We are pleased to introduce our adjudicators for 2021

Dr. Tara Laberge – Voice Adjudicator

Dr. Tara Marlena Laberge has a multi-disciplinary career that spans Opera, Oratorio, Music Theatre, Theatre and Collaborative Creation. 

As a Soprano soloist Dr. Laberge has performed with the Calgary Festival Chorus, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Calgary Youth Orchestra, and in countless recitals, specializing in music of the 20th century. Operatic roles include Antonia (Tales of Hoffman), Nella (Gianni Schicci), Polly (The Beggars Opera), and Delphinia (Babes in Toyland). Equally at home in theatre and music theatre, Dr. Laberge’s leading roles include Joy Davidman (Shadowlands), Mother (A Christmas Story – The Musical), Inez (No Exit), Martha/Woman (Wanda’s Visit/’Dentity Crisis), Melissa (The Savannah Disputation), Anna (The King and I), Elsa/Maria u/s (The Sound of Music), and Julie (Carousel). She has also worked on a number of interdisciplinary creation projects as a founding member of Opera BOB and Theatre Lyra, and as a roster singer with Cowtown Opera. Dr. Laberge is a three-time Alberta Foundation for the Arts grant recipient, and was recently awarded an Individual Projects grant by the Calgary Arts Development Fund.

Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Dr. Laberge, earned a Bachelor of Music Performance from the University of Victoria, and both her Masters and Doctoral degrees in Vocal Performance from the University of Minnesota. Teaching credits include positions with Ambrose University, Rocky Mountain College, Mount Royal University, the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Arts, and Storybook Theatre. Dr. Laberge also has a thriving private voice studio, and is in demand as an adjudicator and vocal health clinician across Canada.

Dr. Tim Shantz – Choral Adjudicator

Timothy Shantz is a conductor, choral collaborator, tenor soloist and teacher. He is Founder and Artistic Director of Calgary’s Professional Choir, Luminous Voices and Director of Choral Activities at the University of Alberta’s Department of Music. Choirs in Calgary flourished under his leadership as Chorus Master for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and Artistic Director of Spiritus Chamber Choir for over a decade. Shantz is recognized for the breadth of his work in early-music, contemporary works, virtuoso unaccompanied choral music, as well as large choral-orchestral masterpieces. Kenneth DeLong of the Calgary Herald wrote, “It is hard to believe that it has been a full decade since Timothy Shantz became the chorus master of the CPO Chorus. During this decade, Shantz, always energetic and full of initiative, has transformed the choral life of the city.” Under his direction, both Luminous Voices and Spiritus Chamber Choir have earned national choral awards including 2 for Outstanding Choral Recording (Luminous Voices 2016 & 2018) as well as the Healey Willan Grand Prize (Spiritus 2017 & 2013). Spiritus has toured internationally earning second prizes at both the Fleischmann International Choral Competition in Cork, Ireland and the Florilège Vocal de Tours in France.

He holds a Doctor of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music with a dissertation analyzing the unaccompanied choral work Sun-Dogs by composer James MacMillan.

Trish Howells – Strings and Fiddle Adjudicator

Trish Howells is a violinist and music educator in Toronto. She studied violin privately with Professor Ivan Kowaliw, the director of the Mykola Lysenko Ukrainian Music Institute, in Toronto. She continued her studies with both David Zafer and Andrew Dawes at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto. 

Trish has enjoyed many years performing in a variety of ensembles including the Lysenko Music Institute String Orchestra, the Trinity Chamber Ensemble, and the Trinity String Quartet. As well, she sang with the Bell’Arte Singers for many years. 

Trish has been a music educator for 38 years, teaching string classes from grades 4 to 12. Most of her career has focused on teaching strings and choral music at the middle school level. As a music educator, Trish is passionate about engaging students in learning as a teacher-facilitator. She believes that when the learning is student-led, the possibilities for engagement are endless. Teachers can also reconnect with their own passions as they help students navigate through creative endeavours. 

She recently retired from the Toronto District School Board and continues to be busy advocating for public music education and music educators everywhere. She passionately believes that music is a core subject that should be part of every student’s learning experience in all public schools.

Ina Dykstra – Piano Adjudicator

Ms. Ina Dykstra received her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance at the University of Alberta, where she studied under Dr. Ernesto Lejano, and Dr. Helmut Brauss.  She completed Graduate Degree courses in Art Song, Collaborative Piano, Chamber Music and Solo Performance and holds a degree in Music Therapy from Capilano College in Vancouver and is a member of the College of Examiners for the Royal Conservatory of Music. She has worked with a wide variety of students of all ages and all abilities, from the very gifted to those with various special needs.

 Ina has a deep commitment to furthering musical education, creativity, and artistry.  After a long and rewarding career in St. Albert, Alberta, she now lives in Victoria, BC, and has over 45 years of experience as an accompanist, performer, clinician, examiner, adjudicator, composer and inspiring teacher.

     She is also a composer, and has written many solo piano works at all levels. She and musician/composer Jan Randall have created the Vista Heights Music website which features the “Let’s Play” series of books (Levels 1-9), as well as more advanced piano solos for all ages.

Craig Johnson – Brass Adjudicator

Originally from Winnipeg MB, Craig studied privately with a long list of classical and jazz
instructors on his primary instruments (Trumpet & Piano). After highschool he attended
The University of Manitoba furthering his studies in the Performing Fine Arts Program.
He went on to study Jazz Arranging, Orchestral Composition, and Writing for Motion Picture and
TV earning his General Music Studies degree at The Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Now living in Calgary with over 30 years of teaching and performing experience Craig remains an
active clinician and hosting workshops with in the Calgary Board of Education band and music
programs. He maintains a large private student base, and has had a number of former students go
on to pursue a musical careers at the professional level.

In 2003 Craig accepted the position of Musical Director for a Calgary based big band association and a second position offer in 2019 from an additional big band organization his roles include, writing and arranging a large portion of the bands repertoire for performance.

In addition to performing and adjudicating music festivals throughout Alberta and across Canada,
as a band leader he leads his own groups of various sizes and has been commissioned by different
artists both locally and nationally to write music for their specific recording and or performing

Kevin O’Donnell – Woodwind Adjudicator

Kevin O’Donnell is currently acting Second Flute & Piccolo with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, an ensemble he has been performing with steadily since 1994.  He has been a featured soloist with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and the Canadian Chamber Ensemble, and has an extensive recording and broadcast history with both ensembles.

In addition to his work with the KWS, Kevin has also held the position of Principal Flute with Symphony Nova Scotia, and served as Acting Second Flute/Piccolo with the National Ballet of Canada (where he still performs regularly).

Kevin studied at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Orchestral Training Program, and the Banff Centre for the Arts.  He has studied privately with Toronto Symphony flutists Nora Shulman and Virginia Markson, Douglas Stewart of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, and in master classes in Canada and abroad with such international artists as Peter Lloyd, Geoffrey Gilbert, William Bennett, Walfrid Kujala, Julius Baker, and Carol Wincenc.

A dedicated teacher, Kevin held the position of Instructor of Flute & Chamber Music at  Wilfrid Laurier University’s Faculty of Music for 25 years, as well as having been a long standing Faculty Member at Inter-Provincial Music Camp.  Kevin has also enjoyed participating in the enrichment of young musicians through previous associations with the National Music Camp of Canada, as well as the music camps offered by the Scarborough, Peel, and York Region Boards of Education.