Whistler - Adjudicators

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Scott MacLennan (Concert Band)

whistler festival adjudicator

Dr. Scott MacLennan is the Music Director of the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Wind Ensemble, an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia teaching conducting, and Music Director at the Byng Arts Academy in the Performing and Visual Arts in Vancouver, B.C. As an in-demand guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator, he frequently works with ensembles, schools, honour groups, and festivals in Western Canada. As an instrumentalist, he has taught at all levels from elementary to post-secondary and performed extensively on bassoon.
He holds a Bachelor of Music (1988) and a Bachelor of Education (1990) from the University of British Columbia, a Master of Music (2010) in Conducting (Wind Band) from Sam Houston State University, Texas, and a Ph.D. (2015) from the University of British Columbia. He studied conducting with Ken Hsieh, Morihiro Okabe, and Wayne Toews and participated in numerous conducting master classes given by Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Anthony Maiello, Ralph Hultgren, and Robert Ponto. Some of the other specialists he worked with are: Paula Crider, Ed Lisk, Eugene Rousseau, Tim Lautzenheiser, Sam Pilafian, Pat Sheridan, Lowell Graham, Robert Spring, Jan Van der Roost, Robert W. Smith, Allen Vizzutti, and Johan de Meji. With Johan de Meji’s endorsement, Dr. MacLennan conducted the Canadian premiere of his composition At Kitty O’Shea’s in March 2011.
His Ph.D. research involved studying students’ conceptions of ancillary movements (physical movements not necessary in the production of sound) in instrumental music performance. Dr. MacLennan’s teaching philosophy is based upon striving for musical excellence in performance as well as the education of the whole student through an embodied approach to teaching. Through this approach, music performance becomes so much more than just an intellectual appreciation of master works, but a re-examination of “music” as a vehicle for self and group meaning-making. Student engagement is increased through linking conceptual images of past experiences (physical and non-physical) with expressive musical qualities in the music being performed. As well, students become active participants in the decision-making process surrounding the subtle details of their artistic response, while the music director still holds overall artistic license of the music to be played.
Since 1997, he has conducted his award-winning ensembles in various locations throughout the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, China, the United States, and Canada. His ensembles have performed in such notable venues as Carnegie Hall, New York, USA, and Santa Maria della Pieta (Vivaldi’s Church) in Venice, Italy. As an active music educator, he has worked for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra to edit and draft curriculum for their VSO Connects (Secondary) program, chaired the BC Music Educator’s Association’s Conference Pulse 2006, and currently sits as a board member of the Chamber Music in the Schools Society, BC Band Association, and the Vancouver School Music Teachers’ Association.

Jeremy Brown - Concert Band

whistler festival adjudicator

Jeremy Scott Brown is a renowned Canadian saxophonist, woodwind doubler, teacher, expert on the music of Henry Cowell and conductor. He is Professor of Music and the former Head of the Music Department at the University of Calgary. (1990-present) He has also been an Artist-In-Residence and a visiting artist/lecturer at the Banff Centre. In 2015 his recording of Wayfaring by Nova Pon was nominated as the Outstanding Classical Composition the Year by the Western Canadian Music Awards and in 2010, his CD solo recording of Canadian saxophone music, “Rubbing Stone” was nominated outstanding classical recording of the year. In 2014 he was awarded the inaugural University of Calgary Faculty of Arts Teaching Award. In 2009 he was conferred the title “Canadian Music Ambassador” by the Canadian Music Centre for his work promulgating music by Canadian composers, with more than forty works commissioned. In 2008, he was named an “Innovator of the University of Calgary” for his community outreach, and in 2007 was awarded the David Peterkin Award for his contribution to music education in Alberta by the Alberta Band Association. In 1999 he was awarded the University of Calgary Student’s Union Teaching Award for the Faculty of Fine Arts.

As a university teacher, his undergraduate and graduate students have won numerous national and international awards, scholarships and recognition. His university ensembles have been widely recognized for original programming and performing excellence; most recently the U of C Jazz Orchestra won the Outstanding Ensemble Award at the 2013 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival and ten outstanding soloist awards at the 2014 Elmhurst Jazz Festival, Chicago Illinois.

