Concert Band/Orchestra/Chamber Ensemble
Coordinator for Winds, Brass and Percussion
Jill Ball is an award-winning teacher and an accomplished solo, chamber and orchestral musician as well as an active adjudicator, conductor, and clinician. Her responsibilities include the Undergraduate and Graduate percussion studio, directing the Western University Percussion Ensemble, and Division Coordinator for Winds, Brass and Percussion.
She has appeared as soloist in the World Premier performances of David Maslanka’s In Lonely Fields for Percussion and Orchestra with the Windsor Symphony, and Alan Heard’s Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra with Orchestra London Canada. She has performed with a variety of professional orchestras in the United States and Canada, including the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Orchestra London, and the Windsor Symphony. Other solo appearances include the Northwestern University Wind Ensemble, the Oklahoma City University Percussion Ensemble, and the Western University Percussion Ensemble. Jill is a frequent recitalist and advocate of contemporary music. She has recorded with the Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble on the Albany and DMP labels. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Michigan State University, a Master of Music from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Music Education from Central Michigan University and has also taught at the University of Windsor and at the University of New Brunswick. She is a Yamaha Canada artist, Sabian endorser and Past President of the Ontario Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society.
Director of Bands (1982-2015)
Middleton Regional High School
Richard Bennett (B.Mus.Ed, M.Mus.) was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan (1960) and grew up as an “air force brat.” At the age of 12, after bouncing around Canada, he entered Middleton Regional High School, in Nova Scotia, where he quickly acquired a deep appreciation of music under M.W. Harvey. Middleton would have to wait 8 years while Richard finished his schooling in Summerside, P.E.I., graduating from Three Oaks High School in 1978 before attending Dalhousie University.
Mr. Bennett holds a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Dalhousie University (1982) and a Master of Music (School Music) Degree from the University of Calgary (1996). He has served on numerous curriculum development teams at the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Annapolis Valley Regional School Board. He is an active member of the Nova Scotia Band Association, a former member of the CMEA Board of Directors, and a Past President of the Nova Scotia Music Educators’ Association.
He completed the Wind Band Conducting Programme at the University of Calgary in 1992 (including studies with Vondis Miller, Glenn Price, Jeremy Brown, Craig Kirchoff, Stanley DeRusha, John Paynter, David Whitwell, Timothy Reynish, and Frederick Fennell). In addition to his school bands he has, at various times, conducted the West Nova Scotia Regiment Band, the Acadia University Concert Band and Wind Ensemble, the Acadia Summer Winds, the Nova Scotia Youth Wind Ensemble, the Nova Scotia Junior Youth Wind Ensemble, as well as the Prince Edward Island Senior and Intermediate Honour Bands. During the summers he often instructed at band camps including the South Shore Music Camp and Acadia Band Camp. Mr. Bennett has also adjudicated at music festivals in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Saskatchewan and is often invited to guest conduct and give clinics throughout Atlantic Canada.
Mr. Bennett was Director of Bands at Middleton Regional High School, a position he held from 1982 – 2015. He taught instrumental music to students in grades 7 through 12 and directed the Beginner, Junior, and Senior Concert Bands as well as the Junior and Senior Jazz Bands. Out of some 10,000 “non-contractual” hours of rehearsals came concerts, trips, clinics, guest appearances and many profound musical experiences with 1000 or so students of “MRHS.” Personal highlights include performing at Vimy Ridge (2001), the inspiration of Michael Colgrass’ remarkable graphic notation work (2009, 2012) and being witness to countless “lightbulb” moments. He is most proud of many students expressing gratitude for “not just teaching us music but for teaching us about life.”
In his spare time he enjoys playing trumpet and flugelhorn with the “Annapolis Big Band.” He enjoys arranging for brass ensemble, concert band, wind ensembles, jazz ensembles, and orchestra (his “MacGillivray’s Cape Breton” was performed by Symphony Nova Scotia several years ago). He’s been known to really let his hair down as composer/arranger, keyboardist and “horn player” with his “Wednesday Nite Guys” free improvisation sessions or the “Tidal Funk Orchestra.” If there is pen and paper nearby he might dash off a quick cartoon and he has even dabbled in dinner theatre. If you can’t find him he’s in the woods with his camera.
Adjudicator, Clinician & Conductor
Ken Foote began his musical studies under the direction of M.W. Harvey at Middleton Regional High School. He went on to obtain Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education degrees from Mount Allison University, a Master of Education degree from Saint Mary’s University, a Master of Music from Boston University, and completed post graduate work in music through Acadia University, the University of Miami, and Villanova University. He is currently a student in the Doctor of Musical Arts program at Boston University.
