Artists for the 29th Season 2014
Alison lives in Glasgow and plays and teaches baroque cello and viola da gamba (aka viol). In order to study Early Music, Alison lived in London and worked there for many years as a principal cellist and soloist with many of the leading Early Music groups. Her main musical partnerships now are with Brecon Baroque and the violinist Rachel Podger, and Glasgow's Concerto Caledonia and David McGuinness. She's a guest director of projects with baroque orchestras in Poland and Austria. As a teacher, she has links with many of the British music colleges, and also teaches intensive courses in Lodz, Poland and Wales. In other capacities, she runs Katherine McGillivray's 'Get a Life Fund', a charity which funds sabbaticals for musicians, and has trained as a Feldenkrais Method® practitioner to explore how the way we move can influence the music we make.
Amadeus Choir of Greater Toronto
Lydia Adams, one of Canada's most distinguished conductors, has been conductor and artistic director of the Amadeus Choir of Greater Toronto since 1984 and of the Elmer Iseler Singers since 1998. The 2013-14 season marks her 29th year with the Amadeus Choir.
A native of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Lydia received her musical education at Mount Allison University, New Brunswick, Canada and at the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio, London, England. During this time she worked and performed with many leading conductors, composers and arrangers including Sir David Willcocks, Sir Neville Marriner, John Rutter, and Bob Chilcott, among others, and while there, was awarded the Sir Adrian Boult conducting award.
Under her direction, the Amadeus Choir has experienced tremendous musical and organizational growth and has become one of the leading choral forces in Canada.
Founded in 1974, the Amadeus Choir is now under the direction of Conductor and Artistic Director Lydia Adams. The choir has become known for its professionalism, exceptional musicality, and diverse, high-quality programming - all a reflection of the leadership provided by Dr. Adams. During her time as conductor and artistic director (since 1984), the choir has grown significantly in size and reputation to become one of Canada’s pre-eminent choral groups. The Amadeus Choir performs a regular series of concerts at carefully selected downtown Toronto venues, presenting well-known artists in works by Canadian and international composers, including major works with instrumental ensembles or full orchestra, as well as challenging a cappella performances.
In 1987, Lydia Adams created the Amadeus Choir’s Annual Seasonal Song-Writing Competition. The competition has grown over the years to include submissions from around the world. It now serves as an inspiration to composers of all ages and experience to write new works, enriching Canada’s outstanding choral tradition. In 1994 the Choir recorded Ring-a the News!, which featured a number of winning carols from this competition.
The Amadeus Choir regularly competed in the prestigious biennial CBC Choral Competition, winning awards in 1992, 1994 and 1996 before becoming ineligible due to the choir's semi-professional status.
In 2000, the singers traveled to Alberta on their first tour, and were enthusiastically received at each of their concerts. They performed at two prestigious festivals (ACCC and ISME), and took the opportunity to launch their CD, Songs of the Spirit, featuring works by Canadian composers Eleanor Daley, Srul Irving Glick and Barry Peters, and a work by Andrea Gabrieli, Missa 4 Vocum, which had just come to light after 300 years. This CD was given the biennial award for “Outstanding Choral Recording” 2001-02 by the Association of Canadian Choral Communities.
In 2008, the choir toured once again, traveling to Sackville, New Brunswick to perform at ‘Podium’, the ACCC's biennial conference, and then on to Antigonish and Glace Bay, both in Nova Scotia.
In addition to the Amadeus Choir’s regular concert series, the choir takes an active role in Ontario’s choral community by working in collaboration with other prominent local ensembles, such as the Elmer Iseler Singers, the Bach Children’s Chorus,the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Hannaford Street Silver Band, the Gryphon Trio, the Ontario Philharmonic Orchestra and True North Brass.
The Bee Eaters
Brother-sister duo Tristan and Tashina Clarridge, long known and lauded by those steeped in the American fiddle tradition, are joined by hammer dulcimer wizard Simon Chrisman. Together, they weave a tapestry of sound all their own, drawing on roots in bluegrass, Celtic, jazz, and old-time traditions. While today’s new breed often produces an amalgamation of sounds and styles based on a distant view, The Bee Eaters were raised embedded in these traditions… raised to mold, meld, shape them and carry them forward, leaving their own indelible marks in the process. With Tashina’s delicate fiddle and Tristan’s grounding cello wrapped around Simon’s ethereal dulcimer, they have created a never-before-heard sound in American music. No tricks. No pyrotechnics. Three instrumental voices, united in their musical exploration.
Grand National Fiddle Champion Tashina Clarridge has toured with Mark O’Connor, Tony Trischka and Laurie Lewis and has performed at Carnegie Hall as a part of MacArthur Fellow/Grammy-winning bassist Edgar Meyer’s Young Artists program. Multi-instrumentalist brother Tristan is a 5-time Grand National Fiddle Champion and a pioneering cellist, synthesizing traditional folk influences with rhythmic vocabulary from jazz, rock and pop music, and leading a revolution among adventurous young cellists throughout the country. He has toured the world with bluegrass/nu-folk sensation Crooked Still and Darol Anger’s Republic of Strings, as well as Mike Marshall, Bruce Molsky and Cape Breton fiddle phenomenon Natalie MacMaster. Hammer dulcimer virtuoso Simon Chrisman brings a whole new approach to an instrument that has previously been thought to have limited range and technique. His inventive virtuosic touch and sophisticated rhythmic sensibilities are redefining the instrument and earning the attention of musicians from all over the world.
Since their formation in 2008, The Bee Eaters have been on a trajectory of growth, both personal and musical. Recent tours have taken them from Vermont to Hawaii to England and everywhere in between, collaborating with performers such as bluegrass legend Laurie Lewis, Appalachian music master Bruce Molsky, rising-star songstress Aoife O’Donovan (of Crooked Still renown), soulful singer/guitarist Scott Law and writer/ballad singer Jefferson Hammer. Festival highlights include Wintergrass, and the 40th annual Indiana Fiddlers Gathering.
