After a unique festival season, we want to thank all our hard working committee members, volunteers and donors who make this all possible.
We put all this hard work into our festival to celebrate the wonderful talent in Southeastern Manitoba. We believe this gives the performers opportunities to better themselves at their craft, and perhaps to be a performer, teacher or adjudicator someday.
We, at SEMF, applaud the hard work each of our performers puts into practicing, learning, and performing. Our community is richer for it.
James McLennan has been a voice instructor at the University of Manitoba’s Desautels Faculty of Music since 2017. One of Canada’s most active tenors, he has appeared on opera and concert stages across Canada in a wide range of character and leading roles. Last season’s credits included Gastone in La Traviata with Pacific Opera Victoria and Edmonton Opera, Handel’s Messiah with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and the Warden in Kiss of the Spider Woman with Dry Cold Productions. He also appeared with the Regina Symphony as the tenor soloist in Riel, Heart of the North by Neil Weisensel and Suzanne M. Steele.
This season’s highlights include his role debut as Little Bat in Susannah by Carlisle Floyd with Manitoba Opera, and he returns to Pacific Opera Victoria as Remendado in Bizet’s Carmen. Winnipeg audiences will also hear him as the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s Mass in C with the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir and the WSO next spring. An alumnus of the Second City Training Centre in Toronto, James is also a certified French translator
Manitoba-born and award-winning singer, actor, adjudicator, and educator, Aaron Hutton is one of the province’s most eclectic artists. A versatile performer with a résumé ranging from Baroque to Contemporary Musical Theatre, Aaron has become a sought after crossover vocalist. Having been recognized as “a wonderfully talented tenor” (CBC) and “one of Winnipeg’s busiest musical chameleons” (Winnipeg Free Press), he continues to make a name for himself in both the Musical Theatre and Classical music communities across the prairies.
Being no stranger to the local arts scene, Aaron has performed with some of Winnipeg’s premier theatre companies in leading and featured ensemble roles, such as Rainbow Stage, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Winnipeg Jewish Theatre, Dry Cold Productions, Prairie Theatre Exchange, and Manitoba Theatre for Young People. Aside from his stage performing, Aaron has flourished as a soloist with some of Winnipeg’s most distinguished choral, orchestral, and chamber ensembles, including the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Canzona: Winnipeg’s Baroque Music Ensemble, the Winnipeg Singers, the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir, and concerts with Manitoba Opera.
Aaron obtained his Bachelor and Master’s of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Manitoba Marcel A. Desautel Faculty of Music. He is an alumni of the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and the nationally acclaimed Opera Nuova training intensive. As an up-and-coming artist, Aaron has already made a reputation for himself as a dominant force in the Manitoba music and theatre scene.
Stay connected at aaronhutton.com.
Bill Millar is a researcher, trainer and budding podcaster, on the nitty-gritty of interculturalism and intercultural ministry.
Recent public speaking events relating to this research include presentations at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences for the Canadian Theological Society in Regina (2018) and at Behold I do a new thing: Emerging Perspectives on Ministry in Winnipeg (2018)
A frequent guest on CBC radio, Bill is a retired minister, having served as pastor of Knox United in Winnipeg [one of the most culturally diverse churches in North America] for 14 years. Earlier work included 11 years serving the Winnipeg region in congregational transition and renewal, and 12 years as pastor of Winnipeg Church for the Deaf.
He has provided training in worship leadership, and intercultural and change-focused ministry for: In-Community Program for Ordination, Diocese of Rupertsland [Anglican], Centre for Christian Studies, Forum for Intercultural Leadership, and the United Church of Canada.
Also over the years Bill has led numerous community organizing events, provided youth leadership training throughout North America [for Catholic church] and in Appalachia.
