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About Our Musicians

Nikki McCaslin


Nikki DoBell McCaslin is an active freelance trombone player and teacher in Calgary, Alberta.


She holds the Principal Trombone chair in the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra and is on faculty at the Mount Royal University Conservatory.


Nikki is also a former Instructor of Trombone at East Carolina University and The University of North Carolina Pembroke.


Originally from Minnesota, she holds a Bachelors Degree in Trombone Performance from Boston University and a masters degree from Arizona State University.  


Richard Scholz


Richard Scholz has been a professional trumpet player for nearly 30 years in the Calgary area. Described as a “commanding, dynamic player”, he has been the principal trumpet player for RDSO since 2009 and has been performing with the CPO since 1995.


Richard is currently a member of Rosa Baroqua and has played with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Regina Symphony Orchestra, and Theatre Calgary.


As a versatile freelance musician, Richard has played with performance groups such as Altius Brass, the Bow Valley Brass Quintet, Prime Time Big Band and the Land’s End Chamber Ensemble. His experience as a soloist includes performances with the RDSO, most recently John Estacio’s “Trumpet Concerto” composed for Canada’s 150th birthday) and Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 where he played “the majestic piece with great flourish and panache.” Richard has also performed solo works with Alberta Winds, Metropolitan Winds and the University of Calgary Orchestra and Wind Ensemble.


Richard is a clinician, private instructor and teacher with the Calgary PhilKids program.


Matthew Nickel


Bassoonist and Edmonton native Matt Nickel was appointed as RDSO's Second Bassoon in September 2013, while completing his Master of Music in Bassoon Performance at the University of Michigan. 


Matt has studied with Dr. Jeffrey Lyman at U of M, and DIane Persson at the University of Alberta where he earned a Bachelor of Music. He is a veteran of such summer festivals as the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and the National Arts Centre Young Artists Program.  Former teachers include Kathleen McLean, Richard Gagnon (NYOC), Christopher Millard (YAP), and Matthew Howatt. 


An active freelancer, Matt has appeared on both bassoon and contrabassoon with orchestras in the Edmonton, Calgary, and Ann Arbor (Michigan) areas, as well as recorded for CBC, Equilibrium Records, Milan Records, Retriever Records, and Vytis Records Canada.  


Mathew James


Mathew James is a hornist known for radical performance and new music advocate with special emphasis on works that include electronics and video.

Mathew has performed with orchestras in both the USA and Canada, and served as the Saskatoon Symphony's fourth horn during their 2015-16 season. As well as being a founding member, Mathew is also the artistic director and hornist with Calgary's Timepoint Ensemble. He currently resides in Calgary where he is in demand as a teacher and performer. He has also appeared with numerous groups including the International Contemporary Ensemble (NYC), CPO, ESO, Jazz YYC, Theatre Calgary and many more.

Mathew holds degrees from the University of Calgary where he completed his undergraduate degree, and holds advanced degrees from DePaul University in Chicago, IL. where Mathew completed both a Masters degree with distinction and a Post-graduate certificate in performance.  


Lucie Jones


Dutch born flutist Lucie Jones (Batteké) is principal flute with the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra, an extra player with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra since 2004, and a busy chamber musician, soloist, teacher, and adjudicator.


Lucie is a winner of the University of Calgary Concerto Competition, and the 2008 and 2010 National Flute Association International Performer's Competitions. Lucie has been a featured performer with Rosa Barocca, the Instrumental Society of Calgary, Land’s End Ensemble, Kensington Sinfonia, Mountain View Festival and a soloist with the Red Deer Symphony and Calgary Philharmonic Orchestras. Along with her orchestral work, Lucie performs regularly as a member of the Looking Glass Duo, StoryMusic, and Perfect Cadence Woodwind Quintet.


In addition to her performing schedule, Lucie maintains a busy flute studio at MRU Conservatory and continues to work as a sessional flute instructor at the University of Calgary.

Lucie has BMus and MMus in Flute Performance, a BSc in Computer Science, and is currently in her third year of a PhD at the University of Calgary in the Computational Media Design Program, with a We-TRAC specialization.


Melody McKnight


Melody McKnight completed her Masters Degree in Oboe Performance at the University of Calgary in 1996, and has been performing as an orchestra musician and soloist since then.  She is currently Principal Oboe with the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra, and has been performing with them since 1997.  Melody is also an active teacher in the Central Alberta area. 


Daryl Caswell


After retiring first from the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and most recently from the University of Calgary where he created and taught design courses in the Shulich School of Engineering, Daryl decided to support music education by creating a music instrument repair business with a goal of developing preventative maintenance for school band programs.


During the pandemic, he was busy designing flute screens to allow flute players to play in ensemble music. He also developed and ran a repair/sanitizing service for 10 band programs from Calgary to Sylvan Lake to ensure the band instruments would be ready for the return to band class.

RDSO's Playing with Pride recording session provided a great opportunity for Daryl to test the results of a year’s worth of very focused horn practice during the pandemic.


Ilana Dahl


Ilana Dahl has played principal Clarinet with the Red Deer Symphony for 21 years, including a solo performance of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto. She completed her Bachelor and Masters degrees in Music Performance at the University of Calgary with Stan Climie and Steve Amsel, and the University of British Columbia with Wes Foster.


Ilana has a busy freelance career on clarinet, and bass clarinet – she has taught all over Southern Alberta, regularly performs with the Land’s End Chamber Ensemble, as an extra musician with the Calgary Philharmonic, and has played with both the Calgary and Edmonton Ballet and Opera Companies. One of her favorite musical highlights was performing with Ben Heppner and the National Arts Centre Orchestra.

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