Edmonton - Guest Performances

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**Check back for updates** -Last update April 7th


Sunday, April 14th


Winspear Centre Main Stage, 8:00pm

Calgary Wind Symphony

Repertoire to be chosen from

Symphony of Birds (World Premiere)
I. Emergence
II. Night Shadows
IV. Earthbeat
Vincent Ho
Pictures at an Exhibition Modeste Mussorgsky
Irish Tune from County Derry Percy Grainger
Chorale and Alleluia Howard Hanson
Gaelforce Peter Graham
Machu Picchu, City in the Sky - The Mystery of the Hidden Sun Temple Satoshi Yagisawa


All Saints' Anglican Cathedral, 8:00pm 

Carson Graham Chamber Choir
Frank Lee, Director 

From a Distance arr. Eudenice Palaruan
Afternoon on a Hill by Eric Barnum
Don't Be Afraid arr. Jennifer McMillan
Ambe Anishinaabeg (Byrd) Andrew Balfour


University of Alberta Madrigal Singers
Tim Shantz, Director

Repertoire to be chosen from

Anang (Stars) Andrew Balfour* with Maria Protodyakonova, piano
Stars Ēricks Ešenvalds
Sing we and chant it Thomas Morley
Si ch’io vorrei morire Claudio Monteverdi
Les Fleurs et Les Arbres op. 68 no. 2 Camille Saint-Saëns
Little Birds Eric Whitacre with Maria Protodyakonova, piano
Picikîsksîs Chant Sherryl Sewepagaham*
the boy in outer space Cy Giacomin*
Music of Stillness Elaine Hagenberg with Maria Protodyakonova, piano
Lacrimosa from Requiem W.A. Mozart with Maria Protodyakonova, piano
Sun, Moon, Sea & Stars Bob Chilcott with Auren Shabada, baritone
Ero m’o Arr. Michael Uzoma
Uri Oma Arr. Fernandez Muogbo & Jude Nwankwo
Parlez-moi France Levasseur-Ouimet* arr. Allan Bevan* with Maria Protodyakonova, piano
Loch Lomond arr. Jonathan Quick* with Gabriel Berko, tenor


Freemason’s Hall,  7:00 pm and 8:30 pm

River City Big Band

Repertoire to be chosen from

Just Friends
Beautiful Love
A Touch of Olive and Brown
Polka Dots & Moonbeams
A Few Good Men
Tickle Toe
If I Should Loose You
I Can’t Stop Lovin You
Tom’s Shuffle

Couple movements from my adaptation of The Planets
I - Mars, the Bringer of War
II - Venus
III - Mercury, the Winged Messenger
IV - Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity
V - Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age
VI - Uranus, the Magician
VII - Neptune, the Mystic



Monday, April 15th


Winspear Centre Main Stage, 7:00pm & 8:45pm

RCA Band with guest oboist Alex Klein

Repertoire to be chosen from:

Symphonic Overture James Barnes
Concerto in F Minor for Bass Tuba Ralph Vaughan Williams
Rest Frank Ticheli
Children’s March Percy Grainger
Second Suite for Band Alfred Reed
Commando March Samuel Barber
Impressions Julie Giroux
Dreaming of the Masters Allan Gilliland
Windsprints Richard Saucedo


All Saints' Anglican Cathedral, 8:00pm 

Holy Cross Senior Concert Choir
Jeff Cabralda, Director

Repertoire to be Chosen From:

Ave Maria TL Victoria
Indodana -trad S African arr Michael Barrettt and Ralf Schmitt
Paraiso Ryan Cayabyab arr C Borela
Conversion of Saul Z Randall Strop
The Ground O Gjeilo
Papa Loko arr S Kallman
Fix You  
Halling Fra Sinja  
We’re from Barcelona  


The Augustana Choir
John Wiebe, Director

Repertoire To Be Chosen From:

