Valerie Sylvester received her Master’s Degree in violin performance from the Mannes School of Music in New York after completing undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto. She revels in an eclectic musical career, playing not only violin but also Baroque violin, viola, and bass viola da gamba. Valerie is concertmaster of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra and of Opera York, and also freelances with symphony orchestras and ensembles around Ontario. In addition, she performs as concertmaster for many orchestral/choral collaborations throughout the province and is an avid chamber musician, having participated in the premieres of many new Canadian works. Valerie is a founding member of several ensembles including Concordo and the Cardinal Consort of Viols. She was a member of the onstage band for the television show ‘Canadian Idol’ for its last five seasons and most recently joined ‘The Wintergarten Orchestra’, an eleven-piece band specialising in prohibition-era music from the dawn of the jazz age. Valerie is an enthusiastic violin teacher of students of any age and she also enjoys adjudicating music festivals and coaching in a local arts-focussed high school.