Concert Organizer


Jane Leibel, soprano

Soprano Jane Leibel has earned praise for her “crystalline, strong soprano” (Opera Canada) and “vibrant, sweet, fresh singing” (The Globe and Mail)

Her performing career has taken her to venues throughout Canada and internationally to cities such as Paris, Prague, Vienna and New York City. She has released 2 CD recordings:  Songs and Sonnets and Songs of the Bubble Ring: The Music of John Greer and Clifford Crawley (with the composer, John Greer, as pianist). She has been a prizewinner in the Friedrich Schorr competition, a semi-finalist in the Belvedere International Competition and the winner of the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Competition for the performance of twentieth-century music.

Jane holds a Masters Degree in performance from North Texas State University, a Diploma in Opera Performance from the University of Toronto  and a Doctorate from the University of Michigan.  She has been a faculty member at Memorial University’s School of Music since 1999 where she teaches voice and vocal pedagogy.

It is an honour for Jane to serve as the concert lead in St John’s and bring together speakers and artists who celebrate life and hope, and believe that music is a healing, and connective force that unites and transforms.


Concert Host

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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

Jennifer Beynon-martinec

Jennifer Beynon-martinec

Atlantic Girls Choir, choir
Conductor: Jennifer Beynon-Martinec

The Atlantic Girls Choir is an Internationally recognized choir based in the province of Newfoundland, Canada. 

Consisting of thirty strong young women between twelve and nineteen, the Atlantic Girls Choir’s senior ensemble has a mandate to bring the experience of world class collaborative experiences, musical excellence and friendship to all parts of the province: thus, creating a wider community of girls who sing together and build each other up! The Atlantic Girls Choir strives to bring the joy of singing and the heart of Newfoundland culture - song -to the world! We believe HER voice is our future!

The Atlantic Girls Choir organization trains young singers in the Kinder Choir (ages four to seven); the Junior Choir (ages eight to twelve); and the Senior Ensemble (ages eleven to nineteen) in St. John’s, Corner Brook and Stephenville centres. However, auditions are open to any interested singer across the province. To send us a video, set up a live audition, or to register email us at, check us out on Facebook or on our website:

Jennifer Beynon-Martinec, Artistic Director strives to provide life changing opportunities to girls in the province of Newfoundland. She is committed to excellence in vocal production, providing opportunity for musical growth and encouraging leadership skills. 

With Melissa Cooper, Assistant Artistic Director and a cross-provincial team of excellent music educators: Wendy Woodland and Linda Carr (Corner Brook), Esther Oostherban (Stephenville), and Annabeth Loveys (St. John’s); the AGC, provincially, fosters community and the joy of singing. As an organization, we hope to inspire strength, resilience, and intelligence whilst working towards the common goal of creating beautiful music. We aim to encourage a lasting community of young women who strive to be the voice our future.

The 2019 – 2020 Season for the Atlantic Girls Choir will entail a concert tour across the island of Newfoundland and the recording of a new CD.

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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.

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Les Ms., choir
Conductor: Valerie Long

Based in St. John’s, NL, Les Ms. are celebrating twenty years together! This women’s choir is recognized for their high quality music and unique performance style. Delivering diversified repertoire that spans from sacred music and spirituals to traditional, pop and vocal jazz, Les Ms. performances are known for their high-energy presentation, and engaging audience connection.They are directed and accompanied by Dr. Valerie Long.

As a non profit organization, Les Ms. takes great pride in collaborating with other choral ensembles, particularly for events benefitting the community. An annual concert, Les Ms. & Friends Sing for Care, was created to support the H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Care Foundation. This event provides a unique opportunity to highlight and celebrate other ensembles, while sharing in the spirit of collaboration and good will. Les Ms. & Friends Sing for Care has donated over $150,000 to the local cancer centre.

Recently acknowledged for their excellence in musicality and performance, Les Ms. performed in Magnificat for Women's Voices in Carnegie Hall in celebration of International Women’s Day in March, 2019.

Les Ms. are honoured to participate in Mysterious Barricades 2019, as they connect with others across the country, in solidarity, through choral music.


Kelly Neville, speaker

Biographie coming soon.

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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.

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St. John’s Gay Men’s Chorus
Director: Yohei Sakai

St. John's Gay Men's Chorus is a non-auditioned community choir for men and allies of the LGBTQ community. 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 founded by the current artistic director, Yohei Sakai, in April 2017. Its very first performance on December 7th 2017 was a joint concert with the Newfoundland-own soprano, Noelle Slaney. In May 2018, the chorus had its first appearance in the Unison Festival, the quadrennial Canadian queer choral festival.
Learn More

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Kristina Szutor, piano

Praised by the American Record Guide for the "brilliance and meticulous sensitivity" of her playing, pianist Kristina Szutor is both an accomplished solo artist as well as a sought-after collaborative pianist.

Her performing career has taken her to venues throughout Canada and internationally to cities such as Barcelona and Rio De Janeiro while her list of solo piano recordings includes Bookends in Time and Après Scarlatti. Collaborative recordings include Songs and Sonnets with soprano Jane Leibel and Voyage to Canada with soprano Caroline Schiller.

Kristina holds a Masters Degree in performance from the Juilliard School of Music and a Doctorate from the University of British Columbia and she has been a faculty member at Memorial University’s School of Music since 1991.

Kristina is honored to be participating in this concert which helps raise awareness of an issue that impacts the lives of so many.



Coming soon.


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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.