BANDS / BRASS / PERCUSSION       John Palmer
BANDS & WOODWIND      Bobbi Thompson
CHOIR - ELEMENTARY       Linda Beaupre
CHOIR - SECONDARY       Dr. Sarah Morrison
PIANO JUNIOR       Jennifer Smele
PIANO SENIOR       Dr. Thomas Green
PIANO SENIOR       Benjamin Smith
PIPE ORGAN      David Briggs
SPEECH ARTS      Andrea Gammon
STRING ORCHESTRA       Michael Ferguson
STRINGS - CELLO       Amber Ghent
STRINGS - HARP       Sharlene Wallace
STRINGS JUNIOR      Kelly Parkins-Lindstrom
STRINGS SENIOR      Dr. Rebecca Hunter
CANADA’S 150th BIRTHDAY     Jeff Christmas
CANADA’S 150th BIRTHDAY     Kim Lundberg
CANADA’S 150th BIRTHDAY     Linda Wharton

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John is the conductor of Orchestra Kingston and BrassWerks and plays bass trombone in the Kingston Symphony. He teaches low brass, and theory/harmony at St. Lawrence College, Kingston. He is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre, has been commissioned to compose for strings and has worked with young musicians to compose for Band. His arrangements and compositions for brass instruments are published by Solid Brass Music Inc. , and flute choir works by Nourse Wind Publications. His flute compositions have been performed at National Flute Association conventions and a recent composition, Flautista, won the NFA newly published music award for 2012. He was recently commissioned by the NFA to compose the opening "Fanfare 42" for their 2014 convention in Chicago. His original compositions and arrangements have won various awards and have been performed by large and small ensembles across North America. Many of his orchestral works were composed specifically for "Community Orchestras" and premiered by Orchestra Kingston.

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BANDS/WOODWINDS - Bobbi Thompson

Saxophonist Bobbi Thompson has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician in North America and Israel, and currently serves as Assistant Professor of saxophone at Western University in London, Ontario. She is a passionate proponent of contemporary music who performs frequently with guitarist Ariel Kasler. Together, the Thompson-Kasler Duo is working to expand the repertoire for saxophone and electric guitar through commissioning and performance projects. She has also performed with a wide range of organizations including Orchestra London (Canada), Irving Symphony Orchestra, Plano Chamber Orchestra, Toronto Wind Orchestra, Dallas Jazz Orchestra, Grand Theatre (Canada), Drayton Entertainment, and the world-famous University of North Texas Lab Bands.

Outside of her role as a performer and educator, Dr. Thompson serves on the Editorial Board of the North American Saxophone Alliance's journal The Saxophone Symposium. She previously taught saxophone and chamber music at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. She holds the Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, graduate Music Certificate from Bowling Green State University, Master of Music Education from the University of North Texas, and Bachelor of Music in Instrumental Performance from the University of Idaho. Her research focuses on the saxophone music of American composer Marilyn Shrude.

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CHOIR - ELEMENTARY - Linda Beaupre

Conductor of award-winning choirs for over 30 years, Ms. Beaupre is the founder and conductor of the Bach Children's Chorus, which includes choristers from the age of six through university. Her choirs have won many first place awards at both the provincial and national levels of the Canadian Federation of Music Festivals, including the 2013 overall award for best choir. They have also been awarded first prize in the Children's Choir category of the CBC/Radio-Canada National Competition for Amateur Choir, most recently in 2015. The BCC has released several solo CDs, and have had many opportunities to work with Canadian composer, Stephan Moccio, including recording his song, "I Believe" for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

Linda Beaupré maintains an active schedule as clinician and adjudicator for other choirs and has conducted children's choir camps, workshops and honour choirs throughout Canada, in the US and as far away as Australia and Indonesia.

