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.
Trumpeter Aaron Hodgson has been praised for his “exquisite musicianship and assured composure” (International Trumpet Guild) and his “outstanding lyrical trumpet playing” (Hartford Courant). A prize-winner in the Ellsworth Smith and OSM Standard Life competitions, Aaron has been broadcast nationally as a soloist by CBC Radio and featured as a concerto soloist with l’Orchestre de la Francophonie at Canada’s National Arts Centre. His orchestral performances include appearances with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and the Calgary Philharmonic. He can be heard on Naxos and Analekta records as principal trumpet for recordings of Bach’s Magnificat, Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique and the complete symphonies of Beethoven and Brahms.
Committed to expanding the trumpet’s capabilities and audiences, Aaron is a founding member of the Reveille Trumpet Collective (reveilletrumpet.org). Reveille has presented engaging, multimedia performances at the Banff Centre and the Sound Symposium Festival, and contributed to the commissioning of many new solo and chamber works for trumpet. Aaron is also a member of Reverb Brass, a quintet dedicated to exciting performances of contemporary works. After several years at Memorial University of Newfoundland, in 2012 Aaron joined the faculty of the Don Wright School of Music, Western University. Aaron holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from Yale University.
Aaron is sponsored by the Don Wright Faculty of Music, Western University
Cellist Alastair Eng joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 2017. Born and raised in Toronto, he also serves as the Assistant Principal Cello of the Santa Fe Opera Company Orchestra. Prior to joining the TSO, he was the Associate Principal Cello of the Canadian Opera Company for seven seasons. He has also performed as Guest Principal Cello with the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa, Canada). Alastair earned his Master of Music degree with honours from the New England Conservatory, and holds a Performance Diploma from the RCM.
Alastair has led string and cello sectionals for the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Boston Youth Philharmonic, and the Taylor Performance Academy of The Royal Conservatory (RCM), and has served as Assistant Conductor of the RCM’s Community School Orchestra. In September 2020, he joined the faculty of Axis Music, a tuition-free music program for children and youth living in Toronto Community Housing. As a composer/arranger, Alastair has received commissions from violinist Augustin Hadelich, guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas, ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro, and A Far Cry, among many others. His arrangements have been called “sweet” (The Boston Globe), “delightfully schmalzy” (The Boston Musical Intelligencer), and “serious and surreal” (Strings Magazine).
Alastair is sponsored by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra
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.
Andy is sponsored by Woodshed Percussion
Anna is a Coach-Accompanist, Voice; Instructor, Accompaniment and Keyboard Skills at Wilfrid Laurier University. She am a graduate of the Music University of the Arts Vienna, and hold two masters degrees, one in Piano Performance and the other in Collaborative Piano. Anna has held vocal and instrumental coaching and accompanying positions at the Vienna and Innsbruck Conservatories, and the Institute for European Studies, also in Vienna, and have played for masterclasses with esteemed artists including Brigitte Fassbaender, Christa Ludwig, Thomas Hampson and Linda Watson.\
Anna has collaborated with distinguished singers Michelle Breedt, Bernarda Fink and Robert Holl, and instrumentalists Ulrike Anton and Brooks de Wetter-Smith. She has performed in venues across Europe, North America and China, including the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall in New York, Gläserner Saal, Musikverein and Schubert Saal, Konzerthaus in Vienna.
Anna is sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University.
Anthony is a graduate of Mohawk College, has studied at the Banff Centre and the Lake Placid Center for the Arts, has a Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto specializing in Jazz Performance, has a Masters Degree in Ethnomusicology from York University and is currently completing his Ph.D. He is on staff at York University and Mohawk College Jazz Studies Programs.
Anthony has been nominated twice for the Toronto Independent Music Award (TIMA) in the Best Jazz Category (Steve Koven Trio) and the Best Live Category (Paisley Jura). He has been nominated for numerous JUNO Awards over the years as a member of several jazz, world and popular music categories. He received the 2004 Mohawk College Alumni of Distinction Award, the 2003 Grand Prix de Jazz General Motors-Festival International de Jazz de Montreal Award (Nancy Walker Quartet), and the 1995 Jazz Report Award for National Post Secondary School Musician of the Year. He has performed around the world, including Japan, Australia, China, Hong Kong, the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Bahamas, Barbados, Trinidad, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Luxembourg.
Anthony is sponsored by York University
Dr. Armand Hall is a conductor and educator dedicated to the creation of new music in all venues. From 2012 – 2018 he served as assistant professor and associate director of bands at the University of Memphis. There he conducted the symphonic band, the marching band, and taught courses in music education. From 2002-10, Dr. Hall served as director of bands at Dunckel Middle School and, from 2003-09, assistant director of the North Farmington High School “Raider” Marching Band in Farmington Hills, Michigan. He earned his Doctorate of Music Arts in wind conducting at Michigan State University, and Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degree in music education from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Dr. Hall is the educational director and teaching artist for the Archipelago Project, a non-profit organization charged with engaging students in music and their instruments by teaching multiple folk idioms using pedagogical techniques based on the Venezuelan El Sistema model. With the Archipelago Project, he has traveled throughout the country and Venezuela teaching music students and performing for their communities. Additionally, he is a board of directors member for the PRIZM Ensemble in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Hall is also active as an adjudicator and clinician; and is a member of the College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Education, College Music Society, Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America, and Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity.
Jazz bassist Artie Roth graduated from York University in 1992 with the Oscar Peterson Scholarship. As a leader of his own group, Artie released “Parallels” in 2005, “Currently Experiencing” in 2013, and most recently “Discern” in 2015. Several of his compositions have been incorporated into the post-secondary educational repertoire/curriculum of numerous student Jazz Ensembles and composition courses at York University, The University of Toronto and Humber College. Artie currently holds the position of Bass Instructor and Course director at York University, where he is presently pursuing his Master’s Degree in Musical Composition.
Artie has been recorded on over 50 CDs, including Rich Underhill’s 2003 JUNO award-winning Tales from the Blue Lounge and 2007 JUNO-nominated Kensington Suite, Sophie Milman’s JUNO-nominated debut CD, and Rockit 88’s 2004 JUNO-nominated Too Much Fun. Artie has toured extensively across Canada and the U.S., and his overseas engagements have included performances with The Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band in Germany (1996), The Steve Koven Trio in Mexico (2003) and Columbia (2005), The Shuffle Demons tour of Europe and Scandinavia (2007), Kollage in Barbados (2011) and Antigua (2013), and the Richard Underhill Quintet in Mexico (2012).
Artie is sponsored by York University
Saxophonist Bobbi Thompson currently serves as Assistant Professor of saxophone at Western University. She has performed with a wide range of organizations including Orchestra London (Canada), Irving Symphony Orchestra, Plano Chamber Orchestra, Toronto Wind Orchestra, Dallas Jazz Orchestra, Grand Theatre (Canada), Drayton Entertainment, and the world-famous University of North Texas Lab Bands.
Outside of her role as a performer and educator, Dr. Thompson serves on the Editorial Board of the North American Saxophone Alliance’s journal The Saxophone Symposium. She previously taught saxophone and chamber music at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. She holds the Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, graduate Music Certificate from Bowling Green State University, Master of Music Education from the University of North Texas, and Bachelor of Music in Instrumental Performance from the University of Idaho.
Brad is a compelling conductor, composer and adjudicator from Burlington, Ontario. He is currently the music director of Wavestage Theatre Company in north Toronto, assistant director of the Bach Chamber Youth Choir, and assistant music director for Christ’s Church Cathedral in Hamilton. Brad graduated in 2016 with a master’s degree in choral conducting from the University of Toronto, where he was the assistant conductor of the Men’s Chorus. In 2014, he earned his bachelor’s degree in music theory and composition from Western University and writes for choral ensembles across Canada today. In March of 2016, Brad was invited to adjudicate the Ontario Vocal Festival, and has since been invited to serve as a clinician for various vocal festivals and choral retreats across Canada.
He has had the privilege to conduct in masterclass for world-renowned ensembles such as the National Estonian Male Choir and the Gloucester Cathedral Choir, and was the assistant conductor for the Ellison National Honour Choir, from 2015 to 2018. Beyond his love for choral music, Brad is the lead singer and keyboardist for the critically-acclaimed band “Family of Things”.
Brandon is an Instructor, Voice, Voice Techniques and Class Voice at Wilfred Laurier University. He has served as a church musician, choral scholar and church music director for over 15 years, and as an adjudicator and workshop facilitator for amateur musicians. He performs regularly in southwestern Ontario and Michigan as an opera, oratorio and concert soloist, as well as a recitalist. He has been a featured soloist with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, the Renaissance Singers, the Spiritus Ensemble, the Georgetown Choral Society, the Mennonite Mass Choir, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, the International Symphony Orchestra, the Stratford Summer Music Festival, the Scaramella ensemble, the Canadian Chamber Ensemble, the Bach-Elgar Choir and the Guelph Chamber Choir.
Brandon has taught at Eastwood Collegiate Institute, Rockway Mennonite Collegiate, Heritage College and Seminary (Cambridge) and the Kanata Centre for Worship and Global Song at Martin Luther University College. As a choral conductor, he have served the Menno Youth singers, the Rockway Mennonite Collegiate Senior choir and the Rockway Concert Combo.
Brandon is sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University.
Brennan is a Percussion Instructor at Wilfrid Laurier University. He holds a Master of Music degree in Performance from Oklahoma City University and a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance from the University of Western Ontario. He directs the Wilfrid Laurier University Percussion Ensemble and is on faculty at the Inter-Provincial Music Camp and Southampton Summer Music. In the broader arts community of Waterloo Region, he also directs the Percussion Ensemble at Cameron Heights CI in Kitchener and the Drumline at Sir John A. MacDonald SS in Waterloo.
As an orchestral musician, Brennan perform regularly with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra and Jeans ’n’ Classics Rock Symphony. He has also performed with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra London (Canada) and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. As a theatre musician, Brennan has appeared both onstage and as a pit musician at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, and played numerous other community theatre shows with Drayton Entertainment, Theatre Woodstock, Theatre Ancaster and Theatre Norfolk. His chamber ensemble, Duo Percussion has toured the province of Ontario performing concerts for general audiences as well as numerous school shows.
Brennan is sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University.
Brent Adams has held the Principal Tuba position for the Niagara Symphony for many years and performs regularly with several orchestras throughout Ontario, including the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra London Canada, Windsor Symphony Orchestra and the Hannaford Street Silver Band.
As a member of the Niagara Brass Ensemble, Brent has recorded for Analekta and Echiquier recording companies as well as CBC radio. As a member of Brass Rings, he has toured extensively through Canada and the United States. Currently, Brent is a faculty member (Tuba & Euphonium) at Western University, Don Wright Faculty of Music.
Brent is sponsored by the Don Wright Faculty of Music, Western University
Camille Watts has been flutist and solo piccoloist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since 1990, positions she held previously with the Atlanta and Denver Symphony Orchestras. In Toronto, Camille has performed as piccolo soloist with the TSO, and has also performed with the Canadian Opera Company, Soulpepper Theatre, Music Niagara, in many collaborations with HearHere Productions, and on many pop and classical recordings, film and TV soundtracks.
