Jaimie Hillman

Jamie Hillman is a Canadian and American musician, active as a conductor, music educator, singer, and pianist. Appointed to the U of T Faculty of Music in 2021, Dr. Hillman directs the MacMillan Singers and leads the M.Mus. and DMA programs in Choral Conducting. Prior to his appointment at the Faculty of Music, Hillman served on the faculties of Gordon College, Longy School of Music of Bard College, and Boston University Tanglewood Institute.

Learn more about Jaimie at Jaimie Hillman

Janet Song Kim

Dr. Janet 성은(Song-eun, or Song, for short) Kim (any pronouns) is the Assistant Professor of Music and director of the Wind Ensemble at the University of Connecticut. In this role, they conducts the UCONN Wind Ensemble in addition to teaching conducting and wind literature classes.  Kim earned their doctor of musical arts degree in conducting from The Herb Alpert School of Music at the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to this, they earned a master of arts degree in instrumental conducting from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and their bachelor of music degree in music education and jazz studies, magna cum laude, from Montclair State University.

Learn more about Janet at Janet Kim

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

David Lum

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. 

Learn more about David at David Lum


Helen Geng

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. ​

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.

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.


Peggy Hua

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).

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.


Bradley Barnham

Brad is a 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.

Learn more about Brad at Brad Barnham

Corey Gemmell

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.




Yves Laroche

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 SuperstarGodspell 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.

Eric Hall

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.

Brennan Connolly

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.

Jim Catalano

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.

Bobbi Thompson

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.

Matthew Marsit

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.

Russell DeVuyst

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.

Alastair Eng

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

Jeremy Mastrangelo

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.

Leah Roseman

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.

Anna Ronai

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.


Kevin Turcotte

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

James McGowan

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 PLACE project supporting pedagogical connections between Music and the Sprott School of Business, research in Global Music Ensembles, and arts on campus by administering a Songwriting and Poetry Competition. 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 Facultyresidence 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. McGowans 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 Mas 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.

Marjolaine Fournier

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.

Jerzy Kaplanek

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.

Learn more about Jerzy at Jerzy Kaplanek

Jerzy is sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University.

Katie Schlaikjer

Katie is Artist-in-Residence (Penderecki String Quartet), Cello, Strings and Chamber Music Instructor at Wilfred Laurier University.  She received her Doctoral and Master’s degrees from Stony Brook University and Bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory. Katie taught cello at the University of Connecticut from 2010-2013 while maintaining a private teaching studio in Stony Brook, NY for seven years.

Learn more about Katie at Katie Schlaikjer

Katie is sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University.

Ian Whitman

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.  He earned a Bachelor of Music degree at McGill University and a Master of Music is from Yale University School of Music. Ian made his debut at Carnegie Hall in New York and Symphony Hall in Boston, and has appeared as a soloist with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Orchestra, performed with the Penderecki String Quartet, the NUMUS Ensemble.

Learn more about Ian at Ian Whitman

Ian is sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University.

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.




Guy Few

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.

Julia MacLaine

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.


Brandon Leis

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.

Naomi Woo

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.

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.

Leslie Fagan

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.

Armond Hall

Dr. Armand Hall 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.  Armand 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.

Learn more about Armand at Armand Hall

Leah McGray

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. 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.

Learn more about Leah at Leah McGray

John Davis

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.

Ron Westray

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”.


Pace Sturdevant

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.

Daniel Ramjattan

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.

Kira Omelchenko

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.

Kimberly Barber

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.

Isabelle Brassard-Porter

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 .

Sal Lozano

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.

Ranee Lee

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”.

Kathy Armstrong

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.

Tania Miller

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.

Antonio Llaca-Buznego

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.


Jennifer Jolley

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). 

Sarah Jeffrey

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.


Vanessa Fralick

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.


Mark Adam

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.


Camille Watts

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.