2018 Festival Adjudicators

  Borealis String Quartet
  Borealis String Quartet, Vancouver, BC (Chamber Groups)

One of the most dynamic and exciting world-class ensembles of its generation, the Borealis String Quartet has received international critical acclaim as an ensemble praised for its fiery performances, passionate style, and refined, musical interpretation. Founded in Vancouver, British Columbia in the fall of 2000 and rapidly establishing a stellar reputation, the Borealis has toured extensively in North America Europe and Asia and performed to enthusiastic sold-out audiences in major cities, including New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Rome, Mainz, Shanghai, Taipei, Beijing, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and, of course, in their home town of Vancouver.

The Borealis has continued to receive awards and rave accolades from presenters, renowned musicians and critics alike for their artistry. The Borealis was the only classical group to be selected for the Great Canadian Dream Competition which was televised across the nation and as a result, were the only classical musicians to perform for the Prime Minister of Canada at the Parliament Hill in Ottawa for an audience of over 75,000. Since then, they have performed on every music series in Canada. Amongst other awards, their most recent CD was also nominated for the prestigious Golden Melody Award in Asia.

The quartet is frequently seen on television and heard on CBC Radio and other stations across North America and Asia. The Borealis has also filmed music videos including “The Harp” which were debuted at the Vancouver International Film Festival and often broadcast on Bravo Television and the Knowledge Network. Exploring a synergy of classical, fusion, folk and world music, the Borealis has recorded seven CDs which feature the great classics as well as music written especially for them.

Although the Borealis feels strongly committed to the great traditional quartet literature, they actively seek to promote new works and are strong advocates of Canadian music, with quartets by R. Murray Schafer, Omar Daniels, John Stetch and Peter Tiefenbach among others in their repertory. They have also worked closely with and commissioned music from Bramwell Tovey, Imant Raminsh, Kelly-Marie Murphy, and John Oliver to name a few.

In addition to performance, the Borealis has frequently served as jury members for competitions and most recently at the 2012 E-Gre National Competition. The Borealis was the String Quartet-in-Residence at the University of British Columbia for over 10 years and as Visiting Scholars at Green College from 2000-2004 during which time they often performed for dignitaries including the Dalai Lama.

They have also been invited to be the Quartet in Residence at numerous festivals and universities across North America, Mexico, Europe and Asia. From 2012, the Borealis has been the String Quartet-in-Residence at the Casalmaggiore International Music Festival in Italy. Beginning September, 2014, the Borealis will be the Quartet in Residence at Kwantlen University in Langley, BC.

The Borealis String Quartet would like to acknowledge the generous support of the Canada Council and the BC Arts Council. We are grateful for the financial assistance given to further our artistic ambitions and vision as well as enable us bring Canadian music and culture to audiences abroad.

Jeanette Gallant Dr. Jeanette Gallant, Vancouver, BC (Intermediate and Senior Classical Voice)

Dr. Jeanette Gallant is a Canadian musician with over 25 years of diverse experience as a music lecturer, voice teacher, conductor, adjudicator, performer, and administrator in Canada, S.E. Asia, and the United Kingdom. She earned a D.Phil. in Music from the University of Oxford, and studied under Professor Martin Stokes supported by the Overseas Research Students Award Scheme (ORSAS).

Dr. Gallant has held various academic posts at Red Deer College (Alberta), the University of Windsor (Ontario), the University of Reading (UK), Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts (HKAPA), and various Oxford Colleges (UK). She has been a guest vocal and choral clinician for Singapore’s Ministry of Education, the British Columbia Registered Music Teachers’ Association, the British Columbia Choral Federation, the Reading Bach Choir, and various other U.K. choral societies. She was the Artistic Director of the Whistler Classical Music Street Festival for four years, conducted Hong Kong’s first sing-a-long Messiah, and has prepared choirs for international events such as the Calgary International Organ Festival with conductor Simon Preston. Performance highlights include the Whistler Classical Music Festival, a classical radio recital for RTHK Radio 4 in Hong Kong, Handel’s Messiah with Hong Kong Chamber Orchestra, and Vivaldi’s Gloria with the Hong Kong Bach Choir and Orchestra.

