Recently included in CBC’s 2017 edition of their 30 hot Canadian classical musicians under 30 list, Rashaan Allwood is a keyboard player and performer of great versatility. As a pianist, organist, and harpsichordist, he actively performs in a variety of solo, collaborative, and chamber settings, including performances with l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, and the University of Toronto’s Collegium Musicum. Rashaan was the first prize winner of the Concours d’Orgue de Québec in 2017, for the organ category of the Canadian National OSM Manulife competition in 2016 and second prize winner of the Wadden Sea International Organ Competition and the Lynwood Farnham Organ Competition in 2017. As a passionate recitalist, Rashaan strives to uses cohesive programming, lecture recitals, and multimedia performances to engage audiences. This has led to performances at venues such the Canadian Opera Company Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, the Montreal Maison Symphonique and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, UK. Rashaan’s upcoming performances include a multimedia piano recital in Toronto for Canada’s Sesquicentennial featuring works by Messiaen and Canadian composers, a video-audio recording of Jehan Alain’s Trois Danses for organ in Montreal’s Symphony hall, Maison Symphonique, and a twentieth-century organ series in Toronto, featuring works by Jacques Hetu, Arnold Schoenberg, Carl Neilson and Max Reger. Rashaan is a graduate of the University of Toronto where he studied piano performance with Professor James Parker and organ with Professor Kevin Komisaruk. He is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Organ and Church Musics at McGill University and studying with Professor Hans-Ola Ericsson
Veronika Cherniak began her violin studies at the age of six with Marina Constantinovna Palymskaya. In 1999, she and her family emigrated to Canada and settled in Cornwall Ontario. She furthered her studies with Pavel Feldman and Johanne Arel at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal and later with Andrew Wan at the McGill Schulich School of Music. She has participated in numerous master classes with world-renowned violinists such as Vadim Repin, Nicola Benedetti, the Endellion String Quartet, and Regis Pasquis. In 2014, Veronika won the prestigious ARAM Musique Competition in Repentigny, which provided her with the opportunity to release her first CD in collaboration with pianist Philip Chiu. She is a member of l’Orchestre Nouvelle Génération and performs with l’Orchestre Symphonique de Sherbrooke, as well as the Orchestre du festival de Lanaudière.
Marc David began his musical studies with Rosemonde Laberge of the Riverdale School of Music in Cornwall. Prior to being appointed Music Director of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra in June 2011, Marc David spent 19 seasons as the NSO’s Principal Conductor. He is currently in his 22nd season as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of l’Orchestre Symphonique de Longueuil and was Music Director and Conductor of the Sherbrooke Symphony Orchestra from 1988 to 1995. As guest conductor, Marc David has worked with orchestras across Canada, the United States, Mexico, Switzerland and Asia. His engagements include concerts with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (Canada), the Masan Philharmonic (Korea), the Orquesta Sinfonica de Yucatan (Mexico), the Orquesta Sinfonica de la Ciudad de Mexico (Mexico), the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra (Canada), the Kichener-Waterloo Symphony (Canada), the Windsor Symphony, the Orquesta da Camara de Bellas Artes (Mexico), the Bangor Symphony (USA), the Fribourg Youth Orchestra (Switzerland). In October 2007, Marc David received the Tribute to a Builder of the Arts award at the first Cultural Gala of the City of Longueuil. Also recipient of grants in conducting from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Quebec Ministry of Cultural Affairs, and l’Université de Montréal, he received the Heinz Unger Conducting Award in 1984. David obtained his Bachelor of Music at McGill University in 1983 and has since continued his studies in orchestral conducting at Hartford University (Connecticut) and at l’Université de Montréal where he completed a doctoral degree (new music conducting). He also studied at the Aspen Music Festival and several years at the Pierre Monteux School (Hancock, Maine), where he was Maestro Charles Bruck’s assistant. In 2002, Marc David was appointed Adjunct Professor at the School of Music of Memorial University (Newfoundland). Other activities have involved jury work for various competitions and festivals such as the Canadian Music Competition, Prix d’Europe and Jeunesses Musicales Montreal International Competition, as well as sitting on the Artistic Committee of Les Jeunesses musicales du Canada (2002 to date), the Boards of Directors of Orchestras Canada (1997-2003), and chairing the Quebec regional council of the Canadian Music Centre (2002-03).
