Concert Band/Orchestra/Chamber Ensemble
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.
Artistic Director, Percussionist & Educator
Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound
Richard Burrows has had a substantial career throughout North America, Europe, Mexico, Australia, and Asia. Having earned two Master’s degrees from the University of Toronto, Richard has honed his craft to create a unique approach in both education and performance. An avid educator, Richard has adjudicated at numerous festivals across the country and facilitated masterclasses with a specialization in improvisation and ensemble awareness. As an active freelance musician within his community and beyond, he has performed with many symphonies including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Montreal Symphony Orchestra, with famed bass clarinetist Kathryn Ladano in their duo Stealth, was a principle cast member of ScrapArtsMusic, is a founding member of TorQ Percussion Quartet, and the artistic director of Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound. Richard is a proud endorser of Yamaha Canada Music, Innovative Percussion, Dream cymbals and gongs, and Black Swamp Percussion.
Trumpeter, International Soloist
Recognized by his peers as “one of Canada’s leading trumpet and cornet players” (the U.S.-based International Trumpet Guild), Frédéric Demers is much in demand as a soloist with a variety of musical ensembles, principally since the release in 2008 of his solo disc Carnaval et Concertos. His accomplishments include two concertos premiered in 2013, one of them for six trumpets, one soloist and orchestra, the other for cornet and orchestra.
Chamber music is a passion for Frédéric Demers. In that context he can be discovered in the theatrical concert that he produced himself, 8 trompettes et 1 piano, a concert with staging by Anne Millaire and in which, apart from Mr. Demers’s own work, pianist Jacynthe Riverin turns in a sterling performance. Moreover, he founded the trio Débonnaire, a brass trio dedicated to all styles of classical repertoire. Still as a chamber musician, Mr. Demers partnered with organist Catherine Todorovski to create an organ-trumpet duo. And besides being one of the founding members of the brass quintet Impact, which began life in 1994, in 2007 he joined the dynamic Magnitude6, a sextet consisting of a brass quintet and drums, and devoted to contemporary music.
As a freelancer, Frédéric Demers has played with almost all the symphony orchestras in Québec, including the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and the Orchestre Métropolitain. In 2006 he did a six-concert tour in Germany on natural trumpet for the Netherlands Bach Society baroque orchestra.
Always active with the young, Mr. Demers has helped popularize the trumpet across the country. In 2006 he conceived an innovative multimedia solo concert, The trumpet in all its forms, in which he plays seven different types of trumpet. In 2007 the concert was adapted as a coproduction with Jeunesses Musicales of Canada to become Fred Piston and his 7 Trumpets and has been presented close to 500 times before as many as 50,000 youngsters from three to twelve, in a number of Canadian provinces. In 2013, in collaboration with writer-director Mario Boivin, Mr. Demers did a new version for soloist and orchestra entitled Fred Piston Symphonizes with 7 Trumpets. That adaptation has been performed on five occasions, before a total of 4,100 young listeners.
Frédéric Demers obtained his doctorate with honors in cornet performance from the Université de Montréal. He also earned an Artist Diploma at McGill University as well as a First Prize from the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal.
Clarinetist, Associate Professor
Colorado State University
One of the prominent clarinetists of his generation, Wesley Ferreira has been praised by critics for his “beautiful tone” and “technical prowess” (The Clarinet Journal) as well as his “remarkable sensitivity” (CAML Review). Fanfare Magazine notes, Ferreira is “clearly a major talent.”
As a recital clarinetist, his performances continually engage audiences, provoking the Artistic Director of one recent concert series performance to remark that Ferreira “showcased a potent synthesis of serious musicianship, technical ferocity, and bravery of programming that was effectively tempered by a dynamic flair for showmanship. With this performance, Ferreira proved not only is he an artist of some consequence, but also a consummate showman capable for presenting even the most challenging works with the ease and fluency of a world-class player.”
