Adjudicators 2024

Jennifer Smele

Jennifer is very active in the Brampton musice community 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 local professional studio where she offers piano and theory/harmony lessons in both Classical and Popular genres. She is a regular guest clinician at U of T, offering undergraduate and graduate workshops on a variety of pedagogy topics and enjoys adjudicating music festivals throughout Ontario. Her workshop, “The Challenges and Rewards of Teaching Transfer Students: Maximizing Success with Every Music Student” has been received by O.R.M.T.A. groups with positive acclaim.
Jennifer is a versatile, professional vocal and instrumental accompanist and recording artist.  She performs regularly at a variety of venues including nursing homes and churches throughout Ontario and was the Music Director at Trinity United Church in Shelburne, Ontario for several years. She is happy to be the President of the Bolton-Brampton-Caledon ORMTA branch.
Jennifer has pursued further studies in the field of Early Childhood Music Education under the direction of Mary Stouffer and collaborative piano studios with Dr. Chris Foley of Oakville, Ontario. She spent July 2013 completing a collaborative piano internship with Music Theatre Bavaria in Oberaudorf, Germany and recently pursued studies in the field mindfulness practice and performance with Madeline Bruser from New York.
Jennifer is currently excited to be pursuing studies in the field Dalcroze Eurythmics, combining her passions for movement, music and improvisation.

Christine Tithecott

Christine Tithecott holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Iowa, as well as a MMus in Performance and a BMus (Honours) in Music Education from the University of Western Ontario. She has worked previously at Iowa State University in Ames, IA.
In high demand as an adjudicator, Dr. Tithecott has worked with young pianists across Asia and North America. As a clinician, she has presented workshops on pedagogical topics both nationally and internationally at notable conferences including the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Associations (CFMTA). Christine is a member of the College of Examiners for the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM), Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators Association (CMFAA), and a clinician for the Ontario Registered Music Teachers Association (ORMTA). Additionally, Dr. Tithecott has served as an editor for Conservatory Canada’s New Millennium Series.
An avid performer, Dr. Tithecott has had the opportunity to perform as a solo and collaborative artist throughout Canada, USA, and Europe. Christine has a strong passion for performing and promoting contemporary Canadian repertoire, and has performed with numerous new music ensembles including Ensemble 319, and The CNM Ensemble (Iowa City, IA).
Christine currently resides in London, Ontario and is an Assistant Professor at Western University’s Don Wright Faculty of Music, where she teaches Piano Pedagogy and Accompanying for Credit. She is the Past President of London ORMTA, and she also works as a collaborative artist, and maintains a full studio of private piano students.

Amanda Brunk

Amanda Brunk is a voice teacher and NCVS-certified vocologist specializing in contemporary voice technique. Amanda adjudicates regularly for classical, choral, pop and music theatre categories. from coast to coast.  She is vice-president of the Ontario chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and is a published author for the NATS Journal of Singing.
Amanda teaches CCM voice at Wilfrid Laurier University and teaches and coaches in the department of Theatre and Drama Studies at Sheridan/UofT. She maintains a successful private studio in Waterloo.  Her voice students have gone on to perform throughout Canada, on North American tours and in Broadway shows.  As conductor of the Grand Philharmonic Youth Choir for eight years, Amanda led the choir to win competitions nationally and internationally, and to perform with grammy-winning recording artists and rock groups.
A passionate advocate for the education and inspiration of young artists, she developed the concept for the Music Theatre Academy at Laurier, an intensive three-week performance program for pre-professional emerging artists where she teaches contemporary voice technique to classical singers and sits as the Artistic Director.
Amanda is also the Founder and Artistic Director of The Singer’s Theatre, a summer music theatre training program that attracts singers from across North America since 2002, and has served as vocal director for various cruise lines. She is currently training as a Designated Linklater Voice teacher with the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Marion Samuel-Stevens

Canadian Soprano Marion Samuel-Stevens has been described as an engaging, direct performer and actress. Her performances range from the intimacy of recital performance to the grandeur of opera.   Marion has been the Ontario winner of the Natsaa competition and second runner up in the regional Natsaa competition in Indiana, where her voice was described as “beautiful and rich with evenness and colour throughout“. She was also a semi-finalist in the prestigious Eckhardt-Grammatté competition which gives special attention to new Canadian music. In both competitions Marion was able to show her well-developed ability to switch between a wide variety of vocal and dramatic styles with efficiency and finesse.
Marion has performed across Canada and the United States and Europe. She is a graduate from the University of Toronto’s Voice Performance program. As well as studies at Wilfrid Laurier University she has attended many prestigious enrichment programs across North America and Europe where she had the pleasure of studying with many acclaimed musicians including Elly Ameling, Rudolph Jansen and Martin Katz.