Camille is Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music, where she teaches flute and piccolo, coaches chamber music, and leads seminars in the graduate program. She has also served as flute and piccolo faculty at the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. As a massage therapist working with musicians, she joined a group of Toronto artists in creating the Artists’ Health Centre at Toronto Western Hospital, and served on the Foundation Board of Directors.
Chee Meng Low
Chee Meng Low enjoys a diverse career as a conductor, educator, administrator, and performing on saxophone as an orchestral, chamber, and solo musician. Chee Meng is Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Lethbridge, where he conducts the Wind Orchestra, teaches saxophone performance, conducting and musicianship skills. He is also involved with the Edmonton Saxophone Quartet, U of L Faculty Wind Sextet, Symphonic Winds of NSO Malaysia, and has performed as a soloist, chamber musician and guest conduct in North America, Europe and Asia. Recent creative activities included performance at the 2019 2nd Asia Saxophone Congress, as the guest conductor for the Ontario Interprovincial Music Camp, concerto performance with the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra for their 2018/19 season and at the 2017 North American Saxophone Alliance Region 9 conference.
A recipient of the University of Alberta FS Chia Doctoral Scholarship, Chee Meng holds a Doctor of Music degree from the University of Alberta. While working on his degree, Chee Meng taught Band Technique and Aural Skills courses at the University of Alberta and served as the Graduate Teaching Assistant for the saxophone ensemble, symphonic wind ensemble, and concert band. Chee Meng was the host for the 2019 Region 9 North American Saxophone Alliance regional conference, a member of the International Committee, World Saxophone Congress (2006-2009), regional representative of the Asia Pacific Band Directors’ Association (2007-2010), and current member of the North American Saxophone Alliance.
Montreal-based saxophonist and composer Christine Jensen has been described as, “an original voice on the international jazz scene… [and] one of Canada’s most compelling composers,”- The Globe and Mail. According to Downbeat Magazine, “Jensen writes in three dimensions, with a quiet kind of authority that makes the many elements cohere. Wayne Shorter, Maria Schneider and Kenny Wheeler come to mind.”
Jensen took home the Juno Award for Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year with her first band album, Treelines in 2011, along with Quebec’s Opus Award for jazz recording of the year. In October 2013, she released her second recording as a big band leader, soloist and composer on Justin-Time Records, entitled Habitat. It received a rare 5 star review in Downbeat Magazine. “[It] is simply superb, a lyrical, powerful triumph with peak moments that are the stuff of goosebumps and even a bit of teariness.”-Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen.
Jensen has previously released three small ensemble recordings: Collage (2000), A Shorter Distance (2002), and Look Left (2006), all on the Montrel-based Effendi label. Along with her sister, New York-based trumpeter Ingrid Jensen she co-leads Nordic Connect, where they have released recordings on ArtistShare.
She has collaborated with a diverse array of musicians, including Ben Monder, Gary Smuylan, Dick Oatts, Geoffrey Keezer, Lenny Pickett, Gary Versace, and Donny McCaslin. She has studied with Kenny Werner, Dick Oatts, Remi Bolduc, André White, and Janis Steprans.
She has recently toured her music internationally in India, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Denmark, Mexico, Sweden, Turkey, and Haiti. She currently holds the position of conductor of the orchestre national de jazz de Montréal, and is on faculty at University of Sherbrooke and McGill University, where she teaches composition and small and large ensembles.
Colin remains active as a guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator and composer/arranger. His conducting credits include collaboration with world-renowned artists and ensembles including the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, the New Symphony Orchestra of Sofia, Bulgaria, United States Air Force Band of Liberty, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the Canadian Brass and the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, the official fanfare ensemble for the President of the United States.
Colin is best known for his work with the multi-award winning Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra, a group he launched as a high school student. For three decades this ensemble has earned a reputation nationwide as one of the leading performance ensembles of its kind in Canada. Under Colin’s baton, the Wind Orchestra made its Carnegie Hall debut in 2006, and returned in the spring of 2016 for another performance at New York’s famed concert hall to mark its 25th anniversary.
With a passion for music education and outreach, Colin maintains a commitment to working with young people and the community. He has conducted numerous bands, orchestras and choirs throughout Canada and the U.S., and has led the provincial honour bands of Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Prince Edward Island. In the spring of 2008 he served as conductor of the prestigious National Youth Band of Canada. Abroad, Colin has given performances in the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom and China.
Over the years, Colin has made multiple appearances as a member of MusicFest Canada’s national adjudication panel. He also serves on the steering committee for the Golden Horseshoe Music Festival, a regional subsidiary of MusicFest Canada. He is the Music Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and Conductor of the newly-named Oakville Symphony Youth Orchestra. Colin was recognized in 2017 as a Molson Great Canadian, celebrating Canadians citizens who made a difference in their community, and was recently given an Honorary Lifetime Membership Award by the Ontario Band Association.
Corey is concertmaster of the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Hamilton Orchestra and the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also performed in this role with the Boris Brott National Academy Orchestra, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir Orchestra, and Esprit Orchestra. He performs frequently with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra. He is presently on faculty at the Western University, the National Music Camp of Canada and is a member of the Royal College of Examiners.
Corey has distinguished himself as a soloist and chamber musician with performances in Canada, Germany, the United States and China. Concerto appearances include performances of such works as Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante, Beethoven Triple Concerto, Beethoven Violin Concerto, Sibelius Violin Concerto, Brahms Violin Concerto and Brahms Concerto for Violin and Cello. 20th Century solos with orchestra include Mozetich’s Affairs of the Heart for Violin and Orchestra and Vaughn Williams’ The Lark Ascending. He has performed as concertmaster for a number of musicals including recent productions of Beauty and the Beast, the Hugh Jackman Show and Next to Normal and has worked with such pop icons as Hugh Jackman and Chantal Kreviazuk.
Daniel Ramjattan is a Guitar Instructor at Wilfred Laurier University. He completes his doctoral dissertation on music performance anxiety (MPA) at the University of Toronto this year, where he received the New College doctoral fellowship in 2021-2022 for his research. On top of his active teaching schedule at Wilfrid Laurier University, where he runs the classical guitar area at the Faculty of Music, Daniel has given guest lectures on MPA at McGill University, University of Toronto, Wilfrid Laurier University, Memorial University, and at the Guild of Carillonneurs of North America. He also has upcoming presentations this year at Mount Royal University and the Guitar Society of Toronto’s Guitar Weekend.
As a performer, Daniel has placed as a finalist in the Montreal and Hamilton International Guitar Competitions, has taken first prize in the OMFA Provincial guitar competition twice, and placed second in the 2016 National Music Competition in Edmonton, Alberta. He has given recitals in Canada, the US, Japan, Austria, and Italy, has premiered dozens of new works for guitar by composers from all over the world. He recently released his debut solo guitar album, Inspirations: New Music for Solo Guitar, in 2022, which was featured on CBC Radio’s album of the week in March of this year on all streaming platforms thanks to a generous recording grant from the Ontario Arts Council.
Daniel is sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University.
David Lum is a graduate of the University of Toronto (Mus. Bac. /Ed. 1988, B. Ed. 1990) and completed the Graduate Diploma program in Wind Conducting at the University of Calgary in the summer of 2001. He is a past conductor of the Scarborough School’s Symphonic Band and Wind Symphony, and has served as a Senior Administrator of the Scarborough Music Camp. David served as the Conductor of the Northern Ontario Music Festival Honor Band from 2008-2011 and is a past conductor of the Toronto Youth Concert Winds, and Assistant Conductor of the Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra. In June of 2016, David was featured as a Guest Conductor for TYWO’s 25th Anniversary Tour of New York City, culminating in a performance at Carnegie Hall. David is a Past President of the Ontario Band Association (OBA), and currently serves as President of the Lambda Iota chapter of Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters’ Fraternity. David was a sessional instructor of the Summer Additional Qualifications course in Instrumental Music for the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, from 2008-2014, and currently teaches the Tuba/Euphonium studio at York University. In 2009, David received an Honorary Life Membership from the Ontario Band Association, and in May of the same year, was awarded the Keith Mann Outstanding Band Director Award at MusicFest Canada’s “The Nationals”. In December 2012, David was inducted as a Laureate of the Legion of Honor for the John Philip Sousa Society. David is a Conn-Selmer Educational Clinician.
David retired from the Toronto District School Board in January of 2021, after a 32-year teaching career with the Toronto District School Board and the Scarborough Board of Education. During that time, he served as Curriculum Leader and Assistant Curriculum Leader of Music at Agincourt Collegiate Institute. Prior to that, he was the Band Director at Bliss Carman Sr. Public School. Ensembles under his direction have been recognized for excellence both provincially and nationally, and have performed at Roy Thompson Hall, Massey Hall and the Toronto Centre for the Arts, as well as the Ontario Provincial Legislature.
Dennis Beck earned two undergraduate degrees from Western University, and completed a graduate program in conducting from the University of Calgary. In addition to teaching experience at the junior and senior high school levels, he has been a sessional lecturer for the Faculty of Education of the University of Toronto, conducted at Alberta College Conservatory in Edmonton for several years, and played clarinet with the Edmonton Wind Sinfonia and the CBC’s Edmonton Wind Ensemble. His articles on music education have appeared in several professional journals, and since 2000 he has written six analyses of band compositions for different volumes of the highly regarded series of music texts, Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, published by GIA in Chicago.
Recognized as an advocate for excellence in conducting, he co-founded the Unionville Wind Conductors’ Symposium 1994. In the fall of 2008, he was one of ten alumni of the Don Wright Faculty of Music, Western University in London, Ontario, named as the inaugural recipients of the university’s Wall of Fame honour. In 2011, the OBA recognized him with an Honourary Lifetime Membership, also that year he was named to the Advisory Board of the Midwest Clinic in Chicago. In 2013, he was the recipient of the Canadian Band Association’s National Band Award. For twenty years he taught music, coached soloists and chamber ensembles, and conducted bands at Unionville High School’s Arts York program, in Markham. Most recently, he has been a faculty member at the Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University in London, Ontario, where he was conductor of the Symphonic Band and taught music education and conducting.
Vice Chair, Orchestra/Strings
Donnie Deacon was born in Glasgow, Scotland. He studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and continued his studies at the Yehudi Menuhin School in London under the tutelage of Natasha Boyarskaya and Lord Menuhin. He finished his schooling at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia with Jaime Laredo and Ida Kavafian.
Donnie has performed all over the world with such distinguished orchestras as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, BT Scottish Ensemble, London Soloists, Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, Pablo de Sarasate Orchestra, and the Orchestra of the Curtis Institute of Music. He became principal second violin with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in 2001, the youngest player to do so in the history of the Orchestra. He has also been guest Concertmaster of both the Vancouver Symphony and The National Arts Centre Orchestra. As an advocate for Canadian music, he has given the world premiere of Gary Kulesha’s 2nd violin concerto and William Rowson’s violin concerto. He was named Resident Artist in the Community for the National Arts Centre in 2016. Currently, Donnie is the conductor of the Ottawa Youth Orchestra and the Ottawa Chamber Orchestra.
Dr. Daniel Cabena
Canadian countertenor Daniel Cabena is highly regarded in both Canada and Europe for prize-winning performances ranging from baroque to contemporary repertoire. He began his studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, earning an Honours BMus in 2004. He continued my studies at l’Université de Montréal (DMus, 2010) and then at the Schola Cantorum in Basel, Switzerland (Specialized Master in Early Music Performance, 2012).
