Alyssa Thompson – Clarinet
Alyssa Thompson is a longtime participant and supporter of the Strata Festival of New Music. Her work both onstage and behind the scenes has been instrumental in the development of the venture.
Alyssa Thompson is a longtime participant and supporter of the Strata Festival of New Music. Her work both onstage and behind the scenes has been instrumental in the development of the venture.
Annette Brosin is a composer and bassist from Germany. She has been writing music since the age of 10. In 2002 she left for Austria to study Tonmeisterei (Sound Engineering) with Jürg Jecklin and Ulrich Vette at the University for Music and Performing Arts, Vienna.
A year later, she entered the composition program and studied analysis, theory, harmony and counterpoint, and composition with Axel Seidelmann, Marcel Reuter, Annegret Huber and Chaya Czernowin. Additionally, she studied jazz theory, composition and arrangement, with Christian Mühlbacher, and applied music (film and theatre) with Klaus-Peter Sattler and Reinhard Karger.
After receiving her diploma in composition in 2009, she moved to Victoria, BC to pursue a PhD in music composition with Dániel Péter Biró.
Annette currently employs her Tonmeisterei training and years of experience as the Audio Advisor for the Strata Festival of New Music.
Anthony holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Windsor and a Diploma in Audio Recording Technology from The Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology (OIART). While attending the University of Windsor, Anthony was a Research Assistant for the Noiseborder Ensemble and specialized in experimental sound art performance and installation design. Now living in Saskatoon, SK, he is an Event Technology Director for PSAV, as well as a freelance audio engineer, trumpet player, and arranger.
Arlene Shiplett was born and raised in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. She became involved in music at an early age with piano lessons, choir and both school and private band programs. She graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a B.Mus.Mus.Ed in 1986. Arlene became a member of the Saskatoon Symphony in 1992. For several years Arlene taught Band in rural Saskatchewan and played in the Symphony. Since 2000, she has narrowed her focus to teaching horn at the University of Saskatchewan as well as private teaching and coaching.
Active internationally from the start of her career in 1995, acclaimed Odawa First Nation composer and musician Barbara Croall from Canada (Manidoo Mnissing, Giniw dodem) has received world premiere performances of her music in several European countries, the UK, the United States, Asia, and Latin America. Apart from playing, performing, and composing on the pipigwan (Anishinaabe cedar flute) and singing in traditional ceremonies, Croall is a classically trained musician, with degrees, diplomas and studies at Centre Acanthes (France), the Hochschule fur Musik in Munich, Germany (Meisterklassendiplom-Aufbaustudium), The Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto), the Glenn Gould School and the University of Toronto (Bachelor of Music in Composition). Croall has continued to create musical works which have fascinated and enthralled critics and audiences alike for her distinctly Indigenous sound within the field of classical music, theatre, dance, film, and multidisciplinary performance. She has frequently been a guest composer and performer at the National Museum of the American Indian (Washington, D.C.) and was composer-in-residence at the Wesleyan Center for the Arts (Wesleyan University, CT). Apart from her work as a composer and performer, she also teaches outdoor environmental education rooted in traditional Anishinaabe teachings, while also regularly working with urban and at-risk Aboriginal youth in schools in multi-disciplinary theatrical projects. As the child of a residential school survivor she is regularly invited to speak at events and ongoing initiatives for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and at various churches seeking a way forward for healing and change.
Brenda received a B. Mus degree from the University of Regina and a M..Mus degree in flute performance from the University of Arizona. She has played principal flute with the Arizona Opera Orchestra and Young Audiences of Southern Arizona woodwind quartet. Brenda was featured soloist with the Regina Symphony Orchestra with guest conductor Arthur Fiedler in 1972. Ms Moats received first prize at the Canadian National Competitive Festival of Music in 1974. She has had extensive teaching experience as a teaching assistant at the University of Arizona, instructor at the Regina Conservatory, the Saskatchewan Summer School of the Arts, school boards for Saskatoon and at Saskatoon Band Camps. She has also served as an examiner for the Western Board of Music (now called Conservatory Canada) and as an
adjudicator for music festivals in Saskatchewan.Currently Brenda plays flute and piccolo in the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra and teaches many students.
