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Faculty

MusiCamp 2022 Faculty

In his career as an itinerant trombonist, Alden Lowrey has played his trombone in 17 countries, 32 American states, and on international waters. Some highlights from his travels include strapping his trombone to his bicycle and pedaling most of the way to Mexico; a couple of European tours with wind bands; a stint in the show band on a Caribbean cruise ship; and a summer in the Ceremonial Guard Band in Ottawa, complete with red serge and bearskin hat.

Alden studied with John McPherson at the University of Alberta, and later with Alain Trudel at the Banff Centre. He also makes a point of getting lessons from great trombonists wherever he happens to travel. Highlights include Gordon Wolfe in Toronto; Bill Booth in Los Angeles; and Frédéric Boulan in France.

Alden loves playing all sorts of music and has appeared not only with wind bands and symphony orchestras, but also with various dance bands playing ska, latin, funk, and pop music. Some of his favourite groups to play with are Big Horns Tuba Quartet and the Bok Brass Quintet. He has worked with many orchestras across the country including the London (Ontario) Symphony Orchestra, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic, the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra, the Alberta Symphony Orchestra, the Edmonton Jazz Orchestra, the Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra, and the Opera Nuova Festival Orchestra. Alden loves playing in pit orchestras and has played for over 20 different productions including the Lion King, West Side Story, and 108 shows of Mary Poppins.

Alden’s favourite two weeks every year are the time he spends teaching trombone, euphonium, and tuba at MusiCamp Alberta in Red Deer. He currently teaches at the University of Alberta, Concordia University, and out of his home studio.

Alden is also a full time dad with three children aged 10, 8, and 5 and is married to an amazing woman who plays more notes in one concert than he does in a year.

Alissa Kleinloog is an educator who is currently overseeing and instructing the dance program at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School. She was trained under the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus in Ballet, the ADAPT syllabus in jazz and tap as well as has experience in musical theatre, lyrical and contemporary dance. Alissa has developed and implemented mindset training for dancers and studied the skill of mindfulness in coaching and dance. She has had the opportunity to choreograph pieces for Lindsay Thurber’s productions of Footloose, Beauty and the Beast, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Anything Goes, West Side Story, Urinetown, Annie, Legally Blonde as well as the LT Dance Showcases Alissa has also enjoyed working as the choreographer for MusiCamp Alberta in the past and looks forward to returning to another summer working with inspiring and passionate youth.

Born and raised in the Smoky River Region of Alberta, Ariane Lowrey received her Bachelor of Music Degree in piano performance at the University of Alberta in 2003, studying with Ayako Tsuruta and Janet Scott Hoyt. In the summers of 2001 and 2002, she attended the Summer Festival at the Orford Art Centre in Quebec, studying with piano professors Jean-Paul Sevilla, Jean Saulnier, and Richard Raymond. After completing her undergraduate degree, Ariane studied at the Université de Montréal with Paul Stewart and completed her Master of Music degree in piano performance in 2005. She then travelled and worked in the UK and Europe before returning to Edmonton in 2007.

Ariane is actively involved in accompanying and collaborative work as well as teaching and adjudicating. She has performed with various chamber groups, choirs, vocalists, solo instrumentalists, dance and musical theatre productions in both Edmonton and Montreal. She is currently the resident accompanist for the i Coristi Chamber Choir under the direction of Dr. Rob Curtis, accompanist for A Joyful Noise Monday Choir under the direction of Eva Bostrand and collaborative pianist for the department of music at King’s University. Ariane taught at the Alberta College Conservatory of Music at MacEwan from 2007 to 2017. She was adjudicator for junior piano at the St. Albert Rotary Music Festival in 2012, the Fall Music Festival at MacEwan University in 2016 and beginner piano at the Contemporary Showcase in 2020.

