Mary Backun is the principal clarinetist of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra and has been a member of the VO since 1986. Additionally, she is a member of Lion’s Gate Sinfonia, Orchestra of the North Shore and was a member of the National Broadcast Orchestra (formerly known as CBC) where she played clarinet and bass clarinet. Mary is also an avid wind ensemble enthusiast and she is the principal clarinet and concert master of the Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble. She performed as a soloist at the International Clarinet Society conference in the summer of 2007 and has toured with the Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble as the Canadian representatives to perform at the WASBE International Music Conference in Singapore in 2005. Mary has performed frequently as a musician in the pit orchestras of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet productions as well as several musical theater productions, often doubling on flute and saxophone.
In addition to her career as a professional clarinetist, Mary is on faculty as a full time music educator and director of bands at St. George’s School in Vancouver where she teaches instrumental music to 225 boys. Her career as a music educator has included the adjudication of bands and chamber groups in the wind ensemble medium. Photo Credit: Victor Deszo.