Kristina Alexander - Classical Voice
Originally from Ottawa, Ontario, mezzo-soprano Kristina Alexander holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance (University of Lethbridge, 2010), a Masters in Voice Performance (University of Ottawa, 2012), an Advanced Certificate in Performance (University of Toronto, 2013) and is currently completing her Doctor of Musical Arts the University of Toronto in Performance and Pedagogy studying with renowned countertenor Daniel Taylor. She was also on the board for the Student Chapter of NATS at the University of Toronto, was a guest speaker at their annual Symposium (2015), and has adjudicated at the NATS student competition at York University (2015).As a sought after choral singer, Kristina has sung with the National Youth Choir of Canada (2008, 2010), Carnegie Hall Festival Chorus (2012), Opera Chorus Canada (2015, 2016), and the JUNO nominated Canadian Chamber Choir (2014, 2016). A versatile performer, Tina has had the opportunity to perform operatic roles including Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte with the Opera Musica Orchestra (2011), The Neighbour in Stravinsky’s Mavra with Metro Youth Opera in Toronto (2013), and the Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneaus with Theatre of Early Music and Taflemusik Summer Baroque Institute (2014), as well as Musical Theatre concerts with orchestra performing the roles of Fantine (Les Miserables 2014) and Carlotta (Phantom of the Opera 2015). Tina has been a chorus member with both Opera Lyra Ottawa and the Canadian Opera Company (Toronto, 2014) and is a member of Canadian Actors Equity Association. Currently the Director of the GPRC Concert Choir and Instructor of Voice at Grande Prairie Regional College, Kristina hopes to continue growing as a performer, conductor, and educator.
Alycia Au - Strings
Alycia Au is a highly sought after teacher, adjudicator, and performer throughout Alberta and British Columbia. She has resided in Edmonton since completing her Master’s Degree, and has enjoyed teaching privately, adjudicating, substituting with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and performing as a soloist and chamber musician in remote northern communities such as Yellowknife. Alycia’s passion is to encourage kids in their musical journey – the emphasis being on how fun and rewarding it is to play and share music from our hearts. She has been working to open the door of music as an essential part of therapy by playing and taking her students to play in nursing homes, care facilities, and hospitals. Apart from music, Alycia’s other passion is sports and fitness. She is currently a 2nd degree Black Belt in ITF Taekwon-do, loves CrossFit, soccer, hiking, and any other activities outdoors.
Heather Bedford-Clooney - Musical Theatre and Popular Voice
Heather Bedford-Clooney has a B. Mus. Ed, an ARCT (voice) and a ATCL and LTCL in Speech and Drama. She has done graduate work at the University of Alberta, Dartmouth College (New Hampshire) and Westminster Choir College (New Jersey).Mrs. Bedford-Clooney has maintained a voice studio in Edmonton for 40 years. Her students regularly compete in Festivals at the local and provincial levels and, she has had students in the National Music Festival. Her students have gone on to be well known performers and teachers of voice.
Having done a great deal of musical theatre herself, she has been the musical director of productions of West Side Story, The Music Man, Cabaret, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Anne of Green Gables, The Fantastiks, Oliver, and The Wizard of Oz. As well, she produces a Broadway Night annually for the Edmonton Columbian Choirs.
She is the Artistic Director of the Edmonton Columbian Choirs and conductor of the Chanteuses and Edmonton Inner City Choir. The Chanteuses have performed on Parliament Hill, with the Edmonton Symphony and have twice been finalists in the CBC Amateur Choir Competition.
She is the Past President of the Alberta Choral Federation (ACF), Choral Canada (ACCC), Music Alberta and Opera Nuova. Mrs. Bedford Clooney is Executive Director of the Edmonton Kiwanis Music Festival and former Executive Director of the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals. She is currently the President of the Alberta Music Festival Association.
Mrs. Bedford-Clooney is a past winner of the Richard Eaton Award for Distinguished Service to Choral Music in Alberta (2008), an Alberta Centennial Medal (2005) ACF Con Spiritu Award (2003). In 2015, she was inducted into the City of Edmonton Cultural Hall of Fame.
Dr. Sara Brooks - Choral
A native of Chatham, Ontario, Sara Brooks is active throughout Canada as conductor, choral clinician, collaborative pianist, and teacher. With degrees in piano performance from Acadia University (BMus) and the University of Ottawa (MMus), she has recently completed her DMus in choral conducting from the University of Alberta. During her time in Edmonton Sara has conducted numerous notable ensembles, including the University of Alberta Madrigal Singers, the Richard Eaton Singers, and Pro Coro Canada, and currently works as guest conductor of the Joyful Noise Association, as well as co-conductor of the Edmonton Metropolitan Chamber Choir. She is also active vocally, singing as a core member of Pro Coro Canada. Sara is frequently called upon to serve as guest conductor, vocal clinician, and soloist, with a variety of ensembles in the Edmonton area.Sara’s Canadian travels have allowed her to work with a number of ensembles including the Vancouver Chamber Choir and Voces boreales (Montreal, QC). While living in Ottawa (2008-2012), Sara founded and directed the Capital Chamber Choir, a 24-voice chamber ensemble, whose mandate is to promote Canadian Choral repertoire. This ensemble now continues with a new director in its fifth season. Sara also has experience in opera chorus direction, having worked with both Edmonton Opera and Opera Lyra Ottawa.Sara currently works as sessional instructor at the University of Alberta where she teaches undergraduate choral conducting and pedagogy. Her present area of research is the relationship between gender and gesture as it relates to choral conducting.
