This season marks Elise Bradley’s ninth season as Artistic Director of the Toronto Children’s Chorus. Ms. Bradley came to the position from her role as Head of Department, Music at Westlake Girls’ High School in Auckland, New Zealand. In demand both in New Zealand and internationally as an award-winning conductor, adjudicator and clinician, she was also a soloist in New Zealand and a member of New Zealand’s national chamber choir, TOWER Voices NZ.
Since arriving in Toronto in 2007, Ms. Bradley has garnered praise for her artistry and for her deep commitment to children and the art of treble choral music. She has not only developed a challenging annual concert series and prepared the Toronto Children’s Chorus to perform with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Bach Consort and Soundstreams Canada, but has also continued the legacy of the Chorus, leading its annual School Choir Invitational Festival as well as the Toronto District School Board’s Choral Project, originally established in cooperation with Founder and Conductor Laureate Jean Ashworth Bartle to provide professional development for music teachers.
In the summer of 2009, Ms. Bradley and the Touring Choir spent two weeks in Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany, performing with the Vienna Boys Choir in the 9th World Choral Festival at Vienna’s celebrated Musikverein concert hall and also at the Haydn Hall in Eisenstadt, at Bach’s St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, and at the Berlin Dom. In November 2009, the Toronto Children’s Chorus had the honour of performing with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem under the baton of Conductor Peter Oundjian and, in January 2010, with Krzysztof Penderecki and Soundstreams Canada.
During its 2010-2011 season, the Chorus performed three concerts with the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, followed by a tour to Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires to participate in the Melodia Festival, and was one of only twenty-five choirs invited to participate in the 9° World Choral Symposium in Puerto Madryn, Argentina. This past season, Ms. Bradley and the Chorus were honoured to participate in the world-renowned Adolf Fredrik Music School’s ‘Let the Future Sing’ festival in Stockholm, Sweden, and in the national ‘Podium 2012’ in Ottawa. The season opening and closing was celebrated with performances with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Carole Anderson received her Bachelor of Music at the University of Western Ontario where she studied choral conducting with Deral Johnson. During her 35-year teaching career Carole taught music at all grade levels and was a music consultant in both Brant and Peel Districts. Recently retired from the Peel District School Board, Carole taught for the last 15 years at Thomas Street Middle School in Mississauga where her choral and concert band ensembles were recognized for excellence at local, regional and national festivals. At the 2011 National Music Festival of Canada the Thomas Street Middle School Chamber Choir was awarded First Place in the David Ouchterlony class and was selected by the adjudicators to receive the Paul J. Bourret Grand Choral Award. In the fall of 2012 Carole was honoured by the Ontario Music Educators’ Association with an Honorary Life Membership.
Since 2006 Carole has been an Associate Conductor with the Toronto Children’s Chorus and currently conducts Training Choir 1, Training Choir II and Cantare, the junior half of the Toronto Children’s Chorus Main Choir. Carole acknowledges the kind encouragement and mentorship of the Toronto Children’s Chorus founder Jean Ashworth Bartle, whose workshops she first attended in 1982, and the inspirational vision and guidance of current artistic director, Elise Bradley.
Judith Bean received her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Wilfrid Laurier University and her B.Ed. in vocal music from the University of Western Ontario. In addition, she holds a number of Kodály certifications. Her musical studies continue to take her around the globe as she attends conferences and workshops.
After attending the Conductors’ Symposium hosted in 2005 by the Toronto Children’s Chorus, she was invited to become a member of the staff at the TCC’s annual Main Choir summer music camp at Appleby College, where she has taught Sight Singing for the past ten years.
A teacher with the Waterloo Region District School Board for more than twenty-four years, Ms. Bean teaches vocal music and drama to children in Grades 1 to 6 at Ryerson Public School in Cambridge. She is the founder and former director of Menno Youth Singers in Kitchener-Waterloo and past director of the St. Peter’s Lutheran Church Junior Choir in Kitchener. She has also taught piano and voice at The Beckett School of Music in Kitchener and directed the Inter-Mennonite Children’s Choir for 7 years. Ms. Bean is now in her fourth season as conductor of the Preparatory Choir.
Judith is currently in her first year of the Masters of Arts Community Music Programme at Wilfrid Laurier University. In her spare time, she enjoys competing in archery tournaments throughout the province, spending time in her pottery studio, knitting and sewing.
Matthew Otto is rapidly establishing himself as a promising conductor with a passionate approach, “real flare for choral work” and “secure authority” at the podium. Matthew joined the artistic team of the Toronto Children’s Chorus as Conductor’s Intern in 2010. Now as Associate Conductor, he co-directs Chorale, Training Choir III and the newly created Toronto Youth Choir alongside Artistic Director, Elise Bradley. During his tenure as Associate Conductor of Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Matthew conducted the ensemble and orchestra, and prepared the TMC for appearances with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Matthew has also served as Assistant Conductor of Pax Christi Chorale, Music Director at Blessed Trinity Church, Conductor of Hart House Jazz Choir and Director of Music at the Newman Centre. Currently, Matthew is Interim Director of Music at the historic Saint Anne’s Anglican Church.
