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
As owner of Woodshed Percussion, Andy Morris has been a freelance musician in the Toronto area for over 20 years. Because of his extensive experience in the music business, he is able to offer sound advice on choosing the right instrument for a group or individual.
Sponsored by: Woodshed Percussion
- Location: Toronto, Ontario
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
Cuban born, Antonio Llaca is an active choral conductor, teacher, and clinician. In 2013, he finished his Master’s in Choral Conducting from Université de Sherbrooke (Montreal). Since 2009, Antonio has conducted Coro Vivo Ottawa (CVO) and currently teaches choral, as well as instrumental conducting at the University of Carleton in Ottawa. He is conducts the choirs and orchestra at the Conservatoire de Musique de Gatineau, and is also a conductor with the Canadian Chinese Children’s choir of Canada (C5). From 2007-2011, he was Choral Assistant to the Ottawa Festival Chorus at the National Arts Centre.
Antonio is an advocate for Canadian choral music, incorporating prominent Canadian content in his programming, as well as commissioning choral pieces for his concerts from local composers. Under his baton, in 2010, CVO premiered “Meditatus”, in North America, a work by Jan Gunnar Hoff, and in 2015, marking the 30th anniversary of this ensemble, CVO premiered the Canadian work “Gold and Glory” commissioned from John Armstrong. Antonio has also brought to the Ottawa music scene the works of composers such as Esteban Salas (Cuba), José Angel Lamas (Venezuela), and Manuel de Zumaya (Mexico), among others.
Antonio is sponsored by Carleton University Music.
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
Ben is the principal bassoonist of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and the Kingston Symphony Orchestra, a regular extra with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, second bassoon of the Ontario Philharmonic Orchestra and a faculty member at Carleton University.
Ben received his Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Music Performance at McGill University, with a specialization in Chamber Music, in 1997. Also that year, he joined the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and the Bel Canto Wind Quintet. He is the bassoonist of the Ayorama Wind Quintet, The Ottawa Symphony Wind Quintet, l’Ensemble Prisme, and the Harmonious Pigs Reed trio. He performs regularly with Thirteen Strings, The Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Music and Beyond and many other groups in the Ottawa area.
Ben is sponsored by Carleton University Music.
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.
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.
Christopher is best known as the most subscribed brass musician on YouTube. He’s a trombonist, arranger, and marketing consultant based outside of New York. He has been playing piano since he was 6 years old, trombone since he was 10, and he has been composing/arranging since he was 12. He has a Bachelor of Music for classical trombone performance from the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music in New York. He is a Denis Wick (London) concert artist. He is the Youth Workshop Director of the International Trombone Festival and a marketing consultant for the International Trombone Association.
Christopher is best known for his all-trombone arrangements of popular songs. His YouTube Channel has been gaining popularity since the spring of 2014 when, using a looping station to compose the song on the spot, his cover of Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” went viral. His videos have amassed over 24 million views and a following of over 140,000 subscribers. In 2018, his collaboration with the International Trombone Festival of Bohemian Rhapsody went viral. In April of 2014, Christopher independently released his first cover album, “Breakthrough”, which was followed by his Christmas album “Smiling’s My Favorite”. More recently, his original pop album “Half Man, Half Machine” mixes acoustic sounds with electronic instruments.
Christopher is sponsored by Denis Wick (London).
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.
Colleen Allen is one of Canada’s most in-demand musicians for live concerts and recording sessions. Based in Toronto, the acclaimed and versatile multi-instrumentalist has performed all over Canada, the U.S. and Europe with world class jazz and pop artists including Molly Johnson, David Clayton-Thomas, Holly Cole, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Rik Emmett, Marc Jordan, Andrew Craig and Jackie Richardson, to name a few. She works frequently with Brian Barlow’s Big Band, Cirque du Soleil, is a resident artist at Soulpepper Theatre, and a member of Manteca, Canada’s premier fusion jazz big band. She has been in the house band of the Toronto Blues Society’s Women’s Blues Revue since its inception in 1986. Colleen is a beloved mentor and teacher of music for 15 years now at Humber College and a regular adjudicator/clinician for musicfest, and the TD jazz education festival in Picton.