Ken’s principal instrument is trombone and he has performed with a wide range of ensembles including Symphony Nova Scotia, the Band of the Ceremonial Guard, and the Aviators. He has conducted numerous school and community bands – including the Nova Scotia Junior Wind Ensemble and the Chester Brass Band. He remains active as an adjudicator, a clinician, and a conductor. Ken has served with a number of community organizations including terms on the executive of the Nova Scotia School Boards Association and the Nova Scotia Band Association. In addition to his musical interests, Ken coaches hockey, soccer, and softball.
The Nova Scotia Music Educators’ Association has presented Ken the Musica Viva Award for his years of dedicated service to music educators and students.
Yamaha Music Canada
Kevin Hamlin recently retired as head of music at Collingwood Collegiate. He has been appointed to be Yamaha’s first Educator-in-Residence. Kevin’s near 30-year career highlighted some of the highest retention rates of most school music programs in Canada.
Kevin was Arts Department Leader and Music Department Head at Collingwood Collegiate for 29 years, building one of the largest and most diverse programs in the province of Ontario. He adjudicated at MusicFest Canada Nationals and other Regional Festivals across the country. In 2016 he was awarded the Order of Collingwood, and in 2015 he was named Keith Mann Outstanding Band Director by MusicFest Canada’s national governing body. This award is given to only one music teacher chosen from across the country each year.
Kevin is a regular presenter at the Ontario Music Educator’s Conference on a wide range of topics, and a frequent guest speaker at university Bachelor of Music programs, faculties of education, and school board workshops.
Director of Bands & Associate Professor of Music
University of Saskatchewan
Dr. Darrin Oehlerking is Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Music at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, where he conducts the Wind Orchestra, and teaches courses in Conducting, Wind Literature and Music Education. He previously served as Director of Bands and Jazz at Bemidji State University in Bemidji, Minnesota, and as Music Coordinator for the Louis Riel School Division in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His post-secondary experience also includes assignments at the University of Manitoba and Iowa Wesleyan College.
Originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Dr. Oehlerking earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in Wind Conducting at The University of Iowa, where he studied with Dr. Myron Welch. He also studied with Dr. Dale J. Lonis at the University of Manitoba, where he earned his Masters in Music Performance with an emphasis in Conducting. His undergraduate work was also at Manitoba, where he earned separate Bachelors degrees in Music and Education.
Prior to his appointment at Saskatchewan, Dr. Oehlerking taught a wide variety of students and musicians at the primary, secondary and post-secondary levels. His ensembles have enjoyed success at the local, national and international levels, garnering outstanding performance awards and showcase invitations from a variety of organizations. In July 2015, the University of Saskatchewan Wind Orchestra had the honour of performing at the bi-annual conference of the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles in San Jose, California. In 2013 the ensemble performed at the Jungfrau Festival in Interlachen, Switzerland and the World Music Contest in Kerkrade, Netherlands.
Dr. Oehlerking is the President of the Canadian Band Association, a Past President of the Saskatchewan Band Association, and is also a Yamaha Artist/Educator. He belongs to several other professional organizations, including the Saskatchewan Music Educators Association, Manitoba Band Association, College Band Directors National Association, WASBE, and Pi Kappa Lambda. Dr. Oehlerking has conducted ensembles, served as an adjudicator, conference presenter and clinician across Canada, as well as in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
Dartmouth All-City Music Program
Mrs. Pam Paddock is a teacher and administrator for the Halifax Regional School Board: She is the Coordinator of the Dartmouth All-City Music Program where she oversees multiple band, choral and string ensembles as well as string lessons from grades 4 to 12. She directs the program’s Senior Concert Band. She has taught band within the HRSB since 1996 and has been a clinician for many school bands throughout this time. Pam is also the assistant conductor for the Nova Scotia Youth Wind Ensemble and a member of the artistic team for Music Mentors International.
Pam has been a clarinetist in the 36 Canadian Brigade Group Band (Atlantic) from 2005 to 2017. Previously, she was actively involved with the Atlantic Region’s cadet band programs from 1986 to 2002, holding various Cadet Summer Training Center band positions up to and including Greenwood Course Director and HMCS Acadia Director of Music. She also conducted many seminars and workshops for cadet bands throughout the Atlantic provinces.
Pam received her Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Music Education degrees from Acadia University in 1996 and her Master of Education degree, also from Acadia University, in 2014.
