Marc David holds the position of Artistic Director and Conductor of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra. He has been the head conductor since 1992. Also, Artistic Director and head conductor of l’Orchestre symphonique de Longueuil for past 25 years, he has just been named Chef Emeritus. Highly sought after as a guest conductor, he directed, among others, the l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, The Masan Philharmonic Orchestra (South Korea), Orquesta Sinfónica de Yucatan (Mexico), the Fribourg Youth Orchestra (Switzerland), the symphonic orchestras of Bangor (USA), as well as several other orchestras in Canada, the United States and Mexico. In October 2007, Marc David is awarded the Ville de Longueuil Award (Tribute to a Builders of culture) at the first Longueuil Culture Gala. Having received of scholarships for conducting from the Canada Council for the Arts (1985), the Québec Department of Cultural Affairs (1990) and the Université de Montréal (1993), recipient of the Heinz Management Prize Unger, he graduated in 1983 with a Bachelor of Music degree from McGill University. Marc David has subsequently pursued his studies in conducting at the University of Hartford, Connecticut, Pierre Monteux School (Hancock, Maine) with Master Charles Bruck and at the l’Université de Montréal with Lorraine Vaillancourt, where he obtained his doctorate in 1996. In 2002, Marc David is appointed Assistant Professor at the School of Music at the Memorial University, Newfoundland. As a member of the artistic committee of Jeunesses musicales du Canada (2002-11), President of the Regional Council of the Canadian Musical Center, Québec Region (2002-03) and a member of the Board of Directors of Orchestras Canada (1997-2003), he is also affiliated to other professional activities, such as a jury member for (Canada Music Competition, Prix d’Europe and Jeunesses musicales de Montréal international competition) and as a guest speaker for various associations, organizations and educationalinstitutions.
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.
Active internationally since 1995, acclaimed Odawa First Nation (Manidoo Mnissing, Giniw dodem) composer and musician Barbara Croall is from Canada. Her music has received world premiere performances across Europe, the UK, the United States, Asia, and Latin America. Barbara balances her time, focused on creating and performing music, with work in outdoor environmental education rooted in traditional Anishinaabe teachings, and work on artistic projects with Indigenous at-risk youth. Apart from playing, performing, and composing for the pipigwan (Anishinaabe cedar flute) and for voice in the traditional Anishinaabe way, Croall is classically trained, with degrees and diplomas from Centre Acanthes (France), the Musikhochschule in Munich (Germany), The Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto), and the University of Toronto where she received the Glenn Gould Award in Composition (1989). Her complete biography may be found at www.barbaracroall.ca.
Airat Ichmouratov is a Volga Tatar born Russian / Canadian composer, conductor and klezmer clarinetist. He is conductor and composer in residence of Montreal-based “Nouvelle Génération” Chamber Orchestra, clarinetist of internationally acclaimed, award-winning Klezmer group Kleztory and invited professor at Laval University in Quebec, Canada. The music of Airat Ichmouratov has been performed by a wide range of ensembles and musicians in countries around the world, including Maxim Vengerov, Alexandre Da Costa, Alain Trudel, André Moisan, Quebec Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Métropolitain, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Polish Radio, Les Violons du Roy, Longueuil Symphony Orchestra, New Orford String Quartet, Yuli Turovsky and I Musici de Montreal, Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra, just to name a few.
“Airat Ichmouratov is a bright representative and follower of the Russian Traditional Composer School. There are not many composers who are able to reintegrate in themselves professionalism, fantasy, and creative thinking. These are exactly those qualities that Airat Ichmouratov possesses.’’
“Airat is a communicator in the best sense of the word. His music immediately grabs the listener, and a journey starts: storytelling, landscapes, emotions… It is precious to have such music in our world today.”
Elvira Misbakhova received her Ph.D in music performance from the Université de Montréal in 2005. She was the recipient of a FRQSC award, as well as of the faculty’s prestigious FESP bursary of excellence.
Ms. Misbakhova began her violin training at the age of seven in her native Tatarstan, Russia. She then attended the Kazan State Conservatory, where she was assistant principal violist for the La Primavera Chamber Orchestra. In 1999, she arrived in Montreal to study with Eleonora Turovsky, becoming principal violist for the Orchestre Symphonique de l’Université de Montréal, and was the winner of the orchestra’s concerto competition. She continued to acquire orchestral experience performing as principal violist for ensembles such as the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in Japan, the Bach Academie Symphony Orchestra in Germany and the Orchestre de la Francophonie in Quebec.
