Russell Whitehead is a professional trumpeter, conductor, recording artist and music educator. He is a recipient of a Master of Music degree in Performance from the University of Michigan where he was a student of Armando Ghitalla (Boston Symphony) and Ramone Parcells (Detroit Symphony). In addition, Mr. Whitehead completed a Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Saskatchewan.

He has attended masterclasses with Phil Smith, New York Philharmonic, Markus Stockhausen, European recording artist, and James Thomson, Montreal Symphony, and was part of the Banff School of the Arts summer programs, studying with David Hickman of Arizona State University. He was Principal Trumpet of the Saskatoon Symphony and often conducted the Saskatoon Symphony Core Musicians in chamber and children's shows. He has played with the Edmonton Symphony for 25+ years and was appointed Acting Principal Trumpet for the 2004-05 season. Along with a diverse solo, chamber and freelance career, Russell has been a proponent of Edmonton's New Music scene, mentoring young composers and collaborating with vanguards of the art form. 2006 saw the release of his cd Prairie Scenes, on the Arktos label. He is now a member of the quintet, Bok Brass.

As a music educator, Mr. Whitehead has worked with with the University of Saskatchewan and Kings' College and is currently a sessional instructor at the University of Alberta and instructor at the MacEwan University Conservatory of Music. A clinician with Windworks, the Cantando Band Festival and MusiCamp Alberta (Summer Music Workshop), Mr. Whitehead has also adjudicated at music festivals throughout Western Canada. He continues to work with community bands and brass players in Alberta.







Nola Antony has been teaching and performing in many styles of dance for over 25 years.  She has been trained under R.A.D. , A.D.A.P.T. , Al Gilbert and Acrobatic Arts syllabus.  Nola has taught jazz, tap, ballet (pointe), lyrical, contemporary and musical theatre at both recreational and competitive levels and her students have won numerous high-score and choreography awards.   She is a certified dance teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance, as well as Module One certified with Acrobatic Arts and with Professional Adjudication Alliance (P.A.A.).  Nola has also obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Recently Nola was the Dance Director for the Fort McMurray Public School Board’s PEAK Athletic Academy as well as teaching the dance curriculum for the Triple Threat Academy in Fort McMurray, AB and doing workshops and dance intensives.

Nola’s students have enjoyed success as professionals in the dance industry, being accepted into dance universities, dancing with Disney Cruise ships, attending the Alberta Ballet School and the Joffery Ballet School and performing in music videos with artists such as Michael Buble, K-os, and These Kids Wear Crowns.

During her career Nola has worked as, choreographer of community theatre, the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Celebration and choreographer for Multicultural Celebrations in Fort McMurray. Recently Nola has been adjudicating for dance competitions across Canada. Nola has a passion for performance, teaching and technique. She enjoys working with children and helping them to discover themselves through the expression of dance.

Highly acclaimed for his musical imagination and astonishing versatility. “Control, and a smooth, elegant expressivity… are what make Wolak shine.” (John Terauds, the Toronto Star)

Winner of Debut Atlantic Tour, Prairie Debut Tour, British Columbia Touring, Allied Concerts Tour (USA, 2016), the Royal Conservatory Concerto Competition and the Presser Music Award. Mr. Wolak performed with the renowned Quartetto Gelato.

He continues to expand the clarinet repertoire by commissioning new pieces. Regularly appears in recitals as chamber musician and as soloist with American and European orchestras. A “Fryderyk” nominee, Poland’s highest recording award, he is a regular fixture on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Classical 96.3 FM, Public Radio International, and in the US, National Public Radio.

As a soloist/clarinet clinician, he has toured and taught master classes in Europe, Asia and both Americas.

Since August 2015 he is actively involved in research on the role of oral articulators in clarinet playing at Speech-Language Pathology Department at University of Toronto. Results of the preliminary studies are to be presented in the upcoming months.

Dr. Wolak is a regularly published author of articles on clarinet-related issues in Your Muse, the largest music magazine in Poland, in which he is an editor and contributor of a section called “Clarinetist’s Vademecum”.

He is the founder of Music Mind Inc., an initiative that creates music education programs for schools and communities.

Mr. David C. Beales is a teacher of classical ballet specializing in the Russian ballet methods. He is internationally renowned and respected for his expertise in the Vaganova technique and method, and the Bolshoi Academy teaching method. His students have been accepted into and participated in the prestigious intensives and international programs.  Since 2007, he has taught numerous master classes, workshops, and seminars throughout British Columbia, Venezuela, Brazil and the United States.

