MARIA CONKEY is emerging as an inspiring and innovative conductor, clinician and pedagogue in Canada’s choral scene. She is currently the Artistic Director of Young Voices Toronto. In addition to her work with YVT, she is also the Junior Choir Conductor at St. Michael’s Choir School. Ms. Conkey is a graduate of Memorial University and the University of Alberta, where she studied choral conducting under the direction of Dr. Debra Cairns and Dr. Leonard Ratzlaff. She has worked with internationally acclaimed conductors such as Maria Guinand, Jon Washburn and Fred Sjoberg. Past engagements include the Conductor of the award-winning senior choirs at St. Bonaventure’s College and the Choral Director at the Basilica of St. John the Baptist in St. John’s, Newfoundland. She has also worked with Shallaway – Newfoundland Youth in Chorus and several children’s, youth and adult choirs, including the Alberta Youth Choir and the University of Alberta Madrigal Singers.
CAROLE ANDERSON received her Bachelor of Music at the University of Western Ontario where she studied choral conducting with Deral Johnson. During her 35-year teaching career Carole taught music at all grade levels and was a music consultant in both Brant and Peel Districts. Retired in 2013 from the Peel District School Board, Carole taught for the last 15 years at Thomas Street Middle School in Mississauga where her choral and concert band ensembles were recognized for excellence at local, regional and national festivals. At the 2011 National Music Festival of Canada the Thomas Street Middle School Chamber Choir was awarded First Place in the David Ouchterlony class and was selected by the adjudicators to receive the Paul J. Bourret Grand Choral Award. In the fall of 2012 Carole was honoured by the Ontario Music Educators’ Association with an Honorary Life Membership.
From September 2006 to August 2020 Carole was an Associate Conductor with the Toronto Children’s Chorus conducting Training Choir 1, Training Choir II and Cantare, the junior half of the Toronto Children’s Chorus Main Choir.
Born in Toronto, Ontario, ELIZABETH CATTELL graduated from Mount Allison University with a Bachelor’s degree in Education and has taught in New Brunswick, Montreal and Toronto. She retired in 2017, after a 32-year teaching career at the elementary and junior levels with the Toronto District School Board. Elizabeth has taught a variety of subjects with a focus in music, dance, special education, and French. Elizabeth has always aimed to share her love of choral music, dance and the arts through teaching. She built and developed the choral music program at Rosethorn Junior School, with choirs for Primary and Junior students, and later included specialized choirs for grade one students as well as a boys’ choir. These choirs competed at The Kiwanis Music Festival with high levels of success, winning scholarships, best of class, gold and platinum recognition and provincial qualifier. Community endeavours are also an integral part of Elizabeth’s music philosophy. While working at the Toronto District School Board, she collaborated with a local community choir, and created an annual school-wide production featuring all students and choirs in the school. Recognizing that not all students want to express themselves through vocal music, she pursued courses in Orff at the Royal Conservatory of Music, and has used Orff, voice, dance, ASL, drama and visual arts to develop alternative approaches to music and creativity in every child. Throughout her teaching career, Elizabeth has lived by her belief that music is tantamount to creating a child with a strong understanding of their inner selves. She uses music and the arts to give students confidence and a sense of freedom. She has dedicated her career to the value of the arts in an ever-changing world. Elizabeth is delighted to share her passion for music in collaboration with young minds.
VICTOR CHENG is a conductor and baritone based in Toronto. He is the founder and conductor of the Mississauga Summer Chorale, a multi-choir organization involving over 100 members. Victor is also the founding artistic director of Toronto Voice Lab, a small ensemble dedicated to performing contemporary choral music, especially those written by students at the University of Toronto. In December of 2019, Victor was the first North American invited to compete in the 9th Towards Polyphony International Choral Competition, hosted at the Karol Lipinski Academy of Music in Wroclaw, Poland. In 2012 Victor was selected as an Intern Conductor with the Ontario Youth Choir assisting Jon Washburn. He was also the apprentice conductor of the Voices Chamber Choir and has participated in workshops and masterclasses in North America with renowned conductors and ensembles, including Donald Nally, Gabriel Crouch, Luminous Voices and voces boreales. In 2020, Victor served as the choral conducting intern at St. Michaels Choir School. Victor is also an accomplished choral singer, currently singing in professional ensembles at the Toronto Oratory, St. Basil’s Catholic Parish as well as the Toronto Festival Singers. Victor also sings in the Amadeus Choir as the baritone section lead. Previously he was the James T. Chestnutt Scholar in voice and conducting with the Elmer Iseler Singers. Beyond the classical world,, Victor has shared the stage with bands and acts such as Cirque du Soleil, and The Rolling Stones.
SHELDON ROSE is a graduate of St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto and of the Faculty of Music (B.Mus. Theory and Composition) at the University of Toronto. He has extensive choral experience, serving as Director of Music and Organist for more than a decade at St. Clare’s Church (Toronto), as Choirmaster for the Appleby College Chapel Choir (Oakville) and as pianist to the Oakville Children’s Choir for seven seasons. He has been accompanist to YVT since 2006. Sheldon has also written many fine choral compositions, many of which have been performed by Young Voices Toronto and some of which have won national awards. these and many more compositions have been published by Alliance Music (Texas), Rhythmic Trident Music (Vancouver) and Cypress Choral Music Publishing (Vancouver). You can learn more about Sheldon and his musical work at his website. (click to visit)
JAI EUN YOO is newly joined as a Collaborative Pianist at the Young Voices Toronto. She spent the past 12 years working as a Collaborative Pianist for the Toronto Children’s Chorus (TCC) and for the Toronto Korean Children’s Choir. She currently works with Ontario Male Chorus as an accompanist, and also with the East Faith Presbyterian Church in Oakville as a choir conductor. She earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in piano performance at Yonsei University (South Korea), receiving full year scholarships along the way. Before emigrating to Canada, she spent her time working in South Korea as part of the teaching faculty of the Korean Conservatory of Music, and as a professional accompanist. Although English is not her first language, she is excited to share her passion for music with the rest of the YVT artistic team!
KELLY LIN is this year’s recipient of the Vernon Douglas McCaw Memorial Fellowship from OISE at the University of Toronto, and is thrilled to be working with Young Voices Toronto as an OISE fellow.
Kelly is a classically trained mezzo-soprano and holds a Bachelor of Music from Western University. During her undergraduate studies in music, Kelly starred in Opera at Western: Spring Gala and served as the President of the Student National Association of Teachers of Singing (Western Chapter).
Passionate about equity and social justice, Kelly is currently completing her SSHRC-funded research on trauma-sensitive music education practices to support refugee students. Kelly has also worked with El Sistema Aeolian, an after-school music education program that provides free, intensive musical training for children and youth. Through conducting with Young Voices Toronto, Kelly hopes to continue growing in her musicality, while contributing to the compassionate and inclusive community.
CLARE FREJD is a graduate of the University of Toronto and the University of Alberta, where she earned a Master’s degree in Textile Science and Conservation. Over the last 12 years Clare has worked with historic textiles and costumes in museum collections across Canada, including the Royal Ontario Museum, the Aga Khan Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Founder of the children’s bedding company, Bedelia Clare developed an innovative waterproof fabric, and produces a line of waterproof sheets locally in Toronto. A passionate choral singer, Clare is an alumni of the Toronto Children’s Chorus and cherishes her memories of rehearsals, concerts and tours alike. Clare is extremely excited to join the YVT team and be surrounded with choral music once again.