Music Adjudicators – 2019

Special thank you to all for your devotion to young people!

The Kiwanis Music Festival reserves the right to substitute or appoint other adjudicators.

Senior Piano & Concertos – Ian Parker

February 19 – February 27, 2019

>Born in Vancouver to a family of pianists, Ian Parker began his piano studies at age three with his father, Edward Parker. He holds both the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, where he was a student of Yoheved Kaplinsky. While at Juilliard, the Canada Council for the Arts awarded him the Sylva Gelber Career Grant, which is given annually to the “most talented Canadian artist.”

First Prize winner at the 2001 CBC National Radio Competition, Ian Parker has also won the Grand Prize at the Canadian National Music Festival, the Corpus Christie International Competition and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Competition. At The Juilliard School, he received the 2002 William Petschek Piano Debut Award and, on two occasions, was the winner of the Gina Bachauer Piano Scholarship Competition. Heard regularly on CBC Radio, Mr. Parker has also performed live on WQXR (hosted by Robert Sherman) in New York.

Ian Parker is also an active recording artist. In the fall of 2010, a CD of concerti (Ravel Concerto in G, Stravinsky Capriccio, and Gershwin Concerto in F), recorded with the London Symphony under Michael Francis, was released by ATMA Classique. An all-fantasy solo CD on Azica Records, including the fantasies of Chopin, Schumann, and Beethoven (Op. 27, Nos. 1 and 2 “Quasi una Fantasia”), was released in the summer of 2010.

Ian Parker was invited to collaborate with the internationally renowned Vogler Quartet during its twentieth anniversary tour in 2005-06 throughout the U.S. and Canada. Following the tour’s tremendous success, he was invited to join them again for several concerts in the spring of 2006, and has continued to tour with them regularly ever since. They have also invited him to perform as part of their Vogler Springs Festival in Sligo, Ireland and the Kammermusik Festival in Hamburg, Germany. He has also begun appearing with the up-and-coming Attacca Quartet. He has also collaborated with violinist Augustin Hadelich in numerous venues in both the U.S. and Canada.

An enthusiastic recitalist, Ian Parker has performed across the United States, Western Europe, Israel, and throughout Canada on tours with Debut Atlantic and Jeunesses Musicales du Canada. He made his Lincoln Center recital debut at the Walter Reade Theater in 2004. Recent and upcoming appearances include recitals presented by the North Okanagan Concerts Association, UCLA, the University of British Columbia, and collaborative performances with the Hawaii International Music Festival, the Morgan LIbrary, and multiple appearances on a new chamber music series at North Vancouver’s Kay Meek Centre, for which he has recently become Artistic Director.

During the 2016/2017 season, he made his debut with the Illinois Symphony performing his vibrant Gershwin repertoire, as well as the Meridian Symphony, and returned to the Vancouver Symphony and the Okanagan Symphony, among others. The 2017/2018 season includes return performances with the Victoria Symphony and Vancouver Symphony as well as debuts with the Richmond Symphony and the Lake Forest Symphony.

Intermediate Piano – Michael Oike

February 19 – February 28, 2019

Michael maintains a busy and fulfilling musical life in his hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba. He began his piano studies there with Alice Nakauchi and Sydney McInnis, and with Boris Lysenko at the Royal Conservatory of Music and University of Toronto where he was awarded the Forsythe Award as the outstanding graduating pianist. Michael was very fortunate to have worked with the renowned pedagogue Jeaneane Dowis, covering both the solo and piano chamber repertoire at her New York City studio and twice as a fellowship recipient at the Waterloo Festival held at Princeton University.

Michael has a special affinity towards the vocal art song field and has worked with the highly regarded vocal pianists Rudolf Jansen and Martin Isepp. Michael currently maintains a private piano teaching studio at the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts (MCMA), conducts workshops and master classes, and is heard in performances of chamber music and as vocal/instrumental accompanist.

For over twenty-five years, Michael has adjudicated at music festivals provincially and nationally across Canada, where he greatly enjoys working with students of all levels. Away from his music, Michael enjoys golfing, curling, downhill skiing, NFL football, and is continually tinkering to make the perfect butter tart, blueberry or apple pie and refine his sushi making skills.

