Consortium Aurora Borealis

Elizabeth Ganiatsos, Artistic Director
Northwestern Ontario's Chamber Music Group ~ Baroque and Beyond

Andy Hillhouse


Having spent much of his adult life as a travelling musician in the fields of folk and traditional music, Andy now divides his time between performance and scholarly pursuits in traditional world music. Andy’s entrance to the world of professional folk music began with the creation of his own group “Mad Pudding”, who released four CD’s in the late 1990’s and performed widely across 2 continents. Now as a song interpreter and specialist on Celtic rhythm guitar, he plays with several of Canada’s most respected, unique and exciting acoustic musicians including Pierre Schryer, Zav RT, and The McDades, with whom he won a JUNO award in 2006. Andy is a former member of the JUNO nominated vocal ensemble, Musica Intima.

Andy is also an accomplished choral director and the former musical director for Vancouver’s Universal Gospel Choir and the Sarah McLachlan Outreach Choir. He is currently working towards his PhD in ethnomusicology at the University of Toronto with specialization focused on the music of the late Canadian fiddler/composer Oliver Schroer.

Anthony Bacon


Anthony Bacon, assistant principal cellist in the Thunder Bay Symphony, is a soloist, chamber musician, freelance player and teacher. Born inEdmonton, he studied at the University of Alberta, and continues training with David Hetherington, Roman Borys, and Shauna Rolston in Toronto. Winner of several competitions and awards, including the Yo-Yo Ma scholarship for cello at University of Toronto, the Winspear Foundation scholarship, and the Anne Burrows foundation scholarship for advanced performance studies, Anthony also completed intensive studies atAustria’s Mozarteum from cellists Tsuoshi Tsutsumi and Julius Berger. Active in the contemporary music scene, Anthony has performed contemporary cello compositions for Canadian composers, and has showcased a variety of new music with Edmonton’s Orchesis ballet. He was also a member of Edmonton’s Contempo ensemble from 2004 to 2007. In addition, he is keenly interested in baroque performance practice, and studied and performed at the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute with Christina Mahler. He teaches cello at Lakehead University, and plays a rare 1962 Curletto Anslemo cello, which was made in Torino.

Colleen Kennedy


Colleen Kennedy is Principal Oboe with the TBSO. She was born in Comox, B.C., moved to Ontario at an early age and grew up in Toronto. She studied music at the University of Western Ontario and at the Juilliard School in New York. Her teachers have included Harry Sargous, Robert Bloom and Richard Killmer.

In 2005, Colleen celebrated her 25th anniversary season with the TBSO. That year marked similar milestones with Consortium Aurora Borealis and teaching as a sessional lecturer in the Department of Music at Lakehead University. During her time in Thunder Bay, she has been active in the arts community. She has performed numerous concerti with the TBSO including those by Strauss, Vaughan Williams, Martinu, Bach and Mozart. She was a founding member of the Thunder Bay Chamber Players and, with Lise Vaugeois, administered Thunder Bay Creative Music Projects – an arts education initiative that received the Thunder Bay Regional Arts Council Arts Education Award in 1993. More recently she was part of a recording project for New Music North, which culminated in the release of a CD of contemporary music. Colleen will be performing concerti by Vivaldi with Consortium Aurora Borealis in February 2012.

In 1999, Colleen began to work for the TBSO administration – at first as an office assistant, later becoming Marketing Manager. She retired from that position in 2007 and now enjoys more time for the oboe and the pursuit of other interests including running, mountain biking and sailing.

Damian Rivers Moore


Damian Rivers-Moore first played horn with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra nine years ago. He was pulled back and forth between the South and the North for the next few years, with the North winning out six years ago. He is now proud to have made a home here for himself, his wife, and his two Thunder Babies. Damian received his music performance degree from the Glenn Gould Professional School in Toronto where he studied with Christopher Gongos. Damian also trained with Derek Conrod at the University of Western Ontario and John Milner at La Conservatoire de Musique de Montreal. While away from his adopted home, Damian has performed with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, Toronto Operetta Theatre, the String and Wind Virtuosos of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra. His first professional job was as First Horn with the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, Peoples Republic of China. Damian is also an active chamber musician. He is a member of the Tamarak Wind Quintet and Thunder Brass and recently has performed several concerts with organist Karen Holmes. He was delighted to premiere a new Sonata for Horn and Organ by Rachel Lauren at the 2011 conference for the Royal Canadian College of Organists in Hamilton.

Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser


Born in Montréal, Québec, Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser has primarily been a resident of Calgary, Alberta. While in Calgary, Daniel has been Artistic Director of Players Chamber Ensemble, Assistant Conductor of the Calgary Civic Symphony, Director of the University of Calgary All-City Wind Ensemble, Orchestral Director of Ambrose University College and teacher of music at Glenmore Christian Academy.

Daniel has worked with some of the foremost conductors of this generation, among them Dr. Glenn Price of the University of Calgary, Mark Hopkins of Acadia University, Clark Rundell of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Baldur Bronnimann of National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia and, most recently, Rolf Bertsch of the Calgary Philharmonic. His studies at the University of Calgary earned him the Faculty of Fine Arts Gold Medal from which he went on to complete a Bachelor of Education and a Diploma of Fine Arts in Advanced Wind Conducting. After teaching for four years, Dan studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester England, where he earned the Royal Northern College’s James Kershaw Memorial Scholarship, Brierley Conducting Prize, David Frederick-Baker Memorial Prize and the degree, Master of Philosophy in Music Performance. While at the RNCM, Daniel completed a thesis on the compositional aesthetics of the Second Viennese School, studying with Dr. Douglas Jarman, Urtext Editor of the Berg Violin Concerto. Upon returning to Calgary, Daniel was appointed Assistant Conductor of the Calgary Civic Symphony, Director of Orchestra at Ambrose University College and re-appointed Artistic Director of Players Ensemble and Director of Bands at Glenmore Christian Academy. He has guest conducted the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and most recently, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

Daniel’s musical journey began in Montréal, where he studied Piano, and continued in Calgary, where he subsequently studied the Tuba and the Cello. Daniel has performed as a founding member of Calgary’s Cascade Quintet and as a soloist with the University of Calgary Symphony Orchestra, University of Calgary Wind Ensemble and Alberta Winds. He is regularly a guest lecturer and soloist at the Vic Lewis Band Festival, Calgary Regional Band Festival in addition to adjudicating at music festivals around the province. Daniel began his Cello studies while in University, studying with Amanda Forsyth and subsequently with Kirill Kalmykov, John Kadz and Andrea Case. As a cellist, Daniel performs frequently with both modern and classical chamber groups, as well as with the Calgary Civic Symphony and First Alliance Orchestra.

In addition to performing, Daniel has been a pedagogue with most of the major music institutions in Calgary including Ambrose University College, Mount Royal University and the University of Calgary. Daniel’s introduction to teaching as a member of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets eventually led to him spending nine wonderful years teaching music and a host of other subjects at Glenmore Christian Academy, a Fine Arts focused school in the Palliser School District of Southern Alberta. He has been Conductor of the Warrington Youth Orchestra, Junior RNCM String Symphony, and guest conducted the Calgary Youth Orchestra and Pfalzische Kreisjugend Orchester. He has continually volunteered with students whether in Canada or overseas; under the auspices of Teach Beyond, he has also worked in French and German, directing English camps in Switzerland and Germany.

Most recently, the Canada Council for the Arts awarded Daniel the Jean-Marie Beaudet award in Orchestra Conducting for his work with the TBSO during the 2012-2013 season.

Don Nixon


The grandson of a Toronto Mendelssohn Choir member and brother of a member of the Columbus Boy Choir (now the American Boy Choir), Don’s introduction to choral music began at age 8 as a choirboy at Saint Augustine of Canterbury, Toronto. His fondest memories from that time include the instruction provided by the now-renowned lyric tenor, Mark DuBois, who directed the choir for a period of time; and, at age 13, singing alto in the choruses of a full-length performance of Handel’s Messiah.

Don ‘dropped’ choir in Grade 9, figuring it was no longer ‘cool’. For many years he would only be heard singing along with the radio, in the shower, or around campfires. His audience expanded when his children were born, as he often sang them lullabies to encourage them to sleep.

