2020 Festival Clinicians

Concert Choir and Vocal Jazz                 

Frank Gnandt

Frank Gnandt has been a part of the music world for many years as a professional musician, vocal and keyboard instructor, and choral director. In the choral realm he has conducted groups in both traditional choral and jazz styles. His groups have been a part of a myriad of choral festivals and conferences performing for such prestigious venues as the Vatican, Carnegie Hall, and the Sapporro Concert Hall. His choral groups have toured across North America and to Europe and Japan with the focus of sharing the joy of excellent choral music. He has been the recipient of the “Excellence In Teaching” Award from the Alberta Government and the Mathieson Trophy for Most Outstanding High School Choral Group in Canada! His groups have been requested as guest performers for such events as the Canadian Rocky Mountain Music Festival, Musicfest Canada, Association of Canadian Choral Conductors and the International Association of Jazz Educators.

Frank is past Director of the Lethbridge Collegiate Institute and Chinook High School Chamber and Jazz Choirs. He is presently director of Caritas Chamber Choir and continues instruction in classical and jazz voice and piano in his private studio. He is frequently requested as choral evaluator and workshop facilitator. He is the past Chairman of the Choral Division of Musicfest Canada, and a past member of the Alberta Choral Federation.

Stella Salido Porter

Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Stella Salido Porter has performed throughout North America, including Toronto, Los Angeles, and New York. Her first love was musical theatre, and she received a certificate in Professional Training in Musical Theater from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City.

Stella also had a passion in Classical music, which she then furthered her extensive vocal training.  She has been awarded with a Bachelor of Music Performance degree and a Master of Music Degree in vocal performance studies at the University of Regina under the tutelage of Professor Lynn Channing.  Ms. Salido Porter participated in master classes with many notable teachers including Mary Lou Fallis, Nico Castel and Stewart Hamilton.  

Stella has made numerous guest appearances in Classical and Musical Theatre performance, including musical productions with Regina’s Globe Theatre, the Mae Wilson Theatre with associations with Diversified Theatre, Live out Loud Theatre, Moose Jaw Cultural Arts Centre, and Rhubarb Productions Inc.  Some of her favourite theatre rolls include Penny/Henrietta in Honk!, the Aya in Secret Garden, Gabrielle in Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Mrs. Banks in Mary Poppins, and performing in Christmas Pantomimes.  Stella has also sung several Oratorio works as guest soprano with the Regina Symphony Orchestra and players such as Haydn’s The Creation, Gabriel Faure’s Requiem in D Op.48, J.S Bach’s Cantata No.4, A New Creation by Rene Clausen and Schubert’s Mass in G.  

Most recently, she performed repeatedly at the Government House in a Beethoven collaboration with author, Jim McLean and with pianist, David McIntyre in a performance trio featuring McLean’s new book, “Beethoven.”  Stella currently resides in Moose Jaw with her husband, Derek and two sons, Jaylon and Micah.  She maintains an active career in performance, runs a busy private studio, and serves as a Musical theatre voice instructor for the Doris Sitter School of Dance.   

Jazz Bands

Chris Jacklin

Chris Jacklin grew up on the west coast of Canada in Vancouver and Victoria. Primarily performing on saxophone, he also plays flute, clarinet and bassoon. He has studied music in Victoria, Toronto, Los Angeles, and Denton, Texas. He has a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Victoria, and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Regina. He also worked on a Master of Arts degree at North Texas State University. From 1990-2010 and 2014-2018 he taught band and choir for the Prairie Valley School Division. From September 2010 until August 2014 he worked for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education as a music curriculum consultant. Since 1990 until 2018 he taught private lessons for the Conservatory of Performing Arts and worked as a sessional instructor for the University of Regina conducting the University of Regina Jazz Ensemble from 2006 until 2018. He performed with a variety of groups, such as the Regina Symphony, The Saskaphones Quartet, Regina Riot, the Rory Allen Band, and his own jazz small groups. Chris retired from teaching in June 2018 and moved to Saanichton, BC where he still enjoys playing music.

