The best in their field
Selected by the respective Festival Chair, these individuals evaluate, encourage, enhance and broaden the musicality of each group and every individual participating in the national festival. These people are the foremost in their fields, and represent the highest standards of their profession, be it in a classroom setting or on a performance stage.
Elaine McLeod began her cello studies in Winnipeg, and pursued further studies at Queens University and UWO, supplemented by summers at the Banff School of Fine Arts and the National Youth Orchestra. She holds a Bachelor of Music Performance from Queens University, a Masters of Music performance and Literature from UWO and a Bachelor of Education Fine Arts with a specialization in Music from York University.
She has recently retired from teaching Strings in the TDSB. Elaine now conducts the orchestra program of Etobicoke Suzuki Music, working with young musicians aged 6-14. Elaine has also taught and conducted at TDSB’s Music by the Lake and at the Interprovincial Music Camp. As part of her commitment to excellence in school string playing, Elaine teaches and adjudicates at a variety of workshops, festivals and symposia. She enjoys all aspects of cello playing, and performs chamber and orchestral music. This June she will travel to Prague to participate in the World Civic Orchestra’s 2017 residency.
Her most recent project is the establishment of a new Youth Orchestra in the Junction neighbourhood of Toronto.
Elaine and husband Norman have raised four children and are embarking on their new career as grandparents.
Dan is often called on by local jazz musicians and choirs to play acoustic and electric bass for their groups in performance and recordings. Dan’s percussive bass playing style is very complimentary to the sound of the New Vibes Jazz Quartet, a group he co-founded in 1990 and already boasts two other percussionists. While Dan is classically trained, he grew up playing everything from rock to R&B, classical to jazz. Dan continues to play with the Waterloo Chamber Players as well as the NVJQ. He has recently retired from teaching the strings program at Waterloo Collegiate, where he got many local musicians off to a great start in their musical careers.
Pianist Jeremy Siskind is the winner of the 2012 Nottingham International Jazz Piano Competition and the second place winner of the 2011 Montreux Solo Piano Competition. A two-time finalist for the American Pianist Association’s Cole Porter Fellowship, Siskind has performed jazz and classical music at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, in Japan, Switzerland, Thailand, England, Lebanon, India, Tunisia, France, and China. His 2012 CD, Finger-Songwriter, was placed in emusic.com’s Top 100 CDs of 2012 (in any genre) and hailed as “the most exciting musical project I’ve heard in a long time” by the weblog Jazz Police. His 2015 CD, Housewarming, featuring Grammy-winning vocalists Kurt Elling and Peter Eldridge, was called a “shining example” of chamber jazz in a four-star review from Downbeat magazine. Siskind serves as the chair of the Keyboard Area at Western Michigan University, where he teaches both classical and jazz piano, since 2014.
As a pedagogue, Siskind boasts seven publications with Hal Leonard, including the landmark instructional book, Jazz Band Pianist. A frequent contributor to Clavier Companion magazine, Siskind has presented workshops at the Music Teacher’s National Association (MTNA) conventions in New York, Anaheim, and Chicago. Siskind is also a leader of the house concert movement, having performed in over 100 houses in 24 different states around the U.S., and given presentations on in-home concerts at Jazz Education Network, MTNA, and Chamber Music America conferences.
Siskind is also the Artistic Director of the American Jazz Pianist Competition, based in Melbourne, Florida. A proud Yamaha Artist since 2013, he holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music (Jazz Performance and Music Theory) and Columbia University (English and Comparative Literature). His teachers include Tamir Hendelman, Tony Carmaia, Harold Danko, Rose Grace, Sophia Rosoff, and Fred Hersch.
Kerry Marsh is a composer and arranger specializing in contemporary music for vocal jazz ensembles. Terry Teachout, arts critic and contributing reviewer to the Wall Street Journal, said that “Kerry’s gorgeous charts, with their wide-spaced harmonies and tingling dissonances, are as good as postmodern vocal group writing gets.” In high demand as a commissioned arranger for many of the nation’s top educational vocal and instrumental jazz ensembles, Marsh has a large and varied catalog of music performed regularly around the world. Kerry publishes over 180 compositions and arrangements at KerryMarsh.com, and also has published arrangements through UNC Jazz Press and Sound Music Publications.
Kerry is a proud member of the jazz studies faculty at The University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, where he directs two advanced vocal jazz ensembles and teaches applied jazz voice. In only three years under Kerry’s direction, Vocal Lab has won two Down Beat Magazine Student Music Awards in the Large Graduate Level Vocal Jazz Ensemble Category, and in 2016, they performed at the annual Jazz Education Network convention in Louisville, KY. Previously, Kerry served for ten years as the director of vocal jazz ensembles at Sacramento State. In that time, his ensembles and individual students earned thirteen Down Beat Awards, distinguishing Sac State as one of the premier vocal jazz programs in the country during that timespan. Marsh’s vocal jazz ensembles were invited twice to perform at conferences of the International Association for Jazz Education, and, in 2009, they were one of fourteen winners of a national search to have a song appear on the Epic Records release: “Ben Folds – College A Cappella”. Marsh has since worked with Folds as a vocal arranger and background singers director in numerous performances with major symphony orchestras, including the Boston Pops, The Washington National Symphony and The LA Philharmonic in performances at The Hollywood Bowl.
Along with his wife and musical collaborator Julia Dollison, Kerry released his highly ambitious debut album, Vertical Voices: The Music of Maria Schneider, in March 2010 through ArtistShare. Endorsed by the Grammy-winning composer herself and funded largely through fan contributions, the album features Schneider’s music as written for her jazz orchestra, but with the horn parts entirely sung, and the rhythm section consisting of Frank Kimbrough, Ben Monder, Jay Anderson and Clarence Penn (all current members of The Maria Schneider Orchestra). Vertical Voices was met with great critical praise, earning a four-star review in Down Beat Magazine. Dollison and Marsh perform regularly with the vocal quartet called Vertical Voices, also featuring Greg Jasperse and Jennifer Barnes. The quartet performs the music of Schneider as well as Pat Metheny, Nando Lauria and more, including original compositions by the group.