In 1994, his wife encouraged him to audition for the Burlington Civic Chorale (BCC). Don was a member of the BCC in its inaugural year and sang with the BCC until the spring of 1999 when he relocated to Thunder Bay. Upon his arrival in Thunder Bay he joined the Lakehead Choral Group (LCG) under the direction of Susan Korstanje. He has been singing with the LCG ever since. December 2012 marks Don’s first performance with To•ne.

Doris Dungan


Doris Dungan is currently enjoying her 31st season playing flute and piccolo with the TBSO. Originally from Pennsylvania, she earned her B.Mus. and M. Mus. degrees from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor before becoming Assistant Professor of flute at the University of Southern Mississippi, where she was honoured with the Excellence in Teaching Award. Doris performed extensively as Principal Flutist of orchestras in Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama, as well as in recital and as a member of the Southern Arts Baroque Trio. Since moving to Thunder Bay,Ms. Dungan has appeared as soloist with the TBSO on both flute and piccolo, was heard nationally in recital on CBC Radio, and has regularly appeared as recitalist and with Consortium Aurora Borealis. She has taught flute, music history and music lit. at Lakehead University.

E-Chen Hsu


E-Chen Hsu joined the Thunder Bay Symphony in 1999 as a clarinetist and bass clarinetist. She completed her undergraduate studies in Clarinet Performance at the University of Western Ontario with Robert Riseling and Jerome Summers. E-Chen earned a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, USA with Russell Dagon. One of her favorite things since joining the TBSO has been collaborating with principal clarinetist Peter Shackleton. Together, they have performed in recital on the Friday’s at Noon (now 12:30pm) series at UWO and the LUMINA recital series at Lakehead University. In 2010 they performed Ponchielli’s Il Convegno with the TBSO on the Cabaret Series. An active chamber musician, Ms. Hsu has performed in chamber ensembles for the Kitchener Waterloo Chamber Music Society, with Consortium Aurora Borealis and New Music North in Thunder Bay. Her orchestral life outside of the TBSO includes playing with Winnipeg Symphony and the Britt Festival Orchestra in Jacksonville, Oregon. In 2006, E-Chen joined the Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra in Iowa where she enjoys playing operas every summer. Ms. Hsu can be heard on “Conversations”, a recording of Keyboard and Chamber Music by John Bilotta and David Gaines, released 2010 available on and the New Music North “First Recording” released in 2008 available at E-Chen teaches clarinet at Lakehead University.

Elizabeth Eccleston


Oboist Elizabeth Eccleston is in the final stage of doctoral studies from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where she also obtained her Master’s degree. Elizabeth began playing with the Kamloops Symphony at age 15. Later during her undergraduate years at Wilfrid Laurier University, she free-lanced in Ontario with the KW Symphony, Orchestra London, and the Windsor Symphony. In graduate school, she performed with numerous ensembles in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. In addition to her involvement with chamber and orchestral music, she has also been featured as a concerto soloist in Kamloops, Thunder Bay, Waterloo and Cincinnati. Elizabeth has toured with festivals in China, Italy, the US, as well as two summers with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and the National Academy Orchestra of Canada. She is a member of the Toronto-based Thin Edge New Music Collective, premiering works by Canadian composers for this select chamber ensemble each spring. This is her third season with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra as Second Oboe/English Horn, and her first performance with the Aurora Borealis Consortium. In her spare time she enjoys playing disc golf and snowboarding.