When not at work, Ariane can be found with her husband Alden and three young children walking or biking to the playground, growing a garden, baking, crafting, dancing and singing in the living room to anything from Tchaikovsky to Disney or jamming with them on any musical instrument they can get their hands on. She is very excited to be joining the MusiCamp faculty this year!

Beth Levia has played third oboe and substitute Principal Oboe with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and has played with several Edmonton based ensembles including the Alberta Baroque Ensemble and the Citadel Theatre Orchestra.

A founding member of WindRose Trio, Ms. Levia can be heard on their debut recording “Path of Contact”, the 2009 winner of the Western Canadian Music Award for best classical recording. In 2015 WindRose trio performed a recital of Canadian music for reed trio at the International Double Reed Society conference in Tokyo, Japan, and in August 2016 they were the first Canadian ensemble to play at the Harbin Summer Music Festival in Harbin, China. Beth has been a featured soloist performing Albinoni’s Double Concerto Op.9 with the Alberta Baroque Ensemble; Bach’s Double concerto with the Wye String Ensemble and ESO Principal flutist Elizabeth Koch, and Vaughn-William’s Concerto for Oboe with the Concordia Orchestra.

She is a teaching artist at the Conservatory of Music at MacEwan University, maintains a private studio and is in demand as a Clinician and Adjudicator. Ms. Levia holds a Master’s degree in Oboe Performance from McGill University and a Bachelor’s degree in Oboe Performance (with honour) from Michigan State University. Her principal teachers have been Suzanne Lemieux, Daniel Stolper, and Normand Forget.

Visit her website.

Clarinetist Don Ross plays some 150 shows a year, split between classical, jazz, world and experimental music. He plays regularly with such groups as Saint Crispin’s Chamber Ensemble, the Gadjo Collective gypsy band, New Music Edmonton, the Alberta Symphony, Crescendo Orchestra, Opera Nuova, The Billie Zizi Swing Band, Mile Zero Dance and many others.

He teaches clarinet at the University of Alberta, MacEwan, King’s and MusiCamp Alberta.

His work as a composer and project leader have won multiple grants from the Canada Council, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the Edmonton Arts Council. He studied at the Universities of Alberta and Toronto and at Northwestern in Chicago.

Kimberley Denis, M.Mus. Choral Conducting and Vocal Performance (University of Alberta), B.Mus. (Mount Allison University), B. Comm. (Mount Allison University) is known for her energy and enthusiasm both on stage and off, and is sought after as a soloist, choral clinician, vocal coach, and adjudicator for voice and choir. Upon completion of both her commerce and music undergraduate degrees at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, she returned to her home province of Alberta where she completed a double masters degree in choral conducting and vocal performance at the University of Alberta. She also holds an associate diploma in Education and a music diploma in contemporary vocal performance from Red Deer College.

Vocal credits include a nomination for 2010 and 2012 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award, recital appearances around the province, and a year-long tour with Up With People. In 2015, she starred in a production of Jason Robert Brown’s song cycle Songs for a New World and in 2014, played Cathy in The Last Five Years. She has worked with Live Bait Theatre in New Brunswick, appearing in many of their musical dinner theatres, and has also played Bonnie in Anything Goes, Kate in Kiss Me, Kate!, and Frumah Sarah in Fiddler on the Roof. She recorded the Alphabet Action Songs for Themes and Variations Music Publishing, and was a soprano soloist for the University of Alberta’s recording of the Dvorak Te Deum. She is currently working on a solo recording featuring original arrangements of the music of Joni Mitchell and Jann Arden and arrangements of other works for voice and percussion. She is a singer with Pro Coro Canada, one of Canada’s professional choirs. In addition to her stage work, she has a flourishing voice studio at MacEwan University Conservatory of Music in Edmonton, Alberta.