Marsh is busy year-round as an adjudicator and clinician for jazz festivals and workshops. Kerry has directed all-state jazz choirs in California, Colorado, Missouri, New Jersey, Arizona, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Wyoming, Illinois, New York, Maine, Iowa, New Hampshire All State Jazz Choirs as well as the Nassau County (NY) Honor Jazz Choir. Kerry graduated in 2000 from the University of Kansas with a B.M.E. in Music Education and in 2003 with a Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas.
Brian Lillos is one of Canada’s leading jazz pedagogues. The scope of his teaching ranges from 5th grade beginning band to Doctoral Dissertation advisement in jazz studies. The scope of his playing ranges from clarinet with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra to Bari Sax with the Tommy Banks Canadian All-Star Big Band to Be Bop Alto Sax with Barry Harris to Woodwinds with the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra. His students have received Provincial, National, and International recognition as performers, educators, composers, and scholars. He was Director of the Internationally acclaimed Jazz Studies Program at Humber College in Toronto from 1992 – 2001 where he has since held the position of Professor of Jazz Studies (retired 2012).
Widely published and recorded, Brian is in constant demand as a clinician, performing artist and adjudicator.
Jennifer Barnes is a highly sought-after vocalist, educator, clinician and arranger and the Director of Vocal Jazz Studies at the University of North Texas. As an Associate Professor of Music, Ms. Barnes oversees all vocal activities within the highly lauded Division of Jazz Studies at UNT, including overseeing four vocal jazz ensembles and directing the flagship vocal ensemble, UNT Jazz Singers, who were the DownBeat magazine 2016 Graduate College Vocal Jazz Large Ensemble Winner. She has previously directed award-winning Vocal Jazz Ensembles at seven other universities, has served as a guest conductor for District and All-State Music Festivals in fourteen states, has taught jazz vocals at the Jamey Aebersold Jazz Camps since 1998, and her vocal arrangements are published by SMP (Sound Music Publications) and UNC Jazz Press. She was recently awarded the 2016 Jazz Education Achievement Award by DownBeat Magazine, and was only the second vocal educator to receive that honor.
Jennifer previously resided in Los Angeles, where she was an active vocalist in both studio and live performances. Her voice has been heard and featured on feature films including “Wall-E”, “Ice Age 2, 3 & 4”, “Enchanted”, “Star Trek” and the Fox hit television show, “Glee”. She has sung on or appeared in advertising for Chili’s Bar & Grill, Epson, Old El Paso and McDonald’s and in 2001 released a highly acclaimed solo jazz recording, “You Taught My Heart”. Jennifer is the alto vocalist in the professional vocal group Vertical Voices (with Julia Dollison, Greg Jasperse and Kerry Marsh); their debut CD “Fourward” was released in January 2014, and they maintain an active performing schedule as performers and clinicians.
Jennifer earned the Master of Music degree from the University of Miami (FL) and the Bachelor of Music degree from Western Michigan University.
Wendy Grasdahl is well known across Canada as a conductor, adjudicator/clinician, teacher, and trumpeter. Her professional experience encompasses teaching at university and college levels, as well as military band work and private teaching.
As an officer in the Canadian Naval Reserve, Wendy conducted military bands in Alberta, B.C., Ontario and Nova Scotia. She is in demand as a clinician and guest conductor for school programs, as well as summer music programs, including 12 years at the International Music Camp at the Peace Garden on the Manitoba/U.S. border where she received the prestigious Distinguished Service Award for conducting and promoting band in North America. Other awards include the Faculty Association Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of P.E.I., and the City of Edmonton Salute to Excellence Citation Award in Arts & Culture in 2014.
Having appeared as a trumpet soloist and in professional ensembles across Canada, Wendy is a founding member of the brass quintet “Five of a Kind”, and has played Solo Cornet with the Mill Creek Colliery Brass Band. She is the founder, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Festival City Winds Music Society which is now in its 22nd season.
Wendy currently teaches trumpet and is Director of Bands at Concordia University of Edmonton, and regularly adjudicates band festivals at both provincial and national levels.
Ms. Grasdahl holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music History from the University of Alberta, a Master of Music degree in Trumpet Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Calgary, and a graduate level Fine Arts Diploma in Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble Conducting and Literature from the University of Calgary.
Dr. Gerald King
“Conductors/Teachers must be thoughtful leaders who guide each individual and ensemble to reach their own best creative potential.”
Dr. King is Professor of Music at the University of Victoria where he is the Head of Music Education, Graduate Wind Conducting, and serves as the conductor of the UVIC Wind Symphony. From 2004-2012 he served as Director of the School of Music. Among his many achievements as Director, with his leadership and guidance the University of Victoria School of Music was awarded the designation as Canada’s first and only All-Steinway School.
Internationally recognized as one of Canada’s most respected conductors, adjudicators, educators and keynote speakers, Dr. King is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Order of the Phoenix by the Western International Band Clinic where he has made 7 separate conducting appearances; election into Phi Beta Mu; election into the American Bandmasters Association (2003) when he served as guest conductor of the United States Army Band (Pershing’s Own) from Washington, DC; recipient of the British Columbia Music Educators’ Honorary Life Award “in recognition of a lifetime of commitment of time, talent, and energies to music education in British Columbia;” and, in September 2015 he was inducted as an Honorary Member of the Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy “for fostering tremendous goodwill towards the band, heightened morale and esprit de corps, and providing an exceptional liaison between the military and the public.”
Dr. King’s background is varied. Although he is primarily recognized as a conductor of Wind Bands, he is equally comfortable conducting Orchestras and Choirs.
In addition to his passion for making music he is also widely recognized as an expert for his ability to link theory and practice in the field of teaching and learning. Among his many recordings and publications is a chapter in the book, Creativity and Music Education written by seventeen authors from the United States, Canada, Israel, Australia, Great Britain, Spain, and Scotland. The book includes a forward by noted author on Creativity, Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi. Dr. King has also completed a well-received DVD—The Craft of Conducting.
Dr. King is in great demand as a conductor, adjudicator, clinician, and keynote speaker. Over the past 25 years he has worked with over 10,000 ensembles and soloists representing more than 500,000 musicians. Dr. King is a Yamaha Artist Educator/Conductor.
Awarded first prize in tuba and chamber music at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal, Alain Cazes pursued his studies in the United States with Joseph Novotny, Donald Harry and Ronald Bishop.