The Bee Eaters have collectively taught hundreds of lessons and workshops in communities, schools, and colleges such as the Berklee College of Music, the University of Victoria, Humboldt State University, and many others. Tashina and Tristan co-founded the Mt Shasta Music Summit, now in it’s 9th year, which unites the highest level of musical masterminds with musicians of all ages and skill levels, for a series of workshops and all-star concerts exploring the connections between musical traditions of the world, in a holistic community environment. The Mt Shasta Music Summit is revered by many as a powerful musical and social melting pot; young students and professional musicians come together to share, driven by a bold vision of strengthening the interwoven connectedness of music, community, and culture.
Listening to the Bee Eaters is like eavesdropping on a spirited, private conversation. As wonderful as their recorded music is, watching The Bee Eaters in live performance is an exercise in safe danger. They parry and thrust, challenging each other at every moment. Their focus on their music and on each other is tight and complete. Their melodic lines and rhythmic phrases dance (and sometimes roil) over, under and around each other. There is sometimes dissonance but always an ultimate harmony.
British Columbia Boys Choir
Founded in 1968 by Donald Forbes, the British Columbia Boys Choir has won international acclaim throughout Canada, the Netherlands, the United States, Europe, the Czech Republic, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, China, and South America. The Choir is a four-part secular boys choir, one of the few in North America. Over its 45 year history the Choir has trained over 900 members who have represented Canada on 30 international tours, performing a demanding repertoire spanning centuries, from Gregorian chant to contemporary works. Programmes frequently include sacred and secular works, selections from musicals and opera, folk songs from around the world, and an assortment of Canadian works; many specifically composed for the Choir. Members reside in the Greater Vancouver region and range in age from 7-24. In addition to frequent radio and television appearances, the Choir has made over 20 recordings and a one-hour documentary film “Summer Song” profiling the Choir's 10th tour to The Netherlands and has been viewed on television around the world. The Choir currently has three CDs on the market: Home, Spirit, and If My Voice Had Wings.
Capella Regalis Men and Boys Choir was founded in Halifax, Nova Scotia, by Director Nick Halley in 2010. The choir comprises ten men and twelve boys (ages 7–14) and is modeled on the great Anglican tradition of men and boys church choirs. While Canada was once rich with such choirs, Capella Regalis is one of only a handful of men and boys choirs in Canada today.
The choir sings Choral Evensong every Tuesday of the academic term at 5:00 p.m. in the University of King’s College Chapel, 6350 Coburg Road, Halifax. The choir also performs concerts throughout Nova Scotia and beyond in a busy September – July season. Past concerts range from Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the King’s College Chapel Choir to Carmina Burana with the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra and King’s Chorus to the ever-popular annual Christmas concert, To Bethlehem with Kings. In addition to services and concerts, the boys of Capella Regalis enjoy a summer choir camp in the last week of August and other musically- and socially-enriching outings and experiences. The choir is a free programme open to any boy who passes an audition.
The Chapel Choir of the University of King's College
Paul Halley was made an associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto at 16 and was an organ scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge, from which he received his MA with prizes in composition and performance. He won first prize in the College examinations and was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists. Halley was the organist and choirmaster at The Cathedral of St John the Divine in New York City (1977-1989) while also acting as principal composer and keyboardist for The Paul Winter Consort, earning five Grammy Awards for his work with the Consort.
Halley founded the children's choir, Chorus Angelicus, and the chamber choir, Gaudeamus, in Connecticut and became director of music at Trinity Episcopal Church, Torrington, where he established a choral and organ scholars program with nearby Yale University.
Since 2007, Halley has served as the university musician at Atlantic School of Theology and as director of music for the University of King’s College chapel. His compositions have been performed and licensed by many artists and groups, including the New Jersey Symphony, John Williams and the Boston Pops Orchestra, and professional choirs around the world. He is the recipient of many composer awards and is a guest artist throughout North America. His recordings and performances are frequently aired on National Public Radio and the CBC.
Modeled after the chapel choirs of Cambridge and Oxford, the choir at the University of King's College comprises 24 talented choristers and is directed by Grammy winning musician Paul Halley. The choir sings for the Chapel's weekly services of Evensong and Eucharist and gives concerts throughout Eastern Canada and the United States. This is the final concert of the second annual three-part concert series at the Cathedral Church of All Saints entitled “King's At The Cathedral.” Next season, the choir will be performing the Rachmaninov Vespers on 6 November 2011, A King's Christmas, 9-11 December 2011, and Bach's B Minor Mass, 20 and 22 April 2012.The Chapel Choir of the University of King's College, modeled on the Chapel Choirs of Cambridge and Oxford, comprises twenty choristers selected through annual auditions held in September, which are open to all students at King's College and Dalhousie University. The choir's primary function is to sing at the weekly Evensongs and Eucharists, as well as other major services throughout the academic year. The choir had its beginnings in the early 1970s when Dr. Robert Crouse put together a group of singers to lead the worship at the Thursday Eucharists at King's. Since that time the choir has expanded its role, having sung under the direction of several notable conductors including Helen Roby, David Buley, and most recently Dr. Walter Kemp.
In July 2007, Paul Halley was appointed Director of Music of the Chapel and since then has built the group into a fine ensemble which now includes touring and recording amongst its activities. Halley says of the choir: "It is my hope that over time, prospective students will view the Chapel Choir as one of the reasons to attend university in Halifax. There's really nothing quite like the training a fine collegiate chapel choir can offer. You get through so much first-rate music, just in one week - all the anthems, motets, mass settings, canticles, psalms and hymns - that your musical literacy increases at a phenomenal rate."
Hailed by The New Yorker as “a flute player of spectacular and imaginative virtuosity”, Chris Norman’s brilliant and warm-toned flute playing has contributed to groups as diverse as The Baltimore Consort, Skyedance, Helicon, Chatham Baroque, and Concerto Caledonia. His influential work for the past 30 years as performer, composer, recording artist, educator, and director of the Boxwood Festival & Workshop has played a significant role in reviving the flute in traditional Scottish and Canadian music. His playing has appeared on more than 40 award winning recordings, and can be heard featured on the Oscar winning soundtrack of Titanic and other Hollywood films including, Soldier, and Stone of Destiny. Norman also brings a wealth of technical knowledge in the craftsmanship of wooden flute making.