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CHOIR - SECONDARY - Dr. Sarah Morrison

Dr. Sarah Morrison maintains an active career as a choral conductor, music educator, and performer. She is celebrating her tenth season as the Artistic Director of the Oakville Children’s Choir, a vibrant seven-choir organization focused on building leadership and community through singing. She is also the Choral Director and Curriculum Chair of the Arts Department at Appleby College in Oakville where she has taught vocal music for 15 years. Her choirs have been recorded by CBC radio and have won awards at both the national and international level including a Gold Medal at the 8th World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia. Dr. Morrison is known for her energy and creativity in working with young voices. She writes the Youth Choir column for Choral Canada’s Anacrusis and served the board of Choirs Ontario as the Vice-President for two years. Dr. Morrison sang soprano with the JUNO-nominated Canadian Chamber Choir for the past decade and is active as a conference presenter and guest conductor across Canada.

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PIANO JUNIOR - Jennifer Smele, M.Mus., B.Mus., A.Mus., A.R.C.T., R.M.T.

Jennifer is very active in the Brampton music community as both a performer and teacher. She holds her Master's degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Toronto where she studied with master piano pedagogue Dr. Midori Koga. Prior to this, she completed her Bachelor of Music (Education) at the University of Western Ontario, her A.R.C.T. Performer's diploma with the Royal Conservatory of Music, and her Associate Teaching diploma with Conservatory Canada. Throughout her studies, Jennifer was the recipient of several academic awards including the prestigious Ontario Graduate Scholarship.

Jennifer is an active member of the Royal Conservatory of Music's College of Examiners and runs a local professional studio where she offers piano and theory lessons in both Classical and Popular genres. She is a regular guest clinician at U of T, offering graduate student workshops on a variety of pedagogical topics and enjoys adjudicating music festivals throughout Ontario. Her workshop, "The Art of Teaching Transfer Students" has been received by O.R.M.T.A. groups with positive acclaim.

Jennifer is a versatile, professional vocal and instrumental accompanist and recording artist. She performs regularly at a variety of venues including nursing homes and churches throughout Ontario and was the Music Director at Trinity United Church in Shelburne, Ontario for several years.

Jennifer has pursued further studies in the field of Early Childhood Music Education under the direction of Mary Stouffer and collaborative piano studios with Dr. Chris Foley of Oakville, Ontario. She spent July 2013 completing a collaborative piano internship with Music Theatre Bavaria in Oberaudorf, Germany and recently pursued studies in the field mindfulness practice and performance with Madeline Bruser from New York.

Jennifer is currently excited to be pursuing studies in the field Dalcroze Eurythmics, combining her passions for movement, music and improvisation. In her spare time, she loves to ballroom dance.

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PIANO SENIOR - Dr. Thomas Green

Thomas Green is currently Chief Examiner and Pedagogy Specialist at The Royal Conservatory. He has conducted examinations and workshops on behalf of The Royal Conservatory and adjudicated at music festivals across North America. A former Editor-in-Chief of The Frederick Harris Music Company, he holds a Bachelor's degree from McGill University, a Master's in Performance from the Université de Montréal and a Ph.D. in Music History from Brandeis University, where he completed a dissertation on the compositional process of Jean-Philippe Rameau. His piano teachers included Clifford Poole in Toronto and Yvonne Hubert in Montreal.

Dr. Green has taught music history at McGill University and The University of Toronto and for many years served as an instructor in music history and theory at The University of Windsor. Dr. Green currently teaches piano, music history and harmony in his private studio and at the Académie Ste Cécile in Windsor and facilitates online courses in Piano Pedagogy for The Royal Conservatory's Teacher Certification program.