Daniel’s european engagements include performances with Musica Fiorita, Ensemble Diapsalma, Le Concert Spirituel, and the Schlossmediale Festival. He has performed baroque repertoire with many of Canada’s most prestigious ensembles, including Bach’s Mass in G Minor at National Arts Centre with Bernard Labadie, Conductor.As a recipient of the Virginia Parker Award from the Canada Council for the Arts, Daniel toured Atlantic and Central Canada with pianist Stephen Runge in a concert entitled “Sanctuary in Song”, featuring works by Finzi, Britten, Butterworth and Vaughan Williams. Daniel and Stephen recently recorded their elegant recital, now available on CD through Amazon and Spotify.
Daneiel is sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University.
Dr. Elroy Friesen
Described as “innovative, expressive, and dynamic,” Dr. Elroy Friesen is Director of Choral Studies at the University of Manitoba, where he conducts numerous choirs and teaches graduate conducting. His award-winning ensembles tour nationally and internationally, and are frequently recorded and broadcasted by the CBC. Friesen’s award-winning ensembles tour nationally and internationally, and are frequently recorded and broadcasted by the CBC. He has appeared as guest conductor with the Winnipeg Symphony and the National Arts Centre Orchestras.
Friesen is in demand as a clinician, adjudicator, and conductor throughout North America and Northern Europe. He is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Schooner Cove Singers, a professional chamber choir based in Parksville, B.C. He is the co-founder of fikamusik, a Choral Conducting Intensive taught in the Desautels Faculty of Music. Friesen is also the past Artistic Director of Prairie Voices and has held positions of Artistic Director of the Mennonite Community Orchestra, Director of Choirs at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Urbana, Illinois, and Director of the University Chorus in Champaign, Illinois. He is in demand as a clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor throughout Canada, the United States, and Northern Europe.
Dr. Gillian MacKay
Denis Wick Canadian Wind Orchestra Director
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.
Dr. Jeff Reynolds
Jeffrey Reynolds teaches trumpet and conducting at the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto, as well as conducting the Wind Symphony. For 5 years he was the Coordinator of the Performance Division, until 2015. He holds a Ph.D. in the philosophy of music education and a M.M. in trumpet performance. Dr. Reynolds has performed and recorded as a trumpeter with the Calgary Philharmonic, Victoria Symphony, Hamilton Philharmonic, Hannaford Street Silver Band, the Stratford Festival Ensemble and the Orchestra of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, as well as many other orchestral, chamber and solo performances. Prior to the University of Toronto, Dr. Reynolds taught at Malaspina College and McMaster University and for several years was an instrumental specialist with the Scarborough Board of Education.
Dr. Reynolds is the author of a trumpet pedagogy book in the Dummies series, Trumpet for Dummies, has recently completed the compilation of trumpet repertoire for the Royal Conservatory of Music, along with Dr. Gillian Mackay, and contributes articles to several journals. He frequently conducts workshops in southern Ontario schools, and is in demand as an adjudicator at music festivals across the country.
Dr. Jill Ball
Jill Ball is an award-winning teacher and an accomplished solo, chamber and orchestral musician as well as an active adjudicator, conductor, and clinician. Her responsibilities include the Undergraduate and Graduate percussion studio, directing the Western University Percussion Ensemble, and Division Coordinator for Winds, Brass and Percussion.
She has performed with a variety of professional orchestras in the United States and Canada, including the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Orchestra London, and the Windsor Symphony. Other solo appearances include the Northwestern University Wind Ensemble, the Oklahoma City University Percussion Ensemble, and the Western University Percussion Ensemble. Jill is a frequent recitalist and advocate of contemporary music. She has recorded with the Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble on the Albany and DMP labels. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Michigan State University, a Master of Music from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Music Education from Central Michigan University and has also taught at the University of Windsor and at the University of New Brunswick. She is Past President of the Ontario Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society.
Jill is sponsored by the Don Wright Faculty of Music, Western University
Dr. Laurel Swinden
Dr. Laurel Swinden currently teaches flute at Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo. She has a DMA in Flute Performance from the University of Toronto. Her dissertation focused on eighteenth-century Scottish music for flute. Laurel’s teaching experience includes positions teaching flute, chamber music, flute ensemble, flute techniques, music history and music appreciation at the University of Nebraska Omaha, , Wilfred Laurier University, University of Windsor, University of Guelph, Western University and the University of Mississippi. She has taught and performed at festivals in Peru, China, the United States and across Canada.
Laurel’s performing schedule includes concerts as the Principal Flute of the Stratford Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Principal Flute/Piccolo of the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra and freelance work with orchestras all over Ontario. She has performed with the Memphis Symphony, Kingston Symphony, Windsor Symphony, Musicians of Orchestra London, Oakville Symphony, Mississippi Symphony, and the Tupelo Symphony. Laurel has released two CDs of flute music: Celebrating Women! and Celebrating Canadian Women! with pianist Stephanie Mara. These were generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Waterloo Regional Arts Council. She also recorded premieres of new Canadian works on the Scarborough Philharmonic’s CD, Canadian Panorama, released in February 2017, funded by FACTOR.
Laurel is sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University.
Dr. Mark Hopkins
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
Dr. Noam Lemish
Dr. Noam Lemish holds a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in Jazz Performance and a Masters degree in Composition from the University of Toronto. He joined York University as Assistant Professor of Jazz Instruction and Pedagogy in 2020. He has appeared in numerous performances and conducted workshops across Canada, the US, Europe, Israel, and in Bhutan and has released multiple albums, including most recently Pardes (2018) and Sonic Truffles (2018). Maybe Noam’s hyphenated identity as an Israeli-American-Canadian has helped inspire his multiplicity; his teaching interests cover a wide variety of areas within jazz studies, composition, Jewish music, polyidiomatic improvisation and the practice of Deep Listening.
His compositions include jazz works for small and large ensembles, chamber, choral, piano, and “The People’s King”: a commissioned transcultural suite in celebration the King of Bhutan’s 30th birthday composed while teaching music in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan in 2010. As co-director of the Israeli-Iranian Musical Initiative (I=I), Noam brought Israeli and Iranian musicians and audiences together, in dialogue and celebration, challenging the formal political hostilities between Iran and Israel through critically acclaimed and sold-out concerts at major venues and festivals.
Noam is sponsored by York University
Dr. Paul Rushka
Award-winning bassist Paul Rushka has engaged audiences throughout North America, Europe and Asia with his sonorous tone, assured confident pulse, and eloquent soloing since 1997. Active as a performer, jazz composer, arranger, and educator, Paul focuses his creative energies on his interactive, intuitive quintet (recently expanded to sextet), which features his lyrical original compositions and dynamic group interplay. Their debut recording As It Happens (2011, Pagetown Records) highlights Paul’s strong basslines and deep grooves and demonstrates his ensemble’s formidable improvisations and conceptual cohesion. Paul holds a Doctor of Music degree from McGill University.
Paul is sponsored by St. Francis Xavier University
Dr. Tony Leong
Dr. Tony Nam-Hai Leong completed his PhD at the University of Toronto in addition to a Master’s degree in Computer Applications and a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Toronto. Dr. Leong studied with Paul Meyer on Violin, Rivka Golani, Daniel Blackman and Rennie Regehr on Viola while studying both orchestral and choral conducting with Professors Dwight Bennett and Lori-Anne Dolloff. He has also participated in master classes and chamber music coaching with such eminent musicians as the Orford String Quartet, the St. Lawrence Quartet, Lorand Fenyves, Simon Fryer, and Scott St. John, and has done his Suzuki violin/viola training with Margot Jewell.
Dr. Leong is currently MusicFest Canada’s Chairman of the Orchestra/Strings Division; President of the Ontario Music Educators’ Association’s board of directors and the past co-editor of their publication, “The Recorder”; co-founding director of the Ontario Strings Association; an instructor at Queen’s University; a lecturer at the University of Toronto; Head of the Performing Arts Department at Sir Oliver Mowat C.I.; and has been a past member on the Board of Directors of the Coalition for Music Education in Canada.
Dr. Leong also conducts the National Music Camp of Canada and Sir Oliver Mowat Orchestras and previously, the Music by the Lake and Oakwood C.I. Orchestras, Korean Canadian Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Conservatory of Music Baroque and Chamber Orchestras and the Etobicoke Suzuki School of Music Orchestras. Dr. Leong was also a member of the Korean Canadian Symphony Orchestra as a violist for over two decades.
In addition, Dr. Leong has given presentations across Canada and the USA as a Technology and String Education clinician and adjudicator, as well as being a Clinician trainer for Finale and SmartMusic Studio. Dr. Leong’s research areas include string education, technology, and adolescents. His publications include the Canadian and Ontario Music Educators’ Association Journals, as well as presentations of his research both at the international and provincial levels. He has also guest lectured courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels at the University of Toronto, York University, and the University of Western Ontario, as well as having given presentations across Canada and the USA on the topics of string education and technology in the music classroom.
Selmer artist Drew Zaremba has a worldwide reputation as an award-winning writer, a passionate conductor, and fiery performer. In 2018, at the age of 27, Drew joined the faculty of the award-winning University of Northern Colorado (UNC) Jazz Studies Department to teach jazz composition and arranging. Drew’s honours include the $10,000 first prize in the 2015 Sherman/Barsanti Inspiration Award at the University of North Texas (UNT) and the 2018 Sammy Nestico Award for his original composition “Kangaroo Bruise Blues”. He is a three-time Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer winner.
He has given clinics and guest artist performances in Melbourne, Brussels, Tokyo, London, Hannover, The Netherlands, at the Contemporary Music Institute in Zhuhai, China, and has taught at the UNC and UNT summer jazz camps. He has released albums “Two Sides of the Same Coin” and “Hologram”, and recently, short, home-made multi-tracked videos in the style of Jacob Collier.
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. 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.
Elaine plays with the Mississauga Symphony and is an avid chamber musician. She also enjoys swimming, yoga and literature. Elaine and husband Norm have four adult children: Alex and Rory began their studies with Etobicoke Suzuki Music and now play viola professionally. Alex is the Academic Manager and Parkdale Centre Director for Sistema Toronto. Daughter Brynne sings with the Semperopera in Dresden, Germany. Cameron is in Prince George BC studying Environmental Engineering.
Eric is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto. He earned a MM from the Juilliard School, a BM and Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. He is the principal bassoon position in three different organizations: the Canadian Opera Company, the Hamilton Philharmonic and the Grant Park Orchestra in Chicago. As a soloist, Eric has performed with the Niagara Symphony, the New World Symphony, the National Repertory Orchestra in Colorado and the Waterloo Symphony in Iowa.
Eric has performed on recordings with the Canadian Opera Company and the Grammy-nominated Grant Park Orchestra as well as on radio broadcasts for CBC radio and Classical WFMT in Chicago. As well, he has been involved in numerous film scores and recordings for the CBC, and has performed at festivals in Banff, Heidelberg, Spoletto, Edinburgh, Japan, Taiwan and Korea.
Eric is sponsored by the University of Toronto.
Ernesto Cervini is a drum instructor at the University of Toronto and a guest lecturer at Humber College and York University. In addition to his performing career, he founded Orange Grove Publicity in 2014 and quickly became one of the most sought-after jazz publicists in Canada. Guitarist Alex Goodman, saxophonist Allison Au and bandleader/composer Chelsea McBride’s Socialist Night School are just some of the many highly respected artists represented by Orange Grove.
