An active member of the Ontario Registered Music Teachers’ Association (ORMTA) Kingston Branch and National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), Michael Faulkner studied at Queen’s University, Kingston and the Royal Conservatory of Music in Piano/Voice performance and pedagogy as well as in music theory and history. Known for his musical insight, beautiful tone and technical command, Michael began his music studies at age four, participating in numerous music festivals and competitions and receiving many top awards and distinctions.
Michael enjoys a rewarding career as teacher of more than 60 weekly students of all ages and levels in piano, voice, pedagogy and theory. As an examiner and clinician for Conservatory Canada, Michael has had the opportunity to work with music teachers and students across this wonderful country. For many years, Michael led a large community choir in the Quinte region with great passion. Michael is an avid animal lover, helping in the training future of future guide dogs for the Lion’s Foundation of Canada, with his family. As well, Michael loves to attend concerts, support the theatre and explore nature.
Emily Seto-Hughes is an accomplished Toronto-based classical pianist and educator on Faculty at the Royal Conservatory of Music. After completing a Bachelor of Music degree while studying with Emily Chiang and Diana Dumlavwalla, she received a fellowship from the University of Toronto Faculty of Music to complete her Master of Arts degree specializing in Music Education, and is currently pursuing doctoral studies.
Emily holds an ARCT in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music, and is certified in the Orff-Schulwerk method. Her teaching approach is rooted in providing students with a holistic music education that centers around student-directed learning.
Emily is the recipient of numerous awards for her academic and musical work, including the Lloyd Bradshaw Prize, Nancy E. Hardy Music Education scholarship, Doreen Hall scholarship (2015 and 2017), Donna and Richard Holbrook scholarship, Arthur Edward Redsell scholarship, RCM Emerging Artists Award in Music Education, Gunild Keetman Fund Scholarship, C. Lloyd Dobson Scholarship, and Richard Iorweth Thorman Jazz scholarship.
Rebekah Jordan-Miller is a seasoned piano pedagogue, accredited music therapist and pianist who has performed widely, both as a soloist and collaborative artist throughout Canada, the United States, Austria, Australia and Norway. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance and piano pedagogy from the University of Oklahoma, a Masters degree in Music Therapy from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from the Eastman School of Music. Rebekah’s piano mentors include Mary Lou Tremills, Gwen Beamish, Rebecca Penneys, Fernando Laires, Valerie Tryon, and Dr. Jane Magrath.
Rebekah is currently the Director of the Beckett School at Laurier where she is also a piano instructor and music therapist. She is also on the faculty of Wilfrid Laurier University as a music therapy instructor. She is an active adjudicator, RCM examiner, and clinician and previously held academic positions at Oklahoma City University, Shorter University in Rome, Georgia and Western University in London, Ontario. Rebekah regularly present workshops on developing consistent performance psychology strategies for musicians and also performs with her piano partner, Dr. Marnie Van Weelden as the Blondes on 88 piano duo. Rebekah is thrilled to be returning to the Grey County Kiwanis Festival of Music, a festival close to her heart and a festival that helped develop her own music career as a young pianist!
VOCAL, MUSICAL THEATRE, and SPEECH ARTS
Renée Salewski is a portfolio artist who is active as a director, performer (singer/actor/voice-over artist), writer, voice teacher, and acting coach. Creative opportunities have taken Renée all over the UK, London’s West End and off-West-End, Europe, Canada, Korea, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Hungary, and a great many other inspiring places.
Highlights as a director/performer over the years include, English Touring Opera (three seasons), D’Oyly Carte Opera Company (2002 Season), The Arcola Theatre (Kismet), Edinburgh and Toronto Fringe Festivals (various), Opera York (six Spring productions), Opera Revue (Blitzkeig Cabaret), several remote projects for during the pandemic (COSA Canada- Pirates of Penzance, La Clemenza di Tito, Endymion’s Dream), and writing and producing with long time creative partner Allyson Devenish (Rubi: Shades of Love, and Struggle and Protest).
Current roles and projects include Intimacy direction and production consultant for The Pocket: a folk opera (Peckham Fringe Festival, London, England), RBC Artist Mentor on the Association for Opera in Canada Mentorship Program, Canadian Opera Company teaching artist, NATS Ontario (National Association of Teachers of Singing) VP of Special Projects and Events, audition/role coach and voice teacher to many aspiring and professional performers some of whom are currently appearing in the West End, Off-Broadway and on various national tours, and forever exploring her own craft.