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PIANO SENIOR - Benjamin Smith

Described as a "thoughtful and immensely exciting performer" with "scintillating technique" (Barrie Examiner), pianist Benjamin Smith has performed as soloist and chamber musician across both Canada and the United States. He has been a laureate of numerous competitions, including the Dublin International Piano Competition, the Virginia Waring International Piano Competition, and the CMC Stepping Stone Competition. Guest appearances include the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra, the New Juilliard Ensemble, the Ontario Philharmonic, Orchestra London, Symphony-on-the-Bay, the Windsor Symphony, and the University of Toronto Hart House Orchestra. As soloist he has performed under esteemed conductors, including Rossen Milanov and Marco Parisotto among others, with concertos including rarities such as the Schoenberg Piano Concerto. Festival appearances include Toronto Summer Music, Banff Summer Arts, Stratford Summer Music, and Music Niagara. American performances include recitals for the Texas Chopin Society and Chicago's Landowska Harpsichord Society, as well a world premiere for the Long Leaf Opera Festival in Raleigh, NC. Recent highlights include a recital in Carnegie's Weill Hall with Canadian cellist Dongkyun An, as well as multiple recitals with acclaimed violinist Martin Beaver (Tokyo String Quartet). The upcoming season includes a return trip to Carnegie, as soloist in Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue in Zankel Hall, on tour with the Hart House Orchestra. Recordings currently in production include a disc of new cello transcriptions with Mr. An, and an album of newly-commissioned chamber works featuring Native flute, featuring Grammy-nominated virtuoso Ron Korb.

Devoting considerable time to chamber music, Ben has been heard nationally in Canada on CBC Radio 2 and Toronto's Classical 96.3. He has partnered in recital with renowned artists including Colin Carr, Jacques Israelievitch, Joaquin Valdepeñas, Wolfgang Redik (formerly of the Vienna Piano Trio), Bartosz Bryla, Mark Fewer, Bonnie Hampton, and William VerMeulen, as well as with ensembles such as the Annex and Cecilia string quartets. For two seasons he performed as one-third of the Israelievitch-Smith-Ahn piano trio. Involved with music of our time as well, he is a regular member of the Esprit Orchestra in Toronto, and has worked under prominent conductors Joel Sachs, Steven Schick, and Werner Herbers, as well as with composers John Corigliano, Reinaldo Moya, and Chandler Carter.

Dr. Smith currently resides in Toronto, working as a lecturer, coach, and collaborator for the Glenn Gould School (GGS) and the Taylor Young Artist Academy at the RCM. Previously, he held a position on the piano faculty at the University of Western Ontario, and has also served as an undergraduate piano instructor for the Department of Music at Stony Brook University. His principal teachers include Andrea Battista, James Anagnoson, Julian Martin, and Christina Dahl. Along with a DMA from Stony Brook University, he holds a Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto, an Artist Diploma from the GGS, and a Masters from The Juilliard School.

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PIPE ORGAN - David Briggs

David Briggs is an internationally renowned organist whose performances are acclaimed for their musicality, virtuosity, and ability to excite and engage audiences of all ages. Master of an extensive repertoire spanning five centuries, he is known across the globe for his brilliant organ transcriptions of symphonic music by composers such as Mahler, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Elgar, Bruckner, Ravel, and Bach. Fascinated by the art of Improvisation since a child, David also frequently performs improvisations to silent films such as Phantom of the Opera, Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Nosferatu, Jeanne d’Arc, Metropolis, as well as a variety of Charlie Chaplin films.

At the age of 17, David obtained his FRCO (Fellow of the Royal College of Organists) diploma, winning all the prizes and the Silver Medal of the Worshipful Company of Musicians. From 1981-84 he was the Organ Scholar at King’s College, Cambridge University, during which time he studied organ with Jean Langlais in Paris. The first British winner of the Tournemire Prize at the St Albans International Improvisation Competition, he also won the first prize in the International Improvisation Competition at Paisley. Subsequently David held positions at Hereford, Truro and Gloucester Cathedrals. He is currently Artist-in-Residence at St James Cathedral, Toronto.

David’s schedule includes more than 60 concerts a year, spanning several continents. Deeply committed to making organ music vibrant for future generations, he enjoys giving pre-concert lectures designed to make organ music more accessible to audiences. In addition, he teaches at Cambridge (UK), frequently serves on international organ competition juries, and gives masterclasses at colleges and conservatories across the U.S. and Europe.

