Sunday, April 10th
Winspear Centre Foyer, 7:00pm
University of Lethbridge Percussion Ensemble
Winspear Centre Main Stage, 8:00pm
University of Lethbridge Wind Ensemble
MacEwan University Big Band
McDougall United Church, 8:00pm
**For Choral participants**
University of Alberta Madrigal Singers
Mass Choir Rehearsal
Monday, April 11th
Winspear Centre Foyer, 7:00pm
Guest High School Choir TBA
Repertoire coming soon
Winspear Centre Main Stage, 8:00pm
Tuesday, April 12th
Francis Winspear Centre for Music, 8:00pm
Free Play Duo
Repertoire coming soon
Repertoire coming soon
Festival Mass Choir
As the first classical brass soloist to ever receive the Order of Canada, Jens Lindemann is hailed as one of the most celebrated artists in his instrument’s history and was recently named “International Brass Personality of the Year” (Brass Herald). Jens has played both jazz and classical in every major concert venue in the world: from the Philharmonics of New York, Los Angeles, London, Berlin, Moscow and Tokyo to Carnegie Hall and even the Great Wall of China. His career has ranged from appearing internationally as an orchestral soloist, being featured at the 2010 Olympics for an audience of 2 billion people, national anthems at the Rose Bowl and for the San Francisco Giants on Memorial Day, performing at London’s ‘Last Night of the Proms’, recording with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to playing lead trumpet with the renowned Canadian Brass and a solo Command Performance for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Jens has also won major awards ranging from Grammy and Juno nominations to winning the prestigious Echo Klassik in Germany and British Bandsman 2011 Solo CD of the year as well as receiving several honorary doctorates.
Classically trained at the renowned Juilliard School in New York and McGill University in Montreal, Jens’ proven ability to perform as a diverse artist places him at the front of a new generation of musicians. He has performed as soloist and recording artist with classical stars such as Sir Neville Marriner, Sir Angel Romero, Pinchas Zukerman, Doc Severinsen, Charles Dutoit, Gerard Schwarz, Eiji Oue, Bramwell Tovey, Kent Nagano, Lior Shambadal, Boris Brott and Jukka Pekka Saraste. Having recorded for BMG, EMI, CBC and the BBC, Jens is helping to redefine the idea of the concert artist by transcending stylistic genres and the very stereotype of his instrument by performing with “impeccable attacks, agility and amazing smoothness” (The Clarin, Buenos Aires).
A prodigious talent, Jens Lindemann performed as a soloist with orchestras and won accolades at numerous festivals while still in his teens. A prizewinner at numerous jazz and classical competitions including the prestigious ARD in Munich, Jens also placed first, by unanimous juries, at both the Prague and Ellsworth Smith (Florida) International Trumpet Competitions in 1992. Since then, he has performed solos with orchestras including, the London Symphony, Berlin, Philadelphia, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Beijing, Bayersicher Rundfunk, Buenos Aires Chamber, Atlanta, Washington, Seattle, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Montreal, Toronto, National Arts Centre, Vancouver, Warsaw, Mexico City, Costa Rica, Bogota, Welsh Chamber, I Musici de Montreal, St. Louis, and Mostly Mozart at Lincoln Center.
Heralded internationally as an outstanding artist, critics have stated: “He played with golden timbre and virtuosic flair” (New York Times)“, “a world-class talent” (Los Angeles Times), “it was one of the most memorable recitals in International Trumpet Guild history” (ITG), “performed brilliantly in the North American premiere of Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Concerto with the Toronto Symphony” (Toronto Star), and “he gave the virtuoso highlight of the evening with the Montreal Symphony”.
Based in Los Angeles as Professor with High Distinction at UCLA, Jens is also director of the summer brass program at the Banff Centre in Canada. Jens Lindemann is an international Yamaha artist playing exclusively on 24K gold plated instruments.
U of L Percussion Ensemble
Conductor: Adam Mason
Experience the energy of Global Drums! This powerful ensemble of percussionists, comprised of both community and student members, presents the world to its audiences in the form of Brazilian samba, steel band, taiko, African, Chinese, and chamber percussion styles. This ensemble has thundered across stages throughout Southern Alberta and around the world.
U of L Wind Orchestra
The U of L Wind Orchestra is an auditioned ensemble comprised of approximately 65 students. Music majors make up a large percentage of the group with students from various other disciplines participating as well. The group has an active performance schedule that includes four on-campus concerts, appearances at the Fall and Spring Convocations, as well as an annual tour. Repertoire is eclectic, coming mainly from significant composers of the past 60 years. Many of the students are studying to be music educators so their knowledge and performance of quality composers and compositions is critical to their success.