Colleen’s first CD “Colleen Allen” displays her talents as instrumentalist, arranger, bandleader and producer. Her sophomore release “Flashlight” features bassist George Koller, guitarist Rob Piltch and Snarky Puppy drummer Larnell Lewis.
David Pell, B.Mus., M.Mus. DMA (ABD) has been Principal Trombonist of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra since 2002 and Bass Trombonist of the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra since 2006. He has also been a member of the Winnipeg Symphony, the Victoria Symphony and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Touring Orchestra. He is a member of Toronto’s Esprit Orchestra and performs regularly on trombone, bass trumpet and euphonium with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company and New Music Concerts. He has also performed with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Brass, and the Stockholm Chamber Brass. David is Artistic Director of the renowned Hannaford Street Silver Band and is member of the True North Brass Quintet and the Canadian National Brass Project.
He is also on faculty at the University of Toronto, and at the Glenn Gould Professional School of the Royal Conservatory of Music.
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. 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. Karen Gustafson
Dr. Karen Gustafson, a native of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, is currently residing in Red Deer, Alberta with her husband and several furry family members where she enjoys camping and spending time gardening and continues teaching at Burman University. She taught at Red Deer College where she conducted the Symphonic Winds taught Trumpet, Winds Master Class, Chamber Music, and The Business of Music She retired as Associate Professor of Music at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2016. There, she was director of the Wind Symphony and Trumpet Studio, Brass Ensembles, and taught Women in Music. She has been fortunate to extend her career across the USA and Canada as well as in Asia and Australia to work with ensembles of varied skill level, from beginner to college. She has performed from Italy to Malaysia to Australia and across the Americas as a trumpet soloist and with the Borealis Brass as well as an orchestral and chamber musician. Currently she performs with the Central Alberta Chamber Players and regularly performs in professional ensembles in the area such as the Red Deer Symphony, Rocky Mountain Symphony, and Altius Brass. Other performance credits include performing at the International Alliance of Women in Music, the Bach Chamber Players of St. Paul (Minnesota), and the Minnesota Orchestra. Dr. Gustafson has also performed and/or presented clinics at the Alberta Music Educators Conference, UNESCO World Forum on Music (Los Angeles), the International Women’s Brass Conference, and the International Trumpet Guild Conference. Unique and original music for brass and chamber ensemble are released on albums “Pacific Crossings” (2017, featuring Malaysian gamelon) and the Borealis Brass “Roman Holidays” (2010, world music by women composers.)In July 2019 she performed at the International Trumpet Guild Conference in Miami, Florida presenting new works from the Estonian Trumpet Literature. During these COVID times the Central Alberta Chamber Ensemble has performed numerous outdoor concerts in all styles, from classical to pop to country, in Red Deer for the community. Dr. Gustafson holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Minnesota, a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University (Illinois,) a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Victoria (B.C.), and a diploma in Orchestra Performance from The Royal Conservatory, Toronto.
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. Scott Campbell
Dr. Scott Campbell has performed as a saxophone soloist in Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and throughout the United States. Has appeared with various ensembles, most notably the Dallas Pops Orchestra, Plano Symphony, Odysseus Chamber Orchestra and the Allen Philharmonic and performed with musicians such as The O’Jays, Martina McBride, and Ben Folds. Along with numerous solo recitals, Scott has given world-premiere performances at the North American Saxophone Alliance Biannual conference.
Scott has served on the faculty of Southwestern Adventist University and Mountain View College. His students have been accepted into the prestigious Eastman School of Music, Northwestern University, Peabody Conservatory, the New School, University of North Texas, Berklee College of Music, and Interlochen Arts Academy.
Scott received his doctorate degree in saxophone performance from the University of North Texas where he served as Teaching Fellow of saxophone and taught a large studio of saxophone students. Currently, he serves as Woodwind Category Manager for Conn-Selmer, Inc.
Scott is sponsored by Conn-Selmer, Inc.
Dr. Shirantha Beddage
Vice Chair, Instrumental Jazz
Two-time JUNO-nominated musician Shirantha Beddage is a baritone saxophonist, composer and educator from Toronto, Canada. Currently, he serves as Head of Theory and Harmony in the Humber College Music department, where he teaches courses in Music Theory, Pedagogy, and Ensemble. Previously, he was Director of Jazz Studies at the Columbus State University Schwob School of Music (Columbus, Georgia, USA). He serves as a Vice-Chairman of the Instrumental Jazz Division of MusicFest Canada.