Elizabeth Ganiatsos

harpsichord, organ, violin, viola, recorder

Elizabeth has been Music Director/Artistic Director of Thunder Bay’s Consortium Aurora Borealis, which she co-founded, since 1979. She holds an Honour B.A. in Music History from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Arts from Harvard University, where she also completed Ph.D. coursework in Musicology, receiving numerous awards and scholarships throughout her academic career. From 1967 to 1974, she was a musician, and then, music director for the Poculi Ludique Societas, a University of Toronto mediaeval drama group. She has performed in early music groups, chamber ensembles, and orchestras in Toronto, Boston, New Haven, Kitchener, Sudbury and Thunder Bay. As a Sessional Lecturer in Music History at Lakehead University from 1976-88, Elizabeth specialized in the Mediaeval, Renaissance and Baroque periods. As a musician Elizabeth concentrates on harpsichord and organ, as well as viola and several mediaeval and Renaissance instruments. For 22 years she taught strings with the local Separate School Board. She studied with Winnipeg’s virtuoso harpsichordist Eric Lussier, with whom she has given several duo performances, most recently performing two J.S. Bach double harpsichord concerti. She is particularly interested in discovering and delving into lesser-known repertoire from the Renaissance and the Baroque, and in researching and assembling historically-themed programmes. Elizabeth has enjoyed exploring the organs and music of Venice, under the guidance of the organist of the Basilica of San Marco, Roberto Micconi, whose Canadian concert tour she organized in 2003. In July 2007 she gave an organ concert of 17th and 18th-century Venetian organ music on a historic instrument from 1765 at the Church of San Trovaso in Venice, joined by Canadian virtuoso violinist Jeremy Bell. She played two concerts at San Trovaso in May and June 2009, including a Purcell-Handel-Haydn-Mendelssohn Celebratory Concert, and returns to Venice for more performances in 2011.

Evgueni Tchougounov


Dr. Evgueni Tchougounov has a Ph.D. in Piano Performance (University of Montreal)
and a Ph.D. in Music Education (Moscow State Pedagogical University). He is currently a
Lecturer at the Department of Music of Lakehead University. Before coming to Canada,
he worked as a Lecturer in Methodology and Psychology of Music Education at the Music Faculty
of Moscow State Pedagogical University. Upon arrival and the outset of his doctoral studies, he
taught Piano Performance at the Faculty of Music of the University of Montreal and at the McGill
Conservatory of Music. Dr. Tchougounov is performing regularly as a concert pianist, both as a
soloist and collaborator, and as a choir conductor with different programs in the U.S.A,
Canada, Russia, and Switzerland. Many of his solo and chamber music recitals were presented
in famous recitals halls such as: Carnegie Weill Recital Hall (New York, 2010), Pollack Hall and
Redpath Hall (McGill University, Montreal, 2009, 2006), Salle Claude Champagne (Université de Montréal,
2002-2008), Rachmaninoff Hall of the Moscow Conservatory (Russia, 1998), Chapelle Historique du
Bon-Pasteur (Montreal, 2010), Live Radio Lac Recital Hall (Geneva, Switzerland, 2000).
A sensitive artist and a critically acclaimed pianist, he possesses a rare musicality, which unmistakably
charms his audiences around the world.

Frédéric Payant


Frédéric Payant started his musical adventures at the age of 8, starting with the piano. During his high school music program he fell in love with the trumpet. Since 2002 he has been studying with Manon Lafrance at the conservatoire de musique de Montréal, where in 2009 he received his Prix avec grande distinction. He spent one year at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England, where he studied with James Watson. He was also introduced to the Baroque trumpet by Robert Farley. Frédéric performed in the National Academy Orchestra and Orchestre de la Francophonie summer programs. He has performed in La Belle Province with several orchestras, including l’Orchestre des Grands Ballets Canadiens, Orchestre Symphonique de Laval, Sherbrooke, and Drummondville. In 2007, Frédéric performed the Arutunian Concerto for trumpet with l’Orchestre du Conservatoire de Montréal. Frédéric is currently second trumpet with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra for the 2012-2013 season.

Gwyn Hughes


Heather Morrison


Pianist Heather Morrison has held the position of Principal Keyboard
with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra for over three decades, and is
a lecturer in the Department of Music at Lakehead University, where she
teaches Piano Performance, Keyboard Literature, and coaches an
Instrumental Ensembles class. She also maintains the position of Concert
Co-ordinator and Faculty Pianist for Interprovincial Music Camp, held
annually in the Muskokas. Chamber music has always been central to her
life and she has enjoyed many collaborations with local, national and
international artists. Heather is a founding member of the trio “MuSiC in
Common” with clarinetist Peter Shackleton and hornist Derek Conrod,
appearing regularly in concert at the Stratford Festival and in Lakehead’s
“Lumina” concerts. In recent years engagements have included series
concerts at the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Perimeter Institute in
Waterloo. Heather is also an active clinician and adjudicator, having been
engaged by music festivals stretching from Vancouver to Toronto.