In Brazil, he was Principal tuba with the Paraïba State Orchestra, member of the Brass-IL Quintet, and professor at the Federal University of Paraïba (UFPB). He has taught at the Université du Québec in Montreal, the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal and the Université de Montréal, where he was in charge of Wind orchestras, brass department, teaching tuba, chamber music and conducting. A frequent soloist, he has performed the radio “première” of several Canadian works for tuba and also lectures on orchestra conducting and brass pedagogy. He adjudicates regularly at several Music Festivals and Competitions. He teaches during summer at the Orford Art Center, Domaine Forget, and the Simposio Internazionale d’Ottoni in Ascoli, Italy.
Principal tuba with the Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal, he has also performmed with the Montreal Symphony and other orchertras in the world under the direction of conductors such as; Mehta, Nézet-Séguin, Dutoit, Decker, Baudo, Foster, Kmura, Muller, Toppilow, Grossmann, Zukerman, Veltri and many others. He was co-director of the Orchestre Métropolitain Choir, and is curently Musical Director of the Montreal Pop Orchestra. He has also conducted the Orchestre Métropolitain and the Orchestre de Drumondville.
Alain Cazes, a founding member of the Philharmonie des vents du Québec. As a full time Professor at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University, he conducts the Wind Orchestra, teaches conducting and chamber music. He has written numerous arrangements for a variety of instrumental ensembles published by GAM. He has also written numerous arrangements for wind orchestra and mixed choir. He is Vice-President of CIME music.
Jeff Reynolds is Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, in trumpet and conducting. Formerly co-ordinator of the Performance Division, he has taught at the Faculty of Music for over 30 years, teaching undergraduate courses in instrumental education, chamber music, jazz education and jazz history, and conducting the Wind Ensemble and Wind Symphony. He maintains a trumpet studio and has appeared as a trumpet player with various orchestras and chamber ensembles, performing with, among others, the Victoria Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the Hamilton Philharmonic. His trumpet studies were with Arnold Jacobs, Vincent Cichovicz, Boyd Hood and Ward Cole. Reynolds adjudicates at festivals across Canada, appears as a guest conductor and clinician. His articles appear in such journals as Canadian Winds, The Recorder and the Journal of Aesthetic Education, and he is the author of the pedagogy book Trumpet for Dummies. After degrees in philosophy and music he received his doctorate from the University of Toronto in the philosophy of music education, with a focus on creativity in performance and pedagogy.
Tim Malloch, B.Mus., C.Ens., was born in Nova Scotia where he began studying the flute at the age of 14. During the three next years, he developed his woodwind skills and was recipient of nine awards and scholarships and at the age of 17 was accepted into the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra. Brass and percussion techniques were studied in the bands of the Canadian Armed Forces and he reinforced his conducting talents with Howard Cable and Bobby Herriot. In 1990, Tim won the Montreal Pro Musica Scholarship and has shared his talents with over 60 musical groups, throughout Canada and the United States. He has performed in over a thousand concerts with nearly 70 recordings for CBC and SRC radio and television networks. Tim now plays and teaches music in Montreal where he is in high demand as a performer and as an adjudicator, most recently with Musicfest Quebec, the Toronto International Music Festival, the Winnepeg Band Festival, the Yamaha Soloist and Small Ensembles Competition, Capitol Region Musicfest and since 2005, Musicfest Canada.
Sommer Forrester is an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Massachusetts Boston. As Head of Music Education, Dr. Forrester teaches instrumental methods, brass methods, conducting, sociocultural perspectives, and oversees all aspects of the Music Education program. In addition, Dr. Forrester conducts the Chamber Orchestra. Dr. Forrester frequently collaborates with scholars, educators, and performers as a way to inspire and guide her research and creative output, while serving as an example for students. Her scholarly interests include teacher education, instrumental music education, and the experiences of first-generation and minority students in music education. Her research is published in peer-review journals and she frequently presents at international, national, and regional research-to-practice conferences. Forrester serves as a peer reviewer for the American Educational Research Association, and the Music Educators Journal. In addition to her scholarly work, Dr. Forrester is an active guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator in the United States and in Canada.
Dr. Forrester holds Doctoral and Masters degrees in Music Education from the University of Michigan, a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Western University. During her doctoral studies, Dr. Forrester was the recipient of the Rackham Graduate School Dissertation Fellowship award. Her primary conducting teachers include Michael Haithcock and Gillian MacKay. A former classroom teacher, Dr. Forrester taught instrumental music for eight years in three different countries: Kuwait, Israel, and Canada.
Mary K. Schneider
Mary K. Schneider is Associate Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Eastern Michigan University, where she conducts the Wind Symphony, teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in conducting and music education, directs the Music Now Contemporary Music Festival, and oversees and guides all aspects of EMU’s comprehensive band program. Under her direction, the EMU Wind Symphony has been heralded for its many performances, including its first appearance in over forty years at the North Central Conference of the College Band Directors National Association in 2012. Prior to her appointment to EMU in the fall of 2008, Dr. Schneider served for three years as the Assistant Director of Bands at the University of Minnesota.
Active nationally and internationally as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator, Dr. Schneider is a strong advocate for new wind music, and maintains an active interest in that area of research. She has participated in commissioning and/or premiering over two-dozen new works for wind band, and her ensembles frequently collaborate with composers. In addition to published articles in the GIA series Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, Schneider has engaged in extensive research, and presentations surrounding Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Corigliano and his Symphony No. 3 for large wind ensemble, “Circus Maximus.”
Dr. Schneider brings a diverse background to the podium and to her students in the classroom. She holds a doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied conducting with Jerry Junkin. She has also earned degrees in horn performance and music education from the New England Conservatory of Music, and the University of Connecticut, having graduated with Distinction in Performance honors from the former. Schneider’s career teaching experience includes many years as a public school music educator in northern New Jersey, where she also maintained a busy performing schedule as a hornist.
An elected member of the American Bandmasters Association, Dr. Schneider is currently Vice-President of the North Central Division of the College Band Directors National Association, and has served two terms as President of the Mid-American Conference Band Directors Association. Additionally, she maintains professional affiliations with the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, National Band Association, and the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association.