He has recorded numerous records, including Scaramouche with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, (2003, CBC records) In the Company of My Soul (2003, Arktos Label), Ornamentology (lightblue records) Rubbing Stone (2010, Centredisc Label), The Lethbridge Sessions (2014, Centredisc Label) and The Verismo Jazz Quintet (2005). His inaugural recording of the wind band works of Henry Cowell with the winds of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra will be released in 2016 together with his forthcoming book, “The Wind Band Music of Henry Dixon Cowell” for Sourcebooks in American Music, the College Music Society. As a saxophone soloist he has appeared with many bands and orchestras including the Washington-Idaho Symphony, the National Youth Band of Canada, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Red Deer Symphony, Festival Orchestra of the 2003 World Saxophone Congress (Minneapolis) the Okanogan Symphony Orchestra, Kensington Sinfonia and the Ottawa Symphony. He is also lead tenor saxophonist with the Calgary Jazz Orchestra.

Recently, his world premiere of The Orchid Garden for tenor saxophone by Andrew MacDonald with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra (November 2015) was reviewed as “a dazzling display of classical discipline and agility combined with a jazz artist’s freedom and sense of exploration.” (Ottawa Citizen, Natasha Gauthier) He is the founding artistic director of the Rubbing Stone Ensemble, a new music ensemble based in Calgary and former conductor and founding artistic director of the National Concert Band of Canada (2002-2010). He is has been Artistic Director of the Calgary Wind Symphony since 1997, a 60 piece community band founded in 1955. In 2003, he co-founded Verismo, a Calgary jazz quintet whose inaugural recording garnered great critical acclaim and subsequently performed at the 2007 Montreal Jazz Festival.

Dr. Brown has written numerous pedagogical articles and in addition to his forthcoming book, was co-compiler and series editor of the inaugural Royal Conservatory of Music Saxophone Series (2014). This groundbreaking and comprehensive saxophone series includes graded repertoire, etudes, technical studies and orchestral excerpts and is used internationally.

His numerous articles are published in the Instrumentalist, Journal of Band Research, Journal of the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, Saxophone Symposium, Canadian Band Journal, International Society for the Investigation of Wind Music and Canadian Winds. He is a currently a contributing editor to Canadian Winds.

Allan McMurray (Concert Band)

whistler festival adjudicator

Allan McMurray is Distinguished Professor and Professor of Conducting Emeritus at the University of Colorado.  He served for 35 years as Director of Bands and Chair of the Conducting Faculty before retiring from CU at the end of the 2013 academic year.  Prior to this position, he was on the faculty of the University of Michigan, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.  Considered one of the world’s leading teachers of conducting, Professor McMurray has guest conducted and taught conductors in 48 states and 13 foreign countries.  He has been a featured visiting professor and conductor at over 200 universities and conservatories internationally.

During his tenure at Colorado, the University of Colorado Wind Symphony performed by invitation at major conferences and conventions, including the First International Conference for Symphonic Bands in Manchester, England; the All-Japan Band Conference in Nemo Nu Sato, Japan; the College Band Directors National Association Convention (twice); and the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles in Hamamatsu, Japan.  The ensemble has also released two CDs on the Klavier label featuring original works by Daneil Kellogg, Carter Pann and Frank Ticheli; and collaboration with the Kakacs String Quartet, Patrick Mason, baritone, and Jennifer Bird-Arvidson, soprano.

With a strong commitment to new music, Allan McMurray has been a strong proponent in commissioning and performing new composition by American composers.  He has won praise for his interpretive and expressive conducting by many composers, including Pulitzer Prize winners Michael Colgrass, George Crumb, John Harbison, Karel Husa, and Steven Stucky.

Professor McMurray has performed with the St. Louis Symphony, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Debut Orchestra and has guest conducted the Colorado Symphony, the Thai Philharmonic and the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra.  He has also conducted the Prague Chamber musicians in a festival featuring the music of George Crumb in Prague, and subsequently in the united States.  McMurray also completed four seasons with the Colorado Ballet Orchestra as conductor of Philip Feeney’s Dracula.