Kahkiyaw Oskâyak Sheryl Sewepagaham
Wind Rising in the Alleys Nicholas Kelly
Pakasitawew (Hear My Prayer) Henry Purcell / Andrew Balfour
Lao Rahal Soti Samih Choukeir, arr. Shireen Abu-Khader
Alleluia Randall Thompson
Never Weather Beaten Sail Thomas Campion
Trilo Bengt Ollén
Rise up my love Laura Hawley
The Heaven's Flock Ēriks Ešenvalds
Ignite Emile Deedes-Vincke
Animal Crackers Eric Whitacre
Elastic Heart Sia Furler, Thomas Pentz, Abel Tesfaye, Andrew Swanson
Halling frå sinja Grete Pedersen
We're from Barcelona I’m from Barcelona, arr. Keith Sinclair


Freemason’s Hall,  7:00 pm and 8:30 pm

Little Birds Big Band with guest tenor soloist, Kent Sangster
Joel Gray, Conductor

Repertoire to be chosen from:

Caravan Juan Tizol, Irving Mills, arr. Duke Ellington
Flight of the Foo Birds Neal Hefti
I Love Being Here With You Peggy Lee, Bill Schluger, arr. John Clayton
In The Moment Kent Sangster - featuring Kent Sangster
Round Midnight Thelonious Monk, arr. Kent Sangster - featuring Kent Sangster
I Just Called To Say I Love You Stevie Wonder, arr. Michael Phillip Mossman
Dulce Suenos Kent Sangster - featuring Kent Sangster
I Remember You Victor Scherzinger, arr. Kent Sangster - featuring Kent Sangster
I'm Gonna Love Till I Die Al Hoffman, Walter Kent, Manny Kurtz, arr. John Clayton



Tuesday, April 16th


Winspear Centre Main Stage, 8:00pm

Philippine Madrigal Singers
Mark Anthony A. Carpio , Conductor

Repertoire to be chosen from:

Jubilate Deo Ivo Antognini
Quartet: Claudette Elline Cruz, Alrose Jane Salva, Adrianne Roy Calangian, Paul Manet
O Sacrum Convivium Gianpaolo Eleria
Cantiam, lieti cantiamo Giovanni Giacomo Gastoldi
Dessus le marché d’Arras Orlande de Lassus
Alitaptap (Firefly) Music Josefino Toledo, Poetry by Rolando Tinio Solo: Leslie Anne Abordo
Bakunawa (Moon-Eating Dragon) Ily Matthew Maniano
Leron, Leron Sinta (traditional Filipino), arr. Saunder Choi
Indian Songs Medley:
Ghoomar Music by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Text by Aas Mohammed Turaz, arr. Nikko Oliver Villanueva
Ekla Cholo Re Words and Music by Rabindranath Tagore, arr. Erwin D. Vargas
Navrai Majhi Music by Amit Trivedi, arr. John Angelo Diamos
Bumbro (a traditional Kashmiri folk song) arr. Cyro Bon Cloui Moral
Deep River (traditional spiritual) arr. Ily Matthew Maniano
Solo: Nathan Mañgune
Somebody Martin L. Gore, arr. Cyro Bon Cloui Moral
If I Ever I Would Leave You Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, Music by Frederick Loewe, arr. Kirby Shaw
Solo: Paul Manet Martinez
Paraiso Ryan Cayabyab, arr. Christopher Borela
Solos: Paul Manet Martinez, Michaella Mari Sanares

Philippine Madrigal Singers and Korora choirs

Oma Biindig Andrew Balfour
Doxologia Ily Matthew Maniano
Kuratsa Vocalise Arr. Stephen Q. Lagarde

Mass Choir

Padayon - Ily Matthew Maniano

Korora Choirs
Scott Leithead, Conductor

Repertoire to be chosen from:

