Ontario Vocal Festival prides itself on providing excellent clincians from all over North America.
Past clinicians include: Carol Beynon, Karen Burke, Bruce Cable, Douglas Dunsmore, Elroy Friesen, Dinah Helgeson, Stephen Hatfield, Nancy Kidd, Scott Leithead, Richard Nace, Eugene Rogers, Sanna Valvanne, Mark Vuorinen, Lee Willingham, and many more!
Vocal Jazz 2019:
Scott Leithead (Mon. - Tues. only)Lucas Marchand
Cynthia Peyson Wahl
Susan Quinn (Wed. - Thurs. only)
Kate ReidHeidi Wood
Leslie Fagan – Soprano
Reviewing Leslie Fagan's New York appearances, Opera News names her performance of the Poulenc Gloria as “ one of the most memorable performances of the season,” and the New York Times noted the soprano's “transcendent moments” in Handel's Messiah at Carnegie Hall. In demand for concert appearances from North America to Europe and Asia, Ms. Fagan's engagements include Mahler's Symphony No. 2 under the direction of Hans Graf; a Stravinsky and Debussy concert with The Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine in France; Bach's Das Weinachtsoratorium BWV 248 in Stuttgart, Germany; Handel's Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall in England and with Tafelmusik Orchestra and Choir in Canada; and an engagement as guest soloist at the International Choral Festival in The Netherlands. She has performed with conductors Sir David Willcocks, Boris Brott, Jukke-Pekke Saraste, Elmer Iseler, Kent Tritle and Daniel Lipton with orchestras such as the National Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic and the Toronto Symphony, as well as the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. Her recent engagements include concerts in Spain, and in the United Arab Emirates.
Leslie is co-founder of the Canadian Art Song Project, whose mandate is to champion the legacy of Canadian song. The first two CD’s in the series, “Thread of Winter” and “Halibut Cheeks and other Love Songs” have been received with rave reviews. www.canadianartsong.ca
When not on the world stages, Leslie is an Assistant Professor who teaches aspiring singers at Wilfrid Laurier University. Earlier this year, Leslie received the honour of being appointed to The Order of Ontario. www.lesliefagan.com
Scott Leithead (Mon. & Tues)
Scott Leithead is the founder and Artistic Director of Canada's Kokopelli Choir Association and TIME Association from Edmonton, Alberta. He has been invited to conduct provincial, national and state honour choirs on twenty-five occasions and he has presented workshops in North America and beyond. Notable appearances include: conducting the Alberta Youth Choir for Choir Alberta’s 40th Anniversary; conducting the Ellison Canadian Honour Choir on five occasions; conducting the 2016 ACDA NW Regional Youth Choir in Seattle. He has adjudicated both the ACCC National Competition for Amateur Canadian Choirs, the Kathaumixw International Choir Festival (2014 and 2016) and Finland’s Tampere Choir Festival in 2017. Under his direction, Kokopelli was a winner of both the 2015 CBC National Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs and the 2015 and 2016 Canadian National Music Competition.
Scott has a passion for music from southern Africa and he has been invited to work with choirs in South Africa and Namibia on numerous occasions. In 2008/09, Scott was on sabbatical in Namibia where he worked with the Mascato Youth Choir and many other choirs in southern Africa. Scott’s passion for innovative and unique choral music experiences has shaped the direction of the Kokopelli Choir Association.
Scott is a longtime member of the advisory committee for the Canadian Rocky Mountain Music Festival and the Cantando Festivals. He is a board member of the National Youth Music and Art Development Foundation of South Africa.
This season Scott will return to conduct the Manitoba Provincial Honour Choir for the 4th time as well as the 2019 Ellison Canadian Honour Choir (Ottawa). He will be adjudicating festivals and giving workshops in Ontario, San Francisco, Vancouver, Whistler, Newfoundland, and Saskatchewan. His contemporary vocal ensemble ‘Nuf Sed is excited to be touring Japan in January 2019.
Originally from Victoria, BC, Lucas Marchand began singing in choir when he was 8 years old. In the early 2000’s he studied classical voice at the University of Victoria earning a BMus with distinction. During this time he sang under Bruce More in the UVic Chamber singers, touring and performing across four continents.
In 2005 Lucas moved to Toronto where he won a spot singing tenor under Brainerd Blyden-Taylor in the Nathaniel Dett Chorale and remained performing with them for six seasons. During his tenure, The Chorale was chosen to represent Canada, performing at Barack Obama’s inauguration in Washington DC.
