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 2020:
Kevin FoxGreg Jasperse
Brad is a compelling conductor, composer, producer, pianist and adjudicator from Burlington, Ontario. He is currently a conductor for the Bach Chamber Youth Choir, serves as music director of Wavestage Theatre Company in Toronto, and as assistant music director for Christ’s Church Cathedral in Hamilton. Beyond his love for choral music, Brad is the lead singer, keyboardist and producer for the critically-acclaimed band “Family of Things”, who released their first full-length record in October 2019. For the past six years, Brad has collaborated with producers and musicians from New York, LA, Nashville, Vancouver and many more. He graduated in 2016 with a Master’s degree in choral conducting from the University of Toronto, where he worked primarily with the Men’s Chorus. In March of 2016, he was invited to adjudicate the Ontario Vocal Festival, and has since been invited to serve as a clinician for various vocal festivals and choral retreats across Canada. He has had the privilege to conduct in masterclasses for ensembles such as the National Estonian Male Choir, the Gloucester Cathedral Choir, Exultate Chamber Singers in Toronto, and Kokopelli Choir in Edmonton, and served as assistant conductor for the Ellison Canadian Honour Choir from 2015-2017. In the spring of 2014, Brad was invited to sit on the voting panel of the Classical category for the JUNO awards. He is signed to Paquin Artist Agency and has a publishing deal with Secret Road Music in LA.
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.
Dr. Andrea Ramsey enjoys an international presence as a composer, conductor, scholar, and music educator. Her teaching experiences range from work with adolescent and children's voices to high school and collegiate voices. She enjoys regular opportunities to conduct all-state and divisional level honor choirs, festival events at Carnegie Hall, and serves as a principal conductor for the Pacific International Young Women's Choral Festival in Eugene, Oregon. Before leaping into full time composing and guest conducting, Andrea held positions in music education and conducting at The Ohio State University and the University of Colorado, respectively.
An ASCAPlus award-winning composer, Andrea believes strongly in the creation of new works. Her compositions are available with traditional publishers and also through MusicSpoke, a digital sheetmusic marketplace. She enjoys residency collaborations with ensembles and festival choirs, some of which have included: the Allegro Choirs of Kansas City, Ithaca College, and the Crescent City Choral Festival in New Orleans.
As a scholar, she has presented for state, divisional, and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, the 6th Annual Symposium on Sociology in Music Education, as well as The Phenomenon Singing Symposium in St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada. She has co-authored articles published in the Choral Journal, as well as the Journal of Research in Music Education. A native of Arkansas, she has experienced in her own life the power of music to provide a sense of community, better understanding of our humanity, and rich opportunities for self-discovery.
Carrie Tennant is the Artistic Director of the Vancouver Youth Choir. For the past 15 years, she has worked primarily with youth, developing leadership and artistry with young singers. In addition to VYC, Carrie has held conducting positions with Chor Leoni, EnChor, the Coastal Sound Youth Choir, and the Sarah McLachlan Youth Choir. Carrie’s choirs have been featured at Chorus America and Podium (Choral Canada) conventions, and have twice been awarded first place in the National Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs. During her time with Coastal Sound, their popular Indiekör shows were recognized with Choral Canada’s National Award for Innovation. This spring, the Vancouver Youth Choir will be featured at the National Convention for the American Choral Directors Association.
Currently, on top of her work with VYC, Carrie is an Affiliate Conductor with the Vancouver Chamber Choir, and a frequent clinician, adjudicator and retreat facilitator across North America. A passionate advocate for building and sustaining community among BC choirs and conductors, in 2010 Carrie helped found the "BC Choral Mentorship Project": a collective that brings together expert speakers/conductors from across North America with local choral directors for master classes, discussion groups, and good food and wine. In a past life (before she had two small and very lovely children) Carrie also toured, performed and recorded as a member of Vancouver-based indie-pop group, the Salteens (Boompa Records).
Vocal Jazz Clinicians:
Toronto native Kevin Fox is a recognized voice in the world of contemporary a cappella. He is known internationally for his work as a choral director, coach, adjudicator, and arranger. From 2007 to 2019 he was the baritone/vocal percussionist for the Grammy-winning group The Swingles, following on the heels of his nine-year stint with Toronto’s Juno-nominated vocal band Cadence. Since 2013 he has served as Artistic Director of the Israeli choral project Vocalocity. Other recent credits include: Music Director on the British television show Sing: Ultimate A Cappella (2017); choral leader at Europa Cantat in Tallinn (2018); and adjudicator at the Rocky Mountain Festival in Banff (2018). Kevin’s improvisation workshops including “Sing Without a Safety Net” and “Everyone’s the Drummer” have received rave reviews at festivals across North America and Europe.
A world-renowned composer, arranger, vocalist and pianist, Greg is the
Director of Vocal Jazz at Western Michigan University. He is also the director of Gold Company, WMU's award-winning vocal jazz ensemble.
No stranger to the stage or recording studio, his voice can be heard on numerous movie soundtracks including Jurassic World, Epic, Oz, the Great and Powerful, The Campaign, Start Trek, and, Star Trek 2, Disney's Sofia the First, as well as the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Monarchy Roses and The 2nd Law, the recent release from Muse.
Greg is a member of Vertical Voices and has also toured with the New York Voices and the Bob Mintzer Big Band on their Japan tour in 2014. He has performed with Adele, Jennifer Holiday, Joe Williams, Rosemary Clooney, Dianne Reeves and Bobby McFerrin among others.
His music is performed around the world by many of today's premier vocal ensembles, including Chanticleer, the Philippine Madrigal Sings, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Chicago Children's Choir and the St. Olaf Choir.
His conducting credits include all-state jazz ensembles in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, North Dakota, New York, California, Oklahoma, Indiana, Missouri, Colorado, New Hampshire, Illinois, Iowa as well as the British Columbia Honors Jazz Choir and Musicfest Canada’s Ellison Honour Choir.
He is a graduate of University of Miami and Western Michigan University.
Frank Lee is the choral director at Carson Graham Secondary School for the past four years. He spent the previous seventeen years as the choral and instrumental director at Seycove Secondary School in North Vancouver. 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 and Canada West Music Festival Committee.
Since graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Liz has become a well-established and versatile vocalist, choral leader, and soloist, known for her passionate and forward-thinking approach. She has performed with the Swingles, the Heritage Orchestra, flamenco legend Paco Peña, the Aurora Orchestra, and London voices, and has appeared at international venues and festivals, the Montreux and London Jazz Festivals, Milan's La Scala, the Proms, Europa Cantat, and the Big Chill. She has also been featured as a performer and vocal coach on television and radio worldwide, including the BBC, Sky, and Hollywood film scores.
Liz is dedicated to expanding choral education, innovation, and participation, and she is an experienced teaching of singing in schools and universities. As a choral leader, she had also directed projects for Southbank Centre's Voicelab Initiative, was a choir director and now a board member of the national musical charity The Choir With No Name, and has run workplace choirs at both the Guardian Newspaper and Comic Relief, as well as numerous community choir initiatives. As founder and director of London's contemporary XL vocal group SOUND, Liz remains committed to creating opportunities for vocalists, and pushing the creative boundaries of vocal music.