Amabile Chamber Choir

The Amabile Chamber Choir is comprised of senior choristers of the Amabile Youth Singers and the Tenor/Bass Ensemble of the Amabile Boys Choirs. The group rehearses once a week, in addition to the regular rehearsals and commitments its members have to their other Amabile choirs. In 1996, 1998 and 2002 the choir was named a national finalist in the prestigious CBC Choral Competition (Youth Choir Mixed Voices Category), placing second in 1998 and winning in 2002. This season the choir hosted, Youth Sing, a festival featuring youth choirs from Ontario and New York, sang with Orchestra London in their performance of the Bach Christmas Oratorio, and released their first CD, Wrapped in Song, featuring renowned Londoner, Denise Pelley.
For more information on the Amabile Choirs please visit www.amabile.com.

John Avey, baritone

John Avey is an elite member of Canada’s baritone fraternity whose repertoire encompasses a wide variety of major operatic roles as well as the principal symphonic and oratorio works.  Avey debuted at the Metropolitan Opera as Enrico in Donizetti’s LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras. He made his New York City Opera debut in Frank Corsaro’s renowned production of Janacek’s THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN, appearing as the Vicar – a role he has previously sung with the Canadian Opera Company.  

For the COC, Avey has been featured as Krusina in THE BARTERED BRIDE, Schaunard in LA BOHEME and Staryk in JENUFA, in addition to important assignments in TURANDOT, OEDIPUS REX and Ullmann’s THE EMPEROR OF ATLANTIS. He has also appeared with Arizona Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria, Opera Ontario, Manitoba Opera, Edmonton Opera, Opera Lyra Ottawa, Calgary Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas. Avey starred at the Stratford Festival as the Mikado in Brian MacDonald’s legendary production of the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, which subsequently toured to Ottawa, Victoria and Mississauga. His repertoire also includes the Requiems of Brahms and Fauré, Orff’s DER MOND and CARMINA BURANA, and the major works by Beethoven, Handel and Haydn. He is often heard in evenings dedicated to the music of Lerner & Loewe and Rodgers & Hammerstein and appeared in THE MUSIC OF ANDREW LLYOD WEBBER at the Pantages Theatre in Toronto.


Theodore Baerg, baritone ,

Baritone Theodore Baerg has laid claim to a career of international proportions. The New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Opera and Glyndebourne Festival are just three of his artistic destinations. He has worked with such notable conductors as Kurt Masur, Hans Graf, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Frans Paul Decker and Charles Dutoit.

The dashing baritone has appeared with the New York Philharmonic as Count Homonay in Strauss' Zigeunerbaro, and with the San Francisco Opera as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, Ned Keene in Peter Grimes, Danilo in Die Lustige Witwe, Ping in Turandot and Der Musiklehrer in Ariadne Auf Naxos. He has appeared with the Vancouver Opera as Don Giovanni and the Pirate King in The Pirates Of Penzance and with New York City Opera as the Haji in Kismet, Fontaine in The Desert Song and as The Merry Widow's Danilo. Mr. Baerg has performed the part of Figaro in numerous productions of Rossini's Il Barbiere Di Siviglia and played the part of Count Almaviva in Mozart's Le Nozze Di Figaro at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. In addition, he is a popular star for orchestra evenings devoted to the works of Strauss, Lehar and “The Best of Broadway.”

Mr. Baerg is Associate Professor of Voice and Opera at the University of Western Ontairo. For more information on Theodore Baerg please visit www.baergarts.com


Peter Brennan, arranger and guitarist

It is a very good thing that Peter Brennan loves to arrange music more than he does sleep. With over 1000 orchestral rock scores to his credit; and considering that each of his new Jeans ‘n Classics concerts involves more than 300 hours of writing, it’s no wonder that performing on stage is almost like taking a holiday. Peter Brennan took up the guitar at the age of 15 and played in a variety of "Beatles-esque" bands throughout his high school years. He went on to the University if Western Ontario, where he majored in Music Composition and Theory. He spent the next ten years touring Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean with various bands and recording acts, as guitarist, arranger, and musical director. Peter Brennan’s Jeans ‘n Classics concerts are now known coast to coast as revenue generating quality entertainment for the Baby Boomer generation. As a Record Producer, Peter’s albums have hit Top 10 Charts as far away as the United Kingdom on his record label, Auto Records. He has received several Producer Grants and Awards and is regularly a Judge at the Junos.

