OCC Team and Board of Directors
Listed here are the members of the Oakville Children's Choir's outstanding artistic personnel as well as its dedicated administrative staff and Board of Directors.
Dr. Sarah Morrison...Artistic Director
Dr. Sarah Morrison is celebrating her tenth season as the Artistic Director of the Oakville Children’s Choir. She is also the Director of Choral Music at Appleby College in Oakville where she has taught vocal music for 15 years. Her choirs have been recorded by CBC radio and have won awards at both the national and international level. Dr. Morrison is known for her energy and creativity in working with young voices and she maintains an active career as a choral conductor, music educator, and performer. Dr. Morrison is the 2010 winner of the Leslie Bell Award for Choral Conducting awarded by the Ontario Arts Council. She was delighted to make her Carnegie Hall conducting debut in April 2013 as part of the Carnegie Hall National Choral Festival. In 2012, Dr. Morrison was honoured to be a Conducting Associate at the Transient Glory Symposium working with the Young People’s Chorus of New York City and Francisco Nunez. More recently, she worked with Grammy-nominated conductor Noel Edison at the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s 2014 Conductor’s Symposium. Dr. Morrison was the guest conductor of the 2010 Nova Scotia Choral Federation Junior Choir Camp, adjudicated for the 2012 NSYC Composition Competition, and was the guest conductor of the Chamber and Mixed Choral programs at the International Music Camp in North Dakota in July 2015. She sang soprano with the Canadian Chamber Choir for the past decade and can be heard on their CD, “In Good Company.” Prior to her work with the OCC, she was a vocal coach and conductor with the VIVA! Youth Singers of Toronto. Dr. Morrison is a frequent presenter of research papers and choral workshops at international conferences including the Ontario Music Educators’ Association, the American Choral Directors Association National Convention, Podium, the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, the Canadian Arts and Learning Symposium, and the International Society of Music Education conferences. She writes the Youth Choir column in the ACCC Anacrusis publication and served the board of Choirs Ontario as the Vice-President for two years. Dr. Morrison was pleased to adjudicate the choral classes at the Guelph Kiwanis Festival in 2016 and will be serving as a choral adjudicator for the Ontario Arts Council this year. Dr. Morrison holds music and education degrees from Western University and The University of Toronto. Her research interests focus on technology-enhanced learning environments in music education, creativity, curriculum development, self-regulated learning processes, and collaborative choral models. She is an associate in vocal performance of the Conservatory Canada and has studied choral conducting and Kodaly pedagogy at the Westminster Conducting Institute in Princeton; opera and vocal performance at the Academie Internationale de Nice, France and the Canford School of Music, England.
Charlene Pauls...Associate Music Director, ConductorDr. Charlene Pauls has appeared as a soprano soloist with major orchestras across as well as on international stages in Germany, England, France and Spain. She has sung with many of the country’s leading ensembles,
including the Vancouver Symphony, Calgary Symphony, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and at festivals such as the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival and the Winnipeg New Music Festival. Her career in music has also expanded into choral conducting. Over the previous four years she has developed the choral program at Tyndale University in Toronto, currently serves as Music Director at Incarnation Church in Oakville, and has also co-conducted the OCC chamber choir since 2013. As a clinician she has been invited to the Medicine Hat Conservatory, and has recently adjudicated at the Woodstock Rotary Festival and the Peel Music Alive Festival. Vancouver-born Dr. Pauls completed undergraduate degrees in piano and vocal performance while studying in Winnipeg, a Master’s in Voice from McGill University, and in 2013, a doctorate from the University of Toronto where she undertook extensive work in Vocal Pedagogy and a dissertation on Bach’s Cantata BWV 210. Upcoming performances include an appearance with the Oakville
Symphony next weekend, May 9, 10, 2015, singing opera arias and duets with Norine Burgess.