Ernesto graduated from the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto) with degrees in classical piano and clarinet performance before focusing his energies behind the drum kit. After completing his bachelor’s degree at the University of Toronto, he began a four-year stint in New York in 2003, earning a master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music before returning to Toronto in 2007. Ernesto received a JUNO Award for his 2019 Turboprop release Abundance, as well as JUNO nominations for his 2017 Turboprop release Rev, and The Where, by his co-led trio Myriad3. His 2019 release There From Here with the co-led trio TuneTown hit #1 on the Canadian !earshot charts and his newest release, Tetrahedron debuted at #1 on the Canadian Jazz iTunes charts.
Ernesto is sponsored by the University of Toronto.
Vice Chair, Choral/Vocal Jazz
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.
A world-renowned composer, arranger, vocalist and pianist, Greg Jasperse is the Director of Vocal Jazz at Western Michigan University. He is also the director of the award-winning Gold Company vocal jazz ensemble.
No stranger to the stage or recording studio, his credits include numerous movie soundtracks including “Jurassic World”, “Epic”, “Oz, The Great and Powerful”, “The Campaign”, “Star Trek” and “Star Trek 2” as well as the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s “Monarchy of Roses” and “The 2nd Law”, the recent release from Muse. Greg is a member of Vertical Voices and has toured as with the New York Voices. In November of 2014, he joined the New York Voices and the Bob Mintzer Big Band on their Japan tour. He has also performed with Adele, Imogen Heap, Jennifer Holiday, Joe Williams, Rosemary Clooney, Dianne Reeves and Bobby McFerrin among others.
His music is performed around the world by many of today’s premier choral ensembles including Chanticleer, the Philippine Madrigal Singers, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Chicago Children’s Choir and the St. Olaf Choir.
His conducting credits include all-state jazz choirs in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, North Dakota, New York, California, Oklahoma, Indiana, Missouri, Colorado, New Hampshire, Illinois, Iowa as well as the British Columbia Honors Jazz Choir and Musicfest Canada’s Ellison Honour Choir,
He is a graduate of University of Miami and Western Michigan University.
Guy Few is a Trumpet Instructor at Wilfred Laurier University. He has presented clinics and masterclasses worldwide for festivals including Scotiafest, Takefu International Music Festival, Orford Arts Centre and the Banff Centre for the Arts, as well as postsecondary institutions such as the Montreal Conservatory, University of Toronto, Memorial University of Newfoundland, University of Saskatchewan, State University of New York at Fredonia and Sonoma State University.
It has been my great pleasure to be a guest at many summer festivals including The Festival of the Sound, The Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, Tanglewood, Takefu International Music Festival, Oregon Bach Festival, Scotiafest and the Elora Festival. Through the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Canada Council, Factor and the Ontario Arts Council, he has debuted new works by Canadian composers including Glen Buhr, Peter Hatch, Alain Trudel, Melissa Hui, Mathieu Lussier, Linda Bouchard, Boyd McDonald, Jacques Hétu, John Estacio and many others. Guy’s awards include Best Classical Recording (Bacchanale/Just Plain Folks Music Awards/MSR), a Grammy (Penderecki CREDO/Hanssler Classics), and a Juno nomination (Canadian Concerto Project/MSR).
Guy has been a keynote speaker for brain injury associations in Canada and the USA. The presentations concern his two brain surgeries for Cavernous Hemangioma, the resulting memory loss and complications. Guy has been invited to speak on this topic for CBC TV and Radio (Peter Gzowski, Shelagh Rogers, This is my Music), Global TV affiliates, CTV, NPR, as well as symposia such as Bach and the Brain, Surgery Grand Rounds and OMEA. His speech, “Mokuso”, features meditations for pain and stage fright.
Guy is sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University.
Helen Geng has been teaching with the York Region District School Board since September 2018. A graduate from the University of Toronto Faculty of Music, Helen is an avid trumpet player and currently performs with the Metropolitan Winds of Toronto. Helen has participated in conducting symposia with York University, the University of Toronto, and the University of California Los Angeles. She has been a clinician for trumpet and wind band at many schools in the Greater Toronto Area, and for several years, she was a member of the trumpet section and the Personnel Manager of the Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra (TYWO).
Since 2018, Helen has been an elected member of the TYWO Board of Directors, currently serving as the chair of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) Committee. In 2020, Helen was awarded the Ontario Band Association’s Conducting Excellence Award for her work with the Richmond Hill High School Symphonic Winds.
Ian has been a Double Bass instructor the Faculty of Music at Wilfred Laurier University since September 201,2 and have been involved with the KWS Youth Orchestra program as a coach since 2010. A native of Edmonton, Ian was introduced to the bass at age 17 by Ioan Tetel of the Edmonton Symphony and spent two years studying jazz at Grant MacEwan College with the ESO’s John Taylor. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree at McGill University and a Master of Music is from Yale University School of Music. During his time at Yale, Ian made my debut at Carnegie Hall in New York and Symphony Hall in Boston. He joined the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra in 2008.
Ian has appeared as a soloist with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and Kitchener-Waterloo chamber Orchestra, performed with the Penderecki String Quartet, the NUMUS Ensemble, and worked with the KW Chamber Music Society in Waterloo, the InnerChamber Series in Stratford and the Colours of Music Festival in Barrie.
Ian is sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University.
Vice-Chair, Concert Band
Isabelle Brassard-Porter has had a long musical career as a performer, conductor and educator. As a professional flutist and piccoloist, she had the chance to perform orchestral masterworks from the post romantic era for thirty-two seasons with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Brassard-Porter was the head of the instrumental music program at the Béatrice-Desloges High School Specialized Arts Program where she conducted numerous ensembles including the Béatrice-Desloges Senior Wind Orchestra which has won the highest honors at numerous festivals in Canada, the United States and Europe.
In 2012, MusicFest Canada recognized Ms. Brassard-Porter with the Keith Mann Outstanding Director Award of Excellence. Over the course of her career, Isabelle has inspired countless young people to discover the joy and benefits of making music and is happy to continue this mission at MusicFest Canada .
Jake Hanlon is an Assistant Professor of Music at Saint Francis Xavier University in Antigonish (Nova Scotia), and has been a member of the Faculty of Music since 2008. As a member of the Faculty, Hanlon teaches Jazz Guitar, Improvisation and Composition. He has performed with Canadian artists Paul Tynan, Mike Murley, Kirk MacDonald, Ethan Ardelli, Mike Rud, Dianne Nilani and David Braid, and international artists Dave Liebman, Chad Wackerman, Tim Haggans and Peter Erskine.
Jake graduated in 2003 from Saint Francis Xavier University (B.Mus w/Honours) and in 2008 from the University of North Texas (M.M Jazz Studies), where he was Graduate Teaching Fellow for Jazz Guitar. He is an alumnus of the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead composition residency in Washington DC (2007). Jake earned two ECMA nominations for Jazz Recording of the Year for the albums Follow in 2012 and Autumn Song in 2015. Jake endorses Thomastik-Infeld Strings.
Jake is sponsored by St. Francis Xavier University
James McGowan is an educator, music theorist, pianist, and composer. In addition to teaching music theory, musicianship, composition, Dr. McGowan serves as Carleton University Chair in Teaching Innovation, in which he administers the project supporting pedagogical connections between Music and the Sprott School of Business, research in , and arts on campus by administering a . He has also served as Assistant Director of the Carleton Jazz Camp, Supervisor of Performance Studies, Supervisor of Ensembles, Masterclasses and Practica, and Undergraduate Supervisor. He was the recipient of a Carleton Teaching Achievement Award (2013), as well as multiple “Favourite Faculty”residence awards, Carleton New Faculty Excellence in University Teaching Award, “Raving Raven Teaching Excellence” award, a Carleton University Student Association Teaching Excellence Award, and MSU Teaching Award for Humanities (2007, McMaster University). He has been a clinician and adjudicator for different arts organizations (Junos, Kiwanis, Lions, Canadian Music Showcase, City of Ottawa Arts Grants, etc.), and given workshops on topics including introductory improvisation, choral singing, jazz piano approaches, jazz music theory, and managing performance anxiety.
As a pianist, he specializes in improvised musics, and has performed in Canada, the United States, and Europe. In recent years, he has released four albums as co-leader: 4K (2020) and Two Intents (2017) with Modasaurus (a jazz-fusion quartet that performs Dr. McGowan’s compositions), Songs from the Bridge (2018) with EvenSong (a jazz-gospel quintet, funded by a grant from the United Church of Canada), and Over the Mountain(2017) with percussionist Dong-Won Kim, (who performs with Yo-yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble). His compositions and arrangements have been performed (or selected for performance) by the Rocky Mountain Symphony Orchestra, Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, Coro Vivo, Atlantic Voices of Ottawa, Carleton University Choir, Alexander Singers and Players (Toronto), and others.
James is sponsored by Carleton University Music.
Canadian clarinetist Jana Starling is a nationally and internationally active performer and teacher. She has performed with the Arizona Opera Company, the Paraguayan National Symphony, the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra and ProMusica Chamber Orchestra. She has been programmed numerous times at the International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest®, given recitals and masterclasses at the Belgian Clarinet Academy, Sichuan Conservatory of Music in China, and has been a guest artist and adjudicator at various festivals in the United States and Canada. She has also teaches frequently at the International Music Camp (Peace Gardens, CAN/USA), the Interprovincial Music Camp (ON), and the co-founder of the Lift Clarinet Academy, an innovative summer program in Colorado. Jana’s debut CD Inflexion earned a 2007 East Coast Music Award nomination for “Classical Recording of the Year”.
Jana received her BMus in music education from Brandon University and her MMus and DMA in clarinet performance from Arizona State University.
Jana is sponsored by Carleton University Music.
Jehanbakhsh (John) Jasavala
Jehanbakhsh (John) Jasavala holds music degrees from University of Michigan, (M.M.), York University (B.FA), a Diploma in Jazz Studies from Humber College, and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Windsor. Jehanbakhsh is currently an award winning lecturer, chamber ensembles coach and instructor of trombone at Western, Don Wright Faculty of Music. Jehanbakhsh was the recipient of the University of Western Ontario Student Society Teaching Award in 2002 and in 2003, the recipient of the Meritorious Service Award for Part–time Faculty at the University of Windsor. Jehanbakhsh has twice been nominated for teaching awards at the University of Toronto, 2014 and 2015. He has held the position of Principal Trombone with both the Windsor and Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestras, and has performed as a freelance musician with several orchestras in Ontario and Michigan, including Orchestra London, and The Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
Jehanbakhsh has also been active as an instructor at Eastern Music Camp in Newfoundland and Interprovincial Music Camp in Ontario as well as MusiCamp Alberta. Jehanbakhsh is an active adjudicator and clinician in both jazz and classical music, including several appearances at festivals including the Brandon Jazz Festival, Vancouver Jazz Festival, Corner Brook Music Festival, Windsor/Grand Falls, St. John’s NL, London Music Festival and Grey County Music Festival.
