Junior Vocal I & II
Monette Gould is a soprano with many years of professional experience as a performer and teacher. Born in New Brunswick, she later moved to Toronto, Ontario to pursue her studies in music. Monette holds two performance diplomas, an A.R.C.T. and a Performance Licentiate, from The Royal Conservatory of Music, and an Opera Performance Diploma from the University of Toronto.
After completing her studies, Monette returned to New Brunswick to teach voice at Mount Allison University and l’Université de Moncton. She also taught privately and worked with high school students who wanted to prepare to enter university music pro-grams. Monette is the founder and director of the well-known Voce dell’Anima Choir. She has also taught courses such as Diction for Singers, Sight-singing, Dictation and Aural Skills, and has given workshops on Stage Presence, How to Practice, Options in Music, and How to Set Up a Private Studio. She is highly regarded and in very high demand as an adjudicator and clinician nationwide. Many of her students have ex-celled, continuing to some of the best international graduate programs, and winning prestigious awards, competitions and scholarships.
Monette has appeared in several opera productions, and her roles include Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, the Countess in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, and Tatiana in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin just to name a few. In 1998, she appeared as Mimi in Opera New Brunswick’s production of Puccini’s La Bohème. Monette continues an active career as a soloist, performing in concerts and various projects throughout the Maritimes.
The human voice being her passion, Monette is dedicated to continually educating herself in the latest vocal techniques, new developments in vocal health, and diction for singers.
When not doing music, she grooms puppies in her own shop, Monette’s Gentle Grooming. She is also a certified funeral celebrant.
Junior Piano I & II
Barbara was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario where she studied piano. She returned to musical studies as a young mom studying in Fredericton, New Brunswick, earning her ARCT Teachers Degree.
Barbara and her husband live on the family farm near Hartland, New Brunswick where she has operated a private piano studio for over 30 years. Barbara is a past president of the NB Registered Music Teachers’ Association and a member the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators’ Association. She has been the Provincial Administrator of the New Brunswick Federation of Music Festivals since 2002 and the Executive Director of the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals since 2016.
Barbara’s students have been consistent winners of prizes at the Carleton County Music Festival. Several have earned scholarships to study music at universities. Many others are involved in the musical life of their churches and communities. Barbara continues to mentor other teachers and enjoys adjudicating at festivals. In 2009, the Canadian Music Teachers’ Association honored her with the Hugheen Ferguson Distinguished Teacher Award in recognition of outstanding contribution to music education in Canada. In 2020, she was awarded the NB Youth Orchestra’s Lieutenant Governor’s Award for her contributions to music and music education in New Brunswick. The NB Registered Music Teachers’ Association awarded Barbara an Honourary Lifetime Membership for her contributions to the association, in 2022.
Elizabeth Upson Perez
Violist Elizabeth Upson Perez, originally from North Carolina, has appeared in concert halls throughout North and South America as an avid chamber musician and educator.
She has shared the stage with many of today’s foremost artists including Ara Gregorian, Michael Kannen, Hye-Jin Kim, Xiao-Dong Wang, Nicholas Cords, Melissa Reardon, and Natasha Brofsky as part of the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival Next Generation Concert Series. As violist of the former Voce String Quartet, she was invited to perform and teach as Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Iowa String Quartet Residency Project, and frequently toured Iowa and Minnesota, performing in concert halls, opera houses, and in outreach concerts. Recently, she appeared as a guest artist on the Music Room Chamber Players Series in Halifax, NS, the Antigonish Performing Arts Series in Antigonish, NS, Musique Royale in Mahone Bay, NS, and occasionally performs with Symphony Nova Scotia.
This season, she is releasing her debut album, The 18th Century Viola Sonata, on the Leaf Music label with pianists Peter Allen and Ria Kim. This recording will examine the first sonatas ever composed for the viola. Other 2022/23 season highlights include a second residency at the University of Iowa String Quartet Residency Program.