Flying Cody Fry Arr. Jennifer McMillan
Solos: Oren Hofer, Jordan Ho, Dante Bacchetto
Mo Ghile Mear - Irish Trad. Arr. Desmond Earley
Solos: Oren Hofer, Marco Estrada
Human Heart Chris Martin and Jacob Collier
Transcription & Additional Arrangement by Jennifer McMillan
Alway Something Sings Dan Forrest
Callum Mitchell, Violin; Georgia Englot, Viola; Anastasia Callow, Cello; Jacque Morgan, Double Bass
Breathe Lyrics by Sauve MacBean, Music by Jennifer McMillan & John McMillan
Trapped in Stone Andrew Balfour
My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose Arr. Eriks Esenvalds Text by Robert Burns
Seaside Rendezvous Freddie Mercury Arr. Paul Hart
Wieglied Franco Prinsloo
Away from the Roll of the Sea Arr. Jennifer McMillan
African Song Medley: Dumela Kaufela (Cedric /Howoseb) , O Tuatha Kokure, U! Koro
(Cedric /Howoseb) Led by Travis Fick


Yardbird Suite, 8:00pm 

Improv night – high school students welcome

($5 per participant, $10 for observers at the door as this is sponsored by Edmonton Jazz Society)

All Saints' Anglican Cathedral, 7 & 8:30pm 

Mill Creek Colliery Band

Repertoire to be chosen from:

Where Eagles Dare
Light Cavalry Overture
Lux Arumque
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
Yoda's Theme
Elephant Patrol
Ravenhill Suite
Dam Busters
Floral Dance 



Performer Bios


Calgary Wind Symphony

The Calgary Wind Symphony, presented by the Calgary Concert Band Society, is an organization
which has been an integral part of the city’s musical landscape for over 60 years.

As stated in our bylaws, the objectives for the Calgary Wind Symphony are to provide a vehicle
for the musical satisfaction of both the members and their audience. We strive to promote
musical education, culture and improve the standards of music in the City of Calgary and
surrounding area. We value your feedback and encourage suggestions while we endeavor to
promote live music. We look forward to hearing from you.


The Calgary Concert Band Society traces its origins back to 1947, when well known Calgary band
conductor W.A. Leggitt, formed the Calgary Musician’s Association Band. It adopted a cowboy
uniform and during the ensuing years, the band appeared at the Calgary Stampede parade and
presented numerous concerts in the parks. Norman Halling became Bandmaster in 1950 and
the band assumed the name Calgary Concert Band. In 1952 they accepted an invitation to join
403 Reserve Squadron RCAF as the squadron band and functioned concurrently as a civilian
band. The band was incorporated as a Society in 1956. The uniform of red jackets, black
trousers, white shirts and black bow ties was adopted in 1960 and changed in 2002 to black
In 1963 Capt.F.M.(Ray) McLeod, former military band director with the PPCLI and Lord
Strathcona Horse Regiment, took over as musical director. From 1989 to 1997 Stephen Franse,
principal bassoonist of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, assumed the role of music director.
Under his baton, in 1996 the band played in the Jack Singer Concert Hall to celebrate their 40th
Ruby Anniversary. Dr. Jeremy Brown, Professor of Saxophone and Music Education at the
University of Calgary, then became the musical director. During this time the band was invited
to play at the Jungfrau Music Festival in Interlaken, Switzerland and the Mid Europe Music
Festival in Schladming, Austria in 2004.
In November 2005, the band came under the musical directorship of Earl Paddock, Music
Director at William Aberhart High School. In the summer of 2007 the band participated in the
Festival des Anches d’Azur, La Croix Valmer, France and also toured and performed at various
locations in London and Bath, England. Dr. Jeremy Brown returned as Music/Artistic Director in
2008 and the group had rewarding encore performances in Europe in July 2011.
In the Summer of 2012, the name of the ensemble was officially changed to the “Calgary Wind
Symphony” operating under the Calgary Concert Band Society as the governing body.


RCA Band

Formed in 1899, The Royal Canadian Artillery Band is the oldest professional military band in Canada. With a complement of 35 full-time musicians, the band takes pride in its role of providing musical support to Land Forces Western Area and Canadian Forces.