Pamela Cumming is an Ontario-based violinist and Berklee College of Music graduate. She is known for her ability to blend with most any musical style. Her violin lines are described as having a vocal quality, and her ability to sing and play simultaneously has allowed her to create sounds and arrangements all her own. She has toured internationally with Cypriot singer-songwriter Nikolas Metaxas, and performed throughout Alaska and Ontario with Alaskan singer-songwriter and Berklee alumnus Emily Anderson. Pamela was a founding member of the Boston based Videri String Quartet, performing at IndieCade LA, Boston Festival of Indie Games, and the RoosterTeeth Expo in Austin Texas. Other orchestral performing credits include Willie Nelson, Annie Lennox, Dream Theatre, Jeff Williams, Rhythm of the Universe, and National Youth Orchestra of Canada.
Justine (Butkovitch) Wilks
Born in Cornwall Ontario, Justine is a graduate of the University of Toronto with a Masters of Music in Voice Performance specializing in Vocal Pedagogy (2010) and a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from the University of Toronto (2008). She also has a Diploma in Music Performance from Cambrian College (2005). Justine is a frequent recitalist and oratorio performer. Recent notable performances include soprano soloist for Handel’s Messiah with the MHC Adult choir & Orchestra, a recital with Natalia Peric and Ken Murdoch for the Magic of Music Masterclass Series, a recital with cellist Thérèse Motard and pianist Laurie Altman at Festival Alexandria and the premier of Five Shakespeare Songs, written by Canadian composer Colin Eatock, at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheater in Toronto, ON. Oratorio roles include Vivaldi’s Gloria, Vivaldi’s Magnificat, Handel’s Messiah, Charpentier’s Messe de minuit pour Nöel and Fauré’s Requiem. Opera roles include Nella in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, with the Centre for Opera Studies in Sulmona, Italy and the role of Bastienne in Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne, with the Franco-American Vocal Academy in Salzburg, Austria. Justine has also studied at the Vancouver International Song Institute and the Lied Austria program in Leibnitz, Austria. Justine is not only a passionate performer but also an enthusiastic voice teacher and adjudicator. She is on faculty at the Medicine Hat College Conservatory of Music and Dance where she teaches voice, voice academy ensemble, junior children’s choir, children’s choir and music exploration classes.
Recognized for her rich velvety tone, Danielle Vaillancourt is quickly becoming a sought after young artist in Canada and abroad. Danielle’s roots that run deep in the Cornwall and the SD&G areas. Her grandparents, Ronald and Dorothy Sullivan, have been instrumental in the development of culture and the arts in Cornwall; it is just so fitting that Danielle picks up where her grandparents have left off. Born in the small rural town of Renfrew in Ontario into a musical family, she began piano lessons at the early age of six and went on to singing lessons at the age twelve. Danielle excelled at both by completing her studies correspondently at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.
Danielle went to Montreal to perfect her vocal talent at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal where she experienced the great privilege of working and performing with many renowned artists. Since the age of 15 years of age, she has studied voice under the tutelage of Adrienne Savoie. From a dramatic standpoint, Danielle has also received extensive instruction with Québec actors such as Suzanne Lantagne, Gilbert Turp and Benoit Dagenais of the Conservatoire d’Art Dramatique. Upon her graduation from the Conservatoire in April 2012, Ms. Vaillancourt was awarded the Prix avec Distinction for her outstanding Masters recital. Past engagements have included her singing as alto section lead at the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul, under the direction of Jordan de Souza. She has performed in works and as a soloist in works such as Bach’s Saint John Passion, St. Matthew Passion, B minor Mass, Handel’s Messiah, Choral Celebration Sundays, Annual CBC Christmas Sing-in, to name a few. In the summer of 2014, Danielle performed the role of l’Enfant in the Greek Opera Studio production of l’Enfant et les Sortilèges by Ravel in Syros Greece. After her engagement in Greece, Danielle was asked to participate in the Maria Callas Grand Prix Opera competition in Athens Greece. In 2015, Danielle was selected to sing in the semi-final round of the distinguished Montreal singing competition, the Prix d’Europe where many musicians’ careers have flourished. In 2016, she interpreted the role of Marcellina in the Brott Opera Production of Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart conducted by Boris Brott.
Danielle’s upcoming engagements include: National Arts Centre Orchestra’s Young Artist Program for senior voice in chamber music headed by Pinkas Zukerman, as well as violinist and artistic director and baritone Russell Braun. In June of this year, Danielle will perform in a Motet concert called Eine Kleine Bach Musik in the Doors Open for Music Series at Southminster United Church in Ottawa.
Born in Green Valley, Ontario, Mireille Bériault discovers music through singing with her music loving parents and private piano lessons. She pursues her music studies in voice and piano at the University of Ottawa. After a professional interlude, Mireille returns to study classical voice performance with Gail Desmarais at the Université de Sherbrooke and completes a Masters degree at the Université de Montréal.
