Founder and Director
Bassoonist Kerry Graham was born in Aberdeen, Scotland. Throughout her early school years she played recorders, clarinet and piano, and earned the Grade X clarinet and Grade X piano qualifications from The Royal Conservatory of Music. She was awarded the Conservatory’s silver medal for clarinet performance. Kerry graduated from the University of Calgary with a BSc in Engineering, and went on to have a twenty-five year career as a chemical engineer. While working as an engineer, Kerry never stopped playing music. She played clarinet with the Calgary Wind Ensemble, the Calgary Civic Symphony, the Houston Symphonic Band and the Perth Concert Band. She had the opportunity to play in many places around the world including the Great Wall of China, the Australian Outback, and the French Riveria.
In 2012, after exhausting the creative possibilities of Powerpoint Presentations, she left the engineering world and began studying her favourite instrument, the bassoon, with Christopher Sales in Calgary. In 2013 she was accepted to the UBC School of Music. At UBC she studied modern bassoon with Jesse Read and Julia Lockhart, and baroque bassoon with Katrina Russell. She played in the UBC Symphony Orchestra, the UBC Early Music Recorder Ensemble, and participated in Early Music Vancouver’s Baroque Orchestra Mentorship Programme led by conductor and harpsichordist Alexander Weimann. Kerry graduated from UBC in 2017 with a BMus in Bassoon Performance.
Kerry lives on Salt Spring Island where she plays in the Bach on the Rock Chamber Orchestra, the Baroque Ensemble of Salt Spring Island (BESSIE) and the Faire Wyndes Quintet on Gabriola Island.
Kerry is passionate about baroque music. She has participated in baroque music workshops and masterclasses in Canada, the USA and Europe. She was rewarded the Early Music Vancouver Scholarship in 2018 and 2020, and the San Francisco Early Music Society Scholarship in 2019.
Harpsichordist, organist and music director Marco Vitale was born in Palermo, Italy. After finishing studies in his hometown, he attended the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague where he studied harpsichord with Ton Koopman and organ with Jos van der Kooy, graduating with a master’s degree in Early Music. Throughout his career Marco has performed at the most prestigious venues and festivals throughout Europe, the USA, Canada, South America, the Middle East and Asia. From 2008-2011 Marco Vitale worked at the Higher Institute of Music in Damascus, Syria, where he taught early music performance practice and performed concerts together with Syrian musicians.
He is the co-founder and musical director of Contrasto Armonico, an ensemble specializing in Baroque operas and the performance of music in the Italian style, using period instruments and historically informed performance practices. In 2012 he founded his own record label ayros, which features recordings by Contrasto Armonico and other artists. In a collaboration with ayros, Marco is currently involved in recording the Complete Italian Cantatas by Handel, a thrilling project that will bring to light many undiscovered jewels of Handel’s which have yet to be either edited or recorded. Marco has appeared on several radio and TV broadcasts, including the specialized music channel Mezzo.tv. In addition to ayros, he has recorded for Alia Vox, Naïve, and Brilliant Classics.
Mr. Vitale appeared as a guest conductor of the Warsaw Chamber Opera between 2015 and 2017, performing a variety of repertoire from Monteverdi madrigals to Mozart symphonies. In 2016-2017 he revived the opera Semiramide riconosciuta by Leonardo Vinci, conducting from the harpsichord at the Baroque Opera festival in Warsaw. This was the first time in three centuries that this opera had been performed.
In 2018 he composed Il ratto di Helena, an opera in 17th century style based on a libretto written by Virgilio Puccitelli (1636). The opera was commissioned by The Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, and performed in Vilnius in celebration of 100 years of Lithuanian independence.
Marco gives masterclasses in harpsichord and Early Music performance practice. He is the artistic director of the Arcadia Early Music Academy workshop in Poland and teaches at La Pellegrina summer school in the Czech Republic. He gives masterclasses, lectures and workshops at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, Fondazione Paolo Grassi in Martina Franca (Italy), ESMUC in Barcelona, the Higher Institute of Music in Damascus, and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Since 2017 Marco has been the music director of the Denman Baroque Workshop & Festival organized by Andrew Fyson and Robert Newton, which takes place every spring on Denman Island, British Columbia. Marco performs regularly with Jordi Savall’s ensembles Le Concert des Nations & Hespèrion XXI.
In January 2020 he toured British Columbia performing 15 harpsichord recitals, driving throughout the province braving snowstorms and the Coquihalla Highway.
Since 2020 he has been the artistic director of the Salt Spring Baroque Music Society.
Directors at large
Carolyn Hatch is a violin teacher and fiddler, living and teaching on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, Canada. She studied violin and violin pedagogy with Shinichi Suzuki in Japan and with Paul Rolland from the University of Illinois where she graduated with a Masters Degree in violin performance. Although classically trained she began adding fiddle tunes to her teaching while teaching in Calgary, Alberta and founded the now famous Calgary Fiddlers. She has played in many classical organizations and became a well-versed fiddler and loves to play and teach many styles of fiddling from all over the world. She has been teaching full time for over 43 years (and still enjoys it!). In 2020, Carolyn founded BESSI, the Baroque Ensemble of Salt Spring Island.
Being a fan of music from the late 70’s and early 80’s John thought Early Music meant Elvis and The Everly Brothers. He is learning to appreciate Bach, Boismortier, and Buxteheude and will soon delve into Charpentier, Corelli, and Couperin. John brings to the Board of Salt Spring Baroque his experiences gained as treasurer and board member at another non profit society, as an adult education volunteer, and from twenty years of work at a multinational company.