Junior Piano – Marion Miller

February 19 – March 1, 2019

>Marion Miller began piano at four, was teaching at 12, and entered the University of Western Ontario at 16, with her ARCT certificate, graduating with a Master’s degree in piano performance and the President’s Gold Medal for academic excellence. At 18 she was on faculty at the Banff School of Fine Arts. Canada Council grants subsequently enabled her to study in Paris with the great Marcel Ciampi. Other teachers included Cecile Genhart in Zurich and Ozan Marsh at Chautauqua, N.Y.

Always principally a classical artist, she has nevertheless covered the full musical spectrum, from playing in a professional swing band during university, to performing with symphony orchestras in Canada and the U.S., to composing for musical theatre. She has taught in university, conservatory and festival settings, and now maintains a consistently full studio of private piano students ranging from young beginners to accomplished adults.

She has played Chopin on CBC Radio and vaudeville tunes at a summer festival playhouse, been musical director of the Grand Theatre and pianist for Orchestra London and the Aria International Summer Academy for Advanced Music Studies.
International artists with whom she has appeared range from Harry Belafonte to Jann Arden to opera’s Michael Schade. Renowned orchestra leader Mitch Miller once teasingly proposed marriage: “We wouldn’t even have to change the initials on the towels.”

Ms Miller’s breadth of experience and her philosophy of always seeking and encouraging emotional expressiveness has made her a popular adjudicator, in recent years taking her to music festivals from Vancouver to Newfoundland.

She is a member of the Ontario Registered Music Teachers Association and of the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators Association.

Elementary Piano – Jennifer Smele

February 19 – February 28, 2019

Jennifer is very active in the greater Toronto area as both a performer and teacher. She holds her Master’s degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Toronto where she studied with master piano pedagogue Dr. Midori Koga. Prior to this, she completed her Bachelor of Music (Education) at the University of Western Ontario, her A.R.C.T. Performer’s diploma with the Royal Conservatory of Music, and her Associate Teaching diploma with Conservatory Canada. Throughout her studies, Jennifer was the recipient of several academic awards including the prestigious Ontario Graduate Scholarship.

Jennifer is an active member of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s College of Examiners and runs a professional studio in Brampton where she offers piano and theory lessons in both Classical and Popular genres. She has been a guest clinician at the University of Toronto, presenting graduate student workshops on a variety of pedagogical topics, and she enjoys adjudicating music festivals throughout Canada. Her workshop, “The Art of Teaching Transfer Students” has been received by O.R.M.T.A. groups with positive acclaim and she offers workshops to Classically-trained teachers/students seeking greater ease in lead sheet interpretation and improvisation.

Jennifer is a versatile, professional, vocal and instrumental accompanist and soloist. She performs regularly at a variety of venues including nursing homes, receptions, weddings, yoga studios, and churches throughout Ontario. She has pursued studies in the field of Early Childhood Music Education under the direction of Mary Stouffer and collaborative piano studies with Dr. Chris Foley of Oakville, Ontario. She spent July 2013 completing a collaborative piano internship with Music Theatre Bavaria in Oberaudorf, Germany and studied mindfulness practice and performance with Madeline Bruser from New York.

Jennifer continues to study Dalcroze Eurythmics, combining her passions for movement, music education and improvisation and recently completed the musician mentorship program with the Canadian National Ballet, training as a dance accompanist. In her spare time, Jennifer loves to ballroom and Latin dance and practices yoga.

Strings (Violin and Viola) & Chamber – Dr. Sasha Weinstangel

February 19 – March 1, 2019

A prolific composer, a passionate conductor, and an accomplished violin virtuoso, Dr. Sasha Weinstangel was born in Croatia (Yugoslavia). He started his music education at the age of seven, completed his first published composition at the age of nine, and started appearing as a violin soloist with orchestras at the age of ten.

He received academic degrees in both Violin/Performance and Composition/Theory from the University of Belgrade, and the Doctor of Music degree in Composition/Music Theory from the University of Toronto, where he studied under John Beckwith. Along the way he also undertook studies in conducting with Sir Adrian Boult and Antonio Janigro, and electronic music with Paul Pignon, Gustav Ciamaga and Dennis Patrick.

Dr. Weinstangel is a charismatic leader, and is found in turn on the conductor’s podium, at the harpsichord, or in concertmaster’s chair, as suits the repertoire performed. His compositions include chamber, orchestral and choral works, operas, as well as concertos for diverse instruments. He has taught in universities and colleges in North America and New Zealand.

