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:
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:
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.