John McLaughlin Williams
Grammy Award-winning conductor John McLaughlin Williams has been critically acclaimed for his outstanding interpretive abilities and engaging podium presence. “John McLaughlin Williams delivers absolutely masterful and deeply engrossing readings… “ writes Paul Snook in Fanfare magazine, and of his recordings the French journal Diapason noted “One of the most beautiful ﬂorets of the American collection of Naxos, and a conductor whom one hopes to hear again often.” Equally at home in the standard literature and the masterworks of American composers, it was with the release of his acclaimed recordings on the Naxos label that his conducting ﬁrst attracted international attention. With the National Symphony and Radio Orchestras of Ukraine, Williams has made world-premiere recordings of orchestral works by composers both well-known and neglected for the Naxos label’s celebrated “American Classics” series.
He has conducted for include Platypus Theatre, the celebrated Celtic band Colcannon, and the Max Roach Double Quartet. He has conducted for R&B superstars Al Jarreau, Brian McKnight, and The Winans for “Christmas Glory”, a gospel Christmas concert for the FOX and UPN television networks. His composition credits include work with Michael Kamen (Lethal Weapon, Die Hard) for the soundtrack to Mr. Dreyfuss Goes to Washington, a documentary for the History Channel. Williams is also a violin soloist, pianist, and chamber musician. He began violin studies at age 10 in a Washington, D.C. public school. At age 14 he appeared as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared as soloist with orchestras such as the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, South Carolina Philharmonic, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the Portland Symphony Orchestra and others. Williams served as Concertmaster of the Virginia Symphony and was a member of the Houston Symphony. As guest concertmaster he has appeared with the Bolshoi Ballet, Kirov Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Pennsylvania Ballet, the Opera Company of North Carolina, and the Portland Symphony Orchestra. He has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops Orchestra, and was Assistant Concertmaster of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. Williams has recorded chamber music for the Afka label.
Steve Fralick taught Instrumental Music at the St. Catharines Collegiate for 34 years and served as the Arts Chair for 29 of those years. Ensembles from the school performed all over Canada and won several awards at Musicfest. He was also involved in many curriculum-writing projects for the DSBN and the Ontario Ministry of Educations including the latest Arts Curriculum revisions. He was a member of the OMEA board between 2000 and 2009. Steve is principal trombone in the Niagara Symphony and has performed in many shows at the Niagara Falls Casino including the World Rock Symphony Orchestra and Return to Grace.
Stewart Grant is a versatile musician who is known and respected across Canada as a composer, conductor, oboist and pedagogue .Stewart Grant was born in Fort William, Ontario, but he grew up and received his early musical training in Montreal, graduating from the Faculty of Music at McGill University and the Conservatoire de musique du Québec, where he was awarded a Premier Prix in oboe in the class of Melvin Berman. His studies also included private studies in composition and arranging with Gordon Delamont and summers at Tanglewood, at the Aspen Music School and as a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, where he studied with Ray Still, principal oboist of the Chicago Symphony.
A former member of the National Arts Centre Orchestra, he has performed as oboist with organizations such as the Montreal, Toronto and Edmonton Symphony Orchestras, the National Ballet, the Canadian Opera Company and the Hamilton Philharmonic. Music Director of the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra in Alberta from 1978 to 1994 and winner of the 1988 Heinz Unger Award for conductors, he is presently Artistic Director of both the West Island Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Lakeshore Chamber Orchestra.
In 2010, Stewart Grant was awarded the Prix de musique of the Association des orchestres de jeunes du Québec in recognition of his dedication to the cause of youth orchestras in Québec, and in 2012 he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his contribution to the musical life of the West Island area of Montreal.
Donald J. McKinney
Donald J. McKinney is Director of Bands and Associate Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder. He conducts the CU Wind Symphony, guides the graduate wind-conducting program, and oversees the university band program. Prior to his appointment at CU Boulder, Dr. McKinney was the Director of Wind Ensembles and Associate Professor at Louisiana State University. While teaching at LSU, the Wind Ensemble performed for the South Central Regional Music Conference and was invited to perform for the 2013 College Band Directors National Association Conference in Greensboro, NC.
He has held faculty positions at Interlochen Arts Academy and Duquesne University Mary Pappert School of Music. From 2010-2015, he was the Coordinator of Bands for Interlochen Arts Camp. In this capacity, he conducted the World Youth Wind Symphony and administered the summer band program. As a guest conductor he has appeared with the Dallas Wind Symphony, Concordia Santa Fe, Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, Greater Boulder Youth Orchestra, and numerous honor ensembles. He has also conducted in Canada and Costa Rica. On numerous occasions, his performances with the Dallas Wind Symphony have been featured on National Public Radio Performance Today.
His recording credits include projects with the Dallas Wind Symphony, University of Michigan Symphony Band, University of Texas Wind Ensemble, University of North Texas Wind Symphony, Keystone Wind Ensemble, and the Duquesne University Wind Symphony.
Dr. McKinney holds degrees from Duquesne University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from the University of Michigan. His primary conducting teachers include Michael Haithcock, Dr. Jack Stamp, Dr. Robert Cameron, and additional study with H. Robert Reynolds and Frank Battisti.
John Phillips is the Artistic Coordinator for the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra. He recently retired from The University of Western Ontario where he conducted the Symphonic Band and taught conducting and music education classes at the undergraduate and graduate level. He previously taught at the University of Toronto and York University in the departments of music and education. Additionally, Phillips coordinated the Arts curriculum review and implementation for the Ministry of Education in Ontario, and he continues to serve in his role as Senior Advisor for Music Mentors International.
In demand as a clinician and consultant, Phillips shares his unique brand of music education through workshops with State and Provincial Music Educators’ Associations, the National Association for Music Education, and as a presenter at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic. Throughout his career, he participated in numerous initiatives with Music For All including the National Concert Festival, the annual Summer Symposium, and the Bands of America Grand Nationals.
Phillips has adjudicated music festivals and events in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Indonesia. He regularly guest conducts honour bands across Canada and the United States. For twenty years he conducted the Wind Ensemble at the National Music Camp of Canada, and was recently a guest conductor at the International Music Camp. Phillips has served as Judge Administrator for Drum Corps International since 2000, and was inducted into the DCI Hall of Fame, Class of 2015.
As a trumpeter, Phillips performed with the London Symphony Orchestra, Brantford Symphony and the Forest City Brass Quintet. He spent two summers at the Banff School of Fine Arts under the leadership of the Canadian Brass, studying with Fred Mills and Ronald Romm.