Pianist Nicola Davies divides her time between opera & musical theatre, recitals, teaching, and working behind the scenes in the arts. Her theatre work encompasses well over thirty productions as music director and pianist, including Carmen with Opera Kelowna, La Bohème with Opera NUOVA as assistant conductor, and musicals with Secondary Characters, Gallery 7, and University of the Fraser Valley Theatre in BC. She works with the University of Manitoba Musical Theatre Ensemble, the Manitoba Theatre for Young People junior production, and freelances as a collaborative pianist. She has taught piano and voice for many years, currently at Balmoral Hall School.
Nicola has instigated various projects over the years including Secondary Characters Musical Theatre, for which she was Co-Artistic Director for nine years. She is now the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Living Room Live, a classical house concert touring organization founded in 2018 to create intimate live music events for musicians and audiences across Canada.
As a participant at the Vancouver International Song Institute and the Franz Schubert Institute in Austria, Nicola has studied with such teachers as Julius Drake, Roger Vignoles, Elly Ameling, and Margo Garrett. A perpetual student, formal studies have included a Masters in Collaborative Piano at the University of Manitoba with Dr. Laura Loewen and Dr. Judy Kehler Siebert, a Diploma in Voice Performance, a Certificate in Conducting, and a Bachelor of Science.
Elation Pauls is Artistic Director and Co-Founder of the Rosamunde Summer Music Academy and Festival, and has served as Assistant Principal Second Violin with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra since 2009. She is in constant demand for her lush sound and expressive solo and chamber music performances, is violinist with Trio Exchange (clarinetist Micah Heilbrunn, pianist Madeline Hildebrand) and has enjoyed recent collaborations with Andrew Wan, Martin Beaver, David Harding, Ariel Barnes, Paul Marleyn and Martin Roscoe. January of 2018 included a self-directed residency in Israel with support from the Manitoba and Winnipeg Arts Councils. February of 2019 brought Ms. Pauls back to her home province for concerts and master classes with the Rosamunde Festival Players at the University of Saskatchewan and University of Regina’s Conservatory of Performing Arts. She enjoys teaching violin privately and has adjudicated at the Morden Festival of the Arts.
Following studies with the great Hungarian pedagogue Lorand Fenyves at the University of Toronto, Ms. Pauls obtained the highly sought-after Solo Performance (Konzertexamen) degree from the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Rostock, Germany, where she studied with Petru Munteanu. As well as playing in the Kammerphilharmonie Berlin-Brandenburg and the Hamburger Symphoniker while under the direction of Andrey Boreyko and Jeffrey Tate, she has performed as soloist with the Neinstedt Chamber Players (Germany), Rosamunde Festival Strings, Banff Festival Chamber Orchestra, and the Mooredale Concerto Players in Toronto. As a chamber musician, performances in this capacity have taken her from Toronto to Berlin, as well as the Schleswig-Holstein, Banff, Domaine Forget, and Kent/Blossom music festivals. She has performed in many of the major concert halls of North America and Europe, including Carnegie Hall (NY), Jordan Hall (Boston), the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Leiszhalle (Hamburg) and at the Philharmonie (Berlin), and is looking forward to the WSO’s tour to Holland and Belgium in May of 2020.
Skender Sefa completed the Bachelor of Music (Performance), Bachelor of Arts (Advanced) and Master of Music (Performance) degree programs at the University of Manitoba. He also attended classes as a scholarship student at Domaine Forget Music and Dance Academy in Quebec. Skender currently teaches classical guitar performance and music theory at the University of Manitoba Faculty of Music through the preparatory division and is a past president of the Winnipeg Classical Guitar Society.
Dr. Jennifer Lang is an Assistant Professor of Music Education and the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Saskatchewan where she conducts the Greystone Singers and teaches Choral Literature, Choral Methods, Choral Pedagogy, and Elementary Music Methods.