Ms. Misbakhova is currently assistant principal violist of the Orchestre Métropolitain under Yannick Nezet-Séguin, an ensemble with whom she has recorded for Deutsche-Grammophon. She also holds the assistant principal viola position in both the Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières, and the Orchestre symphonique de Longueuil.
As soloist, she has performed with the Orchestre Métropolitain, the Drummondville Symphony Orchestra, I Musici de Montréal and the Orchestre Interculturel de Montréal, with whom she premiered Boris Pigovat’s “Holocaust Requiem”. She has returned numerous times to Russia, performing with La Primavera Orchestra and the Tatarstan State Symphony Orchestra, and continues to travel to give masterclasses and workshops. She is presently working on several chamber music projects.
In 2000, Ms. Misbakhova joined the celebrated band Kleztory, discovering her talent for improvisation and her deep passion for klezmer music. As a member of the group, she has performed with several orchestras including The Montreal Symphony Orchestra, I Musici de Montréal, the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, the Brussels Chamber Orchestra and Les Violons du Roy. Kleztory has been a two-time recipient of a Quebec Opus prize for best album, and won the prestigious Fürth Klezmer prize at the 3rd International Jewish Music Competition in Amsterdam. The band has recorded for the Chandos label, and is currently working on their sixth album for the Amerix label.
Elvira Misbakhova performs on a 1962 Giacomo and Leandro Bisiach viola generously loaned by the Canimex Foundation.
After having completed her studies in Classical Piano Interpretation at the University of Montreal, she formed the klezmer/gypsy band Gadji-Gadjo in 2002.She is also the accordionist of the Klezmer band of Montreal Kleztory. She accompanied contemporary dance show Un deux sur le dos in New York City, while perfecting her playing skills at several musical workshops. In 2006, she was with Quartango, and the accordionist for the album “Cortéo” of Le Cirque du Soleil.
In 2007, she worked as an accordionist and a singer for the Cirque Éloize in their Mexico tour. Since 2009 she accompanies Pol Pelletier in her show, “Une contrée Sauvage appellée Courage” and she is Radiotango’s band leader. Her music training has led her to work in Canada, the United States, Europe, Mexico, Romania and more. Her band Gadji-Gadjo has three albums to their credit. The second won the Meilleur album de musique du Monde prize in 2008 at GAMIQ in Québec City. She is also an accomplished tango dancer.
Born and raised in Tadoussac, Dany began to play music when he was 8 years old. After moving to Montreal, he obtained his bachelor’s degree at l’UQAM with Pierre Dumont-Gauthier. He is the guitarist for Sagapool, (winner of a Felix for Instrumental Album of the year and “breaking the boundaries” at the Great Canadian Folk Music Awards in 2012, the band tours around the world since 1999). He is the solo guitar for the “Pink Floyd symphonique” project at the Classica Festival in St-Lambert. He is also a guitarist, banjoist and mandolinist for Apadooraï and The Badaboom and occasionally plays guitar or bass for the Fanfare Pourpour. He teaches guitar at the Conservatoire de Musique de la Montérégie and writes music for documentaries.
Mark Peetsma has been performing live since 1995 when he first appeared with the art rock / sound-sculptor Corpusse, creating a textured landscape with instruments and electronica. He then branched out into other areas of sound and music with his discovery of the double bass and has performed in many diverse styles ranging from Bluegrass and Country to Swing Jazz, from Klezmer to old Blues. He has toured internationally and performed on CBC radio in the Montreal International Jazz Festival and on national television. He first toured Canada in 1997 with the Klezmer ensemble Les Gitans Sédentaires, appearing in the major Canadian jazz festivals.
For the past 15 years, Mark has co-hosted the weekly Olde Tyme Country and Bluegrass Sunday Nights in Montreal. Mark spent several years as the owner of the Griffintown Restaurant which hosted Bharath and his Rhythm Four (of which he is a member) in an 8-year Friday evening residency.
Constantly active in the local music scene Mark continues to perform weekly and record with various musical projects. Mark has been the bass player for Kleztory since the band was founded in 2002.
Born in 1980 in Kishinev, Moldova, the talented Alexandru Sura started studying piano at the ‘V. Poleacov’ school of music. Two years later he entered the cimbalom class at Ciprian Porumbescu High School. Since the age of 12, Alexandru has consistently won the top prize in various national and international competitions. Since having embarked upon his solo career, he has given many concerts and recitals in concert halls such as the National Philharmonic (Moldova), Place des Arts (Canada) and has toured extensively including appearances in Canada, the USA, Romania, Austria, Russia, Germany, Belarus, Israel, France, Spain, Switzerland, Poland, Turkey and Mexico.