Dave Anderson holds an Honours Bachelor of Music Degree in Voice Performance from the University of Western Ontario and is a graduate of the Franz Schubert Institute in Baden bei Wien, Austria. He is the conductor of The Linbrook Boys Choir (Linbrook School, Oakville) and A Few Good Men (OCC). In addition to his work as a conductor, Dave is a Youth Motivational Speaker, and an Education Entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of SmallWorldGeneration.com and the founder of MovingMillennials.com, an online platform Inspiring entrepreneurship amongst Generation Y. Dave is thrilled to be a part of the OCC team, and wishes to especially thank Sarah and the artistic team, Grace and the board, and the dynamic duo of Jackie and Katherine for their unwavering support of A Few Good Men..
Rachelle Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Vocal Performance from Minot State University, a Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from Texas Tech University, and a Bachelor of Education Degree from Brock University. She has served as a choir director in various churches as well as in the educational settings of Appleby College and MacLachlan College. Rachelle currently teaches Kindergarten –Grade 11 music at MacLachlan College where she conducts both a Primary and a Junior Choir and runs a diverse program that includes hand bells, glockenspiels, recorder, guitar, and concert bands. Rachelle’s musical tastes are wide-ranging and she is as found of singing opera as she is of crossing over into other vocal styles. Rachelle has performed locally with Kitchener Opera, Brampton Lyric Opera, and Southern Ontario Lyric Opera, as well as with opera organizations in the United States. Rachelle is both an Ontario College of Teachers educator, as well as a certified International Baccalaureate teacher, educating students through the IB’s Design Inquiry method.
Sophia Werden Abrams...Conductor
Sophia Werden Abrams recently completed her Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Before moving to Hamilton, Sophia was an active member of the St. John’s musical community and was the accompanist and assistant conductor of the Atlantic Vocal Ensembles Children’s Choir and Kinder Choir. An avid choral singer herself, Sophia sang with the 2016 National Youth Choir of Canada on their Alberta tour this May.
Sophia is a native of Ontario and a graduate of the University of Waterloo, where she studied piano performance. During her time at UW she was awarded the Agnes Giesbrecht Scholar in Choral Conducting with the Chapel Choir, and served as Assistant Conductor of the University of Waterloo Choir.
Sophia values vocal technique and holistic pedagogy and strives to create a healthy sound with all the choirs that she works with. She is passionate about bringing music and singing to everyone while working with choirs of all shapes and sizes to share the stories of choristers, composers, and community.
Martin Wigle...Assistant Conductor
Martin Wigle is the Music Director and teacher at Linbrook School in Oakville; a new all boys’ school that opened it’s doors to the public in 2014. Martin is a graduate of the Concurrent Music Education Program at the University of Toronto where he specialized in percussion under the tutelage of Russell Hartenberger (NEXUS), Beverley Johnston, and John Rudolph (TSO). He is currently working on his Primary & Junior Vocal Music specialist with a focus on Carl Orff’s Music for Children. Martin is also well versed in World Music ensembles such as African Drumming and Dance, Balinese Gamelan, Latin Percussion, Steel Pan Drumming, and Body Percussion.
As a musician, Martin is very active in the music community. He is a guest percussionist for various Toronto-based bands and ensembles, and a contract musician for Cirque du Soleil. Martin is very proud to have sung with 'A Few Good Men' for the past three years, and is extremely excited to grow and learn as Associate Conductor of AFGM in the upcoming season. He would like to thank the OCC for this amazing opportunity; specifically Dave Anderson for his unwavering leadership, support and guidance over the past three years.
Cheryl Duvall is an active performer, chamber musician, accompanist and teacher. She completed an Honours Bachelor of Music, majoring in Piano Performance and Theory and a Diploma of Chamber Music from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Master’s of Piano Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Toronto. She has studied with Henri-Paul Sicsic, Guy Few, Anya Alexeyev and Jamie Parker as well as the Penderecki String Quartet. Ms Duvall also accompanies the Addison Women’s Choir and Grand Philharmonic Children’s Choir. She performs chamber music regularly at The Music Room,Kitchener/Waterloo and performed solo in Canada and Italy.