David Briggs is also a prolific composer and his works range from full scale oratorios to works for solo instruments. He has recorded a DVD, and 30 CDs, many of which include his own compositions and transcriptions. For more information, Please visit:

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SPEECH ARTS - Andrea Gammon

Andrea Gammon (BFA, BEd, MA, OCT) is past Director of Education at the Stratford Festival. Andrea received her BFA in Musical Theatre from the Boston Conservatory in Boston, MA, her BEd from the University of Western Ontario and her MA in Shakespeare Studies at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, England.

In addition to her experience as a performer, teacher, choreographer, director and workshop leader, she was the program director for the Stratford Festival’s education, outreach and enrichment activities for all patron interest groups including the Shakespeare School for students, the Teaching Shakespeare Program for teachers and multiple enrichment and Forum events for general audiences.

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STRING ORCHESTRA - Michael Ferguson

A graduate of the University of Toronto, Mike has spent 40 years in education as a teacher and administrator, teaching strings, vocal, keyboard and band in high schools in Toronto and Alliston.

Mike has been the Music Director of National Music Camp of Canada since 2002, having served on violin faculty for more than 20 years before that. He has served as a string adjudicator at numerous music festivals across southern Ontario, as a clinician at Ontario Music Educators' Association (OMEA) conferences and has authored articles for the OMEA Journal, The Recorder.

As a performer, Mike has played with many orchestras in southern Ontario. He is a past concertmaster and soloist with the East York Symphony in Toronto, first violinist of the Artemis String Quartet, and member of the Koffler Chamber Orchestra.

For the past 3 years, Mike has lectured in Orchestral Technique and String Pedagogy at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto.

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STRINGS - CELLO - Amber Ghent

Cellist Amber Ghent, a native of Petersburg, Ontario, started Suzuki cello lessons at age ten. She went on to earn a B.Music in Honours Performance from Wilfrid Laurier University where she studied with Paul Pulford and the Pendereki String Quartet. Amber began her M. Mus. In San Franciso with Bonnie Hampton, and completed it in Cleveland. While in Ohio, Amber was the assistant principle of the Erie Philharmonic, and taught Suzuki Cello at the Cleveland Music School Settlement.

Currently she is on faculty at the Suzuki String School of Guelph. In 2007, Amber joined the Madawaska String Quartet, who present highly diverse programming to audiences at home in Toronto, and abroad. Amber has also performed with a variety of ensembles in Southwestern Ontario including the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Orchestra London, the Windsor Symphony, and regularly with Tapestry Opera in Toronto. In the summer, she performs at the Bach and Festival in Fredonia, NY.

Amber enjoys giving workshops and teaching at summer festivals. She also has a home studio in Kitchener, Ontario.

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STRINGS - HARP - Sharlene Wallace

Sharlene Wallace is both a Classical harpist and one of Canada's most prolific and influential Celtic/lever harp players. She has won two international lever harp competitions and created seven independent CDs. Sharlene's most recent album is In Night's Deep Silence, a Christmas/Winter album recorded and produced with bass player George Koller. Sharlene's albums are journeys in rhythm, spaciousness, Celtic, Classical and South American genres and in expanding the harp repertoire as a composer and with numerous commissions for the lever harp by Canadian composers such as Rodney Sharman, John Beckwith, Evelyne Datl, Kirk Elliott, and South American harpist Alfredo Rolando Ortiz.

Sharlene's concerts and teaching have taken her across North America and to Europe, including the International Diva Series 3 (Toronto), Ottawa Chamber Festival, 11th World Harp Congress (Vancouver), Celtica and the Workshop Internazionale di Arpa (Italy), Musicora (Paris, France), Festival of the Sound (Parry Sound, ON), Harpcon (St. Louis, MO), Stratford Summer Music Festival (ON) and Vancouver Island Musicfest (BC). She is also a regular instructor for the summer harp retreat weeks at CAMMAC in Lac MacDonald, Quebec and Island Mountain Arts' International Harp School in Wells, BC.