Ferreira leads an active and diverse career performing worldwide as soloist, orchestral and chamber musician, and as an engaging adjudicator and clinician. Equally at ease performing the masterworks as well as contemporary pieces. He has been featured soloist with numerous wind bands and orchestras in North America and Europe and has been broadcast nationally on both Canadian and Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s. Recent performances have taken him to Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Russian, Slovakia, and Spain. Upcoming engagements include performances in Poland, France, and Ecuador.
Ferreira’s discography now totals six, including the 2013 East Coast Music Award winner – Classical Recording of the Year, for Beyond the Shore and the Ships with soprano Helen Pridmore (Centrediscs label). His debut solo album entitled Madison Avenue (Potenza label), was released in 2014 to critical acclaim and features the premiere recordings of noteworthy North American composers.
As a means of artistic growth and furthering scholarship, Ferreira demonstrates avid support for new music by frequently commissioning and premiering works. Of note, upcoming commissions include works by prominent Portuguese composers for a forthcoming album slated for release in 2018. This advances his doctoral research project of curating works that feature the clarinet and which include Portuguese folk elements. Indeed, Ferreira continues to champion Portuguese music in North America. He was awarded winner of the 2015 International Portuguese Music Awards in the Instrumental Category.
Born in Canada to parents of Portuguese heritage, he received his musical training at the University of Western Ontario (B.M) and Arizona State University (M.M and D.M.A) studying with Robert Riseling and Robert Spring, respectively. Following four years in the position of single-reeds instructor and Director of Bands at Mount Allison University, he joined the music faculty at Colorado State University in 2011 and now maintains a thriving clarinet studio as Associate Professor.
Ferreira is a dedicated music educator and pedagogue. Passionate about teaching, he mentors students towards the achievement of their career goals, with emphasis placed on striving for professional and personal growth. His innovative teaching methods are acclaimed, including the development of the breath support training program for musicians, Air Revelation ®.
Ferreira is frequently invited to give performances, workshops, and masterclasses at high schools, colleges and universities throughout North America. In addition, he has been invited to perform at national and international academic conferences including the International Clarinet Association’s annual ClarinetFest nine consecutive times (2009 – 2017). He is the co-founder and artistic director of the Lift Clarinet Academy, a summer music festival and training ground which attracts students from around the world.
Ferreira’s industry endorsements include positions on the Performing Artist rosters of Selmer Paris where he performs exclusively on the new Privilege clarinets, and with D’Addario, performing on the Reserve model mouthpiece and reeds.
Head Teacher, Brass & Percussion Department
Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts
Rod MacGillivray grew up in Bridgewater NS and is a conductor and low brass performer and teacher of trombone, euphonium and tuba. He is the head teacher of the Brass & Percussion Department at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts, director of the Mersey Band in Liverpool, NS, and is co-conductor of Scotia Brass. He was assistant director with the Greater Columbus Concert Band in Columbus, Ohio and was a military musician in the Band of the Ceremonial Guard in Ottawa from 1990-1995. Rod’s musical activities include performances with the Alabama Opera Orchestra, Ohio Light Opera, Northern Kentucky Symphony, P.E.I Symphony, and the Edmonton Symphony and a one-year appointment as professor of conducting and music director of the Acadia University Wind Ensemble and Brass Ensemble from 2011–2012. Locally he has performed with Nova Sinfonia, the Chebucto Orchestra, Scotia Brass, Bridgewater Fire Department Band, and the Chester Brass Band. He holds a B.Mus. from Mount Allison University, a M.Mus. from Temple University, and has completed doctoral studies at The Ohio State University and the University of Alabama. He has also taught on the faculties of Kenyon College and Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Ohio and was the Director of Bands at Adams State College in Alamosa, Colorado from 2005–2007.
