Desiree has been a professional singer and actor for over 20 years. She earned a degree from the University of Windsor’s BFA Music Theatre Program, and has been performing ever since. In 2015, Desiree graduated from the Artist in Community Education (ACE) Program at Queen’s University, focusing on Arts Education. As a professional actor and singer, Desiree has developed practices to care for the body and voice in order to meet the demands of her career.
Desiree has been featured in numerous Commercials, Voice Overs, T.V shows, (‘Love you to Death’), Films (Red, Absolon), and has performed live in various Theatres across Canada (Huron Country Playhouse, Victoria Playhouse, Stage West Calgary, Lighthouse Festival Theatre, Berkeley Street Theatre), and on Cruise Ships around the world, (Disney Cruise Lines, Renaissance Cruise Lines)
A veteran of stage and screen, Desiree has also taught voice, piano, and acting to a range of ages, in a variety of capacities. She was the Musical Director and Soloist for the Western Caribbean Gospel Choir, Voices of Praise, (Verity Centre for Better Living), for over 10 years, combining jazz, soul, gospel, and pop into the choir curriculum. She toured the Caribbean with Disney Cruise Lines, the Mediterranean, sung the anthems for the Toronto Raptor’s and Toronto Argonauts, toured the Middle-East, Asia, and across Toronto as the lead vocalist for the R&B Funk Band “Something Extra”. Desiree has also performed in the Toronto Jazz scene as a soloist, with accomplished jazz pianist Richard Whiteman. In 2006, Desiree recorded her first album “Hear My Song”, which was a collection of theatre tunes.
With her own company, Studio Vox, Desiree has begun to share her knowledge of voice, (singing and speaking), to help people develop better habits. She worked at the Voice Artist in Residence at Queen’s in 2015, and with students within the Limestone District School Board help students learn how to better use their voices and prevent vocal fatigue.
Desiree now lives in Kitchener with her daughter and their cat, and works as a Drama/Music and English Teacher with the Waterloo Region District Board. She continues to provide voice workshops in Vocal Performance, Public Speaking, and Acting. She would like to thank Sara-Jane and Suu for bringing her to be here today to support the next generation of artists and performers!
Torin W. Chiles
Torin Chiles (tenor) wears many hats. As a performer Mr. Chiles’
active performing career has spanned 20 years and his resume is
replete with engagements from North American Symphonies
and Opera Companies. He was featured on CBC Television's
Opening Night as McAlpine in the critically acclaimed new
Canadian opera, Filumena. His operatic credits include: Count
Almaviva and Pinkerton for the Opera Lyra at the National Arts
Centre in Ottawa and for the Manitoba Opera Association, Pang
for L'Opera de Montreal, Arizona Opera, Vancouver Opera
Association, Calgary, Edmonton and the Manitoba Opera
Association. He has played the Magician in the Consul for the
Florentine Opera company in Milwaukee, the Manitoba Opera
Association and twice for L'Opera de Montreal where he has also
been featured as Bob Boles in their highly successful Peter Grimes. Other performances have included MacDuff in Winnipeg, Tom Rakewell and Rodolfo in Toronto. Mr. Chiles has often been featured on the CBC Saturday Afternoon at the Opera broadcasts as both artists and panelist. Over the past twenty years Mr. Chiles has performed for every major opera company in Canada and most Canadian orchestras.
Torin Chiles is also a seasoned performer of Operetta and Music Theatre repertoire. He has performed Gilbert and Sullivan roles for The Winnipeg Symphony, the Manitoba Opera Association, and the Festival of the Sound. He is also featured on a CBC SM5000 recording entitled A Gilbert and Sullivan Gala with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra under Bramwell Tovey. Mr. Chiles has performed Music Theatre "Pops" concerts with several Canadian orchestras including the Winnipeg Symphony, the Hamilton Philharmonic and the National Arts Centre Orchestra and he has portrayed Operetta roles such as: Orpheus in Orpheus in the Underworld for the Toronto Operetta Theatre (TOT), Camille in the Merry Widow for the Regina Symphony, the Windsor Symphony and TOT. Mr. Chiles has been involved with the development and premiers of new music, opera projects such as Luis Applebaum's Erewhon, John Beckwith's Taptoo, Timothy Sullivan's The Lady of the Lamp and most recently, John Estacio's Filumena.
As a pedagogue, adjudicator, examiner and clinician Mr. Chiles is in ever increasing demand. He has been a full-time voice faculty member at the Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University Canada since 2004, serving as the Voice Division Coordinator; he began his Institutional teaching career at Western University in 1999. Examining and Adjudicating have taken him across the continent since 1999. Mr. Chiles teaches graduate and undergraduate Vocal Pedagogy courses at Western and frequently presents public lectures and Voice Technique Workshops to groups as diverse as: the Alberta Music Teachers Association, NATS Ontario, Conservatory Canada, the interdisciplinary Music and Medicine series and the Schulich Faculty of Medicine at UWO. A NATS member since 1999, Mr. Chiles is the Past President of the Ontario Chapter of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing), is a past Great Lakes District Governor and sits on the National NATS Foundation Board.
Now residing in London, Ontario with his wife, Lesley and their two young sons (Nawton and Tennyson), Torin Chiles is the Director of Music for a thriving and exciting music ministry at New St. James Presbyterian Church in downtown London.
Cheryl Duvall is 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, 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 sixth 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 50 new works for chamber ensemble to date with 15 more slated for their upcoming season and have garnered an exceptional international reputation through tours to Italy, Switzerland, Argentina and across Canada.
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.
Recently, she was shortlisted as the finalist for the 2016 F.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. Besides performing, she maintains a full private piano studio, adjudicates piano competitions across Canada and appears as a 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, Henri-Paul Sicsic, and Anya Alexeyev.
Katharine Rapoport teaches violin and viola performance, DMA seminars in string pedagogy and string literature at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, where she is an Adjunct Professor. She also teaches String Methodologies at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music.
As an active advocate of contemporary music, Katharine Rapoport has appeared as soloist and chamber musician in performances, broadcasts and recordings of premieres of new works throughout North America and in Europe. She is also a member of Esprit Orchestra, “Canada’s premier orchestra devoted to the performance of new works”.
Her students’ distinctions include winning scholarships to Juilliard School of Music, first place awards at the Provincial and National levels of the Canadian Federation of Music Festivals, and many other honours. Her current and former students play with the Boston Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, Tafelmusik and Symphony Nova Scotia, as well as in chamber ensembles in Canada and the US.
Katharine Rapoport has been invited to adjudicate at competitions and festivals and to give violin and viola masterclasses and workshops across Canada, as well as in the United States. She is a Senior Examiner for Royal Conservatory of Music Examinations, for whom she has compiled and edited several syllabi and albums, including most recently the 2013 Viola Syllabus and Series for the RCM examination system, the first thoroughly-graded series of its kind for viola.
After earning her M.A. from Cambridge University and her postgraduate Certificate of Advanced Studies in violin from the Guildhall School of Music, London, she continued her postgraduate studies at the Accademia Chigiana, Siena, Nordwestdeutsche Musikakademie Detmold and the Hochschule fur Musik, Vienna. Her principal teachers were Yfrah Neaman, Bruno Giuranna and Hatto Beyerle, the founding violist of the Alban Berg Quartet.
She has served on the faculty at summer programs such as Chamber Music at Port Milford Festival, Southern Ontario Chamber Music Institute and National Music Camp. With over 90 publications of Syllabi, playing editions, pedagogical texts and articles to her credit, she wrote Violin For Dummies for the popular series published by Wiley’s, now also translated into German and Dutch, and recently published in its Third Edition, as well as in eBook format.