VAYA Online INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL: Spring 2023 Adjudicators

Rhoslyn Jones, San Francisco, USA (Classical Voice)

Described as a “superb singer and artistic presence,” Rhoslyn Jones has established herself as an important presence on the operatic and concert stages of the world. Hailed as “The delicious diva," Ms. Jones captivated the audience with her “unforgettably powerful voice” in her role debut in Vancouver Opera’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro. As the Countess, Rhoslyn Jones imparted “a grace and dignity that prevent[ed] her from descending into the mould of the stereotypical wronged woman, and [allowed] her to become a relatable individual for a modern audience. Ms. Jones is a joy to watch and reason alone to see the show.” Equally passionate about her own singing and the future of singing, Jones is a champion of arts education and works to promote young singers and their training through her work on Voice Faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and as the co-founder of the Bay Area Vocal Academy.

Career highlights include multiple roles at San Francisco Opera including covering the title roles in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut and Tosca and appearing in Strauss’ Elektra where Ms. Jones stood out as the “compassionate Fifth Maidservant, singing in a shimmering, ringing soprano.” As Musetta in La Boheme at both Arizona Opera and Pittsburgh Opera, “her true genius vocally came through in the final scene when she reunites the near-death Mimi with Rodolfo. Her voice was powerful and nuanced, particularly in the upper register, but it was the sheer humanity she brought to the scene that earned her the audience’s resounding applause.” One of Ms. Jones’ favorite roles has been the Countess in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro which she starred in at both Vancouver Opera and Opera Santa Barbara where her voice was “full, rounded, and flooded with heartbreak.”

Other roles include Tatyana in Eugene Onegin at Vancouver Opera, Mimi in La Boheme at Pacific Opera Victoria, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at Chicago Opera Theater, and the title role in Floyd’s Susannah at Arizona Opera. A busy concert singer, Ms. Jones has also appeared with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, American Philharmonic, Anchorage Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, New York City Ballet Orchestra, Philadelphia Pops Orchestra, Sacramento Orchestra, Santa Rosa Symphony, Silicon Valley Symphony, and Vancouver Symphony.
As a part of the prestigious Adler Fellowship Program at San Francisco Opera, Ms. Jones’ voice was described as “luscious, and her soul opens forthrightly and generously to the audience.” She created the role of Julia Grant in Philip Glass’ World Premiere of Appomattox, appeared as Frasquita in Carmen, Yvette in La Rondine, and as Papagena in Die Zauberflöte. She also covered the role of Roxane opposite Placido Domingo’s Cyrano de Bergerac.

Ms. Jones attended the famed Curtis Institute of Music where she received her Diploma in Opera Performance. She received her Master of Music and Bachelor of Music at The University of British Columbia. She attended the Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival and was chosen to attend the Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera twice before being selected for a coveted spot in the Adler Fellowship.

Ms. Jones is also a highly gifted educator who was recently appointed to the Voice Faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She is also on the Voice Faculty at the Chautauqua Institute and most recently, was invited to be on Faculty of the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity: Opera in the 21st Century. She has also held positions at The University of British Columbia and was the Director of the University of British Columbia Summer Vocal Workshop; a young artist training program that she ran for 8 years. Students come from all over the world to take lessons, coach, and perform in the program that has quickly grown into a major training program under her direction. She has served on the Vocal Faculty at Sonoma State University, as well as an Artist in Residence at the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts. Her students have been accepted into the best schools in the country and have won various major competitions under her tutelage.

As the co-founder of the Bay Area Vocal Program (BAVA) Ms. Jones has built an organization that provides comprehensive vocal training for talented young singers, preparing them for college and a career in classical music. BAVA partners with world class solo artists and Bay Area arts organizations to offer professional performance experience and mentorships in all areas of the singing field.
Originally from a suburb of Vancouver in Aldergrove, BC, Rhoslyn Jones currently resides in San Francisco with her husband, stepdaughter, and beloved puppy Lincoln.

