Ray Baril (Concert Band)
Raymond Baril is Assistant Professor of Music and Section Head for Winds and Brass in the Department of Music at Grant MacEwan University, and, for the past 30 years, he has been the Director of the MacEwan University Jazz Ensemble. He is in his 18th season as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Edmonton Winds and recently has taken on the role as director of the River City Big Band. Prior to his appointment at MacEwan University, Raymond was a music educator with Edmonton Public Schools, conductor of the University of Alberta Concert Band, Executive Director of the Alberta Band Association and, worked as assistant conductor for the Cosmopolitan Music Society. Raymond remains a much sought after national clinician and adjudicator as well as a featured guest speaker at music education conferences across the country.
Raymond continues to work as one of Edmonton’s busiest saxophonists and woodwind doublers. He was a regular member of the Tommy Banks Big Band for 25 years and is currently a member of the Edmonton Jazz Orchestra. He has appeared with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra on numerous occasions as a section member and soloist, as well as a guest conductor. He also continues to be in demand as both a conductor and woodwind specialist for pit orchestras in various local and touring productions. In 2005, Raymond’s ensembles released two CDs: First Time Out with the Grant MacEwan College/University of Alberta Big Band and Among Friends with the New Edmonton Wind Sinfonia. In 2011, the New Edmonton Wind Sinfonia released a second CD, O Music, which featured the wind band works of Edmonton composer Allan Gilliland, and won a Western Canadian Music award in 2012.
Raymond attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois where he received a Master of Music degree in conducting. He holds undergraduate degrees in both music performance and education from the University of Alberta, and is currently working on his Doctorate in Saxophone Performance at the University of Alberta. Raymond has been the recipient of many awards for his contribution to music and music education including the Tommy Banks Award, presented by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and the David Peterkin Memorial Award, presented by Phi Beta Mu. He has also received the Elkhorn Award for Director of the Year by the Alberta Band Association, the Best Teaching Practices Award from the Alberta Teachers’ Association, a District Service Award from Edmonton Public Schools, and an Excellence in Teaching Award from Alberta Learning.
Angela Schroeder (Concert Band)
A native of Alberta, Dr. Angela Schroeder is currently Associate Professor of Music in the Department of Music at the University of Alberta. She is the Director of Bands, the Area Coordinator for the Winds and Percussion, oversees all areas of instrumental ensembles, and conducts the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Summer Band. She teaches undergraduate courses in conducting and wind band education, and works with graduate students in instrumental conducting. She previously taught conducting at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. Angela is also the conductor of the St. Albert Community Band, an ensemble that is currently in their 46th concert season. This ensemble recently completed their first overseas tour, performing throughout Austria and Germany.
Dr. Schroeder completed undergraduate degrees in Music and Education at the University of Calgary, majoring in Secondary Music Education, with performance studies in piano and trumpet. She also completed the Diploma of Fine Arts in Wind Band Conducting under the supervision of Glenn Price. After a teaching career at various secondary schools in the Calgary area, she entered the Long Term Residency program at The Banff Centre, where she studied and performed on piano, trumpet and as a conductor. Angela entered the Master's program in Wind Conducting at Northwestern University in 2002, where she studied with Mallory Thompson and earned the Master of Music in Conducting. In 2007, she completed the degree Doctor of Musical Arts in Wind Band Conducting at the University of North Texas, under the supervision of Eugene Corporon.
Angela Schroeder is well known in the Alberta music education community, not only through her teaching and conducting both in schools and in community music organizations, but through her involvement as an executive director of the Alberta Band Association for several years. Angela has performed on cornet with the Mill Creek Colliery Band and was the Principal Trumpet for the Concordia University Orchestra for seven seasons. Angela has guest conducted and adjudicated numerous wind bands in festivals and clinics throughout Canada, the United States, Austria, Germany, Australia and Thailand. She is a contributor in nine volumes of the Teaching Music through Performance in Band series, which profile wind literature for all levels of instrumental instruction, published by GIA. She is joyfully married to husband Geoffrey and mother to her brilliant sons, Joshua and Jonah.
