“Because of your gift, I am able to focus on my artistic development”

Thanks to the generous support of our members and friends, the Kenneth G. Mills Foundation established two scholarships at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto: The Kenneth G. Mills Scholarship and the Dianne Forsyth Vocal Scholarship (with the Forsyth family).

We are pleased to announce the 2021–2022 scholarship recipients: Shyler Macaggi (viola), The Kenneth G. Mills Scholarship; and Vivien Illion (soprano), The Dianne Forsyth Vocal Scholarship.

Shyler Macaggi

Violist Shyler Macaggi is currently in his first year of a Bachelor’s in Viola Performance at the Glenn Gould School. He was born in Italy into a family of entertainers, and all his siblings play a musical instrument. “I quickly fell in love with the rich sound of the viola and knew that I would play it for the rest of my life. This could be playing in an orchestra, string quartet, or playing as a soloist,” writes Shyler.

Shyler has studied with Dmitri Kourka and is presently studying with violist Steven Dann. He has placed in numerous competitions including the Susan D. Barton Competition, Carol Jackson Concerto Competitions, and the Henderson Concerto Competition. He has also been the principal violist of the Green Valley High School orchestra, CCSD Honor Orchestra, and the Las Vegas Young Artists Orchestra.

In his letter to the Foundation, Shyler wrote: “Your generous donations will play a huge role in my musical success. So, I would like to thank you for the role you will have in my development as both a musician and person.”

Vivien Illion

Soprano Vivien Illion is passionate about performing a wide range of repertoire and believes that a commitment to new music is vital for musicians today. She began singing at the age of eleven in the Toronto Children’s Chorus and continued to sing with this organization for seven years, serving as head chorister in her final season. Vivien writes: “While I fell in love with singing through choral music, I now hope to pursue a career as a soloist. The incredible program at Glenn Gould School is excellent preparation for this, as students have regular opportunities to perform, both for our colleagues and publicly…. While Covid-19 has created new challenges, it has also reminded me what a privilege it is to study music.”

Vivien recently appeared as Cherubino in an outdoor, Covid-safe performance of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. She also co-directed the production, which received a Matchmaker MicroGrant from the Mississauga Arts Council. Vivien studies with Monica Whicher and coaches with Peter Tiefenbach. She has also performed in masterclass for artists such as Adrianne Pieczoka, Lynne Dawson, and John Hess.

“Because of your gift, I am able to focus on my artistic development and take full advantage of the opportunities that GGS offers—this support means a great deal to me.”

Lucille Joseph enjoying a moment with Shyler and Vivien at an RCM reception

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