Concert Choir - Dr. Elroy Friesen
Described as “innovative, expressive, and dynamic,” Elroy Friesen is Director of Choral Studies at the University of Manitoba where he conducts numerous choirs, and teaches graduate and undergraduate conducting and music education. He has recently been Artistic Director of Canzona, Winnipeg’s professional Baroque choral ensemble, and he actively researches Baroque performance practice. Elroy has also published his research on the choral music of Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara and pursues his passion of study and performance of new Nordic repertoire – especially new Canadian works. His award-winning ensembles tour nationally and internationally, and are frequently recorded and broadcasted by the CBC. They enjoy collaborating with many outstanding local and national arts organizations, including the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Canadian College of Organists, WSO New Music Festival, Soundstreams Canada, Groundswell, Vancouver Chamber Choir, MusikBarock Ensemble, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and the Latvian Radio Choir.
Dr. Friesen studied at the University of Manitoba (B. Mus., B. Ed., M. Mus.) and at the University of Illinois (DMA) receiving numerous scholarships and grants from the Manitoba Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Foundation for Choral Music in Manitoba. Elroy is a co-founder of fikamusik (an intensive professional choral conducting program), the founder and past Artistic Director of Prairie Voices, and has recently appeared as guest conductor with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. He is in demand as a clinician, adjudicator, and conductor throughout Canada, the United States, and Europe.
Jazz Ensemble - Dr. Jared Burrows
Dr. Jared Burrows is a guitarist, composer, and educator in Vancouver, BC, Canada. He leads the Jared Burrows Quartet, and Sextet, the Vancouver Improviser's Orchestra, and is involved with many other ensembles in the Vancouver area including: Thunder Lizard, Dave Robbins' Electric Band, Delta Quartet, Brad Muirhead 4tet, Colin MacDonald's Pocket Orchestra, Gare de Lyon, Len Aruliah Quintet, Michael Vlatkovich Quintet, and the Offering of Curtis Andrews. Performance highlights from this year include concert and recording work with legendary LA saxophonist, Vinny Golia, and mrdangam master, Sri Trichy Sankaran.
Jared is an instructor at Capilano University and served as Academic Coordinator of the Jazz Studies Department there from 2013-2018. He currently teaches improvisation, arranging, conducting, and directs small and large ensembles. Before coming to Capilano, he taught at Douglas College, Stanford Jazz Workshop, University of Oregon, SFU, and directed elementary school bands.
Burrows is a relentless organizer on the Vancouver scene, curating the weekly Jazz at Presentation House concert series (since 2008) and serving as co-director of the annual South Delta Jazz Workshop and Jazz Festival from 2002 to 2015. He holds a PhD in Arts Education from Simon Fraser University and a MMus in Jazz Studies from the University of Oregon. His research has been published in CMS Symposium, IAJE Journal, BC Music Educator. His recent collaborative work with economic historian, Dr. Clyde Reed, appears in the Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies.
String Orchestra - William Rowson
Conductor William Rowson is rapidly establishing a reputation as one of Canada’s most versatile emerging talents. Known for his intimate knowledge of the standard repertoire as well as his facile handling of new repertoire, Rowson recently won the position of Assistant Conductor of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. In addition to his performance schedule with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, upcoming engagements include return performances with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra and Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra.
In the 2015-16 season Rowson returned as the Resident Conductor of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra’s ‘What Next’ Festival, conducting 5 Canadian operas in one week, in concert. He also was a finalist for the position of RBC Composer-in-Residence with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. In January 2015 he debuted as the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Sneak Peek Orchestra in Toronto, an orchestra made up exclusively of young professional musicians, and in October of this year Rowson debuted as the Principal Conductor of the Stratford Symphony Orchestra.
Rowson began conducting at the Curtis Institute of Music and, since then, has been a frequent guest of many of Canada’s leading ensembles, including Ottawa’s Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra, Toronto’s Talisker Players, the Glenn Gould Professional School, and The National Academy Orchestra of Canada. He has conducted the world premieres of over 60 new works. In recent seasons Rowson has also conducted the McGill Chamber Orchestra, the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Orchestra, the Saskatoon Symphony, Orchestra Toronto, The Toronto Philharmonic and the Scarborough Philharmonic.
