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Meet the adjudicators for the Kiwanis Music Festival 0

By Stephen Uhler, OBSERVER MULTIMEDIA JOURNALIST

Angus Armstrong is one of several adjudicators that will provide their expertise to the Pembroke Kiwanis Music Festival.

Angus Armstrong is one of several adjudicators that will provide their expertise to the Pembroke Kiwanis Music Festival.

The 65th edition of the Pembroke Kiwanis Music Festival will again benefit from the watchful eyes and sharp ears of its team of professional adjudicators

Paul Coates, piano adjudicator, has been here before. He is considered an outstanding adjudicator and the children absolutely love him.

He holds ARCT diplomas in both piano and voice as well as a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from the University of Western Ontario. He also studied at the Chautauqua Institute and the Banff School of Fine Arts. He was privileged to perform for Elisabeth Schwarzkopf in London England and has attended master classes with Gwendolyn Koldofsky, Elly Ameling and Rudolph Jansen. Since his graduation he has enjoyed an active and varied performing career as both singer and accompanist, including solo concerts, chamber music, appearances with orchestra and CBC and TV Ontario broadcasts.

Paul has been a faculty member of the School of Music of Windsor and the Royal Conservatory of Music where he taught in both the Community School and the Glenn Gould Professional School. Currently he maintains a private studio in Stratford. He is also active as an adjudicator and a clinician for ORMTA and is excited about his new series of talks on “Teach and Learn from a place of joy. The importance of being mindfully present in the now while celebrating the whole student. You are awesome just because you are. Not because of what you do or do not do! Your imagination is your limitation in life. You should have no limits when it comes to your imagination. However it is important to have boundaries.”

Mr. Coates has examined for RCM and CC and has been travelling across Canada presenting a workshop for teachers, parents and students entitled: “Calming the Practice Monster.”

Also returning is instrumental adjudicator Angus Armstrong, who is familiar in local circles as the conductor of the Pembroke Symphony Orchestra (PSO).

He graduated from McGill University in 1979, receiving a Bachelors Degree in Trombone Performance with “high distinction”. While in Montreal, he played with various groups, including the McGill Symphony Orchestra, Societe de la Musique Contemporaire du Quebec, Le Studio de Musique Ancienne du Quebec, L’Orchestre des Jeunes du Quebec, and the Montreal and Quebec Symphony Orchestras, amongst others.

After spending time studying in Toronto, in 1981 he moved to Ottawa, accepting the post of trombonist with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Band, a position that he held until 1993.

Since living in Ottawa, he has performed with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and is a member of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra.

He is an active member of the freelance community in and around the National Capital Region, where he plays in groups of all different musical genres. Angus is the trombone instructor at the Conservatoire de Musique du Gatineau, as well as Professor of Trombone at Carleton University.

As well as a performer, Angus is also active as an arranger and composer, and has written and arranged music for television and radio. He is also in high demand as an adjudicator for a large number of music festivals in eastern Canada.

Angus has been the musical director of the Ottawa Youth Orchestra, a large ensemble made up of young musicians from in and around Ottawa, since 1995. This group won the 2012 provincials.

Angus’ other conducting commitments include the Parkdale Community Orchestra and the PSO.

Gregory Cross has appeared in Choral Concerts, Musicals, Theatre, Television and Opera across Canada and Great Britain. For five years he played the role of ‘Monsieur Firmin’ in the award –winning Toronto production of “Phantom of the Opera”. He has appeared on London’s West End in such shows as “Miss Saigon”. In Canada, Mr Cross has sung with choirs coast to coast; his theatrical appearances include the Charlottetown and Shaw Festivals . His operatic performances include appearances with the Edmonton, Vancouver and Canadian Opera Companies, and Opera in Concert in such roles as ‘Goloud’ in “Peleas et Melisande”, ‘Ramiro’ in “L’heure Espagnol”, and ‘Papageno’ in “The Magic Flute”. His TV credits include “Due South”, “Wind at my Back”, “The Twilight Zone” and a recurring role as ‘Ed Caruso’ (The Singing Telegram Man) on the children’s series “Noddy”. Gregory has Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Toronto. He is much in demand across the country as an adjudicator and clinician, his areas of expertise being Choirs, Choral Speech, Musical Theatre, Dramatic Arts and Classical Voice.