Professor McMurray’s internationally acclaimed DVD series on the Art of Conducting includes three DVDs: Conducting from the Inside Out: Gesture and Movement, published by GIA; Conducting from the Inside Out:  Conductor and Composer with Frank Ticheli published by Manhattan Beach Music; and Kindred Spirits with friends and well-known conductors Richard Floyd, Craig Kirchoff and Robert Reynolds, also published by GIA.  He is currently working on a companion textbook to the series.

Allan McMurray has received numerous honors and awards.  He is Past-President of the College Band Directors National Association, he is recipient of the Bohumil Makovsky Award for outstanding College Band Directors from the National Band Fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi, and has been recognized by California State University Long Beach as “Distinguished Artist in Classical Music.”   In December 2004, the Board of Regents of the University of Colorado designated Allan McMurray as the university’s 25th Distinguished Professor in recognition of his lifetime professional achievement in the teaching of conducting.

Allan McMurray remains active as an artist conductor, teacher and author.  His schedule this year includes professional activity in California, Colorado, Oregon, Wisconsin, Illinois, New York, Washington D.C., Georgia, Florida, Canada and Australia.

Gary Green - Concert Band

whistler festival adjudicator

Gary D. Green is Emeritus Professor of Music and Director of Bands at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. While teaching at the University of Miami Frost School of Music in addition to supervising all band activities, he was the conductor of the Frost Wind Ensemble, supervised all graduate conducting students in the wind and percussion area and served as the Chairman of Instrumental Performance for seventeen years.

Prior to coming to Miami, Professor Green served for ten years as Director of Bands the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut. While at the University of Connecticut, Professor Green was influential in commissioning and recording new works for winds and percussion including Symphony No. 3 by David Maslanka and A Cornfield in July and the River by William Penn.

During his tenure at the University of Miami, professor Green continued the commissioning and performance of important new repertoire for winds and percussion. Under his direction, the Frost Wind Ensemble has performed on two separate occasions for the convention of the American Bandmasters Association as well as twice for the national convention of the College Band Directors National Association. Recent commissions and consortia from composers include William Penn, Joel Puckett, Mason Bates, Michael Daugherty, David Maslanka, Paul Dooley, Steve Danyew, Steven Bryant, David Gillingham, James Stephenson, Christopher Theofanidis, John Harbison, James Syler, Eric Whitacre, Frank Ticheli, Thomas Sleeper, Kenneth Fuchs and others. Urban Requiem by Michael Colgrass was commissioned by the Abraham Frost Commission Series and has become a standard in the repertoire for wind ensemble. Among other new compositions written for winds and percussion was the commission for the Frost Wind Ensemble of Christopher Rouse’s Wolf Rounds.

Professor Green is a member of the American Bandmasters Association, the College Band Directors National Association, the National Association for Music Education, the Florida Bandmasters Association, and the Florida Music Educators Association. He received the Phillip Frost Award for Excellence in Teaching and Scholarship in 2002. In March 2007, he joined the ranks of Frederick Fennell, William Revelli, and John Paynter in the Bands of America Hall of Fame.

Professor Green is an active conductor and clinician and has appeared with international, national, and regional bands and intercollegiate bands in all of the continental United States and Hawaii. He has conducted the Texas All-State Band frequently and premiered Lux Aurumque by Eric Whitacre with that ensemble. He has also conducted in Taipei, Taiwan where he appeared with the Republic of China Army Band and the Taiwan National Wind Ensemble as part of the 2005 International Band Association Festival. Additionally he has conducted in Austria, Germany, Japan and England, having performed there in the Royal Academy of Music. In March of 2008, Professor Green hosted the annual convention of the American Bandmasters Association on the campus of the University of Miami in Coral Gables.

Chee Meng Low - Concert Band

whistler festival adjudicator

Chee Meng Low is Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Band at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, 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 Edmonton Winspear Centre, Calgary Rozsa Centre, Knox United Church Calgary, Alberta Music Conference, Canadian Cantando Festivals and many outreach concerts in the Southern Alberta. Recent solo activities include a concerto performance at the 2017 North American Saxophone Alliance Region 9 conference and a concerto performance with the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra for their 2016/17 season.

