Jen Hill, Jenn Treble, Sarah Rhude

Jennifer Hill

My name is Jen Hill was born and raised in Victoria, BC. On my father’s side I am of mixed ancestry from Interior Salish, Metis, and settler from Great Britain. On my mother’s side I have settler ancestry from Great Britain and Scandinavia. I teach band, choir, strings, drama and a gifted pull-out program at Ecole Arbutus Global Middle School on the territory of the Esquimalt, Songhees and Saanich nations in Victoria BC. I hold a B. Mus with Distinction from the University of Victoria. I am a co-recipient of the 2017 VCPAC Fine Arts Champion Award and the Past-President of the Greater Victoria Music Educators’ Association. Over the past year I have had the great privilege of working with Sarah Rhude, Jenn Treble and the SD61 Aboriginal Nations Education Department to implement a district-wide First Nations drumming initiative. I have included First Nations drumming in choir and exploratory classes, school concerts and assemblies, and participated in an inquiry with classroom teachers to include First Nations drumming when teaching about residential schools in the middle school classroom.

Jenn Treble

My name is Jenn Treble and I’m originally from Regina, SK. I am first generation Korean-Canadian on my mother’s side, and I have mixed European, settler ancestry on my father’s side. I have enjoyed teaching band, choir, strings, general music, and guitar to students grades 6-12 and beyond over the past 17 years. I hold a B. Mus. Ed. from the University of Regina and an M.A. in Music Education with an emphasis on wind band conducting from the University of Minnesota. Currently I have the privilege of teaching band, choir, and guitar at Esquimalt High School located on the traditional lands of the Esquimalt and Songhees nations. The past two years I have been fortunate to weave drumming into my teaching with the guidance and support of a First Nations cultural facilitator, not only to incorporate components of the new curriculum but as a way to recognize and honour Truth and Reconciliation. Most recently my band students participated in a collaboration entitled The Sacred Circle by Wedlidi Speck, a First Nations drama production about welcoming new people into the community. This group also drums regularly with our Aboriginal Leadership class for school assemblies and special events.

Sarah Rhude  

My name is Sarah Rhude, and I am a Mi’kmaq/Algonquin woman from Gaspe QC/Maniwaki QC on my mother’s side, and I have mixed European, settler ancestry on my father’s side. I am currently working as the District Aboriginal Art and Culture Facilitator/Teacher in SD61.  I have been a grateful visitor in Lkwungen territory for 18 years.  

As an educator, mother and community member, I am rooted in my land-based teachings and Indigenous ways of being and knowing. Working in and with Aboriginal communities for the bulk of my career has incited my passion to facilitate the furthering of Indigenous governance, particularly with regards to education. Supporting youth and community in feeling accomplished, building mastery and securing healthy, vibrant futures is at the center of my compass. Sharing teachings, artistic and culturally based skills, and the knowledge and stories I have acquired is paramount in all the work I do.

Keynote Presenter: Dr. Ralph Hultgren

Ralph Hultgren AM      PhD (GU), MA (QUT), BA (UQ)

Ralph Hultgren was born in Box Hill, Victoria, Australia, and now resides in Newmarket, Queensland, with his wife Julie. Dr Hultgren is a freelance teacher, composer and conductor who began his professional music career as a trumpet player in 1970 with the Central Band of the Royal Australian Air Force.

Dr Hultgren was admitted as a Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) on Australia Day, 2016, “for significant service to the arts, particularly music education, as an academic, composer and publisher, and to professional organisations”.

Dr Hultgren was honoured by being made ‘Patron of the Maryborough Music Conference’, Australia’s largest music education event, an honour which is the most prestigious accolade given by Education Queensland for significant contributions to music education in that state. He is also the recipient of the Midwest Clinic International Award, in recognition of his international contributions to music education, which was presented by the Board of Directors of the Midwest Clinic. He is a founding member of the Australian Band and Orchestra Directors’ Association and was the recipient of the Citation of Excellence, ABODA’s highest honour, which, joined with life membership of ABODA, sees him as one of the most esteemed members of that association.

Dr Hultgren’s most recent academic position was as Head of Open Conservatorium, Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University where he lectured in conducting and instrumental music education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and conducted the Queensland Conservatorium Wind Orchestra. He currently holds an adjunct position at QCGU supervising postgraduate candidates in composition, conducting and music education. Prior to his QCGU residence he held a position at the Queensland University of Technology also lecturing in conducting and instrumental music education and conducted the Queensland University of Technology Wind Symphony.

As well as his tenure with the Central Band of the RAAF, Dr Hultgren also played with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Brass Choir and as a freelance musician for the theatre, opera, cabaret and recording studio. In a career spanning four decades has seen Dr Hultgren conduct across the globe. On many occasions he premiered or presented his own works and has been commissioned to compose new pieces by organisations and ensembles worldwide. His compositional output has been awarded, published, recorded and used in radio and television and his works have been featured in the concert and recording programs of ensembles from professional orchestras to beginner bands.

Composing and conducting are his preeminent musical activities today yet he considers teaching as that which has captured his heart most fully – along with the children and grandchildren who inhabit his life. Dr Hultgren loves to read, to immerse himself in listening to fine music of all genres and to spend time leading the men’s group in his church.

Aaron Graham

Aaron Graham is an award-winning composer, performer, and educator. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Percussion Performance from the University of Kentucky, and a Master’s degree at the University of British Columbia, where he is currently a Doctoral Fellow. As an emerging composer, Aaron won the 2014 PAS International Percussion Composition Contest with his percussion ensemble piece “Sleeping Bear”. Aaron’s works have been performed across the US and Canada, by professional and university ensembles alike. He has also travelled all over North and South America playing drum set, percussion, and singing with various pop, rock, and country groups. An active educator, his teachings and reviews have been published in Percussive Notes magazine, The Instrumentalist, the International Journal of Music and Performing Arts, and at The National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy. He resides in Vancouver, BC with his wife Kelly, where he teaches music courses at UBC, and music theory courses at the Salina Cheng Music Academy.