She has conducted a wide variety of ensembles and presently, she directs Shumayela with the Kokopelli Choir Association in Edmonton, a choir which she founded in 2006; the choir has performed at Festival 500, an international choral festival held in St. John’s, NF and was a featured ensemble in 2016 at the Podium, Canada’s national choral conference. She is also the conductor for the Edmonton Metropolitan Chorus Women’s Project Choir and the assistant conductor with Vacilando, the Kokopelli adult choir. She has previously worked with the Red Deer College Chamber Choir, the Nota Bene Youth Choir in Red Deer, the Red Deer Children’s Choir, the Mount Royal University Youth Choir, the Edmonton All-City Junior Children’s Choir and the Edmonton All-City High School Choir, Kikimasu (the Kokopelli Children’s Choir). She is also the alto section lead for the Edmonton Metropolitan Chorus. She has been the choir director for the past ten years at MusiCamp Alberta held at Red Deer College, has been the youth choir director at the Naramata Summer Music Week, and in 2011-2012 season, she directed the Kamloops/Thompson School District Honour Choir as well as the Edmonton Public Schools High School Honour Choir for Night of Music. She is also an experienced director of church music, having begun work in this area in 2000 at Mountain View United Church in Moncton, New Brunswick. Since then, she has worked for a number of different denominations.

Music for theatre credits include music direction for Concordia University College’s production ofJoseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, vocal coaching for Red Deer College’s production of Rent, creating and directing a live vocal music score for Red Deer College’s production of Romeo and Juliet and creating and directing a live music score for the world premiere of Vern Thiessen’s adaptation of Wuthering Heights. She was also the music director at Theatre Alberta’s Artstrek summer program for Into the Woods and is a frequent clinician for community theatre groups.

In addition to her work as a singer and conductor, Kimberley arranges pieces for choirs and is published by Cypress Music and Augsburg Fortress and was recently commissioned for an arrangement of the school song for the The Grange, a private, English-speaking school in Santiago, Chile and a setting of the United Arab Emirates National Anthem for an international school in Dubai. She is also the Managing Director for the Alberta Band Association.

Visit her website.

Louise McMurray​ obtained a Bachelor of Music degree in performance from the University of Western Ontario. She continued graduate studies at the Banff Centre, Royal Conservatory in Toronto, and the Guildhall School of Music in London, England. During her studies in England, Louise played in a brass quintet that toured Israel, and an octet that performed for Queen Elizabeth aboard the Royal Yacht. Louise has worked as a freelance horn player in Alberta, Ontario, Rochester, NY, and played Associate Principal Horn with the Lexington Kentucky Philharmonic.

Louise currently resides in Red Deer, performing as an extra with the RDSO, and a member of the Central Alberta Chamber Players. Louise works as a horn clinician and freelance  player throughout Alberta.

Saxophonist Mark DeJong has over 20 years of professional experience as a musician, educator, director, composer, bandleader, promoter, contractor, presenter, and sideman. A graduate of the prestigious jazz program at Rutgers University, Mark has benefited from the tutelage of saxophone masters Ralph Bowen, George Garzone, Donny McCaslin, and Stan Karp.

A dynamic and versatile musician, Mark is equally at home in jazz, blues, pop, folk, and gospel settings. With such recent accomplishments as a Canada Council touring grant for his renowned international group, The Outer Bridge Ensemble, a WCMA nomination for his recording, The Unknown, and his selection as a performing artist at the Canadian pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, Marks abilities have garnered recognition regionally, across Canada, and beyond the border.

Mark has performed with many of the worlds leading musicians from all genres and styles. Career highlights have included sharing the stage with such international icons as Ray Charles, Ian Tyson, Wayne Newton, and Lennie Pickett, Canadian music legends Rob McConnell, Moe Koffman, Tommy Banks, Victor Sawa, Hugh Fraser, P.J. Perry, as well as renowned vocalists Nikki Yanofsky, Denzal Sinclaire, and Carol Welsman. With a career that spans over 20 years, his performance credits include the Ottawa, Edmonton, Vancouver, Calgary, and Saskatoon International Jazz festivals, as well as numerous concert halls and jazz clubs across North America, Canada, the United States, Europe, and Japan.

