Irma Mulherin – Junior Vocal I & II
Irma Mulherin is a musician, educator and 20 year business owner (Broadway Productions) residing in Grand Falls, New Brunswick. Having grown up in rural NB, Irma has always been an advocate for the arts in communities and around the province. The principal goal of her work is to make music education accessible to all and to promote community involvement through the arts. Irma’s work is diverse including choral and theatre programs as well as instruction in voice, piano, theory and generalized music. Each year the company produces an original dinner theatre which brings laughs to several locations in Northern New Brunswick.
As a performer, Irma’s abilities are varied. She is an established mezzo-soprano and multi-instrumentalist who also enjoys every aspect of creating a stage production. Irma is frequently hired as festival adjudicator and workshop clinician. As a writer, she has written over 20 original scripts, all of which her company has produced, some which have gone on to be produced by other companies across Canada. Irma is the recipient of multiple awards including the NB Young Entrepreneur Award (2009, 2012), Business of the Year (2017), and Woman Entrepreneur Award (2018) to name a few.
Currently, Irma works as an Artist-in-Residence for the province of New
Brunswick. This opportunity has her working at different schools, with teachers and students, instructing different projects including ukulele, choral and voice, and musical theatre. She is the Executive Director of the Victoria County Music Festival and also serves as a church organist.
Irma’s most important role is that of wife and mother to a family who are all passionate about music and the arts. When given the chance, Irma enjoys crafting, gardening and journaling. Life is too short to not enjoy the things you love.
Jacqueline Sorensen-Young – Junior Piano I & II
Jacqueline is a Registered Music Teacher (RMT), a Certified Teacher of the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM Advanced Specialist), and an Examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. As a member of the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators’ Association, she has adjudicated for over 50 music festivals across Atlantic and Central Canada since 2000. She is currently Director of Music at St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church in Charlottetown and freelances as a Collaborative Artist for local professional musicians, students and choirs.
In addition to 35 years of private teaching experience, she also concurrently taught at the UPEI Music Department for 19 years as a Sessional Lecturer from 1994-2013 and at Holland College’s School of Performing Arts for 2 years as a Piano Instructor from 2018-20. Her private students’ successes have also garnered her Gold Medal Teacher certificates from the Royal Conservatory of Music on multiple occasions, awarded for having students achieving the highest mark in their level of their piano exam in the four Atlantic Canadian Provinces within a full calendar year. Jacqueline holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Prince Edward Island.
As a Charter Member of The Prince Edward Island Music Teachers’ Association, Jacqueline has served in several executive positions since 1995, including: President, Past-President, Registrar, Public Relations Officer, and Delegate to the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Associations. She has been actively serving as Treasurer of the PEIRMTA since 2014.
Jacqueline is looking forward to the opportunity to share her joy of music-making with the next generation of talented musicians and wishes to encourage all participants to enjoy this valuable performance and educational experience.
Nadia Francavilla – Junior Strings
Nadia Francavilla is one of Canada’s leading performers and advocates of new contemporary music. The Montreal-born violinist is an accomplished recitalist and outstanding chamber musician who has performed internationally in North America, Europe, and Japan. For over a decade, she performed and recorded with two of Canada’s leading string quartets, Quatuor Arthur-LeBlanc and Quatuor Bozzini.
A graduate of McGill University, her orchestral background includes l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and Les Violons du Roy. She was associate concertmaster for l’Orchestre Classique de Montréal for more than 20 years.
Described by colleagues as a brilliant performer and thoughtful musician, Mrs. Francavilla’s performance work marries the best of all worlds: versatile, imaginative, and dynamic; yet exacting, meticulous and formidably skilled. Collaboration is a central tenet of her practice; through exploration of improvised works and frequent collaborations with visual and multimedia artists, she challenges audiences, forges new artistic connections, and pushes the boundaries of music as performance art.
Since 2009, Mrs. Francavilla has been UNB’s Musician-in-Residence, where she curates leading-edge concert series and teaches classes on women in music and music in film. In addition, Mrs. Francavilla teaches violin at Mount Allison University, gives masterclasses, and is often asked to adjudicate at music festivals around the country.
