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, Gerard Yu, and many more!
Vocal Jazz 2018:
Cynthia Peyson Wahl
Dominic Gregorio is Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Choral Music at the University of Regina, completing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Southern California in 2012. As well as conducting the University Chamber Singers and Concert Choir, Dr. Gregorio leads a graduate choral conducting program and teaches voice related subjects.
Recently completing an intercultural choir tour to Cuba, plans are underway for an upcoming performance tour to Mexico City in 2018 with the University Chamber Singers.
Dominic is Artistic Director of the Campion College Musica Sacra series, and also completed terms as Choral Canada Vice President Communications and Editor-in-Chief of Anacrusis. Research areas include indigeneity and decolonization through the lense of Filipino choral and vocal music, and creative technology.
In 2015, Dominic was awarded the University of Regina New Faculty Teaching Award of Recognition.
A highly sought after clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor, Mr. Heywood is a well-known specialist in developing young male voices, previously serving as Boychoir Repertoire & Standards Chair at both the state and division levels of ACDA. In 2013 he had the privilege of guest conducting the ACDA-MN Grade 7/8 Boys’ Honor Choir. He has also served on the faculty of the VoiceCare Network for the past five years, instructing teachers from across the world on how to work with adolescent voices. Youth choirs under his direction have performed at the Oregon Bach Festival, the International Choral Festival for Men and Boys, the Pacific International Children’s Choir Festival, and at state and division conferences of the ACDA.
Mr. Heywood is also an expert in sacred and liturgical music, having served as a church choir director for the past 15 years. He has sung, toured, and recorded with the Saint John’s Gregorian Chant Schola, presented at the Collegeville Conference on Music, Liturgy & the Arts, and his current doctoral research focuses on the use of Gregorian chant in training young voices. In 2016, he was appointed conductor of the National Catholic Youth Choir.
Mr. Heywood recently completed a two-year sabbatical in Canada where he served as director of the University of Toronto Men’s Chorus, Junior Choir Conductor at St. Michael’s Choir School, founding conductor of the boychoir program of the Hamilton Children’s Choir, director of the 2014 Ontario Music Educators’ Association Honour Choir, and as a member of the board of Choirs Ontario. In 2016 he joined the faculty of the Interprovincial Music Camp (Ontario) where he founded the IMC Choir program. He is currently a doctoral candidate in choral conducting at the University of Toronto, where he studies with Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt.
Nancy Kidd received her Honours Bachelor of Music from the University of Western Ontario, a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Toronto and her ARCT Piano Performance and Teacher’s Diplomas. Nancy is a retired music educator with the Waterloo Public Board having taught music from K – 12 as well as being a music consultant for over 31 years. As head of music at Bluevale Collegiate in Waterloo, she taught and mentored students and teachers for 19 years and conducted several award winning choirs. She has also conducted the 1000 voice Kodaly Children’s Choir on two occasions at the Centre in the Square
Nancy continues to adjudicate and clinic throughout Canada and has been honoured with numerous awards including the Toronto Sun “Top 10 Teachers in Ontario Award;” the “Mentor Award” at the Kitchener Waterloo Arts Awards; the Stewart Award for Teaching Excellence (WRDSB); the Laurier Centre for Music in the Community Award, as well as being a two time nominee for the Premier’s Award for Teaching Excellence.
She currently directs (since 2009) the wonderful 44 voice Schneider Male Chorus in Kitchener and loves to expose them to exceptional choral clinicians like Robert Cooper and Mark Sirett. Nancy is also the founding director of the Age of Majority Singers (2013), a SATB choir of 19 to 35 year olds who love to make choral singing a small part of their busy lives!
Nancy is also loving being a first time “gramma” to Zoey.
Benila has performed as a choral singer with Pro Coro Canada (Edmonton), musica intima (Vancouver) and Luminous Voices (Calgary). She has represented Canada as both a singer and section leader for the World Youth Choir through the International Federation for Choral Music, which has taken her on numerous international tours. Benila's most recent engagements as a soprano soloist include Bach's B Minor Mass with Summer Chor and Saint-Saëns' Messe de Requiem with the Oratorio Singers.
She is an adjudicator and clinician of choirs, most recently at the Cantando Festival in Whistler and Choralfest North in Edmonton. Benila is currently a section leader with the Vancouver Cantata Singers. She has been on the faculties of such prestigious schools as Victoria School of Performing and Visual Arts (Edmonton) and Collingwood School (West Vancouver).
Benila is currently teaching music at York House School in Vancouver.
Vocal Jazz Clinicians:
Heather Bambrick has been wearing man hats for many years - and all of them fit her well! She’s an award-winning vocalist, voice actor, broadcaster, and educator, working with some of the best in the business.