An accomplished ethnomusicologist, Dr. Gallant has published and presented her work internationally, and her most recent publication is forthcoming in the Yale Journal for Music and Religion next year. Recently returned to Vancouver after twenty years, Dr. Gallant specializes in world music pedagogy for choral educators, and in vocal training for singers of all ages using bel canto and somatic vocal techniques.

Kevin Zakresky Dr. Kevin Zakresky, Vancouver, BC (Junior Piano)

Kevin Zakresky is conductor of the Pacifica Singers and the founder-director of Sea to Sky Symphony in Vancouver. He is the past Music Director of the Prince George Symphony Orchestra and this season has conducted the St Louis Symphony, Sudbury Symphony, West Coast Symphony, Vancouver Chamber Choir and in the Spring of 2016 launched the Sea to Sky Symphony in Vancouver. He has recently been appointed Associate Conductor of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses, a touring company that collaborates with orchestras through North America and Europe. He completed his Doctorate at Yale University in 2012.

In Spring of 2016 the Zelda Symphony has brought him to London to conduct the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra (in Wembley Arena) as well as Montreal, Columbus, Charlottesville and Miami with further dates in Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton in the fall.

In December 2013 Zakresky made his CBC/Radio-Canada broadcast debut, conducting Monteverdi, with the Vancouver Chamber Choir and the Vancouver Chamber Orchestra, a performance held at Vancouver’s Orpheum Theatre. In the summer of 2014 Zakresky worked with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London on an informal mentoring project; he returned to London in August of 2015 for another residency with the BBC.

Zakresky is founding director of the SATB ensemble Orpheum Voices at the Vancouver Symphony School of Music. As part of its inaugural season in 2013, Orpheum Voices sang Fauré’s Requiem with the West Coast Symphony. Since then the group has performed regularly with the Vancouver Symphony and Maestro Bramwell Tovey.

Zakresky received a Doctoral degree in Choral Conducting at Yale University in February 2012; his degree recital featured Cherubini’s rarely-programmed Requiem for male voices and orchestra. At Yale he won the prestigious Aidan Kavanagh Prize for Distinguished Intellectual Achievement, and was director of the University Chapel Choir and assistant conductor of the Yale Camerata. His major teachers were Marguerite Brooks and Simon Carrington, and he coached with Helmut Riling and Stephen Layton. Before studying at Yale he completed a master’s degree in conducting at the University of British Columbia, studying with Bruce Pullan.

He regularly offers master classes and workshops in Western Canada and is a recent winner of the BC Choral Federation’s Youth Music Award. From 2010 to 2012 he was assistant conductor of Chor Leoni Men’s Choir, and the Founder-Director of Chor Leoni’s “MYVoice” program, a choral experience for young men in the Lower Mainland.

He is a past member of the faculty of the innovative Vancouver International Song Institute, serves on the faculty of the BC Choral Federation’s Choral Directorship Course, and acts as an adjudicator and clinician throughout Western Canada. He has held teaching positions at Douglas College and Simon Fraser University.

Since 2013 Zakresky has taught voice and music repertoire at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music, in addition to directing Orpheum Voices. He has sung in the Festivale de due mondi in Spoleto, Italy, volunteered for Musicians without Borders in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and led choral workshops and clinics in Hong Kong. He publishes regularly in choral and vocal periodicals.

Susan Hamblin Dennis, Toronto, ON (Intermediate & Senior Piano)

Susan Hamblin Dennis maintains a busy schedule of accompanying and teaching in Toronto. She is a past pedagogy and piano faculty member of both the Glenn Gould School and the Community School for the Royal Conservatory of Music. As an examiner for the RCM and an adjudicator of music festivals, she has visited many areas of Canada and the United States.

While her students have been consistent festival winners, first class honour recipients, and a silver medalist in graded examinations, she is most interested in encouraging the development of the musician in everyone, regardless of age or ability. Her wealth of experience and knowledge allows her to tailor her approach to realize the full potential in each student.