Dr. Chee Meng Low, Conductor
Chee Meng Low enjoys a diverse career as a conductor, educator, administrator, and performing on saxophone as an orchestral, chamber, and solo musician. Chee Meng is Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Wind Orchestra at the University of Lethbridge, where he conducts the Wind Orchestra, teaches saxophone performance, conducting and musicianship skills. He is also involved with the Edmonton Saxophone Quartet, U of L Faculty Wind Sextet, Symphonic Winds of NSO Malaysia, and has performed as a soloist, chamber musician and guest conduct in North America, Europe and Asia. Under his direction, the U of L Wind Orchestra has performed at prestigious events and venues including Taiwan Chiayi International Band Festival, Edmonton Winspear Centre, Calgary Rozsa Centre, Knox United Church Calgary, Alberta Music Conference, Canadian Cantando Festivals and many outreach concerts in Southern Alberta. Recent creative activities included performance at the 2019 2nd Asia Saxophone Congress, as the guest conductor for the Ontario Interprovincial Music Camp, concerto performance with the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra for their 2018/19 season and at the 2017 North American Saxophone Alliance Region 9 conference.
Before joining U of L, Chee Meng served as the Assistant Communications and Planning Manager for the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, developing the education & outreach programs, as well as implementing the daily operations of the orchestra. In addition to that, he also served as one of the saxophone instructors for the College of Music, Mahidol University, coaching private lessons, saxophone quartet and saxophone ensemble and serving the College as assistant to the Deputy Director for Academic and Research Affairs.
Chee Meng was the host for the 2019 Region 9 North American Saxophone Alliance regional conference, a member of the International Committee, World Saxophone Congress (2006-2009), regional representative of the Asia Pacific Band Directors' Association (2007-2010), and current member of the North American Saxophone Alliance. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Alberta Band Association and the Lethbridge Community Band Society.
Chee Meng Low is an artist-educator for Yamaha Music Ltd.
Conservatory Big Band from MacEwan University
Conductor: Dan Davis
The Department of Music at MacEwan University has been devoted to serving musicians who wish to undertake a serious, systematic study of jazz and contemporary popular music. The program offers a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance or Composition, as well as a General Studies with a major in Recording and Production and minors in Music Technology and Production, Music and Career Management and Music Education. Within the milieu of the academic post-secondary music program, students are provided with the skills, insights, competencies, and the credential needed to pursue a career as a professional musician—as a player, a creator, and a leader—in the evolving music industry of the twenty-first century.
The MacEwan University Faculty/Student/Alumni Big Band is an ensemble that has been created for special occasions such as today’s performance. It brings together some of MacEwan’s most accomplished grads from across Canada; current students perform alongside MacEwan fulltime and adjunct faculty, representing the finest in Edmonton’s jazz community.
The big bands have had the distinct privilege of working with internationally renowned musicians such as Maria Schneider, Bob Mintzer, Wayne Bergeron, Eddie Daniels, Jack Wilkins, Jens Lindemann, Ernie Watts, Sunny Wilkinson, Phil Woods, Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby Shew, Christine Jensen, as well as Edmonton’s own PJ Perry, and the late Tommy Banks. They have been a featured ensemble at the Edmonton International Jazz Festival, Cantando Music Festival, MusicFest Canada, the Alberta International Band Festival, Rocky Mountain Festival and the International Association of Jazz Educators Conference in Washington D.C.
The big bands perform their own annual concert series, as well as at numerous educational functions and civic and community events, including a performance for the Duke and Duchess of York. In 1990, they recorded a one hour music special for the CBC-FM national network. The students have also traveled to many national music festivals, receiving both Gold and Most Outstanding Band awards in their class. In 2005, the MacEwan Big Band released its first CD, “First Time Out” which received praise from both local and national media.
University of Alberta Madrigal Singers
The University of Alberta Madrigal Singers is comprised of 20-40 auditioned singers from across the North Campus of the University of Alberta. The ensemble was formed under the direction of Dr. Larry Cook in 1974 with occasional performances through the early 80’s. From 1982 to 2019 the Madrigal Singers was led by Dr. Leonard Ratzlaff and emerged as one of the foremost university chamber choirs in Canada. Under the direction of Dr. Timothy Shantz starting in 2019, the choir continues its tradition of excellence through performances and collaborations throughout the university, faculty and the community. Frequent first-prize winners in the CBC's Choral Competition for Amateur Choirs, the Madrigal Singers have also had several successes at major international competitions, including first prize at the Robert Schumann International Choral Competition in Zwickau (1995), third prize in the 5th International Chamber Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf (1997), first prize in the International Choir Competition in Cork, Ireland (1999), and the International Jury Award at this same competition in 2008. In 2017 the Madrigal Singers were invited to participate in a festival in Athens, Greece, together with several choirs from the US, under the direction of esteemed British choral conductor Simon Carrington. The choir presented three independent concerts in Athens.