In addition to his interest in concert percussion repertoire, Brett Graham is also the drummer of Saskatoon band Adolyne.
Soprano Camille Holland, described as having a “pure, unaffected approach” in Opera Canada magazine, has been singing professionally since the age of nine. She has received numerous scholarships and awards since, including the Phyllis and Bernard Shapiro Scholarship in Opera (McGill University), and the first place award in the Vancouver Women’s Musical Society’s 2016 Scholarship Competition.
Camille has performed extensively in both operatic and concert settings. Her roles include Josephine in HMS Pinafore, Poussette in Manon, Esmeralda in The Bartered Bride, Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, Oberto in Alcina, and Virtù in L’incoronazione di Poppea. In concert she has performed excerpts from Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang (Vancouver Oratorio Society’s Silver Jubilee Concert), Frank Ticheli’s “Angels in the Architecture” (2016 Whistler Cantando Music Festival with UBC Bands), and numerous solos with McGill’s Cappella Antica chorus and Early Music Ensemble.
On the operatic stage, Canadian-American soprano Chelsea Mahan has been noticed for her panache of character (La Presse, 2015) but is equally at home in soundtrack recording, oratorio, recital settings and productions in unconventional spaces. These intimate performances in warehouses and abandoned churches include the roles of Monica in The Medium and Laurette in Bizet’s comedy Le Docteur Miracle with Stu & Jess Productions.
Ms. Mahan has recently returned to Saskatchewan from Montreal, where she was a recipient of the Graduate Excellence Award and a graduate of the Masters of Music at McGill University. During her time there, Ms. Mahan appeared with Opera McGill as Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte and Tytania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Darrell is a graduate of the University of Manitoba (B.A.) and the University of Saskatchewan (B.Mus. Mus.Ed. and M.Ed. in instrumental music). He has performed with many professional organizations including both the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra where he is now Principal Timpanist. Darrell has also been a founding member of several percussion ensembles which have performed throughout Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories for schools and communities. Darrell was an itinerant band teacher in the Saskatchewan Valley School Division and is now on faculty with the Department of Music at the University of Saskatchewan as Applied Percussion Instructor and Sessional Lecturer in Music Education. From 2006-2009 Darrell was also Adjunct Professor to the College of Graduate Studies and Research at the University of Regina.
Downbeat magazine award winning Canadian trumpet player/composer Dean McNeill is a Full Professor at the University of Saskatchewan where he has taught applied trumpet, trumpet choir, jazz history, jazz ensemble, jazz materials, jazz improvisation, jazz pedagogy, and jazz arranging for many years. Dean holds music degrees from the University of North Texas (Masters), McGill University (Undergraduate), and Grant MacEwan College (Music Diploma). Dean has recently released two critically acclaimed CDs respectively entitled Prairie Fire: Large Jazz Ensemble Music of Dean McNeill and Mélange: New Music For Trumpet and Piano. A recipient of the U of S Department of Music’s Dwaine Nelson Teaching Award Dean has performed and adjudicated throughout Canada and the United States and has performed both classical and jazz repertoire on CBC Radio. Dean has performed on the Western Canadian Music Awards Classical Showcase concert and he was recently the guest soloist with both the National Youth Band of Canada and the New Edmonton Wind Synfonia.
Prior to joining the SSO as Principal Oboe, Erin held the position of section oboe and English horn with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra for eight seasons. Erin is also an active freelance musician, and has performed with many Canadian orchestras, including the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Regina Symphony Orchestra, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, the Charlottetown Festival Orchestra and the Elora Festival Orchestra. Erin has also performed with several chamber music groups including Mélange, La salade trio, Festival Winds, Lake Winds Octet and the Bremen String Quartet.
