Concert Organizer


Kimberly Barber, Mezzo-Soprano

Canadian mezzo-soprano Kimberly Barber’s eclectic and varied career combines not only the standard repertoire sung on some of the great opera house and concert stages of the world for the last 30 years, but also contemporary and baroque works with smaller, experimental companies. With performances at Opéra de Paris, Opéra de Marseille, Frankfurt Opera, English National Opera, New York City Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Seattle Opera, L’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Wigmore, Barbican, Avery Fisher and Weill Concert Halls, and every major opera company and orchestra in Canada, her operatic repertoire encompasses more than 50 roles, many of them from 20thand 21stcentury or lesser-known works, and her concert repertoire stems from every genre. In May 2017 she returned to Toronto’s Tapestry Opera to create the role of Asa in the world premiere of OKSANA G (the entire cast nominated for two Doraawards—Best Ensemble and Best Opera Production), and premiered a newly commissioned work, THIS LAND, with TorQ Percussion Quartet and Rene Meshake for NUMUS. The 2018-19 season features concerts in Lyon (with jazz pianist Franck Avitabile) and Vienna, Ottawa and Waterloo (with pianist Anna Ronai and flutist Ulrike Anton). She has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon (Concepciónin Ravel’s L’HEURE ESPAGNOLE with the LSO under André Previn), CBC Records,Naxos, Teldec and Dutton Classics. 

Professor of Voice at Wilfrid Laurier University since 2002, Kimberly Barber is Administrative Coordinator for Opera Laurier, and was appointed Associate Dean: External for Laurier’s Faculty of Music in July 2017. She is a passionate advocate for mental health and suicide prevention awareness, and has been concert lead for Mysterious Barricades at Laurier since its inception.

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Performers & Speakers


Elisa Brewer-Singh, Speaker

Elisa Brewer-Singh is the Executive Director for the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council and the Secretary for the Ontario Association for Suicide Prevention.  She brings to both roles 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 focus on providing hope, help and healing for those who have been touched by suicide as well as the community.  Elisa has facilitated both the open and closed suicide bereavement support groups in Waterloo Region as well as helped organize an annual “My Life Matters” Day that focuses on resiliency and stress management strategies for high-risk youth.  

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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Caleb deGroot-Maggetti, Piano

Caleb is entering his third year in Community Music at Laurier.  He has diverse musical interests playing Celtic music and Jazz, and singing in various styles.  His eclectic tastes are also heard in the instruments he plays, ranging from piano and concertina, to trumpet and washboard.  Caleb has participated in various choirs and ensembles in Waterloo Region for many years.  He currently enjoys sharing his talents by teaching piano, playing in groups such as the Iron Tonic Jazz Band, and helping to facilitate music programs in the community.

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Wesley Harrison, Tenor

Wesley Harrison was born in Windsor Ontario and began his voice studies there.  Growing up he sang in church choirs and studied voice privately as well as in school. At this time he also enjoyed participating in voice competitions and local musical productions with community theatres. Wesley is now currently in his third year studying voice performance at Wilfrid Laurier University. 

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Cynthia Hiebert, Harpsichord

Cynthia Hiebert has performed both traditional and contemporary harpsichord works in Canada, the United States and England. She studied with Colin Tilney and Arthur Haas, and as a recipient of the Gelber Fellowship, completed a doctorate in harpsichord performance at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She has collaborated with numerous ensembles including New York Baroque, North Shore Pro Musica, Spiritus, Numus, the York Symphony Orchestra, the Penderecki String Quartet, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra and the Nota Bene Baroque Players.

Notable solo projects include a performance of Gyorgy Ligeti's Hungarian Rock for the David Earle Dance Company and Numus, and a recording of Peter Hatch's In a Vernacular Way, released on the Artifact label. Her collaboration with Mei Han for the Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound produced a recital of new and traditional works for Chinese zheng and harpsichord, including the world premiere of a piece which combined both instruments, possibly for the first time. Ms. Hiebert has been honoured to perform Bach's Concerto in D minor with three different ensembles, in four well-received performances, but her most important collaboration to date, has been offspring Gabriel (b.2001) and Isabelle (b.2006).

