CONCERT CHOIR AND VOCAL JAZZ
Marcia McLean — Swift Current, SK
Marcia is currently the artistic director of the Swift Current Oratorio Choir and an adult chamber choir, Prairie Spirit Mrs. McLean also teaches private voice lessons, gives choral workshops and adjudicates. She adjudicates for the Saskatchewan Music Festivals and has adjudicated at the Brandon Jazz Festival and Brandon Music Festival. . In January of 2014, members of the Oratorio Choir travelled to New York to perform Karl Jenkin’s “Stabat Mater” in Carnegie Hall with several choirs from around the world. In 2010, she retired after 18 years as Director of Choral Music at the Swift Current Comprehensive High School. There she conducted an 80-voice concert choir, a vocal jazz ensemble and the Comp. Chamber Singers. In 2010, the Chamber Singers were selected to perform at the Association of Canadian Choral Community’s convention held in Saskatoon, and in 2007 performed at Festival 500 in Newfoundland.
In addition, the choir presented Showcase Concerts at the Rocky Mountain Festival and won awards at Music Fest Canada and the Heritage Music Festival. Marcia was the founding director of the Swift Current Children’s Choir and conducted the choir for 12 years. Active at the provincial level, Marcia serves on the board of the Swift Current Music Festival and is a member of the Sask Choral Federation. She served as President of the Sask Choral Federation for 4 years and has just completed her term on the board. Ms McLean was guest conductor of the Sask. Choral Federation choir camp in the summer of 2011 and on numerous occasions, served as vocal coach at the SCF summer camps. In 2004, Mrs. McLean was awarded the “Pro Musica Award” by the Sask. Choral Federation for outstanding service in the choral community. In 2001, she received the “Paul Harris Fellowship” from the Swift Current Rotary Club for outstanding leadership and community work with young people.
Prior to teaching in Swift Current, Marcia taught music and choir at Esterhazy High School for 12 years, conducting both vocal jazz and concert choir. Mrs. McLean received her Bachelor of Music at Brandon University.
Marcia McLean is currently the artistic director of the Swift Current Oratorio Choir and an adult chamber choir, Prairie Spirit. She teaches private voice lessons, gives choral workshops and adjudicates.
Stewart Wilkinson – Regina, SK
Mr. Wilkinson received his BA and BEd (music majors) from the University of Saskatchewan, and his MMus (choral conducting) from the University of Regina.
As chair of the Fine Arts Department at Campbell Collegiate, Regina, his choirs enjoyed international acclaim, with workshops and performances in Seoul, South Korea, the People’s Republic of China, the International Jazz Educators Association conference in San Antonio, Texas, and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.
In the fall of 1999 Mr. Wilkinson moved to Austin, Texas, where he served for twelve years as choral director at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. While there, he organized performance tours to New York City, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Banff, Taiwan, Germany, the Netherlands, Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, and China.
Personal honors include the first-ever Downbeat Magazine Award for excellence in music education in 1990, the Saskatchewan Choral Federation’s 1992 Pro Musica Award, and the Saskatchewan Music Educators Association’s 1993 Outstanding Achievement Award. In 2004 Mr. Wilkinson received an award of merit from the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors in recognition of his 25 years of service to choral music in Canada.
Most recently Mr. Wilkinson served for two years as the director of the newly established Saskatchewan Youth Choir.
JAZZ BANDS AND CONCERT BANDS
Glen Gillis — Saskatoon, SK
Glen Gillis, Professor of Music, conducts the Concert Band and Saxophone Ensemble, and teaches saxophone, conducting, and music education courses at the University of Saskatchewan. Dr. Gillis has remained active as a clinician and adjudicator for solo/ensemble festivals and workshops in Canada and the U.S. as well as guest conducting professional and honour ensembles, From 2001-2010 he directed the U of S Wind Orchestra 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 an educator and 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 The Encyclopaedia of Music in Canada, Teaching Music through Performance in Band, and Teaching Music through Performance in Middle School Band. As well, he has presented research papers or clinics at several international music conferences such as the Midwest Clinic, WASBE, CBDNA, TMEA, and the British Forum for Ethnomusicology. Dr. Gillis is a Conn-Selmer Artist/Clinician and continues to maintain an active schedule in saxophone performance having performed in North America, Europe, and China. He has performed at numerous international music conferences (World Saxophone Congresses, North American Saxophone Alliance Conferences, and the Saxophone Symposium). He has matriculated many saxophone students at the high school and college level who have received provincial and national awards. As a member of SOCAN, his diverse performance career and musical experience has spanned over three decades in the realms of classical and jazz, with many published compositions for saxophone, and band through Eighth Note Publications (distributed by Alfred Music). He released SaxSpectrum (2009) and SaxSpectrum 2 (2014) through the MSR Classics label performing and displaying 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 CDs. SaxSpectrum 2 also received a nomination for the 2015 Instrumental Recording of the Year from the Western Canadian Music Awards.
