What people say about us!

“It has been my great pleasure to be associated with the Con Brio Whistler Music Festival since it was founded.  In my travels through Canada, the US and abroad I have seen many outstanding events of a similar nature, but Con Brio Whistler stands alone for the comprehensiveness of first rate performance, educational and social activities for students and teachers alike.  Of course the setting of Whistler is a major international attraction, but it is the people who design and deliver the Festival that give it so much meaning and leads to so many programs returning year after year.  It is truly a one of a kind experience that I heartily endorse.”

Dr. Glenn D. Price, Past-President, World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE), Artistic Director, Wind Orchestra of Latin America (OLV), Artistic Director, WASBE Youth Wind Orchestra, Director of Wind Studies, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music

 The Con Brio Whistler Music Festival is without a doubt one of the finest music festivals of its kind in the world with the emphasis on MUSIC and on the whole student musician that is unique and truly extraordinary. Doug, Sue and everyone associated with Con Brio Festivals make an incalculably positive impact on thousands of young lives each year. Con Brio is a force for all that is good and is an example of what is possible when music education and student welfare is the motivating factor. Your students will leave having had a world-class experience.”
Dr. Mark Walker, Director of Bands, Associate Professor of Music,
John M. Long School of Music, Troy University

I just want to thank Sue and Doug for yet another great experience at the Whistler Con Brio Festival. Congratulations on your 20th anniversary, and know that you have provided thousands of students with musical inspiration and memories that will last a lifetime! Looking forward to attending in 2022!

Kirk Wassmer – Didsbury High School, AB

Congratulations on running a superb festival!  Extremely well-organized, plenty of volunteers to assist students and teachers. Fantastic selection of adjudicators and clinicians!  I really enjoyed the professional and positive vibe that exuded from all of the festival coordinators, volunteers and clinicians. Thank you for all your efforts in putting together such an amazing experience for all of the music kids and educators.  I was genuinely impressed by the high level of organization and professionalism by the entire Ellison and Con Brio team.  This was my first time attending and I definitely plan to return to the Con Brio Music Festival in the future.

Edward Trovato – Gleneagle Secondary School, Coquitlam, BC

The clinicians at Con Brio Sun Peaks for band, choir and jazz Band were PHENOMENAL. Their guidance and assistance with our students still resonate with them. Thank you to all of the clinicians!!

Mandart Chan, Belmont Secondary School, Langford, BC

We loved the fact that once we got to Whistler that we never had to get back on a bus to get to any of our events. We enjoyed how the festival kept you busy during your time in Whistler. Student Welcome event, scavenger hunts, performances, adjudications, concerts, etc. The second clinic (intensive) was awesome.  

Taylor Schmidt, Dauphin Regional High School, MB

The Con Brio Music Festival is excellent!  The concert band ensemble intensive workshop was very good.  Our planner was – excellent – especially when unexpected issues arose.  I thought the tour was well-planned and implemented by Ellison. 

Kathie Van Lare  – Centennial High School, Calgary, AB

I had an excellent experience.   Ellison was very accommodating and able to make changes to significantly eliminate a cost barrier for my students.  My students described their clinic with Dr. Dale Lonis as “life-changing”. They will never forget it. The massed band was an incredible entity to take part in.  

 Shannon Wolf –  Grand Forks Secondary School, BC

Thanks for organizing such a great experience for our kids once again!  I recommend this festival to all the music directors I know as it full of high caliber professionals and really is a great weekend celebrating youth and music!  We like the fact that it is so well organized and there is very little for us to sort out!  We liked most our performance/clinic and the Malcolm Aiken Jazz Ensemble. They are an amazing group and the kids connected with their set list.

Megan Frederick – Okanagan Mission Secondary School, BC

Our clinicians were absolutely awesome – Chuck Maguire and Richard Saucedo. Our students also loved the Gala Concert  and the Massed Band. It was an excellent tour, and we definitely do it again.  Everything was well thought out, highly organized, and student-centered.