Mr. Beales is currently one of only seven certified dance teachers in all of Canada qualified to teach the Vaganova method. He is the only teacher in Canada with both Vaganova Ballet Academy Faculty and Bolshoi Ballet Academy credentials.  He is an Associate Member of the Society of Russian Ballet (SRB) and is fully qualified to teach the SRB Examination Syllabus and to enter students into the examinations under his name. 

During the course of obtaining his numerous teaching credentials, Mr. Beales had the rare occasion to study with Prof. Ludmila Safronova (Vaganova Ballet Academy), one of the last remaining student to have been taught directly by Mme. Vaganova herself.  Some of Mr. Beales’ other teachers include Prof. Xu Ding Zhong (Beijing Academy of Dance), Prof. Ludmilla Kolenchenko (Bolshoi Ballet Academy), Prof. Ludmilla Kovalenko (Bolshoi Ballet Academy), Prof. Natalya Revich (Bolshoi Ballet Academy), and many others.   

Mr. Beales started dancing at the age of six and trained professionally with well recognized ballet teachers.  Upon graduation from the Goh Ballet Academy, he danced professionally for many years, performing throughout western Canada, as well as in Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai, China.  Mr. Beales has had the opportunity to work with numerous highly-respected dance figures, including Anna-Marie Holmes (Royal Winnipeg Ballet), Yao Zhu Ping (National Ballet of China), Jian Nian Chen (Shanghai Academy of Dance and Beijing Academy of Dance), Maina Geilgud (English National Ballet, Australian Ballet), and Goh Choo Chiat.

In 2012, a shift in Mr. Beales’ personal situation directed his attention from dancing to founding Maple Leaf School of Russian Ballet.  With exacting attention to developing the professional program, his intent was to provide aspiring dancers a unique environment to study the Russian methods of ballet outside of Russia so that they too may realize a career with a professional dance company.  

Cathy Wilmot is an accomplished interdisciplinary theatre artist and educator who has performed in over forty musicals and plays around B.C., as well as performance art pieces, concerts, and benefits. She has been featured in several short films, worked as a voice-over artist, and also as a director and producer.

Cathy has taught groups and individuals ranging from elementary school students to university students, to senior citizens, and those with special needs.  Her focus areas include musical theatre; voice; movement; singing; and acting.  She frequently serves as a subject matter expert teaching masterclasses, acting as a jury member, or guest judge adjudicating on review panels and competitions.

Favourite theatrical credits include Rosie in Mamma Mia! and Les Miserables (Arts Club), Paulette in Legally Blonde (TUTS), Dragon in Shrek the Musical (Align Entertainment), Shindel Kamzoil in Fiddler on The Roof (Gateway Theatre), Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd (Fighting Chance Productions), Pennywise in Urinetown, and Yitzak in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Cathy has performed devised pieces in The Vancouver Fringe Festival; The Revolver Festival; the International PuSh Festival; as well in Boston, Massachusetts;  and London, England where she performed a concert celebrating Canadian Musicals.

Cathy Wilmot is a proud member of Canadian Actor’s Equity, National Association of Teachers of Singing, and the Voice and Speech Trainers Association.


Mark Wells is a singer and educator from Kelowna, British Columbia. He holds a Bachelor of Music from Université de Montréal, and a Bachelor of Education from the University of British Columbia, Okanagan. Mark has performed in professional and emerging artist programs across Canada, including the Banff Centre for the Arts “Opera as Theatre” program. 

Locally, he has performed with Kelowna's Canada Day Pops Orchestra under Leonard Camplin, and in productions with Opera Kelowna with conductors Rosemary Thompson and Bernard McDonald. Mark was also the stage director for Opera Kelowna's production of Le Nozze di Figaro. He is currently an educator in School District #23.






A native of Bulgaria and also a Canadian citizen, Yoana Kyurkchieva has enjoyed a dynamic musical career as a concert pianist, accompanist, adjudicator, and teacher. Her solo and chamber music appearances include performances throughout Bulgaria, Romania, Austria, Germany, Holland, Greece, Russia, the United States and Canada. She has participated in masterclasses under renowned pedagogues such as Bozhidar Noev, Tamara Poddubnaya, Jania Aubakirova, Lazar Berman, Boris Bloch, and Menahem Pressler.

