2024 Adjudicators - Kiwanis Music Festival of St. John’s
NON-COMPETITIVE STRINGS AND GUITAR
Carole Bestvater, violinist, strives to share her joy of music with those around her. She is equally at home in classical and folk genres, maintaining a full schedule as a performer and educator. Carole relocated to St. John’s to pursue a Master’s Degree in Violin Performance with Dr. Nancy Dahn at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and loved it so much that she decided to stay.
Passionate about community, Carole founded the Strong Harbour Strings Program, an after school music program based in the belief that communities can be strengthened through the learning and sharing of music. As an educator, Carole is also on faculty of the Suzuki Talent Education Program and maintains a private studio. In her performance life, you are just as likely to find Carole playing with a number of local folk bands as you are seeing her perform with the Strong Harbour Strings Collective or as Assistant Principal Second in the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra.
Natalie Williams Calhoun completed her Master of Music degree in Violoncello performance at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, and her Bachelor’s degree in Cello at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Her professional career has led her from performing in a UK based piano trio during her time in Manchester to positions as a cellist in several professional orchestras in Canada. She is a founding member of Atlantic String Machine, a genre jumping string quintet based in Charlottetown, PEI, but is also active as a composer, orchestrator and arranger. Natalie released her debut album, 'act three', on August 19, 2022, and completed a Professional Certificate in Composing and Orchestrating for Film & TV through Berklee Online in June 2023. Natalie also enjoys collaborating with singer/songwriters, both live and in recording sessions.
COMPETITIVE MUSICAL THEATRE AND CHOIRS
As a tenor, voice teacher, director, coach, clinician and academic, Robyn Cathcart is a multi-faceted, dynamic and in-demand artist whose forty-three year career spans the worlds of opera, musical theatre, jazz, pop, concert performance, commercial performance and recording. With over 240 productions, concerts and recital appearances to his credit, he has resided as a member of the Voice Faculty at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, Victoria, BC. Additional tenures in the west have included being Co-Director of the renowned Opera Studio at the VCM, and the Artistic Director of Triple Threat Musical Theatre. He is also the Founding Artistic Director of Enter Left Productions, and has served as Associate Director of the historic Savoy Theatre in Glace Bay, NS. In September of 2024, Mr. Cathcart joined the Voice Faculty at The Fountain School of Performing Arts, Dalhousie University. He also serves as a Board Member for Opera Nova Scotia. Mr. Cathcart is the Owner / Operator of "Sing: The Voice Studio of Robyn Cathcart," the Music Director of “The Alara Vocal Ensemble,” and has garnered a Cape Breton Vitality Award for his contributions and leadership in the Arts & Culture Sector of Cape Breton Island. Mr. Cathcart has also been nominated as one of the area's top entertainers by The Cape Breton Post.
NON-COMPETITIVE BRASS AND WOODWINDS
Annie Corrigan is the Principal Oboe of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra and an Adjunct Professor of Oboe at Memorial University. In addition to performing and teaching, Annie organizes the School of Music’s annual audition cycle and coordinates its Community Outreach Programs. Prior to moving to Newfoundland in 2016, she served as Principal Oboe of the Carmel Symphony Orchestra and Second Oboe in the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic. She also worked as an announcer and producer for Bloomington, Indiana’s NPR affiliate WFIU, serving as the daily host of NPR's Morning Edition and the producer/host of the weekly program Earth Eats. Annie is currently completing her Doctorate of Music (Oboe) from Indiana University.
Roland Fix is a graduate of the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria with a Master's degree in vocal performance, and has an extensive history of performing in operas, oratorio, recitals, concerts and musicals across Canada as well as Germany, Austria and Italy.
As an active vocal pedagogue for almost 30 years, his students have been successful applicants to music programs at the University of Toronto, Western, and McGill, where many have gone on to professional careers as singers.
NON-COMPETITIVE VOICE AND MUSICAL THEATRE
Jacinta Mackey Graham is a graduate of Memorial University's School of Music and Eastern Michigan's Theatre program. She brings with her a wealth of experience as a voice teacher, vocalist, actor, director, clinician and adjudicator. Throughout her diverse career Jacinta has had the opportunity to mentor students who have gone on to successful careers on Broadway, at Stratford, Shaw and Drayton Theatre Festivals, and throughout Europe. Her choirs have toured Ireland, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City and for Pope Jean Paul in Rome, Italy. As Co-Artistic Director of Atlantic Light Theatre Jacinta has directed Les Miserables, Guys and Dolls, A Call to Arms, Billy Elliot and Sister Act and 9 to 5 The Musical.
Jacinta is delighted to be adjudicating at the 2024 St. John's Kiwanis Music Festival. Good luck to all the participants!
Derek Oger has held the position of Executive Director of Conservatory Canada since 2014, where he has focused on a complete academic renewal of CC’s core syllabi to modernize music assessments and make them more accessible to student’s diverse interests. He is also the host of Conservatory Canada TV (CCTV YouTube Channel), a webinar series for studio music teachers that interviews pedagogues, composers, and researchers about topics relevant to studio music teaching.
Derek maintains a private teaching studio and teaches piano performance as a contract lecturer at Lakehead University. In his spare time, he is keenly absorbed in the burgeoning fields of functional medicine and craniosacral therapy, and is an ADAPT certified functional health coach.
COMPETITIVE BRASS AND WOODWINDS
Trombonist Jim Tranquilla is an active soloist, chamber and orchestral musician who travels throughout Canada and abroad with various ensembles. His affable approach to collaboration has earned requests to participate in major events including the Juno Awards, East Coast Music Awards and 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. He has shared the stage with a range of stars from legendary artists The Who, Ray Charles and Sting to Canadian icons Michael Bublé, Dianna Krall, and Measha Bruggergosman. As co-founder of the trombone quintet iTromboni, Jim tours extensively and performs at several of Canada’s finest concert halls and prominent festivals. Jim is also a sought-after educator, adjudicator, and clinician, having led workshops and masterclasses at schools and universities from coast to coast. He has worked as a Development Agent with Jeunesses Musicales of Canada (Montreal, QC) and as brass instructor/ensemble director at Mount Allison University (Sackville, NB), Université de Moncton (Moncton, NB) and Memorial University of Newfoundland (St. John’s, NL). Now happily living back in his home province of New Brunswick with his family, Jim is the Director of Community Engagement with the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra, General Manager of Tutta Musica Orchestra (Sistema NB Teaching Artists) and plays with Vancouver Opera, Symphony Nova Scotia, Symphony New Brunswick, and Tutta Musica Orchestra.
NON-COMPETITIVE PIANO AND VOICE
Susan Quinn is from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, where she is the Artistic Director of the Quintessential Vocal Ensemble (QVE) and Choral Director at St. Bonaventure’s College, and recently retired after nearly 30 years of leading the award-winning choirs at Holy Heart of Mary High School. Susan received her early musical education from the Sisters of Mercy, and has degrees in Music and Music Education from Memorial University of Newfoundland, with a major in violin, and a Master’s degree in choral conducting from the University of Maine. She is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence and the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council Arts in Education Award. Her choirs have received numerous national awards and honours at international competitions in Austria, Wales, Ireland, and France, and recorded six CDs. In 2010 she conducted Vivaldi’s Gloria at Carnegie Hall in New York City, and returned in 2014 to conduct QVE in a solo performance.