Matt Abraham – PERCUSSION
A native of Winnipeg Manitoba, Matt Abraham holds a Bachelor of Music (Percussion) and a Bachelor of Education (Music) from the University of Manitoba. Principal percussion teachers include Jauvon Gilliam (National Symphony Orchestra, Washington) and Jeremy Epp (Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit). An active freelance performer, Matt frequently performs as a percussionist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and can also be seen performing with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Manitoba Opera Association. Matt has worked with many outstanding percussionists, most notably Evelyn Glennie (Scotland), Arnie Lang (New York), Paul Yancich (Cleveland), and Jon Crabiel (Indiana). In addition to teaching band at Vincent Massey Collegiate in Winnipeg, he has been invited to present guest lectures and work with students at the University of Manitoba, Lakehead University, Canadian Mennonite University, Providence College, and many other schools throughout Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario.
Jewel Casselman – ORFF
Jewel Casselman is currently teaching in the St. James School Division in an Orff based classroom. Each July, since 2000, Jewel has been teaching the Orff Certification levels courses through the University of Manitoba. For many years she taught the Carl Orff Music for Children's program through the Preparatory Studies department of the U. of M. She loves the Orff approach to teaching as it allows the children to have a musical experience that involves structure and creativity to co-exist at the same time. She is the current Vice-President of the Manitoba Orff Chapter which is a group of educators dedicated to the Orff approach in their music teaching.
Naomi Forman – VOCAL 16 & 18 years and under
Naomi Forman is noted for her "mesmerising" stage presence. A cross-over artist who has embraced everything from Bach to Broadway and New Music, selected credits for this versatile performer include Manitoba Opera, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, The Ottawa Chamber Music Society, The Calgary Bach Festival Choir, The Saskatoon Proms, The Brandon Chamber Players, Dry Cold Productions and the Winnipeg Gilbert and Sullivan Society. She is the creator/producer of StarBach's: The Coffee Cantata. Professor Forman is a sessional voice instructor at Brandon University, and adjudicates at festivals across Western Canada. She is a graduate of the University of Manitoba and holds a Masters' Degree in Music from the School of Fine Arts at Boston University, with additional training at Opera NUOVA and the Banff Centre. She lives in Brandon Manitoba with two daughters, two cats and her husband Kent. www.naomiforman.com.
Darryl Friesen – PIANO Grades 5-8
Darryl Friesen completed his DMA at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2009, studying with Fulbright scholar Dr. William Heiles and Prof. Dennis Helmrich, as a Fellow of both the University of Illinois (Creative and Performing Arts) and Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Society. He began his studies with Darrel Loewen at the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts, and after studying with distinguished pedagogue Lee Kum-Sing at the Vancouver Academy of Music, he received BMus and MMus degrees in piano performance from the University of Manitoba as a student of well-known Canadian pianist, Dr. David Moroz. He has given acclaimed performances as a soloist and collaborative artist across Canada, the United States, Europe, and China, and has been featured many times in concert on CBC Radio. Darryl's doctoral studies were made possible by substantial grants by the Canada Council of the Arts in both 2005 and 2006, which included the coveted Sylva Gelber Foundation Award, given annually to the most talented Canadian classical artist under the age of 30, and has twice been nominated for Canada Council's prestigious Virginia Parker prize. He and his wife live with their four children in Winnipeg, where he holds the position of Assistant Professor of Piano and General Music Studies at Providence University College, as well as Sessional Instructor at the University of Manitoba's Marcel A. Desautels Faculty of Music.
Rob Herriot – MUSICAL THEATRE and GILBERT & SULLIVAN
Winnipeg native Rob Herriot started his career as a singer before moving into the world of stage directing. He has directed opera across North America including productions with, Calgary Opera, Edmonton Opera, Utah Opera, Opera Connecticut, Arizona Opera, Opera Lyra Ottawa as well as our very own Manitoba Opera. Recent productions with Manitoba Opera include last season's Rigoletto and this past fall's Western Don Pasquale. He has also worked as an instructor with students at Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo and Opera Nuova in Edmonton. Still a performer Rob was last seen here in the Dry Cold Production of Sweeney Todd as well as in Rainbow Stage's Annie. He will return to the stage this spring in Dry Cold's production of A Man of No Importance.
