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Staff Bios

 

Leadership Team

Katherine Semcesen – Executive Director

The CCOC is very pleased to welcome Katherine Semcesen to fill the new role of Executive Director of the CCOC.

Katherine comes to us with many years of management experience working in the arts and culture sector, most recently as the Associate Director of Education and Outreach for the Canadian Opera Company where her focus was on building partnerships within the community and developing engaging and inspiring programmes for young people, families and students, as well as adults.

She very much looks forward to collaborating with our amazing Artistic and Administrative teams to lead the CCOC into the New Year and for years to come with exciting creative opportunities for our choristers and our organization.

Katherine will begin her new role with us starting December 16.

 

Teri Dunn – Music Director,
Conductor – Principal & Youth Chorus

A celebrated singer, conductor, and educator, Teri has been the Music Director of the Canadian Children’s Opera Company since 2015. She also holds the position of Dean of Choral Studies at the prestigious St. Michael’s Choir School, where she conducts three of their internationally acclaimed  choirs.  Until 2012, she was the Assistant Artistic Director of the Toronto Children’s Chorus and has also held conducting positions with at the Royal Conservatory of Music and with the Hart House Chorus. Her choirs have appeared at Carnegie Hall, at the Vatican, at the Toronto International Choral Festival, with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, and been awarded  first prize in the National Competition of Canadian Amateur Choirs.

Besides choral programmes, she has prepared the CCOC and soloists for numerous Canadian Opera Company  productions including La Boheme, Carmen, The Magic Flute and most recently Turandot. She has led several operas with the CCOC including the world premiere of Alice Ho’s The Monkiest King (recently recorded for CMC) and a European tour of Hans Krasa’s Brundibar.

An acclaimed soloist, Teri has performed in the US, Europe and has appeared locally with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, New Music Concerts, Guelph Spring Festival, Festival Vancouver, Soundstreams. She has recordings on Centrediscs, Naxos, and was a prize-winner in the Eckhardt-Grammatté Competition.

Teri is a recipient of the Leslie Bell Prize in Choral Conducting, awarded by Choirs Ontario.

 

Artistic Staff

Andrea Donais
Conductor – Butterfly & Ruby Chorus

Andrea is an passionate and dynamic early childhood music educator and conductor who brings a wealth of experience to the CCOC.  Former positions include Director of Education at Upper Canada Chorus and Director of Vocal & Choral Music at Pickering College.

 

 

 

Christina Faye
Accompanist – Principal & Intermediate Choruses

Christina is an accomplished pianist making her home in Toronto. In 2007 she earned a Bachelor of Music from Brandon University, and graduated from the Eastman School of Music with a Master of Music in 2009. Christina works with a number of choirs and opera/theatre organizations, currently including the Pax Christi Chorale, Canadian Children’s Opera Company, Nathaniel Dett Chorale, and for the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s ‘Singsation’ series. She holds the Principal Keyboard position with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and is the music director for Donway Covenant United Church. Recently, several tracks she recorded for StudioMDHR's hit video game 'Cuphead' were featured on an album that reached #1 on the Jazz Billboard charts.

 

 

Lynn Janes
Junior Division Head, Conductor – Intermediate Chorus,

Lynn Janes was the Head of Music at Havergal College from 2007 to 2017.  She previously taught at Greenwood College School, and was Choral Director/Music Teacher at Earl Haig Secondary School and Claude Watson School for the Arts.  She is a singer and soloist with the Elora Festival Singers, and an adjudicator with International Music Festivals and the TDSB.  She has led many other choirs, including the Pax Christie Chorale Youth Choir and the Toronto Mendelssohn Youth Choir, and previously led the CCOC’s Apprentice Chorus (1989-2002).

 

 

Hyejin Kwon
Accompanist – Youth Chorus

Orginally from Seoul, Hyejin moved to Canada in 2012 after completing her Masters in Vocal Accompanying at the Peabody Conservatory of Music.  She recently completed two years as a member of the Young Artist program at the Canadian Opera Company, where she continues to work, and is the co-founder and Music Director of Muse9, a multi-disciplinary theatre company in Toronto.

 

 

 

Danièle Loach
Rehearsal Assistant – Ruby & Butterfly Chorus

Daniele is a CCOC alumna, with a passion for early childhood education and singing. She studied Education at the University of Toronto.

 

 

 

 

Adine Mintz
Conductor – Apprentice Chorus, OPERAtion KIDS Artist-Educator

Adine is a conductor, educator, teacher, and performer.  As part of the CCOC, she has delivered the OPERAtion Kids in-school programs for the past 4 years, inspiring students all over Toronto by creating original operas with the children. She also conducts choirs at Trinity Montessori School in Markham, as well as a Jewish women’s choir in Toronto. She was music director of the Shaare Zion choir in Montreal, of the St. Clement Community Orchestra and of the music school at Cosmo Music in Richmond Hill.  She was the choral conductor at Music at Port Milford, Chamber Music Summer Camp.  She was music director for a community theatre production of Fiddler on the Roof. As a guest conductor, she has performed with the National Academy Orchestra, Mississauga Youth Orchestra, Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, Hart House Summer Orchestra and York Youth Symphony Orchestra.  During her Masters in Conducting from the University of Toronto, she was musical director of a shortened version of Il barbiere di seviglia by Rossini and Tehillim by contemporary composer Steve Reich, one of the most difficult pieces in modern repertoire.

 

Autumn Smith
Drama Coach

Autumn Smith is a theatre director, artist educator and innovator who has worked with youth across the globe.  Select credits include work for: Canadian Stage, Tarragon Theatre, Shaw Festival, Druid Theatre (Galway), Stagedoor Manor (NY) and the Stratford Festival/National Ballet Project.  Autumn holds an MFA in Theatre Direction with an Emphasis on Teaching from York University and is a graduate of the Oxford School of Drama Conservatory Program. 

 

 

 

Management & Support Staff

Mala Perera
Financial Services

Mala started at the CCOC in 2006 and performs all bookkeeping and financial functions.

Diana Roach
Office Administrator

Diana brings a love of music and children with her, having studied and sung music.  She even has her own professional opera singer, her daughter, currently living in Germany.

 

 

 

Victoria Forsey
Chorus Coordinator

Victoria grew up in the colourful city of St. John’s NL and it was there that her love of music was cultivated. She holds a BMus from Acadia University and a MA Arts Administration and Cultural Policy from Goldsmiths, University of London. Victoria joined the CCOC team as Chorus Coordinator in the 17-18 season.

 

 

 

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