Joanna Ciapka-Sangster

Violin I

A native of Poland, Joanna received her Masters Degree in Music Performance from the Academy of Music in Poznan where she studied violin with Bartosz Bryła. After graduation Joanna toured throughout Europe and Egypt performing with various Polish orchestras including the State Philharmonic Orchestra in Poznan, Baltic State Symphony Orchestra in Gdansk, Pagart Polish Performing Arts Agency in Warsaw and Polska Filharmonia Kameralna Chamber Orchestra in Sopot. During this time she performed with such renowned conductors as Jerzy Maksymiuk, Wojciech Michniewski, Wojciech Rajski and Krzysztof Penderecki.

In 1992 Joanna relocated to Edmonton becoming a faculty member of the Society for Talent Education and of various orchestras. Joanna joined the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra as a core player in 1994, after winning a 1st violin chair at the international audition. In 1995 she also became a member of the Alberta Baroque Ensemble. She has been a member of numerous other ensembles including The Arden Ensemble, ECHO, Pro Coro Orchestra, the Polish Folk Arts Ensemble “Polonez” and La Belle Epoque Trio, The Warszyński Trio.

As a soloist, Joanna has performed with the ESO,Alberta Baroque Ensemble and Concordia College Orchestra.Her first love is playing in chamber groups and in 2005, together with her husband jazz composer and saxophonist Kent Sangster, founded Obsessions Octet. In 2006, the octet released its debut CD Obsession to rave reviews. Obsession was nominated for a 2007 JUNO Award in the Contemporary Jazz Category and was awarded the Western Canadian Music Outstanding Jazz Recording of the Year Award. In the fall of 2009, the Obsessions Octet recorded their second CD Melodia which was nominated for the Western Canadian Music Award 2010.Their third record STEPPIN’UP was released in 2016 to great reviews and few nominations to different Awards.

In October of 2012 the Obsessions Octet made it’s Carnegie Hall debut in NYC to absolutely outstanding reviews. In the summers of 2014 and 2017 the group completed very successful tours to Europe and in June of 2016 octet represented Alberta at the Rochester International Jazz Festival in “Oh Canada!” Series.The concert was recorded by PBS Public Television. More information about the octet can be found at: - Joanna also plays in Obsessions String Quartet.

For many years she has been very active in the Polish Culture Society of Edmonton (TKP). In 2008 Joanna joined the TKP Board of Directors and became the Society’s President in 2010. The Society elected Joanna as the Artistic Director of Chopin 2010 Celebration Committee in Alberta.In 2013 she has been elected by ESO musicians to join the Board of Directors of Edmonton Symphony Society and Winspear Centre for Music.Joanna has been elected again and joined the ESS Board of Directors again in the fall of 2022.

As a hobby, Joanna hosted Music Corner on CJSR 88.5 FM’s Polish program, called “Katedra Klasyki” (since 2004) and from May 2021 she is the main host of the entire Polish language program on that frequency called Nasze Radio Canada 88.5FM.Tune inn....every Sunday at 6pm.