He has released three critically-acclaimed albums as a leader. His debut album, Roots and Branches, was released in 2007 on Jazz Excursion Records. His follow-up album, Identity (2012) was nominated for a JUNO award for Traditional Jazz Album of the year in 2013. His newest album, Momentum (2016), featuring drummer Will Kennedy of the Yellowjackets, was nominated for Jazz Album of the Year (Solo) at the 2017 JUNO awards.
His compositional skills have garnered him accolades such as the 2013 Galaxie Rising Star Award at the Montreal Jazz Festival for his compositions “Baker’s Dozen” and “Winds of Change”. In 2014, he also composed and performed incidental music for the first season of the Emmy-winning FX TV series Fargo. Compositions from his album Momentum won him a spot as a finalist in the 2017 Canadian Songwriting Competition.
He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree (D.M.A.) in Jazz Studies from the Eastman School of Music (New York, USA), a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from William Paterson University (New Jersey, USA), and a Bachelor of Music degree from Humber College (Toronto, Canada). Shirantha is a Yamaha saxophone artist and performs on the YBS-62.
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.
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 Ludwig (Conn-Selmer, Inc)
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.
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 MacDonald earned his BA from Queen’s University and his M. Mus from Western University, where he completed his master’s thesis ‘Virtuosi and the horn repertoire.’ His teachers included Eugene Rittich in Toronto (1970-1), Frantisek Solc at the Janáček Academy of Music, Brno, Czechoslovakia, and Barry Tuckwell in London. He also studied in 1978 with Wilhelm Lansky-Otto in Stockholm, Sweden.
In 1974, James began teaching part-time at York University. He joined the Boss Brass in 1972. He has been a member of the CJRT Orchestra, the Kingston Symphony, the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonia, the National Ballet of Canada orchestra, the Niagara Symphony Orchestra, and the Windsor Symphony Orchestra. He also has played in the Hannaford Street Silver Band and the Brigham Phillips Big Band, and since 2001 has been a member of the Rex Hotel Jazz Orchestra.
James is sponsored by York University
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.
Jason has performed with many diverse groups including Opera Cleveland, the Blossom Festival Band, Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Erie Philharmonic, Firelands Symphony and Ashland Symphony. He also has an extensive background in jazz, having performed with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra and recorded with Sam River’s Rivbea Orchestra and the Grammy nominated Dan McMillion Groovin’ High Jazz Orchestra. He has performed at several European jazz festivals, including Montreux, Switzerland, Umbria, Italy, and Veinne, France.
Jason was a finalist in the Larry Wiehe solo competition, sponsored by the International Trombone Association and a first prize winner in the Tuesday Musical Competition in Akron, OH. He was also guest soloist with Cleveland Chamber Winds, performing Jean Fracaix’s Concerto for Trombone and Winds. Jason received a Master of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a Bachelor of Music in jazz performance from the University of South Florida. Currently, he is Brass Category Manager at Conn-Selmer, Inc.
Jason is sponsored by Conn-Selmer, Inc.
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
Jennifer Jolley is a West Texas-based composer of vocal, orchestral, wind ensemble, chamber, and electronic works. She joined the composition faculty of the Texas Tech School of Music in 2018 and has been a member of the composition faculty at Interlochen Arts Camp since 2015. She has been composer-in-residence at Brevard College, University of Toledo, the Vermont Symphony, the Central Michigan University School of Music, and the Alba Music Festival in Italy. Most recently she was the Composer-in-Residence of the Women Composers Festival of Hartford in 2019. She promotes composer advocacy and the performance of new works through her work on the Executive Council of the Institute for Composer Diversity.
Jennifer’s work draws toward subjects that are political and even provocative. Her partnership with writer Scott Woods, You Are Not Alone, evokes the fallout of the #MeToo Movement. Her collaboration with librettist Kendall A, Prisoner of Conscience, has been described as “the ideal soundtrack and perhaps balm for our current ‘toxic’…times” by Frank J. Oteri of NewMusicBox. Her piece Blue Glacier Decoy, written as a musical response to the Olympic National Park, depicts the melting glaciers of the Pacific Northwest. Jennifer’s works have been performed by ensembles worldwide, including the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Wind Symphony, Dulciana (Dublin, Ireland), Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra (New York, NY), and the SOLI Chamber Ensemble (Alba, Italy residency).