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James Mason, Oboe

Highly regarded as one of Canada’s most prominent oboists, James Mason is the Principal Oboe of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and Canadian Chamber Ensemble. He has appeared as a soloist, chamber musician and teacher in Germany, Holland, Spain, South America and Japan as well as the United States and Canada. He has appeared as soloist with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Association a total of 70 times, more than any other musician.

When Canada had a national radio company that actually cared about classical music, Jim was regularly recorded for live broadcast. He has been recorded as a soloist with the KWS a total of 7 times and has recorded most of the standard chamber music and solo oboe repertoire, along with several new works for oboe and orchestra written specifically for him. In January of 2009 the Gallery Players of Niagara released a CD of works for oboe and strings commissioned for and recorded with Jim, entitled Canadian Oboe Quartets.

In the summer months, Jim is active in festivals across North America. He performs regularly in the Elora Festival and Festival of the Sound. Jim and his wife, violinist Julie Baumgartel, were founding Co-Artistic Directors of the Grand River Baroque Festival.  For 5 years he taught and performed in the Orford Summer Festival and has been invited to teach at Canada’s National Youth Orchestra and Banff Summer Festival. He has also appeared as guest Principal Oboe with the Boston Symphony, Toronto Symphony and Montreal Symphony Orchestras, along with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. 

A dedicated teacher, Jim taught for many years at Laurier’s Faculty of Music and in May of 2009 was the recipient of the WLU Alumni Association’s Faculty Mentor of the Year Award. Jim’s former students started a scholarship fund at WLU in his honor, the James Mason Oboe Scholarship. His students are active in orchestras and musical organizations across the US and Canada as both performers and administrators.

In 1999 Jim Mason was awarded the Kitchener-Waterloo Arts Award for Music. He performs on a Yamaha oboe and is a Yamaha Artist.

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Tamara Menon

Tamara Menon is a third-year undergraduate community music student from India at Wilfrid Laurier. She was trained in Carnatic music since childhood and also briefly learnt Hindustani music. She is currently leading the Yuva Arts project, a cross-cultural collaborative initiative between marginalised youths from the red light district in Mumbai, India, and those from the Indigenous and refugee communities in Kitchener-Waterloo. 

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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 and in so doing, 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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Carlos Morgan

Solroc Music recording artist Carlos Morgan, is a multi award winning talented singer, songwriter, producer and performer, poised to break out on a global level. 

“Feeling Alright”, Morgan’s debut album, showcased the diversity of Morgan’s sultry singing style with seductive ballads like “Get Down To It”and “When Two Become One”to the upbeat R&B tracks “Give It To You”and “Baby C’Mon”.  Originally recorded as an independent release for DTone Records, it quickly became one of Canada’s hottest selling independent albums. “Feeling Alright”topped the charts at #3 on “The Records Independent Charts”after two weeks of releasing.  

Morgan’s sophomore CD, “The Compilation”, was released on his own label, Solroc Music, showcases not only Morgan’s vocal diversity but also his maturity as a vocalist, songwriter and producer.  “The Compilation” features songs written and produced by Morgan, James dePinho, Mystery & Matt Early, Colin Munroe, Peter Natale, Earl & Laura Torno, Kurt Hagan, Perry Alexander andTyson Kuteyi. 

“Feelin’ Alright”went on to garner the Juno Award F/ Best R&B/Soul Recording, 2x CanadianUrban Music Award Recipient (Best Male Vocalist & Best R&B/Soul Video) MuchMusic Video Award F/ Best R&B/Soul VideoSOCANMusic Award, 2x Canadian Who’s Whoand 2x Caribbean Cultural Committee Award Recipient (New Artist & Songwriter).