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 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 a Yamaha Artist-Educator.

John Phillips - Concert Band

whistler festival adjudicator

John Phillips recently retired from the University of Western Ontario where he conducted the Symphonic Band and taught music education and conducting classes. He previously taught at the University of Toronto and York University in the departments of music and education. He currently resides in Florida and served as Artistic Coordinator for the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra until August of 2018. He is a Conn-Selmer Educational Clinician.

Phillips has adjudicated music festivals and events in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Indonesia. He regularly guest conducts honor bands across Canada and the United States. For twenty years he conducted the Wind Ensemble at the National Music Camp of Canada and was a guest conductor at the International Music Camp. Phillips has served as Judge Administrator for Drum Corps International since 2000, and was inducted into the DCI Hall of Fame, Class of 2015.

In demand as a clinician and consultant, John Phillips shares his unique brand of music education through workshops with State and Provincial Music Educators’ Associations, the National Association for Music Education, and as a presenter at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic. Throughout his career, he has participated in numerous initiatives with Music for All including the National Concert Festival, the annual Summer Symposium, and the Bands of America Grand Nationals.

Phillips is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario receiving undergraduate degrees in Music and Education. He pursued a Master’s Degree in Music Education at Boston University, a PhD in Ethnomusicology at York University, and holds an Artist Diploma in Trumpet Performance from the Western Conservatory of Music. He received awards of distinction for conducting from the Ontario Band Association, Phi Beta Mu, and the Southern Ontario Band Festival. Other distinctions include an Honorary Life Membership award from the Ontario Music Educators’ Association and Honorary Life Membership in the Tri M Music Honor Society and Ontario Band Association. Phillips has also received excellence in teaching awards at both the Faculty of Music and Education at the University of Western Ontario.

Known for leadership in contemporary music education philosophy and pedagogy, Phillips’ endeavors in this area include:

  • Coordinator of the Arts curriculum review, revision and implementation at the Ministry of Education in Ontario

  • Project Manager and Producer for the Learning Through the Arts Video Series with Curriculum Services Canada

  • Program Officer for the Professional Learning Program at the Ontario College of Teachers

  • Principal of the Music Teacher In-Service Programs at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

  • Music Course Manager and Facilitator at the Ontario Educational Leadership Center

  • Board of Directors - Ontario Music Educators’ Association and Ontario Band Association

  • Editor of the OMEA journal The Recorder

  • Senior Advisor at Music Mentors International

Written contributions include articles for the Ontario Music Educators` Association journal, The Recorder, the Canadian Music Educators` Association Journal, the Ontario Band Association newsletter, In Harmony, the Music for All Newsletter, and the Ontario College of Teachers journal, Professionally Speaking. In addition, he has been a contributor to the highly acclaimed series Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, published by GIA.

As a trumpeter, Phillips performed with the London Symphony Orchestra, Brantford Symphony, the Forest City Brass Quintet and numerous freelance engagements. He spent two summers at the Banff School of Fine Arts under the leadership of the Canadian Brass, studying with Fred Mills and Ronald Romm.


Joel Gray (Jazz Band)

whistler festival adjudicator

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.

Kevin Lee (Jazz Band)

whistler festival adjudicator

Kevin is an experienced professional musician and educator. He performed on trumpet with a variety of musical groups across Canada, USA and Europe. Kevin was a full-time musician for 12 years prior to starting his teaching career. He recorded for radio commercials, movie scores, television shows, a variety of CD/Record projects, and appeared on Much Music. Kevin has maintained his involvement in a variety of musical groups and enjoys all aspects of making music and teaching the art of making music. Kevin attended Douglas College in the Bachelor of Music Education program and soon transferred to Western Washington University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Jazz Studies. After University, Kevin began a career as a professional musician in Vancouver as a freelance musician with many types of groups ranging from jazz combos, big bands, cruise ships, studio sessions to orchestras. Kevin also worked as a composer/arranger.