Jocelyn is one of the best known and sought-after lead trumpeters in Canada. He has gained international recognition and respect within the music industry for his lead playing, well-rounded technical abilities and musicality. Born in Victoriaville, Quebec, Canada, he started playing the trumpet at the age of 10. Jocelyn studied at Vanier College in Montreal, followed by McGill University to get his master’s degree in Performance. Jocelyn has accompanied many international artists on stage, such as Michel Legrand, Kenny Wheeler, Maria Schneider, Gino Vannelli, Patti Labelle, Céline Dion, Aretha Franklin, Deep Purple, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Lou Rawls, Bobby Vinton, Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie, Petula Clark and Frankie Valli.
Today, Jocelyn teaches trumpet at three respected colleges in the Montreal area and McGill University. He continues to be an active member in major Montreal big bands like the Orchestre National de Jazz de Montreal, the Joe Sullivan Big Bad, the Vic Vogel Big Band, Christine Jensen Big Band, Uzeb and Altsys Jazz Orchestra. Jocelyn’s nearest and dearest projects include his Maynard Ferguson Tribute entitled “MF Project”, as well as his brass band “Funkxie Groove” composed of top-notch Montreal musicians.
Jocelyn is sponsored by Conn-Selmer, Inc.
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.
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.
Kathy received her Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Percussion and Music Education from the University of Toronto, and recently completed a second MA in Music and Culture at Carleton University, where she received a Senate Medal for her thesis about the links between drumming, health and wellbeing for adolescents. Her research interests include participatory music-making, music and wellbeing, social justice in music education and applied ethnomusicology.
At Carleton University, Kathy has taught for many years in the School for Studies in Art and Culture: Music as well as the Institute for African Studies. She has developed innovative courses in Applied Rhythm using western and non-western techniques. Kathy also teaches courses in African Music, Popular Musics of the World, Music of the World’s Peoples, and Global Music and Wellbeing. She is the founding director of Carleton University’s West African Rhythm Ensemble (WARE). Through the Institute For Advanced Study (IAS), Kathy took students to Ghana to study Urban and Rural Music. In 1995, Kathy founded Baobab Tree Drum Dance Community, bringing Ghanaian music and artists to students of all ages. She regularly travels and hosts programs in Ghana where she has a nearly thirty-year association with the village of Dagbamete. For her contributions, Kathy received a Community Appreciation Award from the Ghanaian Association of Ottawa.
Kathy is sponsored by Carleton University Music.
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 Brunkhorst is Chair of the Music Department at St. Francis Xavier University.
He attended the University of North Texas 1983-87 (Bachelor of Music, Composition) and 2001-04 (Master of Music, Jazz Studies), where he was a member of the renowned One O’Clock Lab Band (1986, 2002-2004). He started at St. FX in 2004, teaching jazz guitar, jazz composition, and music technology. In subsequent years, he also taught courses in music theory, modern jazz history, history of popular music, and the Beatles. He also leads the Guitar Ensemble, in which guitarists learn a very high standard of performance and reading skills. He has released four CDs as a leader or co-leader (on Armored Records), produced recordings for several others, and written about 100 charts for guitar ensemble, many of which are published by UNC Jazz Press.
Kevin is sponsored by St. Francis Xavier University
Kitbielle Pasagui is a Filipino soprano who moved to Canada in early 2012. She joined Kokopelli at the end of 2011-2012 season and is now a member of Òran and Nuf Sed (from the TIME Association), but she continues to work with Kokopelli in the capacity of assistant conductor. Kitbielle was a vocal performance major from the University of the Philippines, College of Music, and has been singing in choirs since she was six years old. Kitbielle is an alumna of and soloist with the world renowned Philippine Madrigal Singers.
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.
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.
