Concert Organizer

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Kimberly Barber, mezzo-soprano

Canadian mezzo-soprano Kimberly Barber’s international operatic and concert career has taken her to the world’s major opera houses and orchestras (Paris Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Seattle Opera, ENO, London Symphony Orchestra, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Chicago, Montréal and Toronto Symphonies, among many others). She has performed with virtually every Canadian opera company in repertoire ranging from the baroque (the title role in Xerxes for COC) to the contemporary (Sister Helen Préjean in the Canadian premiere of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking for Calgary Opera; Asa in the world premiere of Aaron Gervais’ acclaimed Oksana G for Tapestry Opera). Her discography includes Ravel’s L’heure espagnole on Deutsche Grammophon under André Previn, as well as recordings for Naxos, CBC Records and Dutton Classics.

Kimberly Barber is a Professor of Voice at Wilfrid Laurier University, and since July 2017, Associate Dean, External in the Faculty of Music. A suicide survivor and passionate advocate for mental health and suicide prevention and awareness, Kimberly has been concert lead and performer in Laurier’s segment of the live streamed coast-to-coast Mysterious Barricades concerts since their inception in 2016.



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Dominie Boutin, mezzo-soprano

Dominie Boutin is a mezzo-soprano from Calgary, AB. She is working towards an Opera Diploma at Wilfrid Laurier University studying under Canadian mezzo-soprano Kimberly Barber, she holds an Honours Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from the same institution. Dominie has participated in several festivals including SongFest in Los Angeles, Opera NUOVA in Edmonton, and the Mountainview International Festival of Song and Chamber Music in Calgary. Dominie Boutin is passionate about promoting the destigmatization and awareness of mental health and mental health treatment and is deeply honoured to be participating in the 2019 Mysterious Barricades Concert.


Speakers & Performers

Kimberly Barber, mezzo-soprano

See biography above under “Concert Organizer”.

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The Community Music Band
Hannah Graziadei, Kayla Greenham
Accompanied by: Caden Borsboom, Joey Rosero, Nathan Annor

Hannah, Kayla, Joey, Caden and Nathan are all third year community music students at Wilfrid Laurier University located in Waterloo Ontario. Theyfell in love with music at a young age. They all come from different music backgrounds but came together at Laurier and love making music together. This sparked when they were asked to work together in community music ensemble on many different projects. One of their highlights was putting on a two hour concert at Wilfs the restaurant on campus at Laurier with other community music students as well working with other students to create an original gospel composition which they performed at the Community music ensemble concert and the Laurier music first year orientation concert.

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Elisa Brewer-Singh, speaker

Elisa Brewer-Singh is the Executive Director for the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council.  She brings to the role her passion for suicide prevention and a Master’s degree in Spiritual Care and Counselling from Wilfrid Laurier University which she uses to open the dialogue around suicide, advocate for better access to services and break down the stigma surrounding suicide. 

Her work includes a Regional, Provincial and National focus on providing hope, help and healing for those who have been touched by suicide as well as their communities.  Elisa’s desire is to see a reduction of suicidal behavior within our community and beyond through increased awareness and supports available.

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Few Mara Duo
Guy Few (trumpet), Stephanie Mara (piano)

Guy and Stephanie are a force to be reckoned with.  Two artists with technique to burn and an artistic drive that is a joy to experience.  The duo is in demand for festivals in Canada and the USA including the Ottawa International Chamber Festival, the Elora Festival, Festival of the Sound and Quad City Arts.  They have toured for Prairie Debut in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Yukon, performed in Iqaluit for the celebrations of the visit of HRH Queen Elizabeth II and recorded their own Indie CD, Vocalise.  Guy and Stephanie are sessional lecturers at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. 

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Andrew Laughton, guitar

Guitarist Andrew Laughton is an emerging young musician from Waterloo, Ontario. He has received high acclaim as a soloist, chamber musician, and ensemble player. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Performance at Wilfrid Laurier University, where he was awarded Finalist in the 2018 WLU Concerto Competition and Semi-Finalist in the 2018 Ken Murray Concerto Competition as the first ever guitar player to compete in both competitions. He has subsequently been invited to play with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.

In August of 2019, Andrew joined the Ekleipsis Guitar Trio, taking over the position once held by renowned guitarist Terry McKenna, his studio professor at WLU. He has also been playing in bands since the age of 11. He is a founding member of Kitchener-Waterloo indie-folk band Safe As Houses, CBC Searchlight Provincial Finalists and recipients of a FACTOR Juried Sound Recording Grant for their third full-length album Lucky Lucky. Andrew is also a trained composer and has studied under Glenn Buhr, Linda Catlin Smith, and Cam McKittrick.

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Rene Meshake, pipigwewin

Rene Andre Meshake is an Ojibwe elder, visual and performing artist, award-winning author, storyteller, flute player, new media artist and a Recipient of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. He works to fuse Ojibwe and English words into his stories, poetry and spoken word performances, Rene communicates his Ojibwe spiritual heritage to the contemporary world.

He was born in the railway town of Nakina in Northwestern Ontario and was raised by his Okomissan grandmother. His education includes: Anishinaabe oral tradition, language, arts and culture. Rene has a diploma in Graphic Design from Sheridan College and a certificate in Creative Writing from the Humber School for Writers.

Rene’s body of artwork, stories and his flute improvisations create a strong, expressive, and entertaining presentation for an ever-increasing audience. He also has an active on-line and performing presence as a Funky-Elder.

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Penderecki String Quartet
Jeremy Bell, Katie Schlaikjer, Jerzy Kaplanek, Christine Vlajk

The Penderecki String Quartet, approaching the third decade of an extraordinary career, has become one of the most celebrated chamber ensembles of their generation. These four musicians from Poland, Canada, and the USA bring their varied yet collective experience to create performances that demonstrate their “remarkable range of technical excellence and emotional sweep” (Toronto, Globe and Mail).