Ms. Hamblin Dennis holds degrees in Performance and Pedagogy from the Royal Conservatory of Music, the University of Windsor and the University of Michigan, where she was a teaching assistant at both the college and preparatory levels. As a supporter of Canadian music, she was a board member for thirteen years for the Alliance for Canadian New Music Projects and a contributor to the development of the Contemporary Showcase syllabi. She is the mother of two talented musicians.

Gail Suderman Gail Suderman, Langley, BC (Choirs)

As Artistic Director of Good Noise Vancouver Gospel choir, Gail has drawn on both her classical and academic musical studies as well as her natural abilities as a musician and her long-time love of many styles of contemporary music, including Gospel, R&B, Jazz and Pop Music. Gail began her formal music education at age 5, studying piano. Her piano teacher of note was Georgina Williams, who guided Gail through many years of study, focusing both on solo performing as well as accompanying. Very early on, it was evident that Gail possessed collaborative skills as a pianist. At the early age of eight, she started accompanying the Sunday school choir. Over the next few years, Gail “graduated” to accompanying the adult church choir (beginning at age twelve) as well as solo singers and instrumentalists.

From a young age, Gail pursued a two-path musical life, studying classical piano and learning all she could about gospel music, listening to and performing the music of Andrae and Sandra Crouch, Danniebelle Hall, the Hawkins family, and many others. During her teenage years, Gail introduced many people to the gospel music of the day as well as using her classical training extensively, accompanying instrumentalists and singers and winning awards for both solo piano and accompanying. It was while accompanying singers in recital and for festivals that Gail realized her love of the voice. Wanting to study voice herself, Gail was accepted into several post-secondary voice programs, deciding to attend the University of Victoria as a voice performance major, studying with Jean Letourneau and Bernard Turgeon. Gail received a number of scholarships and awards, receiving the President’s scholarship for undergraduate studies, winning the concerto competition, and was awarded a teaching assistantship in conducting and a fellowship for graduate studies in Voice Performance, graduating with honours.

After several years of singing professionally in Opera and Oratorio, Gail began her teaching career, developing an award winning Choral and Voice program at Gladstone Secondary School in Vancouver. During her time teaching high school music, Gail was featured in the Vancouver Sun by Music Columnist Lloyd Dykk as one of the top Music Educators in British Columbia.

Gail’s musical career has continued to include both classical music and contemporary music. Gail is currently Director of Voice and Choral Music at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and is Artistic Director of Vancouver’s dynamic Good Noise Vancouver Gospel Choir. She also has a successful private voice studio, her roster of students ranging from award-winning Classical singers to R&B, Rock, Pop and Musical Theatre Professionals. Gail gives frequent choral and vocal workshops for High School music teachers, community and church choirs, directs weekend Gospel music workshops, and is in demand as a Performer, Voice Teacher, Guest Conductor, Workshop Clinician, Voice and Choral Adjudicator.

Dr. Larry Nickel, Vancouver, BC (Choirs & Composition)

Dr. Larry Nickel is an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre and an active choral clinician, adjudicator, teacher and music minister. He directs the Jubilate Vocal Ensemble and owns Cypress Choral Music Publishing, which currently promotes the music of 92 Canadian composers. Larry sang professionally with the Vancouver Chamber Choir (2007-2013)

Larry was a high school performing arts teacher for 25 years. He directed over 50 stage productions, including Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. In 1993 he won the International Association of Jazz Educators award for "outstanding service to jazz education." His choirs were selected two years in a row, 2001 and 2002, by Varsity Vocals' international search for the “Best of High School Choirs”.

In 2003 Larry took a leave from teaching to complete a DMA in composition. Requiem for Peace, his doctoral thesis, is an extensive work for chorus and symphony orchestra in 13 languages – premiered by 330 musicians in 2005. In 2007, Bruce Pullan directed the work at the Orpheum Theatre with the Vancouver Bach Choir and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Jon Washburn (Vancouver Chamber Choir) premiered the new chamber version at the Chan Centre in November 2011. Since then, Requiem for Peace has received many performances; Toronto, Halifax, Guelph, Örebro, Magdeburg, Speinshart, Regensburg, Nördlingen, Bayreuth, etc.

