Martha Brickman - Piano
Martha Brickman was born in Montreal and began studying the piano and oboe before taking up the harpsichord with Feruccio Vignanelli in Rome and then with Kenneth Gilbert in Montreal at the Conservatoire de Musique et d’Art Dramatique. She was the winner of three European prestigious harpsichord competitions in Bruges (Belgium), Paris and Munich.
Resident of Vancouver since 1987, she has performed for Vancouver’s Masterpiece Music, Early Music Vancouver, UBC’s Noon-Hour Concerts, CBC’s Arts National, Westcoast Performance performance, Hornby’s Summer festival and Victoria’s Summer Festival. She has performed in Mexico City, and participated in a duo piano fundraiser in Manila, Philippines. She has released a recording entitled Baroque Gems of the 18th Century. She has performed locally as a member of the Trio Amalie and the Trio Adiantum. She has adjudicated in local piano competitions Burnaby Clef, Student Performers’ Guild and North Shore Festival. Currently Martha Brickman teaches at the Vancouver Academy of Music.
Jennifer Orr – Speech Arts
Jennifer Orr is a native Calgarian. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Calgary and Associate Diplomas in Speech Arts and Drama from the Mount Royal College Conservatory, Calgary and the Royal Conservatory, Toronto. She is a teacher, administrator, examiner and adjudicator and is active in the local, provincial and national speech community.
Jennifer has been a faculty member since 1986 and was appointed Program Coordinator in 1998. She specializes in teaching children and young adults and maintains a busy private studio. Her students are consistent recipients of awards and honours, excelling in festivals and examinations. Jennifer is active in teaching Speech Arts and Creative Drama group classes and speech arts theory.
Jennifer is a member of RCM Examinations College of Examiners for Speech Arts and Drama, examining both practical and theoretical subjects. She was a member of the team that produced the 2000 and 2011 editions of the RCM Examinations Speech and Drama syllabus and works with the Academic office of RCM Examinations as specialist consultant for Speech Arts and Drama.
Jennifer conducts workshops for teachers and students and is a popular adjudicator, bringing her talents to festival competitions throughout Canada.
Neil Yorke-Slader - Band
Neil Yorke-Slader taught music at the elementary and secondary levels for 17 years. Over 45 of his compositions for jazz ensemble are published through University of Northern Colorado Jazz Press and Burnihla Music Publishing; several are preserved by the National Library of Canada (Archives). He is the Chairman of Musicfest Canada’s Instrumental Jazz Division, and is active as a jazz adjudicator and clinician throughout North America.
He has written several commissions for elementary and high school jazz ensembles, and was one of the eight contributing composers to the inaugural Canadian “New Sounds of Learning Project”. He was a contributor to “Jazz Pedagogy, A Canadian Perspective”. In 2017, through a grant from the Department of Canadian Heritage's "Canada 150" fund, he was commissioned to write an arrangement of "O Canada" for jazz ensemble. He has directed the Nepean All-City Jazz Band for the past 30 years, performing at concerts and festivals across the country with a “who’s who” of jazz legends. In 2016, Neil was named to the Musicfest Canada Hall of Fame for his contributions to Canadian music education
Twyla Taylor - Dance
Miss Twyla’s dance career began at the young age of 5 taking all forms of dance from that young age to her late teens. She is trained in R.A.D, ISTD, Al Gilbert, and with a touch of Vaganova and Cecchetti.
She began teaching her own classes at 13 and continues her passion of teaching at her own studio now its successful 9th year of running. With accolades of choreography awards for herself, her students have also gone on to winning major competition titles, trophies, scholarships and more.
Miss Twyla has a passion for musicals and has choreographed such musicals as Annie Get Your Gun, Annie, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Beauty and The Beast, to name a few. She has worked alongside many Albertan companies for dance specials, musical debuts and shows.
Miss Twyla's experience with dance and choreography have taken her places to perform, train, choreograph and compete in New York, LA, Vancouver, Las Vegas, Spokane & Winnipeg.
Miss Twy's passion for dance and children’s dance education is now her top priority in her own studio and sharing that passion with her students. She is in her 28th year of teaching and choreographing jazz, tap, hip hop, ballet, musical theatre and contemporary and lyrical and continues to dedicate her work to those who share the same passion. Miss Twyla's heart lies in her studio now and training dancers in a professional, safe and qualified environment. She adores teaching all ages and levels of dance and is very excited to share her love of dance with you!
Miss Twyla's philosophy stands true “have fun, work hard and be the best you can be are the keys to success, inside and outside the studio.”