Having settled in Toronto, Lucas began building his own private voice teaching practice and frequently travelled to Los Angeles to study vocal pedagogy with renowned instructor Seth Riggs (Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross etc.). Lucas completed a Master’s degree in Music Education at the University of Toronto in 2011 before joining canada’s premier vocal group, Cadence, in January 2012.
In addition to his extensive performing and educational work with Cadence, Lucas directs two choirs at the Regent Park School of Music, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing affordable programming to low-income families in the Toronto area. In recent years Lucas has been commissioned to write or arrange for the Regent Park School of Music Choirs, First Unitarian Choir of Toronto, Univox, Cadence, Coco Love Alcorn, Inhyeok Yeo, and various High School Choirs. He has also appeared as an adjudicator and clinician at SING - Toronto Vocal Arts Festival, Choir Fest Middle East, OVJF, and The Taiwan International Vocal Festival.
Cynthia Peyson Wahl
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). Since 2005 she has taught vocal jazz, choir, piano, and musical theatre at Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute, and was the jazz choir director at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
At DMCI her choirs have presented Showcase concerts at ChoralCanada’s biennial Podium conference (2010) and the Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival in Banff in (2011, 2013 and 2017). Her choirs have been awarded the J.S. Little Trophy, the Earl Grey Trophy, and the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for outstanding performances at the Winnipeg Music Festival. Cynthia presented on jazz choir best practices at the Podium conference in 2016, and is a contributing author to The Palgrave Handbook on Race and the Arts in Educaton (Palgrave MacMillan, 2018), and Teaching Music Through Performance in Choir Vol. 5 (GIA, 2019).
Cynthia is the recipient of the Michael Proudfoot award for excellence in choral teaching, and the Bert Kroeker scholarship for continuing study in choral music education. Cynthia enjoys a busy schedule as a choral/jazz clinician and workshop presenter, regularly travelling across Canada and the US to work with choirs of all genres, and is on faculty with both the International Music Camp and and the School for Music Vocations summer jazz camp. In addition, Cynthia maintains an active performing career. She is currently completing her doctorate in music education at the University of Toronto.
Susan Quinn is from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, where she is the Artistic Director of the Quintessential Vocal Ensemble (QVE) and Choral Director at St. Bonaventure’s College, and recently retired after nearly 30 years of leading the award-winning choirs at Holy Heart of Mary High School. Susan received her early musical education from the Sisters of Mercy, and has degrees in Music and Music Education from Memorial University of Newfoundland, with a major in violin, and a Master’s degree in choral conducting from the University of Maine. She is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence and the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council Arts in Education Award. Her choirs have received numerous national awards and honours at international competitions in Austria, Wales, Ireland, and France, and recorded six CDs. In 2010 she conducted Vivaldi’s Gloria at Carnegie Hall in New York City, and returned in 2014 to conduct QVE in a solo performance.
Vocal Jazz Clinicians:
Heather Bambrick is a JUNO-nominated vocalist who has collaborated with Phil Nimmons, Fred Hirsch, Gene DiNovi, Guido Basso, Lea Delaria, Rob McConnell, Peter Appleyard, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, and others.
Heather has released three solo recordings, including You’ll Never Know, which was nominated for Vocal Jazz Recording of the Year at the 2017 JUNO Awards and Jazz Recording of the Year at the 2018 East Coast Music Awards. Her new recording is set for release in early 2019. Heather has been a featured guest on numerous projects, and has been awarded Canada’s National Jazz Award for Vocalist of the Year.
Beyond singing, Heather is one of Canada’s top voice actors, voicing characters for commercial campaigns and several animated series including Emmy-nominated Wild Kratts, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and Justin Time. She is also an award-winning broadcaster on JAZZ.FM91 (Canada’s only all-Jazz radio station), and a highly regarded adjudicator and clinician, working at schools and festivals across Canada.
Rosana Eckert is an internationally renowned jazz vocalist, composer, arranger, and educator. She has performed with a long list of jazz luminaries including: Bobby McFerrin, Kenny Wheeler, George Duke, Christian McBride, Jon Faddis, New York Voices, and Lyle Mays. Her recordings, At the End of the Day and Small Hotel have received critical recognition, and At the End of the Day was a finalist for Best New Jazz Album in the 2006 Independent Music Awards. In addition to leading her own band, Rosana sings with the Mike Steinel Quintet, and she co-leads Brasuka, a Brazilian-inspired original music project. Her work teaching jazz voice, song writing, and vocal pedagogy at the University of North Texas has helped established UNT as one of the premier jazz vocal programs in the world. Her highly anticipated new solo album, produced by Peter Eldridge (singer/songwriter/New York Voices), is scheduled for release in spring 2019.