Clary Croft is a performer, author, folklore researcher, recording artist and producer. The Encyclopaedia of Music in Canada has recognized Clary’s contribution to Maritime folklore studies and his ongoing research into the traditional music of the Maritime provinces. He is best known for his continuing work with the collection of his late mentor, Dr. Helen Creighton, the Nova Scotian born, internationally renowned Canadian folklore pioneer. In addition to working with Dr. Creighton for the last fifteen years of her life, Clary was also responsible for cataloguing her collection at the Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management. The Halifax Mail Star calls him, “the acknowledged master of one of the richest repertoires in Canada.” Clary lives in Halifax.
Cynthia Myers is a vocalist, writer, and actor who has performed as a musical theatre actress on stages and in clubs with various jazz combos in both Canada and the U.S. Her favorite theatrical roles include: Mrs. Meers in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Dot in Sunday in the Park with George, Reno Sweeny in Anything Goes; throw in Rizzo, Lola, Sally Bowls and Audrey. Myers is a five time veteran of the fringe festival having worked both in the Victoria and the Seattle festivals. When not on stage with Swingology or Jazzette, she writes musicals for children, and develops curriculum for the Chester Playhouse After School Program. An educator for the past 20 years, she has just completed her 33rd musical.
David Greenberg's double career as both a baroque violinist and traditional fiddler began at an early age. He studied baroque violin with Stanley Ritchie at Indiana University's Early Music Institute, and moved to Canada in 1988 to join the Toronto-based baroque orchestra Tafelmusik. With Tafelmusik for ten years, David performed orchestral, chamber, and solo roles in North America, Europe, and the Far East, and on more than forty recordings. David also plays the vielle (medieval fiddle). He won first prize at the Erwin Bodky International Early Music Competition in 1988 with the Medieval Quintet, and recorded vielle soundtracks for Atom Egoyan's film The Sweet Hereafter. David has gained the reputation in Cape Breton music circles as being one of the few people from outside the Nova Scotia island to have achieved a fluent command of the Cape Breton music idiom. With his wife, Kate Dunlay, he published Traditional Celtic Violin Music of Cape Breton, The DunGreen Collection.
Recipient of several international awards including the first prize from the contest Bacquier Gabriel singing canary in Corsica and the audience award at the contest Marmande in France, Quebec baritone Dominique Côté is hailed by audiences and critics for her warm voice and moving interpretations.
He recently sang Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus The Strauss at the Opera de Montreal, Dancaïro and Morales in Bizet's Carmen with Pacific Opera Victoria, the title role in the opera Nelligan Québécois André Gagnon Opera Festival Québec and the Opéra de Montreal as Frederic in Delibes' Lakmé at the Opéra de Montreal.
In France, it was Ajax II in Offenbach's La Belle Hélène at the Opéra de Marseille, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte at Corte and Ziggy in the Opera version of Starmania Berger at the Palais des Congrès in Paris. He also gave several recitals for Friends of Alain Marinaro in the south.
In concert, he sang many times the famous Carmina Burana by Orff, among others at the Palais Montcalm in Quebec City under the direction of David Rompré and l'Orchestre Symphonique de Sherbrooke led by Stéphane Laforest. With some of Canada's leading orchestras, including those in Montreal, Quebec, Ottawa and Victoria, as well as those of Sherbrooke and Longueuil, Sinfonia de Lanaudière and I Musici de Montreal, he sang great works as The Directory St John Passion by Bach, Mozart's Requiem, Brahms' Requiem and Handel's Messiah, as well as popular works such as Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera under the direction of Jacques Lacombe leaders, Timothy Vernon, John Keenan, Nader Abbassi, Stéphane Laforest, Simon Leclerc, Marc David.
We could also be heard in the role of Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia by Rossini and that of Danilo in The Merry Widow Lehar tour with Jeunesses Musicales of Canada, led by Louise-Andrée Baril. For Rimouski Opera Theatre, he sang the roles of Gustave in The Land of Smiles Lehar led by David Rompré and Calchas in Offenbach's La Belle Hélène directed by Jean-François Lapointe. He was Bobinet in La Vie Parisienne Offenbach under the direction of Jean-Philippe Tremblay and sang the leading role of contemporary art Bungalopolis for Lyric Art Society under the direction of United Cristian Gort.
Soon, he will sing Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus Strauss The Grand Théâtre de Genève led by Theodor Guschlbauer it will be the Lieutenant Robert in La Fille du tambour major Offenbach directed by Jean-Philippe Tremblay to SALR, it will give a score recitals of melodies and songs in a solo tour presented by The Youth and Music Canada, it will debut at the Opéra de Limoge in a Leading Role directed by Christophe Rousset ...
The inscription over Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” sonata reads, “in stilo molto concertante,” with the implication that the performers are two equal and dynamic voices. This notion defines Duo Concertante’s artistic relationship. The “Kreutzer” sonata was the first piece the duo played when, in 1997, they burst into the performance world like “two packages of musical dynamite” (Halifax Chronicle-Herald). Fifteen years later, the “quality of the ensemble playing speaks to years of successful collaboration” (CAML) by these “expert instrumentalists” (Audiophilia).
The Beethoven violin sonatas have remained a key element of Duo Concertante’s repertoire, and a recording of the cycle, Beethoven: Complete Sonatas for Violin and Piano, was released in March 2013 on the Marquis Classics label as a three-CD set. Of this recording, Music Toronto’s John Teraud says,”these beautiful interpretations are so good down to the tiniest detail that they deserve to be called a reference in the contemporary performance of these 10 great pieces.”
Nancy Dahn, violin, and Timothy Steeves, piano, have received the Touring Performers Award (Contact East), as well as Memorial University’s prestigious President’s Award for Outstanding Research, and were named NLAC Artist of the Year in May 2010. Of their six acclaimed recordings, Wild Bird (Centrediscs, 2010), comprises works written especially for the duo by Canadian composers Murray Schafer, Chan Ka Nin, and Kati Agócs, and includes Schafer’s Duo for Violin and Piano, which won the 2011 Juno Award in the Classical Composition of the Year category. Duo’s Concertante’s 2009 recording It Takes Two features encore pieces arranged by Canadian composer Clifford Crawley and was described as “spectacular” (American Record Guide). The first three CDs—À Deux, Of Heart and Homeland, and Wild Honey—all received nominations for Best Classical Recording at the East Coast Music Awards. Released in 2012, their classical music video “Tico Tico” aired on CTV2.