Equally experienced as a teacher and performer, her enthusiastic teaching style is well-known amongst her colleagues and has resulted in invitations to teach at the ECU Summer Chamber Music Institute (NC), the University of Iowa Chamber Music Program, and at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, IA.
Intermediate & Senior Voice
Soprano Cindy Townsend is proud to be originally from Saint John, New Brunswick!
Upon completing her undergraduate degree from Mount Allison University, Cindy spent many years based in Toronto as both a performer and as a voice teacher. She has collaborated with icons of our artistic industry, including her mentor, long time teacher and friend, the late Lois Marshall whom she first met at the Scotia Festival while working on Mendelssohn’s Elijah, an opportunity which came about as the Star of the New Brunswick Competitive Festival of Music. From this, a wonderful relationship ensued that inspired and paved the way for her musical journey including years of performance in Canada and in Europe, singing numerous operatic and musical theatre roles as well as concert work in song and oratorio.
Cindy’s artistic versatility has been an asset in her pedagogical approach. Along side her performance career, Cindy was cultivating her vocal skills in both singing and in teaching in a variety of genres. She is extremely proud of the numerous students whom she has worked with over the years including many who are now working professionals in the arts.
Cindy is also the founder of Complex Cares! Kids Helping Kids!, a fundraising initiative which brings professional artists and students from various genres together for an annual event to benefit the Complex Care Clinic, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto. From this initiative, various concerts and events have been motivated focused on the spirit of giving back to community through music.
While very thankful to continue to enjoy her Toronto studio online, Cindy is thrilled to be back in the Maritimes, uniting with the wonderful team at DalVoice, Dalhousie University in Halifax. Always excited to teach and to learn, Cindy has been sought after for her positive pedagogical approach as an adjudicator, RCM examiner and mentor. Through establishing the foundations of strong vocal technique, artistic style and an all-round skill as a musician, Cindy aims to inspire her students to pursue their vocal goals in whatever genre best suits their personal expression.
Intermediate & Senior Piano
Praised for his virtuosity, broad versatility, improvisational skills, and dynamic stage presence, pianist Tom King has performed across Canada and abroad. Born and raised in Regina, Saskatchewan, Tom began his post-secondary piano studies at the University of Alberta with pianist Stephane Lemelin. He then spent time in Bergen, Norway at the Grieg Academy, and in Oslo concentrating his studies on Scandinavian music with some of Norway’s finest pianists. He has worked in workshops and masterclasses with pianists Martin Katz, Gary Graffman, André Watts, John Perry and André Laplante among many others.
Tom later returned to Canada and received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Ottawa studying with Andrew Tunis. He holds a Masters of Music degree in Collaborative Piano from the University of Western Ontario where he studied with renowned pianist and vocal coach, John Hess.
Tom is a founding member of the Payadora Tango Ensemble, performed regularly with the Adi Braun Quartet and was composer, performer and music producer for My Virtual Dream; an art/science installation combining neuroscience research at Baycrest with music and visual art. Tom has spent time in residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts studying with pianists Angela Cheng and Anton Kuerti among others and has been heard in recital on CBC radio. As well as being in demand as a collaborative pianist, vocal coach and teacher, he has worked as an orchestral pianist for the Edmonton Symphony, and has performed with acts such as the Pointer Sisters and Petula Clark. An accomplished jazz pianist, he has performed with some of Canada’s finest jazz musicians including performances at the Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal International Jazz Festivals.
Tom spent time as a music director at the Second City Toronto where he also completed as an actor, the Second City Training Centre Improvisation and Long-Form Improvisation Conservatory Programs.
He is currently on faculty at The Fountain School of Performing Arts at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Intermediate & Senior Strings/Orchestras
Praised for his “assured and lovely” playing by Classical Voice of North Carolina, Dr. Leonardo Perez is currently Head of Strings and Assistant Professor of Violin and Viola at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he also conducts the Dalhousie Symphony Orchestra. Previously, he held the position of Instructor of Violin and Viola at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and was the Orchestra Director of the IUP Symphony Orchestra. He has been invited to give masterclasses at the University of Iowa, Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Sistema New Brunswick, among others.