Dr. Adam Jonathan Con (UVic)

Dr. Adam Jonathan Con is well known to BCMEA as a leader and champion for music education for all in British Columbia. He has 15 years of experience teaching choir, band, Orff, Dalcroze and Kodaly in public and private K-12 music education settings within BC and 15 years of higher education experience preparing future music educators in the United States and Canada. Currently, he serves as Assistant Professor of Music at University of Victoria School of Music teaching elementary music methods, foundations of music education, choral conducting, choral rehearsal techniques and literature, middle and elementary choral methods, conducting the UVic Chorus and supervising music education students.

Ai Horton

Ai Horton is currently in her third year of the Secondary Music Education Program at the University of Victoria. Although voice is her primary instrument of study (under the tutelage of Benjamin Butterfield and Susan Young), Horton began her musical journey as an instrumentalist in school music programs, graduating from Belmont Secondary in 2015. In her graduating year, she was awarded the BCMEA Honour Ensembles scholarship in the category of Concert Choir. In addition to her university studies, Horton is also an active member of the Girl Guides of Canada, working with Brownies (girls ages 6-8) amongst whom she is known as “Acorn Owl”.

Dr. Anita Prest (UVic)

Anita Prest is Assistant Professor of Music Education in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction in the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria. She completed her PhD in Curriculum Studies (Music Education) at UBC in 2014. Her dissertation is entitled The growth and contributions of bridging social capital to rural vitality via school-community music education partnerships. She has published in Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education, The Journal of Research in Rural Education, The Canadian Music Educator, The Michigan Music Educator, and The Japanese Journal of Music Education Research. Anita taught elementary and secondary music for over 20 years in rural and metropolitan settings. She co-founded the Music Under the ‘K’ Festival, a school-community music education festival that operated for 10 years in the community of Keremeos, and is currently on the board of the BC Coalition for Music Education. She can be reached at

Charmaine Liu

Charmaine Liu holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and an Associate Diploma in Performance and Piano Pedagogy from the Victoria Conservatory of Music.  She is presently completing her Masters of Education degree at UBC and is a Graduate Research Assistant to Dr. Anita Prest and Dr. Scott Goble.  Charmaine has dedicated herself to music education for more than ten years and has worked with the communities of Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby, and Coquitlam.  She currently holds teaching positions as an early childhood music educator and teaches piano and music theory at the British Columbia Conservatory of Music, the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, and the community centres in Burnaby.  Her research interests include multicultural music education and the development of community music programs.

Craig Thomson (Yamaha Canada)

Craig Thomson is a multiple award-winning saxophonist, educator, and businessman currently based in the beautiful Okanagan region of British Columbia. Through his dedication to the arts and music education, Craig’s students have earned numerous national and international honours over the past decade, including AAAA victories at The Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival, over a dozen positions in the MusicFest Canada honour jazz ensembles, and top-tier scholarships to major Canadian universities from coast to coast.

Raised in an area of BC long known for its top-quality music programs, Craig was inspired by his teachers at an early age to pursue a career in both music performance and music education, leading to study at Grant McEwan University in Edmonton, Capilano University in Vancouver and the University of British Columbia.

For the past ten years, Craig has been the coordinator for the B.C. Interior Jazz Festival, an annual three-day educational event that brings together approximately 1500 students from around Canada and the United States and connects them with the expertise of North America's finest music professionals. As of the 2018 festival year, Craig will become the festival’s Artistic Director.

In 2011, Craig also founded the weekly “Live at 5” Jazz Jam, which has been an invaluable training ground for the Okanagan’s young jazz students. This popular event allows students to perform in front of a large, enthusiastic audience for two hours every week.

As well as promoting music education on a local and national level, Craig is an extremely busy and in-demand performer and session musician. In 2012, his solo debut CD of all-original compositions “Bright Beginnings” garnered much acclaim and is used on various jazz radio stations, including the CBC. In 2017, Craig returned to the studio to record another album of original music, this time collaborating with local professionals and a few of Canada’s finest student players. The album, “The Logistician”, is due to be released in late 2017.

Craig is proud to be a Yamaha artist. He performs on the YTS 82ZUL (WOF) II tenor sax, the YAS 82ZUL alto sax, and YSS 82ZS soprano sax.

Dr. Daniel Tones (KPU)

Daniel Tones is an award-winning percussionist equally committed to fostering creative development in aspiring musicians. He has performed with internationally recognized percussionists Bob Becker, Aiyun Huang, Morris Palter, and Steve Schick, given concerts across Canada, the United States, Asia, and the United Kingdom, and has been broadcast nationally on radio and television. Daniel studied with Salvador Ferreras, Russell Hartenberger, and John Rudolph, and was the first person to receive a doctorate in percussion performance from a Canadian university.

Daniel is widely recognized for his work as a contemporary percussionist in the fields of solo and chamber-ensemble performance. Recent highlights include solo tours in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States; performances at Birmingham’s BEAST FEaST, the Vancouver New Music Festival, the Ojai Festival, and the Banff Summer Arts Festival; recitals in major international venues such as the Barbican’s Milton Court Concert Hall in London, England; and guest appearances with the TorQ percussion quartet.

Global drumming traditions first drew Daniel to percussion. He studied frame drumming, West African drumming and dance, Balinese gamelan, and Cuban percussion with master musicians, and performed professionally in salsa ensembles for over 10 years. As a graduate student he developed a passion for orchestral music, and for ten seasons performed as the Principal Percussionist of the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed with the Toronto, Vancouver, and Victoria symphonies, the CBC Vancouver Radio Orchestra, and the Vancouver Opera.