Jehanbakhsh is sponsored by the Don Wright Faculty of Music, Western University
Saxophonist, clarinetist, flutist and conductor Jennifer Bell has been active on the Montréal scene since 1985. Jennifer is the co-founder of the groups Streetnix, (FIJM 1987-2017) and Altsys Jazz Orchestra, with whom she has performed hundreds of concerts throughout North America and Europe. Jennifer Bell is also a clinician and adjudicator throughout North America and has taught at the McGill Conservatory since 1985. Jennifer has received grants from the SOCAN Foundation, the conseil des arts et lettres du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts as well as awards from the Conseil Québecois de la Musique and the Women’s Y foundation.
Saxophoniste, clarinettiste, flûtiste et chef d’orchestre Jennifer Bell est active sur la scène musicale montréalaise depuis 1985. Fondatrice des groupes Streetnix (FIJM 1987-2017) et Altsys Jazz Orchestra avec lequel elle a joué partout en amerique du nord et en europe. Jennifer Bell est également une évaluatrice et donne des causeries partout en Amérique du nord. Elle est chargée de cours au conservatoire de musique de McGill depuis 1985. Jennifer Bell s’est méritée des bourses de la fondation SOCAN, le conseil des arts et lettres du Québec et le conseil des arts du Canada, ainsi que des prix du Conseil Québecois de la musique et la fondation du Y des femmes.
Jeremy Mastrangelo has performed regularly with NACO since the end of 2011 and was appointed as a full-time member in 2014. Previously, Jeremy was the associate concertmaster of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra from 2001 until 2011, and designated to be the orchestra’s next concertmaster in 2010. During his tenure with the SSO, he was a featured soloist on multiple occasions, including performances of Bach’s Concerto for two violins with Jaime Laredo, Brahms’ “Double“ Concerto, the Sibelius violin concerto, and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. He has been a guest concertmaster with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the Omaha Symphony, the Oregon Symphony, and the National Ballet of Canada. Prior to his work in Syracuse, Mastrangelo was co-concertmaster of the New World Symphony in Miami. Mr. Mastrangelo has been a finalist in the Julius Stulberg competition and was also the top prize winner in the National Federation of Music Clubs student auditions. From 2004 until 2009, he was an Affiliate Artist faculty member at Syracuse University.
Jeremy holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of Michigan, where he studied with William Preucil and Paul Kantor, respectively. Mastrangelo presently resides in Ottawa with his wife and two children, both of whom play piano and violin in addition to their interests in baseball, basketball, dance, art, and most anything Star Wars related.
Jereny is sponsored by the National Arts Centre Orchestra.
Jerzy is an Associate Professor, Violin, Strings and Chamber Music, and the String Coordinator at Wilfred Laurier University. He a member of the Penderecki String Quartet, artist in residence. Jerzy was born in Poland and began his musical training at the age of six on piano and transitioned to the violin at age ten. He received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Conservatory in Bytom and a Master’s Degree in Arts from the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice.
Since joining the Penderecki Quartet in 1987, Heès been actively performing throughout Canada, Europe, Asia and North and South America. His recent solo performances include recitals and appearances with the K-W and Peterborough Symphony Orchestras. His solo recording, “Music of Karol Szymanowski” was described by Strad magazine as “an outstanding release”. He has also released over two dozen CDs (Marquis, Eclectra, CBC, CMC, EMI labels), including an acclaimed recording of the complete string quartets of Béla Bartók with the PSQ and Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire with the Blue Rider Ensemble.
Jerzy is sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University.
Jim Catalano earned a BS in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He was Graduate Assistant Band Director at The University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, earning his Masters in 1977. Jim taught music at the middle, high school and community college level. He has been on the leading edge of percussion instrument development, sales, education and marketing for Ludwig / Musser from 1983 until his retirement in 2019. Jim has served on the board of directors of the Percussive Arts Society from 1999-2002 and received the 1998 PAS President’s Industry Award and the 2010 Midwest Music Industry Award.
Jim has recorded several CDs with “The “Keystone Wind Ensemble”. He plays drums with “Truth in Jazz”, “Jazz Assemblage” big bands in Indiana, vibes with his own jazz group “VibeNation” and conducts recreational percussion workshops. As an active percussion clinician Jim has recently been featured at the 2001, 2006 & 2012 Midwest Band Clinic, Pennsylvania MEA – 2005, Texas MEA – 2009 & 2014, American Band College in Ashland, OR – 2003, 2006 & 2013 and Conn-Selmer Institute from 1998 – 2014.
Jim is sponsored by Conn-Selmer.
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 30 years. For over a decade he served as a Resource Team Member for the International Association of Jazz Educators and as a member of the advisory board of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival.
John has taught music at Humberview Secondary School, Central Peel 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.
John Davis is Dean of the College of Music since January 2021. Previously, he served as Senior Associate Dean of the college from 2012-2020. John joined the University of Colorado Boulder faculty in 1999 as Director of Jazz Studies and has taught courses in jazz history, jazz administration and pedagogy, big band, combo, vocal jazz, jazz techniques and management and leadership. Under his direction, the jazz program was awarded 14 DownBeat magazine Student Music Awards, and was recognized by the university chancellor as one of the university’s “core programs of excellence”. Prior to his appointment at CU Boulder, Davis served as Assistant Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Northern Colorado. John has served as guest conductor for honor and all-state vocal and instrumental jazz ensembles in Wyoming, Colorado, Toronto, Indiana, Oklahoma and Kansas, among others.
Professor Davis holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education and Performance from Metropolitan State College; a Master of Arts degree in Trumpet Performance from the University of Denver; a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Colorado State University; and a Doctor of Arts degree in Trumpet Performance and Pedagogy with a secondary emphasis in Jazz Studies from the University of Northern Colorado. The second edition of the Jazz Volume for the Historical Dictionary for Literature and the Arts, written by Davis, was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2020.
Jonathan Dagenais holds a Master’s degree in Conducting from McGill University and a Bachelor’s degree in Composition from the Université de Montréal. Currently, he is a guest lecturer at the Sherbrooke University School of Music, where he teaches instrumental composition (wind orchestra). In addition to teaching in cegep and university, (music theory, composition, analysis, ear training, musicianship and conducting), Jonathan enjoys an active career as a composer and arranger for wind orchestra. His compositions are included in many North American concert band music festival syllabuses, and are currently published worldwide by Alfred Music, Hafabra Music and Eighth Note Publications.
Jonathan is conductor and artistic director of the Orchestre à Vents Non Identifié (OVNI), a Montreal wind orchestra he co-founded in 2005. In 2010 and 2017, he was appointed conductor of the McGill Wind Orchestra. He is also the conductor of the Cercle Philharmonique de Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu (CPSJ), a position he has held since September 2012. In September 2015, he was named conductor of the Orchestre de jeux vidéo – OJV (Montreal Video Game Orchestra), an ensemble dedicated to video game soundtracks. Most recently in 2019, he was appointed principal conductor of the Ottawa Pops Orchestra (OPO). In 2017, he became the artistic director of Musicfest Quebec. He has been a guest conductor for many Canadian honour bands including The National Youth Band of Canada (NYB). Jonathan is a Yamaha Canada Master Artist Educator, a guest conductor and clinician for Twigg Musique and the Fédération des Harmonies and Quebec Symphony Orchestras.
Assistant principal cello of the National Arts Centre Orchestra since 2014, Julia MacLaine performs worldwide as a soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician in music ranging from classical to contemporary and from “world” to her own arrangements and compositions. Originally from Prince Edward Island, Julia studied with Antonio Lysy at McGill University, with Timothy Eddy at the Mannes College of Music, and at The Juilliard School. She performs on a 1840 Nicolas Vuillaume cello, generously made available to her by the National Arts Centre Foundation.
When not onstage with NACO, she performs regularly with her string quartet, Ironwood. Their programs combine classical warhorses (Beethoven, Ravel, Debussy) with very new music (works by Ana Sokolovic, Nicole Lizée, Bryce Dessner, Philip Glass, Esa‐Pekka Salonen) and occasionally veer off into their own arrangements of original songs and folk music. Julia has performed at the Mecklenberg‐Vorpommern Festival in Germany, in Abu Dhabi, at Suntory Hall in Tokyo, and across the United States. She has also appeared at the Lanaudière, Bic, Mostly Mozart, Tanglewood, and Ravinia Festivals. Julia has performed with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Les Violons du Roy.
Julia is sponsored by the National Arts Centre Orchestra.
Katie is Artist-in-Residence (Penderecki String Quartet), Cello, Strings and Chamber Music Instructor at Wilfred Laurier University. She received my Doctoral and Master’s degrees from Stony Brook University and Bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory. Katie has performed throughout the United States, Canada, England, Australia and Israel and is a former member of the Colorado String Quartet (2009-2013). As a former member of the Avalon Quartet, she received top prizes from the Concert Artist Guild (NY), the 1999 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition and the 1998 Banff International String Quartet Competition.
Katie taught cello at the University of Connecticut from 2010-2013 while maintaining a private teaching studio in Stony Brook, NY for seven years. She has also taught cello at the Hartt Music School, Bard Conservatory’s Preparatory music program, coached chamber music at New England Conservatory’s Extension Division, Stony Brook University’s pre-college program, and at the Colorado Quartet’s intensive summer quartet institute, Soundfest.
Katie is sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University.
Multi-instrumentalist Keith Hartshorn-Walton relocated to Ottawa in 2015 and has established himself in the City’s Jazz scene, specializing in Tuba, Sousaphone, Electric and Acoustic Bass. Originally from Winnipeg, Keith toured extensively with the Foothills Brass Quintet. He has performed with Clark Terry, Louis Bellson, Quinsin Nachoff, as well as orchestras in Edmonton, Calgary, Oshawa and Kingston. He is a Tuba (classical & jazz) Performance Instructor at Carleton University.
Keith is also part of two monthly jazz series with Tariq Amery and Garrett Warner at Ottawa’s Art House Café and also has hosted the monthly Jazz in Barrhaven series at Anabia Cupcakery. In addition, Keith is music director and organist at Wall Street United Church in Brockville. He received his Doctorate of Music from McGill University in 2010, and has studied with Dennis Miller (McGill) and Mark Tetreault (University of Toronto).
Keith is sponsored by Carleton University Music.
Multiple Juno-award winning saxophonist, composer and educator Kelly Jefferson has a Bachelor of Music degree from McGill University in Montreal and a Masters degree from Manhattan School of Music in New York City. He is a faculty member at York University in Toronto. He has performed with the The National Arts Centre Orchestra, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Maria Schneider, Christian McBride, Kenny Werner, Phil Woods, Clark Terry, Al Jarreau, Michel LeGrand, Nicholas Payton, Brian Blade, as well as Ray Brown, Sonny Fortune, Randy Brecker, Renee Rosnes, Johnny Mathis, Russell Malone, Joey DeFrancesco, and Dee Dee Bridgewater, among others.
Kelly has toured extensively in Canada, the United States, Japan, Thailand, Europe, South Korea and China, including a nine-month tour with legendary trumpeter Maynard Ferguson. The Kelly Jefferson Quartet release Next Exit, was nominated for a 2011 Juno Award. Mr. Jefferson has also adjudicated at music festivals across Canada and has given numerous workshops throughout Canada, the United States and China.
