Adjudicators

Nancy Watt - Junior Piano

Nancy holds a Bachelor of Education Degree from the University of Alberta and an Associate in Piano Teaching from the Royal Conservatory of Music.  After teaching music programs in both elementary and junior high schools for many years, she now teaches private piano and theory lessons from her home studio in St. Albert.  Over the past twenty years, many of Nancy’s students have been recognized for their achievements in festival performances, in exam results, and for music composition.

In 2010, Nancy founded the St. Albert Chamber Music Recital Series, a five concert season that highlights the best classical chamber musicians in the region as well as local emerging artists. She continues to act as the chair of the Society and the artistic director of the series. Nancy is also the founder of Keys for the City, St. Albert’s street piano project that over the past few years has placed eight decorated pianos on the streets of the city for the public to play and enjoy.

An experienced accompanist, Nancy enjoys working with instrumental and voice students. Nancy has a special interest in duet and duo piano repertoire and has done performances in a variety of venues in Albert and British Columbia. 

Nancy is an avid long distance runner and cyclist. Nancy finds that her physical and mental training as an athlete relates to the training of musicians and incorporates these coaching principles in her piano teaching.

Nancy enjoys sharing her knowledge and love of teaching through workshop presentations and adjudicating at music festivals around the province. She looks forward to sharing her enthusiasm for music with students and teachers for many years to come.

Sylvia Shadick-Taylor

Classical pianist Sylvia Shadick-Taylor approaches music from many angles. As both a soloist and a chamber musician, her emotionally-charged performances have been enjoyed throughout Canada and the USA, as well as in Europe and Asia. As a teacher, she has a large studio of students, many of whom receive special recognition in music festivals and examinations. Her love of teaching also carries into frequent work as a clinician and adjudicator throughout Canada.

Sylvia’s main musical passion is the exploration and promotion of works by Canadian composers. This passion was recognized by the Canadian Music Centre when they honoured her with the title, Ambassador of Canadian Music, in 2009. Sylvia’s fifth CD, Expressions, was nominated for the Edmonton Music Prize in 2015 and is a sampling of works by composers associated with New Music Edmonton. Her subsequent CD, Piano NorthWest featuring music of the Winnipeg composer William Pura, is being released on the prestigious CentreDiscs Label in 2015. Through recordings and concerts, Sylvia hopes to bring wider attention to the rich creative skills of Canadian composers.

Over the past three decades, Sylvia has truly been immersed in the Edmonton classical music scene. She has been involved with the University of Alberta, Edmonton Opera Association, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Pro Coro Canada, New Edmonton Wind Sinfonia, Cosmopolitan  Music Society and the Contemporary Showcase Young Composers Program and Music Festival. Summing up Sylvia’s contribution to Edmonton, John Charles of the Edmonton Sun once said, “pianists …such as Sylvia Shadick-Taylor…who shine and inspire, especially in contemporary music…help make Edmonton a city of cultural champions.”

Cherith Alexander - Intermediate/Senior Piano

Cherith Alexander is a dynamic pianist based in Weyburn, Saskatchewan.  As a respected piano and theory teacher in the community for over twenty years she has worked with a variety of students of all ages and levels.  Many of her students have received awards including RCM gold medals and provincial music festival honors. In 2011 her pupil Meagan Milatz was the grand prize winner in the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association piano competition.

An experienced collaborative pianist and chamber musician, Cherith has performed with many renowned musicians and especially enjoys coaching young musicians “from the piano bench”.  For the past few years she has been employed part-time as an accompanist/coach at the Conservatory of Music in Regina.  One musical highlight for Cherith has been travelling nine times to the National Music Festival as an accompanying pianist for the Saskatchewan competitors. In 2015 she was delighted to perform as a guest pianist with the Regina Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players.

Cherith is passionate about the value of music festivals and has had the privilege of adjudicating at festivals throughout Western Canada including Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, and the Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver Kiwanis Festivals.  In 2017 she developed the curriculum for and facilitated the first “Adjudicator Boot Camp” in Saskatchewan which is a workshop designed to train and inspire new and current adjudicators in her province.

Cherith was educated at the University of British Columbia where she was a pupil of Kum Sing Lee.  Some of the other influential teachers in her life have included William Moore of the University of Regina and Marcelle Guidos of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan under whose direction she completed her A.R.C.T. at the age of fifteen.  As a young student she was honoured to win the SMFA Concerto Competition in 1991 after which she performed as a guest soloist with the Regina Symphony Orchestra.