Daniel is also a successful arts administrator dedicated to the development of the performing arts in Canada and abroad. He serves on the Board of Directors for the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and is a member of the Percussive Arts Society’s International Committee. Some of his most significant contributions to the performing arts locally and regionally came through his work as the Music Program Coordinator for the District of West Vancouver. In this role he designed and implemented a vibrant array of private and group music lessons, summer camps, drama, and musical theatre classes. Under Daniel’s leadership from 2009 to 2017, enrollment in these programs grew from 70 students to 270, and his instructional team expanded from three to 18.

Daniel teaches at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and leads Vancouver’s Contemporary Percussion Intensive. He is a Yamaha artist-educator and Sabian endorser, and provides workshops regularly to students across Canada and abroad. In recent years he was the Percussion Coach for the Canadian Wind Orchestra, the National Youth Band of Canada, and the Prairie Music Residency.

Dr. Tones is the recipient of fellowships from the University of Toronto, the Government of Ontario, and the University of British Columbia, and individual grants or awards from the British Columbia Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Vancouver Foundation, the Fund for the Arts on the North Shore, and the SOCAN Foundation

Don Bennett

Don Bennett has been a music educator for over 30 years, most of those at the high school level. His schools’ concert bands, jazz bands and choirs have performed frequently in provincial and national music festivals, receiving excellent reviews. Students of his have been regularly selected for Provincial and National Honour Bands and Choirs, and several have been chosen to participate in the American High School Honours Performance Series ensembles, performing in Carnegie Hall. Dozens of former students have pursued careers as professional musicians and/or music teachers, but he is most gratified when he hears of many more who have continued to be involved in musical activities for leisure and recreation.

Don has held long-time memberships in the BC and Canadian Music Educators’ Associations as well as several other professional music education organizations. He has served on the executive of the BCMEA and the Pacific Coast Music Festivals Association, and has presented workshops for teachers on brass pedagogy, instrumental music teaching, assessment and conducting. He has been the Fine Arts Coordinator for the Kamloops Thompson School District for the past four years.

Completing a BMus degree as a trombonist at the University of British Columbia, and a MEd degree at the University of Victoria with a major in instrumental conducting, Don has also been active as a performer. He has played with orchestras throughout the province, from Vancouver to Prince George, and has performed regularly with brass and jazz ensembles. Principal trombonist of the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra for 26 years, he stepped down in 2014 to pursue other opportunities. He is currently assistant conductor of the Kamloops Brandenburg Orchestra and the Kamloops Community Concert Band, and is the musical director of the Thompson Valley Orchestra for their December 2017 program.

Dr. Edward Higgins (Portland State University)

Dr. Edward Higgins began his versatile performance career with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra in Spoleto, Italy, where he served as Principal Trumpet on such works as the Grammy-winning recording of Samuel Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra.  After two seasons Dr. Higgins went on to hold the Principal Trumpet position of the Sacramento Symphony.  He achieved comparable accolades in the Midwest as a professional tubist, holding principal positions in the La Crosse Symphony and St. Joseph Symphony Orchestras.

His educational career has seen similar successes with brass pedagogy and conducting positions at: University of California Davis, California State University Sacramento, Winona State University in Minnesota, Washburn University in Kansas and Portland State University in Portland Oregon.  

Dr. Higgins is currently Associate Professor of Music at Portland State University.  For over a decade, he held the position of Director of Bands before moving into the area of Distance Learning.  He also serves as Orchestra Conductor of the Portland Choir and Orchestra.  

Dr. Higgins is highly sought after as a conductor/clinician for state and regional honor ensembles.   He founded the Oregon Conductor’s Symposium and has been a featured guest with the Portland Festival Orchestra. Dr. Higgins served as the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Portland Wind Symphony transforming it into one of the premiere ensembles of its kind on the west coast.  Dr. Higgins’ more recent appearances have occurred in such diverse locales as New York’s La Guardia School of the Performing Arts  (featured in the motion picture, “Fame”) and the Conservatory of Music in Guangzhou, China.

On the concert stage, Higgins has collaborated with notable artists such as: Glenn Dicterow (Concertmaster, New York Philharmonic), Charles Schlueter (Principal Trumpet Emeritus, Boston Symphony), Ronald Baron (Principal Trombone Emeritus, Boston Symphony) and world-renowned trumpet soloist Carl “Doc” Severinsen.

Dr. Higgins holds a Doctorate in Conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in trumpet performance from the Juilliard School.

Dr. Gerald King (UVic)

Dr. Gerald King is Professor of Music at the University of Victoria where he serves as the conductor of the UVic Wind Symphony and is the Head of Music Education. Internationally recognized as one of Canada’s most respected conductors, adjudicators, educators, and keynote speakers, Dr. King is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. Some highlights include: In 2003 he was elected into the prestigious American Bandmasters Association, when he served as Guest Conductor of The United States Army Band (Pershing’s Own), in Washington, DC; In 2012, he received the BC Music Educators’ Association Honorary Life Award; and, in September 2015 he was inducted as an Honorary Member of the Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy.

A former student of internationally renowned conductor, Maestro Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Dr. King’s professional career has taken him throughout Canada, the United States, Great Britain, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Japan, Mexico, Hong Kong, Australia, and Switzerland. Dr. King’s conducting appearances with regional, national, international honor and professional ensembles have been praised for performance quality, artistry, and creativity.

Dr. King has held a number of administrative positions during his career: Visual and Performing Arts Department Head in three British Columbia High Schools and Vice-Principal in one High School; Head and Founder of the Yukon Summer School of Music, Art and Dance; Director of the School of Music at the University of Victoria (2004-2012).