As musical ambassadors, The Royal Canadian Artillery Band regularly represents Canada in performing across the country and around the world.


Philippine Madrigal Singers

Recognized by the UNESCO as Artists for Peace for “putting their fame and influence to promote cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and a culture of peace,” the Philippine Madrigal Singers is one of the most awarded choral groups in the world, having won all the top prizes in most of the world's prestigious choral competitions, including the Grand Prix in the 2016 Concurso Internazionale di Guido d' Arezzo, Arezzo, Italy. They hold the distinction of being the first choir in the world to win the prestigious European Grand Prix for Choral Singing twice (1997 and 2007) and the first Asian choir to be accorded the BrandLaureate Premiere Award by the Asia Pacific Brands Foundation (2012).

The group's virtuosity across a vast repertoire range, its continuing promotion of Filipino choral works, and the rousing and deeply emotional impact that each performance has on all audiences the world over as they sing in the distinctive set-up of sitting in a semi-circle without a conductor, have established their reputation as a pioneering force in choral music and an inspirational role model for other choirs.

Founded in 1963, by National Artist for Music Professor Andrea O. Veneracion, the UP Madrigal Singers, now under designated successor Mark Anthony Carpio, demonstrate that choral music can be socially relevant and transformational. They have continued to touch hearts and souls of those who come to their performances, and carried on various programs to nurture and develop future generations of conductors and choral singers all over the world.


Korora Choirs

Founded in 1996, Korora is in its twenty-eighth season in 2023-2024. The flagship ensemble of Korora Choirs, Korora has received first and second place on Canadian national festival stages. The choir also placed first in their division in the CBC/Choral Canada Competition for Amateur Canadian Choirs in 2015. Korora has received several awards for its work with youth, music education, and its African Projects Fund. While Korora takes pride in these accomplishments, the choir's focus remains centred on creating a learning experience for young singers while providing audiences with exciting and innovative musical performances. Korora has been a featured ensemble at many events both nationally and internationally. These include the Rocky Mountain National Music Festival, Podium (the biennial conference of Choral Canada), the Canadian Music Educators National Conference, the regional conference of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), the International Society of Music Educators (ISME) conference, and others. In addition to performances in many North American cities, the choir has toured Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Malaysia, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, and Zambia. Korora is thrilled to have been invited as a featured ensemble at the IFCM World Choral Expo in Lisbon, Portugal in July 2019. In 2024, Korora will be featured at the Edmonton Cantando Festival. They will also travel to St. John’s, NL to perform as a featured choir in the new Harbour Voices Festival in July.

University of Alberta Madrigal Singers

The University of Alberta Madrigal Singers is comprised of 20-40 auditioned singers from across
the North Campus of the University of Alberta. Under the direction of Dr. Timothy Shantz, the
choir continues its tradition of excellence through performances and collaborations throughout
the department, faculty, university and broader community. The ensemble was formed under
the direction of Dr. Larry Cook in 1974 with occasional performances through the early 80's.
From 1982 to 2019 the Madrigal Singers was led by Dr. Leonard Ratzlaff and emerged as one of
the foremost university chamber choirs in Canada. Under the direction of Dr. Timothy
Shantz starting in 2019, the choir continues its tradition of excellence through performances
and collaborations throughout the university, faculty and the community. Frequent first-prize
winners in the CBC's Choral Competition for Amateur Choirs, the Madrigal Singers have also had
several successes at major international competitions, including first prize at the Robert
Schumann International Choral Competition in Zwickau (1995), third prize in the 5th
International Chamber Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf (1997), first prize in the