Coordinator of Bands
Dr. Colleen Richardson is the Coordinator of Bands and directs the Wind Ensemble at Western University in London, Ontario, the second largest music program in Canada. She teaches undergraduate music education classes, graduate courses in conducting and wind literature, and supervises the Western Young Winds program, which is a community outreach band for students in grades six to nine taught by undergraduate music education majors. Under her direction, the Western University Wind Ensemble has produced two CDs, Apparitions (Albany Records, 2011) and Explorations (Mark Records, 2016); both recordings are available through itunes and Amazon.com.
Besides being active as a clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor nationally, Dr. Richardson has guest conducted or presented her research at conferences in Ireland, Switzerland, Italy, Taiwan, Indonesia, Japan, Wales, and the US. Her research focuses on wind literature, conducting pedagogy, and ensemble rehearsal techniques. Publications include articles for the Canadian Winds, and the Canadian Music Educator Journal, as well as study guides within eight volumes of the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series. In 2012, Dr. Richardson produced and edited the Hunsberger DVD within GIA’s DVD set entitled Three Icons: Frank Battisti, Donald Hunsberger, and H. Robert Reynolds.
A native of Winnipeg, Dr. Richardson graduated from Brandon University (BMus Ed), the University of Calgary (Wind Conducting Diploma, MMus Conducting), and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (DMA Wind Conducting). Her primary conducting teachers have been Rodney Winther and Glenn Price. However, she has also had opportunities to study with many other well respected composers and conductors, including: Craig Kirchhoff, Karel Husa, Warren Benson, David Maslanka, Eugene Corporon, Mallory Thompson, Robert Reynolds, and Jerry Junkin.
While in Cincinnati completing her doctorate, Dr. Richardson co-directed the Tri-State Chamber Players, as well as served as the Music Director and Conductor of the Cincinnati Youth Wind Ensemble. Prior to her graduate studies, she taught general, choral, and instrumental music in the Canadian school system for 14 years.
Currently, Dr. Richardson serves on the boards of WASBE (World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles) and the OBA (Ontario Band Association). She is also active on the CBDNA Music Education Committee (College Band Directors National Association).
Bassist, Composer & Educator
NSCC Music Arts
Bassist, composer, and educator Tom Easley has earned a reputation as one of Eastern Canada’s finest jazz bassists. Two-time East Coast Music Award Winner, Maple Blues Winner and multiple award nominee, Tom co-lead the music group Hot Toddy for a decade; co-producing seven CDs and performing at major jazz and blues festivals all across Canada, Europe and the United States. His newest project Easley Quartet is one of Canadas most exciting new jazz groups which features the original compositions of Easley and the debut recording will be released 2018.
Over the past 25 years Tom has performed with a number of internationally recognized artists including Mike Murley, Juan Martin, Ed Thigpen, Jeff Hamilton, John Abercrombie, Hal Galper, Mike Stern, Peter Erskine, Adam Rogers, Lage Lund, Tierney Sutton, David Liebman, Phil Dwyer, Lorne Lofsky, Matt Wilson, Cyril Aimee, Andy Laverne, Randy Brecker and Los Lobos.
Tom is originally from Fredericton, New Brunswick and holds a degree from St. Francis Xavier University with a B.A. Honours in Jazz Performance. Currently, he is a faculty member at the Nova Scotia Community College’s Music Arts Program and part time faculty for the St. FX Jazz Degree Program.
Professor of Jazz Improvisation, Harmony, History
St. Francis Xavier University
Kenji Omae is a Canadian Jazz saxophonist based in Nova Scotia, Canada. He has been described as “a super-articulate virtuoso” (Peter Hum-The Ottawa Citizen) and “may be the most exciting tenor saxophonist to emerge in Canada in recent years” (Stuart Broomer-The WholeNote). He has released three albums of original music as a leader; “Story Time” (2015), “Not So Deep” (2011), “Here For Now” (2007). In addition to his own recordings, he is featured as a sideman on over thirty jazz CD’s.
From 2003-2017, he was based in Seoul as a full time instructor of saxophone (Dong-Ah Institute Of Media And Arts and Paek-Che Art College). He was an active contributor to the music scene of Seoul through his frequent performances and extensive teaching. In 2007, he won the first prize in the Jarasum International Jazz Festival competition.