Dr. Valerie Whitney, Vancouver, BC, Canada (Brass)

Dr. Valerie Whitney was appointed to the faculty at the UBC School of Music in 2018, where she is now Assistant Professor, Horn and Brass Area Coordinator.
Dr. Whitney has been performing in and around the Chicagoland area for over a decade. She regularly appears with some of the nation’s most esteemed performing organizations, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Lyric Opera, and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. In 2010, she was invited to serve as guest principal horn with the Florida Orchestra for two weeks. From 2013–2016, she served as hornist of Fifth House Ensemble, during which time she performed and led masterclasses at nationwide universities as well as educational programs in various Chicago public schools and community centers.

In 2017, Dr. Whitney was the first candidate to earn a DMA in Horn Performance from Northwestern University. She is a graduate of Wheaton College and Northwestern University.
Sonia Klimasko, Toronto, ON (Violin and Viola)

Sonia Klimasko began her study of the violin at the age of 4. She has devoted the past 40 years of her life to performing, teaching, and sharing her love and knowledge of music with audiences, children and aspiring violinists across Canada, the United States, Europe and Mexico.

For the past 45 years, Ms Klimasko has played first violin with the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra. She has held the position of string instructor at Bishop Strachan School, University of Toronto Schools, Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts and string consultant with the York Region Board of Education.

She is an in-demand adjudicator and clinician. Ms Klimasko is a graduate of the University of Toronto, holding a degree in Performance.

Maria Molinari, Toronto Canada (Composition)

Trained as a classical guitarist, Maria Molinari began her composing career writing concert music for soloists, chamber groups, ballet and orchestras until her love of film, storytelling & collaboration drew her to film scoring. A melodically driven composer, Maria’s love of film scores began with the tuneful, soaring themes of John Williams and the haunting harmonies of Thomas Newman. She cites among her strongest influences the music of Prokofiev, Debussy, Stravinsky, Arvo Pärt, Jerry Goldsmith and Dario Marianelli.

Maria recently composed the score for the bold critically acclaimed anthology film TO THE NEW GIRL. Based on playwright Samantha Macher's celebrated female-driven stage production of the same name the award-winning film features an all-female creative team & cast. Her music can be heard in the score for the feature film END OF DAYS, INC. starring Mark O'Brien (CITY ON A HILL) and the theme for the forensic series MOTIVES & MURDERS: CRACKING THE CASE. She has provided additional music for the MARVEL COMICS based sci-fi syndicated series MUTANT X and the retro musical comedy series GETTING ALONG FAMOUSLY. Maria’s screen projects have enjoyed international broadcast as well as winning awards and playing at celebrated festivals including TRIBECA, VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, MONTREAL WORLD FILM FESTIVAL, BLOOD IN THE SNOW FESTIVAL and the CANADIAN FILM CENTRE WORLDWIDE SHORT FILM FESTIVAL.

Critically acclaimed violinist MOSHE HAMMER, the VICTORIA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA and NATIONAL BALLET OF CANADA dancer/choreographer Stephanie Hutchison have premiered Maria’s concert works. Her prizewinning setting of ‘Willow Song’ from Shakespeare’s OTELLO in the STRATFORD FESTIVAL OF CANADA’S Composition Competition for Young Composers; an arrangement of the song for symphony orchestra and soprano soloist was subsequently commissioned and premiered by the GUELPH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA. Maria’s virtuosic three movement violin and piano work TRE PEZZI PER VIOLINO E PIANOFORTE has been performed internationally; its exciting movement DANZA has been released by the piano and violin MATHIEU-CHUA DUO on the Centrediscs/Centredisques label. Occasionally the film and concert music worlds collide as they did in a commission to compose original scores for the classic silent films THE PAWN SHOP (Charlie Chaplin) and MIGHTY LIKE A MOOSE (Charley Chase). Performed live by the CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY OF MISSISSAUGA the scores were received enthusiastically at a live performance to screenings of the films at the MISSISSAUGA LIVING ARTS CENTRE.

Maria studied composition at the UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO with Alexander Rapoport, and film scoring at the UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES with iconic film composers ELMER BERNSTEIN, LEONARD ROSENMAN, DAVID RAKSIN & CHRISTOPER YOUNG.