In 2000, Erin received her Honours Bachelor of Music from Wilfrid Laurier University where she studied with James Mason. She completed her Master of Music degree at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania under the tutelage of Cynthia Koledo de Almeida in 2002.
Erin Brophey is on the Faculty at the University of Saskatchewan and is the Woodwind Coach for the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra. She also teaches at the Inter-Provincial Music Camp in Parry Sound, and the International Music Camp in North Dakota. She is an Artist-Educator in the Community Arts and Heritage Education Project in Thunder Bay, and has designed several projects and workshops for classroom music instruction that she has delivered throughout Northwestern Ontario.
Percussionist Fraser Krips will be joining the Strata Festival in 2017 for the Saturday night PAVED Arts concert.
Originally from Humboldt, Saskatchewan, Gerard Weber received his Bachelor of Music Honors in saxophone performance from the University of Saskatchewan, where he studied with Dr. Glen Gillis. Gerard has been recognized nationally and internationally as an outstanding performer and academic. A few highlights of his musical achievements include the first place winner of the woodwind category at the 2012 National Music Festival Competition of Canada, two-time recipient of the award for the Most Outstanding Competitor at the Saskatchewan Provincial Music Festival Competition, and the winner of the 2013 Shurniak Concerto Competition. Gerard was also awarded the University of Saskatchewan Film Society Prize for the most outstanding fine arts graduate for 2013 Spring Convocation. Gerard graduated from the Master of Music program in saxophone performance at the University of Florida in May 2015, under the tutelage of Dr. Jonathan Helton. Gerard is currently based in Saskatoon as a performer and educator. In Saskatoon, Gerard is actively involved with a number of musical organizations and events, including the Fireside Singers’ past productions of Les Misérables and The Wizard of Oz, the Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra, the North Saskatchewan Wind Symphony, the Strata New Music Festival, and the SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival.
Glen Gillis is Professor of Saxophone, Conducting, and Music Education at the University of Saskatchewan. His diverse musical career has spanned over three decades in classical and jazz. He released SaxSpectrum (2009) and SaxSpectrum 2 (2014) through MSR Classics, displaying many of his compositions and commissioned works. He also can be heard on Devotion (2015 Ice Music Press) and didgeridoo.diversions (2007 Hoot/Wisdom Records). Dr. Gillis has performed at numerous national/international saxophone conferences/venues and presented papers/clinics at equally important venues such as CBDNA, WASBE, TMEA, and The Midwest Clinic. He was also appointed director of the NASA Region 9 to a three year term. His articles on saxophone, music education, and wind/orchestral conducting appear in the Canadian Music Educator and Canadian Winds. He has contributed to Teaching Music through Performance in Band and Teaching Music through Performance in Middle School Band. His compositions are published through Eighth Note Pub (Alfred Music). Other information can be found at glengillis.com. Dr. Gillis is a Conn-Selmer Artist/Clinician.
James Legge, originally from Waterloo, Ontario, moved to Saskatoon to take the position of principal violist with the Saskatoon Symphony after completing his studies at McGill University. While living in Montreal James won chamber music prizes in the Jeunesses Musicales and CIBC competitions. Jim performs regularly as the violist in the Saskatoon Symphony Chamber Players, and has been a featured soloist with the Saskatoon Symphony, the Saskatchewan Chamber Orchestra, and Prairie Virtuosi. He has been a regular performer at the Calgary’s Mountain View Festival of Song and Chamber Music, Mountain View Connection, and Ontario’s Viola Camp, and co-directs Saskatoon’s Summer String Experience, a summer camp for young string players. Jim has a private studio of approximately thirty violin and viola students and, as a registered teacher with the Suzuki Association of the Americas, teaches in the Saskatoon Suzuki String Program. When not performing or teaching, Jim enjoys spending time playing with clay and a potter’s wheel.
Kerry-Anne Kutz has sung in concert halls in every province and territory of Canada and throughout the United States (New York City- Metropolitan Opera Gala). On the international scene Kerry–Anne has charmed audiences at Expo ’88 in Brisbane, Australia and for events in England, India, Singapore, Italy and Mexico.