Jacqueline Dawson received undergraduate degrees in music and music education from Memorial University of Newfoundland and holds a masters degree in conducting from the University of Manitoba. She has attended the Conductor’s Art Symposium at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, The Art of Wind Band Teaching at the University of Minnesota and completed the Canadian Wind Conductor’s Development Program in Winnipeg. Jacquie is currently Assistant Professor and Director of Bands at the University of Manitoba Desautels Faculty of Music where she conducts the Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, coaches chamber ensembles and teaches courses in music education. She also serves as Faculty Advisor for music education student teachers. Prior to this appointment Jacquie taught in public school for twenty years, primarily at Vincent Massey Collegiate in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Jacquie is in demand as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator across Canada. She has been a sessional instructor for the University of Manitoba Faculty of Music and Faculty of Education, been guest lecturer for music education courses and sessional conductor of the University of Manitoba Wind Ensemble. Guest conducting engagements have included the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Rising Stars Manitoba Senior Honour Band, the Manitoba Intermediate Honour Band, the Manitoba Junior Honour Band, the International Music Camp, and numerous regional and divisional honour bands. Jacquie was awarded the 2003 University of Manitoba School of Music Excellence in Music Education Award, the 2013 University of Manitoba Teacher Recognition Award and the 2015 Manitoba Band Association Award of Distinction. She has been published in the Canadian Music Educator Journal and the Canadian Winds Journal. Jacquie has presented at conferences in Newfoundland and Manitoba as well as the Canadian Music Educators’ Association National Conference.
Jacquie served on the board of directors of the Manitoba Band Association from 1999 – 2005 and remains active with numerous projects. She serves on the advisory committee for the Canadian Rocky Mountain Music Festival, served as the Coordinator of the Fort Garry Summer Band Camp for ten years and has recently been appointed the Chairperson of the Manitoba Senior Honour Band. Jacquie is in her eighth season as Artistic Director of The Winnipeg Wind Ensemble. Under Jacquie’s leadership the group has expanded significantly in infrastructure, artistic standard and programming, and recently launched a new division of the organization, The Winnipeg Youth Wind Ensemble.
In·spi·ra·tion n. 1. Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level of feeling or activity.
2. An Agency, such as a person or work of art, that moves the intellect or emotions or prompts action or invention. 3. Something, such as a sudden creative act or idea that is inspired.
If you have met Will Kennedy or if you have seen Will Kennedy perform, you understand that inspiration and Will Kennedy are inseparable, if not synonymous. Whether it was during his many years as a member of the fourteen time Grammy nominated group Yellowjackets, or on one of the myriad other Artist’s records or tours, Will has always been credited for being the inspirational drive in the music. His musicality and finesse are legendary amongst the “who’s who” of the jazz world and beyond.
Sponsored by Pearl Corporation
- Location: Pointe-Claire, Quebec.
2 time JUNO winning bassist Jon Maharaj has played and / or recorded with The Tenors, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Allison Au, Dione Taylor, Amanda Tosoff and many others. He has toured North America extensively and has performed overseas everywhere from Tokyo to Monte Carlo. He is also on Faculty at Humber College in Toronto where he has been teaching since 2003.
Matthew Chalmers holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Humber college, a school he attended since he was 3 as part of the Humber College’s Community Music program. Matthew also performed at MusicFest for many years and was the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships including Zildjian Outstanding Young Drummer four times, the Music Industries Association of Canada (MIAC) scholarship, as well as the inaugural Lou Williamson Scholarship for Outstanding Drumset Player. In May of 2011, The Hnatyshyn Foundation awarded Matthew with the Oscar Peterson $10,000 Grand for Jazz Performance.
Frank Lee is the choral director at Carson Graham Secondary School. He spent the previous seventeen years as the choral and instrumental director at Seycove Secondary School in North Vancouver. Mr. Lee is has also been on Faculty at Douglas College directing the Chorus. His past ensemble was honoured with the distinction of Youth Choir of the World at the International Choral Festival, Kathaumixw, in 2007. In 2009 his Chorale was named top choir at the Canadian National Choral Festival and had their solo debut concert in 2011 at Carnegie Hall. His award winning vocal jazz ensemble, Jazz in the Box, has been featured in Western Canada and Washington State.
Frank received his undergraduate music degree from the University of Victoria studying trombone with Ian McDougall. He has recently finished his graduate studies in choral conducting, under Dr. Graeme Langager, at the University of British Columbia. He is sought after as a clinician across Canada and Washington State. Frank has served as the chair for the BCMEA Honour Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Kiwanis Vocal Jazz Festival and is currently on the Canadian Rocky Mountain Music Festival Advisory Committee.
Vice-Chairman Concert Band
Before moving to Canada from the US in 1974, Pat LaBarbera toured and recorded with the Buddy Rich Big Band, of which he was a member from 1967 to 1974. Pat has performed on television shows such as Johnny Carson, Ed Sullivan, and Mike Douglas, and with many show business personalities such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Dizzy Gillespie, and Ella Fitzgerald.
Pat has performed and recorded consistently with Elvin Jones since 1975, playing major jazz festivals around the world. He has performed with other jazz artists such as Chick Corea, Michael Brecker, Carlos Santana, Stevie Wonder, Woody Shaw, and McCoy Tyner. Pat can be heard on the recently released Humber label The Elders are Listening, Volumes 1 & 2.
His CD, Deep in a Dream, won the 2000 Juno Award for Best Mainstream Jazz Album. His current CD, Crossing the Line, features faculty members Brian Dickinson and Neil Swainson, as well as special guests Randy Brecker and Joe LaBarbera
Sponsored By: Pearl/Adams/Dream Cymbals
- Location: Etobicoke, ON
Trumpeter Jason Logue has grown to be one of Canada’s ﬁnest musicians and composers. He has performed or recorded with such jazz artists as Sam Rivers, The Woody Herman Orchestra, Dave Brubek, Phil Nimmons, Dave Grusin, Louis Belson, Kenny Wheeler, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Guido Basso, Jim McNeeley and Rob McConnell.