Rebecca Leung completed a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance under the tutelage of Tanya Sarkissova at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England, graduating with Merit standing. She holds an ARCT Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music, Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Professional Writing, and in two years earned her Bachelor of Music at Wilfrid Laurier University where she entered on scholarship and graduated with honours. A recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, Ms. Leung has enjoyed solo and chamber music performances in Canada , England, and France. She has performed in such venues and festivals as the Duke’s Hall (Royal Academy), Hammerson Hall, the Toronto Chinese Cultural Centre, Elora Festival, Orford Arts Festival, NUMUS, among others. Ms. Leung also maintains an active teaching studio, with students earning distinctive achievements in their examinations and various festivals.
Yvonne Choi is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University. She accolades in performance arts include winning the WLU Concerto Competition in 2013 and the Ken Murray Concerto Competition just the very next year. She is also a co-recipient of the Penderecki String Quartet Prize, which she won alongside the members of the Vogl Quartet. Yvonne was selected as a recipient of the Richard Kehn Scholarship in 2014 as a recognition of being an outstanding student in the area of music performance.
Yvonne's passion and talent for performance is evident in her performances with the WLU Symphony Orchestra and the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra. She is also extremely honoured and proud of the opportunity to publicly perform with the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony twice, as their featured soloist. Yvonne has published her first album of mainly solo piano works in 2015. In addition, she and Professor Leslie De’Ath are working on publishing an album of works for two pianos four hands.
Yvonne is currently studying under Lydia Wong while pursuing her Masters in Collaborative Piano Performance, she was granted the Lydia Wong Scholarship in 2015 upon enrolling to University of Toronto. In addition, Yvonne has been extremely active in the Toronto region. She is currently performing, teaching and accompanying in Mississauga and Toronto. Yvonne is passionate about devoting a career upon collaborative projects, as she is immensely interested in chamber performance.
Jackie Hawken...Executive Director
Jackie is an experienced business professional and long-time Oakville resident with recent small business experience. Jackie has a passion for the arts and her community. She has held a number of community volunteer positions, including Oakville Arts Council board director.
Jackie brings strong business, organizational and management experience to the OCC which is supplemented by superior interpersonal skills. She is a former human resources management executive with a professional designation and holds many business accomplishments and certifications. Jackie holds a Bachelor of Social Science degree, with a major in psychology, from the University of Guelph.
Katherine Hamilton...Administrative Assistant
Katherine brings experience from a variety of industries including over 15 years working in customer service and administration leadership roles. Additionally, she has a strong background in customer service management as well as marketing. Katherine has served in a variety of industries throughout her career, supporting many organizations with the design, build, and implementation of processes.
Assisting with Little Notes Prep Choir:
- Robert O'Halloran, Young Leader
- Lauren Weidner, Young Leader
Assisting with Cherub Choir:
- Megan Attard, Young Leader
- Ana Castro, Young Leader
- Daisy Kurelek, Young Leader
- Jennifer Wilton, Young Leader
Assisting with Intermediate Choir:
- Isabella Li, Young Leader
- Samantha Rideout, Young Leader
Assisting with Senior Theory Program:
- Anna Szatan, Young Leader
- Sophia Feng, Young Leader
Senior Choir Executive:
- Megan Attard, Head Chorister
Assisting with Senior and Chamber Choir:
- Samantha Rideout, Head Soprano (Senior Choir)
- Teni Ayeni, Head Second Soprano (Senior Choir)
- Nayiri Houldsworth, Head Alto (Senior Choir)
- Ana Castro, Head Chamber Chorister (Chamber Choir)
Board of Directors:
- Douglas Long, Board Chair
- Houri Houldsworth, Vice Chair
- Jacqueline Kalina, Treasurer
- Katherine Ward, Fundraising & Communication
- Jane Ho, Board Member
- Mary Marshall, Board Member
- Melissa Babel, Board Member