VAYA Live! Adjudicators

Elyssa Lefurgey-Smith, Victoria, BC (Strings)

Versatile Canadian violinist Elyssa Lefurgey-Smith grew up in Nanaimo, BC. She began her violin studies at age 5, with an inspiring teacher, which led her to a career as a professional violinist. In over a decade of performing with several Toronto ensembles, Elyssa cherished her time with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, which inspired her to pursue a specialty in early music. In 2016, Elyssa returned to her island roots, settling in Victoria to be closer to family. Excited to pursue new opportunities, and warmly welcomed by her west coast colleagues, she now holds permanent positions in Victoria Baroque and Pacific Baroque Orchestra (Vancouver).

Elyssa is an enthusiastic and passionate educator - involved in teaching, coaching and program development for over 15 years. In Toronto, Elyssa was the Director of the Strings program at the Kingsway Conservatory of Music (KCM), founding the KCM orchestral program and summer chamber music academies, and was the assistant strings teacher at Havergal College Senior School. Since moving to Cowichan Bay, Elyssa has founded the Cowichan String Academy, teaching a busy studio of students, ages 5-17. Elyssa has been on faculty at the Victoria Baroque Summer Academy since its inception in 2016 and has been invited as a guest coach to the Collegium Ensemble at UVic. In 2018, Elyssa became the coordinator of the Junior Summer String Academy at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and most recently founded the Victoria Baroque Youth Orchestra in 2022.

Geordie Roberts, North Vancouver, BC (Classical Voice)

George “Geordie” Roberts is a graduate of the School of Music UBC and the Vancouver Academy of Music where he was privileged to study under Phyllis Mailing. A member of the Vancouver Chamber Choir, he is a frequent soloist in concert and on recordings. He has adjudicated music festivals from Victoria to Winnipeg and has facilitated choral workshops throughout BC. His solo career has included engagements with the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Early Music Vancouver, Festival Vancouver, Trinity Western University, the Vancouver Symphony, and many community organizations in the Lower Mainland. For 28 summers, George has been the vocal instructor at the West Coast Family Music Festival, offering group instruction in vocal technique, song interpretation and diction for singers. He is an instructor in the School of Performing Arts at Capilano University and the Co-ordinator of Music at Highlands United Church, North Vancouver. He occasionally presents solo recitals and is highly regarded for his ease of production and expressive singing. Originally from Enderby, Geordie makes his home in North Vancouver with his wife, Frances.
Peter Jorgensen, New Westminster, BC (Musical Theatre/Contemporary Voice)

A graduate of AMDA in NYC, Peter Jorgensen has earned a reputation as an exceptional musical theatre actor, director, and educator. In 2007, with Katey Wright, Peter founded Patrick Street Productions to produce extraordinary contemporary musicals. He has directed numerous award-winning productions for PSP and other theatres, including Avenue Q and Rock of Ages (Arts Club), Les Miserables and Fiddler on the Roof (Chemainus Festival), and The Light in the Piazza (PSP, Jessie Award, Best Production), and his musical adaptation of It’s a Wonderful Life has been produced at theatres across the country. Peter is Founder and Director of the Arts Club’s Teen Musical Theatre Intensive, teaches Master Classes through PSP, and sits on the Advisory Board for CapU’s Musical Theatre program. PSP’s Professional Intensive combines the rigor of Peter’s Master Classes with the immersive quality of the Arts Club intensive and is partially inspired by the Menier Chocolate Factory musical theatre program, which Peter attended in London, UK in 2009.

