VAYA Live! Adjudicators

Alison Nystrom, Vancouver, Canada (Provincial Voice)

Alison Nystrom, soprano, is a much sought-after performer and teacher. As a singer, Ms. Nystrom is noted for her expressiveness and has performed across North America and Europe. Her opera credits include: Pamina in The Magic Flute, Diana in Orpheus in the Underworld, Clorinda in La Cenerentola, and the Woodpecker and Innkeeper’s wife in The Cunning Little Vixen. In 2005, Ms. Nystrom was chosen from a national tour of auditions to be a part of the inaugural year of the Burton Lowell and Olive Kurth Young Artists Program with Pacific Opera Victoria. She has performed as a soloist in Mozart’s Requiem, Schubert’s Mass in G, Bach’s Coffee Cantata, Handel’s Messiah, and Mozart’s Coronation Mass.

After studying Kinesiology in her undergraduate degree, Ms. Nystrom earned a Master of Music in Opera at the University of British Columbia where she won the Johann Strauss Foundation Award. This allowed her to travel to Salzburg, Austria and study at the Mozarteum. She also holds an A.R.C.T. in Singing Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Ms. Nystrom was a NATS Intern at the University of North Carolina where she performed and taught. She has travelled to Husum, Germany to sing in a Meisterkurs für Liedgestaltung. For the last several summers, Ms. Nystrom has taught at the UBC Summer Vocal Workshop.


Dr. Allan Thorpe, Langley, Canada (Provincial Woodwinds)

Dr. Thorpe (DMA - Performance-Bassoon, University of British Columbia) has been a professional orchestral musician since the mid-1980s performing regularly with the Vancouver Opera Orchestra and Pacific Baroque Orchestra. Since 1995, he has been the Wind Sectional Coach for the Surrey Youth Orchestra.

As a freelance musician, he has performed with Ballet BC, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Miss Siagon and the Phantom of the Opera.

He has been on faculty at Trinity Western University since 1995; with many prior years teaching music theory (Rudiments, Harmony and Aural Skills). At Trinity Western University he conducts the concert band, coaches small ensembles, teaches harmony and serves as musical director for SAMC’s musicals.

Dr. Terence Dawson, Vancouver, Canada (Provincial Piano)

His musicality described as “lucid” (Globe and Mail), his performances as “stunning” (Vancouver Sun), and possessing “trademark elegance and technical flair” (Georgia Straight), pianist Terence Dawson has earned a reputation as one of Vancouver’s most respected musicians. Repeat invitations to give both concerts and master classes from coast to coast across Canada, as well as in the USA, England and Asia affirm his versatility as a performer, dedicated teacher and an engaging lecturer.
His career spans that of solo pianist and chamber musician in both small and large ensembles. He has appeared as concerto soloist with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, The National Arts Centre Orchestra, Curio Ensemble, and he is the collaborator of choice for numerous artists and ensembles. The principal pianist for the CBC Curio Ensemble and Artistic Director and pianist of Vancouver’s celebrated Masterpiece Chamber Music Series, he has recorded nine commercial discs of chamber repertoire, and is a familiar name to CBC radio audiences. Dr. Dawson has also served as a jury member for several important competitions, including the Canadian Music Competition, the Canadian Federation of Music Teacher’s National Piano Competition, and the Canada Council. He was a founding faculty member of the Vancouver International Song Institute, the VSO Summer Orchestral Institute, and the summer program of Strings and Keys, held in Bergen, Alberta – located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

Following doctoral studies with pianist Jane Coop, Terence Dawson joined the School of Music faculty in 1991, and has served for 9 years as Chair of the Keyboard Division and Division Coordinator for 19 years. He currently teaches piano, chamber music and collaborative studies.