Drummer, Percussionist, Professor, Producer
Canadian drummer and percussionist Mark Adam has shared the stage and studio with many of Canada’s leading artists and is fluent across a wide range of musical styles. From jazz with Phil Dwyer, Laila Biali, Dave Restivo, David Braid, Carol Welsman and Mike Murley, to award winning classical recordings with Derek Charke, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and WIRED Ensemble, Mark’s love of music knows no bounds. He has played on recordings of country artists George Canyon and Dave Gunning, hip hop artist Johnny Dillemma, worked with leaders in modern dance at the Toronto Dance Theater and the National Ballet and now enjoys a career in music production. Mark’s ability to cross-reference across all musical styles allows him to develop many artists’ voices in the studio and in the classroom. Mark acts as producer and multi-instrumentalist for up and coming artists Laurenn Marchand and Carmen Braden and re-envisions the music of established musicians like Kim Barlow and Jeff Hennessy. He is a professor at Acadia University in Wolfville, NS and regularly appears as a guest presenter and educator for music festivals, universities, high schools and conferences across Canada.
Professor of Music
St. Francis Xavier University
The International Trumpet Guild has stated that downbeat award winning trumpet player and composer, Paul Tynan’s “Creative Genius Shines”.
Paul is presently a Full Professor of Music at St. Francis Xavier University where he teaches jazz trumpet, jazz history, and coaches ensembles. He also co-leads the “BiCoastal Collective”, with Grammy winning saxophonist Aaron Lington. The ensemble is dedicated to performing new jazz composition across North America. Paul has released eleven recordings as a leader/co-leader on the Origin/OA2, Armored, and NohJoh labels and served on the faculties of San Jose State University, Chabot College, Nova Scotia Honor Jazz Program, and University of North Texas Summer Trumpet Workshop and is a past co-director of the Acadia Summer Jazz Workshop.
He has performed with numerous jazz artists such as The Pacific Mambo Orchestra, Chris Poter, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Jerry Bergonzi, Clark Terry, Bob Brookmeyer, Jim McNeely, Joel Frahm, and Matt Wilson. As a jazz recording artist Paul has appeared on over seventy recordings, as a trumpet player, composer, arranger, and/or producer alongside such musicians as Lynn Seaton, Marcus Wolfe, Stockton Helbing, David Braid, Aaron Lington, Joel Fountain, Bobby Selvaggio, Kenny Werner, Kenny Wheeler, Dan Haerle, Ben Street, and Jamey Haddad.
Paul received his Masters in jazz studies from University of North Texas where he was a teaching fellow in jazz improvisation, large jazz ensembles and a member of the internationally acclaimed, Grammy nominated One O’clock Lab Band. Paul has recently received Canada Council for the Arts grants and Nova Scotia Department of Culture Grants to compose new works for chamber jazz ensemble.
Paul is an Edwards Trumpet and Flugelhorn Artist.
Chairman, Instrumental Jazz
Neil Yorke-Slader taught music at the elementary and secondary levels for 17 years. Over 45 of his compositions for jazz ensemble are published through University of Northern Colorado Jazz Press and Burnihla Music Publishing; several are preserved by the National Library of Canada (Archives). He is the Chairman of Musicfest Canada’s Instrumental Jazz Division, and is active as a jazz adjudicator and clinician throughout North America. He was a contributor to “Jazz Pedagogy, A Canadian Perspective”. He has directed the Nepean All-City Jazz Band for the past 30 years, performing at concerts and festivals across the country with a “who’s who” of jazz legends. In 2016, Neil was named to the Musicfest Canada Hall of Fame for his contributions to Canadian music education.
Halifax Camerata Singers
Jeff Joudrey is highly regarded for his vision, musical leadership, and standards of excellence in choral music. He is the Artistic Director of the Halifax Camerata Singers, which he founded in 1986. Under his direction the choir has developed an enviable reputation for performance excellence and innovative programming.
Jeff is Director of Music at Trinity-St. Stephen’s United Church, Amherst, and Chorus Master of the Symphony Nova Scotia Chorus. He is past president of Choral Canada and a former president of the Nova Scotia Choral Federation. In addition to serving on juries for the Juno and East Coast Music Awards, the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council and Choral Canada, he is in demand as a choral clinician, teacher, adjudicator, and guest conductor. In December 2018 he has been chosen as the next conductor of the National Youth Choir, which takes place Newfoundland.