Kelly is sponsored by York University
Kenji Omae is a Canadian Jazz saxophonist based in Nova Scotia, Canada. He has been described as “a super-articulate virtuoso” (Peter Hum-The Ottawa Citizen) and “may be the most exciting tenor saxophonist to emerge in Canada in recent years” (Stuart Broomer-The WholeNote). He has released three albums of original music as a leader; “Story Time” (2015), “Not So Deep” (2011), “Here For Now” (2007). In addition to his own recordings, he is featured as a sideman on over thirty jazz CD’s. From 2003-2017, he was based in Seoul as a full time instructor of saxophone (Dong-Ah Institute Of Media And Arts and Paek-Che Art College). He was an active contributor to the music scene of Seoul through his frequent performances and extensive teaching. In 2007, he won the first prize in the Jarasum International Jazz Festival competition.
Kenji has a Master of Arts Degree in Jazz Performance from CUNY/Queen’s College in New York. He is currently on faculty at Saint Francis Xavier University where he maintains a Saxophone studio and teaches classes that include Jazz Improvisation, Jazz Harmony, and Jazz History.
Kenji is sponsored by St. Francis Xavier University
Kevin Turcotte is universally recognized as one of Canada’s major trumpet talents with an impressive list of recording and touring credentials as a prominent player with the elite of many Canadian jazz ensembles.
Kevin Turcotte has been regarded as one of Canada’s most proficient performers for nearly two decades. He studied music at the prestigious Banff School of Fine Arts and later, at the University of Toronto, where he joined the faculty in the 1990s. He has performed on over 75 recordings and in countless club and concert appearances. He has toured extensively throughout North America as well as with the Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra on the band’s 1991 Russian tour, in South America with Time Warp, with Don Byron in Italy.
Kevin is sponsored by York University
Professor of Voice at Wilfrid Laurier University since 2002, Canadian mezzo-soprano Kimberly Barber is Administrative Coordinator for their Opera Program, and was appointed Associate Dean, External for Laurier’s Faculty of Music in July 2017. She adjudicates widely, and is frequently called upon to serve on advisory panels for the arts. Her research interests are centred on the Art of Practice and effective use of the body in vocal pedagogy. Licensed as an Body Mapping Educator®, she teaches Body Mapping for Musicians in workshop settings, privately, and as a cornerstone of her pedagogical model in the voice studio.
With performances at Opéra de Paris, Opéra de Marseille, Frankfurt Opera, English National Opera, New York City Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Seattle Opera, L’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Wigmore, Barbican, Avery Fisher and Weill Concert Halls, and every major opera company and orchestra in Canada, Kimberly’s operatic repertoire encompasses more than 50 roles, many of them from 20th and 21st century or lesser-known works, and her concert repertoire stems from every genre. She is a champion of the music of our time, frequently giving world and Canadian premieres of new music. In May 2022, she will debut with Winnipeg’s Little Opera Company in the Canadian premiere of Jake Heggie’s THREE DECEMBERS in the role of Madeleine Mitchell. She has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon (Concepción in Ravel’s L’HEURE ESPAGNOLE with the LSO under André Previn), CBC Records, Naxos, Teldec and Dutton Classics. Her wide-ranging career in Europe, Asia and North America, with years of experience as an operatic performer, concert, recital and recording artist, and breadth of pedagogical training, qualify her ideally to guide emerging vocal artists who hope to excel at an international level.
Kimberly is sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University.
Kira is an Associate Professor of Music at Wilfred Laurier University and the Conductor of the Laurier Symphony Orchestra. Past positions include the Director of the Orchestra and String Studies at Florida Southern College and the Director of Orchestra and Strings at The University of Tampa (United States). She was the winner of the 2016 International Conductors Workshop and Competition and the 2014 recipient of the National American Prize in Music (Prize Winner in Opera Conducting). Kira holds a doctoral degree in music from the University of Iowa and degrees from the University of New Mexico and Knox College.
As the 2017 winner of the International Institute for Conductors in Bulgaria, Kira conducted the Vidin State Philharmonic Orchestra in a Concerto Festival and was invited back to guest conduct in their 2017-18 season. In the summers of 2019 and 2018, she served as artist in residence and guest conductor at the University of Aveiro (Portugal). As a recipient of the Sigma Alpha Iota Conducting Scholarship, Kira has presented research at national and state conferences such as NSEE, NAfME, ASTA, and FMEA. Her research on health and music has been published in Health Education Journal (SAGE publications, UK).
Kira is sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University.
Named one of 2020’s “Rising Stars” by BBC Music Magazine, flutist Lara Deutsch was the recipient of the $125,000 Prix Goyer for 2019-2020. Lara was also a first prize winner of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal’s 2014 Manulife Competition, at which she was awarded a total of seven prizes. She was the Grand Prize Winner of both the National Arts Centre Orchestra Bursary Competition (2014) and the Canadian Music Competition (2010), as well as a laureate of the Concours Prix d’Europe (2016). She is member of the teaching faculty at Carleton University.
Lara performs regularly with the NAC Orchestra, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, and the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, she has performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra, the McGill Symphony Orchestra, and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Lara’s recent performance highlights include recitals for the National Arts Centre (NAC) & Facebook’s #CanadaPerforms initiative, CBC Radio’s CBC/McGill Series, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal’s Virée Classique, Ottawa’s Music & Beyond Festival, and the Allegra Chamber Music series, of which she was Artist-in-Residence for the 2019-2020 season. Lara performs on a 14k gold Haynes flute, generously loaned by Canimex Inc. of Drummondville, Québec. She is incredibly grateful for the support of Mécénat Musica, the Canada Council for the Arts, and FACTOR in her ongoing projects.
Lara is sponsored by Carleton University Music.
Leah McGray is the Director of Instrumental Studies for the State University of New York at Geneseo. Dr. McGray conducts the Geneseo Symphony Orchestra, Geneseo Wind Ensemble, and teaches classes in conducting, and theory. Previously holding a similar position at Rhodes College in Memphis TN, she has been the conductor for Memphis Symphony Orchestra’s “Leading from Every Chair” program and a guest conductor with the Memphis Youth Symphony Orchestra. Dr. McGray earned her Doctor of Musical Arts in conducting at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she studied with Dr. Mallory Thompson. She received the Master of Music degree in conducting from University of Toronto, studying with Dr. Gillian MacKay, and Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education degrees from Acadia University.
A two-time winner of Social Science Humanities and Research Council grants from the Canadian government, her research focuses on new works for winds, with an emphasis on the music of Joel Puckett. Dr. McGray has taught band and orchestra for middle and high school music programs in Canada, and is in demand internationally as a conductor and adjudicator. Professional affiliations include the College Band Directors National Association, College Music Society, Conductors Guild, Canadian Band Association, Canadian Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, and the Nova Scotia Band Association.
Violinist Leah Roseman has been a member of the National Arts Centre Orchestra since 1997. In fact, she grew up in Ottawa, and was inspired by many concerts growing up. She studied for several years with NACO retired member Keiko Hutchenreuther, and then travelled to Montreal for lessons with the well-known violin pedagogue Mauricio Fuks. She completed her B.Mus. at McGill University in Violin Performance with High Distinction, and went on to Indiana University to complete her M.Mus. where she studied with Paul Biss, and baroque violin with Stanley Ritchie. She broadened her studies at many summer music festivals: Orford, Sarasota Music Festival, Encore, Tanglewood, Schleswig-Holstein, and the Soundfest Institute of String Quartets. She was a member of the Carmel Bach Festival Orchestra, the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, and Les Violons du Roy before joining NACO. She’s always been active as a chamber music player, and teaching is one of the great joys of her life. In 2020 she started her YouTube channel ViolinLessonOnline as a way of posting videos for her students, and it’s now grown to over 1,000 videos organized into 60 playlists, for players of all levels (and their teachers). She regularly hosts free international violin masterclasses over Zoom to particpants all over the world, and also does presentations on teaching and practicing music.
In 2021 she began a new creative chapter as the producer and host of the podcast and video series “Conversations with Musicians with Leah Roseman”, which features in-depth conversations with a wide range of musicians talking about their lives and careers, with perspectives on overcoming challenges, and finding inspiration and connection through a life so enriched by music. Guests have included James Ehnes, Kerson Leong, Lynn Kuo, Carissa Klopoushak, Yosuke Kawasaki, Kirsty Money, Patty Chan, Alexis Chartrand, Aaron Schwebel, Roddy Ellias, Ellen Waterman, Subhadra Vijaykumar, Alicia Svigals, Veronica Thomas, Arna Einarsdóttir, Theo Marks, Eva Slongo, Sophie Lukacs, Kellylee Evans, Megan Jerome, Rachel Mercer, Gina Burgess, Jack Everly, Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, and Hooshyar Khayam.
Leah is sponsored by the National Arts Centre Orchestra.
Leslie Fagan is Assistant Professor and Co-ordinator of Voice at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. She has given master classes at The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, York University, the American University of Sharjah, UAE, Berkshire Choral Festival and was an adjudicator for the New York Oratorio Competition. Ms. Fagan’s students have gone on to attend such esteemed universities as Royal College of Music, London Eng., Manhattan School of Music, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Prague Conservatory. The Glenn Gould School and the University of Toronto. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto.
Leslie has sung under the batons of such noted conductors as Hans Graf, Sir David Willcocks, Jukke Pekke Saraste, Kent Tritle, Heinz Ferlisch, Victor Borge and Elmer Isler and have delighted audiences and critics alike at Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Bordeaux Opera House, Roy Thomson Hall and Massey Hall. Highlights of her past engagements include: a solo concert of music of Stravinsky and Debussy with the Bordeaux Aquitaine Symphonie Nationale, France; Bach’s Weinachts Oratorium in Stuttgart, Germany; Handel’s Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England; Tafelmusik Orchestra and Choir in Toronto, Ontario; and an engagement as guest soloist at the International Choral Festival in Gouda, Netherlands. Her Lincoln Center Debut was singing Carmina Burana with Musica Sacra and the world premier of Alessandro Cadario’s Cantata for Revival. Leslie has been invited by both the Oratorio Society of New York under the direction of Kent Tritle and Music Sacra under the baton of Richard Westenburg to sing their performances of Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie Hall.
Leslie is sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University.
Lorne Lofsky is an internationally recognized jazz guitarist. Born and raised in Toronto, he has been playing professionally for the last 42 years. He has played/toured or recorded with a who’s who of the jazz world, includingOscar Peterson, Ed Bickert, Rob McConnell, Chet Baker, Joey DeFrancesco, Pepper Adams, Ray Brown, Neils Henning Orsted Pederson,Rosemary Clooney, Kirk MacDonald, Dave Holland, and many other respected members of the international jazz community.
In addition, he has been a faculty member at York University’s Fine Arts/Music Program since 1978 and also teaches at the Humber College Community Music Program. Lorne is a mainstay of the Toronto jazz scene and performs extensively in the Greater Toronto Area. He has also given clinics/concerts at St. FX University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia and McGill University in Montreal.
Born in Toronto, Marjolaine Fournier was raised in Chicoutimi after her family moved to the Saguenay in 1974. Long-standing principal double bass with the Orchestre Symphonique du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, she was a founding member of its Orchestre de Chambre in 1986. A bass student at the Conservatoire de musique de Chicoutimi and Trois-Rivières, she graduated with a Premier Prix in double bass and a Premier Prix in chamber music in 1989.
