Dennis Ullman (Bands/Brass/Woodwinds)
Dennis has worked extensively in the areas of music education and performance for over 30 years. He is in demand as an adjudicator at music festivals throughout Canada including: Canada’s Wonderland, Rock for Dimes, OCM and MusicFest Canada. Since 2012, he has conducted over 500 clinics/workshops across Canada. As guest clinician, he has instructed sessions for regional Honour Bands and has conducted performances at various venues throughout North America.
Mr. Ullman was an inspiring teacher in Ontario’s private school system for over twenty-five years and conducted many award winning bands and ensembles. He has also directed various school ensembles which have performed throughout North America and regularly at MusicFest Canada’s National Festival.
As a private instructor he has worked with hundreds of students, many of whom have gone on to become major contributors to the music industry in cities such as Nashville, Toronto and Montreal. Graduates have performed on many Late Night Shows, at the Air Canada Centre and with artists such as Thomas Rhett, Miranda Lambert, Steven Curtis Chapman, and many other shows including Cirque du Soleil.
Mr. Ullman has been featured as a percussionist in a variety of ensembles including various theatre orchestra performances. He has also performed with the Peterborough Symphony Orchestra, Page Two, Peterborough and Oshawa Civic Bands. Mr. Ullman is very active with contemporary praise and worship ensembles. Recordings include ‘Duke’n It Out” with the Kawartha Jazz Ensemble.
As President of D.R.U.M.S. Inc., he is a member of Canadian Music Festival Adjudicator’s Association, Canadian Band Director’s Association and the Jazz Educators Network. Mr. Ullman is the founder of OCM, an affiliate festival of MusicFest Canada and was a member of Mohawk College’s Applied Music Program Advisory Committee for ten years.
More information is available at www.drumsinc.ca
Emer McCarthy-Wilson (Choral Speaking)
Gerry Murphy (Bands)
Gerry began his music studies as a young boy in Germany, where his family was stationed with the R.C.A.F. He started learning the Accordion at 5 yrs, Organ at 8, and as soon as he was old enough to join, he began playing Euphonium with the Volunteer Band on the Air Base. During high school he switched to the Tuba and after graduation Gerry auditioned for and was accepted into the R.C.A.F. as a musician. Unfortunately his military career was short lived as the Bands were reduced in number due to government cut-backs. Undaunted, he attended Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario where he completed a double-major on Tuba and Euphonium with honors in Conducting, Composition and Arranging. In his third year at Queen's, Gerry was hired to conduct the Belleville Concert Brass Band, a post he held for 12 years. After graduation he helped with the restoration of the Belleville Municipal Band, conducting that group for 8 years. During that time he held the position of associate music teacher at Albert College, was "Conductor in Residence" for the Pinnacle Playhouse Music Theatre Co., toured the Hastings County Schools as part of the "Artist in the Classroom" programs and taught private lessons from his home studio.
In 1999, Gerry moved to Oshawa, Ont. where he joined the Whitby Brass Band on Eb Tuba. He currently holds the position of principal tuba and is the director of the Junior Band program for the Whitby Brass Band. Gerry continues to teach privately, performs with various ensembles and has participated in the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo. He is frequently sought after as a guest conductor, most recently with Pickering Concert Band and Northdale Concert Band. In addition to being on the Board of, and the Brass Band representative for the Canadian Band Association (Ontario), Gerry is also a member of the North American Brass Band Association.
Ian Green (Junior & intermediate Piano)
Ian was born and raised in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Playing piano since he was 5 years old, Ian enjoys playing all styles of music including: jazz, classical, pop, ragtime, blues, and freely improvised music. A graduate of Queen’s University (BMus, 2006) and the Royal Conservatory of Music at Toronto (A.R.C.T., 2006), Ian maintains a thriving music studio teach piano lessons, music rudiments, history, and theory at all levels of the curriculum for the Royal Conservatory of Music. He also enjoys incorporating the various elements of Conservatory Canada and the Canadian National Conservatory of Music (CNCM) to offer a well-rounded teaching philosophy and approach.
In addition to teaching piano and theory lessons to students of all ages, Ian has been very busy wearing many hats in the music industry and music community including: working as collaborative pianist for the Gospel Singers Choir, Rich Harmony Choir, and Burlington Seniors Center Choir (through the City of Burlington); working as pianist, organist and choir director at local churches on a fill-in basis; writing music for various composition projects with Canadian music publishing companies; writing music for advertising contracts in North America; working as a busy music festival adjudicator, having adjudicated the piano classes for all performance levels across Canada and the United States. Ian was co-ordinator of two concert series in the local area: Live Chamber Music Series (Dundas, Ontario) and Ryerson Community Concert Series (Ancaster, Ontario). In addition, he has released two studio albums of solo piano music for worldwide distribution (Starlight, 2015 and Improvisations, 2016)
Ian is a member of the College of Examiners with the Royal Conservatory of Music (Theory, Piano, and Organ), is a member of: the Ontario Registered Music Teachers’ Association; the Canadian Federation of Music Teacher Associations, SOCAN; the Royal Canadian College of Organists; and the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators Association.
Ian is an active volunteer and supporter of great music in the local community and is a loyal patron to the arts. By offering scholarships to young students, Ian believes in the strong spiritual and social values that are offered through all performance art.
