PHC 2017 Conductors


Kristel Peters

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Kristel is an avid musician with a passion for choral music. She graduated from University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education, studying voice with Dr. Karen Jensen, Henriette Schellenberg and Tracy Dahl. Ms. Peters’ extensive musical background includes participating in the SEMF Festival, The Winnipeg Mennonite Children’s Choir, the Winnipeg Music Festival, the University of Manitoba Singers, Antiphony and the Manitoba Youth Choir. A highlight was her National Youth Choir experience in 2000. She enjoyed working with Professor Frieder Bernius for the Summer Academy in Choral Conducting in 2000 & 2002. Kristel’s penchant for vocal jazz found expression with Apogee, a self-directed vocal jazz ensemble. Ms. Peters is currently the Choral Director and Business Education teacher at Steinbach Regional Secondary School. In 2001 she joined Prairie Voices, as Elroy Friesen’s conducting assistant and assumed the role of Artistic Director in 2002 for six successful seasons. Active as a guest conductor/clinician, she worked with Nova Scotia Choral Federation’s Youth Choir Camp in 2007, The Westman Youth Choir in 2005 & 2009, The Central Manitoba Youth Choir, Manitoba Provincial Honour choir and many other choral events. Kristel delights in contributing to the rich choral traditions in Manitoba and currently sings with the Winnipeg Singers. Spare time is tough to find with twin 2 year old boys but Kristel loves to golf and experience other cultures through music and travel. She remembers her years in PHC with fondness and still has friends from her years as a chorister! She is so happy to be joining you this year!


Dr. Joel Tranquillo

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Tranquilla is a conductor and music educator noted for his versatile musicianship and creative programming. As the Director of Choral Activities at Trinity Western University he oversees a program of six choirs and teaches various other courses within the School of the Arts, Media + Culture. In addition to his work at TWU, Joel is the newly appointed Conductor of the Valley Festival Singers in Abbotsford and the award-winning Coastal Sound Youth Choir in Coquitlam. He is also the Associate Conductor of the Canadian Chamber Choir and has performed extensively with that ensemble since 2007. The CCC’s latest CD, Sacred Reflections of Canada was nominated for a 2016 Juno Award. Before moving to British Columbia, Joel served as Artistic Director of the Windsor Classic Chorale, Chorus Master of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, and taught as a sessional instructor at the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario. Major works conducted include Mendelssohn’s St. Paul (Sea to Sky Symphony and TWU Choirs), Handel’s Alexander’s Feast, Requiems by Fauré and Duruflé (Windsor Symphony Orchestra and Chorus), Frank Martin’s Mass for Double Choir, and Allan Bevan’s Passion oratorio Nou Goth Sonne Under Wode (TWU Choirs and Orchestra). Choirs prepared by Tranquilla have appeared under the batons of Robert Franz, Kevin Mallon, John Morris Russell, and Ivars Taurins. In March 2016, the TWU Chamber Choir was invited to take part in a performance at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Dr. Richard Sparks. In high demand as an adjudicator and clinician across the country, Joel is a past Guest Conductor of the New Brunswick Youth Choir and was the Assistant Conductor of the 2012 National Youth Choir. He was the winner of the 2012 Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Foundation Award as well as the recipient of the Emerging Artist Award at the 2013 Ontario Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts. He holds degrees from Mount Allison University, the University of Michigan, and Michigan State University where his doctoral research was in the area of Canadian choralorchestral works.


Willi Zwozdesky

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Willi (MA, MM) is widely-known for his work with adults as a choral conductor, clinician, arranger, publisher, and producer. A native of north-central Alberta, Zwozdesky later moved to Seattle, where he completed a Master of Music in choral conducting and a Master of Arts in music theory at the University of Washington in 1981. Following his move to Vancouver in that year, he established himself as a leader in the city’s cultural community, and undertook the development of the voice of the Vancouver Men’s Chorus (VMC). Under his direction for the past thirty-five years, the VMC has distinguished itself internationally through innovative, often collaborative programming that emphasizes the work of Canadian creators, custom arrangements for men’s voices, a wide range of women’s music, and extra-choral elements such as spoken word, movement, and dance. At the core of Zwozdesky’s career are his arrangements, many of which are heard regularly in concert programs and recordings around the world. His choral music has been performed by leading choirs in North America, Europe, and Australia. His most recent commission was a suite of five carols for children’s choir and orchestra, recently premiered in Ottawa by the Ottawa Children’s Choir and Ottawa Junior Youth Orchestra. In 1990 he established Rhythmic Trident Music Publishing, which focuses on new Canadian work. Zwozdesky’s long-term dedication to choral music has been recognized with both a Legacy Award from GALA Choruses and a Willan Award from the British Columbia Choral Federation for outstanding service to the province’s choral community. He also received XTRA West’s Lifetime Community Achievement Award for his artistic direction of the Vancouver Men’s Chorus and the Canadian Unison Festival. An active choral clinician and consultant, Willi has also served on a number of national and regional organizations, including the Canadian Music Centre, GALA Choruses, Inc., and the World of Children’s Choirs. Today, in addition to his freelance work, he is the Executive Director of the British Columbia Choral Federation, a board member of Choral Canada – the Association of Canadian Choral Communities, and the
Vancouver Choral Centre Society.