Jessica started violin at 6 and began viola at 14 and from there her musical life took off. She won multiple chamber and solo awards including the Louis Shermann Concerto Competition, the coveted Roberto and Mary Wood Scholarship, and performed in masterclasses with Pinkus Zukerman, Moshe Hammer and the Lafayette String Quartet.
A full scholarship sent her to the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University for a Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance under Asst. Principle of the Minnesota Orchestra, Rebecca Albers; and the violist from the Emerson String Quartet, Lawrence Dutton. In 2016 she earned a Masters in Viola Performance at the New England Conservatory in Boston, Cum Laude, under Dimitri Murrath, Avery Grant Recipient and William Primrose Competition winner.
Throughout college, she’s worked with top musicians in the world including Hsin-Yun Huang, Richard Aaron, Roberto Diaz, Robert McDuffie, as well as the Emerson, Borromeo, St, Lawrence, Ehnes, and Cavani String Quartets who prepared her to perform in many professional concerts alongside Toby Appel, Julie Albers, David Ying, and others. She’s worked with noted conductors, including Michael Tilson-Thomas, Hugh Wolf, Benjamin Zander and Robert Spano as well as rock, pop and jazz musicians like John Patitucci, Mike Mills(REM), Chuck Leavell(Rolling Stones)
She’s been accepted to summer festivals around the world: Banff Masterclass Program, Domaine Forget, Icicle Creek, Amelia Island Chamber Festival, the Quartet Program in NY, and the Rome Chamber Music Festival in Italy.
Only now starting her professional career, she’s already performed in halls around the world including Symphony Hall-Boston, Spivey Hall-Atlanta, Le Poisson Rouge-NYC, Palazzo Barbarini-Rome, and Capella Hall-St. Petersburg to name a few. Students have found her to be a patient and gifted teacher. She’s also had the opportunity to teach at the Victoria Conservatory of Music under the mentorship of Michael Van der Sloot in 2015. A native of Victoria, BC, Ms. Pickersgill is excited to again offer performances and music instruction in her hometown.