In the fall of 2013, Rowson worked with Philip Glass as the assistant conductor for the world premiere of the Godfrey Reggio film,Visitors, with Philip Glass’ score performed live by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. His operatic experience includes conducting the Canadian premieres of Handel’s Amadigi de Guala and Hasse’s Antonio e Cleopatra on period instruments with London Early Opera and the University of Western Ontario’s Early Music Studio. Through his performances with the Talisker Players, Rowson has collaborated with prominent vocal artists Meredith Hall, Rufus Müller, Lawrence Wiliford and Krisztina Szabó.
An accomplished composer, Rowson’s music has been featured at the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, UBS Verbier Festival, the Banff Centre’s Summer Music Series, Niagara on the Lake International Chamber Music Festival, and the Brott Music Festival. In the summer of 2014 his Cello Sonata was recorded by the Mercer Park Duo for Naxos Canada and released internationally. This year, Rowson debuted as a film composer at TIFF with his score to the feature length film Big Muddy.
William Rowson grew up in a musical family, starting the violin at age 3 in his hometown of Saskatoon.
Vocal Jazz - Jamie Dyer
Jamie Dyer is a staff accompanist for the Long Beach Unified School District, and teaches the vocal jazz group at Renaissance High School for the Arts in Long Beach, CA. She is a published arranger with Sound Music Publications, and her arrangements have been performed in high schools and colleges across the West Coast.
Throughout high school and college, Jamie participated in numerous top vocal ensembles as a vocalist, pianist, and arranger. As a graduate student, she conducted the second vocal jazz group and was the assistant conductor for the chamber choir. She holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Piano Performance from Central Washington University and received her teaching certification from California State University, Long Beach.
Wind Ensemble - Dr. Robert Taylor
Robert Taylor is Director of Bands at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, where he conducts the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, teaches graduate and undergraduate conducting, and serves as Chair of the Woodwind Brass and Percussion Division. With a career in music education spanning over twenty years, previous appointments include the University of Puget Sound in the state of Washington and Eureka High School in northern California, where ensembles under his direction earned recognition by Downbeat Magazine, the Selmer Corporation, and Grammy Signature Schools.
Dr. Taylor maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor. Past engagements include performances with the Vancouver Brass Project, Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and Chicago-based contemporary music group, the Maverick Ensemble, in addition to collaborations with a wide range of international artists—from brass virtuosi Allen Vizzutti, Gail Williams, Jeff Nelsen, and Daniel Perantoni; to composers Jodie Blackshaw, Michael Colgrass, John Corigliano, David Maslanka, Alex Shapiro, Frank Ticheli, and Dana Wilson; to jazz and pop performers Ingrid Jensen, Manhattan Transfer, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. As a passionate advocate of music in the schools, Dr. Taylor is in high demand as a festival adjudicator, rehearsal clinician, and guest conductor throughout North America and internationally. His frequent appearances with young musicians include serving as principal conductor of the Puget Sound Youth Wind Ensemble and guest conductor of numerous honor groups, such as the National Youth Band of Canada, California Orchestra Directors Association Honor Symphony, and many provincial and all-state bands across Canada and the United States.
Taylor received the Master of Music and Doctor of Music degrees in conducting from Northwestern University, where he studied with Mallory Thompson, and the Bachelor of Arts degree in Trumpet and Music Education from Humboldt State University. His research on wind literature, rehearsal techniques, and the use of technology in the training of nascent conductors and performing musicians has been presented in leading wind band publications and featured in presentations at regional and national music conferences, including appearances at the Midwest Clinic and College Band Directors National Association. He is a Killam Laureate, Jacob K. Javits Fellow, past executive board member of the British Columbia Music Educators Association, and a member of the Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Kappa Lambda National Honor Societies, College Band Directors National Association, World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, and National Association for Music Education.