An avid collaborator and chamber musician, Leonardo has made numerous appearances at concert series throughout the United States and Canada. For the 2021-22 season, engagements included several performances with the Music Room Chamber Players series in Halifax, NS, and appearances at the Antigonish Performing Arts Series and the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance. Leonardo has also performed at the Musique Royale series in Mahone Bay, NS, Scotia Festival, and with Symphony Nova Scotia. Previously, he was the violinist of the Litton Piano Trio at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and has appeared regularly as a Next Generation Artist of the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival in Greenville, NC, performing with artists such as Xiao Dong Wang, Michael Kannen, Hagai Shaham, Colin Carr, Melissa Reardon, Raman Ramakrishnan, Hye-Jin Kim, Emanuel Gruber, and Ara Gregorian. Current season highlights include the release of his debut album El Maestro Nicaragüense with pianist Peter Allen on the Leaf Music label, featuring music of Nicaraguan composer Luis A. Delgadillo.
Dr. Perez received his Bachelor of Music degree from East Carolina University. He holds a Master of Music (MM) degree in Violin Performance from the University of Southern California, an MM in Orchestral Conducting from East Carolina University and earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts (DMA) in Violin Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Iowa. His principal teachers include Ara Gregorian, Hagai Shaham, Scott Conklin, and Dora Mullins.
Mark Thompson is a passionate music educator dedicated to promoting growth in individual artistic endeavours. Achieving communication with performers and facilitating artistic growth in the individual are his lifelong goals.
He is in demand throughout North America as a clinician and adjudicator, including the Glenn Gould Professional School. He has adjudicated woodwind, brass and chamber music at many festivals across Canada and the United States, including provincial finals in Ontario, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia as well as the MTNA National finals in New York City. He has adjudicated over 100 music festivals the past 15 years.
Mark Thompson studied at The University of Toronto, Indiana University, and The Mannes College of Music in New York. In 1994, he became the first Canadian clarinetist to win first prize in the Artists’ International Competition subsequently giving his New York debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.
Since then, he has enjoyed a diverse musical career spanning from recording for the CBC and BBC to being heard on various jingles and the Disney Channel.
Since 1996, he has been Artistic Director of Clearly Classic Concerts in Dundas, Ontario in the capacity as conductor, performer and developer of numerous projects, including Nimmons ‘n Braid, and Marjan Mozetichs’ ‘Angels in Flight’. The Clearly Classic Education programs that he founded have brought classical and jazz music to hundreds of children in the Greater Toronto area. He created one of the first joint music and art programs in the Toronto area recently. He has performed with many of Canada’s orchestras, including the Toronto Symphony and has performed and toured with internationally known ensembles Quartetto Gelato and The Penderecki String Quartet. He has performed at the Arizona Music Festival and also performed as soloist with the Sioux City Iowa Symphony with conductor Ryan Haskins. His CD release ‘Blue Skies’ with pianist Susan Lee has been heard extensively on CBC and National Public Radio. As a teacher several of his students have become RCM Gold medal winners.
As senior examiner for the Royal Conservatory he has been involved in conducting evaluations in both Canada and the United States. He has also served as a mentor to apprentice examiners. Just before the pandemic struck, he mentored apprentices and conducted evaluations in Los Angeles. Over the past two years he has continued to mentor apprentices and adjudicate music festivals virtually. As senior examiner he continues to evaluate and encourage students from all over North America.
Choral conductor, musician and educator Kiera Galway was born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where a supportive family and community encouraged her musical growth. She completed Bachelors’ degrees in Bassoon Performance and Music History/Literature and Music Education and a Masters in Choral Conducting at Memorial University.
Kiera was active in the music community as a choral conductor and educator in Toronto, where she completed a Masters’ degree in Musicology and a PhD in Music Education at the University of Toronto. Kiera taught at Memorial University before joining the faculty at Mount Allison University in 2020, where she teaches music education and choral conducting.