Maria is both a Canadian citizen and a citizen of the European Union.
Peter Stoll, Toronto, Canada (Reed Instruments)

Known for his virtuoso energy on stage, creative musical arrangements and an entertaining way of speaking with the audience, Peter Stoll is one of Canada’s most innovative and versatile clarinetists. He was a prizewinner in the International Clarinet Society Competition, and also Solo Clarinetist with the World Orchestra of Jeunesses Musicales in Berlin and Vienna, which was broadcast on live television across Europe. Peter won First Prize in Chamber Music at the National Competitive Music Festival, for whose 50th Anniversary edition he was invited back as Woodwind Adjudicator, and as soloist in the Gala Celebration Concert in Winnipeg.

Peter has been guest soloist with orchestras in Canada and the United States and was invited to Russia for solo performances with the Saratov Philharmonic's “Volga Wind Ensemble” and to present masterclasses at the State Conservatory. International performances have also included twice at the ADeVantGarde Festival in Munich, Germany, as well as Finland, Great Britain, Holland and Belgium. In October 2013 he was flown to Japan to take part in the Yamaha Music Foundation’s “Junior Original Concert” at Bunkamura Hall in Tokyo. In October of 2014 Peter travelled to three cities in China on a new music exchange with conservatories there, organized by the University of Toronto.

Principal Clarinetist of the former Toronto Philharmonia for 10 years, Peter has continued to perform with many regional ensembles, including the Hamilton Philharmonic, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Niagara Symphony, Toronto Operetta Theatre, Toronto Masque Theatre, Opera York, Tapestry Opera, and the Talisker Players. In 2019 he won a Dora Mavor Moore Award as part of Best Ensemble-Opera, with Against the Grain Opera Theatre.

Summer festival performances have included a tour with the Swiss Piano Trio, the Ottawa and Vancouver Chamber Music Festivals, the Festival of the Sound, Manitoba's Clear Lake Festival, the Niagara International Chamber Music Festival, the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Ottawa Valley Festival, the Toronto Summer Music Festival and the Music Garden, and as a Mentor with the Boris Brott Music Festival's National Academy Orchestra for many years.

Peter teaches clarinet, chamber music, performance studies and The Business of Music at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto. He is also a member of the Royal Conservatory of Music's National College of Examiners and is much sought after as an adjudicator at music festivals across the country. In 2014 Peter served as the chief compiler of the new Clarinet Syllabus for RCM Examinations. He continues to serve as the Winds Area Specialist for RCME.

Other performance highlights have included concerts with the Gryphon Trio, pre-eminent Canadian percussionist Beverley Johnston, accordion virtuoso Joseph Macerollo, solo and chamber music for visits by world-renowned composers Kryzstof Penderecki, Chen Yi and Anders Hillborg, as well as serving as Artist-In-Residence for the Silverthorn Symphonic Winds. Peter recently performed the Canadian premiere of noted American wind ensemble composer Brian Balmages' concerto “Escapades” with the composer conducting. Peter is an endorsing artist for D’Addario Woodwinds Canada.
Elizabeth Childs, Bedfordshire, UK (Flute/Piccolo)

Liz studied Flute with Gareth Morris and Piano with Graeme Humphrey at the RAM and has performed all over the world. Her varied career includes performing with Quintessimo, adjudicating at both home and abroad and was visiting Flute Teacher for the University of East Anglia when it had a full-time music department. Liz is very comfortable adjudicating virtually/online and has already undertaken some of these classes and really enjoyed them.

Liz is founder and Musical Director of the Bedfordshire Woodwind Academy ( which includes the Bedfordshire Woodwind Academy Flute Ensemble which is thriving having undertaken 3 European concert tours with a more extensive one proposed for 2021. Liz is Flute/Piano/ Ensemble teacher at Beechwood Park School in Markyate, Hertfordshire a role that she thoroughly enjoys on many levels.

Liz is passionate about her work as an adjudicator, regarding it a real privilege to be able to encourage and inspire performers. She believes that a positive festival experience can change a performer’s life forever. It did hers!
Jo Cole, London, UK (Cello)

Jo Cole won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music aged 16, to study with Florence Hooton and David Strange. After further private study with Ralph Kirshbaum, classes with Pierre Fournier and William Pleeth and a period as Principal Cello of the European Union Youth Orchestra she embarked on a freelance career, playing as a member of the Academy of St Martins for over twenty years and as Co Principal Cello of the City of London Sinfonia and the Orchestra of St Johns.