Duo Concertante have consistently revealed their passion for new music, commissioning a total of seventeen new works for violin and piano from many of Canada’s leading composers, such as Chan Ka Nin, Andrew Staniland, Kati Agócs, Kelly-Marie Murphy, Alice Ho, Omar Daniel, Clark Ross, Andrew MacDonald, Rob Teehan, David Scott, Linda Bouchard, and Jean Lesage. Wild Honey (2005) and Wild Bird (2010) consist almost entirely of new Canadian works written for the duo; in 2012-2013 the Duo gave world premières of works by Denis Gougeon, Vincent Ho, Jocelyn Morlock and Clifford Crawley.
Duo Concertante maintain a busy touring schedule, with frequent performances across North America, as well as in Europe and China. They have appeared at Wigmore Hall (London), Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall (New York City), Old First Church (San Francisco), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles), Roy Thomson Hall and the Four Seasons Performing Arts Centre (Toronto), the National Arts Centre (Ottawa), the Forbidden City Concert Hall (Beijing), and the Chapelle du Bon-Pasteur (Montreal). They perform at music festivals throughout North America, including the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, Cactus Pear Music Festival, Indian River Festival, Colours of Music Festival, and the Huntsville Festival, and have served as artists-in-residence at the Guelph Spring Festival, the Glenn Gould Professional School in Toronto, and Bishop’s University.
Based at Memorial University in St. John’s, Dahn and Steeves are energetic, experienced teachers who have given hundreds of master classes and workshops across Canada, in the US, and in China. Their commitment to working with young musicians gave rise to the annual Tuckamore Chamber Music Festival, which they founded in 2000 to bring together young chamber music performers with world-class artists and ensembles for an intensive two weeks of learning and performance.
Upcoming performances in 2013 include the world première of a 30-minute work by Vincent Ho at the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival; concerto performances with orchestras in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, recitals for the Indian River Festival, Colours of Music festival and St Cecilia Concert Association.
For more information please visit www.duoconcertante.com.
Eamon started playing Irish music while growing up in Dublin through his friendship with the Mayock family, traditional musicians from County Mayo. When he moved to New York City in the early 90′s, he immersed himself in the city’s traditional music scene and travelled widely, performing with many of the great players in Irish music. In 2004 he and fiddler Patrick Ourceau released the album ‘Live at Mona’s’. Eamon has taught at many traditional music programs in the US and also records and performs original music.
Originally formed for a student exchange to Germany, Flute Alors! sprouted into being in 1999. Over the past decade, the group grew from a student ensemble to a fully-professional quintet appearing in the Festival Montreal Baroque, and taking first prizes at the National Music Competition, the Festival de musique classique du Bas-Richelieu, and the Festival de musique classique Vallée-des-Champ along the way.
Four of the five members of the group hold, or are currently pursuing graduate degrees in early music performance and are very active members of the musical community in Montreal. The fifth, Jean-Michel, is in his residency to becoming a doctor!
Since 2008, Flute Alors! has held a concert series in Montreal in the Chapelle Saint-Louis, a small venue which, until this year, made for quite a cozy concert. "We had a few concerts in the Chapelle where we couldn't fit anymore people in to watch," notes Marie-Laurence Primeau, one of the five virtuosi, "so this season we're playing in a bigger place ." Last weekend, Flute Alors! planted themselves in a new home, the church of St. John the Evangelist, twice the size of their previous; for their first concert of the season.
Over the past three years, Flute Alors! has cultivated a core group of fans which is constantly growing. "We try and make our concerts interesting to people our age (around 27)," says Marie-Laurence, "by premiering works by young composers, and mixing popular music into our program. The recorder has a very long history and an incredibly diverse repertoire, which makes for a [concert] with a lot of variety."
Halifax Camerata Singers
Artistic Director Jeff Joudrey is highly regarded for his vision, musical leadership, and standards of excellence in choral music. Founder and former director of the First Baptist Girls’ Choir (1983 - 2012) and founder of Halifax Camerata Singers (1986), his leadership has provided challenge and reward for many Nova Scotia singers.
His choirs have established enviable reputations for performance excellence and innovative programming. The Halifax Camerata Singers has four recordings to its credit and, in addition to promoting choral music throughout the Maritimes, was awarded the prestigious Healey Willan Grand Prize as well as first place in the Chamber Choir category in the 2010 National Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs.
Jeff is an enthusiastic supporter of Canadian choral music, and his choirs frequently commission works from both established and emerging composers. Committed to the development of young singers, conductors and composers, he has been guest conductor of the Nova Scotia Youth Choir’s 15th anniversary tour and Unisong 2009 in Ottawa.
In addition to being Director of Music at Trinity-St. Stephen’s United Church in Amherst, Jeff is Chorus Master of the Symphony Nova Scotia Chorus. He is also in demand as a guest conductor, choral clinician, teacher, and adjudicator. He has served on the faculties of Dalhousie and Acadia universities as well as the Nova Scotia Choral Federation’s Institute of Choral Conducting. Elected President of the Association of Canadian Choral Communities in 2012, he also is a former president of the Nova Scotia Choral Federation. He has served on juries for the Juno and East Coast Music Awards, the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the Association of Canadian Choral Communities.
A native of Nova Scotia, Jeff studied organ at Acadia University and the Haarlem International Academy in the Netherlands before going to McGill University to study with organists John Grew and Raymond Daveluy. His choral mentors include Canadian conductors Elmer Iseler and Wayne Riddell, and German conductor Helmuth Rilling.
The Halifax Camerata Singers is Atlantic Canada’s premier chamber choir. Founded in 1986 by
Artistic Director Jeff Joudrey, the Nova Scotia ensemble has distinguished itself by performing exciting choral
repertoire that covers all periods and styles,with special attention to Canadian music.The auditioned choir is known for its high performance standards, claiming national recognition and the Healy Willan Grand Prize in the 2010 National Competition for Canadian
Members of the Halifax Camerata Singers come from many communities for the opportunity to perform demanding choral repertoire.
