Concert Organizer


Jane Leibel, soprano

Soprano Jane Leibel has earned praise for her “crystalline, strong soprano” (Opera Canada) “vibrant, sweet, fresh singing” (The Globe and Mail) and for her acting abilities: “It remained for Jane Leibel, as Diana, the outraged goddess, to steal the show with her finely tuned comic sense.” (Opera Quarterly)


Concert Host

Ian Sutherland.png

Ian Sutherland, Dean of the School of Music at Memorial University

Born and raised in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, Dr. Ian Sutherland is Dean of the School of Music at Memorial University. Internationally he has developed a dynamic career as an academic leader, educator, researcher, and consultant. Prior to his Memorial University return he served as Associate Dean for Research and Director of PhD Studies at IEDC–Bled School of Management (Slovenia) and Research Fellow of the Centre for Leadership Studies at the University of Exeter (UK). Other appointments include: Adjunct Professor of Leadership at the Warsaw University of Technology Business School (Poland), Fellow of the Peter Pribilla Stiftung – Technische Universität München (Germany), Co-Convener of the Deans, Directors and Chairs Affinity Group of the International Leadership Association (USA). A leading expert in the art and business nexus, Ian was originally trained as a professional musician. Holding B.Mus. (Hons) and M. Mus. Degrees from the School of Music of Memorial University (Canada), he completed his PhD in Sociology and Philosophy at the University of Exeter (UK) under Prof. Tia DeNora. Today he brings these backgrounds together combining expertise in sociology, philosophy, creativity, music and leadership studies. A globally active speaker, facilitator and organizational development practitioner he has worked across numerous industries in more than 40 countries.


Speakers & Performers

Atlantic Girls Choir, choir
Conductor: Jennifer Beynon-Martinec

Jennifer Beynon- Martinec B. Mus., B. Mus. Ed., M. Mus., is a Ph.D. candidate in Music, Medicine and Education at Memorial University. She is a voice and music education graduate from the University of British Columbia and the University of Western of Ontario. Jennifer has been a choral conductor and vocal pedagogue for over fifteen years in both Canada and Europe; having worked with prestigious organizations such as: St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto, Ontario, the Amabile Boys Choir, the Bach Children’s Choir, and the prize-winning Czech Boys Choir. Jennifer was awarded the Don Wright Scholarship for Vocal Music (UWO, 2001), the Lloyd Bradshaw Scholarship in Choral Conducting (UofT, 2003) and most recently the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (SSHRC, 2016). Currently, Jennifer is the artistic director of the AVE Girls Choir in collaboration with the Graham Academy, co-artistic director of the Atlantic Boychoir and a per-course instructor at Memorial University. Jennifer enjoys being active in the St. John’s community with her three children and husband, Jakub Martinec.

Tina Davies, speaker

Tina Davies is the President and founder of Richard's Legacy Foundation for Survivors of Suicide Loss. Born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, she moved to St. John's, Newfoundland with her husband Kim in the year 2000. Having lost their eldest son, Richard to suicide at the age of 18, she decided to start a support group for survivors of a suicide loss. That was 12 years ago. Tina is also Vice President of ASIST NL ( Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) and teaches workshops for suicide prevention, intervention and postvention. She speaks about suicide across the province and is on the Steering Committee for the Community Coalition for Mental Health NL. Tina recently opened a place called The Comfort House, where support group meetings, workshops, and other events are held. It is a place where people can go if they are not feeling safe with themselves, or just drop in for a chat or a session in the Healing Room.

Les Ms, choir
Conductor: Valerie Long

Sheilagh O’Leary, speaker

St. John’s native, Sheilagh O’Leary is an award-winning photographer, filmmaker and art educator.  As a small business owner, Sheilagh is experienced in the areas of visual media including film, video and stills production, radio broadcasting, education, and not-for profit organizations specializing in areas of diversity and inclusion. She has run a successful business for over 25 years. Her work has been exhibited and collected internationally, appearing in numerous art journals and publications. She published two books including NL Book award winner “Island Maid: Voices of Outport Women”, which documents rural women’s lives pre-fishing moratorium. In her many years of advocacy, Sheilagh O’Leary has been a strong, passionate voice in supporting positive change in our communities. She has been an energetic volunteer for over three decades, a nature enthusiast and a mother of three. As a member of the Qalipu M’ikmaq First Nations Band, issues of cultural diversity and respect are  paramount in Sheilagh’s work. She has been active on numerous boards, including North East Avalon Atlantic Coastal Action Program, The Irish Newfoundland Association of NL, The Canadian Mental Health Association of NL, Clean & Beautiful, The St. John’s Native Friendship Centre, and is a former Chair of Equal Voice NL.  With a bucket list wish to swim the five kilometres from Portugal Cove to Bell Island colloquially know as the Tickle, Sheilagh conceived and established the ‘Tickle Swim for Mental Health’, a fundraising, awareness campaign for The Canadian Mental Health Association NL, now in its sixth year. Sheilagh is the City's lead for Economic Development, Culture and Tourism, and sits as co-liasion to the Environmental Advisory Committee, council representative on teh Pippy Park Commission and on the Downtown Advisory Committee.

St John’s Gay Men’s Chorus, choir
Conductor: Yohei Sakhei

St. John's Gay Men's Chorus is a non-auditioned community choir for LGBTQ men and allies. Based in the beautiful city of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, the choir aims to create a safe social space, where people of diverse background can sing and make music together. The chorus was launched in April 2017 by the founder/director, Yohei Sakai. In May 2018, they performed at Unison Festival 2018, the quadrennial national LGBTQ choral festival which was held in Calgary.

Kristina Szutor, piano

Praised by the American Record Guide for the "brilliance and meticulous sensitivity" of her playing, pianist Kristina Szutor is both a passionate performer as well as a skilled and dedicated teacher, adjudicator and clinician. Her two solo piano CDs- Bookends in Time and Après Scarlatti -both present very attractive and listenable contemporary works for piano. She can also be heard as a collaborative artist two vocal CDs; Voyage to Canada and Songs and Sonnets with School of Music colleagues, Carolyn Schiller and Jane Leibel. As an adjudicator, she has been invited to sit on panels for the Juno awards, for the Eckhard-Grammattée international contemporary music competition for piano and for local and national festivals all across Canada. Kristina holds a Masters Degree in performance form the Juilliard School of Music and a Doctorate from the University of British Columbia. She has been a faculty member at the School of Music since 1991. Kristina is an avid gardener, cook, animal lover and mother of a 17-year old daughter who plays violin and viola.



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Thank you to Memorial University for their continued support and encouragement.

We respectfully acknowledge that the territory on which we gather for this concert, as the ancestral home-lands of the Beothuk and the island of Newfoundland as the ancestral homelands of the Mi’kmaq and Beothuk. We would also like to recognize the Inuit of Nunatsiavut and NunatuKavut and the Innu of Nitassinan, and their ancestors, as the original people of Labrador.