Marcus Hissen, Trombone

Although not from a family of performing musicians, Marcus grew up in an environment of deep respect for the arts and sciences.  He was introduced to the trombone through the public school system under Sheri Robertson (Mt Newton Middle School), Don Scott and Jan Heinrichs (Stelly’s Secondary School).  After initial private lessons with Greg Passmore, Marcus went on to formal studies with Ian McDougall and Eugene Dowling (UVic, 1995-2000), Gordon Cherry (Vancouver Academy of Music, 2000-01), and Gordon Wolfe (Glenn Gould School, 2001-03).  Participation with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, National Academy Orchestra of Canada, Gros Mourne Summer Music, and The Banff Centre, as well as a temporary position as acting principal trombone of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and occasional performances with the Toronto Symphony, provided a strong foundation for Marcus’s application to the Victoria Symphony.

As Victoria also happened to be Marcus’s home town, the joyful experience of watching nieces and nephews growing up inspired him to create a new kind of performing ensemble (violin, percussion, clarinet, and trombone) that integrated storytelling with instrumental performance for the purpose of introducing young children to the different instrument families of the orchestra.  Operating as a registered charity, Music Corner was developed as a go-to outreach/education service for any orchestra and offers nine different programs including The Magic Flute, Carnival of the Animals, and Peter And The Wolf.  Musical arrangements, as well as original compositions, were commissioned from Canadian composers, Anna Hostman and David Clenman.  The ensemble released its first album, Aesop’s Animals (produced by Adrian Dolan and with original music by David Clenman) in 2011, winning the Parent’s Choice Foundation’s Silver Award that year.

In 2013, Marcus developed Symphony Storytime for the Victoria Symphony, targeting smaller audiences of preschool-aged children.  This 2-person program matches any high- and low-pitched instrument to offer children a simplified, more up-close experience.

In 2010, Marcus took a 10-month leave from the Victoria Symphony to study landscape horticulture at the Pacific Horticulture College.  Since then he has founded a small business, Monarch Horticulture, that provides design, installation, and maintenance services to dozens of commercial and residential clients throughout Greater Victoria.  His dream is to build a prosperous business and become an early adopter of electric machinery.

Throughout his career, Marcus has relied on a succession of fitness activities to avoid injury, insanity or some combination of the two.  These include Hung-fut Kung-fu (Sheong Wong Kung Fu Club, 1998-2005), Chen Tai Chi (Kit Wong, 2005-10), Yoga, and weightlifting.  A competitive cyclist in high school, he continues to risk it all on the streets of Victoria, usually with a trombone on his back.

Hometown: Victoria, BC

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