In 1991, after having been solo-double bass with the Jeunes Virtuoses of Montreal and the New York Chamber Soloists, she won a position with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Marjolaine was appointed Assistant Principal Bass with NACO in 1997. In addition to playing in Ottawa, she enjoys teaching double bass at the Conservatoire de musique à Gatineau and is a member of the Kikyo Ensemble. The quartet, composed of friends from the NAC Orchestra, performs works written or arranged for its unusual formation: violin, viola, cello and bass, in a wide diversity of repertoire, combinations and styles. Marjolaine is a very proud recipient of the National Arts Centre’s “Good Ambassador Award”.
Marjolaine is sponsored by the National Arts Centre Orchestra.
Mary 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. 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. She holds a doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin. She has also earned degrees in horn performance and music education from the New England Conservatory of Music and the University of Connecticut.
Active nationally and internationally as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator, Dr. Schneider brings a diverse background to the podium and to her students in the classroom. 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.
Matthew Marsit is an active conductor and clarinetist that has led ensembles and performed as a solo, chamber, and orchestral musician throughout the United States. He became Chair of Instrumental Studies at Boston Conservatory at Berklee in 2018, and also serves as artistic director of the Charles River Wind Ensemble. Matthew previously held conducting positions at Dartmouth College, Ithaca College, Cornell University, Drexel University, Symphony Nova, Chestnut Hill Orchestra, Bucks County Youth Ensembles, Performing Arts Institute of Wyoming Seminary, and Eastern U.S. Music Camp. He served on the clarinet faculty at Plymouth State University. Matthew first completed his studies in music at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he graduated summa cum laude. He completed a M.M. in conducting from Boston Conservatory in 2012.
As a clarinetist, Matthew has performed with many ensembles, including the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Fairmont Chamber Orchestra, and Cornell University’s Ensemble X, and has made solo appearances with the Keene State College Concert Band, Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble, Handel Society of Dartmouth College, Cornell University Jazz Ensemble, Performing Arts Institute of Wyoming Seminary, Drexel University Symphony Orchestra, and Chestnut Hill Orchestra.
Matthew is sponsored by Conn-Selmer.
Canadian saxophonist Mike Tremblay has more than 30 years in the music industry as a woodwind specialist, and educator.
He is an associate performance faculty member at Carleton University where he teaches saxophone, ensembles, jazz improvising, and is the co-founder and director of the annual Carleton University Jazz Camp. He adjudicates for Musicfest Canada and the Kiwanis music Festival. Mike also founded and directs the annual Ottawa Saxophone Camp. Mike frequently performs with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and many other ensembles around the Ottawa Area, including the Cosmos Saxophone Quartet.
Mike frequently performs with he National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Ottawa Jazz Orchestra, the Cosmos Saxophone Quartet, and many other groups around the National Capital region. Some of his performance credits include: Natalie Cole, Alanis Morrissette, Lou Rawls, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Mark Ferguson, John Geggie, Dave Young and Terry Clarke.
Mike is sponsored by Carleton University Music.
Moeen Hosain has been involved in the many facets of the music industry and music education for over 20 years. He is a sought after as a Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble clinician in Quebec. The Bands he has worked with have gone on to become awarding winning ensembles at Musicfest Canada and Festival Des Harmonies de Sherbrooke.
Also in the Drum and Bugle Community, he has been a Music and Brass Coordinator since 1995 working with a great number of corps in the US and Canada (3rd Regiment-Ste-Eustache 1995-98 (Winner of the Spirit of Disney Award), Syracuse Brigadiers, Syracuse New York 1998-99 (Winner of the World Championship 1999) to and presently he is working the Diplomates de Quebec.
He has also worked in for the Canadian Armed Forces as a Brass Instructor at CFB Borden, Ontario (1991-92).
Presently Moeen Hosain is on the Board of the NSMEAC (Nova Scotia Music Educators Association Conference)
Presently Moeen Hosain is the District Manager for Canada for Conn-Selmer Musical Instruments.
- Montreal QC
Naomi Woo is Music Director of the University of Manitoba Symphony Orchestra and the Assistant Conductor and Community Ambassador of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. She is the first-ever music director of Sistema Winnipeg, a programme that uses music as a tool for social change. Naomi holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge, where she was a Gates Cambridge Scholar. She has also studied mathematics, philosophy, and music at Yale College, the Yale School of Music, and Université de Montréal. In 2021-2022, she will make debut appearances with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, Regina Symphony Orchestra and Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, and will also conduct rehearsals of the Orchestre Métropolitain, having been chosen by Yannick Nezet-Seguin for the orchestra’s inaugural conducting academy.
Her passion for new work and artistic creation has also led to trainings and residencies at the Darmstädter Ferienkurse, the International Ensemble Modern Academy at Klangspuren Schwaz, Nida Art Colony (Vilnius Academy of the Arts), the Cortona Sessions for New Music, and more. As a pianist, she has been a prizewinner at the Eckhardt-Grammatté Competition for Canadian and Contemporary Music and winner of the Hélène Roberge Prize for Canadian Music. She is an artist with Tangram, an ensemble devoted to celebrating the vitality of Chinese cultures, and creating new music by transnational Chinese creators.
Naomi is sponsored by the National Arts Centre Orchestra.
Treasurer, Associate Director
Neil has composed over 50 works at various levels for jazz ensemble, available through UNC Jazz Press and Burnihla Music Publishing and distributed worldwide by J.W. Pepper. He taught music at the elementary and secondary levels for 17 years, and is active as a jazz adjudicator and clinician throughout North America.
Neil directs the renowned Nepean All-City Jazz Band, one of Canada’s per-eminent student jazz ensembles for the last 35 years. He was the recipient of the 1999 Ottawa International Jazz Festival’s “Achievement Award” and in 1991 he received the International Association of Jazz Educators Award for Contribution to Jazz Education. In 2016, he was named to the MusicFest Hall of Fame. In 2018, he was named the inaugural winner of the Tommy Banks Outstanding Jazz Director Award. In 2020, he was named an Honourary Life Member of the Ontario Music Educators’ Association. He is considered one of the leading Canadian authorities on the teaching of stage band fundamentals and rehearsal techniques.
Neil is sponsored by Burnihla Music.
Douglas (Pace) Sturdevant graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy and the University of Michigan and began his professional orchestral career with the Toledo (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra, becoming Principal Trumpet at 22. In 1975, he was appointed Principal Trumpet of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, a position he held for 23 years. He was often featured as soloist with the Orchestra, both in Ottawa and on its national tours, and with noted conductors such as Pinchas Zukerman, Trevor Pinnock, Mario Bernardi, Roger Norrington, Helmut Rilling, Alexander Schneider, Eduoardo Mata and Charles Dutoit. Pace then became Manager of Arts Training and Outreach for NACO.
He has adjudicated at MusicFest for several years, at both the regional and national levels. Pace taught at the Crane School of Music (SUNY Potsdam), McGill University, University of Ottawa, and le Conservatoire de musique de Gatineau.
Pace is sponsored by Carleton University Music.
Paul is a Full Professor of music at St. Francis Xavier University, where he teaches jazz trumpet, jazz history, and arranging. He has also served on the faculties of San Jose State University, Chabot College, Nova Scotia Honor Jazz Program, and University of North Texas Summer Trumpet Workshop and is a past co-director of the Acadia Summer Jazz Workshop. Paul received his Masters in jazz studies from University of North Texas where he was a teaching fellow in jazz improvisation, large jazz ensembles and a member of the Grammy-nominated One O’Clock Lab Band.
As a jazz recording artist, Paul has appeared on over sixty recordings, as a trumpet player, composer, arranger, and/or producer along side such musicians as Lynn Seaton, Marcus Wolfe, Stockton Helbing, David Braid, Aaron Lington, Joel Fountain, Bobby Selvaggio, Kenny Werner, Kenny Wheeler, Dan Haerle, Ben Street, and Jamey Haddad. His recordings as a leader have won numerous ECMA awards. He co-leads the “BiCoastal Collective”, with Grammy winning saxophonist Aaron Lington. The ensemble is dedicated to performing new jazz composition across North America. Paul has released ten recordings as a leader/co-leader on the Origin/OA2, Armored, and NohJoh labels.
Peggy Hua has been active in the diverse music scenes of Vancouver. With Taiwanese heritage and connection to Chinese culture, Peggy is currently appointed as the Resident Conductor of the BC Chinese Orchestra and BC Chinese Music Ensemble, Conductor of Egret Taiwanese Choir, Left Coast Labour Chorus, Vancouver Huaren Choir, and Artistic Director of Downton Singers. In 2014, Peggy directed Cor Flammae as the inaugural guest conductor and is currently the associate conductor of the choir. In 2016, Peggy was invited to guest conduct the Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra in the Bamboo – Vietnamese and Intercultural Fusions concert featuring Contemporary Vietnamese and Canadian composers. Peggy has also been on the faculty of University of British Columbia School of Music teaching choral conducting.
Peggy received their graduate degree in choral conducting from University of British Columbia under the tutelage of Dr. Graeme Langager. Peggy has also studied conducting under Lars Kaario, Maestro Dwight Bennett, and Maestro Vance George. Peggy has served on numerous boards in Vancouver, namely the Vancouver Women’s Musical Society, and was recently appointed as board director of the Pride in Art Society (PiA).
Pierre Long-Tao Tang
Dr. Pierre Tang oversees the instrumental ensemble program, directs the orchestra and wind ensemble, and serves as the conductor for the annual musical theatre and opera productions at Pepperdine University. Selected presentations of his scholarly research on conducting studies include the Oxford Conducting Institute International Conference and the California All-State Music Educators Conference.
Raised in Hong Kong, he is a sought-after guest conductor and clinician for instrumental and vocal ensembles internationally. Tang also teaches annual conducting workshops and directorship seminars in Hong Kong, including the most recent one focusing on orchestra as an operatic accompaniment. Tang currently also serves as the Director of Music at St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church in Newbury Park, California. Before his orchestral pursuits, Tang completed master’s degrees in both wind conducting and choral music, and specialized in piano performance at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Vice-Chair, Concert Band
Pratik Gandhi is a conductor, percussionist, clinician, and researcher based in Toronto. He currently serves as music director of the Rouge River Winds and resident conductor of the Toy Piano Composers Ensemble. Pratik is currently a finalist for music director positions with the Northdale Concert Band and the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra. Previously, he has served as assistant conductor of Symphony on the Bay (now the Burlington Symphony Orchestra) for five years, and as associate conductor with the Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra for three years. In November 2019, as guest conductor with TYWO, Pratik shared the podium with composer-conductor Johan de Meij, and led the ensemble in a piece featuring soloist Joe Alessi, principal trombone of the New York Philharmonic.
In frequent demand as a guest conductor and adjudicator across southwestern Ontario, Pratik serves as adjudicator and Vice-Chair for the concert band division of MusicFest Canada, as well as syllabus coordinator for the OBA Provincial Band Festival. He also adjudicated concert bands at the 2017 Alberta International Band Festival in Calgary. Pratik regularly presents workshops on conducting techniques, wind repertoire, and percussion pedagogy.
Pratik is also a champion of new music, and has conducted the premiere of numerous works for orchestra, wind band, and chamber ensembles. Under his leadership, the Rouge River Winds have helped to commission new works from Steven Bryant, Giovanni Santos, and Bill Thomas. With the Toy Piano Composers, Pratik has directed the premieres of works by Elisha Denburg, Alex Eddington, August Murphy-King, and Monica Pearce, among many others. Pratik is credited as conductor on three albums of contemporary music: Bekah Simms’ impurity chains (conducting two tracks, including the Juno-nominated “Granitic”); the Toy Piano Composers’ self-titled debut album; and the recent premiere recording of Benjamin Sajo’s The Great War Sextet.