As a freelance trumpeter, Jason has backed up artists such as Diana Krall, John Pizzarelli, Aretha Franklin, Chantal Kreviazuk, Shirley Bassey, The Funk Brothers, Johnny Mathis, Jeff Healey, Mary Wilson, Bernadette Peters, Marie Osmond, Ben Vareen, Hal Linden, Don Rickles, Joan Rivers, Bobby Vinton, Little Anthony and the imperials, The Temptations, The 4 Tops, The Platters, Maureen McGovern, The Coasters, Martha Reeves, The Spinners, Frankie Valli, Fabian and Bobby Ridell.
Jason is currently on the Faculty at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario and The Universtiy of Toronto.
- Location: Mississuaga, ON
An extremely versatile guitarist, Montreal-born Berklee-educated Ted Quinlan is an in-demand studio musician. Living in Toronto since the mid 1980s, Quinlan has also become a valued sideman, performing with Chet Baker, Freddie Hubbard, Eddie Harris, Jimmy Smith and Joey DeFransesco. Quinlan’s music as a leader ranges from Pat Metheny influenced contemporary jazz to experimental free improvisation.
Sponsored by: Humber College
- Location: Toronto, Ontario
Terry is Associate Professor and Coordinator of Jazz Studies at the University Toronto, The Director of “The Jazz Camp” at the Interprovincial Music Camp (IMC) and remains busy as a freelance tenor trombone/tuba/bass trombonist. He appears with numerous Toronto based groups including The Rob McConnell Tentet, The Boss Brass, The Mike Murley Septet, The John Macleod Big Band, The Paul Read Orchestra, The Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra, Dave Young Sextet/Octet and Holly Cole.
As an educator, Terry is active presenting seminar and clinics with the Ontario Band Association (OBA), the Ontario Music Educators Association (OMEA) and Musicfest where Terry will conduct The Dave Young & Terry Promane Big Band.
Sponsored by: University of Toronto
Gordon Foote recently accepted a position at the University of Toronto as a Professor in the Jazz Studies Program of the Faculty of Music. The most important element of this portfolio will be to direct the University of Toronto Jazz Orchestra (UTJO). Previous to that, Gordon spent 26 years as a Professor in the Jazz Studies Program at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University, in Montreal, Quebec. He served as Dean (interim), Associate Dean (Academic and Student Affairs), Chair of the Department of Performance, Director of Graduate Studies and Chair of the Jazz Area, as well as 6 years as a professor at St. FX University in Nova Scotia. Gordon is one of the pioneers of jazz education in Canada, being instrumental in the development and implementation of the first undergraduate and graduate university jazz studies programs in the country.
As a saxophonist and clinician for Conn-Selmer, Gordon has performed in Canada, Europe and the United States.Professor is in demand as a conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and jazz educator/performer in Canada, Musicfest Canada being a long standing event.
- Location: Toronto, Ontario
As owner of Woodshed Percussion, Andy Morris has been a freelance musician in the Toronto area for over 20 years. Because of his extensive experience in the music business, he is able to offer sound advice on choosing the right instrument for a group or individual.
Sponsored by: Woodshed Percussion
- Location: Toronto, Ontario
Stephen Wick-Musician – Ophicleide and Tuba at Anima Eterna, Director at Denis Wick Products Ltd., Teacher at The Purcell School, Trustee at Golsoncott Founda. Tuba player Stephen Wick has played with all the great London orchestras and many European orchestras. In the jazz field he has played in bands led by such greats as John Dankworth and Kenny Wheeler and has also worked with some of the top arrangers such as Nelson Riddle and Henry Mancini. Stephen also teaches at the Royal Academy of Music.
Sponsored by: Denis Wick, London
- Location: Hamworth Poole, UK
Tova Olson studied classical and jazz piano and hand drumming while at Augustana University College. She has been involved with Kokopelli, an Edmonton-based choral organization, as singer, accompanist and percussion coach since 2004. Tova is an experienced piano teacher and is currently the worship and music coordinator and principal organist for Messiah Lutheran Church in Camrose, AB. Tova also sings with and arranges/composes music for Blue Thistle (a female vocal a capella quintet), as well as for other ensembles. She has accompanied the Ellison National Honor Choir since its inception in 2013.
- Location: Edmonton AB
With an established reputation as one of Canada’s leading saxophonists, Kirk MacDonald cut his first record at the age of thirteen. Throughout his career, he has received numerous awards, and has worked with many leading musicians in a variety of musical genres. Kirk also leads the Kirk MacDonald Jazz Orchestra (KMJO), a 19-piece all-star ensemble dedicated to performing his original compositions and featuring arrangements by leading Canadian and U.S. Writers. The KMJO released its debut recording Deep Shadows in March 2011, and in May of 2012. His latest recording Vista Obscura was released in 2014 and features jazz legend Harold Mabern and special guest saxophonist Pat LaBarbera. Kirk has been active as an educator for 27 years at leading jazz studies programs such as at the University of Toronto and McGill University. Kirk is presently a full time professor at Humber College in Toronto, where he holds a cross appointment in the Music Degree Program and the Community Music School. Kirk also acts as the Artistic Director for the “Youth Jazz Canada” project and directs the “National Youth Jazz Combo”. This project also hosts a 2 week workshop in the summer for high school and post-secondary students.
Sponsored by: Humber College
- Location: Toronto On.
Dr. Graeme Langager
Graeme Langager is the Director of Choral Activities at the University of British Columbia School of Music, and the Artistic Director of the award-winning Phoenix Chamber Choir of Vancouver, Canada. Langager is a dynamic and sensitive conductor, and is sought-after as a clinician, adjudicator, educator and guest conductor. Langager has performed throughout Europe and across North America, appearing in such venues as St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Stefansdom in Vienna, Carnegie Hall in New York and many others, including cathedrals and concert halls in Spain, Italy, France, Austria and the Czech Republic. Langager’s choirs have also performed at numerous choral conferences, including: NCCO (National Collegiate Choral Organization), Podium (Choral Canada National Conference), ACDA-AR (American Choral Directors Association Conference, Arkansas), IAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators), MENC (now NAfME, National Association for Music Education), Montreux Jazz Festival and North Sea Jazz Festival.
Langager was born in Lethbridge, Canada into a musical family. He received the doctoral degree in choral conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and the master of music degree from California State University, Long Beach. Langager also holds an undergraduate degree in Jazz Studies. He has taught for more than 20 years in universities and colleges in the United States and Canada, including the University of Arkansas and Cuesta College in California. Langager is also active as a composer and arranger.
