Emerging Artists Program

Ensemble Laude is proud to present our Emerging Artists Program, an enriching musical opportunity which teaches performance, coaching and leadership skills to advanced vocalists. The program builds musicianship and professional connections, and is an excellent addition to the young artist’s curriculum vitae, serving as a valuable stepping stone to future career prospects. Generously funded by The Victoria Foundation.


Here are our 2018-19 Emerging Artists: 

Irina Kim

Today, Irina is the best version of herself: she is fulfilling her lifelong dream of studying voice full time. Her grade 10 RCM piano certificate as well her fluency in a couple of extra languages – Russian and French – facilitated her switch from economics and math to vocal performance.

Irina received her Diploma of Music in Voice from Capilano University, as well as a Certificate in Conducting. This year, Irina is completing both her Certificate of Music Teaching in Voice at the Victoria Conservatory of Music as well as her Bachelor of Music – major in vocal performance – at the University of Victoria.

Irina finds tremendous delight in sharing her love and knowledge through choirs and teaching.




Mandy Wiltshire

Mandy Wiltshire prides herself on being a well rounded singer and educator. With experience in opera, jazz, musical theatre, and pop music, she believes in the importance of variety in music and in life itself.

Mandy’s love of singing started at a young age. She sang in the Vancouver Bach Children’s Choir under the direction of Bruce Pullan, pursued vocal lessons, and received a scholarship for Performing Arts. Mandy then went on to receive a diploma in Vocal Performance from Camosun and a music degree from the University of Victoria. She is now working towards her teaching diploma. In her community, Mandy has taught vocal lessons, drama, musical theatre, and has conducted choirs at her church.



Natasha Gosling

Natasha Gosling is a third year voice major in music education at UVic, planning to be a high school music teacher. Natasha’s passion lies in choral music, and she believes that sing is about more than just the music, but about the community created when people sing together. Natasha is devoted to instilling passion for music in future generations, and hopes to provide opportunities similar to those which have shaped her into the person she is today.




Victoria Zielke

A current student in University of Victoria’s Music Education program, Victoria Zielke is dedicated to growing and refining her skills as both an educator and performer. Victoria’s love of singing sparked early when she began performing with her seven siblings at various churches and care homes. In her first year of postsecondary in the nursing program, she took a sight-singing elective and realized she needed to switch majors. She completed her music diploma at Douglas College and transferred to the University of Victoria.

Victoria studies voice with Anne Grimm, directs worship at her home church, and participates in various choirs in Victoria. She has been a guest clinician at BC Music Educators Association, serves as president for UVic Student Music Educators Association, and offered the opportunity to teach a summer intensive theory class at Douglas College

 Here are our 2017–2018 emerging artists:

Christina Banman

Christina Banman is a dynamic choral educator, passionate about making music in community with others. Having grown up in the rich choral culture of Southern Manitoba, Christina has been singing in choirs since the age of 10. Throughout junior high and high school, she was active in choir, vocal jazz, and musical theatre productions. She went on to study voice and education at the University of Manitoba where she was fortunate to tour the Maritimes and Sweden/Finland with the University of Manitoba Women’s Chorus and the University of Manitoba Singers, respectively. Graduating with her Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education in 2013, Christina poured herself into the choral programs at Parkside Junior High and W. C. Miller Collegiate in Altona, MB. It was during her three years of teaching that she had the honour of directing both You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown and High School Musical. In 2016, Christina and her husband, Jordan, moved to BC where she has been fortunate to enjoy many outdoor adventures and cultivate her love of cycling. Christina’s one-year-old son, Charlie, is a huge supporter of Ensemble Laude and can often be heard cheering on the choir from the audience.

Christina is now a music educator in Winkler, Manitoba.

 Kassandra Schantz

Kassandra Schantz is a mezzo-soprano from Westlock, AB. She grew up performing musical theatre and then she discovered opera. She completed her BMus majoring in vocal performance at the University of Victoria under the guidance of Benjamin Butterfield. During her degree she performed as Tessa in Opera NUOVA’s production of the Gondoliers and as Marcellina in the Victoria Conservatory’s production of Nozze di Figaro. She is a choral scholar at Christ Church Cathedral and the emerging young artist for Ensemble Laude. Currently she is deciding on an Ontario University for her Masters. As an aspiring opera singer her dream is to one day sing at Teatro alla Scala.

Kassandra is now studying her Master’s program in Voice at the University of Ottawa.