Yoana holds a Master of Music in Piano Performance, Chamber Music, Piano-Collaboration, and Pedagogy from the National Music Academy in Sofia (Bulgaria). She won a merit scholarship to attend the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (United States) and earned her second Master of Music degree and the Postgraduate Professional Artist Certificate. Yoana has also won F.S. Chia Doctoral scholarship to attend the University of Alberta in Edmonton (Canada), and recently earned Doctor of Music degree. Her principal teachers include professor Atanas Kurtev, professor Eric Larsen, and professor Jacques Després.

Yoana is the recipient of prestigious piano competitions and scholarships worldwide including First Prize and the Edmonton Chamber Music Society in Edmonton; First Prize at the MTNA State Steinway Competition in Young Artist Piano, NC; First Prize at the Academy Chamber Music Competition in Bulgaria; Second Prize at the Long Island Conservatory in NYC; Third Prize at “The Seiler,” Competition in Bulgaria; First Prize at the Competition for French Music in Bulgaria; and Second Prize at the International Competition “Carl Filtch,” in Romania.

Currently Dr. Kyurkchieva is a certified piano teacher and practical examiner from The Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM). She is maintaining full piano studio in Edmonton where she teaches students of all ages. Her students have received first class honors and medals in RCM exams, and have been also recognized through awards and scholarships at the local and provincial music festivals, competitions, and master classes across Canada and the United States (Carnegie Hall in NYC).

Anna Jacyszyn is an award winning jazz singer who has travelled extensively throughout England, Europe, Asia, and parts of the Emirates  - touring with various musicians performing jazz music. Having settled back to her home town of Kelowna she founded Jazz Café Kelowna, which promotes Live Jazz Music of the highest quality and pairing the talent with an attractive venue.

Anna has recently opened herself up to other genres of music from Musical Theatre productions through Kelowna Actors Studio (Mrs. Bank/Mary Poppins,  The Great Gatsby, Betty/White Christmas. And Donna/Mama Mia), A country music show “Songs Of The Southern Belles”, as well as worked with some Rock acts but her first love is Jazz.

Her first call musicians are Loni Moger on guitar and Stefan Bienz on Double Bass  as The Anna Jacyszyn Trio – which always keeps its promises to deliver quality. “They pump the atmosphere with beautifully crafted melodies and a chic style that can only be, Anna Jacyszyn!” heard by the spouse of a local politician.

Anna feels just as comfortable performing as a jazz duo with her guitarist as she does when she recently hit the stage to perform with her 6 piece band for a night of Bond Themes for her “Count Down To Bond” 007 concert on November 10 this year. And her yearly concerts on December 23, name Christmas Presence, are usually sold out before they are advertised as they have now become a tradition with her Jazz Café Fans.

For the last 5 years to include this year, Anna is the emcee for the held at the Capri ballroom on Dec 6 – where she organizes the talent for this charity for the Salvation Army.

Since 2013 Anna has had a weekly arts column in the Kelowna Daily Courier published every Wednesday under the title ‘ArtaFact’.  She is active in the community, a keen gardener and loves to cook and hold social gatherings.

Awards Include:  Civic Award: The honour of the Arts, The Okanagan Arts award for music, The Spirit of Kelowna Award / Proclamation Citation from the Okanagan Institute for ‘Raising the Bar’ in musical quality and standard in the Okanagan.



Originally from Sydney, Australia, Catherine now calls Vancouver home. She is a professionally trained actor, completing courses at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (London) & The Actors Centre Australia (Sydney). She is a graduate of the Full-Time Performance Program at ed5International and studied a Bachelor of Psychological Science at the University of New South Wales, Sydney.

Catherine has had a successful acting career on stage and screen, performing lead roles in The Women -Mary Haines (Little Triangle Theatre), Midsummer Night’s Dream – Helena (Genesian Theatre Co.), The Merchant of Venice – Saleria (Emu Heights Theatre Co.), The Chapel Perilous – Judith/Sister Rosa (The New Theatre), Henry IV & V - Westmorland (The Puzzle Collective) & Our Father Who Art (Nearly) In Heaven – Rachel (Sydney Fringe Festival). She also originated the role of ‘Miranda’ in the new Australian work Contrite Spirit, directed by Michael Yore with Edgeware Forum.

You will also find her on screen in productions such as, Home & Away, Deadly Women, Woman with an Editing Bench, and most recently in the role of Tess McLaury in the all-female Western, Last Stand to Nowhere, starring Chelah Horsdal.