Greg McLean – Swift Current, SK
Greg McLean most recently served an interim term as Director of Bands at the University of Regina following 35 years as a high school instrumental music director, the last 21years of which he taught at the Swift Current Comprehensive High School in Swift Current, SK. Under Mr. McLean’s direction, the Swift Current Senior Wind Orchestra and Senior Jazz Ensemble received many awards, including Gold medals at Music Fest Canada in 1993, 1995 and 1998. The Wind Orchestra performed guest showcase concerts at the Rocky Mountain Festival in 1996, 1997, 2007 and 2009 and at the Moose Jaw International Festival in 1999 and 2003. The senior jazz ensemble, Thursday Night Jazz, was also featured in a showcase concert in 2008 for the Rocky Mountain Festival.
Mr. McLean received his Bachelor of Music degree from Brandon University. His graduate work included a Graduate Diploma in conducting and wind repertoire from the University of Calgary, and a Master of Music degree in conducting from the University of Manitoba. His mentors have included Dr. Dale Lonis of the University of Manitoba and Earl Stafford of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. His trumpet teachers have included brass specialist, Dr. D. S. Reinhardt of Philadelphia and Vincent Cichowicz of the Chicago Symphony. In 2001 he received the “Paul Harris Fellowship” from the Swift Current Rotary Club for outstanding leadership and community work with young people. He was recipient of the “Outstanding Achievement Award” presented by the SK Music Educators Association in 2006.
He is a full-time faculty member of the Prairieland Summer Jazz Camp in Regina and has been guest conductor and brass coach at Saskatchewan summer band camps for over twenty-five years. Mr. McLean is frequently invited to adjudicate at festivals across Canada, to conduct workshops and reading sessions, and to direct honour groups. He has presented sessions at the Sask Music Conference on jazz repertoire and directed the SMC Jazz Band in 2011 and 2012. Mr. McLean has performed in the trumpet section of the Sawatzky Big Band, the Bob Moyer Big Band and the Prairieland Jazz Camp Faculty Band.
He is also the co-artistic and orchestra director for the Swift Current Oratorio Choir, conducting members of the Regina Symphony Orchestra and soloists each spring.
Jim Finkbeiner — Calgary, AB
Jim received his Bachelor of Music and Certificate of Education from the University of Calgary, studying with Glenn Price, Vondis Miller, Warren Rowley and Jeremy Brown.
He is currently Music Director at Henry Wise Wood High School in Calgary. Previously, Jim taught Junior High school music for 16 years including opening a new school, MidSun Junior High, which still has one of the largest and critically acclaimed Music programs in the country. Jim is well known as a saxophonist, clinician and conductor in the Calgary area for the past 27 years and his bands have consistently received numerous awards and honors.
As well, Jim’s experience includes conducting adults as longtime director of jazz and concert bands with the Westwinds Music Society. He was recently named the George Lotzenheiser “Best Band Director” award from the Calgary Performing Arts Festival for the second year in a row. In addition to conducting numerous award winning bands, Jim has been highly sought as an Adjudicator and Guest Conductor in Charles County, Maryland, with Banff Music Retreats, Regina’s Optimist and Band Days Festivals and also at the International Music Camp on the border of Manitoba and North Dakota.
Jim has performed and recorded with the critically acclaimed U of C Red Band and still performs with local group “Penguins on Broadway”.
Jim is a founding member of CADME (Calgary Association for the Development of Music Education), a past member of the AIBF Festival committee, and member of CARAS (Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences) and was part of the “Music Lives Here” planning committee for the Juno awards events held in Calgary in 2008. Since 1996, he has been a member of the Jazz Education Network (formerly IAJE) and has taken part in the Lincoln Centre Band Director Academy.
In addition to teaching Jim has continued to advocate for music education as the Music Representative on the Calgary Board of Education Fine Arts Task Force (2011-13), the Fine Arts Standing Committee (2013-14), and Fine Arts Advisory Committee (2014-15).