Larry and Tony Funk founded the West Coast Mennonite Chamber Choir in 1990. This choir recorded 13 CDs, featuring luminaries like Edith Wiens and Ben Heppner and including 120 of Larry’s compositions. CD sales garnered nearly a million dollars for the Communitas Supportive Care Society. Larry has ten publishers including Shawnee Press, Pavane, Oxford University Press and G. Schirmer Publishing.

Dr. Jonathan Girard, Vancouver, BC (Concert Bands)

Dr. Jonathan Girard, is the Assistant Professor, Conducting and Ensembles at UBC and Director of The UBC Symphony Orchestra. He most recently served as cover conductor for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and made his debut with that orchestra conducting a program of Russian music. Dr. Girard is also currently assistant conductor of The Ohio Light Opera.

Previously, Dr. Girard was at the University of Northern Iowa School of Music as a Visiting Artist Conductor from 2010-2011. There he conducted the symphony orchestra performances, including one attended by First Lady Michelle Obama, and a production of Die Fledermaus that was broadcast live on Iowa Public Radio.

At the Eastman School of Music Dr. Girard studied conducting with Neil Varon and was the assistant conductor of the Eastman Symphony Orchestra, the Eastman Philharmonia, and the Eastman Opera Theatre. A champion of new music, he conducted numerous world premieres at Eastman with Ossia New Music including a North American premiere of Richard Ayres NONcerto for Trumpet and Orchestra.

He has held positions as the music director of the New Eastman Outreach Orchestra and Waltham Philharmonic (MA), associate conductor of the Brockton Symphony Orchestra (MA), principal guest conductor of the Boston Orpheus Ensemble and assistant conductor of the Portland (ME) Opera Repertory Theatre.

Dr. Girard has conducted many prestigious ensembles, including the American Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish Academy Symphony Orchestra, Alea III, the Brown University Symphony Orchestra, the Boston University Symphony Orchestras, and the Harvard-Radcliffe Gilbert and Sullivan Players.

Also an organist and saxophonist, Dr. Girard has held distinguished organist positions in Boston, MA and Rochester, NY. A proponent of contemporary music, he performed several world premieres of saxophone music and became the first saxophonist ever to perform with the Emerson String Quartet.

Dr. Girard received his D.M.A. from the Eastman School of Music in 2012. He also holds music degrees from Boston University and The Hartt School of Music.
In his spare time, Jonathan enjoys flying airplanes. He holds both private and instrument pilot ratings.

Bill Coon, Vancouver, BC (Jazz Bands)

Juno nominated artist Bill Coon is one of Canada’s most highly respected musicians and is winner of the 2009 National Jazz Awards, ‘Guitarist of the Year’. Performing professionally for over thirty years, he has played with many significant jazz artists including Jimmy Heath, Chuck Israels, Eddie Daniels, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Bucky Pizzarelli, Sheila Jordan, Hugh Fraser, P.J. Perry, Campbell Ryga, Ian McDougall, Phil Dwyer, Dave Restivo, Brad Turner, Carol Welsman, Fred Stride, Dee Daniels, and Rebecca Kilgore.

Among Bill’s more than fifty recordings are Speakeasy, and Scudder’s Groove featuring Juno award winners Ross Taggart and Dave Robbins, With Benefits with Cory Weeds, Lewis Nash and Peter Washington. His collaboration with award-winning guitarist Oliver Gannon: Two Much More! was acclaimed as one of the top ten Canadian jazz recordings of 2015 by the CBC, as was Jill Townsend Big Band’s Legacy, The Music of Ross Taggart, a tribute to the great Ross Taggart that features Bill’s guitar playing and large ensemble writing. He also appears on award-winning recordings by The Night Crawlers and the Big Band Sound, Down in the Bottom and Calgary guitarist Ralf Buschmeyer’s, Jazzspeak.