In the early 80’s, Kevin moved to Los Angeles, California to study arranging/composition as well as to study trumpet. After his time in Los Angeles, Kevin returned to Canada and resumed working as a musician and eventually joined a Ska Band called SkaBoom. SkaBoom became one of Vancouver’s most popular bands and eventually became well known in major centres across Canada as well as parts of the USA. SkaBoom performed, recorded and toured for many years with songs climbing the airwaves in many areas of Canada and the USA. SkaBoom produced a music video of their popular song Love & Affection that received airplay on Canada’s Much Music TV Station as well as some airplay in the USA and UK. Highlights with SkaBoom include opening for the Red Hot Chili Peppers as well as performing at the Juno Awards Party. While still playing and touring with SkaBoom, Kevin became a Teacher-On-Call for music classes at the request of the Surrey School District. Kevin would substitute teach whenever he was not touring or performing for the next three years. Kevin fell in love with teaching and decided to become a full-time music teacher and enrolled at the University or British Columbia where he received a Bachelor of Education Degree in Secondary Music.

Close to completing his Bachelor of Education Degree, Kevin was offered five teaching positions but decided to turn them down for the possibility of working with longtime friend and mentor, David Proznick at Semiahmoo Secondary. Kevin began teaching at Semiahmoo in 1993 and remained there until 2006. In 2006, he accepted a district position as the Secondary School Fine Arts Helping Teacher. After a year in an administrative position, Kevin missed being with students and felt the need to return to the classroom and fulfill a passion for mentoring students and took a position as a beginning Grade 7 Band teacher. In 2012, Kevin returned to teach at Semiahmoo Secondary where he retired in June 2019. Kevin retired from teaching in the Surrey School District where many of his bands and students have received awards and recognition in Canada and the USA. Many students have gone on to become active professional musicians. At Kevin’s final concert at Semiahmoo, an announcement was made that an anonymous donor honoured Kevin by creating the annual LEEgacy Scholarship to honour his work with students.

Kevin’s retirement plans include substitute teaching, practicing trumpet, performing, writing music, and travelling.

Steve Kaldestad (Jazz Band)

whistler festival adjudicator

Since moving to Vancouver in 2008, Steve Kaldestad has become one of the most in-demand saxophonists on the scene, performing as a sideman with Jesse Cahill’s Nightcrawlers, Jodi Proznick’s quartet, and many other groups. Steve has released 3 CDs on the Cellar Live label to great acclaim including Straight Up featuring the Mike LeDonne Trio and the newest release, New York Afternoon with the Renee Rosnes Trio.

Originally from the prairies, Steve spent the ’90s in Montreal, obtaining his Bachelors and Masters degrees from McGill University. During this time Steve was awarded a grant to study with Lee Konitz in New York.

In 2000, he began an eight year stint in London, England and joined the Kate Williams Quartet, the Matt Wates Sextet, the Pasadena Roof Orchestra, the Gareth Lockrane Septet, and played regular gigs in the BBC big band, the Humphrey Lyttelton Group and others. He has also played and/or recorded with Renee Rosnes, Denzal Sinclaire, Mike LeDonne, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Peter Bernstein, the Karl Jannuska Group, Kevin Dean and many others.

Steve now resides in Port Moody, BC and teaches at Capilano University. Steve is a D’addario artist and plays D’addario Select Jazz reeds on all his saxophones.

Andrea Ramsey (Choral)

whistler festival adjudicator

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.

Scott Leithead (Choral)

whistler festival adjudicator

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.  

Dinah Helgeson - Choral

whistler festival adjudicator

Dinah Lindberg Helgeson attended college at Pacific Lutheran University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education. While at PLU, Dinah was member and soprano soloist with “The Choir of the West” under the direction of Dr. Maurice Skones. Dinah pursued graduate studies at University of Southern California where she studied with Dr. Rod Eichenberger. Dinah spent nine years as Head of Fine Arts and the High school Choir director at the International School Bangkok, Thailand.

Ms Helgeson taught vocal music in the state of Washington and Montana and was a familiar vocal/choral clinician and guest conductor. Dinah isin demand as a guest conductor and choral clinician across the United States, Canada, and Southeast Asia. She has conducted numerous All-State Choir festivals throughout the United States. Dinah lives in Washington State.