Hector Vazquez

Hector Vazquez is originally from Naolinco, Mexico and is a PhD student in Educational Studies at UVic. Currently, he is in the second year of his program under Dr. Anita Prest´s supervision. His dissertation will address the embedding of music with Indigenous roots into Mexico’s national elementary curriculum. Hector holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance (Universidad Veracruzana) and a Master’s in Education (Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education). He is a violinist with the Universidad Veracruzana Orquestra Universitaria de Música Popular, and he has performed in various places in North America and Europe with different ensembles. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the Mateo Oliva Oliva Non- profit Association and the Founder and Director of the Festival Internacional de Música Naolinco, both of which aim to encourage equal access to music and music education.

Helen Van Spronsen

Discovering the Kodály teaching methodology while living and teaching in London, UK, Helen Van Spronsen studied at the Kodály Pedagogical Institute in Kecskemét, Hungary, in 1996–1997. She pursued further study in Kodály methodology through the British Kodály Academy, the Kodály School of London, and summer study at the Kodály Pedagogical Institute. Helen has presented workshops in her native New Zealand as well as in the UK and Canada, most recently teaching Methodology and Music Literature at the University of Victoria’s Summer Kodály Institute. Helen has a background in ethnomusicology, clarinet performance and choral conducting, and has performed in internationally acclaimed choirs such as the New Zealand National Youth Choir, the Holst Singers (London, UK) and the Kecskeméti Pedagogus Korus (Hungary). More locally, she has directed the Whistler Singers and taught Kodály Musicianship to adult musicians of Pemberton, where she teaches K-4 music and three choirs at Signal Hill Elementary School.

Jake Autio

Jake Autio (BMus, BEd, MMus, Kodály Certified, Orff Level 1) is a musician educator in Campbell River School District. He is an avid Kodály-inspired teacher and is the current president of the BC Kodály Society and the editor of Alla Breve, the official journal of the Kodály Society of Canada. Jake has studied Kodály-inspired teaching and philosophy in Edmonton, Victoria, Seattle, and Kecskemét, Hungary where he became acquainted with the teachings of Klára Kokas. Jake loves conducting and singing with Island Voices Chamber Choir and enjoys playing his euphonium.  

Jeff Weaver

Jeff Weaver is the Director of Bands at Oak Bay High School. He holds a bachelor of Music from the University of Victoria and a Master of Arts from Sam Houston State University. Jeff is a recipient of the Premiers Award for Teaching Excellence in British Columbia. He is the Past President of the British Columbia Music Educators Association and is a Director for the Coalition for Music Education in British Columbia. Jeff believes that all students have the capacity to make music and that schools are complete with strong Fine Arts Performance programs.

Jennica Alpaugh

Jennica Alpaugh currently teaches 3-7 music, choir and classroom integration at Beattie School of the Arts in Kamloops, B.C. She recently completed her Orff Level 3 with Doug Goodkin at the San Francisco Orff School and has completed her first 40 hours of study in Dalcroze Eurhythmics. Jennica’s background in dance and group based preschool music inspired her to explore the link between music and movement education. She is passionate about making dance education accessible to music and classroom teachers and frequently presents to her local chapter. Jennica can be contacted at jalpaugh@sd73.

Kevin Hamlin (Yamaha Canada)

Recently retired, Kevin Hamlin has been appointed to be Yamaha’s first Educator-in-Residence.  (See ) Kevin’s near 30-year career highlighted some of the highest music student retention rates in Canada.

Arts Department Leader and Music Department Head at Collingwood Collegiate for 29 years, building one of the largest and most diverse programs in the province of Ontario.

National Level Adjudicator: MusicFest Canada Nationals and other Regional Festivals across the country.

Awarded Keith Mann Outstanding Band Director (2015) by MusicFest Canada National governing body.  This award is given to only one music teacher chosen from across the country each year.

Regular presenter at Ontario Music Educator’s Conference on a wide range of topics.

Guest speaker at University B. Music programs, Faculties of Education, School Board workshops.

Workshop clinician for school Boards and individual schools.

Completely versed in all aspects of program development, class pedagogy, rehearsal techniques, and Festival preparation.

Effective communicator in front of audiences of any size.

Awarded Collingwood Arts Award (2015)

Awarded Order of Collingwood (2016)

Chosen as Yamaha Music Canada’s first Educator-In-Residence, working across the country adjudicating band festivals, providing Board wide workshops, and individual school based clinics.

Laine Longton

Laine Longton received her Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Victoria in 2010 and received her Masters of Music in Performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2012.  She has studied in with renowned teachers including Gail O'Riordan, Pamela Highbaugh Aloni (at Uvic), Martin Rummel (in Germany), Denes Zsigmoundy (in Hungary and Germany), and Dmitry Kouzov (at U of I).  Ms. Longton is currently a Doctoral Candidate (ABD) studying under Professor Eric Wilson at the University of British Columbia.

Ms. Longton has been Director of Strings at the UBC Summer Music Institute since 2014.  She has been teaching for 10 years as a private cello teacher, has given clinics to string programs from Victoria, and has been involved in TV as a music coach and teacher.  She is currently the junior cello teacher at Saint James Music Academy as well as a cello teacher throughout Metro Vancouver and the Contemporary Players Teaching Assistant at UBC.  She is an active performer as both a soloist and as an orchestral musician in the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra and as a core member of the Vancouver Island Symphony.

Larry Dureski

Larry Dureski is an experienced Music specialist currently teaching General Music and Band in Cranbrook, B.C. He holds a degree in Music from the University of Victoria and a Master of Education degree from Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. In addition to his teaching duties, he operates a band instrument repair shop that serves the needs of his community. Larry's interests include composing music for Concert and Jazz Bands as well as developing teaching resources in the field of Music Education.

Mark Reid (Conn-Selmer)

Mark Reid is currently on secondment to the Ministry of Education where he is leading the development of a Music Education Strategy for British Columbia. In the past year he served as Arts Education Officer for the Ministry, now serving as coordinator for the Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies curriculum. He is the former Director of Bands & Choirs at Vancouver Technical School, Past-President of the Canadian Music Educators’ Association, a JUNO Award recipient as 2013 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year, and a Top 50 Finalist for the Global Teacher Prize. He has led professional development programming at the International Summit on the Teaching Profession and is a sessional instructor at VanderCook College of Music. Mark and his students have participated in the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games and had the privilege of performing with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Foster the People, and Vancouver Opera. His arrangements are published by Tempo Press and Grand Mesa Music. Mark is a member of the Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN).