In 2018, Alexandru played a series of concerts with the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto and had his own show as part of the OSM CLASSICAL SPREE series in Montreal. The brilliant virtuosity of Alexandru Sura on the cimbalom, this “gypsy piano” typical of Eastern European traditional music, is brilliantly supported by three musicians on the violin, the cobza and double bass. This concert will feature a unique repertoire of sometimes frantic and poignant melodies.
Born Chișinău, Moldova in 1989 Veronica was quickly inspired by her violinist parents. She began her piano studies at the age of four. Two years later, she switched to violin and developed a passion for traditional Romanian and European classical music. She soon entered the Ciprian Porumbescu Music High School under the direction of Galina Buinovsky. In 2006 she emigrated to Montreal and in 2008 entered l’Université de Montréal in Eleonara Turovsky class and completing her M. Mus. in violin in 2014.
Veronica has since performed as a soloist for l’Orchestre Nouvelle Génération, l’Orchestre Symphonique Interculturel de Montréal and the National Chamber Orchestra, Organ Hall in Moldova.
Veronica has gained extensive experience in chamber music and in orchestra performances. She has been invited and performed by many renowned conductors, namely, Yuli Turovsky, Kent Nagano, Jean-François Rivest , Marc David, Airat Ichmouratov and Alain Aubut. She shares her passion for music with her violin students at l’École Vincent d’Indy, at L’Académie Michelle Provost and most recently at l’école Archets & Compagnie. Veronica is an accomplished and multitalented musician who inspires future generations with her knowledge.
Born in Moldova into a family of musicians, Roman began his studies at the age of six at the Ciprian Porumbescu Music School and then at the Dinu Lipati School in Romania. After completing his studies at Kishinev Music Academy, his professional career begins in the National Philharmonic Orchestra, then he became the first double bass of the National Chamber Orchestra and touring in Italy, France, Monaco, Russia, Greece and elsewhere. Based in Montreal since 2008, Roman has the opportunity to pursue and enrich his musical mastery as the principal bassist of the New Generation Orchestra founded by Yuli Turovsky.
Dumitru was born in Chisinau (Moldova) and started studying the Cobza instrument at the junior music school « Alexei Starcea » in 1990. He later entered the middle music school « Stefan Neaga » in 1996. He developed an excellent technique during his studies and pursued his musical career in Chisinau’s Music Academy until 2003. He taught the Cozba at “Nicolae Iorga” high school in 2000 and an became an instrumental accompanist at the middle music school Stefan Neaga” in 2002. Dumitru, has participated in several folk music festivals such as, the Slovenia Folk Festival, in Ljubljana Slovenia, the Krakow international Folk Festival in Poland, the Vico Folk Festival, Vico Eguense Italy and the Balaton International Folk Festival in Siofok.
Olga Semionova was born in Republic of Moldova, where she began her musical education at the age of six. Her first instrument, the piano, helped her to discover the world of music, but one year later, she chose to learn the violin, which eventually became Olga’s primary instrument. After graduation from the Serghei Rachmaninoff Republican Musical Lyceum, she pursued her studies at the Academy of Music in Moldova.
Olga’s professional career began with the municipal chamber orchestra “Amadeus ” and with the Ensemble of the Violinists of Moldova, who performed numerous concerts in the most prestigious concert halls in Moldova as well as in Spain, Germany, Denmark, Italy and in France. As well, Olga was a member of the National Chamber Orchestra of Moldova for 8 years. She performed in numerous concerts as a soloist and as a member of numerous chamber music ensembles.
In 2015 Olga emigrated to Canada. She is currently a member of the Orchestre Nouvelle Génération and is enrolled in the Master’s Program at l’Uiversité de Montréal.
Of Serbian origin, Ana Drobac is an accomplished violinist and much sought-after teacher in Montreal, where she has lived since 2003. Enthusiastic, globetrotting, her violin leads her to countless tours every year.
Ana has performed in Japan, Brazil, Russia, Armenia and Lithuania with the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra conducted on different occasions by, Christoph Eschenbach, Ivan Fisher, Christopher Hogwood, Christoph von Dohnanyi and Jaap van Zweden, Eiji Oue and Yutaka Sado. She has also been a member of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas under the direction of Lorin Maazel and Kent Nagano. She has been principal violinist at the World Economic Forum at Carnegie Hall in 2010, as well as during the South American tour of Colombia, Peru, Brazil and Ecuador and the summer tour of Mexico in 2011.