Morgan was inducted into the “2001 & 2002 Canadian Who’s Who”. Individuals are inducted into the Who’s Who publication based on their contribution to life in Canada.In 2013, Morgan won first place for the “John Lennon “Gots 2 Luv U” Songwriting Contest”. 

In 2014, Morgan’s album, “The Compilation”garnered the “Best Male R&B Artist”and the “Role Model Certificate of Recognition”@ The“2014 Black Canadian Awards”.   

In 2015, Morganwon the“Best R&B/Soul SongVideo”@ The“2015 Akademia Music Awards” forhis song,“Just Jane”

In 2016, Morgan received the “Gold Medal Male Vocalist Award” from “TheGlobal Music Awards” for his song, “Sweet As You Are”. In 2017, Morgan was honored by the City of Toronto for his musical contributions to Toronto. 

Luther Vandrossis quoted as saying, “Morgan reminds me of myself as a vocalist and when I was beginning my career.  Morgan will go far in this business”. 

Morgan is releasing his new album, “Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going” Spring2019 on his label, Solroc Music. Morgan wrote and produced the new songs featured on his new album, as well as, co-writing and co-production credits including: GO7, RBTNE (Rosanne Baker Thornley & North Easton), Matthew Gerard, Courtney ValentineColin Munroe, Ceasaro Grant Jr., 

For further information contact, Carlos MorganofSolroc Music & Entertainment

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Penderecki String Quartet

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.

Photo: jon mao

Photo: jon mao

Alice Philipp, Photographer

Alice Philipp, whose work is featured alongside the Mysterious Barricades PowerPoint slides, is a local photographer specializing mainly in portraiture. Her main focuses include reshaping the way women are portrayed and objectified in media that surrounds millennials—whether on Instagram, music videos and magazines. Alice has also passionately worked on personal projects dealing with the loneliness in the midst of constant connection in the digital age of social media, and having been touched by suicide and mental illness like many others, felt her work would complement the subject matter of the Mysterious Barricades. To see more of her work, you can visit Instagram @alicetookmypicture (or

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Anna Ronai

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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Brent Rowan, Director, WLU Community Music Ensemble

Brent Rowan is a professional community musician.  As a Guelph, Ontario, Canada based saxophonist, Brent performs in a wide variety of musical collaborations; including 2009 and 2015 Juno Nominated Eccodek, Big Bands, smaller jazz combos, and creative music ensembles.  Brent has performed and recorded all across Canada, the UK and Germany, at music festivals in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and London England to name a few. He has released three recordings of his own compositions; “It’s About Time” in 2006, “IZ” in 2012 and “Where is Local” in 2016.  Brent composes and arranges music for many of the groups he directs.  He is the founding director of the Guelph Youth Jazz Ensemble and the New Horizons Band for Guelph. He is also the conductor of the Cambridge Concert band. Brent teaches in the Community Music Program at Wilfrid Laurier University, and woodwind and jazz improvisation techniques at his private music studio.  He is also a clinician and adjudicator at music camps and festivals throughout southern Ontario, specializing in saxophone and improvisation concepts. Brent holds a Master of Arts in Community Music from Wilfrid Laurier University, a Bachelor of Music from Humber College and a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo. 

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The WLU Community Music Ensemble (CME)

The WLU Community Music Ensemble (CME) is a new kind of ensemble with a diverse and changing instrumentation from year to year. The purpose of the ensemble is to develop creative approaches to improvisation, spontaneous composition, and the re-imagination of other works.  Students work with the instructors to design music repertoires and processes tailored to changing instrumentation which results in a variety of musical experiences.  Subject to the strengths of the students in the ensemble, break-out ensembles may include smaller consorts, bands, or chamber groups.  One of the core functions of the CME is to integrate curricula within a participatory-performance context. Through exposure to different cultural contexts, music making in traditional and non-traditional ways and through exposure to interdisciplinary arts; we will seek to open up possibilities and remove real and/or perceived barriers to ensemble music making. Techniques and strategies will be introduced to create a safe space for music making to occur.


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.


Concert Poster
Available Here

Concert Program
Available Here

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