Concert Organizer

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Laura Hynes, soprano

A Fulbright scholar in Paris, American coloratura soprano Laura Hynes spent six years in France and Germany, performing repertoire ranging from baroque opera with Les Arts Florissants to "classical cabaret" on French television and radio. She has performed opera roles, solo recitals, and concerts throughout Europe and North America, in venues including New York's Alice Tully Hall, the Barbican in London, the Châtelet and the Cité de la Musique in Paris, as well as major venues in Seville, Brussels, Madrid, Lisbon, Frankfurt, Marseille, and Montpellier.

In 2015, Hynes joined the performing arts faculty at the University of Calgary. Her research focuses on performance innovation in art song recital through social justice issues (Raise Your Voice), and transgender voice transition,supported by a SSHRC Insight Development Grant. She holds degrees from the University of Minnesota (DMA) where she was the Carolyn Bailey & Dominick Argento Fellow, the Paris Conservatory (Cycle de perfectionnement), the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (MM), and Miami University (BM). 


Speakers & Performers


Amici String Quartet
Artistic Director: Fiona Carnie
Matthew Craig, Micaela Francese, Fiona Marchetto, Chanan Ngo

The Amici String Program was founded in 2007 by Fiona Carnie and Theresa Plotnick. Their goal was to provide a setting for young string players to grow in a positive and nurturing environment, providing opportunities for students to excel, both musically and personally. High standards of playing are expected and all students have access to fine teaching from local, national and international artists.  Amici also runs two popular summer programs:  Amici String Camp for younger players and Calgary Stringfest - an intensive chamber music camp for advanced players. Details are available on our website.

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Kimberley-Ann Bartczak, conductor

A native of Montreal, Kimberley-Ann Bartczak is an emerging conductor, pianist and vocal coach. Currently the Resident Conductor and Repetiteur at Calgary Opera, she was on staff at Opera on the Avalon, an alumna of Vancouver Opera's Yulanda M. Faris Young Artist Program and has performed coast to coast across Canada as well as in the United States, Mexico and Europe. Recent appearances include: music director for the world premiere of Veronika Krausas' Ghost Opera at Calgary Opera, Stephanie Martin's Llandovery Castle with Bicycle Opera Project, principal coach for Puccini's La Boheme at Fraser Lyric Opera, and Beethoven's Fidelio at Pacific Opera Victoria.Upcoming projects include music director for Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors, and repetiteur for La Boheme, both at Calgary Opera.

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Jeremy Brown, saxophone

JEREMY BROWN is a renowned Canadian saxophonist, woodwind doubler, teacher, expert on the music of Henry Cowell and conductor. He is Professor of Music and the former Head of the Music Department at the University of Calgary. (1990-present) He has been an Artist-In-Residence and a visiting lecturer at the Banff Centre. In 2014 he was awarded the inaugural University of Calgary Faculty of Arts Teaching Award. In 2010, his solo recording of Canadian saxophone music, “Rubbing Stone” was nominated outstanding classical recording of the year. In 2009 he was conferred the title “Canadian Music Ambassador” by the Canadian Music Centre for his work promulgating music by Canadian composers, with more than forty works commissioned. In 2008, he was named an “Innovator of the University of Calgary” for his community outreach, and in 2007 was awarded the David Peterkin Award for his contribution to music education in Alberta by the Alberta Band Association. In 1999 he was awarded the University of Calgary Student’s Union Teaching Award for the Faculty of Fine Arts.

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Marie Civitarese, soprano

Marie Civitarese was born and raised in Trail, BC. She received a Bachelor of Music at SUNY Purchase College, a Master of Music at the University of British Columbia, and has studied German lieder at the prestigious Mozarteum as well as the Franz-Schubert-Institut in Austria. Marie is a recent alumna of the Calgary Opera Emerging Artist Development Program where she made her company debut as Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto, sang the role of Adina in the touring production of Nemorino and the Magic Potion, and sang the roles of Dottie and Gravedigger in the world premiere of Ghost Opera. Other recent roles performed include Frasquita (Carmen), Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Tytania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Gretel and the Dew Fairy (Hänsel und Gretel), Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), and Damon (Acis and Galatea). She has been a featured soloist with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Pilsen Opera Orchestra, as well as the Festival Chorus and Orchestra in Calgary. Marie is a two-time grant recipient of the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation, and has also received generous support from the British Columbia Arts Council and the Canada Art Song Foundation.

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Sujeev Chohan, tabla and piano

Sujeev’s life has revolved around music. He has been a student of piano for the past 14 years, learning and mastering western classical pieces from the RCM repertoire and is in the process of finishing the grade 10 RCM curriculum. Although piano is where he started learning music, tabla has been his favourite instrument. He gravitated towards tabla when he was around six years old and over the years has performed with many seasoned artists.

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Neil Cockburn, harpsichord

International prize-winning organist NEIL COCKBURN is Director of Music at the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer (Anglican) in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Celebrated for his diverse repertoire interests and expertise, he performs an all-encompassing spectrum of solo organ recitals on a wide range of instrument types, from all-Bach recitals on historically inspired organs, to symphonic programmes on romantic instruments, and concerts of entirely new works. His most recent solo recording is of the Mass on the Sixth Tone with three Magnificat Suites by the seventeenth-century French composer, André Raison.