Twice-recipient of the Elmer Iseler Fellowship in Choral Conducting and finalist in the Sir Ernest MacMillan Foundation Fellowship Award in Orchestral Conducting, Matthew holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition (2007) and a Master of Music Performance in Conducting (2009) from the University of Toronto, where he studied with Doreen Rao and David Briskin. Further conducting studies have taken place with Helmuth Rilling, Simon Carrington and Agnes Grossmann among others. In the spring of 2014, Matthew will begin doctoral work with Dr. Karen Grylls at the University of Auckland.
Michel Ross holds a Master of Music in Collaborative Piano from the University of Toronto and is a French and music teacher with the Toronto District School Board. The Toronto Star called him “dancer as well as poet of the keyboard” after performing Carmina Burana at Koerner Hall with TorQ Percussion Quartet and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir in 2012. Mr. Ross has also performed the Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Hart House Orchestra and several operas, including Cosi fan tutte, La Bohème, and Madama Butterfly. His first children’s book, Je ne veux pas aller à l’école!, was published last summer by AIM Language Learning.
Mr. Ross toured with the Toronto Children’s Chorus Chamber Choir to Brazil and Argentina for the Ninth World Choral Symposium in 2011, and to Sweden for the Let the Future Sing international choral festival in 2012. He also recently accompanied the choir and was a roundtable panelist at Choral Canada’s 2014 Podium national choral conference in Halifax. In addition to his work as Main Choir accompanist, Mr. Ross has been conductor of the Toronto Children’s Chorus Boys’ Choir since 2011.
Dr. Darryl Edwards (darryledwards.ca) is Head of Voice Studies at the University of Toronto, Artistic Director of the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, and the Concert & Opera Group. He holds B.Mus., B.Ed. and M.Mus. degrees from Western University, and a doctorate from the University of Michigan. He has been claimed by the Toronto Star as “the coach behind many of Canada’s best young voices these days.” His 2012-2013 teaching schedule included master classes with singers in the Opera Studio Nederland, the Central Conservatory Music of Beijing, China, Charles University in Prague, and Brazil’s Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.
Darryl Edwards’ voice students appear with major companies and orchestras across Canada, the United States and Europe (Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, New York City Opera, Philadelphia Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, Bavarian State Opera – Munich, Zurich Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, Greek National Opera, and the Canadian Opera Company).
A career vocal music educator, Dr. Edwards initially trained as a choral conductor with Deral Johnson at Western, and at Westminster Choir College with William Trego, Frauke Haasemann, Sir David Willcocks and Robert Shaw. He was the founder and conductor of the Woodstock Fanshawe Singers, conductor of the University of Western Ontario Chorale, the UWO Gilbert and Sullivan Society, Assistant Conductor of the Ontario Youth Choir (and OYC Voice Coach from 1992-2004), and at Saunders Secondary School in London, Ontario, he developed an international award-winning vocal and choral program. He continues in this vain throughout the world as a master class clinician for singers, and as the voice specialist in quarterly articles for the Canadian Music Educator. He is also a specialist in guiding singers and voice teachers through the distinctive similarities and differences in choral, recital and operatic singing production.
As a tenor, he as appeared to critical acclaim in oratorio, recital, and opera in England, Germany, France, Italy, China, Corsica, the United States, and across Canada. His performing engagements have included Britten’s War Requiem with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, the Bach and Handel with the Filharmonie Hradec Králové and The Czech Boys’ Choir, the title role in Mozart’s Idomeneo in Mulhouse, France, Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the Mozart Requiem with the Pesaro Philharmonic and Chorus in Italy, Handel’s Messiah with the Elmer Iseler Singers, and Mozart concert arias for tenor with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.
Jennifer Swan is on the training/choreography team of Olympic gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (Ice Dancing). Since 2008 she has been the bodywork specialist for the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy (COSI), working with singers, pianists and instrumentalists regarding their practice and performance of such repertoire as Puccini’s La Bohéme, Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore and Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
The International Symposium for Performance Science, Voice Studies at the University of Toronto, and the American Scottish Teachers Dance Alliance (Philadelphia) are among the many organizations in Jennifer’s busy schedule as a clinician. She also teaches the “Bodywork for Singers” workshop series for Voice Studies at the University of Toronto.
Swan is the founder of the Swan Studio Dance and the Children’s Dance Project. As an Artistic Director the SOHO Joyce Theatre of New York City was the venue for Swan’s world premiere production of Rakuen as reviewed by the New York Times – “Children’s Dance Project captured on stage “the pristine sweetness of youth”.
A central pillar of Swan’s philosophy is exposing students to dance through the medium of professional artists sharing their skills, success, joy and energy.
Swan is also a Stott’s Pilates Instructor, certified through the Cleveland Clinic Sports Medical Institute. Jennifer has a B.A. (Hons) graduate in dance from the University of Waterloo and is Associate of the royal Academy of Dance (ARAD), the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (AISTD) and the Scottish Teachers Dance Association (ASTDA).
The London Pilates Centre was founded by Swan in 1998. It featured customized instruction from Instructors trained at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and Stott’s Pilates. The philosophy of the Centre is a skill-mastery progression model wherein students receive training based on their pace and ability. She has trained physiotherapists at the Fowler Kennedy Sports Injuries Clinic at the University of Western Ontario. She is also an international clinician and guest lecturer to medical professionals regarding theory and practice instruction, injury prevention and body alignment.
Jean Ashworth Bartle, C.M., O. Ont.