Mark Adam is a drummer/percussionist, educator, composer and producer from Wolfville, Nova Scotia. He is an Associate Professor of Improvisation, Percussion and Contemporary Music at Acadia University where he has taught since 2004. He is the recipient of an Acadia Students’ Union Award for teaching excellence and was granted a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award for his work in the community as an educator and contributor to the arts. Mark has performed with Canadian jazz icons Phil Dwyer, Mike Murley, Dave Restivo, Heather Bambrick and Dave Restivo. He has played on award-winning recordings of country artists George Canyon and Dave Gunning and, as a classical musician, performed with the Calgary Philharmonic, New Works Calgary, Symphony Nova Scotia, and the Toronto Wind Orchestra.
Mark’s score for Two Planks and a Passion’s production, Beowulf, was nominated for a 2012 Merritt Award and he won the 2015 ECMA for Classical Album of the Year with Juno award winning composer/flutist Derek Charke for their duet recording, Kitchen Party. He produced the freshman releases of Laurenn Marchand (2016 Music Nova Scotia nominations for Solo Recording of the Year, Folk Recording of the Year and New Artist Recording of the Year), Carmen Braden (2020 ECMA nominee for classical recording of the year, 2017 WCMA nominee for Classical Composition of the Year), and multiple WCMA and Juno nominated artist Kim Barlow (Indie Folk/Pop). Recently, Mark was a finalist for Producer of the Year for the 2020 East Coast Music Awards.
Mark Eisenman is one among a handful of the top ‘in-demand’ jazz pianists in Toronto. Born in New York City, he earned his degree in Fine Arts at York University. Currently, he conducts jazz workshops at York as a part-time faculty member. His teaching has expanded to include “The Jazz Camp” and classes at Mohawk College in Hamilton. Mark has performed in many different venues with numerous eminent Canadian and U.S. jazz artists including Art Farmer, Barney Kessel, Ed Bickert, Rob McConnell, Sam Noto, and Pat LaBarbera.
He has also had numerous radio appearances and is well represented on recordings, the latest of which is Mark’s debut recording as a leader, “The Chant”. He has toured Canada extensively with various groups. Mark received The Jazz Report’s 1999 Acoustic Pianist of the Year Award for musical excellence.
Mark is sponsored by York University
Mark Ferguson is an Ottawa based pianist, trombonist, composer, arranger, producer, and music educator. He has performed with many of the world’s great artists including Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Gil Evans, Nelson Riddle, Dionne Warwick, Natalie Cole, Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdink, Rosemary Clooney, Carol Channing, Rob McConnell & the Boss Brass, Holly Cole, Manteca, The Funk Brothers and the National Arts Centre Orchestra.
As a composer, his credits include the CBC television series Life & Times, Cottage Country, and On the Road Again. Mark’s original compositions are featured in Treehouse Television’s series Toy Castle, advertising jingles for radio and T.V. and in the recordings of various artists. Mark has written musical arrangements for a wide range of groups including the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the RCMP Band, the Central Band of the Canadian Armed Forces, the HMCS Stadacona Band, the Winnipeg and Edmonton Armed Forces Bands, and his own Latin-jazz ensemble Los Gringos. He is a professor at Carleton University’s department of music and directs the Carleton Jazz Ensemble.
Mark is sponsored by Carleton University Music.
Megan Hodge is an active freelancer on tenor and bass trombone, and has made Toronto her home for the past twelve years. She is on staff at the University of Toronto. Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Megan studied at the Glenn Gould School (Artist Diploma), McGill University (MMus) and the University of Alberta (BMus). She performs regularly with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company, The National Ballet Orchestra of Canada, the Hamilton Philharmonic, Hannaford Street Silver Band and is a founding member of the Toronto Brass Quintet.
She has held positions as Principal Trombone with the Kingston Symphony Orchestra and the Victoria Symphony (1 year position), trombonist in The Royal Canadian Artillery Band with the Canadian Armed Forces, and as the Director of Music for the regimental band of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. Megan is a member of the Toronto Brass Quintet, whose recent collaboration with cellist Cris Derksen’s Orchestral Pow Wow CD was nominated for a Juno.
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
Associate Director, Chair Instrumental Jazz
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 31 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 Edicators’ Association. He is considered one of the leading Canadian authorities on the teaching of stage band fundamentals and rehearsal techniques.
- Location: Manotick, ON
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.
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 .