Active and coveted in the music industry for more than 20 years, Mireille Bériault partakes in several community fundraisers and festivities as well as weddings, funerals and other religious celebrations as a singer, pianist and organist. She has been a soloist with the Choeur du Suroit, the Chœur Vaudreuil-Soulanges, the Amaryllis Women’s Choir, the Heart and Soul Quintet and the Heart and Soul Big Band. She was the cantor for the great Christmas masses in 2015 and 2016 at the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal. Mireille was part of productions with Chants Libres and the Théâtre d’art lyrique de Laval in the roles of Nanetta (Verdi’s Falstaff), Nadia (Lehar’s The Merry Widow), Mercedes (Bizet’s Carmen) and the 2nd Lady (Mozart’s Enchanted Flute). In 2016 and 2017, she played the role of Mrs. de Bullion in the historical opera Maisonneuve et Mance composed by Aleksey Shegolev for the 375th anniversary of Montreal. She recently repeated the role of Nadia in Lehar’s The Merry Widow, this time with the Théâtre lyrique de la Montérégie.
As an accompanist, she was the pianist for the Chœur du Suroit and the organist at Rigaud’s Sainte-Madeleine Church and the Sainte-Marie de l’assomption Church in Green Valley.
Mireille has a Master’s Degree in Music Theory from McGill University and teaches theory and ear training at the Cégep de Saint-Laurent since 2006. She has given private piano and voice lessons to students of all ages and levels in several institutions as well as the choir workshop at the Vankleek Hill Music and Arts Summer Camp. Since last fall, Mireille also works in arts management as the administrative assistant for the McGill Chamber Orchestra.
Visit www.mireilleberiault.com for more information and upcoming engagements.
Monika Dongmo , soprano with a rich and velvety timbre has impressed audiences with her charisma and unique interpretation. The conductor Jean-François Rivest has worked with Monika and has said “Her voice is sweet, her musicality natural and very easy to follow”. Winner of the Concours Musical du Canada in 2013, Monika Dongmo is also a recipient of a scholarship from Desjardins and the La fondation Jacqueline Desmarais . She was also one of the 9 semifinalists in the prestigious competition Concours OSM Standard Life 2014 and semifinalist at Concours international de mélodie française de Toulouse 2015. She has participated in concerts Orford sur la route, and has received a grant from the L’Académie Orford in 2013 and 2014. Monika is also a recipient in 2016 of a bursary from the Jeunesses Musicales du Canada. Whether in recital or concert, the soprano is comfortable in a vast operatic repertoire, baroque, classical and in the gospel repertoire. She recently sang the role of the Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro by Mozart with the Atelier d’opéra from the Université de Montréal and l’orchestre de l’Université de Montréal. Just completing her academic training with the « Prix » from the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal and a Master from the University of Montreal, Monika is a jewel that is just beginning to be discovered. Monika has received much praise for roles such as the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro by W.A. Mozart, Dido in Dido and Aeneas by H. Purcell, Sister Opportune in the operetta Les mousquettaires au counvent by L. Varney and that of Rosita in Un mari à la porte by J. Offenbach. Very comfortable on stage, Monika Dongmo attaches great importance to acting and conveying the emotion of each piece. The renowned stage director François Racine has said of Monika that she is a sensitive, creative and very intelligent artist. Monika fervently believes that : “While singing soothes not only the soul of the listener, it also soothes the one of the singer.”
James Levac grew up in Eastern Ontario and attended St. Andrew’s West Elementary School. At his family home in the countryside there was a piano, on top of which lived the stereo. James did not realize it was not part of the same unit. He would turn on the radio and play along with the songs. James’ first piano recital was at his great grandmother’s retirement home. James later earned his Grade 10 with First Class Honors at the Royal Conservatory. He holds Bachelor Degrees in both Fine Arts and Education. He plays throughout Ontario at museums, churches, seniors’ residences and performs frequently on a solar powered virtual grand piano along the boardwalk at Beaches Park in Toronto, Ontario. He has directed and held concerts with other musicians and arranged and recorded A Tribute to the Highland Fling – An Interpretation of Cape Breton and Celtic Music. James attributes his love of the piano to his beloved teacher Bob Eadie.
James has also been seen playing fiddle for more than twenty years and received violin lessons from Rosemonde Laberge who greatly encouraged James’ confidence to perform and compose. He was seen for several years playing at Upper Canada Village as well as at Black Creek Pioneer Village. His repertoire consists of Scottish, Irish and Cape Breton tunes, and he enjoys improvising along with other country, folk and blues musicians.