She was the first Canadian woman to become a member of the renowned Royal Canadian Mounted Police band. She has also performed with and for various celebrities such as Gregory Charles, Céline Dion, The Royal Family, international Heads of State and the Montreal Canadians.
A unique artist in her ability to move seamlessly from classical works to jazz, soprano-singer/ songwriter Kerry-Anne Kutz is recognized for her vocal abilities, excellent intonation, professional attitude and her dynamic stage presence.
Above all, Kerry-Anne Kutz is in a class of her own based on her unique ability to communicate with her audiences. “I know a number of musicians who could learn a great deal from (Kerry-Anne’s) gift for direct communication.” Montreal Gazette. She delights audiences with her love of diverse styles of music and sings with ease in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Yiddish and Hebrew. Through the genuine warmth and generosity of spirit, Kerry-Anne Kutz reaches out to every person who has the privilege to share in her concerts.
A veteran performer with the Strata Festival, Kevin Grady is also active as a percussionist with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra.
Laurien holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Saskatchewan and an Artist Diploma from the Glenn Gould School. Ms. Gibson has been the recipient of numerous awards including first place in the Canadian Music Competition, Gordon Wallis Opera Competition and Young Artist Competition. She has also sung in the finals of the Hans Gabor Belvedere competition, an international contest held in Vienna.
As a soloist, Laurien has appeared with Little Opera On the Prairie, The Canadian Sinfonietta, Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques, The Regina Symphony Orchestra, the Saskatoon Opera Association, the Opera Troupe of Saskatoon, and Edmonton’s Opera Nuova. Laurien has been featured in many chamber works including: Orff’s Carmina Burana, Poulenc’s Gloria, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, and Handel’s Messiah. Her opera credits include the roles of Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), Titania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) l’Ecureuil (l’enfant et les sortileges), Amy (Little Women), Barbarina (Le Nozze di Figaro) and 1st Spirit (Die Zauberflöte).
Melissa Goodchild is originally from Windsor, Ontario and received her Bachelor of Music at the University on Windsor. In 2006 she received her Artist Diploma from the University of Western Ontario and continued to study there for her Master of Music in Performance and Literature. After completing her studies in London, Ontario in 2008 she moved to Edmonton, Alberta where she taught at the Alberta College Conservatory of Music. In addition to teaching she performed throughout the city in groups such as the New Edmonton Wind Sinfonia, Opera Nuova and performances at the Citadel Theatre as well as solo performances at recitals.
Melissa is currently the Second Clarinet with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. She plays chamber music with the duo “Carmine Jewel” and the Clarinet Choir “Reedy, Set, Go”. She enjoys teaching students of all ages in private as well as group settings.
Michael Swan was born in 1963 in Saskatoon. He began violin studies at age 5 with Dorothy Overholt, and also studied with Norma Lee Bisha, Mark Reedman and Robert Klose as he was growing up. In 1979, he was awarded the Gold Medal for the highest standing in Canada for Royal Conservatory of Toronto ARCT violin examinations. Michael studied with Yuri Mazurkevich in the Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario, receiving the Hideo Saito Award for academic achievment in 1981 and 1982. Afterwards, he studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia with Aaron Rosand, receiving a Bachelor of Music degree in 1984. Since September 1984, Michael has been concertmaster of the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Saskatoon Symphony Chamber Players.
Naomi Piggott Suchan graduated with honours from McGill University’s Master of Accompanying program where she studied collaborative performance under Professor Michael McMahon. She is currently working as an accompanist for McGill University’s Voice Department where she coaches singers in languages, singing diction, musical style and ensemble. Naomi is also employed as a coach and repetiteur by Opera McGill and is a frequent recitalist at McGill and throughout the Montreal area. In addition to her work at McGill, Naomi is the principle pianist for Mount Royal Children’s Ballet. She also teaches piano privately in Montreal West. Naomi received her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Saskatchewan, where she graduated at the top of her class with the University Medal in Fine Arts. Studies in accompanying during this degree were under the mentorship of Kathleen Lorenz-Gable.