Melissa McKnight and Tina Horwood

Melissa McKnight

Melissa McKnight completed her Bachelor’s of Music in Secondary Music Education at the University of Victoria graduating with distinction.  She currently teaches the strings and choral programs at Cedar Hill Middle School in Victoria, B.C.  Mrs. McKnight specializes in choral music having sung in honor choirs and traveled internationally to choral festivals from the age of eight.  She also studied strings for 12 years, beginning with the violin at age 3 and later the double bass.  Mrs. McKnight is the founder and director of a local vocal jazz ensemble, Vocal Jazz Expressions.  She is also highly involved with the district’s honor ensemble, Island Ukuleles and founded the very successful “Little Ukers” program for primary students.

Tina Horwood

Tina Horwood completed her Bachelor’s of Education in Secondary Education with a double major in math and music at the University of Victoria graduating with distinction.  Tina has been teaching music in the Greater Victoria School District for 25 years.  After having her twin boys (children # 3 and 4), Tina became an itinerant strings teacher teaching programs at multiple schools within the district.  Tina’s strings programs developed students into award winning young musicians who were taught to always strive for excellence.  Currently, Tina teaches three vocal jazz groups at Oak Bay Secondary, along with math and calculus.  Tina is also the Musical Director for School District 61’s “Island Ukuleles”.

Michael Beauclerc (Yamaha Canada)

Michael Beauclerc has established a diverse and exciting career as a professional drummer, percussionist, composer, and author in Canada. He is also a busy marching percussion clinician for Yamaha Music Canada, having performed over 200 clinics from coast to coast. Currently, Michael is the Executive Director of the Canadian Drumline Association, and the Editor in Chief of Drumline Magazine. Michael is also the percussion head of the St. Michael's College School Drumline in Toronto ON, Oak Ridge Percussion in Colborne ON, Trinity College School Drumline in Port Hope ON, and a consultant and composer for several additional scholastic drumlines. His books “The Mad Practice Pad” and “Developing Modern Drumlines” have become the literal foundations for Canadian drumlines and marching percussion instructors. Michael continues to be a busy performer as a drummer, hand percussionist, and singer. Michael Beauclerc is an Artist/Clinician for Yamaha Percussion, Vic Firth sticks & Mallets, Sabian cymbals, and REMO drumheads. For more information, please visit

Michael Perkins

Michael Perkins has been a music educator and professional musician for over 40 years in both the public and private school systems. Having recently retired from teaching, Michael continues to be an active performer, clinician and adjudicator.  Mr. Perkins taught secondary school and directed many award-winning performances.

Michael currently performs as a freelance trumpet player, clinician and adjudicator, working recently with the Okanagan Symphony, Kamloops Symphony, Michael Garding Big Band, Bandidos Cervesas, Nicola Valley Community Band, JG Jazz Quintet, Kelowna Kiwanis Music Festival, Okanagan Concert Band Festival and the BC Interior Jazz Festival.

Milton Randall (Groove Masters Percussion)

Milton Randall began playing drums for socials and weddings at 13 years old. He received a B. Mus. Ed. from the University of Texas at El Paso (1985) and a n M. Ed. (Music) from the University of North Texas in 1995.

Between degrees, Milton performed with the Winnipeg Symphony and numerous jazz and pop music venues and taught in St. Boniface School District in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 1995, Milton studied with master drummer Godwin Agbeli in his home village of Kopeyia in Ghana on a scholarship from the University of North Texas.

Neil Hunter (Breezin' Thru)

BC native Neil Hunter holds a B. Mus degree from the University of British Columbia, where he studied trumpet and cello. After completing teacher training at UBC, Neil went on to a 31-year career as a classroom teacher and music specialist, teaching bands, orchestras and string ensembles.

A longtime user and fan of Breezin’ Thru Theory, Neil saw firsthand how the program improved his students’ knowledge of the subject while saving class time and letting his students have fun! Now part of the Breezin’ Thru team, Neil helps other teachers realize these benefits too. He also keeps his chops up as the Principal Trumpet of the Northumberland Orchestra in Cobourg, Ontario.

Patti Thorpe

Patti Thorpe (B.Mus, Dip.Ed Uvic) teaches choir, band and musical theatre at Langley Secondary School and co-directs the Langley Children’s Choir. She is a proud member and baritone section leader of Westcoast Harmony Chorus, current Region 26 champion chorus of Sweet Adelines International, and winner of the CMEA/SAI Music Educator Award in 2016. She owes all of her best moments to music in some form or other.

Paula Kremer

Born in Vancouver and educated at the Vancouver Academy of Music and the University of British Columbia, Paula Kremer has studied choral conducting in courses and workshops at Eton, Westminster Choir College, the Eastman School of Music and the University of Michigan. She has also been a vocal student of Phyllis Mailing, Bruce Pullan and Laura Pudwell.

In 1997, Kremer joined the faculty of Vancouver Community College’s School of Music, where she now is a full-time instructor of solfege, aural skills, concert choir and voice.  She has been the director of two Vancouver Bach Choir ensembles for young adults since 2008.

Paul Luongo

Paul Luongo is the musical director at the Abbotsford School of Integrated Arts – Sumas Mountain Campus. It is at ASIA that Luongo teaches middle school concert bands, from grades 6 to 8, as well as concert choir, jazz band, and vocal jazz ensembles. In addition to teaching full time music at the Abbotsford School of Integrated Arts, Luongo directs the Langley Senior A and B ukulele ensembles. Since taking over from his father, Peter Luongo, he has enjoyed the challenges and opportunities to continue to lead these ensembles  and is looking forward to the years ahead.