James will be especially happy to perform his interpretations of Celtic music on piano and fiddle during interludes of the Classiqu’Arts Productions, S.D.&G classical music event held at the Ruin’s of St. Raphael’s.
Born in Cornwall, Ontario, Thérèse Motard graduated with First Prizes in solo interpretationon and chamber music performance from the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal, under the direction of Walter Joachim and Otto Joachim. Following her tenure at the Conservatoire and with bursaries from the Canada Council of the Arts, she pursued advanced cello studies in New York with Bernard Greenhouse, Zara Nelsova and Lynn Harrell in New York.
Madame Motard is the winner of several prizes: La fondation des amis de l’art, the National Competitive Festival of Music sponsored by CIBC (grand award) and the prize Cécile-Mesnard-Pomerleau sponsored by the JMC, all prizes for chamber music.
In 1979 Madame Motard won the position of principal cellist of the Orchestre des jeunes du Québec where two years later she performed as soloist. In 1980, Thérèse Motard took the position of principal cellist with both the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal (six years) and the Orchestre de chambre de Radio-Canada. She also played with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra for 2 years. In 1987 she was appointed principal cellist with the Jeunes Virtuoses de Montréal and with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. She has performed frequently as a soloist with numerous Canadian ensembles such as The New Toronto Chamber Music Orchestra (1973), Orchestre des jeunes du Québec, l’Orchestre Métropolitain, Les jeunes virtuoses and has appeared in the capacity of chamber musician throughout the country and abroad. She was a member of the Riverdale String Quartet, The Riverdale String Trio and Piano Trio, Durand-Derouin-Motard Piano Trio, Trio Plus, Morency Quartet, l’Ensemble St-Louis de France, the Claudel Quartet and the Arthur-Leblanc Quartet. Since the beginning of her career she has produced many records and is heard frequently on Radio-Canada and on CBC.
In 1998 and 1999 she was invited to coach the World Youth Orchestra of the Jeunesses Musicales du Canada. As well, Thérèse Motard was principal cellist of the highly acclaimed chamber music ensemble La Piéta. She has also played with great artists such as Pavarotti, Céline Dion, Ginette Reno, David Bowie, Victor Borge, YoYo Ma, Dionne Warwick and Dave Brubek. She participates in numerous chamber music concerts as well as solo concerts. She has taught for 16 years at the Université de Montréal and at Grenville Christian College.
Thérèse Motard has her worship music ministry, www.theresemotard.com which brings her to worship in many parts of the world. She is presently owner/operator of the Riverdale School of Music as well as director of the Riverdale String Orchestra, both situated in Cornwall Ontario.
Native of Montreal and resident of Long Sault in Ontario, Laura began dancing at the age of three. Having received her training at the Powell School of Dance (PSOD), in Cornwall Ontario for 9 years, she practices ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop and acrobatic dance.
As a certified ADAPT (Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers) Assistant Teacher, she acted as demonstrator and volunteer at Powell School of Dance from 2011 to 2017 and from 2012 to 2017 had a key role at the same school in the Ballerina Dreams Program, for children with special needs.
Laura was a member of the PSOD Dance Team, from 2013 to 2016 which competed in Cornwall, in the Toronto area and in Kingston. She has received numerous awards as well as several scholarships to dance workshops.
Having received musical training at a young age, Laura enjoys writing, theatre, visual arts and cross country racing.
Josée Lemay and Mathieu Bourbonnais
Born respectively in Shawinigan and in St-Zotique and residents of Long Sault Ontario since 2003, Josée and Mathieu met each other in Montreal. To test their compatibility before getting engaged they enrolled in social dancing classes in 1993. The result was conclusive and they were married in October 1993. They initially followed dance lessons and participated in dance competitions with the Arthur Murray in School in Montreal and Dollard-des-Ormeaux until 1996. Thereafter, they were part of a Round Dancing group in Cornwall and finally returned to social and international dancing in 2012 with the Powell School of Dance (PSOD) in Cornwall. From 2013 to 2017, they performed in the year end recitals with the PSOD. Their dance repertoire includes the Waltz, Fox Trot, Tango, Cha-cha, Rumba, Paso Doble, Two Step and Hustle.
Feryn King (Karahkwiiohstha King) is 22 years old, wolf clan, Mohawk woman and Cultural dancer from Akwesasne. She is currently attending Centennial Colleges in her second year of dance performance in Toronto, ON. She is studying to become a professional dance choreographer, dancing a variety of dance genres and learning the meaning behind those dances. In the future, Feryn hopes that one day she will own her own dance studio on the reserve of Akwesasne.