The Madrigal Singers have frequently been recorded by the CBC for regional and national broadcast, and have appeared as guests of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, performing Ravel's ballet music Daphnis et Chloé and Handel's Messiah. In 2005 they appeared with renowned Canadian soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian. The Madrigal Singers are also regular guests of the Alberta Baroque Ensemble, appearing on that ensemble’s annual Christmas concert. They have participated on four occasions in University Voices, a festival of Canadian university choirs sponsored in Toronto by Soundstreams Canada, performing under the direction of European conductors Robert Sund, Tõnu Kaljuste and Kaspars Putninš. The Madrigal Singers were invited to perform at the National Convention of the American Choral Directors Association in Los Angeles in 2005, and in November 2007 they performed as guests of the Royal Society of Canada’s Installation Ceremony at the Winspear Centre for Music. In 2010 they were featured at Podium 2010, the biennial conference of Choral Canada in Saskatoon. Recent activities include a performance and workshop at Music Conference Alberta in Red Deer in 2017, and a tour to Calgary and Vancouver in Spring 2019.
Dr. Timothy Shantz, Conductor
Timothy Shantz is at home both as conductor and tenor soloist. His choirs are recognized for their unique and artistic programming as well their warmth and clarity of sound. In 2008 his University of Windsor Women’s Chamber Choir earned first prize in the CBC National Radio Competition for Amateur Choirs (University Choir Category). He brings his energy and experience to the positions of Artistic Director of Spiritus Chamber Choir and Chorusmaster with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.
Tim takes on these new positions following three successful seasons as Artistic Director with the Windsor Classic Chorale, Chorusmaster for the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and Director of Choirs at the University of Windsor. He is a candidate for the Doctor of Music degree at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana. While in Bloomington he founded the chamber choir New Art Voices, presenting programs in Bloomington and Indianapolis. Tim’s previous positions include Apprentice Conductor for the National Youth Choir of Canada, Guest Conductor of the Cantata Singers of Ottawa and Interim Conductor of the Richard Eaton Singers. He has conducted the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and Alberta Philharmonic Orchestra and has prepared choruses for Paul Hillier, John Morris Russell, John Poole, Imre Pallo, Grzegorz Nowak, David Effron & David Fallis.
Tim’s conducting highlights include Rachmaninoff's All-Night Vigil, and Martin’s Messe pour double choeur with New Art Voices, Bach’s Cantata 140 and Vivaldi’s Gloria with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Handel’s Messiah with the Windsor Classic Chorale and Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Mozart’s Requiem with the Richard Eaton Singers, Duruflé’s Requiem with the Cantata Singers of Ottawa, Fauré’s Requiem and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with the Windsor Classic Chorale and Windsor Symphony Orchestra and Puccini’s Messa di Gloria with the Indiana University Symphonic Choir. Timothy has prepared choruses for performances of Verdi’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Weihnachts Oratorium and opera choruses for Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Puccini’s Tosca and Verdi’s Falstaff. In July 2005, he was guest conductor of the Nova Scotia Youth Choir Camp. His conducting teachers include John Poole, Jon Washburn, Jan Harrington, Paul Hillier, Frieder Bernius, Leonard Ratzlaff, and Noel Edison.
In addition to conducting, Tim is an accomplished tenor maintaining an active concert and oratorio schedule having performed Bach’s St. John Passion (Evangelist), Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Britten’s Cantata Misericordium, Moody’s Passion & Resurrection (Evangelist), Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 and Orfeo. He has performed with the Lucerne Festival Academy, Carmel Bach Festival, Metropolis Baroque Ensemble (Chicago), Pro Coro Canada, Alberta Baroque Ensemble, Richard Eaton Singers, Ensemble de la Rue, National Youth Choir of Canada & Manitoba Summer Academy Choir under the direction of Pierre Boulez, John Poole, Bruno Weil, Frieder Bernius, Daniel Reuss, Jon Washburn, Richard Sparks, Andrew Megill & Leonard Ratzlaff. His teachers include Alan Bennett, Eva Bostrand, David Falk, and Victor Martens.
