Neil Aronoff Montreal-born baritone Neil Aronoff is a graduate of McGill University with a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance. With a passion for art song, Neil was awarded full scholarship to study at the International Summer Academy Mozarteum in Salzburg and the Songfest Professional Recitalist Program in California. He has appeared on stage with groups such as Opera in Concert, Toronto Operetta Theatre, Opera York, Tryptych, and Summer Opera Lyric Theatre. Recent recording projects include Purcell Theatre Music with the Aradia Ensemble under Kevin Mallon, and a new opera by John Plant called The Shadowy Waters. This summer, he performed the role of Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni as part of the Toronto Summer Music Academy and Festival with the National Youth Orchestra under the baton of Agnes Grossmann.
James Baldwin A native of St Marys, Ontario, baritone James Baldwin is an alumnus of several renowed ensembles: the National Youth Choir, Ontario Youth Choir, Amabile Boys Choirs, St. Marys Children’s Choirs, and the Festival Youth Singers. Currently a chorister with the Elmer Iseler Singers, James also serves as baritone lead at Holy Blossom Temple, Metropolitan United Church, and with the Amadeus Choir of Greater Toronto.
Charles Demuynck has guest conducted extensively in Europe and the U.S., and with the following Canadian orchestras: Orchestra London, Mississauga Symphony, Oshawa-Durham Symphony, Prince George Symphony, Cathedral Bluffs Symphony, Etobicoke Philharmonic, National Academy Orchestra, Royal Conservatory New Music Ensemble, Lethbridge Symphony, and the North York Concert Orchestra. His CD of Beethoven’s Symphony #8 and Brahms’ Piano Concerto #2 with pianist Garnet Ungar and the Varna Philharmonic was released in 2002 on the Americus label. His previous posts include: Music Director of the Brampton Symphony Orchestra, Oakville Chamber Orchestra; Assistant Conductor of the Knoxville (TN) Symphony, Music Director, Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra (LA), Director of Orchestras at the University of Evansville (IN), and Conducting Apprentice of the Hartford Symphony. He is the founding conductor of Masterworks of Oakville Chorus and Orchestra, which is dedidicated to oratorio performances. Charles holds a doctorate in conducting from the Hartt School in Hartford, Connecticut. He also holds conducting degrees from the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, and the University of Toronto. His Of what use is love if not for loving was premiered by Arcady on April 22, 2007 – the same day as the premiere of his work Exuberant for trumpet and piano with Robert Venables. Charles is currently Music Director at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, Oakville. He began singing with Arcady in 2005.
Wayne Gwillim obtained his Bachelor of Music in voice studies from the University of Toronto. As a soloist, he has performed works such as Bach’s St. John Passion, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Handel’s Messiah, Stainer’s Crucifixion and the premiere of Dennis Hendricksen’s And Jesus Said. For the past five years, Wayne has been a soloist at Bloor Street United Church in Toronto and is currently the Interim Director of Music for Humber Valley United Church in Etobicoke. Originally from Saskatchewan, Wayne works as a musical theatre accompanist, vocal coach, and arranger in Toronto.
Kirk Lackenbauer began his vocal training with renowned Canadian baritone Theodore Baerg prior to attending Wilfrid Laurier University. While studying for his Honours Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance, Kirk‘s principal voice teachers were David Falk and Victor Martens. Kirk has extensive choral and solo experience with various local orchestras and choirs such as the Renaissance Singers, Arcady, the John Laing Singers, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Philharmonic. He has performed leading roles in several musicals such as Evita, Fiddler on the Roof, Into the Woods, and the role of Bob in The Old Maid and the Thief in Montpellier, Marseille, and Avignon France. Kirk is currently a member of TACTUS, a professional eight-voice vocal ensemble with repertoire ranging from the early Renaissance to premiere performances of 21st century music. Kirk has performed concerts at Toronto’s Hummingbird Centre, at the Guelph Spring Festival, and several radio broadcasts for the CBC. He has collaborated with many distinguished groups including the Toronto Bach Consort, The Penderecki String Quartet, the Arbour Oak Trio, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Pops Orchestra. Kirk currently resides with his family in Waterloo.
Graham Robinson is a bass-baritone hailing from Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Receiving his Bachelors of Music in Voice at the University of Victoria, Mr. Robinson studied under Dr. Bruce More, Alexandra Browning, and Susan Young. A sought after soloist during his time in B.C. this young artist was a featured performer for most notably the University of Victoria Chorus, the University of Victoria Chamber Singers, the Victoria Chamber Orchestra as well as many others. In addition to his role as a soloist Mr. Robinson has managed a vocal studio and has provided vocal coaching and enthusiastically sharing his philosophy and technique to another generation of singers.
