Ms. Potter holds a Bachelors Degree in Piano Performance from the University of Western Ontario, and a Masters Degree in Piano Pedagogy and Performance from the University of Michigan. Academic positions held include Lecturer in Piano Pedagogy at the University of Michigan, and Co-ordinator of the All-State Program at the Interlochen Centre for the Arts. She has been recognized with several awards in both teaching and performing, including the Alice B. Kern Excellence in Teaching Award (University of Michigan), and the UWO Gold Medal.
Ms. Potter has appeared regularly as an accompanist and chamber musician for recitals at the University of Toronto, the Royal Conservatory of Music and throughout the GTA. She has also collaborated with the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra and the Toronto Wind Orchestra.
As a member the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicator’s Association, her work as an adjudicator takes her on extensive travel throughout Canada. She is also an active Senior Member of the College of Examiners for the Royal Conservatory of Music.
She is passionate about the importance of teaching and performing music by Canadian composers, and is currently the Co-Coordinator of Contemporary Showcase Toronto. Ms. Potter currently resides in the Beaches Area of Toronto, maintaining a teaching studio and busy career as a freelance musician. She is the proud mother of two school aged boys.
Jennifer is very active in the greater Toronto area as both a performer and teacher. She holds her Master’s degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Toronto where she studied with master piano pedagogue Dr. Midori Koga. Prior to this, she completed her Bachelor of Music (Education) at the University of Western Ontario, her A.R.C.T. Performer’s diploma with the Royal Conservatory of Music, and her Associate Teaching diploma with Conservatory Canada. Throughout her studies, Jennifer was the recipient of several academic awards including the prestigious Ontario Graduate Scholarship.
Jennifer is an active member of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s College of Examiners and runs a professional studio in Brampton where she offers piano and theory lessons in both Classical and Popular genres. She has been a guest clinician at the University of Toronto, presenting graduate student workshops on a variety of pedagogical topics, and she enjoys adjudicating music festivals throughout Canada. Her workshop, “The Art of Teaching Transfer Students” has been received by O.R.M.T.A. groups with positive acclaim and she offers master classes to Classically-trained teachers/students seeking greater ease in lead sheet interpretation and improvisation.
Jennifer is a versatile, professional, vocal and instrumental accompanist and soloist. She performs regularly at a variety of venues including nursing homes, receptions, weddings, yoga studios, and churches throughout Ontario. She has pursued studies in the field of Early Childhood Music Education under the direction of Mary Stouffer and collaborative piano studies with Dr. Chris Foley of Oakville, Ontario. She spent July 2013 completing a collaborative piano internship with Music Theatre Bavaria in Oberaudorf, Germany and studied mindfulness practice and performance with Madeline Bruser from New York.
Jennifer continues to study Dalcroze Eurythmics, combining her passions for movement, music education and improvisation and recently completed the musician mentorship program with the Canadian National Ballet, training as a dance accompanist. In her spare time, Jennifer loves to ballroom and Latin dance and practices yoga.
Pianist, Kathryn Tremills, is overjoyed to be returning to her hometown of Owen Sound to adjudicate the Grey County Kiwanis Music Festival. The Festival played an integral role in her development as a musician and person. Kathryn is a virtuoso and versatile musician who is in great demand as a performer, vocal coach, teacher and adjudicator. She holds a doctorate from the University of Michigan and is an alumnus of the Eastman School of Music, University of Colorado at Boulder and University of Toronto. In addition to performing on numerous concert series including the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Off Centre Music Salon, Canadian Art Song Project, Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre Thursday Noon Concerts and Pro Musica Detroit, Kathryn has been on the musical staff at the Canadian Opera Company.
She is a member of Women on the Verge with sopranos Elizabeth McDonald and Emily Martin with whom she holds past and upcoming engagements in the US, Canada, France, England and Iceland, supported by the Canada Council for the Arts. A two-time Canada Council Grant recipient as a soloist, she has also appeared with numerous orchestras in North America.
Kathryn holds an appointment to the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto and in summers, is a faculty member of the Centre for Opera in Sulmona, Italy (COSI) and Canadian Operatic Arts Academy (COAA). She recently released her latest chamber music album, Piano Centric.
Kathryn lives in Toronto with her husband, bass-baritone Giles Tomkins, and enjoys life with their four-year-old son.
