Crescendo Professional Development Symposium Clinician Bios
Fiona Blackburn’s eclectic musical career has included: performing as a classically trained soloist and recording artist, teaching voice and adjudicating festivals.
From the University of British Columbia, Fiona earned a: Bachelor of Music in voice performance; Bachelor of Education (Secondary Music); and Master of Music in choral conducting. Professionally, Fiona has performed with the Vancouver Chamber Choir, Vancouver Opera, and numerous Canadian orchestras. She has two Celtic CDs to her credit and even sang for five summers on an Alaskan cruise ship. Fiona has taught music from kindergarten to university, where she was adjunct professor in the Department of Education at UBC.
Fiona is currently the Artistic Director of the British Columbia Girls Choir, which has toured Australia, China, Central & North America and much of Europe. This past July, the girls competed at the prestigious Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales, where they were awarded the top prize of ‘Children’s Choir of the World’. Fiona also directs Zephyra Women’s Choir and Pacifica Singers, the associate ensemble of the Vancouver Chamber Choir.
When working with vocalists, either soloists or those participating in choirs, Fiona’s aim is to create an environment in which each person may explore their full vocal potential.
Dr. Adam Jonathan Con is Head of Music Education and Graduate Choral Conducting and conductor of the 170-voice UVIC Chorus at the University of Victoria. He served in similar capacities at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, California State University, Long Beach, at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio and at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia. Dr. Con earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education (Secondary Instrumental and Choral) and a Master’s Degree in Music Education (Elementary) from the University of British Columbia.
At Florida State University, he earned a Doctorate of Philosophy in Music Education (Choral Conducting Emphasis) studying with Rodney Eichenberger, Andre Thomas, Clifford Madsen and Judy Bowers. His invitations to conduct and present workshops include events such as the Foro Coro Americano in Argentina, National American Orff-Schulwerk Conference, Podium: Canadian National Choral Conducting Symposium, the Canadian National GALA Conference, the National Canadian Orff-Schulwerk Conference, the Manitoba Provincial Music Educator’s Conference, the Alberta Provincial Music Educator’s Conference, the British Columbia Provincial Music Educator’s Conference, the British Columbia Choral Federation Chorfest and Youth Choir, the Unitarian Universalist Musicians National American Conference, Ohio State Music Educator’s Conference, the Georgia State American Choral Directors Association Conference, and the Georgia Music Educator’s Conference.
Chastity Davis is a mixed heritage woman of First Nations and European descent. She is a proud member of the Tla’amin Nation, located in Powell River just off the beautiful Sunshine Coast of BC.
Chastity has worked with 125+ First Nation communities in British Columbia. She has also worked with several Indigenous and non-Indigenous companies and organizations. Some of her clients are: BC Hydro, BC Lotto Corporation, TransCanada, New Gold, CTV, The Refinery Leadership Partners, British Columbia Assembly of First Nations, Native Courtworkers (BC and Nova Scotia), Federal Department of Justice, Tsilhqo’tin Nation, Treaty 8 Tribal Association, and New Relationship Trust. Chastity has a proven ability to build strong, meaningful, and productive relationships between Indigenous communities, corporations, and government.
Chastity is an active volunteer and donates countless hours of her time to building relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. Chastity holds several volunteer roles: Chair for the Minister’s Advisory Council for Indigenous Women (MACIW) which advises the provincial cabinet ministers on policy, programming, and funding as it relates to the optimal safety, health, and wellness of Indigenous women and children. She is the Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Professional Aboriginal Women’s Network (PAWN). Chastity is also a past Director for the Minerva Foundation for BC Women.
Chastity has also spoken at several local, provincial, national, and international events about reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, communities, and governments.
Chastity will be completing her Master of Arts in Intercultural and International Communications in 2018. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communication from Royal Roads University and a Diploma in Marketing Management & Professional Sales from BCIT. Chastity is also a Registered Yoga Teacher and brings this ancient healing practice to Indigenous communities across Canada.
Chastity is a recipient of the “Founders Award” from Royal Roads University which is awarded to one student in the graduating year that exemplifies the qualities of leadership, sustainability, and personal development. Chastity has also recently received two awards for her business, Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Outstanding Business Achievement (BC Aboriginal Business Awards) and Top 40 Under 40 Business Leaders, Business in Vancouver Magazine.