Bill is busy performing with and composing for the BC Double Quartet featuring Brad Turner, Brasiliera with Jennifer Scott and Rene Worst, Triology, with Miles Black and Jodi Proznick, Oliver Gannon, Laura Crema, Cory Weeds Quartet, Tony Wilson-Bill Coon Quartet, B3 Kings, Kate Hammett-Vaughan, Steve Maddock, Michael Creber, Mike Allen, Kevin Elaschuk, Kristina Olsen, and the Minemoto/Coon/Danderfer Trio.

An in demand composer-arranger, Bill had recently had two of his arrangements for symphony orchestra and voice appear on the recording ‘True North: The Canadian Songbook’ with Eleanor McCain. He has been commissioned to write for The National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Woody Herman Jazz Band, the Jill Townsend Jazz Orchestra, the CBC Radio Orchestra, and John Korsrud’s Hard Rubber Orchestra. Bill's musical partnership with jazz vocalist Denzal Sinclaire created the Juno nominated CD, I Found Love. Bill’s association with hip-hop artist K-os resulted in a collaboration with the CBC Radio Orchestra documented in the CBC television show Burning to Shine, and his arranging is featured on the Juno award winning CD Joyful Rebellion.

He has won awards and commissions from the BC Arts Council, the Socan Foundation, and has received several Canada Council Arts Awards enabling him to study with Jim Hall, Dr. Louis Stewart, Neil Chotem and Rick Wilkins. Bill is currently working on a recording of original music due out in fall of 2017 that is being funded by a Canada Council recording grant.

Bill is an adjudicator and clinician at music festivals and workshops throughout Canada, including the VSO School of Music and Summer Jazz Workshop and the BC Swing Workshop in Sorrento BC. He is on faculty at Capilano University in North Vancouver, teaching composition, arranging, jazz history, small and large ensembles, and jazz guitar.

Jodi Proznick Jodi Proznick, Vancouver, BC (Jazz Bands and Combos)

Juno-nominated bassist, composer, bandleader, and educator Jodi Proznick has earned a reputation as one of Canada’s finest jazz artists. She has won numerous National Jazz Awards, including Bassist of the Year in ’08 and’09. Her group, the Jodi Proznick Quartet, was awarded the Acoustic Group of the Year and Album of the Year in ‘08 and the Galaxie Rising Star at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival in ‘00.

In addition to leading her own group, Jodi has performed with many of Canada’s top jazz musicians, including PJ Perry, Don Thompson, Kirk MacDonald, Hugh Fraser, Oliver Gannon, Dee Daniels, Phil Dwyer, and Laila Biali. She is regularly in demand to perform and record with visiting jazz artists including Michael Bublé, Byron Stripling, Michael Feinstein, David “Fathead” Newman, Bucky Pizzarelli, Ed Thigpen, Jeff Hamilton, Peter Bernstein, Charles McPherson, Seamus Blake, George Coleman, Sheila Jordan, Mark Murphy, Harold Mabern, Eric Alexander, and Lewis Nash. In addition to recording her own Juno-nominated CD as a leader, Jodi has been featured on over 30 recordings as a sideman.

Jodi began playing bass at the age of 13 under the direction of her father David, an award-winning music educator. In ‘93, Jodi received the General Motors Award of Excellence, establishing her as one of the top young musicians at Musicfest Canada, and then went on to receive a scholarship to study bass at McGill University in Montreal. After graduating, Jodi played with many of the top musicians in Montreal, including Juno winners Christine Jensen and Renee Lee as well as Montreal greats Andre White and Greg Clayton. She was awarded the IAJE Sisters in Jazz award in ‘98 as one of the best up-and-coming female jazz musicians.

Jodi moved to Vancouver in ‘00, where she now lives with her husband and collaborator, pianist Tilden Webb, and young son Tristan. Her personal highlights include opening for Oscar Peterson in 2004, performing as a featured soloist with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and recording numerous times for CBC Radio. Another highlight in Jodi’s career was when she was asked to be the featured bassist in the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games’ closing ceremonies and soundtrack.

