Sara’s musical career began on PEI with piano lessons, church choir, concert band, and jazz band. After taking voice lessons through high school, she went on to graduate with first-class honours from St. Francis Xavier University with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Jazz. She completed a Masters of Sacred Music at the University of Toronto and Emmanuel College. Sara studied vocal performance and pedagogy with Lynn Blaser, and had the pleasure of learning conducting and choral techniques from Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt, Dr. Lori Dolloff, and Zimfira Poloz.
Sara conducts a 30+ member SATB choir in Charlottetown, Teachers in Harmony, who gather for the love of singing and learning together. Sara will also be the guest conductor of the PEI Honours Choir in the spring of 2020.
Sara sings in the alto section of Sirens, an eleven-member, award-winning women’s chorus in Charlottetown. The choir is enjoying a busy 2019-20 season having just finished recording their first full-length album with JUNO nominated producer Jeff Reilly, performing for HIH Princess Takamado of Japan, and mentoring their sister choir, Harmonia.
When she’s not busy singing and teaching, Sara spends her time with her husband Dave, and their son Ben.
An accomplished guitar and music instructor, Chad completed Selkirk College’s Contemporary Music program in 2003; Yamaha International Guitar Pedagogy courses in 2004, at the Yamaha Music Centre in Toronto; and, in 2009, graduated from UPEI with a Bachelor of Music majoring in classical guitar performance and musicology, first class standing. During his studies he was the recipient of several scholarships and university prizes. He has also studied and performed in master classes with esteemed players such as Dr. Jim Dickson and Eugene Cormier (Acadia University).
Recently, Chad completed a year of studies with Chilean virtuoso Dani Vargas via Hollywood, California. He has also studied with Canada’s own, Nick Johnston. Chad has extensive and diverse performing experiences on stages from British Columbia to Prince Edward Island, performing numerous styles from R & B, rock and metal, to classical, country, bluegrass, jazz and folk. While in university, he performed early Renaissance music with the UPEI Wind Symphony. Chad has been the lead guitarist in some of PEI’s hottest rock acts and has done studio session work, appearing on recordings all across Canada. Recent theatre credits include occupying the guitar chair for the international hit Mama Mia! The Musical with the Charlottetown Festival, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Chad has been a guitar instructor for over 15 years, with teaching experience in all styles, levels and age groups. He has been teaching guitar on P.E.I. since 2003 and he runs the P.E.I. School of Guitar in Charlottetown.
Chad was recently appointed to the Contemporary Music & Technology Program Advisory Committee for Selkirk College.
An award-winning audio designer and film, television, and video game composer, Craig graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Prince Edward Island with a Major in Classical Guitar and Musicology, as well as a Specialist Certificate in Orchestrating and Producing Music for Film and Video Games from the Berklee College of Music.
As a film and television composer, his music is currently heard in over 120 films and television shows airing daily in over 110 countries worldwide. He has also composed music for more than 35 video games, also acting as the lead audio designer for the projects.
Craig has performed in many genres of music including classical, Latin, blues, rock and country. He was one of the original members of the Latin group Esté Mundo, and has played with many local and regional touring bands, including his own blues band, Dodge and the Pushbutton Automatics.
Just a few of the companies that he has worked with include National Geographic, A&E Television, History Television, BBC, Barclay’s Premier League, New York Knicks/MSG Basketball, National Football League, National Hockey League, CTV/Bell Media, Fox Sports 1, NBC, CNN, Six Flags, MTV, Discovery Channel, and Disney.
A dedicated music educator, Craig teaches Music Performance students how to create multiple revenue streams with their music and how to properly manage their music careers. Visit Craig’s Taris Studios website and his IMDb page.
Sean completed studies in composition, experimental/electronic music and jazz improvisation at McGill University. His compositions include electro-acoustic music, installations, experimental music videos, avant garde chamber and orchestral pieces, dance and theatre. He also scores extensively for film and television.
As a performer, he has had the opportunity to play jazz, blues and alternative music with many regional, national and international artists over the years.