“A complete musician… such a rarity in our times” Richard GALE,CKDS/Stereo 95, Canada

Cello & Double Bass – Dr. Dobrochna Zubek

February 19 – February 22, 2019

With a performance career spanning nearly three decades, Dr. Dobrochna Zubek has established herself as one of the prominent cellists of her generation. A protégé of renowned cello pedagogue, Cecylia Barczyk, Ms. Zubek obtained her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Baltimore’s Towson University and went on to receive the Prix de Perfectionnement from the Conservatoire de Versailles in France with Professor Barbara Marcinkowska.

A seasoned competitor, Ms. Zubek’s awards include first place in the 2002 Peggy Friedman Gordon Music Competition, the 2004 Sidney Liebermann Competition, and the 2007 Alexandria Symphony Orchestra Competition.

In an evolving and multifaceted career, Ms. Zubek has worked as a soloist, chamber musician, recitalist and orchestral cellist in Europe, the USA, Canada, and Mexico. As a member of the Canadian ensemble, Thin Edge Music Collective her performances have been enthusiastically received with her recent interdisciplinary performance, Move Towards Peace, being a shining example for her fluidity of style and comprehension of a vast array of art forms. Ms. Zubek’s recent international performances include a concert tour and series of masterclasses in China as a part of University of Toronto Faculty of Music New Music Festival which was held in the Conservatory of Music in Guiyang, Chengdu Conservatory of Music, and in the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Just recently, she finished her Doctor of Musical Arts in Cello Performance at the University of Toronto, where Ms. Zubek was Professor Shauna Rolston’s teaching assistant and the recipient of the YoYo-Ma fellowship and then a sessional instructor of cello. Recently, Dobrochna recorded her first solo CD entitled: “Mexico-Voyage,” followed by Juno nominated CD recording of Hymns of Heavens and Earth, music by Peter-Anthony Togni.

Non-Western Strings & Orchestra – Emily Sun

Non-Western – February 27; Orchestra – February 25

A native of Taiwan, Emily Sun is a versatile violinist, certified OCT, Alexander Technique teacher and chef. She holds a Bachelors and Master of Music in Performance from McGill University, chef diploma from Liaison College, Bachelor of Education from UOIT and AT teacher from Toronto school of AT.

Her violin teachers included Yehonaton Berick, Mark Gothoni , and Denise Lupien. She has performed with Cathedral Bluff Symphony orchestra and Georgian Bay Symphony as second principal, Orchestre Métropolitain, Montreal Symphony,Kitchener Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra,Ontario Philharmonic Orchestra, Toronto Philharmonia Orchestra, Esprit Orchestra, Canadian Sinfonietta, Sinfonia Toronto and Mendelssohn Choir. Emily has performed with Celtic Woman, Chantal Kreviatzuk, Diana Krall, The Canadian Tenors and Sarah Brightman.

Along with performing and adjudicating various festivals Emily enjoys playing guzheng and piano.Emily is currently a string teacher with TDSB and an occasional teacher with DDSB.

Voice – Laura Pudwell

February 19 – 22, 2019

Grammy-nominated Laura Pudwell’s reputation as a superb vocalist has been well-established as a result of her performances in London, Paris, Salzburg, Houston, Vienna and Boston. Her vast repertoire ranges from early music to contemporary works. Ms. Pudwell is equally at home on the opera, oratorio or recital stage, and has received international acclaim for her recordings.

A frequent guest of many national and international presenters, Ms. Pudwell has had the privilege of working with many outstanding conductors, including Hans Graf, Hervé Niquet, Andrew Parott, Ivars Taurens, David Fallis, Brian Jackson, John Sinclair, Bernard Labadie, Lydia Adams, Howard Dyck and Robert Cooper.

On the opera stage, Ms Pudwell has performed across Canada with such companies as Opera Atelier, the Calgary Opera, Vancouver Early Music and Festival Vancouver, as well as with the Houston Grand Opera and the Cleveland Opera. Her many roles include Cornelia (Giulio Cesare), Marcelina (Le Nozze di Figaro), Nerone and Arnalta (L’Incoronazione di Poppea) Mrs. Quickly (Falstaff), and Dido/Sorceress (Dido & Aeneas), which also was an award-winning recording performed by Ms. Pudwell in Paris.

Laura Pudwell is a regular participant in many festivals, including Festival Vancouver, the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, the Banff Summer Festival, the Elora Festival, the Boston Early Music Festival, the Grand River Baroque Festival, and the WinterPark Bach Festival in Orlando.