International Choir Competition in Cork, Ireland (1999), and the International Jury Award at this
same competition in 2008. In 2017 the Madrigal Singers were invited to participate in a festival
in Athens, Greece, together with several choirs from the US, under the direction of esteemed
British choral conductor Simon Carrington. The choir presented three independent concerts in
The Madrigal Singers have frequently been recorded by the CBC for regional and national
broadcast, and have appeared as guests of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, performing
Ravel's ballet music Daphnis et Chloé and Handel's Messiah. In 2005 they appeared with
renowned Canadian soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian. The Madrigal Singers are also regular guests
of the Alberta Baroque Ensemble, appearing on that ensemble's annual Christmas concert.
They have participated on four occasions in University Voices, a festival of Canadian university
choirs sponsored in Toronto by Soundstreams Canada, performing under the direction of
European conductors Robert Sund, Tõnu Kaljuste and Kaspars Putninš. The Madrigal Singers
were invited to perform at the National Convention of the American Choral Directors
Association in Los Angeles in 2005, and in November 2007 they performed as guests of
the Royal Society of Canada's Installation Ceremony at the Winspear Centre for Music. In 2010
they were featured at Podium 2010, the biennial conference of Choral Canada in Saskatoon.
Recent activities include a performance and workshop at Music Conference Alberta in Red Deer
in 2017, and a tour to Calgary and Vancouver in Spring 2019.

River City Big Band

The River City Big Band is one of the premier big bands in Alberta. They have performed throughout the province with artists including Eric Marienthal, Wayne Bergeron, Wycliff Gordon, Carol Welsman, Jens Lindeman, Bobby Shew, Vince Mai, Kent Sangster and Juno Award-winning artists Mike Murley, PJ Perry, Bobby Cairns and Tommy Banks. The repertoire of the RCBB is extensive, ranging from the big band standards of Duke Ellington and Stan Kenton to the music of some of today’s most popular contemporary jazz composers such as Gordon Goodwin and Edmonton’s own internationally renowned Allan Gilliland. The RCBB also plays original music and arrangements by past and current members of the band, including former Music Director and educator, Larry Schrum.

The Augustana Choir

The Augustana Choir is the premiere, auditioned chamber choir on the Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta. Located in Camrose, Alberta, the choir performs a diverse and exciting range of a cappella choral music, from Renaissance to the latest in contemporary choral compositions. In keeping with the liberal-arts tradition of the Augustana campus, singers in the choir come from all disciplines and departments, creating a rich milieu for musical exploration and growth. TAC is led by Dr. John Wiebe, Director of Music at the Augustana Campus, and tours annually across Alberta and Western Canada, with regular international tours, including Cuba in 2019 and Austria and Hungary in 2023. TAC has performed at provincial and national choral conferences and just released its latest recording, Distracted by Beauty.

Dr. JOHN WIEBE is an award-winning conductor, pianist, educator, adjudicator and clinician based in Edmonton, Alberta, where he is the Director of Music and Choral Activities at the University of Alberta-Augustana campus, and for 21 years was the Artistic & Executive Director of the Edmonton Youth & Children’s Choirs. John has studied at Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Alberta, with Frieder Bernius from Stuttgart, Germany, and in Vienna, Austria. Choirs under his dynamic leadership have recorded eight CD’s, performed coast-to-coast across Canada and around the world (Europe, Russia, South America and China), and have received awards for their performances locally, nationally and at the Langollen Music Festival and the World Choir Games. John is a regular clinician and adjudicator across the country, is a Past-President of Choral Canada and likes to keep in shape for his music schedule by travelling with his family, running, and playing hockey.


Alex Klein, oboe

Recognized as one of today's leading oboists, Alex Klein began his musical studies in his native
Brazil at age 9, continuing to the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Curtis Institute of
Music. Klein holds a Grammy Award for his recording of the Concerto for Oboe by Richard
Strauss with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim. Klein was
Principal Oboe in Chicago for 9 years under Barenboim, and in 2017 was awarded the Oboe
Emeritus Soloist title by current music director, Riccardo Muti. 