Jennifer Bryan


Originally from Brandon, Manitoba, violinist Jennifer Bryan is currently enjoying her eighth season with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. After one year at the University of Western Ontario, Jennifer high-tailed it back to the prairies to complete her degree in Music Performance under the tutelage of Dr. Guillaume Tardif at her hometown university. In recent years Jennifer has had the pleasure to become a frequent performer with Consortium Aurora Borealis and to participate in various projects and events offered by Thunder Bay’s rich artistic community. She has appeared several times as duo partner to violinist Jeremy Bell.

Karine Breton


During her early training Karine attended several summer programs such as National Youth Orchestra of Canada, National Academy Orchestra of Canada, Ohio Light Opera (Wooster, OH) Music Academy of the West (Santa Barbara, CA) and Pacific Music Festival (Sapporo, Japan). Karine has also performed in concert with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and l’Orchestre Symphonique de Sherbrooke.

As a chamber musician, Karine was a co-founder of the Estria Woodwind Quintet (1997-2001). During those five years as a member of the quintet, the group commissioned and premiered several pieces composed by French Canadian composers such as Walter Boudreau, Robert Lemay and Denis Gougeon.

Also co-founder of the Éolia Woodwind Trio, conducted by Jason Caslor, she was a member of the ‘Group of Seven’, who performed the complete version of Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale and Michael Daugherty Dead Elvis for solo bassoon and ensemble.

It is with pleasure that since 2005 during the TBSO’s off-season, Karine returns to the Eastern Townships as the Student Concerts Coordinator of the Orford Arts Centre where in 1996 she was a student herself.

Marc Palmquist


Marc Palmquist, Principal Cellist of the TBSO, has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Central America. He has been broadcast on NPR, CBC, and other networks. As a featured TBSO soloist, Marc has performed concerti by Bach, Boccherini, Bloch, Brahms, Dvorák, Fauré, Ginastera, Glazunov, Haydn, Ibert, Saint-Saëns, and others. Prior to joining the TBSO in 1985, he performed with the Queens Philharmonic in New York, the Florida Festival Orchestra in Boca Raton, performed on Broadway, and was on-call as a cellist with the historic Radio City Music Hall.

A native Minnesotan, Marc studied at St. John’s University, the University of Minnesota, the Juilliard, and Manhattan Schools of Music. In 1987, Marc and Deb (wife & clarinetist) toured Italy with members of the Metropolitan Opera in conjunction with the Teatro alla Scala. While on sabbatical from the TBSO in 1989-1991, Marc performed with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, one of the world’s finest. He has worked with one of the top ten orchestras in North America, the Minnesota Orchestra.

During the 1990′s, he summered in the majestic Rocky Mountains of Colorado where he was Assistant Principal Cellist in the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, collaborating with such brilliant performers as Gil Shaham, Yo-Yo Ma, Isaac Stern, Lynn Harrell, and others.

Marc is a founding member of the local musical phenomenon ‘Musically Inclined’. This varied ensemble performs a wide variety of repertoire in many different settings. Often considered the ensemble of choice for local entertainment functions, it is unequalled in its level of polish, professionalism, and repertoire:

Palmquist is an active chamber musician and teacher in Thunder Bay, has served as a sessional lecturer for Lakehead University’s Department of Music, and has appeared regularly with Consortium Aurora Borealis.

Martin Blanchet


Quebec-born Martin Blanchet learned violin and piano at an early age, and later studied at the Conservatoire de Musique de Québec, completing a double bass minor degree in Jazz and Pop music, a master’s degree in Classical Interpretation, and a second master’s degree in Chamber Music. Currently Principal Bass of the TBSO, Martin has also held the chair of Assistant Principal Bass in Orquestra do Algarve in Portugal. He has performed with La Orquesta de Extremadura de Badajoz in Spain, L’Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, and also at the Opéra de Québec. In the summer of 2009, he was invited to perform the Dittersdorf Double Bass Concerto in Pommersfelden, Germany. Martin has taught double bass at the Campus Notre-Dame-de-Foy in Québec and is presently a double bass instructor at Lakehead University. He enjoys playing Salsa and Bluegrass music with friends and colleagues.