Martha Gregory grew up in Rochester, New York where she studied violin, piano and voice at the Hochstein School of Music, The Eastman School of Music, and Roberts Wesleyan College. Her string studies involved both classical and Suzuki methods.
Since her move to Canada, Martha has enjoyed performing, teaching and promoting Canadian music through her work with music festivals across the country. She has also been performing with the Ontario Philharmonic Orchestra under Marco Parisotto’s baton and was principal violinist with the Hamstrings of Durham Trio for 12 years.
Martha still maintains a private studio that she established in Pickering in 1982. She also spent 12 years touring with the Jean McDonald Singers, performing in Choral, Opera and Musical Theatre.
Martha has served as OMFA’s President and is now serving as their Past-President. Adjudicating has become her passion for the last 22 years. Martha has been involved with music festivals for the last 33 years and has retired as the Ontario representative on the National Board of Governors. Not long ago she was awarded an Ontario Volunteer Service Award for 20 years.
In July of 2019 she became the Artistic Director of the Toronto Kiwanis Music Festival, the largest festival of its kind in Canada. She is also proud of her local Pickering festival that celebrates 23 years this year.
CHOIRS and COMMUNITY VOCAL
Dr. Marta McCarthy, Conductor, is an Associate Professor at the University of Guelph, where she has been directing the choirs and teaching musicianship, pedagogy, and research since 1995. She is a graduate of Westminster Choir College of Princeton (M.Mus), the Royal Conservatory of Music (ARCT, piano performance) and of the University of Toronto (B.Mus, B.Ed., Ph.D.).
Honours include the 1999 Elmer Iseler Conducting Fellowship, an Ontario Volunteer Service Award, and being named a member of the June Callwood Circle of Caring. In 2005, she was awarded the Guelph Woman of Distinction for Arts & Culture. In 2011 she led the Chamber Singers to first place in the ACCC National Amateur Choir Competition (Collegiate category) and in 2012, the same choir won 3rd place in the Mosbach International Chamber Choir Competition in Germany. Also in 2012, Marta conducted the Women’s Chamber Choir at Podium in Ottawa, and in 2018 led the Gryphon Singers in performance at Podium in St. John’s, Newfoundland. In 2019, Gryphon Singers won 2nd nationally among college and university choirs.
She is a Past President of Choral Canada, through which she served the national choral community for 6 years. In 2014, she conducted the prestigious Ontario Youth Choir, in 2015 the Ontario Youth Choir Alumni, and in 2017 the New Brunswick Youth Choir. Dr. McCarthy’s contributions to research in choral performance include presentations at the 2017 World Choral Symposium in Barcelona and the 2019 World Choral Expo in Lisbon.
Fiona Evison lives in the beautiful and inspiring rural Grey-Bruce area of Ontario. She was born into a musical Scottish family who immigrated to Canada when she was a child. Music has always played an important part of her life, and she has experienced the excitement of directing, coaching, accompanying, and adjudicating soloists, choirs, and ensembles of all ages, as well as performing on piano, voice, flute, organ, handbells, and percussion. Fiona is a PhD candidate in Music Education at Western University, where she is exploring her theory of Relational Composition, which highlights the human relationships built through music creation and performance. This academic work has been published and presented internationally.
Fiona has studied composition privately and at two Canadian universities. Her compositions are known for their evocative and lyrical style, and have been performed by others across Canada, in the U.S., and in Asia.. As a composer, she believes her creativity should be used to enable community music making and she enjoys writing original and accessible sacred and secular pieces, and arranging existing ones—especially using Scottish or Canadian themes. Fiona is also a board member and journal editor for the Association of Canadian Women Composers, where she partners with, and promotes the work of, other composers. An active musician and pedagogue, she believes that composition should be an important element of being a well-rounded musician, rather than an exclusive artistic practice. She encourages all performers to find a way to this rewarding activity.
Fiona has performed and taught her own works in Canada, the U.S., and Scotland, and looks forward to encouraging upcoming Grey-Bruce composers!
BANDS, BRASS, and WOODWINDS
Dr. Kevin Watson is an Associate Professor and Chair of Music Education at Western University in London ON. Dr. Watson is the Artistic Director of the Western University Jazz Ensemble, and is also co-director of the Western Young Winds program.
His research focuses on the areas of jazz education and music teacher preparation and he regularly serves as a music festival adjudicator and clinician (jazz and concert band).
Dr. Watson is a graduate of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and the Berklee College of Music. For more information, see https://www.kewatson.com