Sean is a board member of the Screen Composers Guild of Canada and a founding member of the Canadian Electro-Acoustic Community.
Adam Hill, Theory and Bass
Adam Hill is a composer and bassist from Cleveland, Ohio. He has received awards and grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, FACTOR, SCI/ASCAP, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, and the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts. The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Chamber Choir, and the Elektra Women’s Choir have presented his music. Recently, he served as artist-in-residence at Prairie Wind and Silver Sage/Grasslands National Park. He has been commissioned by Erato Ensemble, the Vancouver Chinese Music Ensemble, the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, the Central Oregon Symphony, and the Singers’ Club of Cleveland.
Adam is fluent in several genres, and has appeared at the Sisters Jazz Festival, the River City Bluegrass Festival, and Electronic Music Midwest; and has performed with the Walla Walla Symphony and the Obsidian Opera Chamber Orchestra. He has released four albums of roots music that have received airplay across North America, and has appeared on more than a dozen recordings by rock ‘n’ roll, bluegrass, and jazz groups. Adam holds degrees from the University of British Columbia, Western Washington University, and Whitman College. Before joining the faculty at Holland College, he taught at Mount Allison University, Quest University, and Western Washington University.
Alan first started playing drums in junior high and high school jazz and concert bands. He enrolled in the Humber College Music program and studied drums with some of Canada’s top drummers, including Mark Kelso, Paul DeLong and Ted Warren. After graduating from Humber College with honours in 2007, Alan started playing drums professionally. Knowledgeable and functional in many different styles including jazz, Latin, Afro-Cuban, rock, funk, country, Celtic and pop music, he has performed alongside some of Canada’s finest musicians. His professional credits include several main stage productions with the Charlottetown Festival, including The Full Monty, Christmas Blaze, Christmas Rocks, and British Invasion: America Strikes Back. Internationally, Alan has entertained passengers on Celebrity Cruises of the Mediterranean and Caribbean seas. Currently Alan performs with the Charlottetown Jazz Ensemble, Groove Company and More Soul.
Maria Campbell is an artist, performer, and teacher who weaves together her professional practices in voice science, movement, and contemporary art to help students develop a deeper understanding of the voice as a powerful instrument for artistic expression. See her work at mezzoartwork.com
Maria completed a Master of Music in Performance at the University of Auckland where she was awarded First Class Honours and performed the role of Nancy in the UoA/Opera Factory production of Benjamin Britten's Albert Herring. She has attended both the Accademia Europea Dell'Opera in Lucca, Italy, and the Canadian Operatic Arts Academy in London, Ontario. She is a classically trained mezzo-soprano who also sings soul, pop/rock, folk and musical theatre. She was praised for her “gorgeous soprano (voice), compelling stage presence and detailed dramatic skills…” in Neptune Theatre’s production of Stan Rogers: A Matter of Heart. Other theatre credits include Robyn Hood: This Tale's Even Fairlier, and Aladdin: Another Fairly Tall Tale at Confederation Centre of the Arts, Harvest Moon Rising at The Guild, Anne and Gilbert at the Harbourfront Theatre and Victoria Playhouse, and Abegweit: Soul of the Island during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.
Maria is also a contemporary artist who uses spoken word, spray paint, installation, and movement to explore, challenge and express through her lens. In 2019 she received a PEI Arts Grant for her awareness raising street art campaign, SHE IS, as well as SkillsPEI funding to further her work and education in singing, embodiment, and artistic expression. Maria is a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor who specializes in functional movement and meditation.
Maria was voted Fusion Charlottetown’s 2017 Influencer of the Year for her contribution to her community. She is a creative content producer with the DiverseCity Festival in PEI, and currently serves on the board of directors for The Guild, an arts community hub. She has also served on the board of the Prince Edward Island Council of the Arts and Ars Longa.
An award-winning singer/songwriter, John Connolly has released several of his own works, produced albums for other artists and served as a performer, director, musical director and writer in theatre, film, radio and television.