She is the organizer of the Department of Music’s Music Education in
Action Series and the founder and organizer of the uSing uSask Choral
Festival. Recent collaborations with the Greystone Singers include:
Mozart’s Requiem with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra (SSO) (2019); the Hallelujah Chorus with the SSO (2018); Christmas show with The Tenors (2018), The Armed Man with the SSO and Canadian Chamber Choir (2018); The Golden Harvest with the SSO (2017); the Saskatoon Chamber
Singers in a Double Treat Choir Concert (2017); Beethoven’s Symphony
No. 9 with the SSO (2016); The Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra, Dee Daniels
and Fred Stride in Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert at the Saskatchewan
Jazz Festival (2016).
Dr. Lang’s research examines engagement and agency in music education
programs, including informal music learning in a variety of
educational contexts, music creation in the classroom, and
intergenerational singing programs. Jennifer is also active as a
conductor, choral adjudicator, clinician and conference presenter with
local, provincial, national, and international invitations. Dr. Lang
has adjudicated most recently at Cantando Festival 2019 in Alberta;
ChorFest 2019 in Saskatchewan; the Moose Jaw Band and Choral Festival
2019 in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan; ChoralFest North 2018 in Alberta; 2017
Cantando Sun Peaks Festival in British Columbia; and ChorFest 2016 in
Saskatchewan. Her recent international conference presentations
include: International Symposium on the Sociology of Music Education
(2019, 2013); Research in Music Education (2019, 2017, 2015); Choral
Canada’s Podium (2018), Progressive Methods in Music Education (2018);
and the International Society for Music Education (2016, 2014, 2012).
While completing her graduate studies at the University of Western
Ontario, Jennifer was awarded a SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship and was an
instructor at the Don Wright Faculty of Music and Faculty of Education
and the Teaching Support Centre. Currently Jennifer serves as the
past-president on the board of the Saskatchewan Choral Federation, the
Board Chair for Musical Futures Canada, and a member of Choral
Canada’s Advocacy Committee and Editorial Committee. Prior to
completing her doctorate, Jennifer served as a program leader of vocal
and instrumental secondary school music with the District of Niagara
Arts Academy in the District School Board of Niagara.
A graduate of the Juilliard School, Winnipeg-born pianist David Moroz enjoys a career as one of Canada’s most versatile artists. As soloist he has performed in every major Canadian city, and as collaborative artist he appears regularly in recital with Canada’s most distinguished musicians. Twice nominated for Manitoba’s Artist of the Year, he is a frequent guest of CBC Radio and is a veteran performer at Canada’s most important music festivals.
David Moroz was awarded a Doctor of Music degree from the University of Montréal, and holds both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the celebrated Juilliard School in New York City. A gifted and dedicated teacher, he was appointed to the University of Manitoba’s Desautels Faculty of Music in 1999, where he serves as chair of the Piano Department, and teaches piano, piano repertoire and chamber music. In 2000, he began his long and rewarding association with The Morningside Music Bridge as coordinator of its Piano Department, and has since visited China regularly, performing, teaching and giving masterclasses at major Schools and Conservatories in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu. He has also served as Artistic Director of The Winnipeg Chamber Music Society since 1987.
David Moroz was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Government of Canada, in recognition of his contribution to the Arts.
Robin Dow is a veteran performer, choreographer and teacher who has been a well-known presence in the Winnipeg dance scene for over 30 years. Robin is a dynamic and energetic teacher who loves to share her love of dance with people of all ages. She has taught thousands of students, many of whom have gone on to careers in dance and the performing arts.
Robin has been Department Head for the Tap and Musical Theatre Department of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and has created and facilitated dance programs for many schools, including the Grant Park Performing Arts Program, and the Junior School Ballet program for Balmoral Hall School. A recipient of the Winnipeg Theatre Educator Award, she has had extensive training in ballet, tap, and jazz dance.
Selected choreography credits include a Grey Cup half-time show, “The Wave” for the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, “Falsettos” for Winnipeg Jewish Theatre, and numerous amateur, and professional musical theatre projects. Currently Robin is an elementary dance specialist for Balmoral School. She also teaches tap for adults, and works with the University of Manitoba Faculty of Music Musical Theatre Ensemble.