An avid supporter of new music she has had the pleasure of debuting several works by Canadian composer Peter Skoggard, as well as performing works by Ronald E. Beckett, Jake Heggie. Ricky Ian Gordon and John Harbison all under the guidance of the composers themselves.  Her unique approach to poetry and ability to interpret challenging works with ease has also allowed her to perform in the  Bohlen Pierce scale. On her portrayal in Ronald E Beckett’s Ruth  “Marion Samuel-Stevens was outstanding in the title role. Her warm, full voice floated across the registers, especially to some silvery, shiver producing high notes. I found I was keenly looking forward to her next solo moment. ”  Murray Charters
Marion also has the honour of conducting the Village by the Arboretum Singers and Joyful Noise Children’s Choir. As a conductor Marion believes in bringing the beauty of the voice forward through building confidence and skill.  Text and attention to dramatic intention are also at the forefront of her preparation bringing a charismatic and evocative performance to the audience.
Equally comfortable on the operatic and concert stage, Marion is sought after for her subtle interpretations of text and character, as much as for her warm, supple and luminous voice.

Irene Tandberg

Violinist, Irene Tandberg’s career as performer and pedagogue spans four decades. She has established vibrant private and university studios where her students have been honoured with many prestigious scholarships and awards, obtained positions at notable international & domestic schools & orchestras, and pursued distinguished solo careers.
Irene’s long tenure as Co-Director of Forest City School for Talent Education, FCTE, inspired her to further enrich students’ experience by creating the Young Artists Pre-College Academy. YAPCA’s diverse programming cultivates motivated high school & university students who are inspired to explore a high level of technical finesse and artistry through chamber music in a collegial, non-competitive environment. Weekly Performance, Chamber and Master classes offer students the opportunity to master their skills and expand their musical knowledge under the tutelage of a dynamic faculty and guest artists. YAPCA is actively engaged in collaborative projects throughout the community and is partnered with Western in Community Engaged Learning.
Irene was born in Denmark. Her first teacher was her grandfather, Wolf Notkin (a member of the Royal Danish National Symphony Orchestra), 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 with acclaimed pedagogues, while concurrently pursuing Suzuki teacher training.
Past recordings and performances reflect an eclectic range of engagements on Modern and Baroque violin. She has had the privilege to perform in core, principal and solo positions with many fine orchestras and chamber groups including L’Harmonie Universelle, Nota Bene and Arcady. In 1989 she founded the string quartet, Octo Mani.
Irene is a vastly experienced and fervent pedagogue who has both written and given invited talks on performance, teaching and practice strategies. She is in high demand as a festival adjudicator, master class teacher and workshop clinician in music programs and teaching institutions across Canada. In addition to running her private studio, acting as the Coordinator for Western 360 and Directing YAPCA, she is a very active faculty member in the Performance Department at Western and recipient of the student council “Award of Excellence” in teaching.

Linda Wharton

DLinda retired from teaching at London Central Secondary School, leading a music department in which half the student body participated! She conducted senior concert band, wind ensemble and the jazz band. A founding member of the Thames Valley Honour Band and a board member of the Ontario Music Educators’ Association, she’s now a valued member of the JRLMA team leading our JRLMA Ken Palmer Bursary program. Recipient of the 2015 JACK RICHARDSON LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD for being an outstanding contributor to the London and area music community.
She is a founding member of the Thames Valley honour band. She has been a board member of the Ontario Music Educators’ Association for six years, four of them as treasurer.
Among other local accomplishments is her role with the Variety Is annual concert at Budweiser Gardens. It draws hundreds of music students from across the London region. At the London Kiwanis music fest, Wharton conducts and coaches. She will perform in a quartet with her students in its 2015 competition.
She is currently teaching at the University of Western Ontario, Don Wright Faculty of Music Instrumental Ensembles Techniques.

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