Littleford Jim Littleford, Burnaby, BC (Concert Bands & Orchestras – May 10 & 11)

Jim Littleford is a very active freelance musician in Vancouver. He has played trumpet with the Vancouver Opera Orchestra since 1981 as well as extra trumpet with the Vancouver Symphony and the C.B.C. Vancouver Orchestra. In chamber music Jim plays with A Touch Of Brass quintet and the Kwantlen College brass quintet. Mr. Littleford has played with touring organizations such as the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the National Ballet, Kirov Ballet as well as for productions of Phantom Of The Opera, Les Miserables and Showboat.

Mr. Littleford has a B.Mus. from U.B.C. and attended graduate school at the University of Southern California. As an educator, Jim is in demand as a clinician and trumpet instructor and serves on faculty at U.B.C.. He is Founder / Music Director of the Little Mountain Brass Band, Music Director of the Summer Pops Youth Orchestra and past conductor of the Delta Concert Band. In addition to performing and teaching, Mr. Littleford runs a successful music preparation business.


Unger Dr. Christopher Unger, Surrey, BC (Concert Bands & Orchestras – May 12-25)

Dr. Christopher Unger began his tenure as conductor of bands at South Dakota’s Augustana University in September of 2015.

Unger served as the Interim Director of Bands at the University of British Columbia. Prior to that appointment., Dr. Unger served as the Assistant Conductor of both the Eastman Wind Orchestra and the Eastman Wind Ensemble. At Eastman, Dr. Unger was honoured with the Frederick Fennell Fellowship for Advanced Conducting Study, the Evan Whallon Conducting Award, and the prestigious Walter Hagen Conducting Prize. His role at Eastman provided him with the opportunity to act as a producer on the Eastman Wind Ensemble’s 2013 release on Avie Records titled Stravinsky-Octet/L’Histoire du Soldat. In addition to conducting the wind ensembles, Dr. Unger worked with the Brass Guild, the Trumpet Ensemble, and the Graduate Chamber Orchestra. He also was chosen to conduct a featured performance of Imis, by Massimo Luaricella, the 2011/2012 OSSIA International Composition Competition winner, with the Ossia New Music Ensemble.
Prior to his graduate studies, Dr. Unger was the Instrumental Music Teacher at G.P. Vanier Secondary School in Courtenay, British Columbia. Under his baton, the instrumental ensembles at Vanier participated in regional and national festivals and received national recognition for their performances at Musicfest Canada. In his final year at Vanier, Dr. Unger was nominated for the CARAS/MUSICAN teacher of the year award.

Dr. Unger won the American Prize in Conducting in the Wind Ensemble Division in 2013. The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit national competitions in the performing arts, unique in scope and structure, providing awards, professional adjudication, and regional, national, and international recognition. Each year, The American Prize rewards the best recorded performances by individual artists and ensembles in the United States.

Dr. Unger’s principal conducting teachers were Dr. Mark Scatterday and Dr. Colleen Richardson. He has attended a number of influential conducting symposiums where he worked with master wind conductors such as Donald Hunsberger, Frank Battisti, Charles Peltz, Michael Haithcock, Allan McMurray, Craig Kirchhoff, Michael Votta, Gary Hill, and Rodney Winther. He maintains professional affiliations with the College Band Directors National Association, the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, and the Conductor’s Guild.

Dr. Unger received his D.M.A in conducting from the Eastman School of Music in 2013. Additionally, he holds degrees from the University of Western Ontario and the University of British Columbia.
Elizabeth Volpé Bligh Elizabeth Volpé Bligh, Vancouver, BC (Harp & Guzheng)

Elizabeth Volpé Bligh became the Vancouver Symphony’s Principal Harpist in 1982, after six seasons as the Principal Harpist of the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra. A graduate of University of Toronto’s Bachelor of Music program in 1975, she studied with Judy Loman (Toronto Symphony), Alice Chalifoux (Cleveland Orchestra) and Edna Phillips (Philadelphia Orchestra).

