Dr. Bianca Baciu - Senior Piano
Dr. Bianca Baciu has led an active career as soloist, chamber musician and pedagogue. She has performed throughout Europe and North America and has collaborated with distinguished artists such as Serban Lupu, Vagram Saradjian and Tanya Prochazka. After establishing her early career in Europe, at age 24, Dr. Baciu moved to Canada, where she has received numerous awards including the Marusia Yaworska Scholarship for the most talented musician in Canada, and the prestigious Izaak Walton Killam PhD Scholarship for research at the University of Alberta. Her performances have been generously supported by organizations such as the Auslandgesselschaft Nordrhein-Westfalen in Germany, the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Winspear Fund in Edmonton and the Mannes School of Music in New York.
Bianca Baciu received her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance (2000) and a Diploma in Advanced Pedagogy (1999) from Transylvania University in Romania. She earned her Master's in Piano Performance from the University of Western Ontario (2002), and her Doctorate in Piano Performance from the University of Alberta (2006) in Canada, and has worked under the guidance of pianists such as Radu Lupu, Angela Cheng, Nelita True, Jane Coop, Evgeni Moguilevsky, Jacques Despres and Victor Rosenbaum.
Dr. Baciu's live performances have been broadcast on CBC Radio 2 and CKUA (Canada), WDR (Koln, Germany), and Radio Romania Tineret (Romania). In 1998, she recorded her first CD featuring works by Beethoven, Brahms and Ravel, released under the patronage of the Auslandgesselschaft Nordrhein-Westfalen and The Romanian Embassy in Bonn, Germany. After moving to Canada in 2000, she completed a series of recording projects featuring solo and chamber music works by Canadian composers, and in 2006, she participated in a music residency program at the Banff Centre for the Arts, where she recorded a world premiere CD featuring piano solo works by Canadian composer Jack Behrens. Her CD presenting Behrens's Homages for piano solo was released by Centaur Records in 2008. Dr. Baciu's book "Death of the Author - A Tribute," discussing postmodernism in Jack Behrens's piano music was also released in 2008 by VDM Publishing in Germany.
Dr. Baciu has served on the ARMTA Edmonton Executive as the Artistic Director of the Northern Alberta Concerto Competition and currently, as the Young Artist liaison. She has offered numerous traveling workshops for ARMTA and APTA. In addition to her administrative and performance engagements, Dr. Baciu is a dedicated teacher and a sought-after clinician and adjudicator. She has taught at "Transylvania" University in Romania, the University of Western Ontario in London and the University of Alberta in Edmonton. She currently teaches piano and piano literature at Alberta College, Grant MacEwan University, and also maintains a full private teaching studio in Edmonton. Her students have been CMC finalists and have received numerous awards and scholarships from the University of Western Ontario, Victoria School for the Arts in Edmonton, Edmonton Community Foundation, Conservatory Canada, ARMTA, APTA, Alberta College, CMC, the Kiwanis Festival and the Fall Festival in Edmonton.
Dr. Joy Berg - Junior Piano
Dr. Joy Berg, Professor of Music at Concordia University College of Alberta, Director of Choral Activities at Concordia, and chapel cantor for the daily chapel services at Concordia - has sung, and played piano, all her life. She continues to sing in the alto section of Pro Coro Canada, regularly plays for worship and accompanies classical vocalists. She has her doctorate in choral conducting, and conducts three choirs at Concordia – the auditioned student Concert Choir, the Community Chorus, and the women’s choir Bella Voce. As a longtime church musician, she has focused her research in hymnody, liturgy, Canadian hymn-writers, and worship planning. She chairs the committee for Concordia’s yearly “Worship and Music Symposium,” is actively involved in national and synodical church events – and is just beginning her journey into the coursework for a Doctorate of Worship Arts. Dr. Berg was the 2014 recipient of the “Companion of the Worship Arts” (CWA) for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. She often adjudicates and workshops in the area of choirs, voice, handbells, piano, and church music.
Elaine Dunbar - Musical Theatre and Popular Voice
Elaine Dunbar is a teacher and performer of music and theatre with over 30 years of experience. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from the University of Alberta, an ARCT in singing performance from the Royal Conservatory (RCM), a BFA in theatre acting from Ryerson University in Toronto, and has studied musical theatre at the Banff Centre. She is a member of the RCM College of Examiners and of the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association.Elaine lives in Edmonton where she teachers privately, is music director at Grace United Church, conducts Edmonton’s Young Columbian Choir and the teen choir, Vocal Motion. Elaine is vocal coach/pianist/show leader for two high-school musical theatre programs in Sherwood Park and is co-founder of Dramatic Learning, a company that brings musical theatre into schools through artist-in-residence programs.
Elaine has performed on stages throughout Canada. Her varied theatre credits range from playing Queen Hermione in Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale” to country pianist Mr. Floyd Cramer in “Patsy Cline: Sweet Dreams Fantasy Tour”. She performed two seasons with Pro Coro Canada and was a member of the Good Spirit Trio who performed at Edmonton’s Winspear Centre in honour of the mayor’s birthday in 2010.