The choir often appears in collaboration with chamber ensembles, Symphony Nova Scotia, and other musicians, and since 2001 has been the core choir of the Symphony Nova Scotia Chorus. The ensemble performs in regional concert series such as Music at the Three Churches, Musique Royale, Music at Trinity, Dartmouth Community Concert Series, and Indian River Festival, P.E.I.
The Halifax Camerata Singers organization has an active program of commissioning choral music from Canadian and international composers and is proud to encourage young singers through its Youth Mentoring Program, bursaries for the Nova Scotia Youth Choir, and a Young Composer’s Competition. The organization was also instrumental in the success of Xara, a choral theatre ensemble for young women aged 18–30 years, which was founded as a youth initiative of the Halifax Camerata Singers in 2008.
The Halifax Camerata Singers is a not-for-profit society managed by a volunteer board of directors. Funding comes from performances, donations, and fundraising, with supporting grants from the Canada Council for the Arts; Nova Scotia Communities, Culture and Heritage; and the Lloyd Carr-Harris Foundation.
Janice Jackson has sung over 200 world premieres, many works written specifically for her, and performed with contemporary music ensembles, in modern music festivals and concert halls around the world - Beijing, Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Torino, Toronto, Montreal, New York, Berlin, Johannesburg, and more. She is the Artistic Director of the Halifax-based contemporary vocal music society Vocalypse Productions, and has sung music ranging from art song, opera, tango, folk, and improvisatory. Her work has included new opera, such as Vonda de Ville in Temporal Follies by Lukas Pearse (a one hour / one woman melodrama in which she sang and acted the role of Vonda de Ville) and a jazz opera with libretto by Nova Scotia’s George Elliott Clarke and music by New York’s D.D. Jackson entitled Trudeau: Long March / Shining Path in which she sang the role of Margaret Trudeau. During the 2010-2011 Season she premiered two new works by Montreal's Tim Brady: a melodrama about the life of Marie Curie with Victoria’s Aventa Ensemble and We're Hardcore, seven songs based on texts by the Tragically Hip’s Gordon Downie with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. During Season 2011-2012 she premiered a new mini-opera by Anna Pidgorna entitled Mirror Mirror for voice and electronics during Oscillations and sang Jerome Blais' Dremlen feygl with Montreal's Orchestre Métropolitain. She also performed with Lukas Pearse and Geordie Haley in an improvisation concert entitled Irrevocably Blue produced by the Dalhousie Art Gallery and Vocalypse Productions. Her most recent endeavor, a co-production between Dalhousie Art Gallery and Vocalypse, was entitled HOWL, a suite of three mini-operas which she commissioned and performed over eight nights at the Gallery.
Pianist Jennifer King is a versatile musician whose career spans frequent performing, coaching, teaching, and accompaniment. She is faculty pianist at Acadia University’s School of Music, where she is also a part-time faculty member, teaching a course in Piano Accompaniment and runs an interdisciplinary performance class for graduating performance majors. Jennifer is in demand as an adjudicator for many music festivals and competitions within the province performs as a collaborative pianist and chamber musician with Atlantic Canada’s finest musicians. She has been pianist-in-residence for the Young Artists’ Master Classes at Scotia Festival of Music since 2004, can be heard on CBC radio, Bravo’s Bathroom Divas, and as an occasional harmonium, celeste, or piano player for Symphony Nova Scotia. Jennifer also has experience working as a ballet school pianist in PEI and the UK and has worked as a repetiteur for opera and musical theatre productions. She is part of The Jollimore Trio with, Jack Chen and clarinetist, Eileen Walsh. The trio tours many of the schools in Nova Scotia, performing and giving clinics to young musicians and produce a community concert series in Halifax.
Jennifer holds degrees from McGill University (MMus in solo piano) and Acadia University. While living in England she received a diploma with distinction in Music Teaching in Private Practice from the University of Reading’s International Centre for Research in Music Education and a postgraduate diploma in Piano Accompaniment from the Royal Academy of Music in London. She attended the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies and the Hereford International Music School in England and the Kneisal Hall Chamber Music School in Maine. The winner of many scholarships, including two Nova Scotia Talent Trust awards, she was recognized by Nova Scotia’s Lieutenant Governor for her contribution to the musical life of the province. Jennifer lives in Halifax and is married to a veterinarian. They have two children, Maddie and Evan.
The King’s Chorus was started in the fall of 2009 by director Nick Halley and a small group of students out of a desire for a non-competitive, student-run choral society at the University of King’s College. The choir is open to students, faculty, and friends of the University of King’s College and Dalhousie University. Each week, members participate in rehearsals that provide instruction in music theory, vocal technique, sight-singing and a little music history. This serves to develop the Chorus as a training choir with the attitude of a professional ensemble.
The Chorus performs two major concerts each academic year. Past concerts include performances of Haydn’s classic Mass in Time of War, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana (performed with the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra and Capella Regalis), and most recently Benjamin Britten’s cantata Saint Nicolas. Currently, the Chorus has 60 members, which include students, faculty, and alumni of King’s College and Dalhousie University, making it a vibrant part of the university community. For more information and to inquire about auditions, visit their website.
19-year-old Lauren Margison first attracted attention with her singing abilities when she joined the Canadian Childrens' Opera Chorus in 1999 at the age of seven. Quickly promoted to the principal chorus of the CCOC (2000), usually reserved for young singers between the ages of 13 and 17, Lauren appeared in the mainstage production of the Canadian Opera Company's production of 'La Boheme' in that same year, resulting in an invitation to sing a solo recital at the International Children's Festival at the Harbourfront Centre and an invitation to make an appearance on The Tonight Show starring Jay Leno. Since that time, Lauren has performed extensively to critical acclaim both in Canada and internationally specializing primarily in jazz and pop repertoire. Some highlights to date include performances for Opera Ontario (2005, 2006, 2007, "..the spicy, seasoned voice of a 30-year-old..", Hamilton Spectator, 2006), the TD Toronto Jazz Festival (2006, 2007), The Beaches Jazz Festival (2007, 2008, 2009), The Ottawa Chamber Music Festival (2006), The Cincinnati Pops (2007), Hannaford Street Silver Band (2010), the noon-hour concerts at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre (2011, 2012), Ottawa Choral Festival Gala (2011), and the Venetian Ball (2011), (fundraiser for Villa Charities) held at the Four Seasons' Centre for the Performing Arts. She was chosen as one of four singers to perform the music of Gordon Lightfoot for Gordon Lightfoot at the lifetime achievement Heart and Vision Awards ceremony and concert (2011), and was recently a featured soloist on the City TV Christmas Carol Sing which was aired across Canada in December 2011. She has shared the stage with such distinguished artists as Gordon Lightfoot, Rufus Wainwright, The Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, Louise Pitre, Sheila McCarthy, The Canadian Tenors, Jackie Richardson, Rex Harrington, John Fanning, Elaine Overholt, and has performed with her father, Richard Margison, on several occasions. In addition, January of 2007, Lauren appeared as a guest artist with Argentinian operatic tenor, Jose Cura, at the Pavilhao Atlantico in Lisbon, Portugal, performing before an audience of 8000 people and a television audience across Europe.