Ms. Volpé’s career includes concerto performances with the VSO and other orchestras, chamber music concerts, movie soundtracks and recordings. She is featured in The Greater Vancouver Album, a collection of works by Michael Conway Baker, and performed the Harp Concerto that he wrote for her with the VSO. It was recorded by CBC and can be listened to on the Canadian Music Centre’s web site. She will be premiering a new piece by Scott Good for harp and strings at the World Harp Congress in Sydney, Australia in 2014, and will repeat the performance with the VSO.

Many of Elizabeth’s students have won awards such as the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, Edith Lando Gifted Youth Scholarship, and RCM Silver Medal, and four students have been members of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. She has enjoyed watching her students become successful professional harpists. Her teaching career has included teaching privately and at institutions such as the VSO School of Music, Vancouver Academy of Music, UBC, Vancouver Community College, Douglas College, and the Island Mountain Arts Festival. She has had students from all over the world come to study with her including from Hong Kong, Singapore, Ireland and France. She taught and performed at the 6th International Harp Workshop in Sanctuaria del Crea in Italy. She co-founded Canadian International Summer Harp Institute in 2012.

Ms. Volpé has had articles published in the Teachers’ Forum of the American Harp Journal, Dutch Harp Journal, the New Zealand Harp Association newsletter, and online. She has given master classes in China, Italy, New Zealand, the USA and Canada. Her compositions for solo harp, six of which are included in the 2008 Royal Conservatory of Music Syllabus, are being taught and performed all over the world. She is currently President of the BC Chapter of the American Harp Society and was the Chair of the 11th World Harp Congress Host Committee. She has been featured in American Harp Society Conferences and was a judge at the OSM Standard Life Competition in 2010.

Patricia Kostek Patricia Kostek, Victoria, BC (Woodwinds)

Patricia Kostek is a versatile musician with diverse and eclectic range of repertoire. Patricia has given recitals and master classes, and served as a competition jury member in major cultural centers of Europe, Asia, Canada, the USA, Mexico and South America. She has adjudicated for International Music competitions in Brazil, Belgium, Paris, Quebec City and Buenos Aires. Patricia has performed in many of the finest international concerts halls and in noted international music festivals and as well as with numerous orchestras in North America and Europe including the Chicago Symphony, Honolulu Symphony and Kansas City Symphony, the Orquestra Sinfonica de Teatro Colon de Buenos Aires (soloist) and Orquestra Sinfonica da Bahía (soloist). She has performed under the guidance of numerous eminent conductors as Sir George Solti, James Levine, Simon Rattle, Edo de Waart. Patricia was featured soloist at the Shanghai International Clarinet Festival and has performed at Encontro IV Beazilian National Clarinet Festival (Rio de Janeiro ) and for several years at the Buenos Aires International Festival.

The Usinger Anzeiger (Germany) spoke of “the perfection of her tone, unbelievably smooth and amazingly differentiated in its nuance”. The Kansas City Star wrote of “intelligent and intense musicianship”, “deft, imaginative playing”, “lilting grace” and of “her command of instrumental color and psychology”. The Bad Nauheim (Germany) Zeitung wrote “an exquisite evening of chamber music”.

In the Pacific Northwest area Patricia has performed with the Pacific Opera Victoria, the Victoria Symphony, the Lafayette String Quartet and with many critically acclaimed ensembles. She serves artistic director Chamber Music San Juans and co-artistic director of Clarinetfest 2007, Vancouver, conference of the International Clarinet Association. An active studio musician, Patricia records regularly with the Seattle based Northwest Sinfonia and as such, can be heard on the soundtracks of many movies and video games. Her principal teachers include Larry Combs, Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr, Robert Marcellus and Konrad Owens. Currently Patricia is a Professor at the University of Victoria.

Karyn Way Karyn Way, Vancouver, BC (Intermediate & Senior Musical Theatre and Contemporary Voice)

Karyn Way is very active in Vancouver as a singer, director, adjudicator and music instructor. Some of her favorite performances include Madame Giry in The Phantom of the Opera, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, Eva Peron in Evita and the Second Lady in The Magic Flute. Karyn is presently a member of the Vancouver Chamber Choir. She has also sung with the Vivaldi Chamber Choir and the Vancouver Bach Choir. She can frequently be seen in concert performing a mixture of musical theatre, pop, art song and opera.