Don Ross - Band, Brass, and Woodwinds
Clarinetist Don Ross plays some 150 shows a year, split between classical, jazz, world, and experimental music. He plays regularly with such groups as Saint Crispin’s Chamber Ensemble, Billie Zizi and the Gypsy Jive, the Edmonton Symphony, Opera Nuova, Mile Zero Dance, and many others. He teaches clarinet at the U of A, Alberta College, and MusiCamp Alberta. He is also busy as a composer and conductor and has adjudicated over 80 music festivals across western Canada, including nationals in 2014. He studied at the Universities of Alberta and Toronto and at Northwestern in Chicago.
Trevor Sanders - Guitar
Trevor Sanders has his Masters of Music in Guitar Performance from the University of Alberta (where he also has his Bachelor of Music). He studied under Carl Lotsberg at both the U of A, and at Augustana University/College. An active performer, he has been heard on CBC Radio 1 on multiple occasions, has been a member of the Edmonton Guitar Trio, and has performed in a number of the concert series around Edmonton (including the McDougall-at-Noon, Winspear at Noon, St. Albert Chamber Music Concert Series, and the Holy Trinity Concert Series). He has performed as a soloist and accompanist with the Alberta Baroque Orchestra and the University of Alberta Madrigal Singers. Trevor teaches guitar at the Augustana campus of the University of Alberta and for MacEwan University’s Alberta College Conservatory.
Sylvia Shadick-Taylor - Junior Piano
Classical pianist Sylvia Shadick-Taylor approaches music from many angles. As both a soloist and a chamber musician, her emotionally-charged performances have been enjoyed throughout Canada and the USA, as well as in Europe and Asia. As a teacher, she has a large studio of students, many of whom receive special recognition in music festivals and examinations. Her love of teaching also carries into frequent work as a clinician and adjudicator throughout Canada.Sylvia’s main musical passion is the exploration and promotion of works by Canadian composers. This passion was recognized by the Canadian Music Centre when they honoured her with the title, Ambassador of Canadian Music, in 2009. Sylvia’s fifth CD, Expressions, was nominated for the Edmonton Music Prize in 2015 and is a sampling of works by composers associated with New Music Edmonton. Her subsequent CD, Piano NorthWest featuring music of the Winnipeg composer William Pura, is being released on the prestigious CentreDiscs Label in 2015. Through recordings and concerts, Sylvia hopes to bring wider attention to the rich creative skills of Canadian composers.Over the past three decades, Sylvia has truly been immersed in the Edmonton classical music scene. She has been involved with the University of Alberta, Edmonton Opera Association, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Pro Coro Canada, New Edmonton Wind Sinfonia, Cosmopolitan Music Society and the Contemporary Showcase Young Composers Program and Music Festival. Summing up Sylvia’s contribution to Edmonton, John Charles of the Edmonton Sun once said, “pianists …such as Sylvia Shadick-Taylor…who shine and inspire, especially in contemporary music…help make Edmonton a city of cultural champions.”
Dr. Mathew Walton - Senior Piano and Composition
A recent doctoral graduate of the University of Alberta, Ontario native Mathew Walton completed his undergraduate studies at Wilfrid Laurier University (2008), and graduate degrees in performance (2010) and musicology at the University of Ottawa (2012). In 2013, he studied the performance of German lieder at the Franz-Schubert-Institut in Baden bei Wien, Austria. His areas of interest include the works of Franz Liszt, Frederic Rzewski, and Canadian composer John Burge. The winner of the University of Alberta’s 2013 concerto competition, he performed John Burge’s Prelude Variations with the University Symphony Orchestra in February, 2014. As part of his doctoral studies, Mathew recorded Burge’s Twenty-Four Preludes for Piano Solo, a work dedicated to him by the composer upon its publication in 2015.In addition to his solo work, Mathew is active as a collaborative pianist, and enjoys working with vocalists, instrumentalists, and choirs. During the 2014-2015 season, he served as the invited guest pianist for both the Alberta Youth Choir and Alberta Children’s Choir North, and in 2016 he took part in MusiCamp Alberta as the collaborative staff pianist for nightly faculty recitals.In addition to his work as performer, Mathew maintains an active interest in musicology, and enjoys teaching numerous subjects at a post-secondary level. During the 2015-2016 academic year, he served as a full-time sabbatical replacement instructor at Grande Prairie Regional College, where he taught courses in music theory, aural skills, women in music, and music appreciation, in addition to teaching all piano students. Mathew is currently active as a sessional instructor at the University of Alberta, where is teaching Piano Literature I and II during the 2016-2017 year.