Their recent schedule has included concerts in New York (Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall), Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Los Angeles (REDCAT at Disney Hall), St. Petersburg, Paris, Prague, Berlin, Rome, Belgrade, Zagreb, Atlanta, as well as appearances at international festivals in Poland, Lithuania, Italy, Venezuela, Brazil, and China.

The PSQ champions music of our time, performing a wide range of repertoire from Haydn to Zappa as well as premiering over 100 new works to date. Described by Fanfare Magazine as “an ensemble of formidable power and keen musical sensitivity”, the PSQ’s diverse discography includes the chamber music of Brahms and Shostakovich (Eclectra and Marquis labels) and their recently released Bartok cycle. They enter their 20th year as Quartet-in-Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.

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Cecilia Marie Roberts, speaker

Cecilia Marie is passionate about life promotion/suicide prevention and understands from a first-hand perspective the toll that suicide has on individuals, families and communities.

Cecilia Marie has held various roles in mental health education and suicide prevention including supporting communities across the province to utilize whole community approaches to address the issue of youth suicide.

Cecilia Marie has trained thousands of community members, to be alert to suicide and understand how to have the difficult conversations with loved ones in distress.

Cecilia Marie Roberts is the Suicide Prevention Project lead for the Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington Branch where she is currently leading the development and implementation of a suicide prevention framework. 

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Anna Ronai, piano

Anna Ronai has performed at major venues in Europe, North America and China, including the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall in New York, Gläserner Saal, Musikverein, and Schubert Saal, Konzerthaus in Vienna.

Anna is a graduate of the Music University of the Arts Vienna, where she earned two Masters degrees, one in Piano Performance and the other in Collaborative Piano. She maintained vocal and instrumental coaching positions at the Vienna and Innsbruck Conservatories, and a faculty position for piano chamber music at the Institute for European Studies in Vienna. She has played for master-classes with esteemed artists including Brigitte Fassbaender, Christa Ludwig, Thomas Hampson and Linda Watson.

Anna has appeared and placed in several major Lied Duo competitions such as the Robert Schumann Duo Competition in Zwickau, Germany, the East & West Artists International Auditions in New York, and Schubert und die Moderne in Graz, Austria. 

In 2009 Anna moved to Canada, and took the position of vocal coach and accompanist at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. She is an active performer at concerts and recitals across Ontario.

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Safe as Houses, band
Elliot Anton, Bensen Carter, Andrew Laughton, Thomas Laughton, Lauren Taylor

Armed with a collection of youth-driven anthems, this kinetic quintet has amassed a cult following, spiraling out from their hometown of Kitchener, ON, where Safe As Houses’ bandmates Elliot Anton (guitar, vocals) and Bensen Carter (cello, bass, vocals), along with brothers Andrew Laughton (guitar, vocals) and Thomas Laughton (drums, vocals), and Lauren Taylor (violin, vocals) laid the band's monumental foundation.

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Gerard Yun, shakuhachi

Ensemble director, multi-instrumentalist, community music practitioner and scholar, Gerard Yun merges training in Western classical music with world traditions received through traditional transmission. Dr. Yun holds a doctor of musical arts degree in choral-orchestral conducting with ongoing training in Japanese shakuhachi, Asian overtone singing, West-African kora, Ghanian drumming, South African choral singing, Australian didgeridoo, and Native American flute. Following decades of study, he is completing the “jun shihan” (master teacher) designation in the Chikuzen shakuhachi lineage. As assistant professor of community music at Wilfrid Laurier University, Dr. Yun teaches in the community music, critical studies, and global citizenship streams, including specialized courses in music and social justice, and global sacred musics. His practical and scholarly interests include intercultural music ethics, intercultural improvisation, restorative contemplative musical forms, and contemplation in higher education. He hosts the podcast “Authentic Voice” (available on iTunes, Spotify, and Google Podcasts) and leads workshops and clinics in community, intercultural, and contemplative musics.


About our Program:

Human beings make sense of their experience by telling stories. What better place to tell a story, than at a library? Our collaboration this year with the KPL offers us the perfect setting for “The Stories We Tell”. KPL are co-presenters with Laurier’s Faculty of Music and the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council. We are so grateful for these partnerships and the opportunity to reach beyond our University’s walls to connect with the wider Kitchener-Waterloo community. 

Pretty much everyone has a story to tell about mental illness or the anguish that is suicide. Whether it is a story that is from their own personal experience, or the story of someone they love and care for, such narratives touch all of our lives. The stories we tell can be ones of grief, loss, anxiety, depression, isolation, addiction and suffering, but they are often also stories of redemption, resilience, hope, healing, caring and community. The Mysterious Barricades project has always had these last few at the core of its mission, and so it is in this vein that we present this evening’s program. We bring you music and stories that speak of the darker sides of our shared human experience, but also of the healing power that is found in music and being together. 

All of today’s performers have an association with Laurier Music in one way or the other—whether as faculty, current students, alumni or members of the community who have long-standing relationships with us. We are grateful for their offerings today, all of which are on a volunteer basis. We couldn’t do this without them!


Want to help us advertise this event?

Thank you so much for your help. You can do so by downloading one or multiple of our concert posters and sharing them with others. Or, you can contact us to find out other ways you can help.


Thank you to Wilfrid Laurier University for their continued support and encouragement. We are especially indebted to the Faculty of Music and the Office of the Dean of Students for their sponsorship of this concert.

We respectfully acknowledge that this concert is being held on the Haldimand Tract, traditional territory of the Attawandaron (Neutral), Anishnaabeg, and Haudenosauonee peoples.