Bill Schatz began his music career early, with organ, piano and voice lessons under Harry Urstadt. Before attending the University of Western Ontario, Bill’s music studies had taken him to England, Scotland, Wales, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, and many parts of the USA and Canada. He has done CBC and CTV recordings with the Cambridge Kiwanis Boys Choir, and the K-W Symphony, as well as CD recordings with the CKBC, the Renaissance Singers Arcady, and the Brott Festival Choir. He has appeared as a solo performer with these groups, as well as the Grand River Chorus (Brantford), and the choirs of the University of Guelph. Bill served as the Musical Director for the Kitchener-Waterloo Singers, an amateur choir in the KW area from 2001 to 2009, including their 60th anniversary celebrations in 2008. As a high school music teacher, Bill spent 6 years as the Band Director at McKinnon Park Secondary School in Caledonia, where he took his concert bands to Chicago, Washington and Boston, and is currently the Department Head of the Arts at Pauline Johnson Collegiate &VS in Brantford. He is also the Music Director at St. Mark’s Anglican Church in Brantford, and has recently taken on the role of Artistic Director for the Brant Men of Song, a 40-voice male chorus based in Brantford that performs in various parts of the province.
Jordan Stumpf is currently a Biomedical Science major at the University of Guelph. He is also a high school graduate of the International Baccalaureate program at Cameron Heights in downtown Kitchener, where he would say most of his drive towards academics and music blossomed. Having started as an eager piano student at the age of 5, Jordan quickly realized his love of music and singing. Jordan is now a dedicated semi-professional singer, with credits in various musical theatre organizations, community choirs, and professional choirs as a chorister and featured soloist. Jordan’s highly successful original jazz-rock musical Beige completed its premiere run at the Registry Theatre in Kitchener from August 7th to 9th, 2008. Written in collaboration with writer/director Nikki Scodras, Beige is an personal expression of the high school life. Visit www.beigethemusical.com
John Van Maanen has been a baritone soloist for Arcady since its founding, and is regularly featured in their annual performance of Handel’s Messiah. He has also been involved as narrator in two recent productions of sacred operas composed by Ronald Beckett. John is a member of the Senior Choir of St. James United Church in Simcoe, occasionally serving as relief organist there. He has also performed lead roles in several productions of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas by The Wandering Minstrels of St James. Mr. Van Maanen pursued musical studies at the University of Western Ontario, earning a Bachelor of Music degree (Honours Music Education) in 1991, and a Master of Music degree (Honours in Vocal Literature and Performance) in 1993, under the tutelage of Professor Susan Bingemann-Ambrose. He maintains a studio in Simcoe. John has a fast-growing catalogue of church anthems to his credit. He has had hymns published in several hymnals. His setting of the Let all mortal flesh keep silence was recently published by Oxford University Press.
Dane Wendell is a student in the Faculty of Music at Wilfred Laurier University studying with Kimberly Barber. Most recently, Dane could be seen singing with Helmuth Rilling in the Festival Ensemble Chorus in Stuttgart, Germany. Other recent credits include; La Traviata with Opera Ontario, The Mikado with The Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Waterloo, Seussical the Musical with Kitchener Waterloo Musical Productions, Annie get your Gun with The Community Players, Canadian composer John Estacio’s opera Filumena with the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts in Banff, Alberta, as well as being this year’s featured soloist in Messiah with the University of Waterloo Choir under Gordon Burnett. Dane has been a member of the UW Chamber choir under Richard Cunningham and done solo work with that choir in performances with the Kitchener Waterloo Chamber Orchestra.
Michael York is a native of California and a recent resident of Canada. He has been seen most recently as Rev. Chasuble in Toronto Operetta Theater’s premiere of Earnest, the Importance of Being and Summerworks Festival production of Flux by Glen Buhr. Other recent roles have included Don Pantaleone in Die Drie Pintos and Allazim in Zaide, both with Opera in Concert in Toronto. He has also performed the role of Papageno in the Guelph Symphony’s staged performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Michael is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area where he sang with Opera San Jose, West Bay opera, Donald Pippin’s Pocket Opera, Livermore Valley Opera and Opera Stelle le Ciel. Michael attended graduate school at the University of Illinois where he sang the roles of Danilo in The Merry Widow, The Count in Le Nozze Di Figaro and the title role in Sweeney Todd. He also sang the roles of Phorbas and Le grande prêtre in the North American premiere of George Enescu’s Oedipe with Sinfonia da Camera in Illinois. Michael has appeared as a soloist with the Elora Festival Singers, the Cellar Singers, Arcady, the Millikin-Decatur Symphony and the Bach Artists of Champaign-Urbana in Illinois. Before moving to Toronto, he was a member of the voice faculty at Millikin University in Illinois where he taught voice and directed for the opera program. Mr. York is also the baritone soloist at Timothy Eaton Memorial Church in Toronto.