Dr. Betty Allison – Intermediate & Senior Voice
Teaching artist and soprano, Dr. Betty Allison is a professor of voice at Dalhousie University where she runs the DalOpera program and teaches applied voice. As a performer, major credits include the world premiere of Mary’s Wedding with Pacific Opera Victoria, the title role in Floyd’s Susannah with Florentine Opera, Alice in Verdi’s Falstaff with L’Opèra Thèâtre de Metz Mètropole, and Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus with Edmonton Opera. Equally comfortable on the concert stage, Betty has also performed in Mahler’s Symphony of a Thousand, Brahms’ Requiem, Gubaidulia’s Galgenlieder à 3, and numerous solo recitals.
Recently, Betty completed her doctorate at the University of Toronto with her mentor and teacher Wendy Nielsen. Her research focused on the connection between a singer’s voice and their overall wellness and resilience. Specifically, she examined the non-musical stressors and coping strategies that elite singers use to maintain their career.
Betty is excited to be working with and sharing the joy of music with the singers of Saint John!
Jeremy VanSlyke – Intermediate & Senior Piano
Jeremy VanSlyke is a Halifax-based pianist, music producer, and entrepreneur originally from Fredericton, New Brunswick. His passion for classical music production led to the 2012 launch of Leaf Music, the first classical music recording label in Atlantic Canada. His recordings have received nominations at the East Coast Music Awards and JUNO Awards. In 2020, he was collaborative pianist for the world premiere performance of Michael Tilson Thomas’ original song ‘Nobody’ on the San Francisco Symphony’s YouTube channel with Canadian soprano Measha Brueggerogman-Lee and his wife, violist Carrie VanSlyke.
Following the completion of music degrees in sound recording and performance at McGill University in Montreal, he returned to Atlantic Canada where he has grown Leaf Music into one of the most active classical recording labels in Canada. Jeremy helped produce 3 seasons of concerts for Symphony Nova Scotia and Leaf Music worked throughout the pandemic to bring online audiences the Symphony Nova Scotia ‘Fusion Series.’ Leaf Music’s roster includes more than 60 releases from 20 artists, among them are the Saint John String Quartet, JUNO award-winning violinist Mark Fewer, LA Philharmonic principal cellist Robert deMaine, Calgary’s Luminous Voices and many others.
Natalie Williams-Calhoun – Intermediate & Senior Strings
Ms. Williams Calhoun completed her Master of Music degree in Violoncello performance at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, and her Bachelor’s degree in Cello at the University
of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Her professional career has led her from performing in a UK based piano trio during her time in Manchester to positions as a cellist in professional orchestras in
Ontario (the National Ballet of Canada orchestra, the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony and Orchestra London Canada), Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. She is also a founding member of the Atlantic String Machine, a genre jumping string quintet based in Charlottetown, PEI. Natalie also enjoys collaborating with singer/songwriters, both live and in recording sessions.
Ms. Williams Calhoun has extensive experience working with musical youth; as a private teacher, a conductor and an examiner across Canada with the Royal Conservatory of Music. Her teaching studio consists of students in both piano and cello as well as rudiments, history and harmony within the Royal Conservatory of Music syllabus. In her studio, Natalie works with young children and adults both and enjoys the challenges presented by different learning styles. Natalie is also a sessional lecturer at the University of Prince Edward Island, teaching String Techniques and Applied Cello and conducting the newly formed UPEI String Orchestra.
James Kalyn – Instrumental
James Kalyn is a diverse and highly experienced musician. He is a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician on both clarinet and saxophone, a conductor of orchestra, band, and jazz ensemble, and an arranger and composer. He also performs on flute and bassoon. An Associate Professor at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, Canada (www.mta.ca), Kalyn can be heard performing regularly in the region as clarinetist with the highly successful woodwind quintet Ventus Machina (www.ventusmachina.com), and in recitals. In recent years he has become very active as an arranger and composer of music, bringing a lifetime of experience to the craft. Samples of his playing and arranging are found on his website, www.jameskalyn.ca. James Kalyn is also a conductor of band, orchestra, and jazz ensemble. His love of the mechanical has also led him to train as an instrument repairman.
Kalyn has been a clarinetist with numerous professional orchestras. As a concert saxophonist he has performed throughout the United States and Canada, as well as in Argentina, China and Japan. He has played and toured extensively with The Cleveland Orchestra and is heard on solo, ensemble and chamber music recordings. His solo recordings include 6 Standard Saxophone Sonatas, Brillance and Glazunov Concerto. Chamber music recordings include Ventus Machina’s In the Weeds (2017), Roots (2021), and Marcher à l’infini (2022). Kalyn trained at the Eastman School of Music (Doctor of Musical Arts), Michigan State University (BMus in woodwind performance) and Western University (BMus performance).