The Blythwood Winds is one of Toronto's most sought-after wind ensembles. Founded in 2010, the wind quintet performs at many of Toronto's musical and cultural venues including the Canadian Music Centre, the Music Gallery, Gallery 345, Array Space, and The Art Gallery of Ontario. Above all else, the Blythwood Winds is committed to the performance of Canadian music. In 2015, the quintet gave a concert at the Music Gallery featuring world premieres by Toronto based composers Kevin Lau, William Rowson, and Nathaniel Barnes. This past year, they hosted Hogtown Roundup 2: Toronto Graffiti at Toronto’s Heliconian Hall, premiering newly commissioned music by Jason Doell, Elisha Denburg, and Bekah Simms. The group was also featured in 2015 on the JUNOfest Classical Nominees’ Showcase presented by CBC Music with the Canadian Music Centre in Hamilton, Ontario where they performed Jacques Hétu's Quintette, Op. 13. Other recent concerts included summer appearances at the Toronto Music Garden, and Music at St. James Park.
The Blythwood Winds have a fruitful relationship with the Canadian Music Centre with performances of music by Canadian composers Norman Sherman, Elisha Denburg, and Alan Heard. The quintet has also been involved with the CMC's OPUS Testing, a co-presentation with Musica Reflecta in which the group premiered pieces by Toronto composers for wind quintet and narrator inspired by popular Russian fables. This concert will be presented again this November as part of New Music 101, an educational concert series that combines performance and discussion in Toronto Public Libraries. As well as its live performances, the Blythwood Winds is featured on the Canadian Music Centre's digital audio archive CentreStreams, with recordings in 2013 of previously unrecorded works by Toronto composers James Gayfer and Elisha Denburg, and other CMC Associate Composers.
In addition to its dedication to presenting the works of Canadian composers, the Blythwood Winds is passionate about spreading music to all audiences, performing its own arrangements of symphonic repertoire, holiday music, and movie soundtracks at many Toronto bars and restaurants.
Tim Crouch is an active freelance flutist and arts administrator in the Toronto region, being one of the founding members of the Blythwood Winds. Passionate about bringing new audiences to experience culture in Toronto, he is currently the Senior Manager of Marketing and Audience Engagement at Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir, the Director of Marketing and Development for the Toy Piano Composers, and is the Marketing/PR coordinator at Continuum Contemporary Music. He is also the Chair of the Board of Musicworks magazine, is a voting member for the Ontario region of the Canadian Music Centre, and is highly involved with the Bloor St Culture Corridor. Most recently he was appointed co-Chair of the Classical Selection Committee for the JUNO Awards. Mr. Crouch received his Bachelor of Music from Western University, his Masters of Music from the University of Toronto, and an Artist Diploma from the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory. Tim loves to relax, swim, and kayak in his home town of Fenelon Falls.
As an alumna of Laurier and University of Cincinnati, oboist Dr. Elizabeth Eccleston is a former student of James Mason and Mark Ostoich. Heavily involved with chamber and orchestral music performances, she has been a concerto soloist with orchestras in Kamloops, Waterloo and Cincinnati. In addition, she has performed both new and traditional music in chamber and orchestral settings during many years of travel with festival tours in China, Italy, the United States, as well as Canada with National Academy Orchestra and National Youth Orchestra.
Dr. Eccleston held a full-time position with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra as Second Oboe/English Horn for four seasons. Currently she is an active professional free-lancer in Ontario, performing with symphonies in Kitchener-Waterloo, Niagara, Kingston, Sudbury, North Bay and Toronto. Liz is a member of the Toronto-based Thin Edge New Music Collective, as well as Blythwood Winds, premiering works by Canadian composers with these professional chamber ensembles each year.
As a freelance clarinetist, Anthony Thompson performs with many Toronto-based ensembles. As an orchestral musician, Anthony appears frequently with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He has performed under the baton of renowned conductors Leonard Slatkin, Zubin Mehta, Peter Oundjian, Kerry Stratton, and Sir Andrew Davis. Anthony has also appeared with the Toronto Concert Orchestra, the Arizona Opera Orchestra and the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra.
Anthony has a deep passion for contemporary music, performing regularly with many of Canada's premier new music ensembles such as New Music Concerts, Continuum, and Soundstreams. Additionally, he is a full-time member of the Toy Piano Composers Ensemble and the Thin Edge New Music Collective. He has performed in contemporary music festivals across Canada, most recently in Alberta and British Columbia, as well as in Asia at the National Concert Hall in Taipei and the Beijing Modern Music Festival.
As a founding member of the Blythwood Winds woodwind quintet, Anthony is also an active chamber musician, performing regularly at many of Toronto’s musical and cultural venues. In addition to his performance career, Anthony has a private teaching studio and also composes music for solo clarinet and bass clarinet. Anthony holds an Artist Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, a Master of Music from the University of New Mexico, and a Bachelor of Music from California State University, Northridge. His teachers include Joaquin Valdepeñas, Dr. Robert Spring, Dr. Julia Heinen, and Keith Lemmons.
Kevin Harris, Bassoon
Kevin Harris has been a prodigious chamber musician for many years, performing with a variety of groups in venues all over the Toronto area. He has devoted many hours to compiling a wide selection of lesser-known works for woodwind quintet, and is always searching for opportunities to explore the repertoire. Kevin enjoys crafting arrangements for chamber ensembles, (such as a woodwind quintet reduction of Mozart's opera Così fan tutte), and his output also encompasses other, less traditional combinations of instruments: (the occasional '80s pop song cover for electro-acoustic bassoon quartet).
Kevin completed his post-secondary music studies at The Glenn Gould School, studying with Fraser Jackson and Nadina Mackie Jackson. There, he worked with a multitude of world-renowned conductors, and has since built up an active freelancing career. He currently performs regularly with the Toronto Concert Orchestra, the Scarborough Philharmonic, and the National Academy Orchestra, to name a few. Kevin has also performed with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony.
CURTIS VANDER HYDEN, HORN
Curtis Vander Hyden first took up the horn at the age of thirteen and instantly fell in love with the experience of ensemble music-making. He pursued this insatiable infatuation first to McGill University, and then to the University of Toronto, achieving degrees in performance after studying with Denys Derome and Christopher Gongos respectively. Basing himself in Toronto, Curtis soon became an active orchestral musician in the Toronto area and currently holds the position of 4th horn with Niagara Symphony Orchestra. He is also a sought-after freelance musician, performing regularly with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and Gary Morgan's All-Star Latin Jazz Orchestra, Panamericana. Most recently, he joined the Blythwood Winds and has greatly enjoyed exploring the world of modern Canadian Wind Quintets. When he is not performing, Curtis can often be found in the office of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, working as the Manager of Development Operations. In his free time, Curtis enjoys arranging popular film scores for Wind Quintet and gaming online with his brothers.