Jo has played regularly with the London Symphony Orchestra since 1984 and has appeared as Guest Principal at the Royal Opera House, Opera North, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. She has also regularly been invited to take prominent chairs in many other major prestigious orchestras and ensembles including over twenty world premieres as cellist in both the Goldberg Ensemble, and in the chamber group Gemini, many of which have been recorded. Chamber music figures substantially in her performing experience and she has recorded English Cello Sonatas and Piano Trios for the BMS label and the Roberto Gerhard Cello Sonata and Piano Trio for Métier, as well as featuring as a soloist on several award-winning discs with the City of London Sinfonia.

After over two decades of high-level professional playing, in 2006 Jo took the position of Deputy Head of Strings at the Royal Northern College of Music, with special responsibility for orchestral training. She joined the staff at the Royal Academy of Music as Head of Strings in September 2010. Although her professional playing activities are necessarily curtailed by her role at the Academy, Jo continues to perform as both an orchestral musician and in smaller ensembles when her commitments permit.

Jo receives invitations to teach in a number of international conservatoires and on advanced level summer courses and uses these opportunities to share her thinking not only on cello playing but her strong belief that musicians should have a broad grasp of all forms of performance and be immersed in all of the arts in order to have fulfilling careers and be communicative artists. Jo has spoken at UCAS [University and Colleges Admissions Service] conferences and Higher Education training events on conservatoire auditioning and has been an external examiner at the RCM, the RNCM, Birmingham Conservatoire, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the Royal Irish Academy, the Purcell School and St Mary’s Music School.

Jo was appointed Visiting Professor in Cello at Shanghai University, China, in November 2015, and in March 2016 she was appointed Professor of Music by the University of London and made a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.

Jo stepped down as Head of Strings at the Royal Academy of Music in July 2022 embracing the opportunity to expand her activities externally in both performing and writing but remains as Professor of Cello there with a large studio of undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Kevin Zakresky, Vancouver, Canada (Junior Piano)

Kevin Zakresky is a conductor, pianist and music educator living in Vancouver. He currently teaches at Capilano University and the Vancouver Symphony School of Music, and also works as a touring orchestral conductor for video game symphonies and director of choirs in the lower mainland. Kevin adjudicates regularly throughout the province and will be returning this year to adjudicate junior piano at VAYA.
Brent Thiessen, New York City, NY (Musical Theatre/Contemporary Voice)

Brent Thiessen is an actor, currently starring in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s ‘Cinderella’ as Prince Topher for the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, working with acclaimed director Glenn Casale and choreographer Mayor Gerry McIntyre.

A lover of language and relationship-centered storytelling, Brent trained in the acting techniques of Konstantin Stanislavsky, Stella Adler, Uta Hagen, and Ivana Chubbuck, and has studied intensively with renowned teachers Larry Moss and Bob Krakower.

Born into a family of 8 boys in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Brent has performed leading roles for many of Canada’s finest theatres, working with Olivier Award nominee Stafford Arima at Theatre Calgary and Drama Desk-nominated director/ choreographer Michael Lichtefeld at Theatre Aquarius, before immigrating to the United States in 2019. That year, he made his American stage debut in North Shore Music Theatre’s hugely successful production of The Bodyguard.

In 2020, he was cast to lead the Broadway touring company of David Yazbek and Robert Horn’s Tony Award-winning comedy musical Tootsie as Max van Horn - reality tv show winner turned Broadway star. More recently, he worked with Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell as an original touring cast member of Broadway’s Pretty Woman - Gary Marshall and Bryan Adams' musical adaptation of the hit film.

Brent was nominated for two 2019 Toronto Broadway World Awards. His performance as Trevor Graydon in ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’, starring alongside Cindy Williams of 'Laverne & Shirley', earned him a nomination as Best Featured Actor in a Musical. For his work as Buddy in ‘Elf The Musical’, he received a nomination for Best Actor in a Musical. That performance was also named one of the "Top 10 Theatre Performances of 2018" by The Hamilton Spectator, with Glenda Jackson and Ian McKellen.