Dr. Jeanette Gallant
Dr. Jeanette Gallant is a Canadian musician with over 25 years of diverse experience as a music educator, voice teacher, conductor, adjudicator, and administrator in Canada, S.E. Asia, and the United Kingdom. Having earned a D.Phil. in Music from the University of Oxford, Dr. Gallant has held various academic posts at Red Deer College (Alberta), the University of Windsor (Ontario), the University of Reading (UK), Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts (HKAPA), and various Oxford Colleges (UK). An accomplished ethnomusicologist, she has published and presented her work internationally, her most recent publication coming out in March, 2017 in the Yale Journal for Music and Religion. Dr. Gallant has prepared choirs for international conductors like former Westminster Abbey organist, Simon Preston, and is in demand as a festival adjudicator. An advocate of life-long learning, she has been invited to provide professional development opportunities for Singapore’s Ministry of Education, various U.K. choral societies, the Vancouver School Board, British Columbia Registered Music Teacher’s Association, and the British Columbia Choral Federation. As an administrator, she was the Artistic Director and conductor of Hong Kong’s first sing-a-long Messiah, Artistic Director of the Whistler Classical Music Festival, and recently launched a highly successful cross-cultural choral project called “Yan zi/The Swallow” which has led to various community engagement projects in Canada and the U.S., as well as a series of invited talks at the Canadian Network for Arts and Learning Conference, Simon Fraser University, Podium 2018, and the Sing Network’s International Symposium on Singing and Song II.
Jonathan Girard is a passionate musician committed to engaging audiences with thrilling performances. He enjoys a reputation as a musical force equally versed in symphonic repertoire, opera, and new music.
As the Director of Orchestras at the University of British Columbia School of Music, Girard dedicates himself to raising the standard of orchestral training in Western Canada. The 2016-2017 season featured Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, Saariaho’s Asteroid 4179 and Holst’s Planets, Mozart’s Requiem and Brahms’ Symphony No. 2. Highlights of recent seasons include the ninth symphonies of Beethoven, Schubert, and Shostakovich, two performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with 300 musicians onstage, and a landmark performance of Le Sacre du printemps that marked the 100th anniversary of the work’s première.
In the summer of 2015, Girard made his European operatic conducting debut with the European Music Academy leading the North Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in performances of Le nozze di Figaro in opera houses across the Czech Republic. He also serves as the assistant conductor for the Vancouver Symphony Whistler Institute Orchestra. He was the assistant conductor of the Ohio Light Opera from 2012-2014. Mr. Girard served as cover conductor for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (NY) in 2012.
A champion of new music, Girard recently concluded a two-year recording project for the Centrediscs label, recording concerti by British Columbia composers. In May 2015, he premièred Stephen Chatman’s new opera, Choir Practice, released by Centrediscs in May 2016. Girard has conducted world premières of works by Ricardo Zohn Muldoon, Elizabeth Kelly, JungSun Kang, and John Liberatore, among others. He conducted the North American premières of Sequentia by Arvo Pärt, NONcerto for Trumpet and Orchestra by Richard Ayres, Saturnalia and Endre és Johanna by Emmerich Kálmán, and Sequentia by Arvo Pärt.
Jonathan Girard was the Visiting Artist Conductor at the University of Northern Iowa School of Music in 2010-2011 and has held positions as the music director of the New Eastman Outreach Orchestra and Waltham Philharmonic (MA), associate conductor of the Brockton Symphony Orchestra (MA), principal guest conductor of the Boston Orpheus Ensemble and assistant conductor of the Portland (ME) Opera Repertory Theatre. At the Eastman School of Music, he studied conducting with Neil Varon and was the assistant conductor of the Eastman Symphony Orchestra, the Eastman Philharmonia, and the Eastman Opera Theatre.
Pam Hetrick has taught music for over 30 years, most recently K – 7 at Suncrest School in Burnaby, BC. She has been inspired by Orff Schulwerk for her entire teaching career, from Level Training to Orff workshops and National Conferences. She served for many years on the Executive Board of the BC Orff Chapter, first as editor of the newsletter and then as Co-President. She also served for 10 years on the editorial board of the AOSA journal, The Orff Echo. Pam began the Orff Level Training Program at Vancouver Community College and has served for twelve years as Course Director and Level I Instructor. She enjoys giving workshops locally as well as at National Conferences in both Canada and the U.S. Performance experience includes steel drum ensembles, Balinese Gamelan, Keith Terry Body Music Ensemble, and currently Adanu Habobo African drumming/dance ensemble directed by Kofi Gbolonyo. She received a Keetman Grant to study tingklik music in Bali. In 2014 she received the BCMEA Music Educator Award of the year.