Ana Drobac completed her MA and PhD at l’université de Montréal in Anne Robert’s class. She is a past member of La Pieta with Angèle Dubeau, l’Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières, l’Orchestre symphonique de Laval and Ensemble Appasionata, in addition to playing regularly with I musici de Montréal and l’Orchestre Métropolitain. She participated in the Britten-Pears Young Artist’s program in England and at the Philippe Glass Days and Nights festival in 2011. As a laureate of the National Chamber Music Competition of Serbia, this led her to complete an internship in Austria with renowned musicians from the Amadeus quartet, Alban Berg, Bartók, Janacek and Smetana.
Ana played with Barbara Streisand, Rod Stewart recorded CDs for Celine Dion and Ginette Renaud. Her television work includes, La Voix, En direct de l’ Univers, as well as at the Gala de l’ADISQ and the Juno Awards. She participated in the Beethoven for the Indus Valley benefit concert at Carnegie Hall in 2011.
Since 2008, Ana Drobac has taught in numerous educational programs, including the Peace Music Festival in Chicago and El Sistema in Brazil and Panama. She has taught at Concordia University and l’Université de Sherbrooke.
Since 2017, Ana has been a member of l’Orchestre Classique de Montréal.
She is a professor for the external program of the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal.
She is currently playing on a violin made by Jean-Baptiste Lefebvre (1766) and bow front Émile Ouchard (1930) on loan from groupe Canimex (M. Roger Dubois).
Member of the New Generation Orchestra since 2013, Anastasia regularly performs with the Montérégie Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, the Muse Orchestra, the Montreal Classical Orchestra, as well as the Boléro Trio and Kleztory ensembles. She has performed in Europe, the United States, China, Russia and in the USSR. In 2006, she won the Silver Medal at the Delphi Youth Games of the CIS Member States in Kazakhstan, Astana. A member of the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra in Chisinau, Moldova, for 6 years, Anastasia also played with the Chisinau Philharmonic Orchestra and the Chisinau Opera and Ballet Orchestra.
Born in Romania, Mihaela Tistu studied at the National Music University in Bucarest. In 2004 she pursued her studies at l’université de Montréal where she obtained her Masters in Interpretation under the direction of Jutta Puchhammer. She has since performed with several orchestras including l’Orchestre Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. She also teaches music in two Laval elementary schools.
Born in Cornwall, Ontario, Thérèse Motard graduated with First Prizes in solo interpretation 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 was also a member of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra for 2 years. In 1987 she was appointed principal cellist with Les 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. Throughout her career she has produced many recordings and is heard frequently on Radio-Canada and on CBC.
She has coached the World Youth Orchestra of the Jeunesses Musicales du Canada. 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 at École secondaire Pierre Laporte, then for 15 years at the Université de Montréal and at Grenville Christian College. Madame Motard has been on many juries throughout the country and most recently, she has adjudicated the competition of the CANIMEX Canadian Music Competition. She has several CDs to her name: Song of the Birds “Cello Favourites” and Chopin for Cello and piano.
Thérèse Motard has her worship music ministry, www.theresemotard.com which brings her to worship in many parts of the world. She has produced several CDs with Swan Records: “In the Garden”, “Hope-Espoir-Hatikvah”, “It Is Well with my Soul”. She is presently Artistic Director of Classiqu’Arts Productions SD&G, owner/operator of the Riverdale School of Music as well as director of the Riverdale String Orchestra, in Cornwall Ontario.
Born in Lviv, Ukraine, Kateryna Bragina studied the cello in Kiev at the Tchaikovsky National Music Academy. She began participating in music competitions as early as age six, winning the first prize at Ukraine’s major youth competition “The New Names” and going on to win two second prizes at the prestigious international competitions Eugen Coca in Moldova and Kazimierz Wilkomirski in Poland. Kateryna received the honour of being invited to perform for Ukraine’s President, Pope John Paul II and the Queen of Denmark, Marguerite II. Kateryna settled in Montreal in 2000 and established herself as a highly sought-after chamber musician. She performs in the Festivals of Denmark, Mont-Tremblant and most recently, in Lanaudière. She is also co-creating “Dragoncello,” a premiere of the composer Paul presented at the Place des Arts in collaboration with I Musici.
Kateryna is a member of Nouvelle Generation Orchestra as well as the Turovsky Quartet.