Nils Brown, tenor

Australian-born tenor, Nils Brown, makes his home in Montreal. He is a distinguished solo performer in oratorio, opera, ensemble, and with symphony orchestras, and is regularly engaged by major orchestras and choral organizations in the USA, Canada and Great Britain. He has appeared with the Vancouver Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Edmonton Symphony, Portland Baroque, American Bach Soloists, Four Nations Ensemble, Washington Bach Consort, Lamèque Baroque Festival, Elora Singers, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Bach Choir of Bethlehem (singing J.S. Bach's Magnificat (BWV 243) and Cantata BWV63, CBC Vancouver Orchestra and Aradia Ensemble, and the Master Singers of Rochester (from 1998). He recently toured Germany and the Czech Republic performing the Mozart Requiem, and in 1998 performed in England at the Aldeburgh Festival.

Mr. Brown’s 2003-04 season was highlighted by Bach’s Weinachtsoratorium with the Richard Eaton Singers, Haydn’s Die Jahreszeiten with the Spokane Symphony and Die Schöpfung with the Calgary Philharmonic and the Quebec Symphony. Mr. Brown was also featured in Handel’s oratorio Saul with the Ottawa Choral Society, Messiah with the Elmer Iseler Singers and Orff’s Catulli Carmina with both the Orpheus Choir of Toronto and Chorus Niagara.

His recent opera credits include perhaps the first tenor role ever written; Artcetro in Jacopo Peri’s Euridice performed at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and those of the Second Priest and First Armed Man in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte at l’Opéra de Québec.

Mr. Brown’s performances have been broadcast nationally on the CBC and in Europe and he has recorded with Aradia Ensemble, American Bach Soloists and the Washington Bach Consort.

Sara Davis Buechner, piano

Pianist Sara Davis Buechner has won numerous prestigious international piano competitions (Reine Elisabeth of Belgium, Leeds, Salzburg, Sydney and Vienna). She established her early career by winning the Gold Medal of the 1984 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition in Salt Lake City, Utah, and was a Bronze Medalist of the 1986 Tschaikowsky International Piano Competition in Moscow.
With an active repertoire of nearly 100 piano concertos ranging from Bach to Wuorinen, she has appeared as soloist with many of the world's most prominent orchestras.
Ms. Buechner's recording of piano music by George Gershwin was selected as a “Record of the Month” by Stereophile magazine; her 1997 world première recording of the Busoni version of Bach's Goldberg Variations was profiled in the New York Times; and her recording of Hollywood piano concertos by Bernard Herrmann and Franz Waxman won Germany's Deutsches Schauplatten Preis for best soundtrack. Her newest recording for Koch entitled Friml’s Piano Works was recently featured on the front page of the New York Times entertainment section.

In July 2003, Ms. Buechner was appointed Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of British Columbia. She is a former faculty member of New York University, and has presented lectures and masterclasses worldwide, including the Royal Academy in London, Indiana University and the Kobe-Yamate Gakuen in Osaka, Japan.

Benjamin Butterfield, tenor

Canadian tenor, Benjamin Butterfield, enjoys an international career as one of Canada's most successful and sought-after artists. He has performed to critical acclaim throughout North America and Europe and most recently also in Israel and New Zealand.

In concert Butterfield has been a guest performer with Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre, Trevor Pinnock and The English Concert, Bruno Weil and the Carmel Bach Festival and with Nicholas McGegan and The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. He has been heard at the BBC Proms, Carnegie Hall, and on TV broadcasts of Messiah from Halle, Germany.

Butterfield's operatic credits include debuts in The Barber of Seville under Carlo Rizzi at Welsh National Opera, The Magic Flute with New York City Opera, Tamerlano, directed by Jonathan Miller, at Glimmerglass Opera conducted by Jane Glover and in Die Fledermaus with Edmonton opera. Other credits include Cosi fan tutte, Don Pasquale, Cunning Little Vixen, Eugene Onegin, and Turn of the Screw. Future engagements include recordings for Sony Classics, Pearl Fishers with Calgary Opera, and Jephtha with the RIAS Kammerchor in Europe.

As a popular recording artist, Butterfield has made many recordings of the music of Bach, Britten, Schütz and Haydn (CBC, Koch, Marquis) with the American Bach Soloists, the Aldeburgh Connection, and Tafelmusik and most recently with the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra singing French and German opera arias.