Gordon Powell – “Ni’n na L’nu”
Although I am from Québec, (la belle province!) I’ve done all my teaching in BC and have been an educator here for over 35 years. My first 4 years were spent teaching at an Independent school in Vancouver (among other things, French, Choir, Guitar and running an extracurricular music program). I moved to Richmond district to teach French Immersion and eventually became a teacher-librarian. I spent some time at the district level as a teacher consultant for technology integration, and after an eight-year stint as District Coordinator for Library and Information Services, I moved to Surrey where I am currently a District Administrator for Aboriginal Education. I teach a Library Administration course for UBC and have taught an Aboriginal Issues course for pre-service teachers (in French) also for UBC. I have a Masters in Educational Technology and Learning Design from SFU. My mother is Mi’kmaw from the West coast of Newfoundland and I am proud to claim my Mi’kmaq heritage. Currently, I am about as far as I can get from our traditional territory and still live in Canada! I play the guitar, a bit of fiddle and the ji’kmaqnn. If you like, follow me on Twitter @gordonpowell.
Christin Reardon MacLellan
Christin Reardon MacLellan is the Director of Education & Community Programs for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, where she develops, implements, and oversees a wide variety of educational programming for individuals of all ages. She is also the director of the University of British Columbia Concert Winds.
Christin is dedicated to supporting and advocating for quality music education in schools. She maintains an active schedule as an in-demand clinician, guest conductor, adjudicator, and guest speaker. Christin has presented workshops and her research at numerous conferences and symposia in Canada and the United States, including the recent Canadian Music Educators Association National Conference. As President of the Coalition for Music Education in BC, she works closely with teachers, community members, and arts organizations to protect, promote, and advance music education in BC schools.
Christin has taught band, choir, and general music in the public schools of Manitoba. She earned her masters degree in music education from Indiana University, where she taught undergraduate courses in music education and was a university supervisor for student teachers. Christin’s research is published in the Journal of Research in Music Education and Music Educators’ Journal.
Colleen Sheridan has been teaching music since 2002, after graduating from UBC with a Bachelor of Music degree in 2001 and a Bachelor of Education degree the following year. After a year teaching in the lower mainland, Colleen was presented with the opportunity to teach Music in England in 2003. During her six years in the UK, she earned her Master of Education Degree from the University of Cambridge. In 2009 Colleen returned to BC and continued her career teaching at New Westminster Secondary before moving to Fleetwood Park Secondary School in Surrey in 2010.
During her graduate level studies in Education, Colleen investigated practice through teacher-led development work. This has had a transformational effect on her career and Colleen continues to identify and address concerns in teaching and learning practice. Most recently, Colleen has begun to investigate practical ways of incorporating Indigenous Education into the Music Department at Fleetwood Park Secondary.
Alia Yeates is a passionate music educator, teaching in Coquitlam since 2010. She has had the joy of teaching band, choir, guitar, and general music from Kindergarten to Grade 12, in both an Indigenous choice school, and mainstream public schools. A graduate of the University of Victoria, Alia is passionate about Indigenous education and inclusion, professional development, and community engagement. She and has been co-chair, clinician, and treasurer of the BC Music Educator’s Association conference. She has had the privilege of working with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra on aligning their education programs with the revised BC Curriculum, and was a member of the BC Ministry of Education’s Music Education Advisory Committee. Alia works for the Coalition for Music Education in BC, and has recently been appointed as an ERAC resource Evaluator. Alia would like to acknowledge that she lives and works on the traditional core territory of Kwikwetlem First Nation, and the shared traditional territories of the Tsleil-Waututh, Katzie, Musqueam, Squamish and Sto’:lo Nations.
Ms. Janet Wade is currently the Music Director of the W.J. Mouat Secondary School Music Program in Abbotsford, B.C., known locally, nationally, and internationally for music excellence. After attending Capilano College she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Music Education from the University of Victoria while maintaining a busy music studio teaching private music lessons and performing frequently as a freelance musician. Ms. Wade shifted into public education working at various middle and high schools in the Qualicum and Abbotsford school districts previous to her current appointment and served as the Jr. Band Conductor at the 2017 UBC Summer Music Institute. In addition to teaching, conducting, and performing, Ms. Wade maintains a busy schedule, currently serving as the Honour Ensembles Chair for the BC Music Educators’ Association Conference and a member-at-large on the BC Music Educators’ Association board, playing saxophone with the Fraser Valley Wind Ensemble, attending conducting symposiums, and, along with her husband, raising her two young boys Nikkolas and Jameson.