James Smart (Concert Band)
Dr. Smart is the Director of Bands and Trumpet at the University of Montana where he conducts the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, teaches applied trumpet, undergraduate and graduate conducting, and music education courses. Under his direction, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble twice been selected to perform at the Western/Northwestern Region College Band Directors National Association Conference (Reno, NV, and Rohnert Park, CA) and for the NAfME All-Northwest Conference in Portland, OR. For outreach to the greater musical community, Dr. Smart organizes and conducts the UM All-Star High School Wind Ensemble Festival that has attracted students from five states and Canada, the UM Concert Band Festival, and the annual UM Summer Music Camp. Dr. Smart is also the founder, producer, and co-conductor of the annual Fusion Concert where over 25 acts showcase the diversity of the UM School of Music in one seamless stream of music.
Dr. Smart holds a Bachelor of Music in Trumpet Performance with teaching certification from the University of Michigan and a Master of Music Education and Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from Arizona State University. During his time at ASU he served as acting associate director of bands, acting director of the Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble, co-music director of the ASU Lyric Opera Theater for the Western U.S. premier run of Joseph Turrin’s Scarecrow, and guest conductor on several occasions with the ASU Sinfonietta Orchestra. Dr. Smart’s conducting teachers include Gary Hill, William Reber, H. Robert Reynolds, Timothy Russell, Kevin Sedatole, and James Tapia. He has continued his conducting studies in workshops with Michael Christie, Michael Gielen, William Larue Jones, Kenneth Kiesler, Craig Kirchhoff, Allan McMurray, and Franck Ollu.
As a trumpet player, Dr. Smart studied with Charles Daval, Ramon Parcell, and Kevin Good. He has also studied in lessons and master classes with Charlie Butler, Allan Dean, Charles Gorham, Armando Ghitalla, and Charlie Schlueter. In addition to performing in collegiate bands and orchestras at the University of Michigan and Arizona State University, Dr. Smart has performed with the Missoula Symphony, Orchestra of Southern Utah, North Idaho Symphony, Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble, and several collaborative faculty and chamber performances at the University of Montana and Southern Utah University.
Dr. Smart attended the International Ensemble Modern Academy in Schwaz, Austria and study under the tutelage of conductors, Michael Gielen and Franck Ollu, as well as the musicians of Ensemble Modern. The experience resulted in two public performances with IEMA members from 30 conservatories across the globe at the Klangspuren New Music Festival in Schwaz and Innsbruck, Austria.
Dr. Smart is in demand as a conductor and clinician having performed/presented in Austria, California, Canada, China, Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and Utah. He has also presented at several state MENC affiliate conventions as well as the CBDNA National Convention. He is a member of NAfME, the Montana Bandmasters, and is Vice President of the Northwest Region of the College Band Directors National Association. Other conducting experiences include the International Ensemble Modern Academy (Schwaz, Austria), Conductors Retreat at Medomak (Washington, ME), Concordia Santa Fe (Santa Fe, NM), Orchestra of Southern Utah (Cedar City, UT) the International Workshop for Orchestral Conducting (Graz, Austria), and the Band Conductors Art Symposium (Ann Arbor, MI). Dr. Smart taught public school in Lapeer, MI.
He, his wife Amy, son Benjamin, and daughters Natalie and Caroline live in Missoula.
Wendy Grasdahl (Concert Band)
Wendy Grasdahl is well known across Canada as a conductor, adjudicator, clinician, teacher, and trumpeter. Her professional experience encompasses teaching at university and college levels, as well as military band work and private teaching.
Having appeared as a trumpet soloist and in professional ensembles across Canada, Wendy is a founding member of the brass quintet “Five of a Kind”, and has played Solo Cornet with the Mill Creek Colliery Brass Band. She is the founder, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of Festival City Winds Music Society which is now in its 23nd season.
Wendy currently teaches trumpet and is Director of Bands at Concordia University of Edmonton, and regularly adjudicates band festivals at both provincial and national levels.
Ms. Grasdahl holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music History from the University of Alberta, a Master of Music degree in Trumpet Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Calgary, and a graduate level Fine Arts Diploma in Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble Conducting and Literature from the University of Calgary.
Christin Reardon-MacLellan (Concert Band)
Christin Reardon MacLellan is the director of the University of British Columbia Concert Winds. She is also Director of Education & Community Programs for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, where she develops, implements, and oversees a wide variety of educational programming for individuals of all ages, including the Vancouver Symphony Orchestral Institute at Whistler.
Christin is dedicated to supporting and advocating for quality music education in schools. She maintains an active schedule as an in-demand clinician, guest conductor, adjudicator, and guest speaker. Christin has presented workshops and her research at numerous conferences and symposia in Canada and the United States, including the recent Canadian Music Educators Association National Conference. As President of the Coalition for Music Education in BC, she works closely with teachers, community members, and arts organizations to protect, promote, and advance music education in BC schools.
