Sheila Garrett, Assistant Principal Bass of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, received her early musical training as a scholarship student at the Interlochen Arts Academy (Diploma). A graduate of the University of Michigan (Bachelor of Music Performance with Distinction), Sheila was awarded the Blatt Seigel Double Bass Prize to “a student showing outstanding potential as an orchestral player”. She continued her studies, on full scholarship, at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England, earning a Certificate of Advanced Studies. Summer studies include Tanglewood and the Interlochen Center for the Arts, where she was a featured soloist as a concerto competition winner. Her principal teachers were Lawrence Hurst, Leslie Martin, Thomas Martin, Homer Mensch, Peter Spring and Oscar Zimmerman.
In addition to the CPO, Sheila has performed with the Ann Arbor Symphony, Banff Festival Orchestra, Calgary Chamber Ensemble, Indiana University Festival Orchestra, and Red Deer Symphony. Together with her husband CPO Principal Bass Charles Garrett, Sheila has been a recitalist at the conventions of Bassworks and the International Society of Bassists. With the Alberta Chamber Players, she premiered a bass concerto by Alberta composer Allan Rae based on paintings of Salvador Dali. Sheila has also collaborated with the Beau Quartet, Mount Royal Woodwind Quintet, Rosa Selvatica, and with MRU Conservatory faculty and guest artists, many performances recorded by CBC. In 2011, it was Sheila’s great honour to join Conservatory colleagues Colleen Athparia (piano)and Gwen Klassen (CPO Assistant Principal Flute, Director and Founder) at the Pender Island Flute Retreat in performances of Bach and Bolling. Most recently Sheila collaborated in a performance of the Brahms Serenades on the Instrumental Society of Calgary’s 2015-16 season.
Recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award, Sheila Garrett is an instructor in the string faculty of the Mount Royal University Conservatory, as well as coordinator of the Academy Bass program. Her students are consistent Kiwanis first place certificate winners, have excelled in CMC competitions, and earned scholarships to prestigious post secondary institutions and summer music festivals. Sheila has coached (and served as board member) for the Calgary Youth Orchestra and Banff Festival of Youth Orchestras. Ten of her students have been members of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Professionally, her students now hold positions in orchestras in Canada and Europe.