Robin Layne

Robin grew up in Victoria and had the good fortune of being mentored by renowned percussionist and educator Sal Ferreras. Robin fell in love with the sounds of Salsa and Latin percussion which led him to study at the LA Music Academy before moving to Vancouver.

Robin has become a regular fixture on the B.C. festival circuit, collaborating with a wide spectrum of folk and world artists.  His recent touring engagements have led him to Mexico, Italy, China, the U.S. and Canada.  He has followed his love of world music to Cuba, Guinea, Mali, and Mexico studying under master drummers and marimbists of those respective traditions. He currently performs with world music groups Locarno, Mazacote, Tambura Rasa, and The Robin Layne Band. He is in demand as a freelance percussionist for recordings, performances and tours. Recent highlights include working with Juno Award winning artists Quique Escamilla, The Paperboys, Donne Roberts (African Guitar Summit), Alpha Yaya Diallo, Celso Machado and Silk Road Music.

Equally at home on a festival stage or in a classroom, Robin strongly believes that the gift of music should be accessible to everyone. He is the senior percussion instructor at the Sarah McLachlan School of Music and the Artistic Director of the World Rhythms for Youth Society. In his spare time, Robin is working on his debut album set for release later this year.

Dr. Scott Goble (UBC)

Dr. Scott Goble is Associate Professor and Chair of Music Education at the University of British Columbia. Prior to his appointment at UBC in July 2000, he held faculty positions in music performance and music education at San Francisco State University, Boston University, and Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges. He completed the Ph.D. in Music: Music Education at the University of Michigan in 1999, having previously earned a M.M. in Conducting at the University of Washington (1985) and a B.A. magna cum laude in Music Education at Seattle Pacific University (1979). He began his career as a choral and instrumental music teacher in public schools near Seattle, Washington.

Dr. Goble has authored journal articles and book chapters on music education philosophy and history, music cognition and semiotics, and music and media issues. He served as event coordinator for the MayDay Group of critical theorists in music education (2002-2008) (see, and he is presently Co-Chair of the International Society for Music Education (ISME) Commission on Policy: Culture, Education, and Media (2006-2012) (see

At UBC, Dr. Goble teaches undergraduate courses in Choral Pedagogy, Curriculum and Instruction in Music in Secondary Schools, and Conducting and Rehearsal Techniques. On the graduate level, he teaches Theory and Principles of Music Education (History and Philosophy), Advanced Conducting and Rehearsal Techniques, Introduction to Research Methodologies, and special topics courses in his fields of research specialization. He also supervises work of M.Ed., M.A., and Ph.D. students.

In addition to his research and teaching, Scott Goble is a conductor of choirs and orchestras, performing in educational, professional, church, and community contexts throughout North America, and he often serves as a guest conductor and clinician. Choral ensembles under his leadership have won regional, national, and international awards.

Steven Maddock

Over the years, Steve Maddock has come to be known as one of Western Canada’s most versatile vocal talents. In addition to his extensive body of work as a jazz and pop performer and recording artist, he’s been a soloist with The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, The Pacific Baroque Orchestra, The CBC Radio Orchestra, and The Dal Richards Jazz Orchestra, as well as being a featured artist on CBC Radio (Tonic, Hot Air, Disc Drive, The Early Edition, Choral Concert, Sound Like Canada). In 2010, Steve was a vocal contributor to both the opening and closing ceremonies of the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, and in 2015 was a featured vocalist (and Master of Ceremonies) at the Calgary Stampede’s Grandstand Show, Canadian Classic. As a chorister, his credits include The Vancouver Chamber Choir, Chor Leoni Men’s Choir, The Phoenix Chamber Choir, and Musica Intima, a self-directed, eight-voice ensemble, of which he is currently an active member.

Steve studied Jazz Voice at Capilano University, and has been on faculty at Capilano since 1996, teaching private voice, vocal masterclass, studio performance, vocal improvisation, ear training, sight singing, and small ensemble. He is currently completing a master’s thesis at York University, working towards his graduate degree in Jazz Musicology. As an adjudicator and clinician, Steve has worked with Musicfest Canada, The Envision Jazz Festival, The Rocky Mountain Jazz Festival, Powell River’s Jazz Summit, The Kiwanis Festival, The Mission Jazz Festival, The South Delta Jazz Workshop, The BC Interior Jazz Festival, The Whistler Music Festival, Sun Peaks Music Festival, The VSO Summer Jazz Workshop, BC Swing Camp, The Royal City Musical Theatre Company, and high schools too numerous to mention.

He studied acting at the University of Windsor, Ontario, and remains active as a stage performer. Recent theatre credits include High Society (Arts Club Theatre Company) The Fantasticks (Vancouver Playhouse), Jesus Christ Superstar (Stage West Calgary), and Disney’s Beauty And The Beast (Arts Club Theatre Company). On television, he has appeared on episodes of Smallville, Psych, Reaper and Stargate Atlantis.

Steve lives in Burnaby, BC, with his wife, singer/pianist Siri Olesen, and his two children, Aubrey and Kai.

Dr. Susan Brumfield (Hal Leonard)

Dr. Susan Brumfield is Professor of Music Education at Texas Tech University, and holds a Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Oklahoma. She is known throughout the United States and Europe as a clinician, consultant, author, composer, arranger and choral conductor. Dr. Brumfield is the author Jean Ritchie’sKentucky Mother Goose, a book and CD memoir with American folk legend Jean Ritchie, which features rare and never-before-seen illustrations by Maurice Sendak.

Other publications include Hot Peas and Barley-O: Children’s Songs and Games from Scotland and Over the Garden Wall: Children’s Songs and Games from England.  Dr. Brumfield is currently working on Giro Giro Tondo: Children’s Songs and Games from Italy. She is a contributing author for John Jacobson’s Music Express Magazine and McGraw Hill’s Music Studio.