Visit his website.

Dr. Milt Allen has worked with hundreds of schools and thousands of students, directors and community members during his career. He is often credited as being one of the most creative, innovative, inspiring and non-traditional music educators today. Conductor, clinician, speaker, author and tireless advocate on behalf of music education, his passion for reaching more musicians at a grass-roots level drove him to leave a 26-year career in education, including 17 years in the public school, to step outside the traditional rehearsal room to create The Music Guerrilla, allowing him – and eventually others – to harness the power of music through whatever avenues available. In so doing, “Doc” is also able to create a means to reach out to programs in need, as well as partnering with music programs in third-world countries.

Milt brings a rare perspective to his roles as MG President and Executive Director. His cross-genre music interests effectively combine with previous teaching positions in rural/suburban, large/small and public/parochial environments to create a truly unique ability to connect to those he serves. His experiences range from teaching beginning band in a boiler room to premiering new works at the university level, to working with young African musicians learning to play an instrument. Yet always, from Glasgow, Scotland to Zambia, Africa, and at regional, state, national and international conferences, Milt’s humor, passion and experience combine to illuminate the possibilities of both music and the live art of performance.

Milt’s articles and insights have appeared in music, parenting and educational magazines as well as various newspapers, including the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angels Times and the Chicago Tribune. He is also the author of Music, Artistry, and Education: A Journey Towards Musical Growth and Enlightenment, published by Meredith Music Publications/Hal Leonard. Dr. Allen’s online venture: “Milt’s Music Minute,” continues to gain in popularity, providing quick information and helpful hints for both music directors and parents.

Ensembles under Doc’s direction have received numerous awards at local, state and national levels including recognition by the United States Congress for Musical Excellence. He is a two-time high school Teacher of the Year, a Kansas Teacher of the Year Semi-Finalist, and is listed in various Who’s Who publications. Other honors and distinctions include 5 awards from the Ohio State University School of Music recognizing his teaching and service and selection as a Conducting Fellow for the Eastman Wind Ensemble’s 40th Anniversary. In 2008, Dr. Allen became the first civilian in the history of the United States Air Force to tour as a featured conductor (USAF Heritage of America Band) and received an Eastern Illinois University Achievement and Contribution Award.

Dr. Allen is an educational artist for Jupiter Instruments while also serving as a clinician for the Hal Leonard Corporation and Meredith Music Publications.

A native of Calgary, Canadian flutist Sarah Gieck is a prominent freelance orchestral, chamber and solo musician in southern Alberta.

As a teacher Sarah’s experience and reputation is widely recognized, she has served as the flute instructor for the University of Lethbridge for a decade, drawing students from across Alberta in pursuit of musical careers and excellence in music education. Sarah has extensive orchestral experience, playing regularly with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra since 2009. Although she most often plays 2nd flute, she has significant experience playing all positions including several seasons where she has served as acting principal flute.

As a chamber musician Sarah has performed alongside some of the worlds finest musicians including Robert Aitken, Rivka Golani, Barry Shiffman and Paul Edmund-Davies. In the past two years Sarah has been featured as a soloist on a number of occasions. Most notably Sarah performed the world premiere of Sea Dreams by Peter Togni, with Calgary choir, Luminous Voices and CPO principal flutist, Sara Hahn. The project received generous support by the Canada Council for the Arts. Additionally, Sarah also performed as a concerto soloist with the Calgary based, Kensington Sinfonia.

During the past decade Sarah has been featured numerous times in both University of Lethbridge Music at Noon Series and Faculty Artist and Friends Concert Series. She has also participated in solo performances through the Instrumental Society of Calgary, Wild West New Music Ensemble and Land’s End Chamber Ensemble. 

