student and teacherOur Program

It’s new, it’s different….it’s better than most everything else.  — Drumline student

I see progress…she practices, she seems more settled already.  — Parent of Beginning Strings student.

Harmony Project Sooke offers the following programs for students in School District #62:

  • Strings Classes for students in Grades 2 and up
  • Drumline for students in Grades 5 and up
  • Students receive a musical instrument to take home and use as their own.
  • Students are enrolled in classes appropriate to their progress. Those who demonstrate superior progress or require special attention are offered private lessons.
  • All students are enrolled in an ensemble. All levels of ability are able to participate.
  • Orchestras and small ensembles perform in concerts throughout the year.

Watch our story below:


Our Mission

To promote the healthy growth and development of children through the study, practice and performance of music.

To build healthier communities by investing in the positive development of children through music.

Our Team


Anne McDougall, Norman Nelson, and Lorna Bjorklund

founded the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra and was its Conductor and Music Director for 20 years. He studied violin at the Royal College of Music in London, was a founding member of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and performed as a chamber musician in major cities around the world. He became Concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in 1965, and later was appointed professor of violin and chamber music at the University of Alberta, where he was Conductor of the Academy Strings and the University Symphony Orchestra. In 1997, he founded the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra. Norman received the Orchestras Canada Betty Webster Award in 2007 and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

LORNA BJORKLUND, Executive Director
is a music teacher, pianist and designer/developer of music programs for K-12 levels in Canada, Brazil and the Cayman Islands. In Sooke she developed the Journey Middle School Concert Band, elementary and high school music classes, a school orchestra program for Westshore Learning Centre, an academy for instruction on all instruments and a piano teaching studio. She plays auxiliary percussion with the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra. She has studied with Lyell Gustin, Winifred Scott Wood and Robert Holliston and has a Masters degree in Music Education.

MARGARET MARTIN, Founder of Harmony Project in L.A.
founded Harmony Project in 2001 in Los Angeles, California. The program has provided instruments and tuition-free group and private music lessons to thousands of L.A.’s most vulnerable children as a means of positive youth development and social inclusion.  In 2011, Ms. Martin went from being a homeless single mother to earning her Ph.D. degree, and received the Citizens Medal from U.S. President Barack Obama.


ANNE MCDOUGALL, Teacher Advisor
was Concertmaster of the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra, and is a respected private string teacher in Sooke. She has performed extensively as a professional violinist, primarily with the Edmonton Symphony and the Alberta Baroque Ensemble. She has 40 years teaching experience, including over 20 years at the Alberta College Conservatory, where she was head of the String Department from 2002-2004. Anne has her Masters of Music degree from the University of Alberta, where she studied with Norman Nelson.

Maria Wang, Lead Strings Teacher
was born in Taiwan where she began learning piano at age six and taking cello lessons at the age of thirteen. She received a full scholarship to attend West Virginia University where she earned a Bachelor of Music degree. After moving to Canada, she completed a Master of Music degree in Cello Performance at the University of Victoria, where she studied under Pamela Highbaugh-Aloni. She teaches privately and at local music programs, is Principal Cellist with the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra and participates in a variety of performance opportunities as a freelance cellist.

Chris Rivollier, Drumline Teacher
began drumming in Calgary as a member of the Round Up Band, Stampede Showband, Allegiance Elite Drum and Bugle Corp, and East Coast Jazz Drum and Bugle Corp. He has taught numerous Drumlines, including the Calgary Stampede Showband. His pedagogy includes an emphasis on proper marching percussion technique and skill development – doing things the “right way”. Chris is on staff with School District #62 at Belmont Secondary. “This is a disciplined process that requires patience and commitment. I am proud to report great buy-in from the students, and am very excited to work with this group. I believe that we are on pace to be among the best Drumlines in British Columbia in a couple short years.”

Additional Teachers: Lachlan Barry, Hollas Longton, Jade Chu, Mahtab Saadatmand

Class Assistants: Brent Straughan, Eleanor Shambrook

Board of Directors, Harmony Project Society of B.C.

Terry Cristall, President
Richard Sharman, Treasurer
Janice Hlady, Secretary

Susan Colonval
Katherine Lesyshen (Grants)
David Stewart (Fundraising)
Sheila Whincup (Publicity)


Harmony Project Sooke is grateful to the Sooke Philharmonic Society and its Orchestra for their ongoing guidance and support. We also acknowledge Harmony Project L.A. for their help and inspiration.
We sincerely thank the following for financial and in-kind support:
The Victoria Foundation, District of Sooke, Ernest Lieblich Foundation, School District #62, RBC Sooke Branch, Tom Lee Music, MusiCounts, TD Bank, CRD Juan de Fuca Electoral Area, TLC Fund for Kids, Sooke Rotary Club, Egon Baumann Music Foundation, St. John’s Legacy Foundation,  Telus, the Sheldon-Gilmour Foundation, and many generous individuals and local businesses.

SPOVictoria FoundationDistrict of Sooke

RBCTom Lee Music