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CANADA - Ontario

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The Toronto Valour Ensemble

THE TORONTO VALOUR ENSEMBLE

Drew Beaudoin (Tenor)

Drew Beaudoin came to singing from a woodwind background, only starting to take it seriously after university. Now, it’s a large part of his life, from hitting the high notes as a first tenor in the Canadian Men’s Chorus, to a cantor for the Church of the Transfiguration to, recently, becoming the Vocal Director for an independent musical theatre group, Fandom Musicals. Creating interesting harmonies has always been a highlight, though, and creating works such as Danny Boy and Beaumont Hamel have allowed him to let composing evolve from a side project to a growing focus in his musical career.

Jonathan Holtby (Baritone)

Jonathan is an international chorister, singing Baritone for competition choirs and chamber ensembles in Australia, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and in Canada. He has had the pleasure of singing under Debra Shearer-Dirie and the Fusion Ensemble from Brisbane Australia in the World Choral Music Symposium in Seoul, South Korea; Cheryll Chung in the Cantabile Chamber Singers and Matthew Otto in the Canadian Mens Chorus, both in Toronto, Canada; and he has been a soloist and performer for the Dubai Chamber Choir in the Middle East Choral Festival in Dubai, UAE under Stuart Squire. A graduate of the University of Toronto and the Royal St. George’s College Choir School, as well as the Royal School of Church Music in the United Kingdom and the Royal Conservatory of Music, and a former student of Peter Barnes’, Jonathan is very excited to be a part of this meaningful project.

Ken A. Ferrell (Tenor)

Tenor Ken A. Ferrell is honoured and thrilled to be joining the Sacrifice and Solace Project. Ken began his musical education at an early age, singing a capella from the “shape notes” hymnal at his church in West Virginia. He studied voice, piano, and conducting at West Virginia Wesleyan College before moving to Japan, where he spent five years learning Japanese (and building up his Karaoke repertoire). A frequent chorister and accompanist for church choirs, Ken is also proficient in English Handbells. Since coming to Canada, Ken has been performing as a Tenor II with the Canadian Men’s Chorus, a Toronto-based small group dedicated to high caliber professional performances with a focus on creating new commissioned works by Canadian Composers. In that role, he has premiered more than 20 new pieces of Canadian music and has performed at the Stratford Summer Music Festival, with the Orpheus Choir of Toronto under the baton of Robert Cooper, and most recently with the Stratford Symphony Orchestra.

Tom Lillington (Bass)

Tom Lillington, a professional vocalist and pianist, keeps busy with a wide range of activities in the Toronto area. As well as maintaining a full schedule as a Certified Piano Technician, Tom is also an accomplished composer (BFA, York University), accompanist, arranger, director and vocalist performing with various different groups. Tom was an original member of the Nathaniel Dett Choral and a founding member of The Canadian Chamber Choir, 80’s vocal group Retrocity, award-winning acappella group Hampton Avenue, and sings regularly with the Elora Festival Singers and Elmer Iseler Singers. Tom’s bass voice can be heard singing in many jingles, soundtracks and recordings, and as a composer and Music Director, he is entering his 13th season with the Driftwood Theatre Company, a touring outdoor Shakespeare company dedicated to reaching out to audiences in urban and rural communities across the Ontario that do not have access to professional classical theatre.

Walter Mahabir (Tenor)

Singer, pianist, and arranger, tenor Walter Mahabir is a graduate of St. Michael’s Choir School, Toronto. At the age of 14 Walter was hired as a cantor for the Toronto Catholic Broadcasting Council, singing at St. Michael’s Cathedral and St. Basil’s Church (U. of T.). While at St. Michael’s Choir School, he sang in concert tours across Canada, to the United States and the Czech Republic. He graduated from York University (BFA, Classical Voice), where he studied with Stephanie Bogle, and he toured Austria and France with the York University Chamber Choir. In July, 2013 Walter was selected to sing in the International Singing Festival in Saarburg, Germany. Walter was a Sidgwick Scholar in the Orpheus Choir of Toronto (Dr. Robert Cooper, C.M., conductor), and also sang with the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, the Cantabile Chamber Singers, the Ottawa Bach Choir, and the Canadian Men’s Chorus. Walter’s inspiration and passion stem from his goal to integrate his classical training with other styles of interpretation when he sings, plays, and writes.He is currently a teacher and conductor at the Regent Park School of Music.

Sean Nix (Bass)

Sean has over 13 years of experience as a professional chorister in Southern Ontario, the United States and the United Kingdom. He is an experienced section-lead and soloist with perfect pitch, low range (B two octaves below middle C), and boasts paramount sight-reading skills. In addition to The Toronto Ensemble, Sean currently serves as bass section-lead with St. Thomas’s Anglican Church, and also sings regularly at The Oratory of St. Philip Neri and with the Holy Blossom Temple Choir, among other various choral commitments across Toronto. Most recently, Sean has participated in Apocalypsis, renowned Canadian composer R. Murray Scafer’s epic musical envisioning of the end of the world, as a part of the Luminato Festival in June of 2015. Beyond choral singing, Sean has been teaching at Mohawk College in the Transportation Engineering Technology advanced diploma program since September 2013 and holds a Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning (B.U.R.Pl.) and a Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) in Civil Engineering, both from Ryerson University.

Greg Rainville (Tenor)

Greg Rainville is a rising conductor, vocal coach and music educator. He has worked with concert choirs, church choirs, live theatre, and voice students across the GTA and beyond. Greg is often called upon as guest conductor or to lead workshops for many ensembles, the most recent being a workshop hosted by the Associated Male Choruses of Ontario. Greg is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Canadian Men’s Chorus. In 2008, he was named the Assistant Conductor of the Orpheus Choir of Toronto under Artistic Director, Robert Cooper. Greg has studied closely with renowned German conductor, Helmuth Rilling and performed with Maestro Rilling at performances with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He conducts throughout Toronto including Roy Thomson Hall. Greg holds degrees from the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, New York and the University of Toronto. He is twice recipient of the Elmer Iseler Fellowship in Conducting.

David Ross (Baritone)

Based in Toronto, David has sung extensively throughout North America with chamber ensembles and as a guest soloist in Opera, Operetta, and Oratorio roles. In 2014, he was privileged to be featured as the baritone soloist in the world premiere of Chris Meyer’s “Our Murray”, a work based on love letters and notes of condolence from WWI, alongside the Canadian Men’s Chorus with the Stratford Symphony Orchestra. He has recently served as a Sidgwick Scholar with the Orpheus Choir of Toronto and performs regularly in the Luminato and Stratford Summer Music Festivals.

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