Born in Nova Scotia, Jacob Caines completed his undergraduate degree in Music Education and Conducting at Acadia University, before moving to Ottawa to complete a Masters in Musicology at the University of Ottawa. This research took him to the Eastman School of Music to complete archival work on the life of famous conductor Frederick Fennell. Jacob has been conducting ensembles across Canada since 2008; he is currently on faculty at The Maritime Conservatory as the head of the Woodwind Department and at the Fountain School of Performing Arts at Dalhousie University as a musicologist and the conductor of the FSPA wind ensemble. Jacob is the founder of the Halifax Queer Ensemble, and is the music director for the Canadian national tour of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, an off-Broadway musical about a transgender rock singer.
Gordon Fitzell is a Canadian composer, improviser and sound artist. His music tends to explore peculiar points of connection between classical and popular elements of culture, freely inhabiting acoustic, electroacoustic and interdisciplinary performance environments. His compositions have been conducted by Robert Aitken, Reinbert de Leeuw and Bramwell Tovey, and performed at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, in England, the Tanglewood Music Festival and the Winnipeg New Music Festival. His music is featured on various albums, including GRAMMY-winning, Opus Award-winning, JUNO-nominated and West Coast Music Award-nominated recordings. In 2018, he was elected to the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. Gordon Fitzell is a professor of composition at the University of Manitoba Desautels Faculty of Music in Winnipeg, and an artistic co-director of the new music organization Groundswell.
David Hetherington was for many years the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s Assistant Principal Cellist. He received his musical training at the Royal Conservatory of Music and the University of Toronto, and furthered his cello studies in New York, Italy and Germany with Claus Adam, André Navarra and Paul Tortelier. Mr. Hetherington teaches at the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory. He coaches the cello section of the the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and is Music Director of the Inter-Provincial Music Camp near Parry Sound, Ontario. As soloist and chamber musician, he has performed with many orchestras in Canada, and he has toured in United States, Mexico, China and Europe. He has appeared on several recordings for the CBC and for Centrediscs. Mr. Hetherington plays a cello made in 1695 by Giovanni Battista Grancino.
Pianist Brett Kingsbury is a diverse performer, active in both solo and collaborative capacities. He is pianist for the Madawaska Chamber Ensemble, based in Toronto, and he has worked with many ensembles and performers, including members of the Hamilton Philharmonic and Toronto Symphony Orchestras, and violinist David Gillham. Brett is currently an assistant professor at the Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University, where he teaches piano and piano literature. He is also a former sessional lecturer at the University of Toronto Scarborough and at Brock University. While a student at the University of British Columbia, he was named R. Howard Webster Fellow at Green College.
A native of Germany, Sibylle Marquardt is a teacher at the Maritime Conservatory and the Scotia Suzuki School in Halifax. Her orchestral career began as second flute with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Munich under Sir Colin Davis. She went on to join the orchestral program of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and held a solo flute/solo piccolo position at the Freiburg Philharmonic Orchestra under Sir Donald Runnicles. She was also a substitute player with numerous orchestras in Germany, Switzerland and Canada. She is a member of Trio d’Argento with cellist Paul Pulford and pianist Todd Yaniw, piano, which is performing all across Canada. Her students are consistent award winners at some important musical competitions and other festivals in Canada; many of them were accepted into prestigious music programs.
Cellist Carole Sirois was a member of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal under the direction of Charles Dutoit for close to twenty years; she took part in all of the OSM’s concerts, international tours, and recordings, appearing on over sixty releases on the Decca-London label. Subsequently, she performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Les Violons du Roy and, since 2006, the National Arts Centre Orchestra. As a chamber musician, she has appeared in concerts on major stages in Canada, the United States, and Europe. A renowned pedagogue, she has taught cello at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal since 1995. She has also worked extensively with cellists at the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and at several music academies in Quebec and elsewhere in the country.
Pianist Jamie Syer will soon be marking 50 years as a concert musician and teacher. He was fortunate in receiving excellent instruction from Linhart Walker and John Searchfield in Calgary, and later as a graduate student at the Yale School of Music. Jamie Syer’s first academic position was at Mount. Allison University in New Brunswick. He was subsequently on faculty at Mount Royal Conservatory in Calgary (MRCC), the University of Calgary, and the University of Regina. Jamie founded and directed the Victoria Conservatory of Music’s Young Artists Collegium Program, which continues to provide enriched instruction and mentoring for talented young classical musicians. Together with his wife, violinist Laurie Syer, Jamie founded and directed an annual summer music workshop for young people. He has also performed at a wide variety of venues in Europe and North America. He is a well-regarded adjudicator of music competitions and festivals, especially in western Canada.
A graduate from London University, Richard Turp studied voice with his father, the renowned tenor André Turp. After a decade of singing principally in Europe, he returned to Canada in 1983 to appear as Malcolm alongside his father in Verdi’s Macbeth at l’Opéra de Montréal. Later on, he became Artistic Director of the Montréal International Music Festival, Special Events Director of l’Opéra de Montréal, and Artistic Director of the Lachine Music Festival, a role which he still occupies today. In 1998, he co-founded the André-Turp Music Society, and maintained the position of Artistic Director for 13 years. Richard Turp is often invited to adjudicate music competitions across the country, and has been on the jury for several doctoral exams. In demand as a lecturer, he has taught at McGill University, l’Université de Montréal and l’Université de Sherbrooke. He has been invited to teach and give masterclasses at such prestigious institutions as l’Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal, and the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Canadian Naomi Woo is a versatile conductor and pianist who joined the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra as RBC Assistant Conductor in September 2019. Outside of conducting, she has an active career as a pianist, spanning vocal coaching, collaborative piano, and solo performance. She has also performed as soloist with orchestras in Canada, the US, and the UK. Naomi frequently collaborates with artists, choreographers, poets, and composers in the creation of interdisciplinary performance work. An active educator, she is the Music Director of Sistema Winnipeg. She has also given masterclasses and taught courses at Cambridge University and the Vancouver Academy of Music, and is Music Director of the University of Manitoba Symphony Orchestra. Naomi studied mathematics, philosophy, and music at Yale before completing a PhD at Cambridge University.
Harpist Joy Yeh serves as a faculty member at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Director and the Co-Head of the Harp Department at the Vancouver Academy of Music. She has been featured numerous times as a soloist with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra, Prince George Symphony Orchestra, Kamloops Symphony Orchestra and the UBC Symphony Orchestra. Frequently, she travels to different music conservatories in North America and Asia to judge international competitions, give masterclasses and private lessons. Recently, her 7 year old student is a winner from the Elite International Music Competition and will debut at the Carnegie Hall in New York this spring. Due to her students’ high achievements, Joy Yeh was awarded the Teacher’s Certificate of Recognition by the RCM. As a mentor to many university students, she offers pedagogy classes in order to prepare them for teaching the next generations.