Irene Ilic – VOCAL 8, 10, 12 & 14 years and under
Soprano Irene Ilic earned her Master's Degree in Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music and has performed a variety of operatic and musical theatre roles in the U.S. and Canada. She has been a guest soloist with many Canadian choirs and orchestras. She currently has a thriving private teaching practice in Newmarket, Ontario. Ms. Ilic is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (N.A.T.S), the Ontario Registered Music Teachers Association (O.R.M.T.A.) and the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicator's Association (C.M.F.A.A.). She has adjudicated many festivals and is the founder of and has been the director of the Newmarket Voice Festival since 1996. Ms. Ilic is very proud that her students have starred in the Toronto productions of Billy Elliot, Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, the Lion King, Mamma Mia, The Lord of The Rings, and several operas with Opera Atelier.
Heather Johnson – CHORAL and RECORDER
A native of Alberta, Heather Johnson is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Cantilon Choirs in Edmonton, Alberta. The Cantilon Choral program involves over two hundred singers of all ages in ten different choirs. This community choral program seeks to enrich the cultural life of Edmonton and Alberta through a dynamic and widely varied choral season. The choirs participate in local community events and festivals perform, regularly with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Richard Eaton Singers and other professional arts organizations, actively commission new works for treble voices by Canadian composers, and maintain a rigorous national and international touring schedule. Since their inception, Ms. Johnson's choirs have been honoured with many awards in provincial, national and international competitions. Both her women's choir, Belle Canto and her children's choir, the Cantilon Chamber Choir have enjoyed great success on the international stage. Heather Johnson holds a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from the University of Lethbridge, a Bachelor of Education degree and a Master of Music degree in choral conducting from the University of Alberta, and a diploma from the Kodály Pedagogical Intézet in Kecskemét, Hungary. In great demand as a choral clinician, adjudicator, lecturer and guest conductor, Heather also maintains an active voice studio. Heather lives in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband, Steven Turgeon and her daughter, Sophie.
Dr. Michael Kim – PIANO Grade 9 - Honours
Dean and Professor at Brandon University's School of Music, Dr. Michael Kim maintains a multi-faceted career as an academic administrator, professor, and concert artist. Michael was formerly Chair of the Keyboard Department and Faculty Associate to the President at Lawrence University (Appleton, WI). He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Juilliard School. He has performed widely as concerto soloist (Boston Pops, Toronto Symphony), recitalist (Piano Six, Music Toronto), and collaborative artist (with James Ehnes, Edgar Meyer). Dr. Kim also continues to tour with the critically acclaimed music as theatre production The Schumann Letters, and is performing as soloist with the Winnipeg, Regina, and Saskatoon symphonies this season. A recipient of countless awards, he was silver medalist in the 1992 Scottish International Competition in Glasgow, and a prize winner in the Leeds and Ivo Pogorelich International Piano Competitions. Grand prizewinner of the Canadian Music and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation National Radio Competitions, Michael was awarded numerous Arts Study, Project, and Touring Office grants from the Canada Council and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. In 1994, he was recipient of Canada Council's prestigious Career Development award. Dr. Kim can be heard on recordings for the Arktos, CRI, and Summit labels. He has recorded three compact discs for Orpheum Masters - OPUS magazine praised his "Live in Recital" CD for its "tour de force performances, full of virtuosity and musicality."