Kenji has a Master of Arts Degree in Jazz Performance from CUNY/Queen’s College in New York. He is currently on faculty at Saint Francis Xavier University where he maintains a Saxophone studio and teaches classes that include Jazz Improvisation, Jazz Harmony, and Jazz History.
Trombonist & Pianist
Walt Music: David Staples
Dave Staples is a veteran East Coast performer and music educator and maintains a busy freelance career as a pianist, trombonist, composer, adjudicator and recording artist. Dave has performed and recorded with such artists and groups as Mike Murley, Renee Rosnes, Kenny Wheeler, Kurt Elling, Omar Hakim, the Maritime Jazz Orchestra and Bicoastal Collective as well as numerous East Coast musicians and ensembles, including John Chiasson, Ian Janes, Scott and the Rocks, Mike Cowie, Latin Groove, the Blakey Project, the Mingus Project, the Horace Silver Tribute Band, the Halifax Trombone Summit, the Back Alley Big Band and his own Dave Staples Septet. In 1995, he received the East Coast Music Award (ECMA) with Jeff Goodspeed as Jazz Artists of the Year for their album release of “Eastern Passage” (CBC Productions) and is featured on the 2006 ECMA Jazz Album of the Year “Tom Roach: Piano Trios” (CBC Productions).
Dave taught instrumental music with the Halifax Regional School Board for over 30 years and is co-founder and director of the Nova Scotia Honour Jazz program, which has worked with talented students of jazz in Nova Scotia for the last 25 years. He has also served as a board member of JazzEast and was on the Canadian Executive Board of the International Association for Jazz Education as Newsletter Editor and Director of Communications from 2003 to 2008.
Halifax Regional Arts Music
A native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Frances Farrell pursued her music studies in Winnipeg, graduating with both Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education degrees from the University of Manitoba. She subsequently earned a Master’s Degree and Artist’s Diploma in Vocal Performance from McGill University. Frances recently graduated with her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Toronto. Currently, Fran is based in Halifax where she conducts two senior high choirs as part of the Halifax Regional Arts Program and an adult community choir called the Dartmouth Choral Society. Fran has also worked as a choral clinician in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, and Alberta. Recently published works include In Search of a New Tradition-Improvisation in Choral Settings (Canadian Music Educator, 2016) and Winter Proverbs, which was awarded first prize in Chor Leoni’s inaugural C4 competition (2017) and is published by Cypress Press.
Director, School of Music
Mezzo-soprano Christianne Rushton has delighted audiences with her engaging presence and versatility on both the operatic and concert stages. Dr. Rushton is a first prize winner of the Canadian National Music Festival, a prize winner at the prestigious Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition, a two-time grant recipient from the Canada Council for the Performing Arts, and a winner of the Canada Council’s Bernard Diamant Prize in Voice. In recital, she has been a guest artist for the Royal Society of Canada, toured with Debut Atlantic, performed at the Indian River Festival, recorded with the Canadian Chamber Choir, sung with Baltimore Musicales and debuted at New York’s Alice Tully Hall.
Christianne is Associate Professor at Acadia University where she is head of vocal studies and Director of the School of Music. Christianne is a graduate of the Juilliard Opera Center at The Juilliard School and completed her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from SUNY Stony Brook. She recently received an Emerging Leader Award, from the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) for her innovation and success teaching voice. Dr. Rushton is President of two arts organizations on the East Coast; President of the Canadian Atlantic Provinces chapter of NATS, and the President of the Nova Scotia Federation of Provincial Music Festivals. Christianne is founder and President of “Discover Your Dynamic Voice”, a company that offers coaching to women in leadership to unleash, in order to unlock the power of their own unique voice.
As well as being active as an adjudicator, pedagogue, workshop clinician and performer across the country, she is a proud mom to two very busy boys, ten and seven.