District Strings Program

Founded in 2006, the District Strings Program is one of only a handful in the province. Classes range from beginner to senior strings, and students are welcome to join from Grade 4 onwards. No previous strings training is required and instruction is provided at a very rudimentary level for beginners. Strings players can continue to participate in the program until Grade 12, and are even welcome to join after high school graduation as a community player (as we all know that music fulfills us for a lifetime!)

Nine School District 73 schools currently offer the program including: Beattie Elementary, AE Perry Elementary, David Thompson Elementary, Westsyde Elementary, Brock Middle School, Kamloops School of the Arts, Barriere Elementary, Barriere Secondary and Sun Peaks. Information sessions are held in September of each year inviting new and continuing students to join. Permission forms are distributed at this time. 

During the school year, strings students can expect to attend classes either during school hours or after school depending on the school site. There is no charge for the lessons and students are only asked to cover the cost of renting an instrument. For beginner classes students have a choice of learning the violin or cello. For advanced classes, the viola and string bass are also added as instrument options. 

District Strings perform in small and large ensembles at several concert opportunities throughout the year. Performances are often in front of school audiences as well as in larger venues with final concerts taking place in June at Sagebrush Theatre. Each year they are part of the School District 73 Arts in the High Country Festival which is an adjudicated festival at Sagebrush Theatre held in the spring.

Students can expect to be provided with an encouraging learning environment which allows individual learning at a student’s own pace and comfort level. It is a wonderful opportunity to learn a new instrument and make new friends.

Photo Gallery: District Strings Program will appear here on the public site.

Tomas Bijok’s journey in music began at an early age. Having come from a musical family it was understood that music was to be a part of his life. Tomas has studied music at Burman University, UBC and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. In Prague he completed his B.A and M.A. in Vocal Performance. Bijok made his Czech debut in Bohuslav Martinu’s comedy on the Bridge at the Northern Bohemian Theatre of Opera and Ballet and since has sung in theaters in the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Japan and France.

Dedicating more time to teaching, he presently acts as choral instructor at Thompson Rivers University. Tomas is the music director at KUC, and Chorus Master of the Kamloops Symphony. Tomas has worked with both community and youth orchestras in the past including the Academy Strings and the Kamloops Intermediate Orchestra.  This coming season he will be the music director of the Kamloops Baroque Orchestra. Tomas continues to play and teach violin in his private studio to students of a variety of skill levels and ages. Strings are a great passion of Tomas’ and in recent years he has taken to the building of musical instruments and their repair.  When not singing, playing the violin or building them, Tomas can be found in the kitchen making a mess and exquisite food. Tomas is super excited about the newest member of his family Zuzu. Please see photo. Tomas is looking forward to working with all of the wonderful students and individuals that contribute to the furthering of the fabulous strings program of School District 73.

Contact Us

Blair Lloyd
Principal - District Strings Program - Kamloops School of the Arts T: 250-374-3200
Email the District Strings Program Principal

Kate Zahir
Strings Teacher
Email Kate Zahir