Canadian cellist Jean-Christophe Lizotte is an eclectic musician with interests spanning from classical and contemporary to improvisation and rock. In Quebec, he has played with several symphony and chamber orchestras, notably I Musici de Montreal, and is a founding member of chamber music collective Warhol Dervish. Additional chamber music collaborations in Canada include Ensemble Caprice, Ensemble SuperMusique, SMCQ, and Bradyworks. Jean-Christophe has collaborated with world famous artists both on stage and in the studio, notably Patrick Watson, Arcade Fireʼs Richard Reed Parry, Socalled and Ljova, and toured extensively with music groups and dance companies worldwide, including Corneille and Edouard Lockʼs La La La Human Steps. Jean-Christophe and his cello were featured in the Théâtre Jean-Duceppe (Montreal) production of Chekhovʼs La Cerisaie (The Cherry Orchard). His playing can also be heard on a multitude of award-winning film soundtracks such as Reel Injun, China Heavyweight, Corbo, and Imax 3d Flight of the Butterfly.
Peter Kilpatrick has been a professional Bass player for over 40 years. He is fully experienced in all styles of music, but now plays mostly Classical and Jazz standards. He is still a member of The Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, Bass Section, where he has played for 30 years. When the Symphony season is over he enjoys playing Jazz standards on the St. Lawrence Cruise Lines in the summer season. He plays a full size “Hawkes” double bass made in England in 1925.
Olivia Haramis is a native of South Glengarry. She began studying violin and piano with Thérèse Motard from the young age of 5 and studied voice with Helen McAlear. She has performed at provincial music festivals in both violin and piano. In the summer of 2016, Olivia was privileged to have been chosen to perform with the Ontario Youth Choir, under the direction of Robert Cooper. She is currently studying Voice Performance at Wilfrid Laurier University, under the tutelage of James McLean. Olivia enjoys performing at various events in SDG, both as a soloist and as a member of choirs and string ensembles. She hopes to pursue a career in performance.
Jimmy is very happy to participate in the Classiqu’Arts Festival this year. He has been a part of the music community for many years, performing in local musicals such as “Beauty and the Beast” and “Les Misérables.” He has also performed at events such as the Relay for Life, the City of Cornwall Arts and Culture Centre fundraisers and the Cornwall Hospice Butterfly release.
Felicity Svenson has a BA in French with a minor in music (1993), and a Master of Public Administration (1995) from Brigham Young University, Utah. She studied choral conducting at Carleton University (1996-97) and received a diploma in Computer Graphics from the International Academy of Design and Technology, Ottawa, in 2003. Felicity currently works full time as the senior graphic designer at Cornwall City Press and The Sign Factory. She also teaches private piano and music theory lessons in the evenings.
Felicity was recruited to the board of directors of Aultsville Theatre in 2010, and volunteered there until October 2018, serving the last five years as president.
While living in Brussels as a teenager, Felicity studied piano privately and took examinations through The Royal Schools of Music, London. As she now has students progressing through the Royal Conservatory program, she is currently working toward her own RCM certification.
Felicity has been the pianist and assistant director of the Centennial Choir of Cornwall for 20 years. She has over 35 years of experience singing in, directing and accompanying university, community and church choirs at both local and regional levels.
Felicity began playing the piano for church services at age eleven and moved to the organ at age 16. She has served as either pianist or organist for almost every congregation she has attended for over 40 years.
Felicity Svenson has a BA in French with a minor in music (1993), and a Master of Public Administration (1995) from Brigham Young University, Utah. She studied choral conducting at Carleton University (1996-97) and received a diploma in Computer Graphics from the International Academy of Design and Technology, Ottawa, in 2003.
Known for her sensitive and flexible playing, pianist Geneviève Jalbert appears regularly in concert with soloists and ensembles. She has been a collaborative pianist for several years at McGill University, Marianopolis College, Choeur Classique de Montréal, at CAMMAC, as well as at École de musique Vincent-d’Indy since 2018. Geneviève was music director for Compagnie Baroque Mont-Royal’s productions of: La clemenza di Tito (2019) Il matrimonio segreto (2018), Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Le Nozze di Figaro (2016), Die Zauberflöte (2015) and Don Giovanni (2014). As a guest artist, she has performed in the l’Oasis musicale concert series at Christ Church Cathedral (2019), in the Montreal presentation of Lee Mingwei’s «Sonic Blossom», and with Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques (2015 Gala). Geneviève also pursues a teaching career. She completed a M.Mus degree from McGill University in vocal accompaniment under the tutelage of Michael McMahon.