Alain Coulombe, bass

Praised for “his velvety bass voice” and “his powerful presence,” Canadian bass Alain Coulombe is an alumni member of both L’Opéra de Montréal’s Young Artists Program and The Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio.

Since his 1998 COC debut as Angelotti in Tosca, Coulombe has appeared regularly on the company’s main stage, singing Colline in La Bohème, Masetto in Don Giovanni, Collatinus in The Rape of Lucretia, Doctor Grenvil in La Traviata, Lieutenant Ratcliffe in Billy Budd, Lodovico in Othello and many others. In the summer of 2000 he made his American debut as Pistola in Verdi’s Falstaff at the Tanglewood Music Festival, under the baton of Seiji Ozawa.

During the last two seasons, Coulombe has traveled extensively in Canada and the United States, performing Christos Hatzis’ Kyrie for Soundstreams Canada, Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and a Bellini Gala with L’Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal at Le Festival International de Lanaudière, Schubert’s A flat major Mass with the CBC Orchestra for Festival Vancouver and Berlioz’s L’Enfance du Christ with the Boston Symphony.

On the operatic stage he performed roles such as Créon in Toronto Opera Atelier’s Médée, The Count Horn in the Canadian Opera Company’s Un Ballo in Maschera, Collatinus in L’Opéra de Montréal’s The Rape of Lucretia, Sparafucile in L’Opéra de Québec’s of Rigoletto and numerous others.

Donna Creighton

Donna Creighton is originally from Bancroft, Ontario. She studied and received her BA Hon. in English and Drama and a Bachelor of Education at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. She founded, administered and funded Over the Wall Theatre Company, a theatre group for youth, and works as a music animator with the mentally ill. Donna plays guitar, recorder, tin whistle, bass, bodhran, and various percussion instruments. She cites Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, George Gershwin, and J.S. Bach as her main influences.


Jonathan Crow, violin

At only 25, Jonathan Crow is Concertmaster and youngest member of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Born in Prince George in 1977, Crow began the Suzuki violin method at age six, going on to study a the Victoria Conservatory of Music with Sydney Humphreys and the Banff Centre Master Class Program at 15. Crow completed his Bachelor of Music in Honours Performance from McGill University, studying with Yehonatan Berick. He has been a member of the MSO for five years.

In May 1997, Crow performed Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in a special benefit for the Victoria Symphony under the baton of Sir Yehudi Menuhin. Lord Menuhin was so impressed he invited him to perform again with the Vancouver Symphony in April 1998.

Crow has appeared as a soloist with most major Canadian orchestras including the Montreal, National Arts Centre, Victoria and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras, and is heard frequently on Chaîne Culturelle of Radio-Canada, CBC Radio Two, and National Public Radio. In the United States he has performed with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra.

An avid chamber musician, Crow has performed at chamber music festivals throughout North America and Europe including the Banff, Ravinia, Orford, Domaine Forget, Montreal, Ottawa, Incontri in Terra di Sienna, and Strings in the Mountains festivals. Recently, he became the new violinist of the Canadian string trio Triskelion. As an advocate of contemporary music he has premiered works by Michael Conway Baker, Eldon Rathburn, and Barrie Cabena and includes in his repertoire major concertos by such composers as Ligeti, and Schnittke and Bernstein. Mr. Crow has recorded for CBC and Atma labels.
Harry Currie, conductor and arranger

Originally from Moncton, New Brunswick, Harry’s career has been as diverse as it has long.

A Director of Music in the Canadian Army for 10 years, he has conducted five of the British Army’s famed Guards Bands. As an instrumentalist he has played with the Halifax Symphony Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic, the Coldstream Guards Band for the film Carry On, Sergeant, Henry Cuesta and the Lawrence Welk Orchestra. He currently leads Reflections, his own swing dance group, on alto sax and vocals.

Harry founded and conducted the Camberley Concert Orchestra in England, and has guest conducted the Halle Orchestra Choir, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and the Victoria Symphony Orchestra.

He has sung the lead in musicals in Canada and Great Britain, and has worked with Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Peter Appleyard and the Benny Goodman Alumni.

As a backup singer he has recorded with performers as diverse as Vera Lynn, Frank Sinatra and the Beatles, and is on the soundtrack of several films, including A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Fiddler on the Roof.