Born in Scotland, Neil Cockburn’s musical education was at Oxford University (BA Hons, Music), the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK (MusM, Organ Performance, and the Professional Performance Diploma, PPRNCM), the Conservatoire National de Région Rueil-Malmaison, France (Premier prix de perfectionnement), and the University of Calgary (PhD, Musicology). Learn more

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Neil Craighead, baritone

Neil Craighead is a bass-baritone from Calgary, Alberta. He sang with the Calgary Boys Choir for many years and studied locally before earning a Bachelor of Music in Opera from the University of British Columbia. Mr. Craighead spent four years in the Ensemble Studio at the Canadian Opera Company and has since been a versatile, sought after, independent artist for the past 6 years. Currently represented by Dean Artist Management, he has performed with opera companies from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island, earning a nomination for a DORA award in Toronto for his 2014 portrayal of Leporello in #UncleJohn with Against the Grain Theatre. Upcoming engagements this season include Colline in Calgary Opera's upcoming production of La Boheme, Bass Soloist in Messiah with Vancouver Bach Choir, and Minskman in Jonathan Dove's Flight with Pacific Opera Victoria. Neil has also recently started teaching and this summer attended Opera NUOVA as an Alumni mentor. Learn more

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Julie Harris, soprano

Soprano Julie Harris holds an Artist Diploma from the University of Toronto and a Master of Music degree from the University of Calgary. She also spent a year studying early music at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. Julie has appeared with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Toronto Consort, Opera Atelier, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Alberta Baroque (Edmonton) and La Cetra (Vancouver). Upon returning to Calgary she founded the Early Music Voices Concert Series. Julie maintains a private voice studio and enjoys vocal coaching for various local community choirs and high schools, as well as directing the Collegium Musicum at the University of Calgary.

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Elder Rod Hunter, speaker and singer

Elder Rod Hunter is a former elected leader of the Stoney/Nakoda First Nation. Rod is a world class powwow singing champion. He is the leader of the famous Eyahey Nakoda powwow singers. Eyahey Nakoda has won several singing championships in the last twenty five years. Rod has been singing since he was nine years old. Rod attended  Mount Royal college as an adult student. Rod is deeply involved in the traditional ways of the Stoney/Nakoda. He is a Sundance Maker that has completed three Sundance lodges. He started as a helper for elders and eventually became a pipe holder, medicine holder, and a Sundance maker. Performing a Sundance is extremely difficult and requires total mind and body commitment. The teachings of the elders greatly helped Rod to achieve Sundance maker status at an early age. Rod will continue to sing and keep the traditions of his people alive.  

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Barbara King, mezzo-soprano

From winning the Québec Provincial Gymnastics Championship to thrilling audiences with her “possession of a “warm, agile mezzo-soprano voice”, Calgary mezzo soprano Barbara King is no stranger to the stage. In 2018, Ms. King sang the role of Carmen with Opera Kelowna, was an Alumni Mentor with Opera NUOVA and sang as Flora in Manitoba Opera’s new production of La Traviata. Barbara has also performed with Calgary Opera, Edmonton Opera, Italy’s Tuscia Opera Festival, Italy’s Amalfi Coast Music Festival, Mercury Opera, Opera by Request, Barrie’s Colours of Music Festival, Cowtown Opera, Calgary Concert Opera Company and Rocky Mountain Symphony Orchestra. A native of Montréal, Québec, Barbara currently resides in Calgary, Alberta, where she and her husband founded Calgary Concert Opera Company. Upcoming performances include the role of Dalila from Samson et Dalila with Opera by Request and CCOC in September 2019. Learn more

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Leila Linton, Piano

Leila Linton holds a BMUS from the University of Calgary studying piano with Charles Foreman, French Horn with Kurt Kellan, and secondary music education. She pursued further studies in collaborative piano at the University of Western Ontario, earning a MMUS in vocal coaching and chamber music with Dr. John Hess. In London she was the chorus master of the UWO opera company. Returning to Calgary Leila had the opportunity to tour Europe as the accompanist for the U of C chamber choir, was the assistant director for Savridi Singers Women’s choir and was on faculty with the MRU Conservatory Academy program. While raising three boys with her husband Kirk, she maintains an active piano studio, and works as a freelance coach and accompanist at the University of Calgary and Amici String Program.

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Oliver Munar, tenor

Oliver Munar is a veteran performer who is in increasing demand as a concert and operatic tenor, ensemble singer, diction coach and collaborative pianist. He was recently celebrated in an unexpected, “remarkable” debut as the title role of Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. He was also recognized for “considerable vocal gifts” as a soloist in Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine with Early Music Voices and Rosa Barocca. This season, he will perform in Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila (Calgary Concert Opera Company), and participate with the company’s collaboration with the Calgary Civic Symphony in February 2020. He will also be featured as tenor soloist for a production of Mozart's Requiem with the award-winning Da Camera Singers (Edmonton), under the direction of Dr. John Brough.