Joseph Sevillo has been a proud member of the CANADIAN ACTORS EQUITY ASSOCIATION for 19 years. He has performed in over 12 Rainbow Stage shows. Some of his favorite roles include ANGEL in RENT, PAUL in A CHORUS LINE, JOE VEGAS in FAME and PEPPER in MAMMA MIA. He has been an associate choreographer for Blockbuster Childrens Theatre shows such as Dora The Explorer, Franklin The Turtle, Strawberry Shortcake, The Backyardigans, Shopkins and Toopy and Binoo with Koba Entertainment. He has performed all over the country in shows such as Billy Elliot and Evita ( RMTC ) Beauty and the Beast ( Citadel, Theatre Calgary ) Miss Saigon ( Drayton Festival ) and was the original Jojo in the CANADIAN PREMIERE of SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL in Toronto! at Young People’s Theatre. He teaches the whole entire musical theatre department at Shelley Shearer School Of Dance consisting of 9 classes and is the Co-Director of Winnipeg’s premiere triple threat musical theatre workshop BROADWAY DANCE CONVENTION. He recently has also become one of the choreographers for the Manitoba Theatre For Young People’s Musical Theatre Company production of Urinetown presenting in the spring of 2020.
Presently Joseph has been co-writing/co-composing an original homegrown musical produced by Rainbow Stage about his filipino culture. It is entitled Ma-Buhay! Filipinos Singing For Their Lives. You can follow his journey in writing a musical for the broadway stage on facebook and on instagram @Mabuhaymusical. He is excited to share his knowledge at SEMF for the next generation of upcoming talents here in Manitoba.
Master Teacher, choreographer, educator, author, and motivator, Sofia Costantini is known for her high intensity, insanely challenging dance classes.
Sofia has choreographed and performed for many television specials, movies, and professional theatre companies. Sofia has had the honor of working with talented Canadian and American actors and dancers. She was personally requested by Patrick Swayze to jam in a studio together during the filming of the movie “One Last Dance”. As well, dancing in movies such as ‘”Shall We Dance” and “Make It Happen”, with celebrities Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez and Mary Elizabeth Winsted. You may have also seen her in the Treehouse children’s television series, “The Toy Castle”.
Respected in her field, Sofia conducts dance seminars, adjudicates, and appears as a guest teacher all across Canada. She also consults with dance-industry based organizations on everything from quality to curriculum. As well, she was previously the department head for the prestigious Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, where she developed the jazz curriculum for the RWB Teacher’s Course, worked extensively with the school’s professional division and Aspirant programs and choreographed on the RWB Company.
Ms. Sofia is currently a Program Lead for the Winnipeg School Division, overseeing all Arts programming. As well, she leads Dance Tec Company at Tec Voc High /school, actively offering youth performance and competitive dance opportunities.
Her passion and love for the arts permeates through her teaching, and sets her apart as a role model for her students. Her goal is to always provide the most exhilarating atmosphere in which the talented can thrive!
Romeo Suban has been a professional dance educator, choreographer, director, producer and adjudicator for over 13 years. He holds a Bachelors of Education degree in Kinesiology and
Theatre from the University of Winnipeg. Romeo has trained in many studios locally and abroad.
He has had the honour of performing for her majesty Queen Elizabeth II, opening up for the America’s Best Dance Crew Tours and We Day Manitoba. His professional career started when he appeared for the Rainbow Stage productions of “King and I” and “Miss Saigon”. He is also one of the founders of Un1te Dance Company where he organized the annual In The Zone Hip Hop dance competition. Today, Romeo teaches the dance program at St. John’s High School in the Winnipeg School Division. Romeo is excited to be part of the 2020 Southeastern Manitoba Festival! Thank you for this opportunity to support our performers towards excellence.