Jeffrey McFadden – CLASSICAL GUITAR
Over the last twenty-five years, award winning guitarist Jeffrey McFadden has performed widely and recorded numerous acclaimed CD's as a soloist and as a part of Duo Spiritoso. He has explored all styles of art music but has applied special focus to 19th and 20th century works. The Daily Telegraph of London (UK) exclaimed "McFadden's ability to make the guitar sing is second to none". The Diario de Sevilla remarked on "the precision of his execution and the amazing facility in resolving the most ornamented and complex passages." His ground-breaking book Fretboard Harmony: Common Practice Harmony on the Guitar (d'OZ, 2010) has become the standard text in the subject. An Eaton Graduate Fellow, Dr. McFadden is the was the first Doctor of Musical Arts degree graduate from the University of Toronto, where he is now senior lecturer in the Faculty of Music. He is also the founder and artistic director of the Sauble Beach Guitar Festival. www.jeffreymcfadden.com
Amber Morphy – VOCAL Grades C, B A and Adult
Amber Morphy, soprano and pianist, is a versatile performer, teacher and adjudicator. She has travelled throughout Canada and enjoys working with youth in a workshop, festival or exam situation. Amber began her musical training in Ontario completing a Bachelor of Music in voice and piano at Wilfrid Laurier University. She then graduated with a Masters in Music from the University of Western Ontario, specializing in vocal performance. She has been a member of the College of Examiners for the Royal Conservatory of Music for 20 years. She examines all levels of piano and voice. She is also an active adjudicator for music festivals and competitions throughout Canada. Amber has performed extensively in Ontario with Elora Festival, Gallery Concert Series, Kokoro, K-W Opera, Hamilton Opera, Summer Lyric Opera Theatre, Cambridge Symphony Orchestra and many more. Amber is an active recitalist throughout the Waterloo region. She is also an accompanist and coach for singers at an integrated arts high school in Kitchener. In 2003, Amber had the honour of being the first Artist-in-Residence for the city of Cambridge. In her spare time, Amber is a competitive triathlete and yoga instructor.
Katharine Rapoport – STRINGS
Katharine Rapoport teaches violin and viola performance, DMA seminars in string pedagogy and string literature at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, where she is an Adjunct Professor. She also teaches String Methodologies at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music. As an active advocate of contemporary music, Katharine has appeared as soloist and chamber musician in performances, broadcasts and recordings of premieres of new works throughout North America and in Europe. She is a Senior Examiner for Royal Conservatory of Music Examinations. After earning her M.A. from Cambridge University and her postgraduate Certificate of Advanced Studies in violin from the Guildhall School of Music, London, she continued her postgraduate studies at the Accademia Chigiana, Siena, Nordwestdeutsche Musikakademie Detmold and the Hochschule fur Musik, Vienna. With over 80 publications of Syllabi, playing editions, pedagogical texts and articles to her credit, she wrote Violin for Dummies for the popular series published by Wiley's, now also translated into German and Dutch, and recently published in its Second Edition, as well as in eBook format. She has recently compiled the 2013 Viola Syllabus and Series for the RCM examination system, the first thoroughly-graded series of its kind for viola.
Stuart Sladden – HANDBELL GROUPS
Stuart Sladden, born and raised in the Greater Toronto Area, moved to Winnipeg in 2010 to begin a Master of Music degree from the University of Manitoba, specializing in Choral Conducting, which he completed in the spring of 2012. Over the last 17 years he has enjoyed working with a variety of classical, jazz, and church choirs as a singer, conductor, and clinician. His interest in vocal performance was first nurtured in the respected musical arts program at Mayfield Secondary School in Brampton, Ontario. He then furthered his training in vocal performance at Humber College and ultimately earned a Bachelor of Music degree, specializing in vocal jazz performance, from the University of Toronto (2002). While in Toronto, Stuart was a sought after private music teacher and freelance musician and just prior to moving to Winnipeg was the Artistic Director of Oasis Vocal Jazz, the longest running community jazz choir in Toronto, the Asst. Conductor of Pax Christi Choral, Toronto's Mennonite Oratorio Chorus, and the Director of Music at Eden United Church, a large church in the Mississauga area. It was at Eden United where Stuart was first introduced to the art of Handbell ringing. Since then, he has either been a ringer in or a conductor of, a number of different Handbell ensembles, including the Bronze Foundation and has recently organized a semi-professional Handbell ensemble in Winnipeg. Stuart attended the Ringing Link in 2008, the Ontario Guild's conference in 2010, gave two presentations at the Ringing Link in 2011, and is thrilled to be one of the Guest Conductors at this year's Ringing Link in Winnipeg.
