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.
Sarah Morrison...Artistic DirectorMs. Morrison is in her seventh 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 over 10 years. Her choirs have been recorded by CBC radio and have won awards at both the national and international level. Ms. Morrison maintains an active career as a choral conductor, voice teacher, clinician and soprano. She is the 2010 winner of the Leslie Bell Award for Choral Conducting awarded by Choirs Ontario and the Ontario Arts Council. Ms. Morrison was delighted to make her Carnegie Hall conducting debut in April 2013 with her Cantus Chamber Choir as part of the Carnegie Hall National Choral Festival. In 2012, Ms. 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. She was the guest conductor of the 2010 Nova Scotia Choral Federation Junior Choir Camp and adjudicated for the 2012 NSYC Composition Competition. Ms. Morrison has sung soprano with the Canadian Chamber Choir, a national professional choral ensemble, for the past decade and can be heard on their debut CD, “In Good Company.” Prior to her work with the OCC, she was involved as a vocal coach and conductor with the VIVA! Youth Singers of Toronto for six years. Ms. Morrison is a frequent presenter of research papers and workshops on creative choral techniques at national and international conferences including the Ontario Music Educators Association conference, Festival 500, the Canadian Arts and Learning Symposium, the American Choral Directors Association National Convention, the International Society of Music Education conferences and the Kabalevsky conference held in Moscow, Russia. Ms. Morrison's music education articles have been published in several national journals and conference proceedings such as the Canadian Music Educator Journal, Sharing the Voices: The Phenomenon of Singing V, and Anacrusis. Ms. Morrison writes a regular Youth Choir column in the ACCC Anacrusis publication and is a member of the Board of Directors of Choirs Ontario.
Ms. Morrison holds an Honours Bachelor of Music in Voice from Western University, a Bachelor of Education and Master's degree in Music Education from the University of Toronto where she is currently a PhD candidate in Education, and is an associate in vocal performance of the Conservatory Canada. She 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.
Janet Stachow...Associate Music Director
Janet Stachow holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Toronto, where she minored in piano, choral conducting and composition. There, she was the assistant conductor of the main choir with Prof. Lori-Anne Dolloff. Ms. Stachow also holds a Bachelor of Education degree from U of T and taught elementary music for seven years for the Peel Board of Education. She also sang soprano in the Exultate Chamber Singers in Toronto for several years. Janet was the founding music director of the 'Choral de Lites Youth Choir' in Port Perry and is very excited to be the new Associate Music Director of The Oakville Children's Choir!
Jennifer Johnston holds an Honours Bachelor of Music in Jazz Voice Performance from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Education from Trent University. She is an elementary music teacher at St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School in Oakville where she directs a junior choir, senior choir, and an auditioned jazz choir. Most recently, Jennifer conducted Oasis Vocal Jazz, Toronto’s longest running close harmony ensemble. She currently sings soprano and sits on the board of directors with the Exultate Chamber Singers, and sings as a section lead in the Mississauga Festival Choir.
David Anderson holds an Honours Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from the University of Western Ontario, where he appeared in productions of Franz Lehar’s The Merry Widow (Pritchitch) and Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi (Betto). David spent the summer of 2008 in Baden Bei Wien, Austria where he studied poetry and performance of the German Lied at the Franz Schubert Institute . He sings bass and sits on the board of directors with the Exultate Chamber Singers , and is the Assistant Conductor and bass section lead with the Mississauga Festival Choir .
David maintains a private voice studio of aspiring singers, and is a co-creator of The Acoustic Opera: Canada’s Most Positive Bullying Prevention Program.
Kate Gurnham holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Western Ontario, and a Bachelor of Education (Artist in Community Education) from Queen’s University. She began singing with the Oakville Children’s Choir in 1996, and remained a member until 2005, participating in national and international tours with the choir. She sang in numerous choirs throughout university, as well as studying choral conducting under Dr. Gerald Neufeld. Since moving to Toronto, she has sung with the Exultate Chamber Singers for two seasons, and taught JK-Grade 8 Music at Sommerville Manor School in Mississauga. In addition to her role at the OCC, Kate is currently singing professionally with both the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and the Elora Festival Singers. Outside of choral music, Kate does Zumba as well as plays guitar and sings Old Time music in the Wingback Stringband. Kate is thrilled to be back as a part of the OCC artistic staff.
Charlene Pauls...Conductor and Vocal Coach
Soprano Charlene Pauls has established herself on the oratorio, opera and recital stage. She has been invited to sing across the country working with conductors such as Robert Shaw, Bramwell Tovey, Ivars Taurins, Howard Dyck, Jean-Francois Rivest, Frieder Bernius and Helmuth Rilling. Ms. Pauls appears often with baroque groups and symphony orchestras including Thirteen Strings, Vancouver Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony and the National Arts Centre orchestras. Her concert work has also recently taken her to Spain and France singing Beethoven, Handel, and Mozart. Dr. Pauls currently teaches voice at Tyndale University in Toronto. She recently completed her Doctorate of Music Arts at The University of Toronto in vocal performance.
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.
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. She has studied with Anya Alexeyev, Guy Few 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 in Kitchener/Waterloo and has performed solo in both Canada and Italy. She truly enjoys accompanying The Oakville Children's Choir!
Jackie Hawken...Executive Director
Jackie is a human resources 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 social media 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, influencing thousands of people.
Assisting with Little Notes Prep Choir:
- Ella Wieckowski, Young Leader
Assisting with Cherub Choir:
- Mitchell Watt, Young Leader
Assisting with Intermediate Choir:
- Blair Somerville, Young Leader
Assisting with Theory Classes:
- Aleeza Ladhani, Young Leader
Assisting with Boys and Young Men's Choir:
- Mitchell Watt, Young Leader
- Xin-Xin Wang, Young Leader
Assisting with Senior Choir:
- Victoria Mancini, Head Chorister
- Ariana Jacobs, Head Soprano
- Monet Slinowsky, Head Soprano
- Jessica Cooper, Head Alto
- Blair Somerville, Young Leader
- Ella Wieckowski, Young Leader
Board of Directors:
- Mr. Mark Stephenson, Chair
- Mrs. Diana Isherwood, Advisor
- Ms. Sarah Morrison, Music Director
- Grace Attard
- Gulzar Ladhani
- Douglas Long
- Jacqueline Kalina