With over 10 years of teaching experience in the performing arts, Catherine has managed and developed programs for a number of acting and drama schools, including StarTime Studios, Sydney. She also founded a successful singing & drama school, under the umbrella of Rhapsody Dance Studios, Sydney. She currently works as a Speech Arts Teacher at the Bolton Academy of Spoken Arts, Vancouver, where she also is the Head Instructor of the specialised Performance Program. Catherine has adjudicated number of eisteddfods and events for elementary and secondary schools, individual studios and district festivals around Sydney, Australia. She also adjudicated the West Coast Festival for the Performing Arts, the largest Speech Arts Festival in Canada, in both competitive and noncompetitive streams. She has a genuine passion for inspiring and encouraging all young performers, and helping them gain confidence in expressing their unique creative voice through speech arts and drama.

Dr. Adam Jonathan Con is a conductor, a visionary, a respected teacher of choral conducting and Tai Chi Chuan, and a leader in the advocacy of music education. A native of Vancouver and a third generation Chinese Canadian, his holistic approach to choral music through a unique blend of kinesthetic whole-body movement (Dalcroze, Laban, and Eichenberger) and Eastern philosophy continues to inspire singers of all ages in mind, body and spirit. His motto is “Music is more than notes in motion; music is notes in Emotion.”

Serving at the University of Victoria School of Music as head of the premier Music Education teacher preparation, Dr. Con is also head of Graduate Choral Conducting and conductor of the 170-voice UVIC Chorus.  He has served in similar capacities at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, California State University, Long Beach, at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio and at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia.

His bachelor’s degree in Music Education (Secondary Instrumental and Choral) and master’s degree in Music Education (Elementary) are from the University of British Columbia. At the Florida State University, he earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Music Education (Choral Conducting Emphasis) studying with Rodney Eichenberger, Andre Thomas, Clifford Madsen and Judy Bowers. His invitations to conduct and present workshops include events such as the Foro Coro Americano in Argentina, National American Orff-Schulwerk Conference, Podium: Canadian National Choral Conducting Symposium, the Canadian National GALA Conference, the National Canadian Orff-Schulwerk Conference, the Manitoba Provincial Music Educator’s Conference, the Alberta Provincial Music Educator’s Conference, the British Columbia Provincial Music Educator’s Conference, the British Columbia Choral Federation Chorfest and Youth Choir, the Unitarian Universalist Musicians National American Conference, Ohio State Music Educator’s Conference, the Georgia State American Choral Directors Association Conference, and the Georgia Music Educator’s Conference.












Known for diversity, innovation and passion, cellist Jeff Faragher has excited audiences and inspired students across North America and in Europe with his dynamic musical style in classical, folk and jazz genres.

Born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Jeff started learning music at age 3 with the Kodaly program. Shortly after he started cello with Suzuki cello teacher, Diana Nuttal. He then continued his studies in music at the University of Alberta under renowned cellist and teacher, Tanya Prochazka. With a focus on chamber music, Jeff was one of the founding members of the Pretorius String Quartet which received the prestigious Malcolm Forsyth String Quartet Scholarship four years running as they worked through their undergraduate degrees as Edmonton’s foremost performing string quartet. In addition, Jeff spent many summers touring the world and studying with famous cello teachers such as Janos Starker, Aldo Parisot and Yo-Yo Ma. Following his years in Edmonton, Jeff moved to Montreal to pursue a Masters of Music degree studying with Montreal Symphony’s principal cellist, Brian Manker and the Orford String Quartet founding member, Marcel Saint-Cyr.  

Learning a wealth of knowledge is only the beginning. Jeff Faragher believes deeply that sharing this knowledge is of the utmost importance and is passionate about bringing his expertise to the community in a supportive, focused and fun atmosphere. Drawing from his extensive experience working with world-class instructors, he has honed a style that speaks to his students and excites them to find undiscovered heights in their playing. Over the past 20 years, Jeff’s teaching career has seen him as the head cello instructor with the Edmonton Public Schools music enrichment program, director and cello instructor at St. Martin’s String program, assistant string instructor and orchestra conductor at the University of Alberta, strings technique instructor at McGill University and department head of strings at the Conservatory at Grant MacEwan College.

Jeff’s energy and passion for teaching has led him to create programs such as Mountainside Chamber Music in Nelson BC. He is the principal cello instructor and conductor at the Fiddleworks® summer camps, cello clinician at the Central Memorial and Bishop Carol school strings programs and is a highly sought after teacher and clinician for festivals and programs throughout Western Canada. Whatever he is doing, cellist Jeff Faragher is looking to innovate, perform and inspire his audiences, colleagues and students alike.