Laurel Swinden – WOODWINDS and BRASS
Canadian flutist and Avanti Flutes Artist Laurel Swinden is Principal and Solo Flute of the Stratford Symphony Orchestra and has performed with Orchestra London, and Memphis, Tupelo, Mississippi, Kingston, Scarborough, and Oakville Symphonies. Ms. Swinden performs on chamber music series throughout Ontario with pianist Stephanie Mara, guitar duo partner Kevin Ramessar and others. Laurel is a Doctoral Candidate in Flute Performance, and a Fellowship recipient at the University of Toronto, as a student of Nora Schulman and Alison Melville (traverso). Ms. Swinden has undertaken additional baroque flute study at the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, and, over several summers, both Baroque and traditional music with guest artists at the Boxwood Festival in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Past influential teachers include Jeffrey Zook, Jim Walker, Chris Norman, Lisa Beznosiuk, Philippe-Alain Dupré, Fiona Wilkinson and Kathleen Rudolph. Laurel joined the faculty of the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario in 2010 and has been Instructor of Flute at the University of Guelph since the fall of 2008. In addition, Ms. Swinden has coached university chamber ensembles at the University of Toronto and held a faculty position at the University of Mississippi. Ms. Swinden serves as a Winds Examiner for Conservatory Canada and adjudicates Music Festivals across Canada. She has performed and presented workshops across North America, with performances broadcast on NPR. She has premiered contemporary works for flute, and flute with electronics, on concert series throughout the US. Laurel released her debut CD Celebrating Women: Music for Flute and Piano by Women Composers with pianist Stephanie Mara.
Joan Woodrow – PIANO Beginner - Grade 4
A native of St. John's, Newfoundland, Joan Woodrow (Piano Beginner -- Grade 4) received her early musical training from the Sisters of Mercy. She obtained her Bachelor of Music degree from Mount Allison University and went on to further her studies at Ithaca College, New York, University of Wisconsin, as well as Queen's University, Kingston. Mrs. Woodrow has won numerous awards and scholarships, and was a frequent winner in both piano and cello at the Kiwanis Music Festivals. She also holds two Music Exhibitioner Awards from Trinity College of Music, London, England for the highest marks in Canada in Pianoforte playing. Mrs. Woodrow has composed a collection of pedagogical pieces for children entitled "A Stroll through Old St. John's". These compositions are performed frequently at local festivals and have received national coverage on CBC Radio. An active member of the Newfoundland Registered Music Teachers' Association, Joan is Provincial Past President and is a delegate to the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers Associations. In 2003 she was a member of the host committee for the CFMTA National Convention. Mrs. Woodrow is also the chairperson of the advisory board for the St. John's Kiwanis Music Festival, and is the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Advisor for the National Music Festival. She is an active adjudicator, having adjudicated extensively in Canada from coast to coast. Joan is also an examiner for Conservatory Canada. Joan should also be recognized for being a member of the founding board of the Suzuki Talent Education Program and as the originator of the Atlantic Canada Suzuki Institute. The Suzuki institute is an international camp for student and teacher training which Ms. Woodrow, not only established in Newfoundland but also directed and organized for 10 successful years. In 2011, Joan was inducted into the Kiwanis Music Festival Association Hall of Honour for significant contribution to the Kiwanis Music Festival and the music community. In 2012 she was elected to the national executive board of the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals. Joan Woodrow currently lives in St. John's where she operates a successful music studio, and is sought after as an accompanist.