Elaine is privileged and grateful for the fine teachers she has had throughout her life including Edward Lincoln and Ernesto Lejano (piano); Sandra Gavinchuk, Jean Letourneau, David Astor, and Peggy Raymond (voice); and Walter Kaasa, Kelly Handerek, Robert Seale, and Peter Hinton (acting).
Frank Ho - Strings and Composition
Violinist Frank Ho enjoys a dual career as a chamber musician and pedagogue. He holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from the University of Alberta, as well as a Certificate in Performance and a Master of Music degree from Yale University.Born in Hong Kong, Mr. Ho arrived in Canada at the age of five. He studied with Evan Verchomin and James Keene at the Alberta College Conservatory in Edmonton; with Sidney Harth and Erick Friedman at the Yale School of Music in America; and with Yfrah Neaman at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England. His performing career as soloist and chamber musician has taken him across three continents. In Canada, many of his concerts have been featured on the CBC.
Mr. Ho was the director of the Strathcona Conservatory of Music in Edmonton, where he also maintained a private studio. He is currently a faculty member of the Alberta College Conservatory of Music, as well as a much sought-after private instructor. His students have been prizewinners in local, provincial, and national competitions in Canada, and several have been accepted to institutions such as McGill Schulich School of Music, the University of Victoria, and the University of Ottawa. Mr. Ho is an active adjudicator at music festivals across the country and has been a member of the College of Examiners for the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto since 2006.
Katy Luyk - Choir
Kathleen Luyk (née Skinner), B.Mus. (University of British Columbia, 2003), M.Mus. Choral Conducting (University of Alberta, 2005), is the Executive Director of Edmonton's Kokopelli Choir Association. She is also in her twelfth season with the young adult choir Òran and her second season with the adult choir Vacilando, both part of the Kokopelli Choirs family. 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.
Prior to finishing her post-secondary education, Katy spent two years as the assistant conductor of the U of A Madrigal Singers under the direction of Dr. Leonard Ratzlaff. Kathleen was the music director at Holy Spirit Lutheran Church until recently, where she led two adult choirs and a children’s choir. Since 2010, Kathleen has taken on a different role as the executive director for the Kokopelli Choir Association. 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. Recent appearances include the Vancouver Kiwanis Festival 2014, leading Òran at Podium 2014 (the biannual gathering of Choral Canada), and the Cantando Festival in Edmonton in May 2015. Katy sits on the Alberta Choral Federation board, as well as an advisory panel for Choral Canada.
Laurelie Nattress - Band, Brass, Woodwinds
Laurelie Nattress is a southern Alberta native, born in Lethbridge and raised in Milk River. She holds bachelor’s degrees in Science, Music, and Education from the University of Alberta, a graduate diploma in Wind Band Literature and Conducting from the University of Calgary, and a master’s degree in Band Conducting from the University of Oregon.
Laurelie’s teaching experience includes all levels of musicians, from kindergarten through university as well as adult students. In 2010, she retired as the longest serving conductor and music director of the St. Albert Community Band, an organization that received recognition and awards at local, provincial, and national levels.
Laurelie has been active as an adjudicator, teacher, private instructor, and saxophonist. She is a member of the Edmonton Musicians’ Association, the Alberta Band Association, the Alberta Teachers’ Association and Phi Beta Mu, an international honorary organization of band directors.
Trevor Sanders - Guitar
Trevor Sanders began teaching guitar at MacEwan University’s Alberta College Conservatory of Music in 2001. He is a graduate of the University of Alberta (MMus) and Augustana University College (BA specialized in Music). He’s an active performer whose appearances as a chamber musician and as a soloist have been heard in various concert series, and on CBC Stereo. Trevor has been involved with a number of guitar ensembles, and is a founding member of the University of Alberta guitar quartet and the Edmonton Guitar Trio. He has also performed as a soloist with the Alberta Baroque Orchestra. Trevor currently teaches guitar for MacEwan University’s Alberta College Conservatory and for the University of Alberta at its Augustana Campus.
Harold Wiens - Classical Voice
Harold Wiens, Professor Emeritus, held the position of Professor of Music at the University of Alberta from 1975 to 2010. In 2006, he received a University of Alberta Faculty of Arts Undergraduate Teaching Award. Wiens completed his studies at the Nordwestdeutsche Musik-Akademie in Detmold, Germany, where he held a German Academic Exchange Fellowship for three years. Prior to that, he completed a BA at Wilfred Laurier University.
Wiens has appeared as a soloist and as a recitalist with orchestras and choral societies in cities in Germany, France, Ireland, Ukraine, Canada and the United States. He has appeared on Canadian National Radio and Television, and contributed to a Radio Canada International classical music recording. He has premiered many new compositions, including works written especially for him by composers Violet Archer, Gerhard Krapf, and Alfred Fischer. These works are featured on a recording released with the assistance of a grant from the Alberta Foundation for the Performing Arts.
During the past several years, Wiens has given master classes and conference presentations in parts of Europe, South America and Asia. He has published his research on the role of voice training/development in managing stress and also its healing effect upon Parkinson’s Disease. Currently, he is involved in a project designed to study the effects of voice training/healing upon individuals who suffer dementia.
Harold Wiens is active as an adjudicator, lecturer, and workshop clinician.