Christin has taught band, choir, and general music in the public schools of Manitoba. She earned her masters degree in music education from Indiana University, where she taught undergraduate courses in music education and was a university supervisor for student teachers. Christin’s research is published in the Journal of Research in Music Education and Music Educators’ Journal.
Larry Gookin (Concert Band)
Larry Gookin is Distinguished Professor and Emeritus Professor of Music at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA. He served for 34 years as Director of Bands before retiring from CWU in 2015. Prior to teaching at Central, Professor Gookin taught band for ten years in Montana and Oregon public schools. During his tenure at Central, the CWU Wind Ensemble performed by invitation at major conferences and conventions, including the College Band Directors National Association Conferences in Boulder and Seattle, the Music Educators National Conference in Minneapolis, the Western International Band Clinics in Seattle, the Western/Northwestern CBDNA Division Conferences in Reno, the Northwest Division NAFME conferences, and WMEA State Conferences.
Larry Gookin has received numerous honors and awards. He has served as president of the Northwestern Division of the CBDNA, Divisional Chairman for the National Band Association, and Vice President of the Washington Music Educators Association. He is a member of the American Bandmasters Association and the WMEA Hall of Fame, and he is a past recipient of the NBA “Citation of Excellent Award,” the First Chair of America “Mac” Award, the ASBDA “Standbury Award,” the WIAA/WMEA teacher of the year award, and the University of Oregon’s School of Music Distinguished Alumnus Award. Gookin was also named CWU Distinguished Professor of Teaching, and while at Central, he served as Associate Chair and Coordinator of Graduate Studies. He is former principal trombone of the Eugene and Yakima Symphony Orchestras, and is Emeritus Artistic Director/Conductor of the Seattle Wind Symphony.
Professor Gookin received the M.M. in Music Education from the University of Oregon School of Music in 1977 and the B.M in Music Education and Trombone Performance from the University of Montana in 1971.
Professor Gookin has appeared as clinician, adjudicator, and conductor in the United States, Canada, Japan, Southeast Asia, Europe and the Middle East. He is a Yamaha Master Educator and remains active as a conductor, clinician, and adjudicator. Gookin resides in Ellensburg, Washington, with his wife Karen, who is Emeritus Professor of English at CWU and recently retired on piccolo and flute from the Yakima Symphony Orchestra.
Essi Wuorela (Choral)
Finnish soprano Essi Wuorela began her career in 1994 with a solo-cd that was widely acclaimed and sold gold in it’s first year.
Following this strong debut, she worked as a solo artist for 3 years, touring Finland, performing in a several television music programs and galas. She hosted two television programs, and worked as a freelance musician for various recording projects including collaborations with Heikki Sarmanto and the Tapiola Chamber orchestra, Oulu Symphony orchestra, Lahti Symphony orchestra, Helsinki City Symphony orchestra, Proton String Quartet and several pop & rock bands in their recordings and background vocals for many albums.
In 1999, Ms. Wuorela graduated from the Pop&Jazz Conservatory, Helsinki, Finland as a certified music teacher. Today, she maintains a small private voice studio and works as a clinician for voice and choir workshops internationally.
As a collaborative artist, Ms. Wuorela has been a member of the internationally renowned vocal ensemble, Rajaton for the past 20 years.
Rajaton has toured extensively, visiting festivals and concert halls all over the world. The group has recorded 18 albums to great acclaim on the world stage. In addition to their accapella repertoire, they have enjoyed collaborations with major Symphony orchestras worldwide with Abba, Queen and Beatles programs.
Ms. Wuorela is also a member of the EVA trio. This Finnish folk-fusion ensemble (voice, cello and kantele) has just released a new EP in anticipation of their upcoming Canadian Tour.
Ms. Wuorela has also served as editor for a children’s song album published by Otava Publishing House (Helsinki) created in conjunction with a Rajaton recording, which highlighted many of the songs found in the songbook.