Ms. Pudwell appears regularly with the Toronto Consort, and is a frequent guest soloist with Tafelmusik, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Toronto Chamber Choir, Symphony Nova Scotia, the St. Lawrence Choir, Le Concert Spirituel, Chorus Niagara and the Menno Singers.

Ms. Pudwell lives in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario with her husband and two children.

Music Theatre and Popular Voice – Lisa Cosens Brillon 

February 19 – February 28, 2019

Lisa Cosens Brillon began singing professionally at the age of 17 on the national television show, CBC Hymn Sing. Lisa studied at the Universities of Manitoba and Arizona where she earned her Bachelor and two Masters of Music degrees in Voice Performance and Music Education. She began her doctoral studies in voice performance/pedagogy and choral conducting at the University of Cincinnati. Lisa also studied in New York City with the Assistant Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera and at the Mannes College of Music.

For close to seven years Lisa sang with the Toronto production of The Phantom of the Opera in the role of Madame Firmin. She has performed in concert, musicals and on the opera stage in North America, Europe and Israel and notably at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City in the lead role of Elena in I Vespri Siciliani with Opera Orchestra of New York. She has received various awards and scholarships at the regional Metropolitan Opera auditions, American Jenny Lind Competition, American Teachers of Singing competition and was a finalist in the prestigious Washington International competition.

Ms. Brillon founded and directs the Queenston Ladies Choir, is the organist and choir director for St. David’s Queenston United Church, and for 18 years directed the summer Queenston Musical Theatre Camp and is the artistic director of the Niagara’s premiere show choir, The Niagara Star Singers. She is the voice teacher for Music Niagara’s Summer Academy and as well, she is the founder and festival director of the Niagara Musical Theatre & Voice Festival, the provincial treasurer for NATS (National Association Teachers of Singing) and is the President of the Ontario Music Festival Association. She will be the ‘host’ for the OMFA Provincial finals to be held in Niagara for one week in June 2019/2020. Lisa is sought out as a voice and musical theatre adjudicator and choral clinician.

She resides in Queenston where she loves teaching voice in her home studio. Her students have graduated from universities in Canada and the USA in music programs in classical voice, musical theatre, opera, and music education. Many students perform in professional and community musical theatre shows, with symphony orchestras, in opera, have won the RCM Silver/Gold Medals and excel at festivals and competitions. Ms. Brillon is proud to educate musicians and singers of all ages in the art of singing.

Speech Arts – Marion Abbott 

February 28 – March 1, 2019

Marion Abbott is a proud graduate of the Musical Theatre Performance Program at Sheridan College. Upon graduating, she was immediately hired to teach for the program and was later named one of the top twenty graduates of the program. She has her Grade 10 Voice and A.R.C.T. in Piano Performance from The Royal Conservatory of Music. She studied piano with Margaret Parsons Poole, Clifford Poole and Ted Ellis. She studied voice with Christina James, Deb Joy and Sheila Brand.

Marion is the creator of The Confidential Project (which included Musical Theatre, Theatre, Shakespeare, Opera and Operetta), The Plain Stage Theatre Company, The Women Of Musical Theatre Festival, New Works Series, The Artist Discovery Series and The Spirit Of Maud Theatre Company. Her mandate as a producer was to provide as many opportunities for as many artists as possible; consequently, Marion produced over 400 productions in Toronto and other cities.

Of the many (many!) shows Marion has worked on, some of her favourites include The Scarlet Pimpernel, All Shook Up, Anne And Maud, No Safe Harbour, Ragtime, Streetcar Named Desire and Passion.

As a Musical Director, Marion most recently worked for Drayton Entertainment (Cinderella: The Panto) and was a part of the first Drayton Youth Program. As a private teacher, Marion has taught voice, piano and acting for 29 years to students of all ages.

From festivals to recitals to performing in Disney World, Marion cherishes her memories of her time with her students dearly. Many of her former students now work in the arts full time.

Marion is now in demand as a consultant, adjudicator and private coach. She has written three books: 700 Song Suggestions For Singers, 100 Suggestions For Teaching Private Lessons and How To Parent A Child In The Arts: A Guide For All Seasons – all available on Amazon. Marion LOVES Walt Disney and tries to get to Walt Disney World in Florida at least once a year. Her favourite rides are Splash Mountain and the Tower of Terror. Marion is married to visual artist Giancarlo Piccin and they have a son, also named Giancarlo. The three of them are addicted to movies.

