadway' end of things, he's played in the orchestras for The Fraser Valley Stage productions of Iolanthe and two productions of The Starlight Radio Theatre Hour. With Secondary Character's productions he's played in You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and “Oklahoma!”
He is an alumnus of the Jazz Workshop at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Hugh Fraser’s International Jazz Orchestra and Capilano University in North Vancouver where he had the privilege of studying with Andre Lachance, Chris Tarry, Torbin Oxbol and David Brown.
Jack Kopstein- Clarinet. Jack is a musician/author and long time member of the musical community of Chilliwack. He served as a musician in the Canadian Forces for 35 years. He recently (2015) began work at UFV campus radio CIVL 101.7 as a host for his programme STRIKE UP THE BAND. He is pleased to bring his instrumental skills to WOZ.
By day Margaret Smiley is the Principal of Two Rivers Education Centre in beautiful downtown Hope. Prior to coming to Hope, she was a senior mathematics teacher at Sardis Secondary School. Seasonally she performs with the Fraser Valley Philomusica™, and the Chilliwack Metropolitan Orchestra, playing oboe and English horn. Margaret has also performed in numerous regional musical theatre productions, including The King and I, My Fair Lady, Brigadoon, The Gondoliers, Man of La Mancha, Anne of Green Gables, Beauty and the Beast, Once Upon a Mattress, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Joseph, and Oklahoma. She is also a Board member of the Fraser Valley Philharmonic Society.
At the age of 14, Solchan Kim, or Sol, plays mainly the violin, piano, and trombone. He has experience with other instruments such as percussion and tuba as well, giving him great versatility. Sol studies the violin and piano with Karin Fehlauer at the Chilliwack Academy of Music, and has received experience with trombone and other concert band instruments with Barry Eggen at Vedder Middle School.
Sol plays violin and is the concertmaster for the Chilliwack Youth Orchestra (CYO), which is directed by Johan Louwersheimer and David Voth. He has recently been featured as a soloist with them, playing Mozart’s Violin Concerto No.3 in G Major. With Mr. Louwersheimer, Sol has also played with The Handel Society of Music, playing in the orchestra for choral works. He also plays the trombone in the Cascadia Wind Ensemble, a community band situated in Abbotsford directed by Shannon Goldsmith.
His achievements include winning several trophies in the Chilliwack Lions Club Festival for violin. In 2015 and 2016, he was chosen to be the Junior Strings representative of the Lions Club Festival at the Performing Arts BC Provincial Music and Dance Festival. In 2015, he was awarded an Honourable Mention in the Junior A Strings class, and won 1st place for the Junior Canadian Strings class. In 2016, he received a runner-up in the Junior B Strings class and again, won 1st place in the Junior Canadian Strings class.
This is Sol’s 3rd season with Secondary Characters, having played for productions of Into the Woods, Oklahoma!, and The Last Five Years with them. His diverse experiences in different styles of music like classical, jazz, Asian pop, and many more have greatly influenced the way he approaches music and handles it. Sol enjoys composing and arranging as hobbies.