Harry is currently on staff at The Record in Kitchener as an arts writer, conducts Windjammers, Canada’s finest pops wind ensemble, and hosts and co-conducts pops concerts with Canadian orchestras in partnership with Brian Jackson.

In November, 2005, Harry organized and conducted a Royal Command Performance Concert in Bangkok, Thailand, to honour H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
In 2001 he was awarded Waterloo Region’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his accomplishments and contribution to the arts.

Dandi Productions

Dandi Productions was established in 1997 by Canadian performers Doug McKeag and Onalea Gilbertson, to produce, promote and develop new and innovative programming for orchestras.
Dandi's first project for Young Audiences was the North American Premiere of the Orchestra version of Roald Dahl's "Little Red Riding Hood".  Together with master puppeteer Judd Palmer, McKeag and Gilbertson developed a brand new kind of performance concert, which featured broad acting, unusual puppets and a keen appreciation for the fundamental importance of the music and text.
Since then, the company has adapted or created four more delightful concerts for Young Audiences.  They have commissioned original stories and scripts, as well as full orchestra scores.  Dandi's concert productions feature top-notch acting and all-ages comedy.  "They are as much fun to watch as they are to play" says Calgary Philharmonic Principal Trombone Dave Reid. 


Omar Daniel, composer

Omar Daniel’s works have been performed throughout Canada, as well as in Brazil, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary, Poland, Ireland, the United States, and his ancestral Estonia. He holds a Doctor of Music degree in Composition from the University of Toronto, and has studied with composers including John Beckwith (Canada), Leo Brouwer (Cuba) and Alexander Goehr (U.K.).

Dr. Daniel has composed extensively in solo, chamber and orchestral idioms, and was the 1997 recipient of the Jules Léger Award for New Chamber Music, for 'Zwei Lieder nach Rilke', a work for soprano and large ensemble. Other composition awards include the SOCAN National Competition for Young Composers, the CBC National Radio Competition for Young Composers, and the Toronto International Guitar Festival. He has been Guest Composer at the Winnipeg Symphony du Maurier New Music Festival, the Canada Capital Saõ Paulo Festival (Brazil), as well as the composer in residence during the Windsor Symphony's Festival of Canadian Music. As well, his works have been featured at many national and international festivals, including Open Ears (Waterloo), the Vancouver International New Music Festival, the Made in Canada Festival (Toronto), Kanada Muusika Päevad (Estonia). A skilled pianist, he regularly performs and conducts his own works.

Steven Dann, viola

Steven Dann was born in Vancouver, Canada in 1953. Upon graduation from the University of Toronto in 1977, Mr. Dann was named Principal Viola of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, Canada, a position he has subsequently held with the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, the Vancouver Symphony and until 2000, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

He has also been a guest principal of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and, in both performance and recordings, with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Paavo Berglund and Pierre Boulez.

Since 1990 Mr. Dann has been a member of the Smithsonian Chamber Players in Washington D.C. and is violist of the Axelrod String Quartet who are resident at the Smithsonian Institute. The quartet performs on an extraordinary collection of Stradivari and Amati instruments. He has been a featured performer on the Smithsonian’s series of recordings for the Sony Classical Vivarte label.

Mr. Dann has a great interest in contemporary music and has commissioned many new works including concerti from Alexina Louie and Peter Lieberson and chamber works from R. Murray Shafer, Frederick Schipitsky, Peter Lieberson and Christos Hatzis.
As both a performer and teacher, he is a regular guest at many international festivals in Canada and abroad.

Mr. Dann teaches viola and chamber music at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music.

Rik Emmett, guitar

Rik Emmett is one of Canada’s most respected musicians.  An award-winning virtuoso guitarist, multi-talented singer, songwriter and producer with his own independent recording label Rik was also a founding member of the Toronto based trio TRIUMPH.  His blazing guitar solos and trademark vocals helped push the group to multiple gold and platinum sales worldwide and earned him a spot in the Canadian Rock Hall of Fame.  

In recent years Rik’s creativity has broadened into more of an acoustic-based singer/songwriter approach which married to a trilogy of guitar instrumental releases, a collaboration with Sam Reid on a CD of traditional Christmas carols, and a 4 volume set of guitar instruction books.  He is currently on the Board of Directors for the Songwriters Association of Canada and teaches a Music Career Development course at Humber College.  Rik’s official Web site is located at http://www.rikemmett.com.

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