A multifaceted musician, Rosana is in demand as a clinician, festival adjudicator, jazz honor choir conductor, and commissioned choral composer/arranger. Her many published vocal ensemble arrangements have been performed worldwide. Passionate about sharing jazz with young students, she co-wrote, with Sharon Burch, Freddie the Frog and the Jungle Jazz (a musical for young voices) and Jazz for Kids (a song and classroom activity collection). A highly respected improviser, Rosana can be heard on Scatability, a vocal improvisation app by Michele Weir and on the demonstration CD for Darmon Meader’s Vocal Jazz Improvisation: An Instrumental Approach. Her new book Singing with Expression: A guide to authentic and adventurous song interpretation was released in June 2018.
In addition to her extensive live performing, writing, and teaching, Rosana works regularly as a studio vocalist, producer, and voice-over actor in Dallas. She has worked on hundreds of commercials, industrial productions, albums, publishing demos, and radio IDs heard around the world.
Dr. Kate Reid is associate professor of jazz voice in the Studio Music and Jazz department and Director of the Jazz Vocal Performance program at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. Reid earned a B.M. in Jazz Studies from Western Michigan University, a M.M. and D.M.A. in Jazz Vocal Performance from the University of Miami.
Under Dr. Reid’s direction, the Studio Music and Jazz Vocal Performance program continues to be well represented in the annual student DownBeat awards with Jazz Vocal I receiving an Outstanding Performance award in the Graduate College category and the top jazz vocal group Extensions receiving a Graduate College Winner award in the small vocal jazz group category. Extensions and JV 1 also won first and second place respectively at the Next Generation Monterey Jazz Festival in March of 2015. They returned to perform at the Monterey Jazz Festival in September.
Kate is in demand as a guest artist, conductor and a returning clinician and adjudicator at all-state jazz and choral festivals through the United States and Canada including the Sacramento State Jazz Festival, Illinois Wesleyan University Jazz Festival, Alberta Choral Festival, Ontario Vocal Festival, Reno Jazz Festival, Eastern Washington University Jazz Festival, Minnesota State University Moorhead and the vocal jazz festivals in southern California at Cuesta College, MiraCosta College and Fullerton College. Kate has conducted the California, New York and New Hampshire All-State jazz choirs.
While living in L.A. for 11 years Reid appeared regularly with her quartet at jazz venues all over the Los Angeles area. She has worked with many of the great jazz musicians in southern California including guitarists Ron Eschete and Larry Koonse, drummers Roy McCurdy and Jamey Tate. Kate’s most recent CD, The Love I’m In, features tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts and pianist Otmaro Ruiz. Like her release, Sentimental Mood, The Love I’m In features tunes from the American songbook and has received extensive airplay on jazz radio stations throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and South Africa. Kate has worked with many noted artists including John Clayton, Robin Eubanks, Jon Hendricks, Grady Tate, Mercer Ellington, Don Shelton, Mark Murphy and the Duke Ellington Orchestra.
Reid is a working studio/session singer in Los Angeles. Her film credits include Planes, Star Trek Into Darkness, Oz-The Great and Powerful, Epic and Men In Black III featuring the music of composers Danny Elfman, Michael Giacchino and John Powell. She has lent her voice to network television series, commercial spots for Ace Hardware, T-Mobile, Suntory Whiskey and backing vocals for artists MUSE, X Japan and Josh Groban. Kate co-authored the GLEE Vocal Method book for Hal Leonard publishing with producer/author Andy Waterman of Umbrella Media.
Born and raised in Alberta, Heidi Wood holds Bachelor of Music (Voice) and Bachelor of Education degrees from the University of Lethbridge, and a Master of Music degree (opera performance) from the University of British Columbia. 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 and clinician. Through her work she has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience that she shares in her classroom every day.
Ms. Wood has been the director of choirs at Lord Beaverbrook High School in Calgary since 2006, where she grew the program to include 3 traditional choirs and 2 vocal jazz ensembles. More recently, Ms. Wood is splitting her time continuing the choral program at Lord Beaverbrook High School and kick-starting a new choral program at Joane Cardinal-Schubert High School.
Choirs under Ms. Wood’s direction are consistent gold awards recipients at festivals and her vocal jazz ensembles have been featured performers at the CRMF 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.
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 and organizes choral music initiatives for the Calgary Association for the Development of Music Education (CADME). 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).
Heidi is a passionate life-long learner and hopes to continue to be inspired and learn from not only her students, but choristers and professionals from around the world. Heidi is honoured to continue to be part of the music team at Lord Beaverbrook and is excited to kick start the choral music program at the new Joane Cardinal-Schubert High School in 2018-2019. She also continues to proudly support current and former students in their pursuits, both musical and beyond.