Amber Morphy (Voice)
Amber Morphy, is the owner of Morphy Music; a music school established in Cambridge, ON .
Dennis Ullman (Woodwinds, Brass & Guitar)
Dennis has worked extensively in the areas of music education and performance for over 35 years. He is in demand as an adjudicator at music festivals throughout Canada including: Canada’s Wonderland, Rock for Dimes, Kiwanis and Lions Club sponsored festivals and MusicFest Canada. Since 2015, he has conducted over 500 clinics/workshops. As guest clinician, he has energetically instructed sessions at St. Andrew’s College, Regional Honour Bands, and has conducted performances at various venues throughout North America.
Mr. Ullman was an inspiring and passionate 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 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, Whitby Courthouse Theatre, Peterborough and Oshawa Civic Bands. Mr. Ullman is extremely 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 .
Dr. Andrew Aarons (JUNIOR & INTERMEDIATE PIANO)
Canadian pianist Andrew Aarons has given performances in such prestigious venues as the Carnegie Hall in New York; the Manuel Theatre in Valletta, Malta; and the Wigmore Hall in London, England. He has been heard on live radio in Canada and the United States, and has been soloist with numerous orchestras, including the National Academy Orchestra, Toronto Philharmonia, and L'Orchestre Symphonique de Québec.
Andrew is featured exclusively on the Introductory CD recordings which accompany the 2008 ABRSM edition of the Complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas, edited by Barry Cooper. Having been a student of Marc Durand and Leon Fleisher in modern piano and Colin Tilney in period instrument, Andrew was more recently a pupil of late Yonty Solomon (modern piano) and David Ward (forte-piano). Andrew holds a degree of Doctor of Music from the Royal College of Music (RCM), London; his research focused on the concept of quality sound and tone production on the modern piano, and its practical application in artistic interpretation and performance.
In the digital world, Andrew produces a series on YouTube called ‘Ask a Pianist’, wherein he demonstrates complex artistic concepts that underpin high-level performance on the piano. He recently adjudicated the Pickering GTA Music Festival (2019), the Markham Music Festival (2019), the Kiwanis Music Festival of Greater Toronto (2020), and the Kiwanis Music Festival of Windsor-Essex County (2021). Dr. Aarons maintains a studio of select students in Toronto.
Emer McCarthy-Wilson (Choral Speaking)
Geoffrey Conquer (Senior & Advanced Piano)
Geoffrey Conquer is a versatile and dynamic Toronto-based pianist. He was a 2016-17 Rebanks Family Fellow at the Glenn Gould School, a two-time first prize winner of the McGill Symphony Concerto Competition, the second prize winner of the 2015 Siegfried Weishaupt International Piano Competition and a laureate of the Canadian Music Competition. Recently, he appeared as a collaborative pianist in the Royal Conservatory of Music’s 2021 Violin Series publication, performed Claude Vivier’s Pulau Dewatawith the U of T Percussion Ensemble, and premiered three art songs by Gavin Fraser with mezzo-soprano Nicole Percifield as recipients of grants from the University of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Jackman Humanities Institute.
Geoffrey is a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at the University of Toronto where he studies piano performance with Jamie Parker and is the recipient of the Alice and Armen Matheson Graduate Scholarship, the Marilyn Cook Graduate Scholarship, and a Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He holds a M.Mus and B.Mus from McGill University where he studied with Marina Mdivani, a pupil of Emil Gilels. Through master classes, he received musical guidance from Daniel Pollack, Jacques Rouvier, Martha Argerich, Leon Fleisher, John Perry and many others. Geoffrey pursued further artistic training at The International Holland Music Sessions, Highlands Opera Studio, Cleveland Art Song Festival, The Banff Centre, soundSCAPE, Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance, SongFest and the Toronto Summer Music Festival Chamber Music Institute. He performs with Lincoln Center Stage and was a collaborative pianist for three seasons with the Toronto Children’s Chorus.
Geoffrey is a faculty member at the Phil and Eli Taylor Academy of The Royal Conservatory, group piano instructor at the University of Toronto, and maintains a private piano studio in Scarborough, ON.
Martha Gregory (Strings)
Martha Gregory grew up in Rochester, New York where she studied violin, piano and voice at the Hochstein School of Music,The Eastman School of Music, and Roberts Wesleyan College. She attended Our Lady of Mercy High School for Girls from 1968-1971 and was in every musical the girl’s school and the boy’s school had those 4 years. Her early administrative training was at Hochsteins where she worked her way up to assistant to the Dean of the School to help pay for her and her siblings’ lessons.She also spent summers working for the Federal government programme to bring arts to the Inner Cities .
Her string studies involved classical and Suzuki methods. In College, she worked at a Major in Music Education and Classical Voice with double minors in Violin and Piano. Marrying in 1974, she moved to Toronto and continued her Voice Studies with Megan Rutledge at the Royal Conservatory of Music and free- lance performing with many orchestras. She also taught for The Toronto District School Board in an out reach programme for strings in Cabbagetown schools.
When she established a private studio in Pickering in 1982, that she still maintains she also spent 12 years touring with the Jean McDonald Singers, performing in Choral, Opera and Musical Theatre. She is enjoying the challenge of online teaching this year.
Jean was also her first introduction to the Music Festival world by entering her in local competitions.She did win all her classes, but unfortunately, was too old to go to Provincials by this time, sadly. Jean involved her in the Pickering Rotary Festival and also trained her as first Vice -President in the Pickering Metro East Festival. In 2000, Martha took over the Festival and has run an independent Music Festival, the Pickering GTA Music Festival ever since by herself.
After accompanying her competitors from her local to Provincials she was approached to be a Member of the Provincial Board of Directors. Starting as a Member-At-Large and eventually becoming the President of OMFA, she was President for 8 years and has been Past-President for the last 3 years.
After commiserating with Pam Allen about adjudicators, Pam invited her to try her hand at adjudicating in the Toronto Kiwanis, a daunting task indeed! Adjudicating has become her passion for the last 13 years.
Since her move to Canada, Martha has enjoyed performing, teaching and promoting Canadian music through her work with music festivals across the country.
She has been performing with the Ontario Philharmonic Orchestra for the last 27 years under Marco Parisotto’s baton and was principal violinist with the Hamstrings of Durham Trio for 12 years, performing at weddings and corporate events. She also enjoyed Christmas Carolling for several years for Corporate and Community Events.
Not long ago she was awarded an Ontario Volunteer Service Award for 20 years.
Martha has been involved with music festivals for the last 32 years and has retired as the Ontario representative on the National Board of Governors.
In between times, she went to Nursing School until she had her first child and spent 7 years working as a Special Ed assistant for the Durham District School Board. Martha has 3 children and 2 granddaughters that, unfortunately, live too far away, in Nova Scotia Martha finally became a Canadian Citizen in 2013- being too old to take the test!.
Her slice of Heaven is her 2 and a half acre island in the Kawartha’s where she spends as much time as possible 3 seasons of the year. This is where she also met her husband of 48 years.
In July of 2019 she became the Artistic Director of the Toronto Kiwanis Music Festival, the largest festival of its kind in Canada. She is proud of her local festival that celebrates 21 years this year and having its second virtual festival this February.