Klein won prizes at the international competitions in Geneva, Tokyo, New York and Prague, and
is regularly invited to adjudicate international competitions at these institutions as well as in
England, China and Russia. Klein left his position at the Chicago Symphony due to complications
related to Musician’s Focal Dystonia, a neurological condition that inhibits two fingers in his left
hand. During his convalescence, Klein dedicated his musical career to the advancement of
young talents from Latin America and neglected communities, founding FEMUSC in 2006,
the São Paulo International Chamber Music Festival in 2008, and PRIMA - Program of Social
Inclusion through Music and the Arts in 2012. Klein also performed as an orchestral conductor
in front of major Brazilian orchestras and in the United States, Europe and was the first Brazilian
to lead one of China's top orchestras. After re-learning the oboe and sufficiently overcoming
the limitations of focal dystonia, Klein successfully re-auditioned for his former position and
returned to the Chicago Symphony in what Chicago Magazine called "one of the greatest
comebacks of classical music." Alex Klein today is an oboe professor at DePaul University in
Chicago, also teaching/performing at the Aspen, Buzzards Bay, Sunflower and Mostly Mozart
festivals, and is regularly invited to teach master classes and recitals at North American
universities. Klein recorded dozens of albums with the Chicago Symphony and as a soloist and
chamber musician, with critical acclaim. His latest CD, released in 2019 by Cedille Records, with
20th Century Sonatas for oboe and piano, was nominated for a Grammy Award for “Producer of
the Year”, and was thus lauded by critic David Canfield for Fanfare Magazine: "In my opinion,
oboe playing simply does not get any better than this”. Klein is currently Principal Oboe with
the Calgary Philharmonic in Canada and maintains an international career as performer and

Little Birds Big Band

Now entering its 35th  year and proudly sponsored by the Edmonton Jazz Society, past participants who went on to become professional musicians include Don Berner, Jim Brenan, Craig Brenan, Doug Berner, Jerrold Dubyk, Audrey Ochoa, Leah Johnson, Rubin de Toledo, Efa Etoroma, and many more.  

Back in 1988, when instructor-founder, Gordon Towell approached the Edmonton Jazz Society to sponsor a big band program for student players from across the Edmonton region, no one guessed at the impact it might have on the local jazz scene. The Jazz Society agreed to offer partial funding and a free space for weekly rehearsals at the Yardbird Suite. 

Gordon's tenure was short-lived as he returned to school to start a doctoral degree. Dean McNeill was the next director of the Littlebirds, but he also heard the call of school and left the band to Jerrold Dubyk who directed the band for 2 years. In the fall of 1998, Craig Brenan took over the band and made a few changes related to rehearsal times. Local trumpeter, Joel Gray, took over as director in 2004, and he has more firmly established the group as one of Canada's leading youth jazz programs. 

The Littlebirds offers an elite opportunity for auditioned music students ages 14-21 to play in jazz-driven big band and small combos that crosses school divisions. It gives these students a chance to work and perform with other young musicians with the same passion, and it often leads to lifelong friendships and musical collaborations. 

The big band performs high-level music that requires real commitment from the students. Saxophonists are encouraged to learn their “doubles”, such as clarinet and flute, and there is a focus on sight reading, intonation, balance, blend, and stylistic authenticity. The repertoire focuses on the roots of the artform, such as the music of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Charles Mingus, Mel Lewis, Thad Jones, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, and Woody Herman, all the way up to the more modern composers such as Rob McConnell, Bob Mintzer, Gordon Goodwin, and Maria Schneider. The Big Band does 4-6 concerts per year, and participates in the Edmonton International Jazz Festival, in addition to other local events, such as the City of Edmonton's Swing N' Skate, the Cantando Music Festival and the Jazzworks Non Competitive Music Festival. 

In 2012, the Littlebirds added a jazz combo program. The combos also focus on authenticity and have a blend of learning jazz standards and doing original and creative music. All of the combo members learn to write and arrange music for their groups, and perform ten or more concerts per year. 

The competition to get into the band reflects its high profile. In the last ten years, kids from as far away as Onoway, Camrose, and Devon come out for annual auditions, and even past-members have to re-audition to make the cut each year. 