Following eight years as a professional musician in Los Angeles, Greg Jasperse is returning to Kalamazoo as an assistant professor of vocal jazz and the new director of Gold Company and GC II at Western Michigan University. A world-renowned composer and arranger, he is sought after internationally as a clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor. His conducting credits include all-state jazz choirs in New York, California, Oklahoma, Indiana, Arizona, Missouri, Colorado, New Hampshire, Illinois, and Iowa, as well as the British Columbia Honors Jazz Choir.
Jasperse’s voice can be heard on numerous movie soundtracks including Epic; Oz, The Great and Powerful; The Campaign; Star Trek and Star Trek 2; National Treasure 2; SALT; The Last Airbender; and Real Steel, as well as the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s song “Monarchy of Roses” and Muse’s album The 2nd Law. Most recently he had the pleasure of singing at the 85th Annual Oscars with Adele on her song “Skyfall.” Jasperse also recently arranged, produced and music-directed “A Gallagher Family Christmas” for William H. Macy and the cast of Showtime’s “Shameless.”
Jasperse is a member of two professional vocal groups – Sixth Wave and Vertical Voices. He has also performed with a variety of artists, including Rosemary Clooney, Joe Williams, Dianne Reeves, Kirk Whalum, Jennifer Holiday, Jon Secada, and Gloria Estefan. He spends his summers teaching at several music camps including the New York Voices Vocal Jazz Camp, the University of North Texas Vocal Jazz Camp, and Showchoir Camps of America.
Jasperse has released two solo piano CDs – Tournesol, a collection of contemporary jazz originals, and Crossings, a collection of improvised hymn meditations.
Jasperse is a graduate of University of Miami and Western Michigan University.
Michael Gilbert is Music Director of the Eroica Ensemble and Music Director of the Music Masters Course Japan. Born in Memphis, Mr. Gilbert received early musical training from his father before moving to New York to study at the Juilliard School.
In 1970, Mr. Gilbert joined the New York Philharmonic. He played with the orchestra for thirty seasons through the tenures of Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez, Zubin Mehta, and Kurt Masur. During these years, the orchestra toured extensively throughout the world and made dozens of celebrated recordings. Since 2007, he has led the Eroica Ensemble, presenting an annual series of free concerts in the communities of West Tennessee.
Mr. Gilbert has also devoted much time to working with student orchestras: he has coached and conducted at summer festivals and orchestral seminars around the world This past summer, Mr. Gilbert led a workshop on the Saito Conducting Method at The University of Memphis. Micheal Gilbert is in demand as an adjudicator, clinician, at Festivals across Canada, Musicfest Canada being one of his many stops.
- Location: New York City, NY
Mike Downes is the Bass Department Head at prestigious Humber College in Toronto. Bassist, composer, author and educator Mike Downes has earned a reputation as one of Canada’s finest jazz artists. His bass playing has delighted audiences worldwide, including tours through western and eastern Europe, Iceland, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, the United States and throughout Canada.
Mike’s extensive discography highlights his work as a bassist, composer and arranger. He has released five recordings as a leader to critical praise. His most recent recording Ripple Effect features his trio with masterful musicians Robi Botos and Ethan Ardelli. Mike has been a (guest-concert) artist, adjudicator, clinician, and educator many times at Musicfest Canada.
Sponsored by Yamaha Canada Music Ltd.
- Location: Toronto On.
Now head of the keyboard department at Toronto’s Humber College, Dickinson is a graduate of the Humber Music Program and holds a Masters in Music (with distinction) degree from the New England Conservatory in Boston. He is the author of a respected book on ear training, entitled The Ears Have Walls (published by Advance Music of Germany). Brian Dickinson has been a fixture on the Canadian Jazz scene since the early 1980’s.he has performed and recorded with many jazz greats including Pat Labarbera, Lee Konitz, Kirk MacDonald, Kenny Wheeeler, John Abercrombie and Tom Harrell. He won a Juno Award for best jazz recording in 1991, and was also a member of the University of Toronto Faculty for twelve years.
Sponsored by: Yamaha Canada Music Ltd.
Prior to his 2001 appointment as Humber’s Director of Music, Christianson taught at McGill University, Concordia University, the University de Montreal, John Abbott College, and Centennial Academy. His jazz portfolio is no less impressive. His credits include performance and recording sessions with jazz greats J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding, Carmen McRae, Sarah Vaughn, Tony Bennett, Michel Legrand, and many others.
Sponsored by: Humber College
- Location: Etobicoke, On
George Charpentier conducts the Saskatoon Concert Band and the Saskatoon Philharmonic Orchestra.
He received his Bachelor of Music and Certificate of Business Administration from the University of Saskatchewan. He holds a Diploma from the Kodaly Institute of Music Pedagogy in Hungary and a Masters Certificate in Orff Schulwerk Methodology from Jos Wuytack. He is a student of the Saito method of conducting. He has studied piano, clarinet, voice and violin. Mr. Charpentier is retired from the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, where he was the Coordinator of Arts Education and Social Studies. He has taught instrumental, choral and classroom music from Kindergarten through Grade 12, and has lectured at the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Alberta. He was the Associate Conductor of the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra for many years.
- Location: Saskatchewan. SA
Chair, Orchestra/String Ensembles
Wayne Toews is retired from teaching for the Saskatoon Public Board of Education from 1969 until 2001, and as director of the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra. Wayne remains active as a clinician, adjudicator, guest conductor, composer, arranger and teacher of conducting through his Conductor School. Mr. Toews holds a Masters of Music degree and a certificate in Educational Technology from Northwestern University. Award in 2009 and the Honorary Life Membership Award from the Saskatchewan Music Educators Association in 2013. Mr. Toews has served as guest conductor of honor groups and professional orchestras and has conducted the premieres of contemporary works by Twelve Canadian composers.
He started the band program at City Park Collegiate and neighbourhood schools and in 1976 began a twenty-five year career at Aden Bowman Collegiate where he taught band, orchestra, choir, general music and jazz band. Groups under his direction earned more than 50 first place awards. His jazz groups won two first place awards at the Canadian Stage Band Festival. He has served as president and board member of several professional organizations.