Brent is represented by Peter Kaiser at The Talent House. He lives in New York City with his wife, Jennifer.
Graham Yates, Austin, TX (Intermediate and Advanced Junior Piano)

Graham Yates’ approach to piano teaching is informed by sound pedagogical training over two post-secondary degrees and a busy professional performing career. His affable personality seeks to draw out the uniqueness of each student’s abilities and interests. He firmly believes that all people are innately musical, that musical training promotes well-being, self-expression and self-improvement, and that piano lessons and practicing are an enjoyable journey of self-mastery and self-discovery. Where the piano is an individual’s chosen form of musical expression, Mr. Yates has the ability, knowledge and resources to help students reach their full potential.

Mr. Yates draws from a range of methods to find the right fit for each student. The typical child will begin in Suzuki piano volume 1. Mr. Yates was attracted to the Suzuki approach following his formal education because of its belief that every child can excel in music, and for its emphasis on students creating beautiful tone from the beginning. Students typically progress into the Royal Conservatory of Music's graduated system of repertoire, technique, ear training and sight reading. Many students choose to complete RCM piano examinations to mark their achievements.

Mr. Yates regularly performs as a pianist in Austin and around central Texas. He also instructs music theory, music history and music composition. He is a member of the College of Examiners at the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Jane Lister, London, UK (Harp)

Jane Lister has worked in all fields of music, regularly playing with the major orchestras, such as the London Symphony Orchestra and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and with the major opera companies, such as the Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden and Scottish Opera.
She has performed many times in concert recitals, on television and in recordings, in particular as a soloist with many of the UK’s leading choirs, such as the BBC Singers and the Westminster Abbey Choir.

Her playing can be heard on film and television soundtracks as well as gracing occasions such as weddings, parties, conferences and product launches. Prestigious venues have included The Dorchester, The Savoy Hotel, The Chelsea Flower Show, Ascot and Kensington Palace and she has played for and with many celebrities, such as Sarah Brightman, Lesley Garrett, Billy Connolly and Elton John.

Jane is a a graduate of Cambridge University (MA) and her harp Professors include the legendary Sidonie Goossens. She holds a Premier Prix and a Diplôme Spéciale from Brussels’ Conservatoire and has been awarded many other scholarships and prizes.

Recently, Jane was invited to play with Ravi Shankar at the Memorial Concert held for George Harrison.

Jane was also invited to play at the birthday celebrations for the Duke of Kent, recently, and broadcast with the choir of St Albans’ Abbey on Christmas Eve.
Michael Kolk, Vancouver, Canada (Classical Guitar)

Michael Kolk has established himself as one of Canada's most accomplished classical guitarists. He has performed at festivals and concert halls throughout North America and Europe both as a soloist and as a member of the HK Guitar Duo with Drew Henderson. The Duo was selected by Prairie Debut for concert tours of Saskatchewan and the Yukon in the 2017/18 season. The following year a concert tour with violinist Laurence Kayaleh included concerts in Quebec, Ontario, and Switzerland.

Michael has collaborated with numerous musicians in both classical and popular genres. He made his debut with orchestra as a soloist with the Toronto Philharmonic and has also performed with the Canadian Opera Company, Opera in Concert, Tapestry Opera, and CineConcerts, among others.

Active as a recording artist, Michael has released a total of nine albums to date on labels such as Naxos, Alma Records, and Deosonic Music. These include four solo recordings, three albums with the HK Guitar Duo; and duo collaborations with Jeffrey McFadden and violinist Laurence Kayaleh. In addition to the standard classical guitar repertoire, Michael has been committed to presenting music that has rarely been recorded (composer Ferdinand Rebay), new transcriptions for guitar duo (with the HK Duo) and contemporary compositions (Nick Peros Nocturnes). These albums have garnered consistently positive reviews and have received frequent radio play in Canada and the US.

Michael has been a top prize winner at numerous guitar competitions. He holds an ARCT performance diploma from the Royal Conservatory, as well as Master's degree in guitar performance from the University of Toronto. In addition to performing and recording, he is active as a teacher and has guided many students to successful RCM exams and post-secondary auditions. After many years based in Toronto, Michael relocated to Vancouver in September 2022.

Press Quotes: of the most musical guitarists performing and recording today.