Dean McNeil

Canadian trumpet player/composer Dean McNeill has been a Professor of Brass & Jazz at the University of Saskatchewan for the past 23 years over which time he has performed and adjudicating throughout Canada, been the guest artist on the National Youth Band of Canada Saskatchewan tour and soloist on the Western Canadian Music Awards award-winning CD O Music. 

Dean is honoured to have received teaching and performance-based awards including the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival’s Special Recognition Award, Downbeat Magazine’s Student Arranger’s Award, University of Saskatchewan’s Student’s Union Teaching Excellence Award and Dept. of Music Dwayne Nelson Teaching Award. 

Dean is incredibly proud of his past students who have gone on to occupy positions in professional symphony orchestras, jazz & commercial bands, and, those who have established themselves as professional music educators.

Crediting much of his professional success to a combination of diligence, positive musical role models & wonderful music teachers, and, a healthy dose of dumb luck, Dean is honoured to have shared the stage professionally with the likes of *Jon Balantyne, *Tommy Banks, *David Braid, Bobby Caldwell, Dee Daniels, *Phil Dwyer, *Mark Fewer, Guy Few, *Hugh Fraser, Wycliffe Gordon, *Kelly Jefferson, *Ingrid Jensen, *Michael Kaeshammer, *Alastair Kay, *Jens Lindemann, Bob Mintzer, *PJ Perry, *Campbell Ryga, Denzal Sinclaire, *Brad Turner, and Carol Welsman (*=Juno award Winners).

Dean is currently the Artistic Director of the Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra and he is a Yamaha and Wedge (mouthpiece) artist.

For more information visit: http://artsandscience.usask.ca/profile/DMcNeill#/profile or deanmcneill.com.

Concert Bands

Darryl Ferguson

Darryl Ferguson received a Bachelor of Music (Applied Trumpet) from Brandon University, a Master’s of Music (Trumpet Performance) from the University of South Florida, and a Bachelor of Education (After Degree) from the University of Manitoba. He currently teaches at Acadia Junior High School in Winnipeg, MB, where he directs four concert bands and a jazz ensemble. Under his direction, the Acadia band program received recognition for outstanding performance at festivals across western Canada and the northern United States. In 2011, Acadia’s grade 9 ensembles participated in the Canadian Music Educators’ Association’s performance awards program, in which they were awarded the Robert Rosevear Award and the Don Wright Award as the most outstanding junior high concert band and jazz band performances nationally. Darryl is active as an adjudicator, guest conductor, clinician, and freelance trumpet player. He also serves as a sessional instructor and applied trumpet teacher at Canadian Mennonite University. He has studied conducting as a part of the Canadian Wind Conductors Development Program. He is also the director of the Rupertsland Brass Band. He and his wife Cheryl have two sons, Sam and Nate.