Sharlene teaches both lever and pedal harps privately in Guelph, Oakville and Toronto as well as at Wilfred Laurier, York, and Guelph Universities. Her own Classical harp performance degree is from the University of Toronto where she studied with the eminent Judy Loman. Sharlene is principal harpist with Guelph, Oakville and Kingston Symphonies.

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STRINGS JUNIOR - Kelly Parkins-Lindstrom

Kelly Parkins-Lindstrom actively pursue her passion for stringed instruments as a teacher and adjudicator exploring the link between pedagogy and performance. Her students have been recipients of the highest marks awarded at the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals, the Canadian Music Competition and the prestigious Silver Medal Awards (RCM). Currently at The Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM), she conducts the RCM’s Orchestras, coaches chamber music and group classes. Her duties at The Glenn Gould School (RCM) include coordinating the Jr. Strings Program of The Taylor Academy. She completed compiling the RCM 2013 Violin Series/Syllabus. As a master class clinician and member of The College of Examiners (RCM), she adjudicates for The Music Teachers’ Association, Kiwanis festivals and Suzuki workshops across the N.A. She is a member of the Ontario Suzuki Association, the Suzuki Association of the Americas, the American Federation of Musicians, American String Teacher’s Association.

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STRINGS SENIOR - Dr. Rebecca Hunter

Dr. Hunter is an active educator and performer in the Ann Arbor MI area. She served as Assistant Professor of Applied Violin and Violin Pedagogy at the University of South Carolina (2010-15), and was the founding director of the Suzuki Strings at USC program. She has taught at various festivals, music camps, Suzuki workshops and institutes, adjudicated festivals and competitions, and led master classes across the U.S. and abroad. She has given presentations at regional and national conferences, and in Saint Lucia and Thailand. Dr. Hunter received her BMus in Performance from the University of Western Ontario, a MM in Performance from the Royal Northern College of Music, a MM in Suzuki Pedagogy at Ithaca College, a DMA from the University of Oregon, and is a licensed Andover Educator. Dr. Hunter presently runs a private studio (A2 Hunter Studios), she is a member of the Ann Arbor Suzuki Institute, and she plays regularly with the Flint Symphony Orchestra.

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Born in Vancouver, Michael Kolk has performed at music festivals and concert halls throughout Europe and North America and has been called "one of the most musical guitarists performing and recording today" (This is Classical Guitar). A prize winner at numerous guitar competitions, he has released two solo albums to date, as well as two albums as part of the Henderson-Kolk Guitar Duo, and an album of Mauro Giuliani guitar duos with Jeffrey McFadden on the Naxos label. His latest solo album, Mosaic, was praised as "playing and musicianship of the highest order" by Whole Note Magazine, and received frequent radio play in Canada. He has collaborated with musicians in both classical and popular genres, and made his debut with orchestra as a soloist with the Toronto Philharmonia. Michael holds an ARCT performance diploma from the Royal Conservatory, and a Master's degree in guitar performance from the University of Toronto. In addition to performing, he currently lives and teaches in Toronto.

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Jayne Smiley received a Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Toronto followed by two terms at the Banff School of Fine Arts. She pursued further studies in voice, acting and dance with teachers and coaches in Toronto, New York and Rome.

Jayne has taught voice in numerous Canadian institutions including York University, the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, the Royal Conservatory of Music, the National Ballet School, the Toronto Film School, and Opera East, as well as teaching in her private voice studio. Jayne was Co-director of the RCM Summer Opera Programme for 10 years, producing fully staged operas for young professional singers and opera scenes for singing students. She currently teaches an Opera Scene Study class with the Glenn Gould School.

Jayne also conducts workshops, master classes and adjudicates music festivals. She has sung opera, oratorio and music theatre across Canada and internationally including the Canadian Opera Company, Vancouver Opera, and Livent Canada.