Marya Ricker, Vancouver, BC (Junior Piano)

Marya began her piano studies in Ontario at the age of five with her mother. Upon moving to British Columbia, she studied with Darlene Brigidear, achieving the A.R.C.T. diploma with the Royal Conservatory of Music by the age of 14. Furthermore, she earned a Performer’s Diploma from the Western Conservatory of Music (Currently Conservatory Canada) and the Licentiate Diploma from the B.C Conservatory of Music. She was a consistent scholarship recipient in Lower Mainland Festivals and performed at the age of 10 and 12 as a soloist with the Surrey youth orchestra. She participated in numerous masterclasses throughout her childhood. Some of the professors whom she performed for were Robin Wood (University of Victoria) and John Kimira Parker. (Vancouver, BC)

After high school graduation, Marya attended McGill University in Montréal and Kwantlen University College in Langley, majoring in piano performance under the tutelage of Jane Hayes. After Marya performed Rachmaninov’s 2nd piano Concerto, as a soloist, with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, she collaborated in live performances with other musicians. She travelled with the Kwantlen university wind ensemble, performing the piano as well as 1st oboe and English horn in northern Italy, Québec, Ontario, the Okanagan and throughout the lower mainland.

In 2013, Marya opened the Tri-City school of music, Inc. building it from 15 students to over 275 students and 16 music teachers. Marya decided to sell the school in 2022 to focus on her other musical pursuits. She enjoys learning a variety of styles on the piano all the while performing with bands in live venues. She continues to teach piano privately, adjudicating in local music festivals and embarking on new and exciting musical opportunities. When Marya is not at the piano, she enjoys spending time with her family. She enjoys incorporating videography & photography in her life and when time allows, playing squash, tennis and hockey.

Bogdan Dulu, Vancouver, BC (Senior, Intermediate and Junior ‘B’ Provincial Piano)

With a knack for leaping musical hurdles, Bogdan Dulu is steadily establishing himself as one of Canada’s noteworthy musicians of the newer generation, combining mastery of the piano with the ability to educate and entertain with his engaging speaking style, intelligence, compassion, and humour.
His performing career began early on in his native Romania, with a concerto debut at age 12 broadcast by the Romanian Radio. Studio recordings soon followed, and the young pianist was selected to represent the national broadcasting corporation at the Concertino Prague and New Talent (Bratislava) competitions. It was also during this time that he briefly studied violin privately and entered most of the national piano competitions available in the country. While he did not enjoy practicing as much, he did show a particular interest in finger exercises, solfège, and aural training.

After completing his undergraduate studies in Bucharest (S. Sandrin and Ana Pitis, piano; Verona Maier, chamber music; Viorela Ciucur, collaborative piano), Dulu received a full scholarship to attend Mannes School of Music in New York City, where he studied with Irina Morozova for three transformative years. Other notable influences included Paul Schachter (analysis), Chris Stone (counterpoint), J.Y. Song (graduate research), and Todd Philips and Diane Walsh (chamber music).

In 2010, University of British Columbia made him an offer he could not refuse: the Four-Year Fellowship, UBC’s highest funding for top incoming doctoral students. This prompted Dulu’s relocation to Vancouver, Canada, where he soon learned the reason behind the city’s affectionate nickname of Raincouver. At UBC he studied under Distinguished University Scholar, Jane Coop, as well as Rena Sharon (collaborative piano and chamber music), Nathan Hesselink (ethnomusicology; thesis prep advisor), and Richard Kurth (music theory). Dulu is the first pianist to have written a doctoral dissertation on Marc-André Hamelin’s piano Études, researched under the personal guidance of the Canadian composer-pianist. It was during his doctoral studies at UBC that he developed a keen interest in the music of this legendary artist, with whom he worked closely during the final stages of the degree.

His reputation as a fast and reliable learner has helped consolidate his standing as one of Vancouver’s go-to pianists for last-minute musical emergencies of considerable might. Such came his Vancouver Symphony Orchestra debut under late music director, Bramwell Tovey, who asked him to step in on a 20-day notice to learn and subsequently premiere the Shalimar Variations, Tovey’s 25-minute concerto for piano and orchestra. The premiere performance was recorded by the CBC.