Woodwinds & Chamber – Mark Thompson 

Woodwinds: February 25 – Feb 27, 2019; Chamber: February 28, 2019

Mark Thompson is a passionate music educator dedicated to promoting growth in individual artistic endeavours.Achieving communication with performers and facilitating artistic growth in the individual are his lifelong goals.

He is in demand throughout North America as a clinician and adjudicator, including the Glenn Gould Professional School. He has adjudicated woodwind, brass,chamber music and bands at many festivals across Canada and the United States, including provincial finals in Ontario, New Brunswick,Saskatchewan and British Columbia as well as the MTNA National finals in New York City. He has adjudicated at over 100 music festivals the past 15 years.

Mark Thompson studied at The University of Toronto, Indiana University, and The Mannes College of Music in New York. In 1994, he became the first Canadian clarinetist to win first prize in the Artists’ International Competition subsequently giving his New York debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

Since then, he has enjoyed a diverse musical career spanning from recording for the CBC and BBC to being heard on various jingles and the Disney Channel. From 1996-2016 he was Artistic Director of Clearly Classic Concerts in Dundas, Ontario in the capacity as conductor, performer and developer of numerous projects,including Nimmons ‘n Braid, and Marjan Mozetichs’ ‘Angels in Flight’. The Clearly Classic Education programs that he founded brought classical and jazz music to hundreds of children in the Greater Toronto area.He created one of the first joint music and art programs in the Toronto area.

He has performed with many of Canada’s orchestras, including the Toronto Symphony and has performed and toured with internationally known ensembles Quartetto Gelato and The Penderecki String Quartet. He has performed at the Arizona Music Festival and also performed as soloist with the Sioux City Iowa Symphony with conductor Ryan Haskins. His CD release ‘Blue Skies’ with pianist Susan Lee has been heard extensively on CBC and National Public Radio.

As senior examiner for the Royal Conservatory he has been involved in conducting evaluations in both Canada and the United States. He has also served as a mentor to apprentice examiners. Recently he mentored apprentices and conducted evaluations in Los Angeles.

Brass/Bands/Jazz – Kevin Hayward

Brass: February 25 & 26, 2019; Bands/Jazz: February 27 & March 1, 2019

>Kevin Hayward was born and raised on the beautiful island of Bermuda. In 1985 he moved to Toronto to study music, and earned his bachelor of Music Education degree at the faculty of music, University of Toronto. During this time he performed with the Toronto Youth Symphony, helped to form the Toronto Trombone Ensemble and joined The Salvation Army’s Canadian Staff Band. Over the last 25 years, Kevin has enjoyed making music with many significant ensembles and artists, including: the Hannaford Street Silver Band, the Tallisker Players Orchestra and the internationally acclaimed jazz trombone group, Spiritual to the ‘bone. He has travelled around the world sharing his love of music with many groups, as conductor, clinician and performer. Beginning in 2002, Kevin served as bandmaster of the Canadian Staff Band of The Salvation Army for a period of four years. In addition, Kevin has been asked to serve as an adjudicator at the Kiwanis, Musicfest Canada and OBA music festivals, in addition to the International Women’s Brass Conference. Kevin is currently the Director of Music at Toronto District Christian High School in Woodbridge.

Guitar & Bandura – Emma Rush 

February 28-March 1, 2019

Over the past decade, Emma Rush has established herself as one of Canada’s preeminent classical guitarists. Known for her innovative programming and powerful stage presence, along with her warm sound and virtuosic technique, an event with Emma Rush is one to remember.

Emma Rush’s career has commanded world recognition. Recent touring highlights include a four-city tour in China, starting with the Altamira Shanghai International Guitar Festival, appearances at guitar festivals including Festival de Guitarras Lagos de Moreno (Mexico), the Nyköping Gitaarseminarium (Sweden), and a prestigious concert at the Internationales Gitarren Symposion, Iserlohn (Germany). She tours throughout North America and in 2016-17 toured extensively in Eastern Canada as a Debut Atlantic artist. She performs regularly as Azuline Duo with flutist Sara Traficante. She recently appeared in the McMichael Gallery’s Group of Seven Guitar Project documentary alongside such notable guitarists as Bruce Cockburn, Jesse Cook, and Don Ross. Rush will be completing two residencies in 2018 at the Sointula Art Shed in British Columbia and in Lübeck, Germany.