Dr Glen Gillis

Glen Gillis is Professor of Music (saxophone, conducting, music education) at the University of Saskatchewan and remains active as a clinician/adjudicator for solo/ensemble festivals/workshops as well as conducting honour ensembles. As an educator his career began in the Saskatoon Public Schools where his concert and jazz ensembles received numerous awards and noted for their advanced musical performances. At the university level his career continued in Missouri and Oklahoma where he conducted concert/jazz bands and orchestra (Lawton Philharmonic). Upon returning to Canada he directed the U of S Wind Orchestra from 2001-2010 and released three commercial CDs in 2005, 2007, and 2009. In 2006, the Wind Orchestra presented a performance/clinic at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention in San Antonio. In 2004 he created the Band Directors Professional Development and the High School Select Wind Orchestra. In 2005 he created the North Saskatchewan Wind Symphony, a community ensemble comprised of some of the finest wind and percussion players from Saskatoon and the surrounding area. As a scholar, he has written many articles that appear in the Canadian Music Educator and Canadian Winds on the subjects of conducting, woodwind pedagogy, and music education. He has contributed to Teaching Music through Performance in Band, Teaching Music through Performance in Middle School Band and The Encyclopaedia of Music in Canada. As well, he has presented research papers or clinics at several international music conferences such as the Midwest Clinic, World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, College Band Directors National Association, Texas Music Educators Association, and the British Forum for Ethnomusicology. He has many compositions for saxophone, and band, published through Eighth Note Publications. Dr. Gillis is a Conn-Selmer Artist/Clinician and has performed in North America, Continental Europe, Iceland, and China that includes over forty conferences such as the World Saxophone Congresses, the North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial and Regional Conferences, and the Saxophone Symposium. He can be heard on SaxSpectrum (2009) and SaxSpectrum 2 (2014) and pending SaxSpectrum 3 (2020) through MSR Classics performing many of his compositions and commissioned works, all world premiere recordings. International music magazines such as Fanfare, American Music Guide, BBC Music Magazine, and Gramophone gave strong reviews of his albums. SaxSpectrum 2 also received a nomination for the 2015 Instrumental Recording of the Year from the Western Canadian Music Awards.  Most recently he co-released DGC Sonic Eclipse (2020) through Hoot/Wisdom Recordings of electro-acoustic experimental music with didgeridooist James Cunningham from Boca Raton, Florida.

Dr Wendy Zander McCallum

Dr. Wendy McCallum is a faculty member in the Brandon University School of Music where she conducts the Symphonic Band and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in music education and conducting.   

Committed to excellence in music education, McCallum taught band and general elementary music before pursuing graduate studies.  In addition to designing professional development sessions for music educators, she has presented at provincial music education conferences, College Band Directors National Association regional conference, and the International Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic.  Her work as a solo and ensemble adjudicator and clinician for concert and jazz ensembles has taken her across Canada and the United States.  She serves as guest conductor of university, community, and military ensembles, as conductor at the International and Rushmore Music Camps, and as facilitator of conducting symposia.  She has conducted junior high and high school regional, provincial, and state honor bands and was the conductor of the 2018 National Youth Band of Canada.  

McCallum has worked to create professional opportunities for students and music educators in the areas of performance and music education.  In August McCallum hosts Avenues:  Exploring Band and Jazz Methods, an annual summer professional development workshop at Brandon University.  She is Faculty Advisor for the Brandon University Student Music Educators Association (BUSMEA), the organization that hosts the annual Da Capo professional development conference.  The Brandon University Symphonic Band, with McCallum as conductor, performed as the featured ensemble at the 2009 Atlantic Band Festival in Halifax, Nova Scotia and the 2013 Con Brio Music Festival in Whistler, British Columbia.  McCallum was awarded Brandon University Alumni Association’s Excellence in Teaching Award as well as the Manitoba Band Association’s Award of Distinction.  She is a Teaching Affiliate with Brandon University’s Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Technology and an Educational Clinician with the Conn-Selmer Division of Education.

McCallum holds the Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education degrees from Brandon University and completed a Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting at the University of North Dakota with Gordon Brock and James Popejoy.  She received her Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of North Texas where she served as a Doctoral Conducting Associate and Teaching Fellow in the Wind Studies Department with Eugene Migliaro Corporon.  She completed her cognate studies in Music Education with Deborah Rohwer and Darhyl Ramsey.

McCallum worked as Lead Writer of the Manitoba Grade 9-12 Music Curriculum Framework, has published in Canadian Winds, and is a regular contributor to the publication and recording series Teaching Music Through Performance in Band and Teaching Music Through Performance in Beginning Band.  She is former President of the Manitoba Band Association and Past-President of the Canadian Band Association.  McCallum, active as a conductor and clinician, investigates areas related to teaching and learning, conducting, and instrumental literature as curriculum in the music classroom.