Merrie Klazek


A native of Calgary, Merrie Klazek began playing the trumpet at age twelve and went on to complete a Bachelor of Music with Distinction from the University of Calgary and a Master of Music in Trumpet Performance from Northwestern University, where she studied with the late Vincent Cichowicz. Merrie is active as a performer and recording artist in orchestral, chamber, solo, traditional and popular music.

Her musical travels have taken her around the globe. Highlights include performing with Pavarotti at the Spoleto Festival, Italy, a production at the Festival Contemporaire in Strasbourg, France, a performance of Mahler’s 5 Symphony in Tokyo’s Bunka Kaikan Hall, a CBC broadcast of Shostakovich’s Concerto for piano and trumpet with Marc-Andre Hamelin and the TBSO, performances at the Stratford Festival, Hungary’s Niyrbator Festival, ITG 2008 “A Night of Principals”, the International Women’s Brass Conference 2010 and 2012, where she won 2nd place in the solo competition, over 30 solo appearances with various Canadian orchestras, as well as a variety of other solo performances.

Merrie has been principal trumpet with the Thunder Bay Symphony since 1999 and has held the same position with the Victoria Symphony (2005/06) and Orchestra London Canada (1996-99.) She has performed in the trumpet sections of over 10 of Canada’s top orchestras and teaches trumpet, performance skills and conducts the Wind Ensemble, at Lakehead University.

Merrie’s solo recording entitled “Songs to the Moon” with pianist Jennifer Snow has been featured on TVO’s Studio 2 and CBC Radio. She appears on numerous other recordings including four JUNO nominated CDs. Merrie enjoys the excitement of juggling motherhood and career, and performs around the continent with her husband, renowned Canadian Celtic fiddler Pierre Schryer.

Michelle Zapf-Bélanger


Canadian violinist Michelle Zapf-Bélanger is a performer and music teacher based in Thunder Bay, Ontario. This is her fourth season performing as a section violinist with the Thunder Bay Symphony.

Born in Montréal, Ms. Zapf-Bélanger grew up in Toronto, and is a graduate of the Etobicoke School of the Arts and the Young Artist’s Performance Academy at the Royal Conservatory of Music. She holds a Performance Diploma from the Glenn Gould School in Toronto.

An enthusiastic chamber musician, Ms. Zapf-Bélanger performs frequently with Consortium Aurora Borealis. She has toured internationally with Quartetto Constanze, an all-female string quartet praised in the press for having “a maturity beyond their years, with most impressive, tight ensemble playing.” On a recital tour of Iceland in 2006, the group premiered String Quartet No. 1 by Thordur Swineburne on Icelandic radio.

Ms. Zapf-Bélanger plays on a beautiful English violin from the workshops of W. E. Hill & Sons. She is celebrating her violin’s centennial anniversary this 2011.

Nancy Berglund


Patrick Horn


Patrick Horn is a violinist, violist, teacher, composer and arranger. He began his musical studies in Lafayette, California where he was a soloist with the Oakland and Diablo Youth Orchestras. He completed his Bachelor of Music at Rice University, studying violin with Camilla Wicks, viola with Csaba Erdelyi, and composition with Paul Cooper, Samuel Jones and George Burt. He earned his Master of Music in Viola Performance and Pedagogy under Peter Slowik at Northwestern University. Patrick’s compositions have received many public performances. He has also received numerous commissions from various performers, including such as the Halcyon Trio Oregon (Linfield College) and the Orion Ensemble (Chicago). His Black Tango was broadcast live by the Orion Ensemble on WFMT Chicago in May of 2006. Patrick is a private teacher of violin and viola and has taught at Merit Music and Upbeat Music in Chicago. He is currently a member of the music faculty at the Young Musicians and Artists in Salem, Oregon as well as maintaining a private studio in Thunder Bay. Patrick plays viola with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and with the Britt Festival Orchestra in Jacksonville, Oregon.