Allison Girvan - Choral

whistler festival adjudicator

Allison is a professional singer, arranger, director, clinician and adjudicator. She has been a featured soloist on recordings and in performance with ensembles including musica intima, Elektra Women’s Choir, The Vancouver Chamber Choir, the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and as a vocalist for studio sessions for radio, T.V. and feature film.

Allison has worked extensively with Canadian Celtic Tenor, John McDermott on recordings, international tours, and the PBS specials, “A Time to Remember” and “Sharing Christmas”. Her debut solo cd, “Resonance”, combining her love of world music and her love of languages, was released in 2007. She now lives in Nelson, B.C. where she continues to record for television and feature film scores, directs the Nelson Youth Choir, the women’s choir, “Shenango”, corazón vocal ensemble, and is music director for the Capitol Theatre’s youth program.

Greg Jasperse - Choral

whistler festival adjudicator

Following eight years as a professional musician in Los Angeles, Greg Jasperse is returning to Kalamazoo as an assistant professor of vocal jazz and the new director of Gold Company and GC II at Western Michigan University. A world-renowned composer and arranger, he is sought after internationally as a clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor. His conducting credits include all-state jazz choirs in New York, California, Oklahoma, Indiana, Arizona, Missouri, Colorado, New Hampshire, Illinois, and Iowa, as well as the British Columbia Honors Jazz Choir.

Jasperse’s voice can be heard on numerous movie soundtracks including Epic; Oz, The Great and Powerful; The Campaign; Star Trek and Star Trek 2; National Treasure 2; SALT; The Last Airbender; and Real Steel, as well as the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s song “Monarchy of Roses” and Muse’s album The 2nd Law. Most recently he had the pleasure of singing at the 85th Annual Oscars with Adele on her song “Skyfall.” Jasperse also recently arranged, produced and music-directed “A Gallagher Family Christmas” for William H. Macy and the cast of Showtime’s “Shameless.”

Jasperse is a member of two professional vocal groups – Sixth Wave and Vertical Voices. He has also performed with a variety of artists, including Rosemary Clooney, Joe Williams, Dianne Reeves, Kirk Whalum, Jennifer Holiday, Jon Secada, and Gloria Estefan. He spends his summers teaching at several music camps including the New York Voices Vocal Jazz Camp, the University of North Texas Vocal Jazz Camp, and Showchoir Camps of America.

Jasperse has released two solo piano CDs – Tournesol, a collection of contemporary jazz originals, and Crossings, a collection of improvised hymn meditations.

Jasperse is a graduate of University of Miami and Western Michigan University.

2019 Festival Staff:

  • Craig Winter (Concert Band/Drumline)
  • Andy Collinsworth (Concert Band)
  • Allan McMurray (Concert Band)
  • Jacquie Dawson (Concert Band)
  • Dr. Angela Schroeder (Concert Band)
  • Colin Clarke (Concert Band)
  • Dr. Gary Weidenaar (Choral)
  • Scott Leithead (Choral)
  • Kellie Walsh (Choral)
  • Katy Luyk (Choral)
  • John Chalmers (Choral)
  • Frank Lee (Choral)
  • Dorothy Dyck (Choral)
  • Tom Van Seters (Jazz Band)
  • Ray Baril (Jazz Band)
  • Craig Brenan (Jazz Band)

2018 Festival Staff:

  • Robert Ambrose (Concert Band)
  • Erin Bodnar (Concert Band)
  • Gordon Brock (Concert Band)
  • Robert Spittal (Concert Band)
  • Rob Taylor (Concert Band)
  • Brad McDavid (Concert Band)
  • Katy Luyk (Choral)
  • Elise Bradley (Choral)
  • Carrie Tennant (Choral)
  • Frank Lee (Choral)
  • Allison Girvan (Choral)
  • Joel Gray (Jazz Band)
  • Jodi Proznick (Jazz Band)
  • Jerrold Dubyk (Jazz Band)