Lauren was also part of the 4-member female vocal group, 'The Real Divas'. Their first CD, 'Café Society', was released for international distribution in June, 2009. After a successful tour of British Columbia and appearing as guest performers on the CBCTV broadcast of the National Jazz Awards in May, 2009, the young women have appeared around the country, including a full concert in July, 2009, at the Beaches Jazz Festival.
Currently, although pursuing her professional jazz/pop career, Lauren is continuing her classical vocal studies under the tutelage of Mary Morrison, and Timothy Noble. This summer she will be attending the prestigious Castleton Festival (her second season), in Castleton, Virginia, the brainchild of internationally acclaimed music director and composer, Lorin Maazel, as one of the youngest participants in the vocal division.
Piano prodigy Lucas Porter will be performing a solo tour of Eastern Canada under management of Jeunesses Musicales from January 14th to March 2nd in 2014. He has also been accepted into the top 36 of the prestigious Sendai International Piano Competition, which takes place in Japan in June of 2013. This past August, Lucas performed at the prestigious Stratford Summer Festival as part of their ‘Celebration of Glenn Gould’ series. The series also included other renowned Canadian pianists such as Angela Hewitt and Jan Lisiecki. His other upcoming engagements include a performance of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No.2 in F Minor with Symphony Nova Scotia in November of 2013.
A recent graduate of the Glenn Gould School’s Performance Diploma Program, he is the youngest student to date to ever win the school’s Concerto Competition. Other competition highlights for him include his most recent success at the Montreal International Musical Competition where he was an audience and media favorite. The Montreal Gazette described his double octaves as being “the fastest since Horowitz, and even cleaner.”
He won the Canadian Music Competition in 2007 and 2010, as well as the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition in 2007. He had the pleasure of playing Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F with the orchestra in a joint concert with the Symphony Nova Scotia, with whom he made his orchestral debut in 2007 playing Shostakovich’s Concerto No. 2.
Chosen to represent Canada at Expo 2005 in Nagoya, Japan, he took part in a series of concerts along with Canadian soprano, Measha Brueggergosman. At the invitation of the Honourable Peter McKay, he played for Condoleezza Rice at the Halifax 9/11 Ceremony in September of 2006. He also performed in the 2011 Canada Winter Games which were held in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Also a composer, Lucas has written for piano, orchestra, and film. Lucas won the Notions Realize Music Challenge, an international composing competition sponsored by Virtuoso Works. Inc. receiving first place in the 18 and under category for best Orchestral Composition. The premiere performance of his Port Williams Overture was performed by the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra. He also wrote the score for Canadian director Navin Ramaswaran’s short film “A Fork in the Road” which premiered at “MIFF” (Mississauga Independent Film Festival) in September of 2011.
National Youth Choir
Founded in 1980, the Association of Canadian Choral Communities (ACCC, formerly known as Association of Canadian Choral Conductors) is Canada's only professional organization for choral conductors, choirs and administrators. It is a non-profit organization that provides a national voice for over 600 conductors, as well as singers, composers, publishers and choral administrators across the country. Through its activities (biennial Podium conference), projects (National Youth Choir, National Choral Awards, Composition Competition) and publications (Anacrusis, Choral Bytes, ACCC Professional Resource Directory, Recommended Canadian Repertoire series ), ACCC promotes choral music at all levels throughout Canada, and supports and encourages the writing and performance of Canadian choral music.
The aims of the ACCC are:
- to support and encourage participation and excellence in choral music at all levels by providing training, resources, and the exchange of information
- to encourage the composition and performance of Canadian choral music
- to cooperate with organizations of similar aims to create a higher profile for choral music at a provincial, national and international level
A major communication forum for choral musicians across the country, ACCC also provides professional development opportunities and acts as a liaison with other national and international music organizations. ACCC is supported by all the provincial choral federations in Canada. It is a member of the Canadian Conference of the Arts, the Canadian Music Educators Association and the International Federation for Choral Music.
Nuala Kennedy is an Irish singer and flute player with hauntingly beautiful vocals, adventurous instrumentation, and an imaginative mix of influences. Nuala's singing and flute playing springs from the traditional music of Ireland and Scotland, and from the fathomless realms of her own imagination. A consummate performer with a buoyant personality, her music has been described as unique, evocative, and soul-satisfying. Nuala grew up in Dundalk, Co. Louth, a musical area which has long historical links with Scotland and where she was a member of a local ceilidh band Ceoltoiri Oga Oghrialla. She also studied classical piano under Professor John O'Connor at the Royal Academy of Music in Dublin, and earned a Masters in Composition and Performance from Newcastle University. Her latest release 'Noble Stranger' (Compass Records 2012) was recorded live in the Scottish borders with her touring band, and mixed and mastered by Paul Savage of Chemikal Records in Glasgow. It has seen her grace the cover of Irish Music Magazine and Sing Out!, and has been receiving plaudits around the world for its fresh, dynamic sound.
Paul & Eilidh Buchanan
Paul & Eilidh bring their years of experience working with musicians and audiences of all ages with their good-humour and charm, and their honed piano and fiddle-playing skills. Regular performers with the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival, they have toured the province with several musical groups, including Flat Fifth, smoothly navigating the worlds of pop, jazz, and folk. In addition to their career as performers, the duo own and operate Buchanan’s Music Centre, a vibrant retail and teaching space they opened in Mahone Bay, which has received rave reviews as it helps to promote community engagement in the arts for local Nova Scotians.
