Finalists from the 2018 Concerto Competition

Finalists from the 2018 Concerto Competition


Don Chrysler Concerto Competition for Young Musicians

Don had admiration and respect for the benefits classical music provides – not only to an individual soul, but to civilization as a whole. Having great empathy for those willing to follow their creative spirit and produce great beauty, he realized this was often a path fraught with harsh realities. He therefore decided, early on, to share his time, effort and bounty to bolster, support and encourage the artistic endeavours of others. He was an honourable, intelligent man, tremendously generous.

It is to his memory that so many of his friends have donated to a Concerto Fund in his name. I would like to add my heartfelt thanks to you all.
— Janette Chrysler

14th Annual Don Chrysler Concerto Competition—april 20, 2019

  • Feb. 8, 2019: submit application form and recording

  • Feb. 15, 2019: finalists announced

  • Apr. 20, 2019: final competition performance (Free for Public! Philip T. Young Recital Hall, UVic)

  • Oct. 19-27, 2019: rehearsal and performance with the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra

The Don Chrysler Concerto Competition is open to instrumental and voice students up to and including the age of 25 years (as of January 1, 2019). They must be studying privately or at an accredited institution on Vancouver Island or the Gulf Islands.

The 1st prize winner will have the honour of performing as a soloist at two performances with the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra. The Celebration of Young Artists concerts will take place on October 26, 2019 at the Sooke Community Hall and October 27, 2019 at the Royal Bay Secondary School theatre (location to be confirmed).


Preliminary audition will be by recording. Those interested should complete the application form and submit it, together with your recording, postmarked no later than Friday February 8, 2019. The recorded performance must be accompanied. In the case of a concerto, ONLY THE WHOLE OF THE FIRST MOVEMENT, plus cadenza, if any, should be presented. In the case of a song cycle or similarly constructed composition, a minimum of 15 minutes of contrasting material is required. To ensure anonymity during the first round of judging, please just label only the CD case (your name, instrument and piece). Finalists will be announced no later than Friday February 15, 2019.

The final competition will take place on Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at the Phillip T Young Recital Hall, University of Victoria. This will be a live performance of the ENTIRE CONCERTO before a panel of judges and audience. Finalists must provide an accompanist where applicable. In the case of a pianist, there should be a second, accompanying pianist playing the orchestral parts, for which a second piano will be available. The works must be performed in their entirety, with no cuts in the opening tuttis, etc. The winners will be announced at the end of the concert.

There is no specific repertoire list to choose from.
However, prior to preparing and submitting your application, you must contact the Music Director of the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra at to confirm the suitability of your selection. Failure to do so may invalidate your submission.

If a finalist is unable to meet the April 20st competition date and rehearsal/concert dates (October 19- 27, 2019), he or she must notify the Music Director immediately.

this year’s finalists

Emma Dunbar, Violin


Concerto No. 2 in D major, K. 211

Allegro moderato - Andante -  Rondeau, Allegro

Ayari Kasukawa, Saxophone


Concerto in E flat

Allegro moderato - Andante - Fugato

Lexie Krakowski, Cello


Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op.33

Allegro non troppo

Allegretto con moto

Tempo primo

Jeanel Liang, Violin


Concerto in D, Op.77



Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo vivace — Poco più presto 


Rebecca Hissen, Clarinet

Victoria-based clarinetist, Rebecca Hissen, is an active performer of symphonic and chamber repertoire that ranges from classical to contemporary. She is a member of the Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy and also performs regularly with the Victoria Symphony. Rebecca has also performed with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, the Vancouver Symphony and with Pacific Opera Victoria.

Rebecca is a founding member of Music Corner, a musical storytelling ensemble that is dedicated to introducing preschool and school age children to live classical music. The group's 2011 debut album, Aesop's Animals, won the Parent's Choice Awards “Silver Honour” for best children's album.

Rebecca holds a Masters Degree from the Manhattan School of Music and a Bachelors Degree from the University of Victoria. 

 Alasdair Money, Cello

Cellist, Alasdair Money grew up in Victoria and studied with James Hunter for many years at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. He graduated in 1991 from the Associate in Musical Arts Diploma program and went on to complete a Bachelor of Music degree at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. While there, he studied with Lawrence Lesser and Michael Haber. After graduating from NEC in 1995, Alasdair went to England to study in London with Raphael Wallfisch at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he received a post-graduate diploma in cello performance.

 Alasdair has attended such festivals as Banff and Orford in Canada and the Dartington, Evian and Verbier music festivals in England and in Europe. While back in Canada, Alasdair works with the Victoria and Vancouver Island symphonies, the Emily Carr String Quartet, the Galiano and Aventa ensembles and has played with the Vancouver Symphony orchestra. He also completed a Master of Music degree in cello performance at the University of Victoria where he studied with Pamela Highbaugh-Aloni and Paula Kiffner.

 Robert Skelton, Violin

Dr. Robert Skelton is a native of Chilliwack, BC where he studied violin with Earle Dunne, subsequently studying with Clifford Evens in Vancouver and later in Toronto. He completed a B. Mus degree  (University of Toronto) and holds Master's and Doctoral degrees in Violin Performance, Literature and Pedagogy at Indiana University with the noted violinist and pedagogue, Josef Gingold. Robert was the National Youth Orchestra's first concertmaster in 1960. He is a Royal Conservatory examiner and has been a senior string adjudicator for many of Canada's major music festivals. Dr. Skelton retired as Professor of Violin Emeritus from the University of Western Ontario in 2003 where he taught violin and chamber music for several decades.  He is now a resident of Vancouver Island.

For further information, please contact:
Jenny Nelson

Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra
P.O. Box 767
Sooke, BC
V9Z 1H7
(250) 642-5760 or
(250) 386-5760
contact us

Name *


Generously donated by: Long & McQuade

1st Prize: Performance of the winning concerto with the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra plus $600

2nd Prize: $400