John has been a member of the Charlottetown Festival Company for six seasons. Highlights include Dutch Mason in On the Road With Dutch Mason and co-writer, musical director and performer in two seasons of Come All Ye. John wrote the music and lyrics for Marathon of Hope, a musical based on the life of Terry Fox, developed in collaboration with the Terry Fox Foundation and Sheridan College’s CMTP program and produced by Drayton Entertainment. John recently served as director, co-writer and performer for Catherine MacLellan’s show If It’s Alright With You at The P.E.I Brewing Company. He has also performed with Soulpepper Theatre, taught at Sheridan College’s Musical Theatre program and was honoured to perform at the Olympics.
Nick Doneff is a guitarist and multi-instrumentalist from Fort Erie, Ontario. As a child, Nick was immersed in Rock & Roll, Pop, Country & Western, and Rhythm & Blues music and developed a love for the guitar and for the art of songwriting. In 2008, Nick moved to Toronto, Ontario to attend Humber College’s music program, where he studied with guitarists such as Ted Quinlan, David Occhipinti, and Tony Zorzi.
After earning a Bachelor of Music degree in 2012, Nick relocated to Prince Edward Island where he has since been nominated for 10 Music PEI awards, received the Music PEI musician of the year award in 2017, and found success as a trusted sideman for many regional acts, singers, and recording projects. As an individual performer and creator, Nick often performs in many of the province’s well-known festivals. His 2016 debut album receives national and international airplay and has been featured on several radio shows including The International Americana Music Show as well as CBC’s flagship arts & culture program, Q.
Alan Dowling studied with drumset instructor Ed Kaspik at Berklee College of Music. He earned a Bachelor of Arts (Music) and a Bachelor of Science (Mathematics) at UPEI. He has performed and/or recorded with KINLEY, Irish Mythen, Dylan Menzie, Meaghan Blanchard, Dennis Ellsworth, Jenni & The Hummingbird, Doug Riley, The Jive Kings, Measha Bruggergosman and many others.
Alan performed as the onstage drummer with the Charlottetown Festival for several years performing in hit shows such as Canada Rocks, British Invasion and Fire. He has recorded on several ECMA award-winning albums. Alan is endorsed by Sabian cymbals, Vic Firth drumsticks and Anthology Gear Wear stickbags. His YouTube channel has videos of his many different projects ranging from drumline to concert band to jazz.
2017 SOCAN Songwriter of the Year, Kinley completed a Bachelor of Music with a Major in Viola Performance from Dalhousie University, studying under Philippe Djokic. She plays violin, percussion, and sings backup in the indie rock band Hey Rosetta! She has appeared on stage with Matt Mays, In Flight Safety, Jenn Grant, Rose Cousins, Broken Social Scene as well as being a regular player with Classic Albums Live.
She also completed a tour with Grammy-winning artist Anne Murray. Her album credits include: Hey Rosetta, Matt Mays, Jenn Grant, Two Hours Traffic, Molly Rankin, In Flight Safety, Buck 65, Classified, Christina Martin, Dennis Ellsworth, Rita MacNeil, and multiple others. She has a singer/songwriter project, The Express, with Liam Corcoran and the duo has released a self-titled album of their original compositions. Kinley enjoys performing lots of different genres of music. She has toured Australia, USA, Canada and Europe multiple times, appearing at festivals such as Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Ottawa Bluesfest, and Mumford and Sons Gentlemen of the Road tour.
Karen has a Bachelor of Music Performance from the University of Toronto, and a Post Graduate Diploma of Music from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow. She freelanced in the Toronto music scene for twenty years before returning to the East Coast to settle on PEI. During that time she played with the National Ballet Orchestra, The Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, the Hamilton, Windsor, and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphonies, as well as playing in the pit orchestras of several shows in Toronto- Crazy For You, The Lion King, and The Sound of Music. She was a member of the orchestra at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-On-The-Lake for seven years, during which time she was also part of the quartet in residence.