As a director, Karyn staged Amahl and the Night Visitors for the Vancouver Academy of Music as well as several evenings of opera scenes. She was on the faculty at Capilano College as a voice instructor for four years and taught voice, piano and theory at the Walnut Grove/Guildford School of Music for nine years. She was head of voice for Stagecraft Theatre School for eight years and Karyn currently teaches voice, piano and music theory at her home studio, Vocalis Music.
Karyn continues to adjudicate and give masterclasses in voice and musical theatre at festivals across Canada including Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia.

At the University of British Columbia, Karyn earned a Bachelor of Music Degree in Voice Performance and a Master of Music in Opera. She also earned Diplomas in Musical Theatre from Grant MacEwan College and the Banff School of Fine Arts. Karyn is a proud member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS).
Christina Kent Christina Kent, Vancouver, BC (Junior Voice)

Christina Kent is a Mezzo Soprano from Vancouver, B.C. From an early age, Christina struggled with stage fright; an affliction so strong it kept her from pursuing singing. In her early twenties, Christina realized that she didn’t want to allow fear to prevent her from pursuing her love of song and decided to dive headfirst into the world of classical singing and performance.
Since then she has completed her Masters of Music and Opera Performance at the University of British Columbia and has been active as an opera singer, concert performer, adjudicator and voice teacher with a passion for helping students to discover their voices and overcome performance anxiety.

Christina has enjoyed performances as the alto soloist for Vivaldi’s Gloria and Mozart’s Requiem with Kwantlen University Chorus and members of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. She has also had the pleasure of performing as the alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Les Dala, the Kwantlen Chorus in collaboration with the West Coast Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Spirit Choir and the Chilliwack Chorus and Orchestra. Past operatic roles include Mercedes in Bizet’s Carmen, Cherubino in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Mrs. Herring in Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, Mere Jeanne in Francis Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmelites Marcellina in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro with Vancouver Island Opera. She has also performed with the Vancouver Opera Chorus in their productions of Puccini’s Tosca and Strauss’ Die Fledermaus.

Christina has a thriving voice studio and delights in working with students of all ages and abilities. She utilizes a mindful approach to singing in helping each student achieve their unique musical goals.
Eric Wilson Eric Wilson, Vancouver, BC (Cello)

Eric Wilson was awarded the Bronze Medal (1971) in the Geneva International Competition and co-winner of the Morris Loeb Prize for Strings (1973) at the Juilliard School. Eric Wilson was solo cellist of the Ensemble of New York in residence at the Lincoln Centre, New York. He was also a founding member of the Emerson String Quartet that won in 1978 the prestigious Walter W. Naumberg competition Prize for Chamber Ensemble.

Wilson has performed with such eminent artists as Menahem Pressler and Walter Trampler and with the Boston Chamber Soloists, New York Chamber Soloists, Lyric Piano Quartet, Quartet Canada, Pro Arte Quartet and the Melos Quartet. As guest artist, Wilson has appeared at the Wolf Trap; Newport (R.I.); Katonah (N.Y.); Banff, Alberta; Scotia; Meadow Brook and Vermont Mozart Festivals among others.

With pianist Patricia Hoy, he has performed extensively and received critical acclaim with the release of their CD of Rachmaninov’s Sonata for Cello and Piano and Stephen Chatman’s Sonata for Cello and Piano. In March 2004, Wilson gave a series of masterclasses and recitals in Taiwan including lectures at the National Teacher’s University in Taipei and a recital at the Taiwan National Theatre, also in Taipei.

Wilson was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba to a family of musicians. His father, baritone Kerr Wilson, and pianist mother Thelma, had their own radio program on CBC while still in their teens. As a boy, he performed from memory with his brother Carlisle and sister Kerrine. His niece Kerri Lynn Wilson has an international career as a conductor. Why so much music from this Winnipeg family? “Beats the heck out of freezing!” as Winnipegers would say.