Elise Bradley (Choral)
Elise Bradley’s is Artistic Director of the Toronto Children’s Chorus. A passionate musician, career educator, award-winning conductor, and internationally respected adjudicator and clinician, Ms. Bradley served for many years as Head of Department, Music at Westlake Girls’ High School in Auckland, New Zealand, where her Key Cygnetures choir won coveted awards in both Austria and New Zealand. As Music Director of the New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir, she has also won first-place awards in competitions in Canada, China, and Hong Kong. Since arriving in Toronto, Ms. Bradley has garnered praise for her artistry and for her deep commitment to children and the art of treble choral music. In 2009, the Choir performed at Haydn Hall in Eisenstadt, Bach’s St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, the Berlin Dom, and with the Vienna Boys Choir at the 9th World Choral Festival at the Musikverein. In 2009, the TCC had the honour of performing with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem under the baton of Peter Oundjian and, in 2010, with Krzysztof Penderecki and Soundstreams Canada. During the summer of 2011, the Chorus took part in the Melodia Festival in Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires, and was one of only twenty-five choirs invited to participate in the 9th World Symposium on Choral Music in Argentina. The current concert season, Dance Your Song, features series performances by all 300 choristers and a summer Chamber Choir tour to South Africa. In addition, Ms. Bradley is honoured to have been invited to serve as Guest Clinician and Conductor for Australia’s national choir Gondwana Voices, the Manitoba Honour Choir, and the 7th America Cantat in Bogotá, Colombia.
Andrew Withington (Choral)
Andrew Withington’s choral conducting career when he was appointed Music Director of the Christchurch Boys’ Choir in 1997 at the age of 18. In 1998, he led the choir on a successful tour to Japan, and was awarded Life Membership in 2003.
In August 2008, Andrew was appointed Artistic Director of the prestigious New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir (NZSSC). The choir has performed concerts in Canada, Malaysia, Singapore and South Africa. At the 2010 International Choral Kathaumixw, the choir received ‘The People’s Choice Award’ and first place in the adult mixed choir competition. NZSSC returned to Kathaumixw in 2016 as the invited Guest Choir, and Andrew served as head of one of the juries.
He has had a long association with the Christchurch Schools’ Music Festival and was Music Director for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. In recognition of his significant contribution, he was awarded Life Membership in 2013. From 2014 to 2015, Andrew was Music Director of the Christchurch City Choir, a role that included conducting the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and other instrumental ensembles.
Katy Luyk (Choral)
Kathleen Luyk (née Skinner), B.Mus. (University of British Columbia, 2003), M.Mus. Choral Conducting (University of Alberta, 2005), is the executive director of Edmonton's Kokopelli Choir Association, a non-profit family of community choirs. She is in her fourteenth season with Òran (a young adult choir) and her fourth season with the new adult choir Vacilando. As a conductor, Kathleen strives to pair a well-researched pedagogy of excellence with the notion that choral singing is an incredible force in building community. As a conductor and composer on the Alberta choral scene, Katy has been engaged as a clinician, guest conductor, vocal coach, and adjudicator for choirs and singers around Canada.
Joel Gray (Jazz Band)
An Edmonton-based freelance trumpeter and music educator with 25-years of experience, Joel Gray has shared the stage with some of the world's finest artists, including Tommy Banks, Slide Hampton, Diana Krall, Nikki Yanovsky, Lew Tebackin, Allen Vizzutti, Gino Vannelli, Kent Sangster, Hugh Frazer, Jens Lindemann, and commercial talents Frank Sinatra Jr., the Temptations, Gino Vannelli, Wayne Newton, and the Polyjesters.
Known for his versatility, Joel is in high demand in both jazz and classical genres. He is a regular performer with many local artists and diverse musical ensembles, including the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, The Edmonton Jazz Orchestra, The Edmonton Jazz Collective, Edmonton Opera, Pro Coro Canada, the Don Berner Sextet, the Prime Time Big Band, the Retrofitz, the Polyjesters, the Tommy Banks Big Band, The New Orleans Connection, and Capital Brass, to name only a few.
Joel is also a veteran in the orchestra pit, having performed many professional musical theatre productions, including the National Broadway Tours of Wicked, Marry Poppins, A Chorus Line, Billy Elliot, Beauty and the Beast, The Wizard of Oz, as well as local professional productions presented at the Citadel Theatre. He has recorded on over 30 CDs and performed numerous times for CBC radio, and played principal trumpet with the ESO in Carnegie Hall in May of 2012.
As a music educator, Joel teaches trumpet and jazz improvisation at MacEwan University and has taught at Augustana University and Keyano College. He is an instructor at MusiCamp Alberta since 2000 and has adjudicated for the Rocky Mountain Music Festival, the Foothills Jazz Festival, the for the Kiwanis Music Festival. Since 2004, he has been the director of the award-winning “The Littlebirds” jazz band.
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