Each year, the Littlebirds will also have a number of workshops for the members, focusing on instrument specific skills, arranging, composing, improvising, and musicianship. Some of the more prominent national and international artists to work with the band in the last ten years include Tommy Banks, Bob Mintzer, Christine Jensen, PJ Perry, Jens Lindemann, Christian Scott, Elliot Mason, Marcus Printup, Brad Turner, Ingrid Jensen, Laila Biali, Tigran Hamasyan, Allen Vizzutti, George Colligan, Jodi Proznick, Gordon Towell, Rachel Therrien, Allen Jacobson, and Jeff Antoniuk. 

The alumni of the band is a testament to the Littlebirds lasting results, including Jim Brenan, Chris Andrew, Kent Sangster, Lina Allemano, Lyle Moltzan, Carol Johnson, Curtis Henker, Mike Bairs, Jeff Campbell, Craig Brenan, Rubim DeToledo, Brock Campbell, Jeremiah McDade, Jerrold Dubyk, Don Berner, John-Ceri Jones, Jeff Hendrick, Hannah Gray, Doug Berner, Eric Weiden, Audrey Ochoa, Jared Greeve, Carsten Rubeling, Efa Etoroma, Jordan Mann, John Roggensack, Chris Covlin, Alden Lowrey, Marty Majorowicz, Paul Richey, Matt Michielin, Sean Bumstead, Silas Friesen, Heather Saumer, Bryan Qu, John Sweenie, Jeremy Maitland, Jonathan Deppisch, Fred Mack, Sahil Chugh, Keira Harmon, Leah Harmon, Kent Shores, Gareth Gilliland, Murray Smith, Peter Filice, Dean Kheroufi, Brendan McGrath, Stefane Krimms, Taylor Rault, Jacob Do, Kessler Douglas, and Nick Lang. In addition to these professional musicians, many alumni have become music teachers in the public and private education system. 

The Littlebirds program is unique, and has made a significant impact not only on our local music scene and history, but at the national and international level. Few other programs feature the diversity of programming and experiences that our members get, from working with distinguished artists, recording CDs and DVDs, attending festivals and workshops, and live shows. Since 2020, the program has expanded and now has three combos, plus the big band, and over the summers of 2020/21 the combos performed over 50 outdoor concerts. 

Joel Gray, Director

Joel Gray is an Edmonton-based freelance trumpeter and music educator with over three decades of experience. He has shared the stage with esteemed artists such as Tommy Banks, PJ Perry, Slide Hampton, Diana Krall, and the Temptations, showcasing his versatility in both jazz and classical genres. Joel is a regular performer with various musical ensembles, including the Canadian All-Star JazzPops Orchestra, which gained recognition with a Juno award nomination for their album "Then Is Now 'Rhapsody in Blue'." Joel recently recorded with Maria Dunn on her Juno award winning album "A Joyful Banner Blazing". He is also a frequent collaborator with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, having played as assistant principal trumpet in Carnegie Hall and featured as a soloist in their "Tribute to Louis Armstrong." ​ In addition to his performance career, Joel has contributed his talents to professional musical theatre productions, including the National Broadway Tours of popular shows like "Book of Mormon," "Wicked," and "Beauty and the Beast." He is eagerly anticipating his involvement in the upcoming production of "Ain't To Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations" in Edmonton. ​ As a dedicated music educator since 1995, Joel has taught at respected institutions such as MacEwan University, Augustana University, and Keyano College. He currently serves as the Director at MusiCamp Alberta and has adjudicated at various music festivals, including the Cantando Music Festival and the Kiwanis Music Festival. Notably, he has been the director of the acclaimed “Littlebirds” jazz bands since 2004, fostering young talent in the realm of jazz education.