Oxana Ossiptchouk was educated in Russia, where she received a Master’s degree from the Sergey Rachmaninov State Conservatory in Rostov-on-Don in Violin Solo Performance, Orchestral Performance, Chamber Music, and Pedagogy. Oxana was the winner of several competitions in Russia, performing the Mendelssohn concerto with the North Ossetia Republic Symphony Orchestra and the Brahms violin concerto with the Rostov-on-Don Philharmonic Orchestra. In Canada, she won the Saskatchewan Concerto Competition and performed the Szymanowsky concerto with the Saskatoon and Regina Symphonies. She has been an orchestral member of the Regina Symphony and Principal Second Violinist at the Timmins Symphony Orchestra. Presently, Oxana is Principal Second Violinist for the Saskatoon Symphony and performs with the Saskatoon Symphony Chamber Players and Elixir ensemble. Ms. Ossiptchouk taught violin at the University Of Regina Conservatory Of Music and the Timmins Symphony music school. Currently, she teaches violin at the University Of Saskatchewan and Saskatoon Conservatory of Music.
Paul Suchan is a Canadian composer of instrumental and vocal music. His work is described as engaging and profound, though diverse in stylistic range and difficulty.
Many of Canada’s leading ensembles have performed works by Mr. Suchan, including the McGill Wind Symphony, Regina Symphony Orchestra, University of Saskatchewan Greystone Singers and the National Youth Band of Canada among others.
In 2011 Mr. Suchan completed The Beast in the Jungle, a ninety minute opera commissioned through the Brian and Elaine Dawe Performing Arts Grant. The Beast in the Jungle was premiered in Montreal with full orchestra under the baton of the composer.
An unashamed Saskatchewanian, Paul (Born 1983) is from Saskatoon, where he graduated with a B. Mus (2007) and B.Mus Ed (2007) from the University of Saskatchewan. He furthered his studies at the Universite de Montreal with a M.Mus in Composition (2012) where he studied with composer Alan Belkin.
Cellist Scott McKnight is an active performer in Saskatoon, playing as a member of the Saskatoon Symphony, Elixir Ensemble, and Prairie Virtuosi. In addition to performing he maintains a private studio and teaches with the Saskatoon Suzuki String Program. He is also co-director of Sistema Saskatoon, a program which aims to provide orchestral training for underserved youth. Scott holds a master of music degree in cello performance (University of Ottawa), a bachelor of music in cello performance and a chamber diploma (Wilfrid Laurier University).
Born and raised in Saskatoon, Stephanie Unverricht moved back in 2011 to join the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra as Principal Bassoon. She began her studies on the bassoon with Peter Gravlin in Saskatoon and then continued at the University of Ottawa for her Bachelor of Music with Christopher Millard. She completed her Master of Music degree in Bassoon Performance at the New England Conservatory in Boston, studying with Richard Svoboda.
Stephanie performs around the city in various chamber groups, including Prairie Virtuosi and her trio “Chicks with Sticks”, and is also a multi-instrumental member of a semi-experimental alternative folk music band, Minor Matter. Stephanie maintains a private studio in Saskatoon and a few surrounding rural communities, including Humboldt and Middle Lake.
Since graduating from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Music degree in 1987, Mr. Hofmeister has received instruction from notable teachers such as John Sutherland (U.S.), and John Duarte (U.K.), and his playing has received high acclaim from such distinguished artists as Christopher Parkening (U.S.), Alexander Lagoya (France), and Hubert Kappel (Germany).
Walter Hofmeister has also been the guitar instructor for the University of Saskatchewan Department of Music since 2001.
In addition to his activities as a soloist, Mr. Hofmeister also performs with harpist Chris Lindgren (Artissimo Duo), and also his family folk group Willoughby Widdershins. Walter has also appeared as guest soloist with the Prairie Virtuosi Orchestra, and has worked with many of Saskatoon’s finest musicians.