- Location: Saskatoon, SK
Chair, Concert Band
Sharon Fitzsimmins, Mus. Bac, B.Ed, is a respected educator, international adjudicator, clinician and conductor. She is past president of The Ontario Music Educators’ Association (OMEA) and was co-editor of The Recorder for 8 years, conductor at National Music Camp of Canada and examiner for The Royal Conservatory of Music. She has received numerous teaching, professional development and leadership awards. In November 2006, Sharon received the highest award from the OMEA, an Honorary Life Membership. Sharon is proud to have taught for thirty years at Barrie North Collegiate where she conducted award winning bands and choirs. She has written three teacher resources and is working on a fourth. Sharon was Chair of PRIMO 11, the OMEA annual conference.
- Location: Midhurst ON
Ajudicator / Vice Chair, Instrumental Jazz
He holds a Bachelor of Music, Teaching certificate for the University of B.C., and a Master of Music at Western Washington University. While an undergraduate, Bob was involved in performances as a clarinettist, pianist, and percussionist. His main post-graduate activity was the writing of and extensive manual for the development of the young jazz rhythm section. He has continued to write curriculum in the areas of jazz rhythm section, jazz rehearsal techniques, jazz improvisation and concert band percussion. For 33 years, in the North Vancouver School District, Mr. Rebagliati directed many award winning junior and senior high school ensembles in both concert band and jazz. In 1988, his Senior Jazz Ensemble placed first at the national festival(then called Musicfest Canada). Bob is a regular at Musicfest Canada. Since 2012 Bob has conducted the Metro Vancouver Firefighters Band.
- Location: Mapple Ridge B.C
Dr. Gillian MacKay
Canadian Wind Orchestra Director/ Adjudicator
Dr. Gillian MacKay holds degrees and diplomas from the University of Lethbridge, McGill University, the University of Calgary, and Northwestern University. Previously, she served as Instructor of Brass at Medicine Hat College, and Director of the School of Music at the University of Windsor. Gillian MacKay is an Associate Professor of Music of the University of Toronto, where she conducts the Wind Ensemble and teaches conducting and trumpet. She is also Associate Dean of Graduate Education. An award-winning teacher, Gillian has an active professional career as a trumpeter, conductor, adjudicator, and clinician. She has conducted honor bands throughout Canada and the United States, including the National Youth Band of Canada. Dr. MacKay has adjudicated Canadian band festivals at local, provincial, and national levels, as well as competitions in Singapore and Thailand.
- Location: Toronto On.
Vice Chair, Choral/Vocal Jazz
Scott Leithead is the founder and Artistic Director of Edmonton’s Kokopelli Choir Association and TIME Jazz Association. He has been invited to conduct provincial and state honour choirs on fifteen occasions and he has presented workshops in North America and beyond. Recent appearances include: conducting the Unisong Choir and the National Arts Orchestra in Ottawa on Canada Day; guest presenting at Festival 500 in NFLD; and Adjudicating the finals of the ACCC National Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs.
Scott’s passion for innovative and unique choral music experiences has shaped the direction of the Kokopelli Choir Association Scott is also the Vice Chairman of Choral/Vocal Division for MusicFest Canada.
Sponsored by: Kokopelli
- Location: Edmonton AB
Vice Chair, Instrumental Jazz
Alex Dean, one of Canada’s foremost jazz saxophonists, has been a mainstay of the Canadian music scene for many years.
He has played and recorded with Bill Evans, Kenny Wheeler, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Harry Connick Jr., Phil Nimmons, the Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. Alex holds the tenor saxophone chair with Rob McConnell’s Grammy award winning Boss Brass and he performed on their last five albums.
Alex is a widely respected private teacher and adjudicator in Canada and the U.S.
Sponsored by: Humber College
- Location: Toronto, Ontario
Chair, Choral/Vocal Jazz
John is a music educator who has worked with musicians of all ages, from preschool children to senior citizens. He is currently a Vice Principal at Central Peel Secondary School in Brampton, ON and is musical director at Heart Lake United Church. John is active as an adjudicator and clinician throughout North America and has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Vocal Festival and part of the Executive Committee of MusicFest Canada for over 25 years. For over a decade he served as a Resource Team Member for the International Association of Jazz Educators. John has also taught at music at Humberview Secondary School, Mayfield Secondary School, Humber College and the University of Toronto Jazz Performance Program where his groups received national and international recognition, performing at conferences and festivals throughout Canada and the United States and winning nine DOWN BEAT Magazine Student Music Awards. John has received the I.A.J.E. “Outstanding Jazz Director Award” for Canada, the Jazz Report Award for “Best Secondary School Jazz Program” and was inducted into the MusicFest Canada “Hall of Fame” for outstanding service to young Canadian musicians.
Dr. Shirantha Beddage
Vice Chair, Instrumental Jazz
JUNO-nominated and Galaxie Rising Star award-winning musician Shirantha Beddage (D.M.A.) is a saxophonist, composer and educator from Toronto, Canada. An accomplished performer and composer, Shirantha has released two critically-acclaimed albums as leader. Shirantha earned the 2013 Galaxie Rising Star Award at the Montreal Jazz Festival for compositions from this album. As a composer for film and television, his original compositions have been featured on the FX television series Fargo (2014) starring Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman.
A passionate and versatile educator, he currently serves as Head of Theory and Harmony in the Music department of Humber College. He also adjudicates regularly at regional and national music festivals including MusicFest Canada, where he serves as Vice-Chairman of Instrumental Jazz. His articles have also been published in volumes 1 and 2 of Jazz Pedagogy: A Canadian Perspective (published by Creative Canadian Jazz Voice, available through Jamey Aebersold Jazz).
Shirantha is a Yamaha saxophone artist and performs on the YBS-62.
- Location: Etobicoke, On
Dr. Mark Hopkins
Vice-President, Co-Director Canadian Wind Orchestra
Currently, Dr. Hopkins is an Assistant Professor in the School of Music at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. He is responsible for overseeing the Music Education area, teaching conducting, and is Director of Bands at Acadia University. Dr. Hopkins is very active as a guest conductor of professional and collegiate ensembles, having led performances across Canada and the United States, Bermuda, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Italy, Switzerland, and Romania.
- Location: Wolfville NS