Alexandra Pohran Dawkins - Band
Alexandra Pohran Dawkins is a graduate of the University of Toronto where she was a student of Melvin Berman; she furthered her studies with Heinz Holliger. She has held the principal oboe positions with the orchestras of the National Ballet Company Orchestra and the Canadian Opera Company and has extensive orchestral experience with, among others, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Nova Scotia.
Ms. Pohran Dawkins is well recognized as an interpreter of contemporary music and has commissioned and premiered a number of Canadian works. She was the Director of New Music programming at Open Space Gallery in Victoria from 1989 to 1994 and has performed in ensemble and as soloist with Toronto’s New Music Concerts and Vancouver New Music Society. Ms. Pohran Dawkins is active as a recitalist, soloist with orchestra, chamber musician and educator, nationally and internationally. She has been a guest artist at the Kyiv International Festival where she performed in recital and as soloist with the Kyiv Chamber Orchestra. In 2004 she was invited by the National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia to be the featured artist for “Oboe Week in Yerevan”. She appeared as soloist with orchestra in 3 different concerti as well as participating in chamber music. She has given master classes at Conservatories in both Ukraine and Armenia as well as at the universities of British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and Calgary and at the Glenn Gould School. She has worked extensively with pianist Jane Hayes, with whom she has recorded 3 CDs.
Dr. Scott MacLennan – Band, Brass & Woodwind
Dr. Scott MacLennan is the Music Director of the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Wind Symphony. As an in-demand guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator, he frequently works with ensembles, schools, and festivals in Western Canada, as well as having guest conducted the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra (2008-09) and the Saskatchewan Honour Orchestra (Saskatchewan Music Educators’ Association’s conference, 2014).
He holds a Bachelor of Music (1988) and a Bachelor of Education (1990) from the University of British Columbia, a Master of Music (2010) in Conducting (Wind Band) from Sam Houston State University, Texas, and a Ph.D. (2015) from the University of British Columbia. He studied conducting with Ken Hsieh, Morihiro Okabe, and Wayne Toews and participated in numerous conducting master classes given by Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Anthony Maiello, Ralph Hultgren, and Robert Ponto. Some of the other specialists he has worked with are: Paula Crider, Ed Lisk, Eugene Rousseau, Tim Lautzenheiser, Sam Pilafian, Pat Sheridan, Greg Yasinitsky, Lowell Graham, Robert Spring, Jan Van der Roost, Robert W. Smith, Allen Vizzutti, and Johan de Meji. With Johan de Meji’s endorsement, Dr. MacLennan conducted the Canadian premiere of his composition At Kitty O’Shea’s in March 2011. Also, Dr. MacLennan has been on faculty at the University of British Columbia as a sessional lecturer teaching conducting and rehearsal techniques.
Since 1997, Dr. MacLennan has been Music Director at the Byng Arts Academy in the Performing and Visual Arts in Vancouver, B.C. He has conducted his award-winning ensembles in various locations throughout the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, China, the United States, and Canada. His ensembles have won Gold and Superior grades from every provincial and national festival that they have entered since 2002 and have performed in such notable venues as Carnegie Hall, New York, USA, and Santa Maria della Pieta (Vivaldi’s Church) in Venice, Italy. In 2006 to 2008, he was hired by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra to edit and draft curriculum for their VSO Connects (Secondary) program. In October 2006, he chaired the BC Music Educator’s Association’s Conference Pulse 2006 and currently sits as a board member of the Chamber Music in the Schools Society, BC Band Association, and the Vancouver School Music Teachers’ Association.
Richelle Boivin - Dance
Richelle started dancing at the age of 4. She has trained in Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical and Musical Theater. She has trained in the Al Gilbert Tap and Jazz syllabus, A.D.A.P.T syllabus, C.D.T.A and R.A.D and Ceccetti Ballet syllabus. Richelle has trained under some of North America’s most well known teachers & choreographers. She has won numerous scholarships and top awards for her dancing and participated in workshops across Western Canada and the U.S. Her training has taken her to Vancouver, Seattle, Las Vegas, Denver and Los Angeles where she trained at Dupree’s, Tremaine’s and The Edge Performing Arts Center.
Richelle is entering her 30th year of instructing dance, the last 20 of which have been in Spruce Grove. At the age of 19 she was teaching both the regular and professional jazz programs at the Alberta Ballet School, where she choreographed a jazz production for their 20th Anniversary Gala. She then went on to teach and manage Studio Scott in Red Deer. Upon moving back to Edmonton she taught at various schools in Edmonton, St. Albert, Sherwood Park and Spruce Grove. Her students have won many top awards and scholarships, and her work has been recognized with numerous choreography awards. She has choreographed many fashion shows for the Edmonton Women’s Show, Meadowlark Mall and Kingsway Garden Mall, and has choreographed variety shows, charity events and school productions in and around Edmonton. She has worked with the Red Deer Allied Arts Council teaching movement and dance to school children, and choreographed many routines for Rhythm Kids. She choreographed the 2012 Alberta Winter Games Opening Ceremony. Richelle has taught all ages from 3 – 83 and all levels from beginner to advanced. She takes pride in the fact that her students always feel confident when stepping onto the stage or into an exam and most importantly, make memories and friendships that last a lifetime.