Strings adjudicator Andrea Battista received most of her musical education in Winnipeg, studying piano with renowned Winnipeg teacher, Jean Broadfoot, and violin with Anne Pomer-James and Mary Graham. She received an ARCT in both piano and violin performance and an Associate and Licentiate in piano performance from the University of Manitoba, receiving gold medals for both the ARCT and Licentiate in piano performance. She holds a BA (Honours) in English from the University of Winnipeg and an MA in English from Queen’s University. She also studied piano on a scholarship with Pierre Sancan at Jeunesses Musicales in Orford, Quebec, and violin with Hyman Goodman at the American Federation of Musicians Congress of Strings in Los Angeles.

Andrea has been a member of the Kingston Symphony Orchestra, the Oshawa Symphony Orchestra, the Chatham New Symphony Orchestra, and has been a member of the second violin section of Symphony on the Bay since moving to Burlington in 2002. She is also on the Board of Symphony on the Bay. She is part of a guitar-violin duo, four and six, with colleague and composer Philip Corke, which performs classical, folk and Jazz standards.

Andrea taught violin and piano in Chatham for 20 years, where she performed in collaboration with baritone Kevin McMillan, was artistic director of the Chatham Concert Association, was a member of the Board of the Chatham Cultural Centre, and was the accompanist for the Youth Voices of Kent Children’s Choir.

She has been living in Burlington for 10 years, where she is actively teaching and performing on both instruments. She has been adjudicating on both instruments for more than 20 years, is a member of the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators’ Association, is a workshop clinician for the Ontario Registered Music Teacher’s Association, and is an examiner on both instruments for Conservatory Canada. As a teacher, she has had several provincial OMFA first-place winners. She was a member of the board of the Rotary Burlington Music Festival for six years and was music chair for three of those years.

Andrea was also a three-time president of various Ontario Registered Music Teachers’ Association branches, and has spent 30 years volunteering in various ways in this organization. She was recently selected as ORMTA Hamilton-Halton branch’s special teacher for 2011.

Garry Elliott, guitar adjudicator, is a professional classical and jazz guitarist with more than 30 years professional experience. He received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Ottawa where he studied with Michael Strutt. He also participated in master classes with David Russell and Manuel Barruecco.

As a classical guitarist, Garry frequently performs solo and in duos. He performs regularly with flutist Gertrude Letourneau. They have recently released a CD entitled Habanera. He has performed and recorded with composer and guitarist Roddy Ellias and the tango nuevo ensemble Norteno. He is also very active on the Ottawa jazz scene.

Garry has performed in various festivals including the Montreal and Ottawa Jazz Festivals, the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival and the Westben Music Festival. He has recorded for the CBC and Radio Canada on numerous occasions. Garry teaches classical and jazz guitar for Carleton University as well as privately.

As the Pembroke Kiwanis Music Festival’s first ever dance adjudicator, Gwen Bloom has more than 35 years of dance experience as an award winning performer, teacher, choreographer and examiner. As a performer she has been on the Juno Awards, TV Specials and on stage at Deerhurst Inn and the Skyline Hotel to mention a few. With her Intermediate Certificate for the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), her Teachers Certificate with Dance Masters of America (DMA) and Membership with the British Association of Teachers of Dancing (BATD) she is well versed in many genres of dance.

Gwen’s extensive teaching background ranges from the studio environment to the post-sedondary level, where she taught at Sheridan College, in the Music Theatre program, heading up the dance department for 10 years, while teaching and choreographing for The Royal Conservatory of Music. In the studio mileu, Gwen is well recognized for her choreography accomplishments winning many top awards. Gwen’s students have also gone on to further their training at the post secondary level and are successfully performing in theatres, movies, TV, Theme Parks, Cruise Ships and Broadway.

Her choreography credits broaden professionally to include The Toronto Argo Cheerleaders, An Evening At Le Cage, CNE Grandstand, Legends In Concert, and many musicals including Grease, A Chorus Line, Nine as well as various nightclub revues and Corporate Functions with Bloomusic Productions. In addition, Gwen judges internationally, across Canada and the U.S. for such as Candance, Starcatchers, DMA and CDMA and is a very proud Examiner with Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers (ADAPT). Protege Dance Company is thrilled to have Mrs. Gwen Bloom as a faculty member. As a talented and gifted teacher, her vast knowledge and unmeasurable dedication in the classroom inspires students, time and time again.

 

Stephen Uhler is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist

stephen.uhler@sunmedia.ca

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