Bill Kristjanson – Winnipeg, MB
Bill Kristjanson is currently a sessional instructor at the University of Manitoba teaching music education courses and jazz pedagogy. He taught at Vincent Massey Collegiate, Glenlawn Collegiate and Minnetonka schools for many years. He has served as a Divisional Music Consultant and is Past-President of the Manitoba Music Educators’ Association. Bill has been invited to present at the International Association of Jazz Educators’ Conference, the Canadian Music Educators Conference, and provincial and music education conferences in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland. He has conducted the Provincial Junior Honour Band, Intermediate Honour Band, Honour Jazz Band at the International Music Camp. Bill is the recipient of numerous awards recognizing teaching excellence and service to music education including, the “Manitoba Band Association Award of Distinction,” “Manitoba Jazz Educator of the Year Award” and a “CMEA Builders Award”. Bill’s teaching philosophy revolves around, “finding something good, and help it grow.”
Kathie Van Lare – Okotoks, AB
Born and raised in Calgary, Kathie Van Lare received her B. Mus. (Secondary Music Education), Graduate Diploma in Fine Arts (Wind Band Conducting) and Teacher Certification from the University of Calgary. She also completed course work in Jazz Studies at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia while on sabbatical from the Calgary Board of Education. Kathie has been teaching secondary school music in the Calgary area since 1989 and is currently an Instrumental Music Director at Centennial High School. Kathie is active as a guest conductor and adjudicator and has also served on faculty at Musicamrose and the Calgary Summer Band Workshop. Since 2005 Kathie has been conductor of the adult community band the Foothills Music Society Concert Band based in Okotoks. A member of the Band Masters’ Fraternity Phi Beta Mu, Kathie was also the recipient of the Elkhorn Award in 2012 as “Director of the Year” from the Alberta Band Association and was awarded the Vondis K. Miller Legacy award Alberta Music Conference in October 2017, again presented by the Alberta Band Association.
Bands under Kathie’s direction have been the recipients of numerous “Superior” ratings and “Gold Awards” at many local, provincial and international festivals. Kathie also continues to be active as a trumpet player and has performed with many groups including among others, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra, Red Deer Symphony, Calgary Bach Society, Bow Valley Chorus, Prime Time Big Band, Calgary Jazz Orchestra, Southern Stardust Big Band, Alberta Winds and Altius Brass.
Beyond music, Kathie’s other passions include baseball, horses and woodworking. She lives just outside of Okotoks with her many animals including horses, dogs, cats and husband Matt.
Kevin Willms – Calgary, AB
Kevin Willms was born and raised in Calgary. He has been teaching instrumental and choral music for the Calgary Board of Education for the last 31 years. He currently teaches at William Aberhart High School. His ensembles consistently perform at “Superior” levels and have received much recognition for their outstanding performances at local and international music festivals. His ensembles have commissioned a number of new works for wind band and jazz ensemble and have performed across Canada and the USA as well as in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic, Spain, China and Cuba.
Mr. Willms has been the Artistic Director of the Westwinds Music Society for 21 years. Westwinds is an adult community music organization dedicated to providing exceptional music education to adults of all levels of experience. www.westwindsmusic.org
The Calgary Association for the Development of Music Education, recognized internationally as CADME was formed in 2003 with Mr. Willms as its founding President. He continues to serve in this role. CADME is a not-for-profit charity born from the vision of dedicated music educators committed to enhancing and expanding music education for all students in the Calgary region. www.cadme.ca
Mr. Willms is active as a clinician, guest conductor and adjudicator. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the “Elkhorn Award” from the Alberta Band Association, “David Peterkin Memorial Award” from Phi Beta Mu, Pan Canadian Students Choice Award, Excellence in Teaching Award and the Tommy Banks Award, recognizing his long-term contribution to music education in Alberta. He was named “Educator of the Year” by the Calgary Educational Partnership Foundation. In December, 2017, Mr. Willms was inducted as Laureate to the John Philip Sousa Legion of Honour
Mentorship and contributing to the broader development of music education has always been an important priority. Mr. Willms is very proud to be a Senior Advisor with “Music Mentors International”. This unique organization specializes in providing music educators with intensive workshops in rehearsal techniques as well as pedagogical concepts designed to assist teachers in building the best ensembles and musical communities possible. www.mmiachieve.com