She has been an active member of the Northern Alberta Dance Association for the past 16 years, holding such titles as Festival Director, Secretary and President. She is also a member of the Alberta Dance Educators Association. She is well respected in the dance community and has been fortunate to put her experience and knowledge to use as an Adjudicator and Examiner across Alberta.
Joslin Romphf Dennis – Vocal & Choral
Joslin Romphf Dennis, soprano, holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice and Master of Music in Opera Performance from the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and is a graduate of the renowned Lindeman Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. She has sung at many prestigious venues, like the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall, and under the baton of James Levine, Mario Bernardi, Maurizio Barbacini, and Valery Ghergiev, to name a few. Ms. Romphf Dennis made her Canadian operatic debut singing Elettra in Pacific Opera Victoria’s production of Idomeneo. She was presented in her New York City solo recital debut by the Marilyn Horne Foundation, and has participated in numerous summer festivals, including Glimmerglass Opera, the Ravinia Festival and the Marlboro Festival. She was the recipient of a Vancouver Opera Guild Grant, and was the winner of the Canadian Opera Company’s Young Canadian Mozart Singers competition. She is an ardent interpreter of art song, an enthusiastic opera and concert performer, and is in demand as an adjudicator and jurist for many music festivals and competitions in Canada. In the fall of 2017, she performed as the soprano soloist in the Verdi Requiem under the baton of Leslie Dala, with the VAM Symphony Orchestra. In the spring of 2018 she will be featured as the soprano soloist in the Beethoven 9th Symphony with Pierre Simard and the Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra. After 5 years teaching out of her private studio in Montreal, Ms. Romphf Dennis is currently on the voice faculty of the Vancouver Academy of Music.
Elizabeth Paynter - Choral, Classroom Music, and Orff
Elizabeth Paynter has been a music specialist with the Calgary Board of Education for over 20 years and from early in her teaching career, began directing choirs in the Calgary choral community. Currently, Elizabeth is the artistic director of EnChor Chamber Choir, an auditioned vocal ensemble, One Accord, a 50 voice community choir, and she is the director of Music and Spiritual Arts at Scarboro United in Calgary, leading children, youth, jazz/gospel and chancel choirs. She is also in demand as a choral clinician in Alberta and British Columbia, and has directed and accompanied choirs during Naramata Centre's "Music Week" summer program, where she is now on the advisory planning team. In recent years, Liz directed the Calgary Multicultural Choir, and was the artistic director of the Calgary Men's Chorus.
In her role as director of Spiritual Arts at Scarboro United, as a teacher passionate about learning through the arts, and EnChor Chamber Choir's mandate to collaborate with other Canadian artists, Elizabeth has had the privilege of working with some of Western Canada's top artists, including Corps Bara Dance, Foothills Brass, Fire Exit Theatre, Lily String Quartet, Cum Vino Cantus, singer/songwriter Paul Rumbolt, the University of Calgary Orchestra, and many choral directors from Alberta, British Columbia and the United States. Music is a family passion that she shares with her husband Graham, and their two children, Joshua and Rebecca.
Fiona Carnie - Strings
Fiona Carnie holds a Bachelor of Music with Distinction from the University of Calgary and a Master of Music from Yale University, where she studied under New York Philharmonic concertmaster, Sidney Harth, and Syoko Aki.
Ms. Carnie is a committed teacher of both violin and Scottish country dancing. Her teaching philosophy, inspired by her mentor, Dr. Lise Elson, is grounded in trying to help each student find ease in playing, pride in accomplishment and joy in music.
In 1989, Ms. Carnie was invited to follow Dr. Elson as senior violin instructor in the Academy Program at Mount Royal College, Calgary. In accepting this position, she interrupted a successful freelance career in Toronto where she played professionally in the National Ballet Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and many other groups.
During her 18 years at Mount Royal College Conservatory as String Coordinator, Director of Early Childhood Strings, Intermediate Academy Coordinator and Coordinator of the popular Summer Strings Academy, Ms. Carnie guided generations of string players to the fulfillment of their individual goals. Her students perform with major orchestras and teach at major institutions across the country.
Ms. Carnie is much sought after as a master class clinician and tours Canada as both a festival adjudicator and examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music. She is currently the Director of the Amici String Program at Mount Royal College.