Steve Thompson – Glenlyon Norfolk School, Victoria, BC

The pacing and time allowed between festival events was very well spaced out and planned. We never felt rushed getting from one thing to another. Also, the timing of meals was well linked to free time.  I enjoyed the peace of mind knowing that everything had been arranged ahead of time.  Great tour overall. Parents and students thoroughly enjoyed their time and would do it again in a heartbeat.

Kolya Kowalchuk – Ecole Phoenix Middle School, Campbell River, BC

I’ve been to the festival several times and it’s a very well organized and easy trip for my students. Everything is close by and the students have so many opportunities to hear great musicians, learn from workshops, and also have some free time in the safe village of Whistler. Another amazing trip, thanks  Con Brio and Ellison!

Amber Aitchison – Bayside Middle School, Brentwood Bay, BC

Thank you again for an amazing festival!! It was so well organized.
The kids had an amazing time and definitely learnt a lot!
Sarah Haughey – Music Director, Holy Cross Collegiate, Strathmore, AB

Con Brio Sun Peaks is an outstanding music festival for our music groups. Extremely well organized and we were made to feel welcome by the festival hosts and volunteer staff. Lots of quality education going on, and opportunities for music sharing amongst all participants were excellent. For the middle school learner, the pacing, the level of adjudication and level of interest was excellent.
Tim Bullen – Trafalgar Middle School, Nelson BC

Great educational value for the students. The adjudication with Dr. Jim Sparks was incredible, and the students loved the massed choir.  The tour was well planned, a good mix of free time and scheduled activities.  For travel, festival fees, accommodation and two meals a day it was a great price.

Matthew Ellis, Choral Director, Alberta High School of Fine Arts

Adjudications were fantastic. Well run festival.  Every detail was flawless.

Jeff Weaver – Oak Bay High School

In my experience as an educator, a composer and an adjudicator at hundreds of festivals throughout North America, there is no comparison to the consistently exceptional work done by Con Brio Festivals. Their attention to detail, their care for every participant and their determination to inspire both student and teacher make the Con Brio Whistler and Sun Peaks Music Festivals something I look forward to attending year after year.”
Ralph Ford – Music education consultant, composer/arranger

“Ellison Travel has consistently provided excellent tours, with strong educational content at a reasonable cost. Amazing tour! Con Brio is one of the best festival experiences we have ever had. Educational focus of tour is head and shoulders above other festivals.”
Wayne Ablitt – DW Poppy Secondary School, Langley BC

Con Brio is the best festival of its kind that I’ve attended. Lots of opportunities for students and directors to learn from a very qualified faculty and experience the joy of music with other participants. Whistler is a great setting – a campus atmosphere that’s devoted to music for three days. All tour details handled carefully and time lines were clear. Ellison staff were always on hand to help with any questions and were very courteous, friendly & helpful. The binder is brilliant.
                    Jim VinningCarihi Secondary School, Campbell River 

 Con Brio was warm and welcoming to all levels of musicians; a wonderful philosophy of acceptance. The students’ welcome event, the directors’ reception, the clinics and workshops were excellent. There wasn’t really a moment lost; it was purely educational for the kids and inspiring for all. The clinicians were amazing!!! THANK YOU!
    Michelle Lambert – Byrne Creek, Burnaby, BC

 What I enjoyed the most of the Con Brio festival was the quality of the music we heard and the exposure to all genres. The clinics, workshops, massed band were excellent and the gala concert was sensational. We’ve come every year except one. I love it!  The tour was well organized and our Ellison planner was friendly and courteous. Our travel arrangements were handled promptly and efficiently.
North Saanich Middle School, North Saanich, BC

It was well-organized and the faculty was second to none. My students REALLY enjoyed their experience and came back inspired to improve their pieces for our year-end concert.

Melissa Hamans, Jasper Place High School

  “What I enjoyed most was the well organized itinerary to accommodate students involved in multiple groups. Great location – self-contained destination to take students without worry. Our tour documents were very organized, extremely thorough. It was very easy to plan. Everyone was so accommodating.”
Monica Hnatiuk St. Mary’s High School, Calgary, AB