Sarah completed her BMus at the University of Calgary, MMus at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England and an AD at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. Her principal teachers include Gwen Klassen, Peter Lloyd, Lorna McGhee and Dr. Bradley Garner.

Matt Groenheide is a percussion performer and educator from Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. Matt loves the variety that comes from being a percussionist and is well-versed in classical percussion, world drumming, and drumset. Together with his wife – Jodi Groenheide (flute & percussion) – Matt performs in the jamani duo, a fun and energetic group that blends classical, world, and popular music together on a vast collection of instruments from around the world.

Matt performs regularly with the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra and the University of Lethbridge Global Drums percussion ensemble. He also performs with Pan Rocks, a rock’n’roll steel drum orchestra, combining Caribbean steel pans with renowned rock musicians. Matt’s favorite time of the year is his summers at MusiCamp Alberta – the premier summer music experience in the province. Matt also volunteers with the Alberta Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society.

Matt holds a Master of Music from the University of Southern Mississippi – where he studied with internationally renowned snare drummer/steel pannist Dr. John Wooton (AKA “Dr. Throwdown”) – and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Lethbridge – where he studied with master educator Adam Mason. More information on Matt’s adventures can be found at jamanimusic.com and by following “jamani duo” on Facebook and Instagram.

Visit Matt’s website.

Morgan McKee has a BMus from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has been active as a performer, clinician, educator, composer, conductor and recording producer and artist. He has been a featured performer at the Calgary, Edmonton and Sylvan Lake jazz festivals, conducted musicals all over North America and performed in the US and China with pop bands.

Morgan has been a private music teacher for 20 years, and has adjudicated festivals all over Alberta. His most recent performance credits include working with the RDSO on its jazz presentation Dec 2017, guest conducting Lindsay Thurber’s anniversary performance of “West Side Story,” March 2018 and ongoing featured work with both the Calgary and Edmonton Jazz societies. He works as a sought after sideman and solo performer all over western Canada. Morgan has also been a recording engineer and producer for countless projects including educational work with “Themes and Variations” that is used worldwide in classrooms, and rock, blues, and roots albums.

Tara Koett convocated from the University of Lethbridge (B.A./B.Ed) in 2006. She teaches Drama, Musical Theatre, Technical Theatre, and Improvisational Theatre at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School, and coaches the school’s Canadian Improv Games and Nosebowl Theatresports Improv teams. Past directing credits for Thurber are Little Shop of Horrors, Urinetown, West Side Story, Anything Goes, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Footloose. Tara is also a senior ensemble member and instructor for Rapid Fire Theatre in Edmonton, and most recently directed The Blank Who Stole Christmas. Tara performs in RFT’s regular Theatresports and Chimprov shows, and has been featured at the Del Close Marathon in NYC, and the Edmonton International Fringe Festival. Tara has also trained and performed with the Magnet Theatre and Upright Citizens’ Brigade Theatre in New York, NY. She has worked as director for MusiCamp Alberta’s musical theatre intensive for the past three summers.

Richard Scholz has been a professional trumpet player for over 25 years in the Calgary area. Described as a “commanding, dynamic player”, he has been the principal trumpet player for the Red Deer Symphony since 2009 and has been performing with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra since 1995. Richard is currently a member of Rosa Baroqua and has also played with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Regina Symphony Orchestra, and Theatre Calgary.

As a versatile freelance musician, Richard has played with performance groups such as Altius Brass, the Bow Valley Brass Quintet, Prime Time Big Band and the Land’s End Chamber Ensemble. His experience as a soloist includes performances with the Red Deer Symphony (most recently John Estacio’s “Trumpet Concerto” composed for Canada’s 150th birthday) and Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 where he played “the majestic piece with great flourish and panache.” Richard has also performed solo works with Alberta Winds, Metropolitan Winds and the University of Calgary Orchestra and Wind Ensemble.

Richard is a clinician, private instructor and teacher with the Calgary PhilKids program.

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