Emma Rush can be heard on the albums Canadiana (2017), Folklórica (2014), and Romanza (2016- Azuline Duo).

Rush completed her post-graduate studies at the Hochshule für Musik in Detmold, Germany, following an honours Bachelor of Music degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS. She holds faculty appointments at Mohawk College and Redeemer University College in Hamilton, and was an Artist-in-Residence at the Fountain School of Performing Arts at Dalhousie University in the fall of 2016.

Rush is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Guitar Hamilton concert series that includes the Hamilton International Guitar Festival.

Choirs – Matthew Otto 

February 19 – February 27, 2019

Matthew Otto is a passionate and innovative conductor, clinician and pedagogue. He has conducted choirs while on tour in Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, USA and Ireland, and guest-conducted the University of Auckland Chamber Choir in New Zealand. As President of Choirs Ontario, the provincial choral federation, he is quickly establishing himself as a leading voice on the Canadian choral scene.

Since 2010 Matthew has been part of the artistic team of the award-winning Toronto Children’s Chorus. In 2013, he became Associate Conductor and directs the newly formed Toronto Youth Choir and Chorealis, and co-conducts Chorale alongside artistic director, and mentor, Elise Bradley. He has been privileged to conduct the Chamber Choir on both international and national tours. In December 2015, the TCC premiered his arrangement of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols for treble voices with baritone, Russell Braun, and members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall. A recording of this is set to be released on the TCC’s upcoming Christmas album.

Committed to choral excellence, Matthew is founder/conductor of Incontra Vocal Ensemble, a project-based, professional level choir based in Toronto.

Passionate about music’s role in liturgy, Matthew has over 15 years of experience in sacred music. Currently, he serves as Choir Director & Organist at Christ Church Deer Park, leading their extensive music program.

Matthew has guest conducted the Elora Festival Singers, Toronto Cantata Chorus, University of Auckland Chamber Choir, and served as Assistant Conductor of Pax Christi Chorale and MacMillan Singers.

Twice-recipient of the Elmer Iseler Fellowship in Choral Conducting, and finalist in both the Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting (2014) and Sir Ernest MacMillan Foundation Fellowship Award in Orchestral Conducting (2010), Matthew holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition (2007) and a Master of Music in Conducting (2009). He studied conducting with Dr. Karen Grylls, Dr. Doreen Rao, Agnes Grossman, David Briskin, Raffi Armenian and Noel Edison.

Choirs – Kevin Zakresky 

February 19 – February 27, 2019

Kevin Zakresky received a Doctoral degree in Choral Conducting at Yale University in February 2012; 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.

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 the Vancouver area.

He is a past member of the faculty of the innovative Vancouver International Song Institute, served on the faculty of the BC Choral Federation’s Choral Directorship Course, and has held teaching positions at Douglas College and Simon Fraser University.

Since 2013 Zakresky has taught voice and music history at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music, in addition to directing their choral ensembles. 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.

Bands – Les Dobbin

February 19 – March 1, 2019

Les Dobbin developed a keen interest and talent for conducting while he was at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, majoring in voice with Louis Quilico and studying orchestral conducting with Victor Feldbrill, Margaret Hillis and Peter McCoppin. He began his career as a choral musician with Lloyd Bradshaw and professionally with Elmer Iseler.

Les Dobbin taught as an itinerant music teacher for the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) for 33 years. He recently retired as director of the orchestra and bands at John G. Althouse M.S., where the school annually excelled at the Kiwanis Music Festival, winning the Colonel Peacock Trophy in 2002, 2003 and 2006 and the Mary Francis Arrigo award as top jazz performers in 2006. Mr. Dobbin is active as a clinician for the TDSB and Ontario Music Educators Association and as an adjudicator for the Kiwanis Music Festival. Mr. Dobbin has been appointed to the board of directors for the Toronto Kiwanis Music Festival. He was the conductor of the Concert Band at Inter-Provincial Music Camp for 10 years and for the past 30 years has been the Camp Director of the TDSB’s Toronto Summer Music Camp.

Mr. Dobbin continues to conduct the prestigious Etobicoke Youth Band (EYB), enriching the musical lives of over 100 young musicians. Recently he collaborated with Robert W. Smith in a concert of Smith’s works at Koerner Hall, and with Ben Zander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. The band celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2017.

