Undergraduate Conducting Masterclass
Elise Naccarato with Michael Zaugg, 2016 National Youth Choir conductor
ABOUT THE UNDERGRADUATE CONDUCTING MASTERCLASS
This program is open to undergraduate students in music who have completed at least one year of choral conducting education. It will be conducted by Dr Hilary Apfelstadt, Professor Emeritus, U of Toronto. Ensemble: Exultate Chamber Singers.
HILARY APFELSTADT, CONDUCTOR
Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt is Professor Emerita at the University of Toronto where she held the Elmer Iseler Chair in Conducting. During her career, she has mentored many young conductors and served as advisor for nearly 90 graduate students, many of whom now hold significant positions as conductors and educators. She is a frequent clinician and guest conductor, and has directed multiple all-state choirs and festival choruses, including the 2014 National Youth Choir of Canada. From 2013–2018, she was Artistic Director of Exultate Chamber Singers in Toronto, premiering several works by Canadian composers. A prolific author, she has written about choral pedagogy, conducting leadership, and Canadian repertoire. Her book on Canadian composer Ruth Watson Henderson, I Didn’t Want It to Be Boring, won the Choral Canada publication award in 2018. A self-acknowledged introvert, she has learned how to accommodate this characteristic during her 40-year career.
Graduate Conducting Masterclass
ABOUT THE GRADUATE CONDUCTING MASTERCLASS
A project of Choral Canada's Student Chapter, this program is open to graduate students in conducting (Masters and Doctorate) and offers conductors the opportunity to work with the National Youth Choir of Canada and its Master Conductor, who in 2020 is Dr Jean-Sébastien Vallée.
JEAN-SÉBASTIEN VALLÉE, CONDUCTOR
Canadian-American conductor Jean-Sébastien Vallée is an internationally recognized conductor, scholar, and pedagogue. Dr. Vallée is Associate Professor of Music, Director of Choral Studies, and Coordinator of the Ensembles & Conducting Area at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University in Montréal. In addition, Maestro Vallée is Director of the renown choir of the church of St. Andrew & St. Paul in Montréal and Music Director of the Ottawa Choral Society. Prior to his appointment at McGill University, he served as Director of Choral Studies at California State University in Los Angeles and was on the choral faculty of the University of Redlands.
Ensembles under his direction have toured throughout Europe and North America, performed for the American Choral Directors Association and the California Music Educators conferences, and were awarded first and second places at the San Luis Obispo International Choral Competition in 2011. In 2015, Maestro Vallée was the runner-up for the American Prize in Choral Conducting. Dr. Vallée holds degrees from Laval University, Sherbrooke University, the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a doctorate in conducting from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
In addition to his interest in choral, operatic, and orchestra music, Jean-Sébastien Vallée is an advocate for contemporary music, making one of his priorities to premiere and commission works by young composers and program rarely performed repertoire. As a scholar, his research interests are varied and focus primarily on Renaissance French music, the oratorical works of Michael Tippett, and conducting pedagogy, more specifically the connection between audiation and gestural communication. Dr. Vallée has been invited to present his research at several national and international conferences in North America, Europe and Asia including the American Choral Directors Association Conventions, Festival 500 in Newfoundland, the National Collegiate Choral Organization conference, Podium – the national convention of Choral Canada, the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities, and the World Symposium on Choral Music (Spain in 2017 & New Zealand in 2020) .
Maestro Vallée’s work has been broadcast nationally and internationally by CBC Radio and PBS and can be heard on several recordings, including his recent albums entitled Lux (ATMA, 2017) and Requiem (ATMA, 2018).
Upcoming activities include concerts at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest, a tour with the National Youth Choir of Canada, guest conducting with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, a return to Carnegie Hall with the music of Howard Goodall, and lectures at the 12th World Symposium on Choral Music, in New Zealand.
Early Career Conducting Masterclass
ABOUT THE EARLY CAREER CONDUCTING MASTERCLASS
This program is open to emerging and established conductors and educators who would like to further develop their conducting technique. It will be conducted by Dr. Andrew Megill, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Choir ensemble TBC.
ANDREW MEGILL, CONDUCTOR
Andrew Megill is recognized as one of the finest chorus directors of his generation, and his repertoire, exceptionally vast, reaches from early to contemporary music. Andrew Megill has been chorus master of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal since the 2011-2012 season.
Maestro Megill’s has conducted, among others: The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and the OSM Chorus in Handel’s Messiah in December 2014.
Many large-scale works, including: Britten’s War Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Berlioz’s Damnation de Faust.
He has also prepared choruses for numerous orchestras, including:
The American Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonic, the National Symphony and the New York Philharmonic.
He has additionally worked with conductors of international renown, among them:
Pierre Boulez, Charles Dutoit, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Alan Gilbert, Kurt Masur and Kent Nagano.
Andrew Megill is director of choral activities at the University of Illinois.
He has also served as associate conductor and director of choral programs at the Carmel Bach Festival, and as artistic director of the ensemble Fuma Sacra. He has taught at Westminster Choir College and was guest conductor at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music.
The work of Andrew Megill has been broadcast by PRI and by the BBC, and can be heard on a number of recordings, including Jon Magnussen’s Psalm on Albany Records, Haydn Masses on the Naxos label and works by Caleb Burhans on Cantaloupe.
The position of chorus master is generously sponsored by Ms. F. Ann Birks in memory of Barrie Drummond Birks.