Kent Sangster

Juno nominee Kent Sangster, soloist tonight with the Little Birds, has been a prominent member of Canada's jazz scene for over twenty-five years. Kent is a highly respected saxophonist, educator, bandleader, composer-arranger, and producer. Kent's Obsessions Octet has performed at Carnegie Hall, The Rochester International Jazz Festival and completed 2 extensive tours in Europe. The European tours included performances in UK, Hungary, The Czechoslovakia, Greece and Poland. Kent has released 7 commercially released recordings, 4 of which are with the Obsessions Octet. In addition to the Juno nomination, Kent is a Western Canadian Music Award winning artist.


Mill Creek Colliery Band

The Mill Creek Colliery Band (MCCB) seeks to promote the British brass band tradition in Western Canada, employing all the traditional instruments of that ensemble.

The name of the band pays homage to the historical connection between 19th century working class northern England, and the brass bands which flourished during that time. The name also refers to a prominent ravine area in Edmonton, itself the site of important coal mining activity in the early days.

The MCCB had its beginnings as a small brass ensemble in 1995, with the first performance broadcast on CBC, June 21, 1996. After this ‘trial by fire’ experience, the band remained for several years as an 11 to 15-member ad hoc group. This all changed in 2001, when the band expanded to a full 25-member group, using the standard instrumentation of the traditional British-style brass band. The band consisted then, as now, of a mixture of professional and serious amateur players, who all share a similar enthusiasm for brass band music and fellowship.

The other significant change in 2001 was the instigation and promotion of their own season of subscription concerts. This popular format includes audience favorites at Christmas, as well as a seasons finale, ‘the last night of the proms’. During each subsequent season, the MCCB has continued to broaden its audience base, with invitational appearances at festivals and other community events.

Most concerts are held in Edmonton with occasional visits to other towns and cities in north-central Alberta, such as successful concerts in the communities of St. Albert, Spruce Grove, Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Bonnyville, Leduc, Cold Lake, and Rocky Mountain House.

In 2005 and 2010, the band traveled to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to participate in the Prairie Brass Band Festival, and hosted the Festival in 2004 in and 2012 Edmonton. We also regularly perform at festivals, schools, and community events (e.g., CBC Radio Turkey Drive and Celebrate the Season).

The MCCB was invited to perform before HRH The Queen, during the Alberta Centennial Celebrations in May 2005. In October 2010, the band was the featured musical guest for the 40th Anniversary Gala of the Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Company (Edmonton).

In 2007, the band released its first CD, ‘Introducing the Mill Creek Colliery Band’, followed by ‘Celebrate Christmas’ (2009), ‘Blaze Away’ (2014), and ‘Spiritual Brass’ (2014).

The band has also featured a number of guest performers including Jens Lindemann (trumpet), Robert Venables (cornet), Curtis Metcalf (euphonium), Andrew Poirier (trombone), Greenwood Singers, Edmonton Swiss Men’s Choir, Edmonton Youth Choir, Ritchie Trombone Choir, EKOSingers, Edmonton Ukrainian Male Chorus, King’s University Choir, Clan MacNaughton Pipe Band, and Bethel Lutheran Church Choir.

The MCCB has been honored to be associated with a number of fine conductors. The internationally renowned Canadian composer, Malcolm Forsyth, was the principal conductor of the band from 2002 – 2004. Local conductor and violinist, Aaron Au, conducted the band from 2004-2006. Dr. Forsyth returned as principal conductor from 2006 until his death in 2011. Since 2011 the principal conductor of the band has been Mr. David Hoyt.

As well, the MCCB has been fortunate to work with several well-known brass band conductors who have made guest appearances with the band. These include distinguished British conductor and composer Derek Broadbent, Canadian conductor and band trainer, Bram Gregson, and Canadian brass band composer and conductor Kevin Norbury. Kevin also wrote a commissioned work ‘A Celebratory Overture’ for the band that was premiered in 2005. The band has also premiered a number of compositions and arrangements from the pen of Dr. Malcolm Forsyth and several arrangements by members of the band.

In an effort to promote brass banding, the MCCB is available for performances at special events (workshops, festivals, school concerts, etc.).