Trained Vocal & Music Theatre
Brent Thiessen was nominated for two 2017 BroadwayWorld Awards in Best Actor and Best Featured Actor in a Musical categories for his roles in Beauty And The Beast, and Thoroughly Modern Millie, respectively, for Drayton Entertainment. He has appeared in starring roles for theatres across Canada including Theatre Calgary with Olivier Award nominated director Stafford Arima, and Theatre Aquarius with Drama Desk nominated director/ choreographer Michael Lichtefeld.
As an educator, Brent works extensively with both professional and aspiring performers, with training that focuses on powerful breathing, full body grounding and relaxation, and optimal resonance in an effort to master dynamic phrasing, artistic interpretation of lyrics and effective performance in all styles of music, from classical arias to today’s Top 40.
As one of Toronto’s most sought after coaches, his clients include vocalists from CBC Television, Family Channel, Universal Music Group, Mirvish Productions, and Broadway National Tours. He is a celebrated adjudicator of dance and vocal competitions, has been a guest vocal coach for Sheridan College’s prestigious musical theatre program, and published in Dance Studio Life Magazine. He is passionate about inspiring the next generation of artists, regularly conducting workshops for Mirvish Productions, the Toronto District and York Region School Boards, and performing arts studios across the Greater Toronto Area.
Speech & Drama
Over the past thirty years Andy has performed, directed and taught across Canada. He began his professional career in Toronto at Tarragon appearing in Unexpected Moves, Somewhere I Have Never Travelled, Pants On Fire and Fathers and Sons. Other theatre’s include the Stratford Festival, NAC, Banff Centre, Young Peoples Theatre, Soulpepper, Magnus and several seasons acting and directing with Odyssey theatre.
His solo, wordless play Rough House (commissioned by Nightswimming theatre) toured Canada. At many cities Andy also gave workshops in physical theatre. He currently teaches silent comedy at Second City. He has taught at the University of Ottawa, St. Lawrence College, the Ottawa Theatre School, Humber College and is a frequent guest at the Stratford Festival Summer School.
Choirs, School & Community Vocal
Conductor of award-winning choirs for over many years, Ms. Beaupré was the founder and conductor of the Bach Children’s Chorus (BCC) for 30 years and conductor of Guelph Youth Singers for 25 years. Her choirs, which have included choristers from the age of five through university, have won many first place awards at both the provincial and national levels of the Canadian Federation of Music Festivals, including twice receiving the overall national award for Best Choir. BCC has also been awarded three first prizes in the Children’s Choir category of the CBC/Radio-Canada National Competition for Amateur Choirs. Her choirs have released several solo CDs, and the BCC can be heard on soundtracks for movies, television shows, films, and a video by the Canadian Brass, “A Christmas Experiment.” Members of BCC II and III have had many opportunities to work with composer Stephan Moccio, including recording his song “I Believe” for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.
Ms. Beaupré has been honoured with a Bi-Centennial Award of Merit from the City of Scarborough, an award given to individuals whose achievements have brought honour and recognition to the City of Scarborough; the 2002 Guelph YM/YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the arts and culture category; in 2013, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal for service to her community; and, in 2014 the Helen Hosmer Award for Excellence in Music Teaching by the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam. Most recently, Ms. Beaupré was named the recipient of the 2018 Choirs Ontario President’s Leadership Award, made to individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to the promotion and advancement of choral music in their communities.
Linda Beaupré maintains an active schedule as clinician and adjudicator for choirs. She has conducted children’s choir camps, workshops and honour choirs throughout Canada, in the US and as far away as Australia and Indonesia. Along with Jean Ashworth Bartle and Eileen Baldwin, she is co-author of an integrated literacy and ear training programme titled A Young Singer’s Journey, published by Fred Bock Publishing and distributed by Hal Leonard. Workbooks and other materials from A Young Singer’s Journey are currently in use throughout North America and beyond.
Strings and Orchestras
Violinist, Irene Tandberg’s career as performer and pedagogue spans four decades. She has established a vibrant private studio where students are honoured with many prestigious scholarships and awards, obtained positions at notable international & domestic schools & orchestras, and pursued distinguished solo careers.
Tandberg is the Founding Director of Young Artists Pre-College Academy in London Ontario, an inspiration emerging from her long tenure as Co-Director of Forest City School for Talent Education. YAPCA’s, https://www.yapca.ca/, diverse programming nurtures students who are motivated to explore their full potential technically and artistically in a collegial, non-competitive environment. Weekly Performance, Chamber, Master Classes and seminars enhance the student’s musical experience and exposure to community engagement.