An internationally recognized expert in the Kodály approach, Dr. Brumfield is the author of First, We Sing! Kodály-Inspired Teaching in the Music Classroom (Hal Leonard), a set of Kodály-based of curriculum and resource materials for K-5 music. This comprehensive series includes the Teacher’s Guide, Teaching Strategies for Primary Grades, Teaching Strategies for Intermediate Grades, Practice Activities for Rhythmic and Melodic Elements and First, We Sing: Songbooks One and Songbook Two. Forthcoming volumes include Songbook Three, Active Listening in the Music Classroom and Songs for Reading and Writing.  Other ancillary materials include applications for interactive whiteboard, student workbooks and classroom materials.

Founder and Artistic Director of The West Texas Children’s Chorus, Dr. Brumfield is also in frequent demand throughout the world as a commissioned composer and guest conductor. Her choral music is published with Hal Leonard Music, Colla Voce Music and BriLee/Carl Fischer, and includes more than forty titles. With four choirs consisting of singers from Kindergarten through college, the West Texas Children’s Chorus organization serves children throughout the South Plains area, and serves as a teaching lab for TTU Music Education students. In addition to performances with the Texas Tech University Choirs, the Lubbock Chorale and the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, the choirs have performed at the Texas Music Educators’ Conference, national conferences of the Organization of American Kodály Educators and the Amerian Orff Schulwerk Association, and has been featured in concerts at Carnegie Hall and other prestigious venues in NYC. The choir travels throughout the US on its bi-annual tours. For more information about The West Texas Children's Chorus, please visit

Dr. Brumfield was honored in both 2012 and 2014 with the Texas Tech University College of Visual and Performing Arts Award for Outstanding Research, and as a two-time finalist for the President’s Book Award. In 2015, Dr. Brumfield was the recipient of the Louisiana Tech University Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award.

Taylor Bone

Taylor Bone received her Bachelor of Music degree and teaching certificate from Uvic in 2006.  Taylor recently completed her Masters of Music in Choral Conducting with Graeme Langager at UBC. Taylor has worked for the past decade as a full time high school choir director at Point Grey Secondary in Vancouver, where she directed ensembles from grade 8 to 12 including concert choirs, chamber choirs, musical theatre, vocal jazz ensembles, women’s and men’s choirs. Taylor has had the opportunity to be  a clinician both locally and internationally, having spent some time in Namibia learning from and working with local high school choirs alongside Kokopelli’s Scott Leithead.  Taylor is mom to a 1 year old son, and this past summer, Taylor moved with her family to Lake Country, BC, and is currently working at KLO middle school teaching beginner band and grade 7 choir.

Victoria Zielke

Victoria Zielke is currently in her third year of music education at University of Victoria, studying voice under the tutelage of Benjamin Butterfield. To fill her spare time, Victoria enjoys directing a church children's choir as well as serving as treasurer for the University of Victoria Student Music Educator's Association.  

Willi Zwozdesky

Willi Zwozdesky (MA/MMus) has served as Executive Director of the British Columbia Choral Federation (BCCF) since 2005. He shares a virtual office with three contractors, and works with a 28-member province-wide board of directors and number of other volunteer who serve on BCCF committees. Willi’s background in arts management includes training at the Banff Centre School of Management and Simon Fraser University as well as management positions with Judith Marcuse Dance Projects Society and Expo Corporation.

Along with his career in arts administration, Willi Zwozdesky is widely-known for his work as a choral conductor, clinician, arranger, publisher, and producer. Since moving to Vancouver in 1981, he has established himself as a leader in the city’s cultural community, and undertook the development of the voice of the Vancouver Men’s Chorus (VMC). Under his direction for the past thirty-six years, the VMC has distinguished itself internationally.  

Zwozdesky’s long-term dedication to choral music has been recognized with both a Legacy Award from GALA Choruses and a Willan Award from the British Columbia Choral Federation for outstanding service to the province’s choral community. Through his work with the BCCF, he is also a board member of Choral Canada – the Association of Canadian Choral Communities, and the Vancouver Choral Centre Society.

Beth Tuinstra

Beth Tuinstra is a graduate student at the University of Victoria and Research Assistant to Dr. Anita Prest. For her Master’s of Arts, Beth is researching the inclusion of non-Western music education in BC kindergarten to grade twelve schools. Beth has been a recipient of the SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship – Master’s Level, along with the UVic President’s Research Scholarship. Beth currently teaches elementary music at James Bay Community School and also teaches Music in the Elementary Classroom I at the University of Victoria. Beth is an executive member of the Association of Graduate Education Students at the University of Victoria. In addition to her research, teaching, and volunteer work, Beth is a member of Victoria’s African hand drumming ensemble – Victoria Percussion Orchestra.

Rhude - Treble - Hill

Horwood - McKnight

Diana Clark

Diana Clark is Artistic Director of Coastal Sound Music Academy, a multi-level choral organization based in Coquitlam. With an eclectic background that includes a Master’s Degree in Music Performance and a Master of Music Education from Northwestern University, Diana is recognized for her creative work with young artists and has served as a clinician across Canada. She has been teaching music in schools for 24 years and offers a treasure-trove of ideas in her reading sessions that connect repertoire to curriculum and performance.

Diana has been a member of the BC Choral Mentorship Project since its inception. This grassroots professional development collective provides ongoing conducting and choral music studies with mentors Geoffrey Boers, Richard Nace and many others.

In 2015, Diana was the recipient of the national Experiences Canada Ambassador Award for exceptional leadership and dedication to youth through Experiences Canada’s Youth Exchanges programs.

She is proud to serve the Canadian choral community on the Board of Choral Canada, where she coordinated the first-ever national choral census. Results have just been released!

