Sight-singing and warmups with Erica Phare-Bergh
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Erica Phare-Berg is the Artistic Director of Voices in Motion, an intergenerational choir for those with memory loss, their caregivers, students and friends. There are currently five of these choirs in the Greater Victoria Area, that have amalgamated into an online choir during COVID. She also directs the Vancouver Island Chamber Choir and the Newcombe Singers.
Erica has her M. Mus. in Choral Conducting from McGill University. A native of Montreal, she is the past director of the Vanier College Choirs, FACE Young Singers the McGill Conservatory Choirs until she moved to Calgary in 2010. In Alberta, she directed the William Aberhart High School Choirs, Westwinds Green Choir, Kairos Young Singers, the Savridi Singers and taught Music and French with the Calgary Board of Education. She is in demand as an adjudicator and presenter and was the guest conductor for the 10th Anniversary of the CBC-McGill Youth Gala. She is a published arranger with Cypress Choral Music and directs music at Church of Our Lord in downtown.
Vocal Percussion and Vocal Improv (Vocal Jazz) with Dylan Bell and Suba Sankaran
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Using only their voices and innovative live looping techniques, international vocal sensation FreePlay sings you around the world without leaving your seat. New York jazz, UK pop, European classical, Indian ragas, Brazilian samba… FreePlay does it all, a cappella. Partners in music and in life, Dylan Bell and Suba Sankaran delight in sharing their unique and virtuosic a cappella style around the world, with performances in over 20 countries across 6 continents in support of their new album Go Back Forward. ★★★★½ (Advertiser, Adelaide). ‘Beautiful and Impressive!’ (Sara Davey, The Swingles) “Beyond Brilliant!” (Mark Kibble, Take 6).
Diction and Tuning with Dr. Elroy Friesen
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Described as “innovative, expressive, and dynamic,” Elroy Friesen is Director of Choral Studies at the University of Manitoba where he conducts numerous choirs, and teaches graduate conducting. His award-winning ensembles tour nationally and internationally, and are frequently recorded and broadcasted by the CBC.
Dr. Friesen studied at the University of Manitoba (B. Mus., B. Ed., M. Mus.) and at the University of Illinois (DMA). He is Artistic Director and co-founder of a new professional choir, Schooner Cove Singers, based in Parksville B.C., and he is co-founder of fikamusik, a choral conducting intensive at the U of M.
Safe(r) Spaces for Singers - Considering Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Choral Music with Katy Luyk
Tuesday, February 2, 7:00 pm
As conductors in 2021, we all grapple with issues of equity: in our ensemble names, our repertoire, our uniforms, our tour plans, and even our COVID safety accommodations... This session discusses the journey we're on as choral leaders, and how we can do our best to model learning and growth while we work on safe(r) spaces for our singers.
Bio Kokopelli Choir Association’s executive director Kathleen Luyk, B.Mus. (University of British Columbia, 2003), M.Mus. Choral Conducting (University of Alberta, 2005), is in her eighteenth season with Òran and her eighth season with Vacilando, both choirs in Edmonton's Kokopelli Choir Association. Kathleen (Katy) is also a proud alumna of Kokopelli. As a conductor, Katy strives to pair a well-researched pedagogy of excellence with the notion that choral singing is an incredible force in building community.
As a conductor and composer on the Alberta choral scene, Katy has been engaged as a clinician, guest conductor, vocal coach, and adjudicator for choirs and singers around Canada. Most recently, Katy appeared as an adjudicator at the Cantando festivals in Sun Peaks and Whistler. Katy is a past president of Choir Alberta, and current president of the Braille Tones Music Society. She has a special interest in issues of equity and social justice in choral music, and has presented on this topic at both the provincial and national levels.
Looking at leadership through multiple lenses with Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt
Saturday, February 6, 10:00 am
Session description: Choral leaders are called upon to develop and use new skills more than ever today, not only in response to the Covid-19 pandemic but also in terms of other societal changes. Leadership has some fundamental qualities that serve many situations but sometimes we have to dig deeper within ourselves or from external resources. We'll look at basic principles of leadership for conductors, at how to develop our own style, and how to respond to changing needs around us. Bring your questions and comments.
Bio Raised in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt started her teaching career as an elementary music specialist in Yorkton, SK. Decades later, she returned to her alma mater, the University of Toronto, from where she recently retired as Director of Choral Activities, coming full circle. She currently serves as the Interim Executive Director of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) where she interacts with choral leaders who teach choral singers from preschool through adults, in schools, worship settings and in the community. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Stepping Stones to a Successful School Choral and Vocal Jazz Program: a panel discussioni with Frank Lee, Heidi Wood & Ryan Billington
Saturday, February 6, 1:00 pm
Frank Lee is the choral director at Carson Graham Secondary School for the past five years. He spent the previous seventeen years as the choral and instrumental director at Seycove Secondary School in North Vancouver. His past ensemble was honoured with the distinction of Youth Choir of the World at the International Choral Festival, Kathaumixw, in 2007. In 2009 his Chorale was named top choir at the Canadian National Choral Festival and had their solo debut concert in 2011 at Carnegie Hall. Last year, his vocal jazz ensemble won the Surrey International Jazz Festival and has been featured in Western Canada and Washington State.
Frank received his undergraduate music degree from the University of Victoria studying trombone with Ian McDougall. He has recently finished his graduate studies in choral conducting, under Dr. Graeme Langager, at the University of British Columbia. He is sought after as a clinician across Canada and Washington State. Frank has served as the chair for the BCMEA Honour Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Kiwanis Vocal Jazz Festival and is currently serving on the National Musicfest Committee, Canadian Rocky Mountain Music Festival Advisory Committee and Canada West Music Festival Committee.