2017 Festival Staff:

  • Barry Valleau (Concert Band)
  • Larry Gookin (Concert Band)
  • Shelley Jagow (Concert Band)
  • Don Owens (Concert Band)
  • Mark Lane (Concert Band)
  • Jacquie Dawson (Concert Band)
  • Chee Meng Low (Concert Band
  • Dean Mcneill (Jazz Band)
  • Fred Stride (Jazz Band)
  • Ray Baril (Jazz Band)
  • Scott Leithead (Choral)
  • Dominic Gregorio (Choral)
  • John Chalmers (Choral)
  • Frank Lee (Choral)
  • Allison Girvan (Choral)

2016 Festival Staff:

  • Barry Valleau (Concert Band)
  • Allan McMurray (concert band)
  • Gary Green (Concert Band)
  • Robert Taylor (Concert Band)
  • Fraser Linklater (Concert Band)
  • Robert Spittal (Concert Band)
  • Christin Reardon MacLellan (Concert Band)
  • Chee Meng Low (Concert Band))
  • Robert Ambrose (Concert Band)
  • Jerrold Dubyk (Jazz Band)
  • Jared Burrows (Jazz Band)
  • Craig Brenan (Jazz Band)
  • Allison Girvan (choral)
  • Carrie Tennant (choral)
  • Lhente-Mari Pitout (choral)
  • Kathleen Luyk (choral)
  • Lisa Ward (choral)
  • Scott Leithead (Choral)
  • Benila Ninan (Choral)
  • Frank Lee (Choral)

2015 Festival Staff:

  • Larry Gookin - Central Washington University (concert band)
  • Allan McMurray - University of Colorado (concert band)
  • Mark Lane (concert band)
  • Don Owens(concert band)
  • Chee Meng Low (Concert band)
  • Carrie Tenant (choral)
  • Scott Leithead - Kokopelli Choir Director (choral)
  • Jennifer Riley (choral)
  • Jennifer Moir (choral)
  • Jared Burrows (Jazz Band)
  • Brad Turner (Jazz Band)
  • Dave Robbins (Jazz Band)

2014 Festival Staff:

  • Larry Gookin - Central Washington University (concert band)
  • Allan McMurray - University of Colorado (concert band)
  • Dr. Gillian MacKay - University of Toronto (concert band)
  • Robert Taylor - UBC (concert band)
  • Gary D. Green - University of Miami (Concert band)
  • Jonathan Girard (Concert band)
  • Scott Leithead - Kokopelli Choir Director (choral)
  • Chandelle Rimmer (choral)
  • Scott Goble (choral)
  • Raymond Baril (Jazz Band)
  • Craig Brenan (Jazz Band)
  • Dean McNeill (Jazz Band)

2013 Festival Staff:

  • Scott Leithead- (Choral), Kokopelli Choir Director
  • Lhente-Mari Pitout- (Choral), South Africa Director World Youth Choir
  • Fred Stride- (Jazz Ensemble), UBC Director of Jazz Bands
  • Ray Baril- Grant McEwan University of Edmonton
  • Allan McMurray- Conducting Department Chair, University of Colorado
  • Don Owens (Concert Band), Director of Jazz Studies, Northwestern University
  • Larry Gookin (Concert Band), Director of Band University of Central Washington
  • Angela Schroeder (Concert Band), University of Alberta
  • Dennis Beck (Concert Band), Master Educator, University of Toronto
  • Dr. Mark Hopkins (Concert Band), Associate Professor, Acadia University

2012 Festival Staff:

  • Mr. Don Owens- Director of Jazz Studies, Northwestern University
  • Dr. Rob Taylor- Director of Bands and Assistant Professor UBC
  • Dr. Gillian MacKay- Associate Dean, Graduate Education University of Toronto
  • Ms. Catherine Glaser Climie- Founder, the Calgary Cantare Children's Choir
  • Mr. Larry Gookin-Director of Bands, Central Washington University
  • Mr. Allan McMurray- Conducting Department Chair, University of Colorado
  • Fred Stride- Senior Sessional Lecturer, Director Jazz Ensemble UBC
  • Special guest artists Allen Vizzutti and Epsilon