Oliver earned his Master of Music degree in vocal performance from the University of Alberta, where he studied with JUNO award-winning tenor John Tessier and renowned vocal coach Shannon Hiebert. He also studied at Mount Royal Conservatory with Winston Noren, and at the prestigious Franz-Schubert-Institut (Austria) where he worked with some of the world's leading interpreters of German art song. He is delighted to again participate in the Mysterious Barricades Concert Series.

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Raj Rangayyan, bansuri

Raj received training in the Hindustani style of the classical music of India on the bamboo flute “bansuri” from Guruji Sri K. P. Shenoy and on the sitar from Guruji Sri N. R. Rama Rao in India. He has given many performances in India, Canada, and Brazil. In Calgary, he has performed for the University of Calgary, the Raga Mala Music Society, the City of Calgary, the Glenbow Museum, and several other organizations.

Raj has taught bansuri and sitar at the School of Indian Languages and Performing Arts in Calgary, and has provided interviews and live performance on CBC radio, CJSW radio, RED FM radio, and Global TV.

Raj has produced seven CDs on various themes with exquisite selections of ragas. He has collaborated with several musicians of different genres; his arrangements have included innovative combinations of many varieties of instruments and genres of music. Learn more

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Rod Thomas Squance, percussion

Rod Thomas Squance is very active as a soloist and freelance percussionist in chamber, orchestral, jazz and world music settings. He has performed with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Project, Paquito de Rivera, Dong-Won Kim, Prafulla Athalye and Sandeep Das. He appears in solo recitals regularly, including recitals for national CBC radio broadcasts. Rod holds a doctoral degree from the University of Miami, having received his formal training as a classical percussionist. He also plays jazz vibraphone and is an accomplished improviser in a wide variety of styles. Rod is experienced in the field of ethnomusicology, with expertise in Balinese gender wayang shadow theatre music, having completed field research in Balinese music studying gender wayang with I Ketut Sukayana in Sukawati village, Bali. Rod is also an experienced performer of North Indian classical raga music. Rod teaches ethnomusicology and percussion at the University of Calgary. Learn more


University of Calgary Saxophone Ensemble
Jeremy Brown, Professor and Director (see biography above under Jeremy Brown)

Carlos Tinoco, Chinley Hinacay, Nicole Oliver, Melvin Picazo, Nicolas Luzzi, Connor Reid, Jillian Mah, Simone Lutzko, Kyra Sidor

The University of Calgary Saxophone Studio and ensemble is comprised of undergraduate and graduate students from across western Canada. The saxophone ensemble has performed at conferences in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Iowa (USA), the National Music Centre and was the featured group at the 2019 inauguration of the new President of the University of Calgary Ed McCauley in the world premiere of “Taking the High Road” for saxophone ensemble by Allan Gordon Bell.

The UCalgary Saxophone Studio commissioned two Canadian composers Laurie Radford, Professor of Music at the University of Calgary and Juno-award winning composer Jordan Nobles to write new works for saxophone ensemble. The UCSE created a video in May of 2019 posted on YouTube of the Bell “Taking the High Road”. View Video

Professor of Music Jeremy Brown teaches saxophone at the University of Calgary. He is an author, saxophonist/woodwind specialist, conductor and composer. Originally from Washington State, he has taught in Alberta since 1982.


Voice Lab, vocal ensemble

UCalgary Voice Lab is an ensemble created to explore and flex the boundaries of concert performance through staged musical collaborations with a foundation in “classical” vocal music. From art song to opera, choral works to cabaret, musical theatre to musical improvisation and new music, we are generating energy around the evolution of classical performance.

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Lauren Woods, Soprano

Lauren Woods, soprano, has performed in operas, oratorios and concerts from coast to coast. As a born-and-raised Calgarian, she was thrilled to return home as one of Calgary Opera’s Emerging Artists in 2016-2017. She completed a Master’s in Voice at McGill under the tutelage of Aline Kutan and a bachelor’s degree in Opera at UBC. Lauren was a finalist in the Wirth Vocal Competition in Montreal, and was one of six Canadians invited to the International Belvedere competition in Amsterdam. Notable performances include Alice in Todd’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the title role in Handel’s Rodelinda, Amy in Adamo’s Little Women, Adina in L’Elisir D’amore, Gretel in Hansel und Gretel, the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, Susanna in La Nozze di Figaro, Gilda in Rigoletto, Nannetta in Falstaff, and Despina in Cosi Fan Tutte. Aside from performing, Lauren teaches voice and piano through her private studio, and has two wonderful kids.


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Thank you to University of Calgary for their continued support and encouragement.

We respectfully acknowledge the traditional territories of the Blackfoot and the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta, which includes the Siksika, the Piikuni, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina, and the Stoney Nakoda First Nations, including Chiniki, Bearpaw, and Wesley First Nations. I would also like to note that the University of Calgary is situated on land adjacent to where the Bow River meets the Elbow River, and that the traditional Blackfoot name of this place is “Mohkinstsis” which we now call the City of Calgary. The City of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III.