Erika Sinhuber

Erika Sinhuber graduated from The University of Victoria with a Bachelor's of Music major in voice and from the University of British Columbia - Okanagan with a Masters in Education in Teaching and Learning. Erika moved to the Okanagan in 2006 and worked at two middle schools in School District 23 before becoming the Senior Band Director at Dr. Knox Middle School in 2011. Her current teaching assignment is band 7, band 8, band 9, jazz band 8, jazz band 9, and choir 8 and 9. All music classes at Dr. Knox occur within the timetable with the exception of any small ensembles which run outside of the regular schedule. Erika's ensembles have been recognized at the local Kiwanis Choral and Band festivals, as well as at the British Columbia Jazz Festival. She is currently the secretary of the Central Okanagan Music Educators' Association. Erika continues to perform with Opera Kelowna and study voice under the direction of Alexandra Babbel. She is a football wife and mother to a three-year-old. In her spare time she enjoys yoga and running.

Jarrett Schill

Originally from Kelowna, Jarrett attended Uvic (Bmus'99) and his principal instrument is the saxophone. While at Uvic he majored in secondary instrumental music education.  At Uvic he also acquired a fondness for choral singing through involvement with the Uvic Chamber Singers.  Since 2000, Jarrett has taught at Kamloops' Brocklehurst Secondary School ('01-'10) and afterwards in the newly re-organized Brocklehurst Middle School (grades 7-9) from 2010-present.  Jarrett teaches a full course load of music classes including two beginner bands, two intermediate bands, a beginner jazz and senior jazz band -off time table clubs, a mixed voice choir, treble voice choir and a life skills music class for exceptional learners. Brock's choirs perform at various care home facilities, at Blazer's hockey games (O'Canada), at the annual Wildlife Park 'Wildlight Festival' in addition to school and local festival performances. Brock's choral students also recently performed with 'Johnny Reid' when his tour stopped in Kamloops.  Brock's second year + bands jointly perform in the annual Santa Claus Parade in addition to local festivals and school performances. Brock's entire program takes an annual trip to perform at either the Sun Peaks or Whistler 'Cantando' festivals. Jarrett also enjoys singing in the tenor section and sits on the board of the Vivace Chorale Society (chamber choir), which rehearses regularly throughout the year under the direction of Cvetozar Vutev.  Jarrett continues to enjoy teaching saxophone privately on a weekly basis and is at times called on to perform with his saxophone for the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra or as accompaniment with local choirs.  Jarrett is most importantly supported by a caring wife who thankfully understands what it means to be married to a music educator.

Dr. Joel Tranquilla (TWU)

Dr. Joel Tranquilla is a conductor and music educator noted for his versatile musicianship and creative programming. As the Director of Choral Activities at Trinity Western University he oversees a program of six choirs and teaches various other courses within the School of the Arts, Media + Culture. In addition to his work at TWU, Joel is the Conductor of the Valley Festival Singers in Abbotsford and the award-winning Coastal Sound Youth Choir in Coquitlam. He is also the Associate Conductor of the Canadian Chamber Choir and has performed extensively with that ensemble since 2007. In high demand as an adjudicator and clinician across the country, Joel is a past Guest Conductor of the New Brunswick Youth Choir and the Manitoba Provincial Honour Choir and was the Assistant Conductor of the 2012 National Youth Choir. He holds degrees from Mount Allison University, the University of Michigan, and Michigan State University where his doctoral research was in the area of Canadian choral-orchestral works.

​Sergei Ryga

Sergei Ryga currently teaches concert band, choir, commercial music (composition) and R and B band at George Elliot Secondary School in Lake Country, BC. The school of 845 students currently enrols some 350 students in its various groups, up from the 187 students he encountered upon his arrival there 14 years ago. Many factors accounted for the growth in the program, but Sergei's passion for inclusion and innovation are clearly at the forefront. Sergei holds a Masters degree in curriculum development and has implemented many initiatives at George Elliot that have led to success in enrolment, retention, and a high level of performance in concerts, festivals and performance tours. He looks forward to sharing with colleagues at this years BCMEA conference.

Amanda Randt

Amanda Randt has been teaching in the West Vancouver School District since 2014 and currently teaches K-7 Music, Grade 6/7 Band, Primary Choir and Grade 6/7 Choir. Since becoming the Band Teacher at Hollyburn Elementary School in 2015, she has developed an interest in incorporating technology as a tool for assessment and accountability in her beginner and intermediate bands. She is an avid ukulele player (past member of the Langley Ukulele Ensemble), Orff Schulwerk enthusiast and choral singer. In her spare time, Amanda sings with the Elektra Women’s Choir and teaches German as A Second Language to elementary-school children.

Zoltan Virag

Zoltan Virag holds a BMus (Ed) from the University of Victoria, and a MMusEd from the University of British Columbia. He is currently the director of bands at Sentinel Secondary School in the West Vancouver School District, where he has taught both at the elementary and secondary levels for over a decade. Zoltan is a pioneer in bringing digital literacy into the music classroom. He has presented at various conferences including the 2013 BC Superintendents Conference, the CMEA Conference in 2015, numerous times for the BCMEA, and he has delivered a TEDx Talk for TEDx WestVancouverEd in 2014. Since in 2015, Zoltan has also been teaching educational technology courses at the UBC Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy.

Felipe Sequeira

Felipe Sequeira completed his Bachelor of Music through the University of Victoria in 2000. He spent the next 14 years abroad in South Korea teaching English and Music as the Manager of School Operations for a BC Offshore School and Vice-president of the Korea Ukulele Music Association (KUMA) before returning to Canada in 2014 to complete his Bachelor of Education and Online Learning and Teaching Diploma / Master of Educational Leadership through Vancouver Island University. He has been teaching music in Comox at École Robb Road Elementary since 2016 as well as music and band at École au Coeur de l’île. Felipe has a wealth of experience in both instrumental and vocal performing ensembles.