Heather has performed internationally collaborating with artists such as Phil Nimmons, Fred Hirsch, Gene DiNovi, Guido Basso, Lea Delaria, Anne Hampton Callaway, Carol Welsman, Jackie Richardson, Ian Shaw, as well as the late Rob McConnell and Peter Appleyard. She is a founding member of the Beehive Singers (1994 - 2001) and Broadsway, a Jazz / Cabaret ensemble with whom she is currently actively recording and touring.
Heather’s solo recordings include It’s About Time and Those Were The Days, both of which were nominated for ECMA honours and resulted in international airplay and critical acclaim. Heather was a featured guest artist on a number of diverse projects, from the Caliban Bassoon Quartet, to Sophisticated Ladies (the final recording of Jazz great Peter Appleyard), and Just Passing Through (the award-winning recording from Jeff and Don Breithaupt).
Heather’s next solo project is expected for release in 2016 / 2017. She has been honoured with Canada’s National Jazz Award for Vocalist of the Year.
As an actor, Heather has voiced characters on several animation series for Disney, PBS, Comedy Network, and NBCKids, and is currently a series regular on Emmy-nominated shows Wild Kratts, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and Justin Time. She has been the voice of a number of national commercial campaigns and remains one of Canada’s most engaging – and engaged – female voices.
Since 2001, Heather has firmly entrenched herself in the world of broadcasting at Canada’s only all Jazz radio station, JAZZ.FM91. She is currently the host of “Jazzology” and “Sunday Afternoon Jazz”, and has twice been awarded National Jazz Awards’ Broadcaster of the Year.
Frank Lee is the choral director at Carson Graham Secondary School for the past three years. He spent the previous seventeen years as the choral and instrumental director at Seycove Secondary School in North Vancouver. Mr. Lee is also on Faculty at Douglas College directing the Chorus. His past ensemble was honoured with the distinction of Youth Choir of the World at the International Choral Festival, Kathaumixw, in 2007. In 2009 his Chorale was named top choir at the Canadian National Choral Festival and had their solo debut concert in 2011 at Carnegie Hall. Last year, his vocal jazz ensemble won the Surrey International Jazz Festival and has been featured in Western Canada and Washington State.
Frank received his undergraduate music degree from the University of Victoria studying trombone with Ian McDougall. He has recently finished his graduate studies in choral conducting, under Dr. Graeme Langager, at the University of British Columbia. He is sought after as a clinician across Canada and Washington State. Frank has served as the chair for the BCMEA Honour Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Kiwanis Vocal Jazz Festival and is currently on the Canadian Rocky Mountain Music Festival Advisory Committee.
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 and 2013). In 2011 and 2012, her choirs won the Earl Grey Trophy for outstanding performance at the Winnipeg Music Festival, and in 2011, her Chamber Choir won the Lieutenant Governor’s Trophy for most outstanding performance of the festival. In May 2016, Cynthia presented on jazz choir best practices at the Podium conference in Edmonton, Alberta.
In 2012, Cynthia was the recipient of the Michael Proudfoot award for excellence in choral teaching, and in 2017 received the Bert Kroeker scholarship for continuing study in choral music education. Cynthia enjoys a busy schedule as a choral and 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 still maintains an active performing career. She is currently studying at the University of Toronto in the PhD music education program.
As a contemporary vocal artist and educator, Ly Wilder exhibits an
infectious energy and knowledge of style and technique that engages students and audiences alike in jazz and popular music. She has been featured as a vocalist with combos, big bands and orchestras, as a studio singer for choral demos and as a performer at Walt Disney World singing with legendary artists Joe Williams, Rosemary Clooney, Dianne Reeves and Diane Schuur. A prolific arranger, Wilder's works have been performed by university and high school groups world-wide.
Ly is in demand as an adjudicator/clinician for ensembles and festivals throughout the nation and around the world (Australia, Canada, and China). She has conducted All-State Vocal Jazz Ensembles and Show Choirs in Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Mississippi, Illinois, Indiana, Oklahoma, Washington and Wisconsin. Ly has taught on the staff of Showchoir Camps of America since 2003 and at the Steve Zegree Vocal Jazz Camp. She serves
as the Vocal Director of Bloomington Expressive Arts Training (BEAT), which
she co-founded with choreographer Brennan Wilder in 2012. Under their
direction, this extracurricular community show choir program has expanded
to feature 8 ensembles (including Syncopation and Amplitude) with students from pre-K through 12th grades.
Wilder served as the interim director of the Singing Hoosiers and the private
voice instructor for the IU Jazz Voice Studio at Indiana University. Prior to
that she taught vocal jazz, women’s and mixed choirs at Purdue University.
She holds a BM in Studio Music and Jazz from the University of Miami and a
MM in Jazz Studies from Western Michigan University. She and Brennan reside in Bloomington IN with their daughter Jamie.