Pratik received a B.Mus. in music education and an M.Mus. in conducting from the University of Western Ontario. He is currently a doctoral student at York University in Toronto, researching issues of equity and representation among wind band composers in Canada. His article, “Composer Representation in Canadian Wind Band Festival Lists”, was published in the Fall 2020 issue of Canadian Winds. For more information, please visit www.pratikgandhi.ca .
Ronald George is a musician in a variety of roles: teacher, soloist, chamber and orchestral player. He has been principal horn with Orchestra London (Canada) since 1979 and appeared as soloist with the orchestra numerous times. Born in San Francisco, Ron’s studies began with Earl Saxton and Robert Creech through high school in Vancouver. At the University of Toronto, he studied with Eugene Rittich. In Germany he worked with Hermann Baumann. He is a Lecturer at Western University in London, ON
He has performed with Toronto, Detroit, Kitchener-Waterloo and International Symphony Orchestras, Calgary Philharmonic, Hamilton Philharmonic, Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Laval, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Aradia, Arion, Talisker Players and Opera Atelier. He has appeared with the Canadian Opera Company, and has recorded with Pinchas Zuckerman (National Arts Centre Orchestra), Gary Cooper (Arion), and Bruno Weil (Tafelmusik). Tours have included Europe (Calgary Philharmonic) and Japan (Opera Atelier).
York University professor Ron Westray’s professional contributions encompass a stunning list of achievements in the areas of performance, composition, recording, and publishing. Since the early nineties he has performed as trombonist or lead trombonist with the most prestigious jazz ensembles in the world, including the Mingus Big Band, New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, The Wynton Marsalis Septet, Irving Mayfield, The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, and the Marcus Roberts Ensemble, in hundreds of performances around the globe. In addition to his schedule with the LCJO, Ron has recorded as a sideman on labels such as Columbia, Sony Classical, and RCA Novus. Ron’s accomplishments in the field have gained him exposure in publications such as Ebony, Essence, Downbeat, JazzTimes, Life Magazine and The New Yorker. Ron has appeared in concert with Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Stevie Wonder, Roy Haynes, Nicholas Payton, and Branford Marsalis.
His compositions for jazz big band, jazz orchestra and smaller jazz ensembles range from original works to arrangements and/or adaptations of pre-existing works, some published by Walrus Music Publishing, some through his own company Wooden Flute Publishing. Ron Westray continues to expand upon the legacy set before him with his CD releases, “Jimi Jazz”, “Live From Austin” and “Medical Cures For The Chromatic Commands Of The Inner City”.
Russell DeVuyst has performed as Associate Principal Trumpet with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra since 1992. He teaches trumpet, coaches small ensembles and conducts the Orchestral Repertoire class at the Schullich School of Music at McGill University. Russell received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the Boston Conservatory of Music and a Master of Trumpet performance (with Distinction) from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.
Previous to his Montreal appointment, Russell held positions as Principal Trumpet with several orchestras including the Israel Philharmonic, Boston Opera Company, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Symphonica della RAI in Torino, Italy, the Orquestra Sinfonica de Mineria in Mexico City, Venezuela Symphony, and the Caracas Philharmonic in Venezuela. Additionally, he has performed as principal trumpet and section with the Indianapolis Symphony, Vermont Symphony and the New York Philharmonic. Russell has conducted trumpet/brass masterclasses internationally including Japan, Malaysia, Peru, Brazil, United States and Canada.
Russell is sponsored by Conn-Selmer.
Vice Chair, Choral/Vocal Jazz
Scott Leithead is the founder and Artistic Director of Edmonton’s Kokopelli Choir Association and TIME Jazz Association. Scott is a very sought after clinician and director, with notable appearances including conducting the Alberta Youth Choir for the Alberta Choral Federation’s 40th Anniversary, conducting the 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Ellison Canadian National Honour Choir, and adjudicating at both the ACCC National Competition for Amateur Canadian Choirs and the Kathaumixw International Choir Festival.
Scott has a passion for music from southern Africa and he has been invited to work with choirs in South Africa and Namibia on numerous occasions. In 2008, Scott was on sabbatical in Namibia where he worked with the Mascato Youth Choir and many other choirs in southern Africa. Scott is also the Vice Chairman of Choral/Vocal Division for MusicFest Canada and he is a longtime member of the advisory committee for the Canadian Rocky Mountain Music Festival.
Sponsored by: Kokopelli
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
Shauna Barker started playing the clarinet at the age of 11 and immediately fell in love with the instrument. As a youth, she played in the Delta Youth Orchestra, the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from McGill University and a Masters degree from DePaul University in Chicago. She has performed with several ensembles such as the Thirteen Strings, Les Violons Du Roy, L’Ensemble Prisme, L’Orchestre Symphonique de Gatineau, and has appeared as a soloist with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, the Deep River Symphony Orchestra, the Pembroke Orchestra and the Parkdale Orchestra. For over 12 years, Ms. Barker has served as Principal Clarinet in the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and as regular extra musician with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. She performs with many chamber ensembles, namely the Ayorama Quintet, the Bel Canto Quintet (both ensembles also belonging to the National Arts Centre Orchestra’s Music in the Schools program), and the Harmonious Pigs Trio.
Shauna is on faculty at Carleton University as Performance Instructor and is clarinetist in the Carleton-OSO ensemble in residence, and is also Coordinator of the Winds Sector. A sought after educator, Ms. Barker is also the Senior Winds Coach and Conductor at the Ottawa Youth Orchestra Academy.
Shauna is sponsored by Carleton University Music.
Dr. Sommer Forrester serves as an Assistant Professor of Music and Coordinator of Music Education at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She teaches undergraduate music education courses in instrumental music and conducting, advises undergraduate music majors, conducts the UMass Boston Orchestra, and oversees all aspects of the Music Teacher Licensure Program. A former classroom teacher, Forrester taught instrumental music for eight years in three different countries: Kuwait, Israel, and Canada. During her three-year tenure overseas at American International Schools, she taught elementary music, beginning band, and directed middle and high school level ensembles. In addition, Forrester was an instructor at a local conservatory of music that served refugee children from the West Bank. Forrester returned to her native country to assume the role as Director of Bands at Havergal College, a private girls’ school in Toronto Canada.
Forrester is committed to creating a learning space that privileges the process of learning over a definitive goal. She 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. She is deeply invested in examining teacher education in different disciplines as a way to inform and reimagine preservice and in-service music teacher education. Forrester examines education in different contexts including overseas, as a means to understand the experiences of first-generation minority students in North American schools. Her current research project involves studying music teaching and learning in Palestine. Forrester is actively involved in community partnerships and service-learning initiatives within the Boston Area. Current partnerships include: Boston Public Schools, YoFES, and the GIFT program. In 2018, Forrester was awarded the Community-Engaged Innovative Teaching Award from UMass Boston.
Forrester’s research explores teacher education, teacher knowledge, curriculum, and conducting pedagogy. Forrester is published in prominent peer-reviewed research journals and practitioner journals including the Journal of Research in Music Education, Journal of Music Teacher Education, Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, and the Massachusetts Music Educators Association Journal. She is an active guest conductor, clinician, and conference presenter. Recent presentations include regional, national, and international music education conferences and teacher in-service workshops in the United States, Canada, China, and Scotland. Forrester serves as a peer reviewer for the American Educational Research Association, and serves on the Advisory Board for the Music Educators Journal.
Dr. Forrester earned her PhD in Music Education from the University of Michigan with a cognate in Wind Conducting; a Master of Music Education degree from the University of Michigan; a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto; and a Honors Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Western Ontario. Forrester is an active member of the National Association for Music Education, Massachusetts Music Education Association, Society for Music Teacher Education, International Society for Music Education, American Educational Research Association, and College Band Director’s National Association.
Steven Woomert joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as Associate Principal Trumpet in 2014. He has appeared as the Acting Principal Trumpet of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra and has performed with the Barbados Classical Pops All Star Orchestra, New World Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.
Born in Toronto, Steven began his musical studies at age five on violin and added trumpet studies at age 11. He completed his Bachelor of Music degree at Northwestern University, where he was a member of the school’s entry that won First Prize in the Ensemble Division at the 2012 National Trumpet Competition. Steven continued his studies at The Glenn Gould School at The Royal Conservatory in Toronto. In 2013, he was the winner of the International Trumpet Guild Orchestral Excerpts Competition. Steven has participated in many summer festivals, including the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, National Academy Orchestra, Banff Festival Orchestra, National Orchestral Institute, National Repertory Orchestra, and Spoleto Festival USA. Steven and his father Barton have commissioned and recorded a CD of brand new music for two trumpets and piano, entitled Tandem.
Oboist Susan Butler (Morris) has been a member of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra since 1979: as English Hornist from 1979 to 1984 and as Principal Oboist from 1984 to the present. Susan’s busy career as a freelance musician frequently includes performances with ensembles such as the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Thirteen Strings, l’Ensemble Prisme, and the Ottawa Choral Society. As a chamber musician, Susan plays in The Harmonious Pigs Reed Trio with fellow OSO principal musicians Shauna Barker and Ben Glossop, and from 2004 to 2019 she was oboist of the Bel Canto Wind Quintet. Susan graduated from the University of Ottawa in 1980 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Oboe Performance. Her post-graduate studies were with the Orchestral Training Program of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.
Susan is a dedicated teacher, working at Carleton University, in her private studio in Deep River, and having worked at the Kincardine Summer Music Festival from 1993 to 2002, the Ottawa Youth Orchestra Academy from 1999 to 2015, and Deep River’s Summermusic day-camp from 1993 to the present.
Susan is sponsored by Carleton University Music.
Yves Laroche is a Performance Instructor in Jazz Piano at Carleton University and Carleton Jazz Camp, and has been a part-time faculty member at the School of Music at the University of Ottawa for over 20 years, teaching Arranging and Jazz Ensemble. He also appeared as guest performer at an alumni gala concert, and has performed at convocation at Saint Paul University. As well, he has lectured on jazz harmony and improvisation.
In 2007, he received a Great Grant Award from the Trillium Foundation for his excellence in jazz education at the elementary school level. Yves Laroche helped establish jazz programming for Café Nostalgica and the Jazz Vespers Series at All-Saints Anglican Church in Westboro. Yves worked as an arranger for CBC Radio’s Ottawa In Concert featuring Vanessa London. Recently, his jazz composition “For Oscar” was aired on the CBC Radio jazz music program Tonic. He has performed with the Ewashko Singers, the Cantata Singers of Ottawa, Capital Vox and the Orpheus Theatre Company, and he was musical director and pianist for the National Arts Centre production of Angel Square by Brian Doyle. His vast musical theatre experience includes productions of Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell and Once Upon A Mattress. As a jazz sideman, he plays regularly with the Pollcats, the Peter Liu Trio, the Rick Rangno Project and the Doug Martin Quartet. He regularly plays private engagements at Rideau Hall, the Rideau Club, and the Chateau Laurier, and is featured at the Brookstreet Hotel, Zolas and Vineyard’s Wine and Bar Bistro.
Yves is sponsored by Carleton University Music.