As an educator, Ranee has been part of the University of Laval faculty in Quebec City for twelve years, and the Schulich School of Music of McGill University faculty for over twenty years. For outstanding service to jazz education, at the IAJE conference in 1994, she received the International Association of Jazz Educators Award.
Ranee has had a legendary career as a vocalist. She toured with her own group throughout North America, performing at many prestigious jazz festivals, most recently the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the Canada Capital festival in Sao Paulo. Ranee has toured throughout all Spain, France, England and Scandinavian countries. Both in 1994 and 1995, she received Jazz Report magazine’s Top Canadian Female Jazz Vocalist Award. Her album “I Thought About You” was the first nominated recording for a Juno Award in the Best Mainstream Jazz category in 1995. In 2003, Ranee received her third JUNO nomination for “Maple Groove: Songs From The Great Canadian Songbook,” featuring selections from some of Canada’s greatest songwriters. In April 2010, she won the Juno Vocal Jazz Album of the Year for “Ranee Lee Lives UPSTAIRS”.
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).
Sal is a member of The Tom Kubis Big Band, and can be heard with Gordon Goodwin’s critically acclaimed Grammy-winning Big Phat Band. A few of the artists Sal has also recorded with include Paul McCartney, Natalie Cole, John Legend, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, Lalo Schifrin, Brian McKnight, Michael Buble, Keely Smith, Barbra Streisand, Joey DeFrancesco, and Maynard Ferguson. He has been a member of the Dancing with the Stars House Band and the Academy Awards Orchestra, performed at the Gala for the President at Ford’s Theater in Washington D.C. and as a soloist with the Pacific Symphony, the San Diego Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Sal is currently a Professor of Saxophone at California State University Long Beach and conducts clinics and master classes across the country. He is also a clinician for Disney’s Performing Arts Workshops at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Ca as well as Disney’s All American College Band at Disneyland.
Sal is sponsored by Conn-Selmer, Inc.
Sarah Jeffrey is Principal Oboe of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. A regular soloist with the TSO, Sarah has also appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras across Canada, performing works by Bach, Mozart, Vaughan Williams, Marcello and Haydn. She is also an active recitalist and chamber musician, making frequent guest appearances with the Amici Chamber Ensemble, the ARC Ensemble, and Trio Arkel. A devoted performer of new music, Ms. Jeffrey has commissioned several chamber works, including Chaconne for Oboe, Horn, and Piano by Erik Ross, and Rhapsody by Ronald Royer.
Sarah is on faculty at The Glenn Gould School at The Royal Conservatory and the University of Toronto, and spends her summers at the Orford Arts Centre and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Sarah was a recipient of the Ontario Arts Council’s Chalmers Award for Creativity and Excellence in the Arts, and can be heard discussing the finer points of the oboe on CBC radio, both as a performer and as a guest on several podcasts.
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.
Stephen Wick is the CEO of Denis Wick (London) Products Ltd. He earned his Bachelor of Music (Honours) at the University of Surrey (Guildford, England) in 1976. Stephen plays tuba in the Anima Eterna Brugge orchestra, based in Bruges, Belgium. He was a member of the Oslo Philharmonic, and has performed with leading orchestras from Berlin, Hamburg, Paris, Milan, Helsinki and Amsterdam. He teaches serpent, ophicleide and tuba at the Royal Academy of Music, and at The Purcell School in Bushey, England, the oldest specialist music school in the UK.
In the jazz field, he has played in bands led by such greats as John Dankworth and Kenny Wheeler. He has played tuba on hundreds of film scores, from John Huston’s ‘The Man who would be King’ in 1975 to modern films such as Alien, Rambo, Batman, Gladiator and Star Wars. He has also recorded with Pink Floyd, Paul McCartney, Frank Zappa and Led Zeppelin.
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.
Canadian Conductor Tania Miller was Music Director of Canada’s Victoria Symphony for 14 years, and gained national acclaim for her commitment to the orchestra and community during that time. She has a Doctorate in orchestral conducting from the University of Michigan, and a Masters in conducting from the University of Michigan. She worked as assistant conductor at the Carmel Bach Festival for four seasons, and as Assistant and Associate conductor of the Vancouver Symphony from 2000-2004. Tania conducted numerous productions as Artistic Director of Michigan Opera Works in Ann Arbor, Michigan and as guest conductor for Opera McGill in Montréal. She received the 2017 Friends of Canadian Music award from the Canadian League of Composers and Canadian Music Centre for her acclaimed commitment to contemporary music in Canada. She was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Royal Roads University, and an Honorary Fellowship Diploma from Canada’s Royal Conservatory of Music.