In 2014, he formed the Toronto Concert Band (TCB) in collaboration with Ken Hazlett. This ensemble, 85 strong, made its debut at the Glenn Gould Studio to great acclaim. As a founding musical director of the TCB, he has broadened his reach to further inspire musicality in adult musicians. Recently he was appointed conductor of a new initiative, the Band Enrichment Program at the Royal Conservatory of Music. .

Mr. Dobbin is a member of Phi Beta Mu, International Bandmasters’ fraternity. He was nominated for the Award of Excellence as an employee of the Etobicoke Board of Education and as a community leader for the EYB in 1986 and 1997 and won the award in 2003 and 2015. In 2012, he was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for outstanding service to his community.

Bands – Ken Hazlett

February 19 – March 1, 2019

Ken Hazlett graduated from the University of Toronto (B. Mus. Ed.) where he studied tuba with Canadian Brass member, Charles Daellenbach. After graduating from the Faculty of Education at the University of Western Ontario, he served as an Itinerant Music Teacher with the Toronto District School Board. For twenty-seven years, he taught full time at Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute. He established one of the most respected Instrumental Music programs in Toronto.

Ken has performed in many Toronto-based music organizations. He sang with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, under the direction of the late Elmer Iseler, and played tuba with the Etobicoke Youth Orchestra, Etobicoke Philharmonic and the York Symphony Orchestra.

In 1982, he founded the Etobicoke Youth Band, and conducted this ensemble of high school students for 25 years.

Ken is a founder of the Toronto Concert Band and the Riffintime Big Band in 2014. He is currently the tuba player for the Bloor Street Dixie Serenaders and music director and tuba player for the Toronto Concert Band and music director and trombone player in Riffintime Big Band.

Since 1988 Ken has served as conductor and tuba specialist at the Toronto District School Board Music by the Lake/Toronto Music Camp on the site of Camp Wahanowin. He has been a conductor at the National Music Camp of Canada since 2008.

Bands & Jazz – Colleen Allen

Bands: February 27; Jazz – March 1, 2019

Alberta born Colleen Allen plays all saxes, flute, and clarinet. She is a top call in Toronto for live shows, festivals, and recording pro-jects. Recent performances include sessionsx recordings with Gospel legend Carvin Winans, featuring Michael MacDonald, Take 6 and Martha Reeves.

Whether touring with the celebrated Molly Johnson, or teaching in Humber College’s esteemed Jazz Studies Program, Colleen is considered one of the most cherished musicians on the Canadian music scene. A dynamic solo performer and flawless ensemble musician, Colleen is known for her gorgeous warm tone, soulful style, and brilliant soloing. Colleen is a world-class musician whose musical talents have touched many audiences around the globe.

Jazz – Josh Grossman

February 26 & March 1, 2019

Since graduating from the University of Toronto’s Jazz Performance Program in 1999, Josh Grossman has gained a wealth of experience in the worlds of music performance and administration.

As a trumpeter, Josh has performed in big bands under the direction of Phil Nimmons, Paul Read, Ron Collier and Paul Ashwell; he has performed with the Chris Hunt Tentet since its inception in 2002. Josh is the founding Artistic Director and Conductor for the Toronto Jazz Orchestra (TJO), an 18-piece big band featuring some of Toronto’s top jazz talent. Now in its 19th year, the TJO has released three full-length recordings, has performed with Phil Nimmons, Ingrid Jensen, Christine Jensen, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Seamus Blake, Geoffrey Keezer, the Toronto Mass Choir and Kurt Elling (among others); has presented musical tributes to Thad Jones, Stan Kenton, Duke Ellington and Radiohead; and has undertaken special projects including the Big Band Gospel Project (with the Toronto Mass Choir) and the Big Band Tap Revue (with five tap dancers).

For four years Josh was Performance Manager for The Glenn Gould School at The Royal Conservatory, where he was responsible for producing the School’s annual orchestra and chamber music concerts as well as over 100 master classes each year featuring top musicians and teachers from around the world. Following The Glenn Gould School Josh managed the High Park Choirs of Toronto (2007-2009), a 120-voice children’s choir for which he served as the sole administrator; he served as Operations Manager for Continuum Contemporary Music from 2007-2017, managing all administrative duties for one of Canada’s top contemporary chamber ensembles.