Kokopelli Choirs is a community choir family based in Edmonton, Alberta. We offer musical growth and performance opportunities through seven choirs for singers aged 5 to adult and early childhood music experiences for preschoolers. Known for innovative performances, wide-ranging repertoire, and musical excellence, Kokopelli Choirs believes in the power of music to create diverse, inclusive, and strong communities.
Kokopelli has received several honours, including the YMCA Peace Medal, the Edmonton Salute to Excellence, and the Syncrude award for Innovative Artistic Direction. Kokopelli's ensembles have placed first in competitions both provincially and nationally. However, our focus remains not on winning awards, but on reaching singers and audience members through our performances.
Founded in 1996 by artistic director Scott Leithead, Kokopelli continues to grow and evolve, but our core values are unchanged:
Scott Leithead, Conductor
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-six 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 six 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. Kokopelli was thrilled to be invited by the International Federation of Choral Music (IFCM) to perform at the prestigious World Choral Expo in Lisbon Portugal last summer. His vocal ensemble ‘Nuf Sed toured Japan and presented at several national festivals in 2019. Kokopelli was recently featured on the “Amazing Race Canada”.
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.
This season Scott will guest conduct the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra with the River East Transcona School Division Mass Choir in October and the Ellison Canadian Honour Choir in Calgary in May. He will conduct the Adult Choir for the Coralua Trondheim International Choir Festival in Norway in July. In addition to adjudicating numerous festivals nationally, he will present workshops with choirs in 7 provinces over the course of the year.
Edmonton's newest Brass Quintet with over 120 years of combined professional performing experience. Founded in 2014, Bok Brass hope to take the Edmonton brass music scene by storm, performing a wide variety of music from Baroque to The Beatles, Renaissance to Ragtime, and Classical to Contemporary. Members include Joel Gray, Russell Whitehead, Megan Evans, Alden Lowry and Hannah Gray.
An Edmonton-based freelance trumpeter and music educator with 25-years of experience, Joel has shared the stage with some of the world's finest artists, including Tommy Banks, PJ Perry, Slide Hampton, Diana Krall, Nikki Yanovsky, Jens Lindemann, Allen Vizzutti, and commercial talents Gino Vannelli, Frank Sinatra Jr., the Temptations, and Wayne Newton.
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 Singing Christmas Tree Orchestra, and the Bok Brass, to name only a few.
Joel teaches music at MacEwan University and directs the Littlebirds Big Band.
Russell Whitehead holds a Master's degree in Performance from the University of Michigan, and Bachelor's from the University of Saskatchewan. From 1986–1991 Russell was Principal Trumpet for the Saskatoon Symphony and apprentice Conductor from 1989–1991. He has performed in numerous Music Theatre Contemporary Opera productions at The Banff Centre and 1996 was a performer and assistant music director for a contemporary opera, The Nature of Water, written by Georges Aperghis.
Russell is a founding member and past artistic director of the NOWAge Orchestra (1992-2000), an eclectic group dedicated to the 'theatre' of New Music. The NOWAge Orchestra received numerous grants from both Canada Council and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts for their interdisciplinary collaborations with dance and drama.
Russell has been a featured soloist with the Saskatoon and Red Deer Symphonies, the 1995 International Computer Music Conference held at The Banff Centre, the Edmonton Cantando Band Festival (2000, 2001, 2003), the New Edmonton Wind Sinfonia, the University of Alberta Music Department concert series, the Alberta Baroque Ensemble, most recently, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and has recorded solo and chamber concerts for CBC Radio. Over the past 15 years he has toured throughout Saskatchewan and Alberta performing solo concerts and teaching clinics at colleges, universities and high schools.
Russell was very pleased to be appointed Acting Principal Trumpet for the 2004-05 season with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Presently he holds the position of Third Trumpet with the Symphony, performs with the Capital Brass and teaches at the University of Alberta, King's College University and through his home.
During the 2005-06 season Russell performs as soloist with the New Edmonton Wind Sinfonia in November and the Alberta Baroque Ensemble in April.
He can be heard on the CDs Prairie Sounds, Bashaw, and most recently his debut CD Prairie Scenes, all on Arktos Recordings.