Hailed for his ringing top notes and spine-tingling power, Canadian tenor Richard Margison is one of the most critically acclaimed singers on the international stage today. He performs regularly in many of the world's leading opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, the Canadian Opera Company, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the San Francisco Opera, the Théâtre Royale de la Monnaie in Brussels, the Sydney Opera and the Grand Teatro del Liceu in Barcelona.
Pianist Robert Kortgaard was born in Regina, Saskatchewan and grew up in Calgary, Alberta. He completed his Bachelor and Master’s degrees at the Juilliard School in New York City. As a recipient of arts awards from the Canada Council, he furthered his musical studies in Italy and England.
Mr. Kortgaard has performed as a soloist with major Canadian orchestras and has given recitals throughout Canada and the United States, as well as in England, Finland, Portugal, Italy, Indonesia, the Czech Republic, China and Japan. He is a favorite collaborator of many of Canada’s finest instrumental soloists, vocalists and chamber groups. His performances are frequently heard on CBC Radio, and he has recorded for the Centrediscs, Marquis Classics/EMI, CBC Records, Teldec and ATMA Classique labels.
Mr. Kortgaard is Artistic Director of the Indian River Festival on Prince Edward Island (recently nominated “Event of the Year” by the East Coast Music Awards), and the Leith Summer Music Festival in Ontario. He was musician-in-residence at the University of New Brunswick from l993-l998, and has given piano masterclasses at Universities and festivals in Canada, Indonesia and China. He is pleased to act as a board member of Debut Atlantic, Canada’s unique and distinguished provider of classical music concerts and educational opportunities.
Mr. Kortgaard has performed with sopranos Isabel Bayrakdarian, Sumi Jo, Jane Archibald, Adrianne Pieczonka and Measha Brueggergosman, mezzo soprano Susan Platts, violinist Joshua Bell, and with Peter Tiefenbach and prima ballerina Veronica Tennant on a production entitled “Invitation to the Dance”. He has recorded French and German Cabaret programmes with mezzo-soprano Jean Stilwell for CBC Records. His CD with soprano Wendy Nielsen was nominated for both Juno and East Coast Music Awards. Recent engagements include tours with flutist Susan Hoeppner, cabaret artist Patricia O’Callaghan. baritone Brett Polegato, renowned music theatre actress/singer Rebecca Caine and several performances of duo piano repertoire with Peter Tiefenbach. A CD of the music of Olivier Messiaen, recorded with soprano Suzie LeBlanc, was released on the ATMA Classiques label and has received an Opus Award for best recording of contemporary music.
Australian-born pianist Simon Docking has performed throughout North America, as well as in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Europe, Appearing as a soloist for Toronto’s Soundstreams, the Winnipeg New Music Festival, the Scotia Festival of Music, Australia’s Aurora Festival, the new music group Stroma in New Zealand, the MATA Festival in New York, and with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Toronto Philharmonia, and the Toronto Wind Orchestra. His 2008 performance of Messiaen’s epic cycle Catalogue d’Oiseaux at the Scotia Festival was described in the Chronicle Herald as “Herculean…a tour de force”.
He can be heard on CBC Radio Two’s Two New Hours, The Signal, and Concerts on Demand and his international performances have been broadcast on ABC Classic FM (Australia), Swedish Radio, and Radio New Zealand.
Active as a chamber musician, Simon is a founding member of several ensembles, including the Toronto-based group Toca Loca, with pianist Gregory Oh and percussionist Aiyun Huang. Toca Loca has been presented by nearly every new music series in Canada from St John’s to Vancouver, as well as in New York, California, and Berlin. They recently released two CDs: P*P (2009) and SHED (2010).
Simon studied piano in Australia with Ransford Elsley, and holds a doctorate in piano performance from SUNY Stony Brook, where he worked with Gilbert Kalish, and upon graduation was awarded New York State’s Thayer Fellowship for the Arts. In October 2011 Simon received an Established Artist Recognition Award from the province of Nova Scotia.
Fans of Steve Normandin know to expect riveting renditions of traditional chansons from France and Québec, enlivened by touches of jazz and swing and performed with a uniquely theatrical flair. Audiences discovering Normadin for the first time will find themselves in the hands of a true master: an artist who can make you laugh, cry, and dance in the space of one set of music. Equally accomplished as an instrumentalist and as a songwriter, Normandin has appeared as a soloist with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, and toured internationally with a host of musical projects and theatrical productions.
Canadian virtuoso guitarist, Sylvie Proulx has performed throughout Canada, the United States, and England. A champion of new works for the guitar, she has presented numerous Canadian world-premieres. Acclaimed for her exceptional musicality and remarkable technique, her repertoire reflects a wide range of periods and styles. In addition to solo and orchestral work, Sylvie enjoys the collaborative aspect of chamber music, welcoming new and challenging pieces for that genre. She holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from the Universities of Ottawa and Toronto where she studied with Ed Honeywell and Eli Kassner. Under the auspices of the Canada Arts Council, she studied in England with renowned guitarist David Russell. A well-known broadcast personality in Canada, and a respected pedagogue at the university level, her talents for instruction and performance were combined in her popular television program, Guitare en Mains, which introduced students to the rudiments of guitar playing. A charming and frequent guest on both English and French networks, engaging commentaries often accompany her recital appearances in which she shares her knowledge and her passion for the guitar. Sylvie's affinity for South American music was brilliantly apparent in her recording, Tango Nuevo: The Music of Astor Piazzolla which features solo guitar, guitar and flute (with flutist Robert Aitken) and guitar and bandoneon (recorded with members of Symphony Nova Scotia). Her critically acclaimed solo recording, Sirocco, was hailed by the Toronto Star as a rare guitar album where flawless technique is trumped by even finer musicianship. Sylvie currently teaches guitar at Memorial University's School of Music.
Extraordinary musical gifts, mixed with an artistic blend of showmanship, make any appearance by Theresa an event to remember. Theresa's talent became apparent from an early age when she joined her mother and older sisters in the rich gospel tradition of her faith, singing for worship services led by her father, The Reverend J.J. Thomason. Theresa went on to master the genres of R & B, Club and Jazz, and began to tour extensively, with The Inspirations, The Golden Gospel Singers, and finally, with her own ensemble, The Gospel Family, delivering her spirit-filled message to audiences at gospel and sacred music festivals throughout the U.S. and Europe.
