Board of Directors

Valerie Sim, President

Valerie Sim is a scientist who practices medicine to support her music habit. She started piano at age 5 and violin at age 7, obtaining her Associateship of Music (violin) and her grade IX piano at Mount Royal College (now University) in Calgary before turning to a life of science and medicine, with music on the side. Now, in addition to her role as concertmaster of the Orchestra Borealis, she is concertmaster of the Edmonton Metropolitan Orchestra, she is a member of the early music ensemble LaFolia, she performs chamber music, she plays for musicals, and every now and then she can be caught fiddling… behind her back..

Tom Burton, Vice President

Tom has always been passionate about violin playing. It was his dream to play professionally but now feels he is in a better position then he ever dreamed of which is to play for enjoyment while pursuing his career as a psychotherapist. He is glad to be on the board to help make the orchestra experience one that all enjoy.

Mindy Lamont, Treasurer

Mindy began playing cello at the age of 8 in the Edmonton Public School’s music enrichment program and played in the former CSO from 2004. She is co-founder of La Folia, an Edmonton string ensemble dedicated to the historically-informed performance of early music and is active in many other ensembles. When not playing cello or viola da gamba, she runs a bookkeeping business and is also a working partner in an industrial supply company.

Adrian Rys, Secretary

Adrian has been playing cello semi-professionally and for fun most of his life.  He studied at the Conservatory of Music in Montreal with Walter Joachim, then Principal Cellist of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.  He has spent three summers with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.  While pursuing a career as a Federal Public Servant, Adrian was Assistant Principal Cellist in the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra.  He is now Principal Cellist with Orchestra Borealis and the Edmonton Metropolitan Orchestra.  Adrian also loves chamber music and has played in many chamber music groups, often for community events and weddings.

Sarah Wu, registrar

Sarah started playing the piano at the age of 6 and then began Flute studies with Dorothy Speers at the age of 10. Over the years, the opportunities to play in various ensembles within Edmonton’s vibrant music scene have been a source of joy. It all started with the Edmonton Youth Orchestra, then the Cosmopolitan Music Society, and Concordia Symphony. She currently plays 2nd Flute in Orchestra Borealis.

Between rehearsals, she spends her day as a pregnancy chiropractor, helping to keep expectant moms moving well. Sarah is pleased to be in the company of the talented musicians of Orchestra Borealis as we share our passion for music with the Edmonton community!

Robin Taylor, Concert Organizer

Robin Taylor has worked as a free-lance musician for the last 40 years, playing with the Tommy Banks band, The Edmonton Symphony, the Nomads, the Classics and many other local groups. He has played bassoon for the last 30 years starting with the Concordia College orchestra and continuing with Orchestra Borealis. Between rehearsals he might be found enjoying a craft beer or trying to start a vintage motorcycle.

Sylvia Shadick-Taylor, Member at Large

Sylvia Shadick-Taylor began piano at age 4 and violin at 7.  She has a very active career as a professional pianist by performing as a soloist, a chamber musician and as a collaborative pianist, teaching, adjudicating and presenting clinics.  Growing up in Saskatoon, Sylvia played violin in many ensembles including a string quartet, a chamber orchestra and in the Saskatoon Junior Symphony (two years as concert mistress) as well as in the pit orchestra for various musicals.  She finds playing in Orchestra Borealis to be very rewarding, both for its friendly group dynamic and for the chance to share music-making with all the other players.  Leisure time is spent travelling, hiking, doing puzzles and some gardening.

Lorna Misselbrook, Member at Large

Lorna started playing French Horn in Saskatchewan when she was 11 years old. Her love of music led to her receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance from the University of Saskatchewan. Lorna has played in many bands and orchestras in Saskatoon and Edmonton including the Saskatoon Symphony, Edmonton Philharmonic and Concordia. She currently plays 2nd French horn in Orchestra Borealis.

Currently she is studying to obtain her Yoga Teacher Training certificate where she hopes to incorporate the healing properties of music with yoga.

Justin Malchow, member at large

Justin began playing horn in his school’s band and soon began to study at the Mount Royal Conservatory with Laurie Matiation. He then pursued music further in his post secondary studies at the University of Victoria where he studied with Kurt Kellan, earning a double major Bachelor’s Degree with honours in Music Performance and Germanic Studies. Justin spent the following years playing horn in various orchestras on Vancouver Island, with a side venture in natural horn at the Oregon Bach Festival, while starting a career in the public service. Justin returned to Alberta and settled in Edmonton where he now plays third horn in Orchestra Borealis. When Justin isn’t playing music he can be found outdoors, most often trekking through the mountains.

Bob Sadler, member at large