Heidi Wood, an Alberta music educatorhas been leading both traditional choirs and vocal jazz ensembles for over 15 years. Although her formal background and training from the University of Lethbridge (BMus/BEd) and UBC (MMus Opera) is in classical voice and opera, she is equally comfortable singing and directing in contemporary styles including vocal jazz.
Ms. Wood has been an active participant in the Canadian Choral Community for over 30 years as a chorister, soloist, choral conductor, vocal coach, festival organizer, educator, curriculum advisor, adjudicator, and clinician. In her role as a high school choral teacher, Ms. Wood has grown choral programs to include traditional and jazz focused groups. Choirs under Ms. Wood’s direction are consistent platinum award recipients at festivals and her vocal jazz ensembles have been featured performers at the Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival in Banff on several occasions, Choir Alberta’s Choralfest Jazz Spotlight Concert, and were most recently recognized as the Adjudicators Choice at the Cantando festival in Whistler in 2018. Her traditional choirs have also received recognition over the years including top honours at the Provincial Festival, and are often invited guests at special events including singing with Bobby McFerrin, at Juno events, at Calgary Hitmen Hockey games, and many more.
Outside of the classroom, Ms. Wood is a leader among choral directors in the province where she is sought after as a clinician, session presenter, and guest conductor. Ms. Wood is also a member of the Program Action Committee at Choir Alberta, organizes choral music initiatives for the Calgary Association for the Development of Music Education (CADME), and is regularly called upon as a consultant for music curriculum design. In addition to her professional affiliations, she has been recognized by her school community with nominations for an Alberta Excellence in Teaching Award (2016), and the Musicounts Canadian Music Teacher of the Year Award (2017 & 2018).
Ms. Wood is excited to share and collaborate with educators and students alike. A life-long-learner, Heidi is passionate about peeling back the next layer in teaching and learning about music from many perspectives.
Ryan Billington is a versatile vocalist, arranger, and conductor. As a student, Ryan studied with Sunny Wilkinson and Diana Spradling, and toured and recorded with Phil Mattson and Steve Zegree. Since 2004, he has taught private voice, choral/vocal jazz ensembles, and classes in the music department at St. Francis Xavier University (StFX), Antigonish, Nova Scotia. His main areas of interest are jazz/pop vocal performance, vocal pedagogy, choral ensemble direction, and arranging for small vocal ensembles. In 2011, Ryan’s StFX vocal jazz ensemble was featured nationally on CBC Radio 2 Choral Concert, performing his and his students’ arrangements. In 2017, he wrote music for plays by American playwright Sarah Ruhl – Eurydice (Theatre Antigonish), and Stage Kiss (Festival Antigonish). Ryan has been the artistic director and conductor for the Cape Breton Chorale since 2017. The Cape Breton Chorale will celebrate their 50th Anniversary in the 2023-2024 season. www2.mystfx.ca/music www.capebretonchorale.com
Culture and Community Design with Geung Kroeker-Lee
Tuesday, February 9, 7:00 pm
Session description: A vibrant community = A vibrant choir! Join Geung to explore and discuss how intentional design can shape the culture and community of a choir, which will ultimately translate to a more vibrant, heartfelt, and authentic experience in rehearsal and on stage.
Bio Born in Seoul, South Korea, and based in Winnipeg, Canada, Geung is the Artistic Director of Prairie Voices as part of the Prairie Voices Inc. family of choirs. Geung specializes in working with youth and young adult singers and is best known for his ensembles’ dynamic and innovative delivery of choral music. His ensemble Prairie Voices placed first in the youth choir competition category at the International Choral Kathaumixw Festival in 2018. Geung holds a Master of Music in Choral Conducting and a Bachelor of Music in Voice from the University of Manitoba, and a Bachelor of Education from the University of British Columbia. As a music educator, Geung teaches middle/senior school music at St. John's-Ravenscourt School in Winnipeg. An in-demand guest conductor and workshop facilitator, Geung was most recently the guest conductor for the Manitoba Provincial Junior Honour Choir.
Decolonizing Your Music Room with Cynthia Peyson Wahl
Thursday, February 11, 7:00 pm
Session description: What does your school look like? Does your music classroom or ensemble reflect this? How about your repertoire choices?
This session will present tools and resources for making your music room more reflective of the humans you teach every day and their communities! Come prepared with questions!
Bio Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Cynthia Peyson Wahl holds a Bachelor of Music Education (University of Regina), a diploma in Contemporary Music (Grant MacEwan University), and a Master of Music Education (University of Toronto). For fourteen years she taught choir, vocal jazz, and musical theatre at Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and directed the jazz choir at Canadian Mennonite University. She currently teaches choir, orchestra, vocal jazz and musical theatre at Campbell Collegiate and Secondary Choral Methods at the University of Regina.
At DMCI her choirs were featured performers at Choralfest Manitoba, the ChoralCanada Podium conference, and the Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival in Banff. In 2011 and 2012, her choirs won the Earl Grey Trophy for Outstanding performance by a choir at the Winnipeg Music Festival, and in 2011, her Chamber Choir won the Lieutenant Governor’s Trophy for most outstanding performance of the Winnipeg Music Festival.
Cynthia is the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards for choral excellence, and is published in two books – The Palgrave Handbook on Race and the Arts in Education, and Teaching Music Through Performance in Choir, vol. 5. Cynthia enjoys a busy schedule as a clinician/workshop presenter, regularly travelling across Canada and the US to work with choirs of all genres. She is currently completing her PhD in music education at the University of Toronto.