Theresa Thomason and Paul Halley embarked on their professional association when in 1994 Theresa was engaged by Halley to be guest soloist in a concert performance with his two choirs at The Music Shed in Norfolk, CT. Through Paul Halley, Theresa was introduced to Paul Winter and began touring extensively with the Paul Winter Consort, making frequent appearances at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. Many of these concert performances have been televised on PBS and NBC, securing Theresa box office appeal with consistent showings on Billboard’s Top Ten Grossing Concert List.
Theresa was recorded as featured vocalist on the latest CD of the world-renowned progressive rock group Dream Theatre on Elektra Records, and she also appears on the concert DVD of the group’s live appearance at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City. In November 2002, Theresa released Ten Hymns, a specialty recording on Sacred Sounds Records.
Dinuk Wijeratne, Music Director
Sri Lankan-born Dinuk Wijeratne is one of Canada's most eclectic and distinctive musicians. A passionate educator. Dinuk grew up in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, before taking up composition studies at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), Manchester, UK. In 2001, he was invited by composer John Corigliano to join his studio at New York's Juilliard School. Dinuk's Chamber Concerto 'About Sankhara' (2003) was commissioned by the New Juilliard Ensemble and was the first work by a Sri Lankan composer to be performed at Lincoln Center. Dinuk was also composition fellow at the 2002 Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, and was appointed Artist-in-Residence by the Performing Arts Foundation at International House for the 2003/4 season. Conducting studies followed at New York's Mannes College of Music. Dinuk made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2004 as a conductor, composer and pianist, performing with Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. A second Carnegie appearance followed in 2009, alongside tabla legend Zakir Hussain. Dinuk has also appeared at the Kennedy Center (Washington DC), L'Opéra Bastille (Paris), Lincoln Center (New York), Sri Lanka, across the Middle East, and debuted at the Berlin Philharmonie in a collaborative recital of entirely original works with acclaimed clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, with whom Dinuk has released his first album entitled 'Complex Stories, Simple Sounds'. His season highlights include his appointment as RBC Stockey Young Artist for his debut at Festival of the Sound; his debut at the North Sea Jazz Festival, Holland; new commissions for the Gryphon Trio and TorQ percussion quartet; the nationwide CBC broadcast of his new Tabla Concerto; and the world premiere of his new electro-acoustic project WijeratneWorks, featuring DJ SkratchBastid.
Concert artist, musicologist, producer, author, artistic director, Joseph was first accordionist to offer an official concert debut in major halls on both sides of the Atlantic. His inclusive programming at his American (Kennedy Centre) and European debuts (London, St. John’s Smith Square) drew critical notice and a loyal international following. He has appeared in some of the world’s major venues including Merkin Hall (New York), London’s Southbank Centre, Franz Berwald Hall (Stockholm), Die Yjsbrekker, (Amsterdam), Merkatorhalle (Duisberg), Blauesalle (Brussels), Seiji Ozawa Hall (Tanglewood) Bridgewater Hall (Manchester), Agora Festival IRCAM (Paris), the Hohenems Schubertiade, (Schwarzenburg Austria), and the Berlin Philharmonic Series.
A legendary collaborator with more than 230 works written expressly for him, 12 of them concertos, he was the first instrumentalist to receive the Canadian Music Centre’s “Friend of Canadian Music” Award (2005). Designated “Ambassador of Canadian Music” at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa (2009), he was also a JUNO nominee 2003, and Prix Opus winner for best concert and best recording in 2008 and 2009.
In 2013 he completed a 500 page manuscript entitled The Concert Accordion 1890 -2013 – Contemporary Perspectives to be published with Toronto’s TekstEditions and Germany’s Augemus Press.
Born in New York City, and raised in the grounds of the city’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine (where his father, Paul Halley, was Director of Music), Nick Halley’s earliest memories are of the rich variety of music there, from sacred choral to contemporary jazz and African dance.
These early influences proved to be lasting. Nick majored in jazz and classical percussion at Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and spent a year studying and performing in Brazil prior to returning to New York City to The New School University’s jazz and contemporary music program. There he studied with Amir Ziv, Billy Hart, and Jamey Haddad, and entered into long-lasting musical friendships with some of the great young musicians in New York’s ever-evolving jazz scene.
Nick tours and records with groups ranging in style from traditional Scottish and Irish to gospel, jazz, Brazilian and popular music, including The Chris Norman Ensemble, various Paul Halley ensembles, and his own recently-formed Nick Halley Band. Nick has performed with artists such as Oscar Castro-Neves, Maucha Adnet, Suzie LeBlanc, Theresa Thomason, Rhonda Larson, Café, and Jamey Haddad.
Nick worked for three years (2005-2008) as Assistant Conductor of Connecticut’s acclaimed children’s choir Chorus Angelicus. While there he founded and directed The Gentlemen of Chorus Angelicus, a choir designed to engage the boys of the senior choir, along with those from its training program in the experience of singing services and concerts together with their older peers in the alto, tenor, and bass sections.
When not on tour, Nick is currently based in Halifax, Nova Scotia apprenticed to his father as organist and choral conductor at the University of King’s College and the Atlantic School of Theology. In January 2010 Nick started the King’s Chorus for students and faculty at the University and in February of the same year launched the Capella Regalis Men and Boys Choir based out of the University as well. Nick teaches private lessons and directs workshops in percussion, music theory, and Brazilian, North African, and South Indian rhythm.
Guitarist William Coulter is a renowned performer, teacher, and recording artist. He has explored the world of traditional music as both a soloist and a member of ensembles including Isle of Skye, Orison, and the Coulter-Phillips Ensemble. He began recording for the Gourd Musi label with the release of 'Orison'. Since then he has recorded many albums for Gourd including best-selling Shaker music, 'Simple Gifts', and critically acclaimed 'Celtic Sessions'. Born in New Jersey and trained on piano and classical guitar, William's discovery of Celtic music led him to a MA in Ethnomusicology and a celebrated career as a Celtic guitarist.