Saxophonist and educator Nicole Strum is a multifaceted musician: she is equally at home interpreting new works and collaborating with composers, teaching courses in music theory and aural skills, directing ensembles and facilitating chamber music workshops, and coaching woodwind players. As a performer, she has been praised for her expressive voice and the intensity of her interpretations; as a studio teacher, her commitment to guiding students to discover their unique musical identity is recognized by her colleagues.
Nicole is a member of two duos focused on contemporary music: with flautist Liesel Deppe she formed Feldsperling Duo, and premiered commissioned works at Arrayspace in Toronto and on the Canadian East Coast. Following their debut at Halifax's Open Waters New Music Festival, the Strum-De Borba duo, with saxophonist Tristan De Borba, capped a 2019 mini-series of performances with a faculty residency at the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance for its inaugural Saxophone Academy.
Other performance highlights include appearances at the North American Saxophone Alliance's Regional and Biennial conferences, the World Saxophone Congress, the Society for Composers Inc. Region 10 Conference, the UNCG New Music Festival, Mount Allison University's Recital Series, the Transitio_MX Festival Internacional de Artes Electrónicas in Mexico City, and as concerto soloist with the UPEI Wind Symphony.
Nicole has taught music theory at Kwantlen University and UBC. In 2022 she was Visiting Assistant Professor of Single Reeds and Conducting at Mount Allison University, and was the Woodwind Specialist for Halifax Regional Arts in Nova Scotia the year prior. Currently she is on faculty at the University of Prince Edward Island where she teaches saxophone and aural skills. She adjudicates at local and national music festivals, leads workshops and clinics, and coordinates UPEI Summer Studios, a week-long chamber music workshop for advanced young musicians.
Nicole holds a performance diploma from the Bordeaux Conservatory, where she studied with renowned French saxophonist Marie-Bernadette Charrier, and a DMA and Certificate of Music Theory Pedagogy from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.
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Strum-De Borba Duo
Following their debut performance at Halifax's Open Waters New Music Festival, the Strum-De Borba Duo (with saxophonist Tristan De Borba) has performed at UPEI, Acadia University, NASA's Region 10 Conference at Western University, and the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance, where in 2019 they spent two weeks as guest faculty for LAMP's inaugural Saxophone Academy. The duo is currently working on a new work for two baritone saxophones by Canadian composer Robert Humber to be premiered in 2023.
Feldsperling Duo is Liesel Deppe, flutes, and Nicole Strum, saxophones. Member of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Liesel is a seasoned orchestral musician and concert soloist, hailing from South Africa by way of Munich, where she pursued graduate studies at the Hochschule there, and later at the University of Toronto. Instructor of saxophone at the University of Prince Edward Island, Nicole's passion for contemporary music led her to study at the Bordeaux Conservatory and teach courses in modern and post-modern music theory. Their diverse backgrounds form a unique synthesis of musical perspectives, strengthened by their commitment to commissioning and performing compelling original works for flute and saxophone – they have premiered new works by Canadian composer Sean Clarke and Colombian/UK composer Camilo Mendez – as well as re-imagining older duo repertoire in order to include saxophone, such as works by W.F. Bach and Isang Yun.