Tania has appeared as a guest conductor in Canada, the United States and Europe with such orchestras as the Bern Symphony Orchestra, NFM Wroclåw Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, Orchestra Métropolitain de Montreal, Vancouver Symphony, Naples Philharmonic, Hartford Symphony, Madison Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Winnipeg Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, New West Symphony, and the Louisiana Philharmonic.
Tony Flynt is Principal Bass of the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto. He has appeared as guest Principal with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Bard Music Festival, American Symphony Orchestra, and as a guest with the bass sections of the San Diego, Houston, and Boston Symphony Orchestras. Tony is a former member of the Grammy-nominated chamber orchestra, A Far Cry, and was a winner of the New England Conservatory’s Concerto Competition.
Tony was a fellow of Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect (formerly Ensemble ACJW/The Academy) where he taught and performed in New York City public schools, community centers, hospitals, and prisons, in addition to a chamber music residency at Carnegie Hall. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto, and served as Co-Director of the esteemed Boston University Tanglewood Institute’s Double Bass Workshop. He attended Rice University, graduating with degrees in Music and Hispanic and Classical Studies, cum laude. Tony attended the New England Conservatory as an Edward Hyde Cox Presidential Scholar, where he received a Master’s degree with honors, and the Borromeo Quartet Guest Artist’s award.
Vanessa Fralick joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as Associate Principal Trombone in 2013. Prior to her current position, she played three seasons as Acting Associate Principal Trombone of the St. Louis Symphony. . She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, and won her first orchestral position with the San Antonio Symphony in 2009, while pursuing her master’s degree at The Juilliard School. She has performed with major orchestras in San Francisco, Montreal, Boston, Jacksonville, Utah, Malaysia, and played two summers in the prestigious Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland. Vanessa is on faculty at the University of Toronto, the National Music Camp of Canada, National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and is the brass coach of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Vanessa also performs frequently as a soloist, most recently as a guest artist at Trombonanza 2017 in Argentina, at the 2016 International Trombone Festival in New York City and at the 2015 American Trombone Workshop in Washington, D.C. She won first prize in several major competitions, including the 2012 Elora Festival Competition, the 2011 Montreal Symphony Concerto Competition and the 2010 Susan Slaughter International Solo Brass Competition, where she also performed as a guest artist at the International Women’s Brass Conference. In 2009, she won concerto competitions both at Juilliard and at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California.
Wendy Grasdahl is a conductor, trumpet performer, educator and adjudicator. Her professional work encompasses teaching at university and college levels across Canada, military band work and private instruction.
As an officer in the Canadian Naval Reserve, Wendy has conducted military bands in Alberta, B.C., Ontario and Nova Scotia. She is in demand as a clinician and guest conductor for school programs, as well as summer music programs, including 12 years at the International Music Camp at the Peace Garden on the Manitoba/U.S. border where she received the Distinguished Service Award for conducting and promoting band in North America. Wendy received the Faculty Association Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of P.E.I., the City of Edmonton Salute to Excellence Citation Award in Arts & Culture in 2014 and in 2019 the Alberta Band Association awarded her the “Vondis Miller Legacy” Award.
Having appeared as a trumpet soloist and in professional ensembles across Canada, Wendy is a founding member of the brass quintet “Five of a Kind”, and has played Solo Cornet with the Mill Creek Colliery Brass Band. She is the founder, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Festival City Winds Music Society which is now in its 25th season. Wendy currently teaches trumpet and is Director of Bands at Concordia University of Edmonton, and teaches Instrumental Conducting at The King’s University, Edmonton. She has adjudicated festivals at local, regional, and national levels in 8 provinces to date.
Ms. Grasdahl holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music History from the University of Alberta, a Master of Music degree in Trumpet Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Calgary, and a graduate level Fine Arts Diploma in Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble Conducting and Literature from the University of Calgary.