Josh was Artistic Director for the Markham Jazz Festival from 2006 to 2009, and in January, 2010 he was hired as Artistic Director for Toronto Downtown Jazz (TDJ), which each year presents the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, one of Canada’s largest international music festivals. Since beginning with TDJ in January, 2010, Josh has sought to re-invigourate the organization’s activities, launching new educational and off-season activity, building new bridges into the local jazz community, and encouraging the presentation of those artists who are moving jazz into a new and exciting direction. Josh recently completed a 4-year term as co-chair of the Toronto Arts Council (TAC) Music Committee, and a member of the TAC Board of Directors.

Jazz – Dave Morrison

March 1, 2019

David received a B.MusA from the University of Western Ontario and then completed his B.Ed programming at Memorial University in St. Johns, Newfoundland. He taught high school music for thirty years; a career that saw his ensembles perform on stages throughout North America, releasing five professional CD’s along the way.

From 1998 – 2006 he was the Musical Director of the Lindsay Kinsmen Marching Band, and from 2006 – 2015 he ran the Odyssey Project music program which he created to help young musicians develop their skills through the performance of popular music. He is a founding member and the inaugural chair of the Kawartha Lakes Arts Council, a co-creator of the Cooperative Initiatives in the Performing Arts (CIPA), and an instructor at the Trillium Lakelands Arts Camp where he teaches Concert Bands, Jazz Ensembles and Contemporary Music Ensembles.

Currently, David is the conductor of the Kawartha Lakes Concert Band, and operates the Musichouse Idea Exchange, a not-for-profit service that provides music teachers with access to a shared database of teaching resources. In his free time he enjoys working with young musicians as an adjudicator and workshop clinician.

Bands & Jazz – Christian Overton

Bands: February 27; Jazz: March 1, 2019

Originally from Sudbury Ontario, Christian Overton is now one of the most in demand trombonists and composers in Toronto. He has a degree from Humber College and a Masters Degree from the University of Toronto. He’s played with a huge range of artists from jazz legends Danilo Perez and John Patitucci to Canadian legends Don Thompson and Guido Basso, to rock bands Sloan, and Glass Tiger to classical masters Jens Lindemann and Alain Trudel to children’s entertainer Fred Penner and in pit orchestras like the Musical Matilda. Christian also has his own jazz quintet and big band and is the founder of Clovertone Music, a publishing house dedicated to educational material.

Orchestras – Susan Quinn

February 19 – February 25, 2019

Susan Quinn is from St. John’s, New-foundland and Labrador, where she is the Artistic Director of the Quintessential Vocal Ensemble (QVE) and Choral Director at St. Bonaventure’s College, and recently retired after nearly 30 years of leading the award-winning choirs and orchestra at Holy Heart of Mary High School. Susan received her early musical education from the Sisters of Mercy, and has degrees in Music and Music Education from Memorial University of Newfoundland, with a major in violin, and a Master’s degree in choral and instrumental conducting from the University of Maine. She is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence and the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council Arts in Education Award. Her choirs have received numerous national awards and honours at international competitions in Austria, Wales, Ireland, and France, and recorded six CDs. In 2010 she conducted Vivaldi’s Gloria at Carnegie Hall in New York City, and returned in 2014 to conduct QVE in a solo performance.

Orchestras – Martha Gregory

February 19-22, 2019 – Orchestras

Martha GregoryMartha Gregory was born in Rochester, New York where she studied violin, piano and voice at the Hochstein School of Music,The Eastman School of Music and Roberts Wesleyan College. Her Conservatory and University classes included chamber, choral and orchestral work and she enjoyed many years playing with the Rochester Youth Orchestra and the Hochstein Symphony.

To help pay for all this, she worked in the offices of the schools which gave her the basis for her festival work. Martha also spent many years accompanying Suzuki classes, voice students and ballet classes.

Inspired by her first voice teacher, Lois Gilbert, Martha always knew her passion was teaching. After moving to Canada, she established a private studio in Pickering, Ontario that she still maintains. She currently performs with the Ontario Philharmonic Orchestra and is principal violinist with the Hamstrings of Durham Trio. She has been an active freelance performer in classical voice, music theatre, violin and piano.

Martha has been involved with music festivals for the last 28 years and has been Executive Director of the Pickering GTA Music Festival for 15 years. She is Past-President of the Ontario Music Festivals Association and has enjoyed adjudicating all across Canada. Adjudicating has become her new passion and she is inspired by the performances and feedback from all of the people she has met throughout Canada. The Toronto Kiwanis Festival introduced Martha to adjudicating and she is very happy to be returning to hear many more exciting performances.