This is Classical Guitar

...playing and musicianship of the highest order.

Whole Note Magazine of the most brilliant and expressive classical guitarists I have heard in my life.

Liona Boyd

… the classical technical and interpretive skills to match any player I’ve seen – and that includes Julian Bream, John Williams and Segovia.
Cheryl Duvall, Toronto, ON (Senior Piano)

Cheryl Duvall is a multifaceted pianist with a penchant for musical risk taking and adventure. Equally comfortable in many different musical roles, she regularly appears as a soloist, collaborative pianist, adjudicator, teacher, producer and panelist and has toured and performed throughout Canada, Europe, Japan, Argentina and the U.S. Cheryl’s strong affinity for boundary-pushing and innovative music making led her along with friend and violinist, Ilana Waniuk to co-found the Toronto-based Thin Edge New Music Collective, “One of Toronto hottest and bravest new music collectives” (Michael Vincent - Musical Toronto), now in their eighth season. In her role as Co-Artistic Director of TENMC, she has been at the helm of many large-scale collaborative projects, including ‘Raging Against the Machine’, a collaborative concert, touring and recording project with Montreal-based Ensemble Paramirabo, and ‘Balancing on the Edge’, a radical collaboration integrating new music with new circus practices into a unique and thought-prokoving production. Under the leadership of both Ilana and Cheryl, TENMC has commissioned and premiered over 60 new works for chamber ensemble to date with 9 more slated for their upcoming season and have garnered an exceptional international reputation through tours to Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Argentina and across Canada.
As an extension of her solo performing, Cheryl has recently began a large scale commissioning/documentary project with seven Canadian composers, which will explore the composer/performer relationship as they develop seven new works for solo piano. She is also recording her debut album of works by composer Anna Höstman, who is also part of this documentary project.

As a person who is constantly inspired through collaboration and community building within the arts, Cheryl regularly collaborates with many arts organizations, instrumentalist and vocalists across Canada, including Essential Opera, soprano Maureen Batt, and American violinist Andrew Sords. She is also the collaborative pianist for the internationally renowned Oakville Children’s Choir, to which she has toured and competed internationally with gold standings as well as recorded numerous albums of choral repertoire. In 2018, she performed with Peggy Baker Dance Project’s critically acclaimed run of ‘Map by Years’ accompanying dancer Jessica Runge in performances of ‘Her Heart’.

Cheryl has performed on the stages of the Canadian Music Centre, Ottawa New Music Creators, Kitchener Waterloo Chamber Music Society, New Works Edmonton, New Music Calgary, Music on Main and The Little Chamber Music Series that Could in Vancouver, Open Space in Victoria, Salle de concert du Conservatoire in Montreal, The Music Room in Halifax, University of Guelph, Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Manitoba, The Music Gallery, Guelph Connections, Clarington Concert Band, the NUMUS, Open Ears Festival, University of Toronto, Ciclo de Música Contemporánea at the Teatro Nacional Cervantes in Buenos Aires, Kōen Dori Classics, Ftarri, SuperDeluxe and the University of Fukui in Japan, SoundSCAPE Festival of New Music in Italy, Le Pantographe in Switzerland and The World Choir Games in both Cincinnati and Latvia. She has attended the Casalmaggiore Music Festival in Italy, the Palazzo Ricci masterclass series, the Toronto Summer Music Festival, the World Piano Pedagogy Conference and held three artistic residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Recently, she was shortlisted as the finalist for the 2016 K.M. Hunter Artist Awards in Music through the Ontario Arts Council and Foundation and in 2009, she was awarded a SSHRC grant for her pedagogical research on how to incorporate aspects of the Alexander Technique into lessons with beginner piano students.
Besides performing, she maintains a full private piano studio, is a member of the College of Examiners with The Royal Conservatory of Music, adjudicates piano competitions across Canada and appears as guest speaker in university classroom and festival panels. Cheryl completed an Honours Bachelor of Music, majoring in Piano Performance and Theory and a Diploma of Chamber Music from Wilfrid Laurier University as well as a Master’s of Piano Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Toronto. Her main teachers and influences include Guy Few, Chris Foley, Midori Koga, Carmen Piazzinni, Nina Tichman, and Anya Alexeyev.