When she isn’t playing classical music, she can be found performing onstage with many pop and rock artists, from Ray Price to Ron Sexsmith. She is currently a member in Chantal Kreviazuk’s touring band, and recently toured the USA as a member of Steven Page’s band. In addition to her live appearances Karen has spent many hours in the recording studio. Her playing can be heard on the albums of Tom Cochrane, Sarah Slean, K-OS, Royal Wood, July Black, Michael Kaeshammer and Dolores O’Riordan, to name a few.
Mark holds a Master of Music Degree in Performance from McGill University and a Bachelor of Music Degree in Education from the University of Prince Edward Island. His principal instructors on trumpet were Russell DeVuyst and Charles Daval (McGill), Gregory Irvine (UPEI) and Don E. Johnson (Humber College). As a performer, Mark was an original member of the ECMA award winning group, The Jive Kings. He has also performed with the PEI Symphony, Charlottetown Jazz Ensemble, the R&B/Soul Band Dry Toast, Charlottetown Festival Orchestra, Northumberland Brass, and various other brass, jazz and R&B ensembles. Mark is the former conductor of the Holland College Welshmen Community Band, and has taught at UPEI, Acadia University summer music camp, Three Oaks Senior High School. He is currently the music director at Charlottetown Rural High School.
Hannah O’Donnell, Voice
Mezzo soprano Hannah O’Donnell holds a Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Prince Edward Island. Her recent opera credits include the title role in Menotti’s The Medium (St. John’s, NL), Ruggiero in Handel’s Alcina (Lucca, Italy), Marcellina in Mozart’s The of Marriage Figaro (Charlottetown, PEI) and two seasons with Opera RoadShow (St. John’s, NL). Hannah recently performed the premiere of Cantata for Canada 150, a commission with the PEI Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Mark Shapiro (Juilliard Opera) as well as her debut performance of Handel’s Messiah at the Confederation Centre of the Arts (Charlottetown, PEI). In March 2018, she made her debut with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra as a guest soloist for Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.
In addition to her work in opera and art song, O’Donnell is a passionate performer of many genres of music and a trained double bassist who has performed and recorded with a variety of ensembles and artists. Many of the albums to her credit have won Music PEI and East Coast Music Association awards. She has performed with Juno award-winning artists Rose Cousins and Tim Chaisson of The East Pointers, and has performed for HRH Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, as well as HRH Prince William and Catherine Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge.
Nikki Waite has been teaching music in the public school system for the past eight years and one of her biggest passions is bridging the gap between genres in music education. Nikki co-founded Island Rock Camps in 2013 to support the increasing need for popular and contemporary music education. Along with being an educator, Nikki is also an active musician and saxophonist who regularly performs with groups such as Andrew Waite, Charlottetown Jazz Ensemble and jazz fusion quartet Salt Licks.
Jacqueline Sorensen Young enjoys a multi-faceted career as both a performer and educator. As a versatile pianist she collaborates with many soloists in classical recitals, as well as ensembles such as The Piano Collective (2 Pianos 8 Hands), eklektikos new music project, Luminos Ensemble, and has also worked as an accompanist for many university and community choirs.
Her musical theatre credits have included music director of Anne and Gilbert, performer at the Beaconsfield Children’s Festival, and rehearsal pianist for the Charlottetown Festival. She currently holds positions as Director of Music at St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church in Charlottetown, Piano Examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, and, as a member of the Canadian Federation of Music Festival Adjudicators’ Association, is in demand as a music festival adjudicator across Atlantic Canada and Ontario. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Prince Edward Island, where she also taught as a sessional lecturer for 19 years. With more than 30 years of teaching experience, she currently operates a successful private piano teaching studio in downtown Charlottetown, is a certified teacher of the Royal Conservatory of Music, and is the registrar of the Prince Edward Island Registered Music Teachers’ Association.
Liam holds a B.Ed. and B.Sc. from the University of Prince Edward Island and is currently working towards an MBA with a Music Industry focus from Southern New Hampshire University and the Berklee College of Music. Liam was the co-founder of the Charlottetown indie rock band Two Hours Traffic. He continues to release solo material.