Irene’s first teacher was her grandfather, Wolf Notkin who is to be credited with nurturing her deep love of music and inspiring a life long journey of discovery through sound. In later years her principal teachers were Gwen Thompson and Dana Mazurkevich at the University of Western Ontario. Irene then went on to follow her passion and vocation for performance and teaching while concurrently pursuing Suzuki teacher training.
Past recordings and performances reflect an eclectic range of engagements on Modern and Baroque violin, in core, principal and solo positions with many fine orchestras and chamber groups.
Irene is a vastly experienced and fervent pedagogue who has both written and given invited talks on performance, teaching and practice strategies. She is also an active festival adjudicator, master class teacher and workshop clinician in music programs and teaching institutions across Canada.
In addition to running her private studio, Coordinator for Western 360 Chamber Festival and Directing YAPCA, she is a faculty member in the Performance Department at the University of Western Ontario.
Brass, Woodwinds and Band
Originally from northern Ontario, John Kraus is an alumnus of Western University, London, where he studied Music Education. He studied clarinet with Jerome Summers, Robert Riesling and Robert Sheffield and conducting with Jerome Summers and William Gordon. As an undergraduate student John was invited to participate in the graduate conducting seminar at Western, where he first conducted the University Orchestra, performing the second movement of Brahms’ Symphony No. 3. The following year, John had the opportunity to work with Professor Gordon as his assistant, and conducted the University Wind Ensemble during the academic year. After graduating, John was able to work with Wayne Toews and Morihiro Okabe, both proponents of the conducting methods of Saito, as part of an intensive summer program in the early 1990’s.
As the founding music director of the Durham Chamber Orchestra (1996-2007), the Lakeridge Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (1998-1999), and the Music Director of the Clarington Concert Band (2011-2013) and the current music director and conductor of the Northumberland Orchestra & Choir (2013 to present), John has worked in many different genres and with many local and international talents, including Mary Elizabeth Brown, Anastasia Rizikov, Ron Korb, and the Sultans of String. John’s conducting credits include performances of Korngold’s Violin Concerto, Gloria for soprano, choir and orchestra by Poulenc, the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in Eb+ by Lizst, as well as Canadian and world premiere’s of works by Canadian composers Vince Gassi, David Tanner and Brent Straughan. 2018-19 engagements include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, the Cherubini Requiem, Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 1, the Saint-Saens Christmas Oratorio, a concert performance of Puccini’s Turandot and an evening of Jazz standards with Molly Johnson.
In the fall of 2017, John was nominated as one of five national candidates to be considered for the Heinz Unger Award. This honour, administrated by the Ontario Arts Council, recognizes an emerging professional conductor, who has demonstrated their skill and abilities and is making an impact in their chosen field.
John has conducted, performed and recorded as part of funk bands, jazz ensembles, musical theatre pit orchestras, wind bands, orchestras, choirs and chamber ensembles. As well John has assisted in the creation of many professional recordings as an editor, performer and producer. As clarinetist with the Lavender Chamber Ensemble, a collective of professional musicians from south and central Ontario, and as a freelance performer, John has had the chance to perform solo and chamber works including Michael Conway Baker’s Clarinet Concerto, the Beethoven Septet and Mozart’s Kegelstatt Trio.
John is an active member of the Ontario Music Educators Association and leads school workshops with students and with teachers as well as annual conference sessions on ‘best practices’, creativity and composition, and technology in the Music classroom. As a dedicated educator with more than 25 years spent working with students, young and old, from around the world, John continues to share his passion for Music. Many of his students have gone on to study Music at the University of Toronto, McGill, Western, Laurier, Berklee College Boston, and have developed careers in broadcasting, education, entertainment law, composition and performance. John regularly conducts honour high school ensembles as part of the annual Conference of Independent Schools Music Festival (CISMF), held annually each spring at Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto. He works with amateur adult musicians who may have entered the arena for the first time or who have returned to something that they began as youngsters, working as a volunteer with the Liftlock Bands ‘New Horizons’ organization, Peterborough, and as an instructor at the Lakefield Summer Music Camp, Lakefield, Ontario. John has also worked as a coach with the woodwind, brass and percussion sections of the La Jeunesse Youth Orchestra, Port Hope. He regularly works with ensembles preparing for festivals as well as an adjudicator. John has been a member of the Canadian Music Festivals Adjudicator Association since 2014, hearing performances at the local, regional and provincial levels of competition.
In his spare time John enjoys skiing, playing golf, softball and goal for pick-up hockey games, reading, smoking any type of meat for dinners with friends, single malt scotch and riding his motorcycle.
Composition classes will be delegated to the most appropriate adjudicator.