Kiwanis Club of Chatham-Kent

Where are they now? - Where are they now? :: Joel Verkaik

webmaster - Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:48 am
Post subject: Where are they now? :: Joel Verkaik
Oboist Joel Verkaik is currently pursuing doctoral studies in baroque oboe performance at McGill University. His initial private oboe studies in Chatham were with Kristen Lapointe. He studied piano with Sue Lowther, Elizabeth Tithecott, and Doris Anderson, as well as recorder with his mother, Carol Revell, and theory and history with Charlene Farrell. He sang in choirs under the direction of Janet Wake, Joy Anderson, and Jim Brown, and performed in the Chatham Junior Concert Band and bands at Ursuline College. Joel went on to pursue a bachelor’s degree at Wilfrid Laurier University and a master’s degree at the University of Ottawa in oboe performance. During this time, he was an active freelance performer with some of Canada’s most celebrated ensembles, including the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, as well as with internationally renowned artists Anton Kuerti, Pinchas Zukerman, and Simon Streatfield. After his master’s, Joel decided to pursue the specialist field of early music and spent a year abroad, studying baroque oboe at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and playing concerts in the Netherlands, Germany, and Salzburg. He also participated in the Dartington International Summer School in Devon, England.

Upon returning to Canada in 2012, Joel settled in Montreal, where he has since performed with prestigious baroque ensembles such as Caprice, les Boreades, and la Société de Musique Ancienne de Montréal, as well as Toronto’s Aradia Ensemble, with whom he recorded an album of Purcell theatre music in 2013 (Naxos, release pending). Upcoming engagements include a feature concert with the McGill Baroque Orchestra, the orchestra of the International Organ Society Competition, and a recording of works by André Gagnon. Joel is also the leader of an ensemble of professional Montreal baroque musicians called Ensemble Énigme.

Joel has been the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards. He was the winner of the Chatham Kiwanis Music Festival’s Wayne Wagenarr Memorial Trophy for seven consecutive years, and also received scholarships for his studies at Wilfrid Laurier, the University of Ottawa, and McGill. He was the recipient of the Astral Media Award for the National Arts Centre (2013), and a 2014 Canada Council for the Arts travel grant. He has played with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (2004) and l’orchestre de la francophonie (2008–2010), and has travelled to the United States, Mexico, and Eastern Canada to give workshops, masterclasses, recitals, and concert tours.

Joel is also a dedicated teacher, working with several schools in Montreal as a private oboe instructor. Apart from performance, study, and teaching, Joel is an avid chess player and cook, a cat owner, and a lover of critical theory.
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