In addition Jayne is a certified Iyengar Yoga instructor, which provides her with a unique facility to incorporate postural alignment and body-mindfulness into the singing technique of her students.

She is delighted to again adjudicate the talented young singers of the London Kiwanis Festival.

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Marianne Bindig has sung with all the major opera companies in Canada and several in the U.S. She has also soloed with Les violons du Roy, The National Arts Centre Orchestra, The Isler Singers and the Windsor and Thunder Bay Symphonies. She covered the role of the Abbess in the Mirvish Production of The Sound of Music at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto.

From the University of Toronto Marianne received her Bachelor of Music in Performance, her Diploma of Operatic Performance and her Bachelor of Education .

She was twice a fellow at the Tanglewood Center for Music, and attended four terms at the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts. She also studied at the Britten Pears School for Advanced Music Studies in Aldeborough, England.

Marianne teaches voice at Wilfrid Laurier University, and privately from her home in Toronto. She is a frequent guest voice teacher at Opera Nuova in Edmonton. For further biographical information, please visit

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George Laidlaw M.M. (U.of M.), B.Mus. (U.W.O.), A.Mus. (Gold medal -saxophone and clarinet).

He has taught saxophone and clarinet at U.W.O. and InterProvincial Music Camp. He has performed with several symphony orchestras, concert bands and jazz groups.

George is director of the Prime Time Big Band, the Vimy Legion Band and his own jazz quartet. He is on the board of the Kiwanis Music Festival of London and MusicFest London.

George received the Bishop Townshend Award for Teacher Excellence on retirement as Head of Music at Oakridge S.S. He is also an active adjudicator and clinician.

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CANADA’S 150th BIRTHDAY - Jeff Christmas

Jeff Christmas is a Canadian Composer, Arranger, Conductor, Drummer and Percussionist who studied at York University (Toronto) Western University (London) and Berklee College of Music (Boston). His extensive background and versatility encompasses the classical and contemporary worlds.

Jeff’s compositions and arrangements are in demand internationally and have been performed by symphonies and ensembles worldwide. He has conducted and performed with symphony orchestras across Canada and the United States.Jeff has received many London Music Awards for composing, the 2005 Jack Richardson Award for Classical Soloist/Conducting, and in 2013 was recently inducted into the Western University, Don Wright Faculty of Music "Wall of Fame".

Jeff resides in London with his wife Wendy and two sons Jayden and Cameron, where he continues to write and teach music, and maintain his online music store and publishing company "Write On Music".

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CANADA’S 150th BIRTHDAY - Kim Lundberg

Kim Lundberg has a wide variety of musical experience; every thing from rock to symphonic music.  As a keyboard player in bands through the 1970's, he had the opportunity to write and play many songs for the medium.  His undergraduate years were at the University of Saskatchewan, where he studied composition with Monte Floyd.  His graduate studies were at the University of Western Ontario, where he studied with Alan Heard and Peter Koprowski.

     Lundberg has written several chamber works including: sonatas for piano, violin and piano, cello and piano, a woodwind quintet and many piano solos.  He has also written: sets of pieces for Suzuki violin students, choral works, works for wind ensemble and percussion, symphonic band and symphony orchestra. He has also been involved as a pianist, composer/arranger and music director for theatre and dance, including several James Reaney plays in London.   

     Lundberg holds a Master of Music Degree in Composition and Theory from the University of Western Ontario, where he teaches composition, counterpoint, music theory and orchestration.

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CANADA’S 150th BIRTHDAY - Linda Wharton

Linda Wharton is a Western grad and has taught instrumental music for 32 years.

While teaching at Central Secondary School, her Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Ensemble won many local, regional, provincial, and national awards.

Linda also received many teaching awards, including an Award of Excellence with the Thames Valley District School Board and the Dennis Brown Lifetime Achievement Award (Jack Richardson Music Awards).

Linda enjoys being a guest conductor and adjudicating. She is excited to be at this festival!