Dulu also competed in some of the more prestigious international piano competitions, among them Sendai, Helsinki, New Orleans, Calgary (Honens), Bucharest (Enescu), Cincinnati, and Seattle. He toured extensively across Canada as a signed artist with Jeunesses Musicales and Debut Atlantic. His High-Voltage Piano/Piano Haute-Voltige program highlighting piano music of Marc-André Hamelin reached audiences across Eastern Canada with a marathon tour of 19 solo recitals in 7 weeks. He also toured the Northwest Territories, reaching communities above the Arctic Circle. He has performed in Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa, being equally at home as a soloist as well as a chamber musician, collaborative and orchestral pianist, coach, or public speaker. Radio appearances include NHK Tokyo, YLE Finland, Romanian Radio, KING FM Seattle, WFMT Chicago, and the CBC.

Since the 2020/2021 season, Bogdan Dulu can be heard playing the piano, celeste, synth, and the harpsichord in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
He has taught piano at the UBC School of Music (sessional instructor) and is currently serving on college faculty at the Vancouver Academy of Music | S. K. Lee College (piano, chamber music, and the Career Development class). Additionally, he is on piano faculty at the VSO School of Music, where he is a mentor in the Performance Prep Mentorship Program, and where he serves as department co-chair.

Bogdan is a proud naturalized Canadian citizen, and lives on the traditional and unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations, colonially known as Vancouver, British Columbia. He is an amateur competitive cyclist and has a rather costly affinity for carbon road bikes. He does not like viola jokes.

Jane Hayes, White Rock, BC (Senior Piano, Junior A Provincial Classes)

Since her debut with the Toronto Symphony, Jane Hayes' concerts have taken her across Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, and Mexico. An active recording artist, she has over 30 CDs available on many prestigious labels. Jane moved to BC in 1993 to become a faculty member in the newly opened Music Department of Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Her passion for teaching was recognized when she received the 2015 Distinguished Teaching Award in the Faculty of Arts. She has established a strong link with Chinese music schools, giving a series of recitals and master classes in 2017 at universities and private music schools to foster professional development among Chinese piano professors.

In recent years she has appeared on concert stages in every combination from duo through large ensemble, as soloist with orchestra to chamber collaborator. She has been a partner of such esteemed artists as cellist Harvey Shapiro, violinist Robert Davidovici, and flutists Julius Baker and Bonita Boyd. Jane’s Four Jays performance for Vetta Chamber Music was recognized with a nomination for the 2021 Western Canada Music Awards. Her recent performance on a CD commemorating the life and musical legacy of composer Nikolai Korndorf was listed on CBC’s Top 22 of 2022. She is an active member of Vancouver’s Turning Point Ensemble, Yarilo Ensemble, and the Stellar Jays.

Since leaving Kwantlen in 2020, Jane is maintaining an active performing, recording, teaching, and adjudicating career. As former president of the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators Association, she understands so well the importance of local music festivals and is an engaging educator. In the words of one appreciative teacher, her adjudications contain “just the right balance of critique, encouragement, historical and musical details”. No matter what hat she wears, her focus is always on communication through music, talking a language that doesn’t need words.

Ellen Silverman, Vancouver, BC (Concertos and Intermediate Piano)

Ellen Silverman, pianist, has concertized often in Vancouver as soloist and chamber player and has been heard on the CBC in both capacities.

She has appeared with her husband, Robert Silverman, performing the four hand and two piano literature throughout British Columbia and in the Far East as well as the Northeastern Philharmonic Orchestra in Pennsylvania. She has also performed in such cities as New York, Pittsburgh, Rochester, Syracuse, and Milwaukee. She also is a frequent collaborator of French flutist Isabelle Chapuis.

A graduate of the renowned Eastman School of Music, Ellen Silverman holds a Master’s degree from Syracuse University. Her teachers have included Leonard Shure, Eugene List and Frank Glazer. She was the Coordinator of the Piano Department at Douglas College in New Westminster, B.C. for 32 years. She has served on the summer faculty of the University of British Columbia and for many years chaired the piano faculty of the Courtenay Youth Music Centre. She also maintains an active private studio in Vancouver.

She has adjudicated festivals in Calgary and Toronto and nearly every music festival in British Columbia. She also released a CD with Ed Lewis, Contemporary Music for Trumpet and Piano.