Chee Meng Low

Chee Meng Low enjoys a diverse career as a conductor, educator, administrator, and performing on saxophone as an orchestral, chamber, and solo musician. Chee Meng is Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Band at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, where he conducts the Wind Orchestra, teaches saxophone performance, conducting and musicianship skills. He is also involved with the Edmonton Saxophone Quartet, U of L Faculty Wind Sextet, Symphonic Winds of NSO Malaysia, and has performed as a soloist, chamber musician and guest conduct in North America, Europe and Asia. Under his direction, the U of L Wind Orchestra has performed at prestigious events and venues including Edmonton Winspear Centre, Calgary Rozsa Centre, Knox United Church Calgary, Alberta Music Conference, Canadian Cantando Festivals and many outreach concerts in the Southern Alberta. Recent solo activities include a concerto performance at the 2017 North American Saxophone Alliance Region 9 conference and a concerto performance with the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra for their 2016/17 season.

Before joining U of L, Chee Meng served as the Assistant Communications and Planning Manager for the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, developing the education & outreach programs, as well as implementing the daily operations of the orchestra. In addition to that, he also served as one of the saxophone instructors for the College of Music, Mahidol University, coaching private lessons, saxophone quartet and saxophone ensemble and serving the College as assistant to the Deputy Director for Academic and Research Affairs.

Chee Meng was the host for the 2019 Region 9 North American Saxophone Alliance regional conference, a member of the International Committee, World Saxophone Congress (2006-2009), regional representative of the Asia Pacific Band Directors’ Association (2007-2010), and current member of the North American Saxophone Alliance. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Alberta Band Association and the Lethbridge Community Band Society. 

Chee Meng Low is an artist-educator for Yamaha Music Ltd.

Larry Pearen

Larry Pearen, a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan and University of Regina is the founding director of both the Yorkton Community Concert and ALL THAT JAZZ Big Bands.  A clinician, adjudicator, and educator, Mr. Pearen was responsible for all bands at the Yorkton Regional High School until his retirement in 2003.   His concert and jazz bands were award winners at local, provincial and Musicfest Canada National Finals.  His school bands have traveled extensively throughout Canada and the United States performing in the 1998 Tournament of Roses Parade, Pasadena, Disneyland, and Universal Studios California, MGM Theme Park in Las Vegas, Disney World, Universal Studios Florida and on Parliament Hill in Ottawa as well as in six Canadian Football League Grey Cup Parades,  Pre Game and Half Time Shows.

In 2016, Larry retired as manager of post-secondary programs from Parkland College and has enjoyed ten years on Yorkton City Council. 

He currently serves as Board Member for the Yorkton Godfrey Dean Art Gallery and is secretary for the newly formed Yorkton Community Foundation.  He is very involved as a Board Member for the Brick Flour Mill Heritage Society having chaired their recent Heritage Dinner and sings in the Westview United Church Choir.

Mr. Pearen is a past president of the Canadian Band Association, the Saskatchewan Band Association, former CBA National Youth Band of Canada manager, Professional Development Coordinator for Musicfest Canada and coordinated a junior band camp for eleven years.

He was awarded an Honorary Life membership in the Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity in Chicago and was awarded an Honorary Life Membership in the Canadian Band Association with the CBA National Music Award for his work and leadership with bands in Canada.  In 2005 he was awarded a Saskatchewan Centennial Medal for his community leadership, and in 2017 awarded the Canada 150 Medal as a “Community Builder” by MP Cathay Wagantall.  Larry was selected as the 2017 Citizen of the Year by Yorkton This Week newspaper.

Larry and his wife Sonia, a retired pharmacist, have two married daughters and enjoy their five grandchildren.

Jennifer Switzer

Jennifer Switzer has been teaching in the Swift Current area for the last 20 years and currently is the director of the Chinook School Division’s Prairie West Bands. She is a University of Saskatchewan graduate with Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education degrees with great distinction. Jennifer has been a guest conductor and clinician at several SBA Summer Band Camps, the South and North Junior Honour Bands and the RCSD Select Band. She has worked as an adjudicator and has coordinated a variety of musical activities in Saskatchewan. In 2016, she was the recipient of the Saskatchewan Music Educators Association Outstanding Achievement Award. She currently lives in Swift Current with her husband, Glenn and her kids, Ty and Jodi.