Lynn Janes (Choirs)
Ms. Janes (Bac. Mus. Ed., honours; Bac.Ed., U.W.O.) is recognized as a Soprano Soloist, Music Educator and Conductor in Ontario. For twenty-four years Lynn Janes has sung in the Exultate Chamber Singers, one of Toronto’s premiere professional ensembles, and has appeared as soloist on all four CDs. She has also performed as a chorister and soloist for several seasons in the Elora Festival.
As a Music Educator, Ms. Janes began her teaching career and established a vocal program at Victoria Park Secondary School and then in 1995, continued to build a vibrant High School Vocal Program at Earl Haig Secondary School, Claude Watson Arts Program. A program that provided the foundation for many young people to continue to pursue music as a profession. In 2007, Ms. Janes accepted the Headship of Music at Havergal College, a girls’ preparatory school with a long-standing reputation for excellence in music education. Her choirs have toured Europe and over the years, received many awards including invitations to Musicfest Canada and Kiwanis scholarships. Ms. Janes retired in June following a 31-year teaching career.
Early in her career Ms. Janes demonstrated a gift for conducting and choral music and was co-recipient of the prestigious Leslie Bell Conducting Prize. For over a decade, she was a conductor and voice coach for the Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus and directed and conducted four years as the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Toronto Mendelssohn Youth Choir. Beginning in September of 2009, Lynn Janes established and conducted the newly formed Pax Christi Youth Choir in a unique and exciting partnership with Stephanie Martin and the Pax Christi Chorale for three seasons. Lynn is currently the Head of the Junior Division of the Canadian Children’s Opera Company and is the Intermediate Chorus Conductor.
Marion Abbott (Voice)
Marion has taught voice for over 28 years to students of all ages. She is passionate about great technique and storytelling. Her students have won countless awards, including Gold Medals from the Royal Conservatory of Music and vocal scholarships to post-secondary programs. Many of her former students now work in the arts full time. Marion was a part of the Music Specialist Program at the University of Toronto and achieved both her Grade 10 Voice and A.R.C.T. in Piano Performance from The Royal Conservatory of Music. She is also a proud graduate of the Musical Theatre Performance Program at Sheridan College, where she was named one of the Top Twenty Graduates of her program and upon graduating, was immediately hired to teach for the program.
She had the privilege of studying with renowned teachers Margaret and Cliff Poole, Christina James, Marie Baron and Alan Reid. Marion is the creator of The Confidential Project (which included Opera and Operetta, Shakespeare, Theatre and Musical Theatre), The Plain Stage Theatre Company, The Women Of Musical Theatre Festival, New Works Series, The Artist Discovery Series and The Spirit Of Maud Theatre Company. Consequently, Marion has produced over 300 productions in both Toronto and other neighbouring cities. Of the many (many!) shows Marion has worked on, some of her favourites include The Magic Flute, Pirates of Penzance, The Scarlet Pimpernel, All Shook Up, Anne And Maud, No Safe Harbour, Ragtime, Streetcar Named Desire and Passion. As a Musical Director and Conductor, Marion has worked for Drayton Entertainment (Aladdin: The Panto, Cinderella: The Panto) and was a part of the first Drayton Youth Program. She has also worked for Sheridan College, Theatre Erindale, George Brown College, Etobicoke School Of The Arts, Toronto Kiwanis Festival and the Ontario Music Festival.
Michael Thibodeau (Senior & Advanced Piano)
Michael Thibodeau is a recent graduate of the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in solo piano at the University of Toronto. Michael’s teachers are a cross-section of Canada’s most eminent pedagogues, and include Drs. James Parker, Henri-Paul Sicsic, Edmund Dawe, and Robin Harrison. An alumnus of the Aspen, Morningside Music Bridge, Orford, and Toronto Summer Music Festivals, Michael has performed across multiple continents and in masterclasses for several acclaimed pedagogues, including John Perry, Gary Graffman, Roger Vignoles, and Sir Thomas Allen. Michael completed a Master of Music degree from the University of Toronto following undergraduate studies at Mount Allison University, where he read music and English literature while holding the institution’s premier scholarship.
Michael is in demand as a collaborative artist and teaches in Toronto’s east end, where he lives with his wife Alina and son Hudson.
For more information, please visit www.michaelthibodeau.com.
Wendy Seravalle-Smith (Strings)
Wendy has music and education degrees from University of Western Ontario and extensive training in Suzuki method in violin, viola and cello including studies with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki in Japan. She is the director of the Thornhill School of Suzuki String Teaching and teaches violin, viola and cello from beginner to advanced levels. Wendy is on the violin and viola faculty of Ithaca Suzuki Institute and has taught at Montreal Suzuki Institute, Southwestern Ontario Suzuki Institute, Ottawa(Kansas) Suzuki Institute, American Suzuki Institute in Wisconsin and National Music Camp.
Teachers have included Yuri Mazurkevich(violin), Ralph Aldrich(viola), and Susan Gagnon(cello). Wendy has been a Royal Conservatory strings examiner since 1998. She has adjudicated music festivals throughout Canada, and has been a guest clinician at many Ontario Suzuki programs. She has played violin or viola with Oshawa Symphony, Pickering Philharmonic, York Symphony, York Chamber Ensemble and viola in Cathedral Bluffs Symphony. She has presented about Skype teaching and Royal Conservatory exams and the Suzuki student at SAA conferences and Skype teaching in Germany and served on organizing committee for 2016 and 2018 SAA conference in Minneapolis.