Jeff is an enthusiastic supporter of Canadian choral music and frequently commissions works from established and promising young composers. Committed to the development of young singers, he has been guest conductor of the Nova Scotia Youth Choir and Ottawa’s Unisong. He also has served on the faculties of Dalhousie and Acadia universities as well as the Nova Scotia Choral Federation’s Institute of Choral Conducting.
A native of Nova Scotia, Jeff studied organ at Acadia University and the Haarlem International Academy in the Netherlands before attending McGill University to study with organists John Grew and Raymond Daveluy. His choral mentors include Canadian conductors Elmer Iseler and Wayne Riddell, and German conductor Helmuth Rilling.
Composer, Choral Director, Author, Blogger
Janet Kidd is a composer, singer, choral director, author, music teacher, and choral coach. She also authors a blog called BetterChoirs, sharing tips gleaned from over 40 years of choral experience.
Janet currently directs the SeaBelles Women’s Barbershop Chorus, the Heartbeat! Dalhousie Medical School (New Brunswick) choir, and Men of Fundy Barbershop Chorus. She also directs the 90-voice choir at the annual Tracy Friars benefit concert at the Imperial Theatre in Saint John. Since 2009, she has led choral workshops sponsored by the New Brunswick Choral Federation.
Janet began her directing career with the Royal Military College Choir in Kingston, Ontario before moving to Vancouver, where she was a professional soprano with the Vancouver Chamber Choir. She also worked with the Pacific Evergreen Youth Choir, founded the Skylark Women’s Choir for novice singers, and was Assistant Director for Pacific Singers.
In 1986 Janet moved to New Brunswick, where she worked with Chorale St. Vincent’s and the Cantus Community Choir. From 1996 to 2008 she was Music Director at St. John the Baptist and Stella Maris Catholic Churches in Saint John.
Hamilton Children’s Choir
Zimfira Poloz is a highly respected conductor, educator and adjudicator with a distinguished international reputation. She is the Artistic Director of the Hamilton Children’s Choir (HCC). Under her leadership, HCC has achieved international acclaim through their participation at various festivals such as the world-renowned Adolf Fredrik Music School’s ‘Let the Future Sing’ festival in Stockholm, Sweden, and the Songbridge Choral Festival in Poland. They have won the Grand Prize and First Prize awards in numerous competitions across the Europe, Asia and South and North America. They also obtained the People’s Choice Award for the best choir (Children’s Choir Category and Best Performance of Canadian Work) in the International Choral Competition in Tolosa, Spain. Other prizes included the Grand Prize on the CBC Radio National Choral Competition, the Loto-Quebec World Choral Singing Competition, the European Broadcasting Union Choral Competition “Let the People Sing” in Norway and the 1st Xinghai Prize International Choral Competition in China. HCC also represented Canada as the showcase choir for the 10th World Choral Symposium (IFCM) in South Korea and Polyfollia’s 6th World Showcase and marketplace for choral singing in France and recently was invited as a guest choir at the 2016 American Cantat in Bahamas and the 2017 ACDA national conference.
Zimfira has been decorated with numerous awards in her long career, including the Honoured Representative of Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan Award, the city of Hamilton’s V.I.P. Award, and the Leslie Bell Prize Award for Choral Conducting from the Ontario Art Council. She has been sought after as an artistic advisor, giving conducting lectures at international universities and symposiums, and appeared as a guest conductor and adjudicator at various international conventions and symposia in four continents such as the IFCM Symposiums on Choral Music, ACDA National Conference, Europa Cantat, America Cantat, Interkultur and a number of choral associations nationally and internationally.
Zimfira first established her musical credentials in Kazakhstan, founding the country’s first Choir School. The school provided an outstanding music program that grew to employ 35 music teachers with an enrollment of 450 students. In addition to her duties as the Principle of the school, she also served as the Artistic Director and Conductor. It is through Zimfira’s strong leadership, vision and musical expertise that the Choir School attained the top international choral status and was a recurring prize-winner in choral competitions and festivals around the world.
Immediately upon her arrival to Canada in 1999, her boundless energy and passion for music were in evidence, first as a member of the artistic staff for the Toronto Children’s Chorus and later as the vocal coach at St. Michael’s Choir School and conductor at the Royal Conservatory. She also conducted Yong Voices Toronto (Children’s Choirs in residence of University of Toronto) for 15 years.
In addition to her global travels as a clinician and a conductor, Zimfira continues to teach and lecture on ‘Vocal Pedagogy for Children’s Choirs’ at the University of Toronto. She also has numerous articles and publications in National and International choral magazines.