Hailing from Vancouver, British Columbia, Megan Evans serves as the Assistant Principal Horn with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. She has performed as an orchestral musician across North America, including l'Orchestre Symphonique du Montreal, the Windsor Symphony, the Thunder Bay Symphony, the Niagara Symphony, the Alberta Baroque ensemble, and the Aspen Festival Orchestra. She also performs regularly in recital and in 2012 she was invited to play solo with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician she can be heard in recording with notable local and international brass musicians in the 2014 All Star Brass Live. Megan can be heard locally with her exciting new brass quintet the Bok Brass, formed in 2015.
She has participated in prestigious music programs including the Aspen Music Festival, Brott Festival Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Summer Music Institute and the Norfolk Chamber Music Program. Having studied with Mr. John Zirbel and Denys Derome of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, she obtained her Master's of Music from the Schulich School of Music at McGill University. Megan currently maintains an active teaching studio.
After initial training at the Alberta College Conservatory of Music with Ken Read, Alden biked to Mexico with a trombone strapped to his bike. On his way home he stopped in Arizona and had trombone lessons with Gail Eugene Wilson and Will Kimball at ASU. In 1999 he began work on his BMus at the UofA where he studied with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra‘s principal trombonist, John McPherson. In 2003 he completed his degree and began a long term artist’s residency at the Banff Centre. In the summer of 2004 Alden toured Europe as principal euphonium with the New Edmonton Wind Symphonia. Thanks to an open ended return ticket he stayed in Europe, travelled around and ended up living in La Rochelle, France where he studied with Thomas Besse at the École Nationale de Musique et de Danse.
Alden loves all music and plays in a wide variety of groups and settings. He often performs with chamber ensembles, symphony orchestras, jazz groups, salsa, ska and rock bands.
Hannah Gray has been an active performer and clinician in Edmonton's music community since 1995. A versatile performer, she has performed on either the tuba or bass trombone with dozens of local bands and ensembles, including the Tommy Banks Big Band, Edmonton Opera, Alberta Ballet, Edmonton Jazz Orchestra, Reds' Rebels, Big Breakfast Boogie Band, and most recently the Bok Brass. When she isn't playing music she can be found in the gym where she works as a personal fitness trainer.
Formed in 1899, The Royal Canadian Artillery Band is the oldest professional military band in Canada. With a complement of 35 full-time musicians, the band takes pride in its role of providing musical support to Land Forces Western Area and Canadian Forces.
As musical ambassadors, The Royal Canadian Artillery Band regularly represents Canada in performing across the country and around the world.
The 2019/2020 edition of ‘Nuf Sed is comprised of 12 singers with a focus on contemporary music. This ensemble sings a wide range of music from Gospel to jazz to pop. They are equally comfortable with rhythm section or performing a cappella. The group will perform at numerous festivals this year including: The SunPeaks Cantando Festival, Canada West Music Festival, The Toronto Sing Festival and Musicfest Canada. Nuf Sed is directed by Scott Leithead. In recent years the group has traveled across Canada, Japan and Europe and they have been featured at the following festivals and conferences: Banff Rocky Mountain Music Festival (featured showcase group for 19 years), Whistler Cantando Festival, Musicfest Canada, Podium (Choral Canada National Conference).
Using nothing but their voices and innovative live-looping techniques, genre-bending FreePlay takes you from the concert halls of Europe, to the jazz clubs of Manhattan, to the temples of India, and back to their native Toronto, Canada… all without leaving your seat. From Bach to Bird to the Beatles, Dylan and Suba effortlessly cross musical boundaries, continually combining and recombining sounds to create a concert of endless variety, with the intimate delivery of two people. Imagine Simon and Garfunkel crossed with a Bach 2-part invention… or an acrobatic jazz melody combined with ancient Indian beats… or an 8-part vocal arrangement created by two singers… and you’ll get a glimpse of what FreePlay has to offer. Dylan and Suba first met in Toronto in 1993, singing in a jazz choir at York University called “Wibijazz’n'”: soon after, they started directing the choir together. At their year-end concert, Dylan and Suba performed an a cappella “director’s duet”, and FreePlay was born. What started as a typical voice-and-piano jazz duo began to evolve: more instruments were added, and more musical styles explored, to create a duo unique in its musical depth and variety. In 2007, FreePlay created the uniquely innovative, all-a cappella live looping performance style that has earned them international recognition. FreePlay’s diverse concert program has taken them across Canada and around the world, with performances at major music festivals spanning six continents. Their self-titled debut album was released in 2009, and their most recent album, Go Back Forward, was released in 2018. Partners offstage as well as onstage, Dylan and Suba delight in exploring music together, bringing this joy to audiences worldwide. Visit FreePlay at http://www.freeplayduo.com