Pierre Schryer


Pierre is one of Canada’s leading traditional fiddlers. JUNO nominee, Canadian Folk Music nominee, and celebrated performer and producer, Pierre has established himself as a gem on the music scene among fans and fellow musicians. He was immersed from an early age in the Franco-Ontarian traditions of his heritage, through multiple fiddle competitions along with his triplet brothers. The Schryer Triplets recorded 2 albums and appeared several times on the “Tommy Hunter Show.”

As a solo performer Pierre has received numerous titles and awards including Canadian Open Fiddle Champion, Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Champion, Violoneux Championnat, and North American Irish Fiddle Champion. Over the last decade, Pierre has released six solo recordings on his own label, New Canadian Records, of which “Blue Drag” was honoured with a nomination at the 2004 JUNO Awards for best Roots and Traditional Album of the Year, and “Mélange” was nominated at the 2008 Canadian Folk Music Awards for Instrumental Solo Album of the Year.

Pierre has shared the stage with many colleagues in the traditional music scene including Natalie McMaster, members of Leahy, Jane Bunnet, the Barra MacNeils, Ashley MacIssac, Liz Carroll, Matapat, Club Carrefour, La Bottine Souriante, Altan, Old Blind Dogs, Chieftains and others. He has performed with numerous symphony orchestras across Canada with his acclaimed Symphony Pops show.

Pierre is the creator and artistic director of the “Canadian Celtic Celebration”, a three-day festival presented in Thunder Bay, Ontario each June. A native of Northern Ontario, Pierre is proud to continue planting roots in the north with his wife, TBSO’s prized trumpeter Merrie Klazek, and their lovely children, Kyran and Tamsyn.

Robert Van Wyck

flute, recorders

Robert Van Wyck was born in Hamilton, Ontario and began his music studies on the piano and recorder. He received a B.Mus. (History and Theory) from McMaster University in 1975 and a Licentiate in Flute Performance from McGill University in 1981. He extended his studies on modern flute with Robert Aitken and Marcel Moyse and on baroque flute and recorder with Hans-Olav Grosset, Stephen Preston and Bart Kuijken. He has performed in orchestras and chamber groups in Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton and Thunder Bay. Since retiring from school teaching he develops young flutists through the Suzuki Flute Program, sings in local choirs, performs in chamber music concerts and instructs at the LU Faculty of Education. When time allows he enjoys making lumber on his sawmill at camp, and then figuring out what he’s going to make it into. He has appeared with Consortium Aurora Borealis for the past 18 years, performing on various recorders, as well as on modern and baroque flute.

Susan Korstanje


Susan Korstanje is active in the Thunder Bay musical community as a conductor, violinist, and vocalist. She currently conducts the Vocal Ensemble at Lakehead University, and is in her 19th season as conductor of the Lakehead Choral Group. She plays violin in the trio Women in Black, sings soprano in the To•ne quartet, and performs regularly with the Consortium Aurora Borealis. Over the years she has had the pleasure of participating in numerous choirs, orchestras (including the TBSO), early music ensembles, and dramatic productions, including the roles of Mary Magdalene in a 14th century liturgical drama (Toronto’s Poculi Ludique Societas) and Ceres in The Tempest (Cambrian). She has degrees in musicology (M.A., U of Toronto), and music and secondary education (Honours B.A., Calvin). She has taught school and conducted choirs and instrumental ensembles in Michigan, Indiana, New York, and Ontario, and currently teaches for the Lakehead Board of Education.

To•ne, Thunder Bay’s professional vocal quartet, delights in singing music from the Renaissance and beyond. Based on the Latin word for thunder and an obvious musical allusion, the name To•ne reflects the quartet’s goal of bringing high quality vocal music to the people of Northern Ontario. The quartet was founded in 2010, after the original members had enjoyed singing together in a Consortium Aurora Borealis concert. To•ne presented its inaugural concert in April of 2011, followed by several more performances in Thunder Bay. In 2012 the quartet went “on the road,” presenting a concert on St. Joseph Island. Founding members Susan Korstanje and Nancy Berglund welcome Don Nixon and Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser for tonight’s concert.

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