Melanie Baux - Classical/Popular Vocal & Speech

Soprano Melanie Baux has always loved being surrounded by music. Melanie has a Diploma in Music Performance from Mount Royal University and a Bachelor of Music Performance from The University of Manitoba. Melanie has studied under with many well renowned teachers including Canadian coloratura Tracy Dahl. In concert Melanie has performed with The Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, The Calgary Youth Orchestra, The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bach Festival society orchestra.

Melanie is sought after as a private voice teacher and adjudicator, and is dedicated to enriching the lives of her students through music. As a young singer, Melanie participated in the Mount Royal Choral Program, Alberta Youth Choir, Ad Libitum Vocal Ensemble, Spiritus Chamber Choir and The Winnipeg Singers. Melanie is the artistic director of the Cochrane Young Singers choral Program, and has been a vocal coach and rehearsal lead for The Calgary Boys Choir. Melanie is a founding member of La VIe, one of Calgary’s premiere vocal ensembles.

Melanie has been a musical director for Grease (Winnipeg, Manitoba) The Sound of Music (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and Eve: The True Story (Pincher Creek, Alberta). She has frequently adjudicated at music festivals and gives master classes in both Musical Theatre and classical vocal performance. Melanie teaches private voice lessons as well as group and private Musical Theatre classes. Her greatest joy comes from sharing her love of music with her students and her three little boys.

Kimberly Denis - Musical Theatre

Kimberly Denis is known for her energy and enthusiasm both on stage and off, and is sought after as a soloist, choral clinician and adjudicator for both voice and choir. Upon completion of both a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Music degrees at Mount Allison University, she returned to Alberta to complete Masters Degrees in both choral conducting and vocal performance.

Vocal credits include starring in a yearlong tour with “Up With people,” as well as productions of Jason Robert Brown’s song cycle “Songs for a New World,” as Cathy in “The Last Five Years,” and as Kate in “Kiss Me, Kate”! She is also a singer with Pro Coro Canada and has toured extensively as a singer with the world percussion duo, Jamani.

In addition to her stage work, she has a flourishing voice studio at MacEwan University Conservatory of Music. She has conducted a wide variety of ensembles across the country and presently directs Shumayela, Kikimasu and Vacilando with the Kokopelli Choir association and the Edmonton Metropolitan Chorus. In addition to her work as a singer and conductor, she arranges pieces for choirs and is also the managing director for the Alberta Band Association.

Aaron Au - Strings

A native of Lethbridge, Alberta, Aaron Au was a first violinist with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra for nine seasons before appearing regularly with the orchestra as a freelance violinist over the past several seasons. Aaron has taught violin, viola and chamber music at the University of Alberta Music Department for over a decade and has adjudicated several local and provincial festivals along with the National Music Festival.

In addition to his musical activities, Aaron is an ordained minister and is privileged to be serving as pastor of a new church plant called Avenue Church, serving Alberta Avenue and surrounding communities in Edmonton.

Bill Street - Music Composition/Brass/Woodwinds/Percussion


William Street, saxophonist and conductor, has performed and lectured in Belgium, Canada, Federation of Russia, France, Great Britain, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand Ukraine and the USA.

He tours with pianist Roger Admiral, Ian Chen and Viktoria Reishwich-Dapp and the Quatour International de Saxophones emphasizing the importance of both solo and chanber music making. 2016-17 chamber music performances were performed in Alberta (Edmonton, Red Deer, Camrose, Lethbridge), as well as in the US mid-west in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Champaign Illinois, Taiwan, Thailand and China.

Other recent solo performances are lectures too place in San Jose, California as well as in Bordeaux and Strasbourg, France. For Four years, from 2009-2013, Bill served as Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta. From 2013-2015, he was Associate Dean of Humanities and the Arts at San Jose State University. In 2015, he was appointed Professor and Chair of the Department of Music at the University of Alberta.


Trevor Sanders - Guitar & Garage Band

Trevor Sanders began teaching guitar at MacEwan University’s Alberta College Conservatory of Music, in 2001. He is a graduate of the University of Alberta, with a Masters in Music, and a graduate of Augustana University College, with a Bachelor of Arts specialized in Music.

He’s an active performer whose appearances as a chamber musician and as a soloist have been heard in various concert series, and on CBC Stereo. Trevor has been involved with a number of guitar ensembles, and is a founding member of the University of Alberta Guitar Quartet and the Edmonton Guitar Trio. He has also performed as a soloist with the Alberta Baroque Orchestra.

Trevor currently teaches music and guitar for the MacEwan Conservatory and for the University of Alberta, at its Augustana Campus.


Josie Burgess - Choral



Josie holds Bachelor of Music (voice), Bachelor of Education and Master of Education degrees from the University of Alberta.

Throughout her career, Josie has directed choirs of all ages, ranging from early-childhood to adult.  Josie currently works as the Elementary Music Consultant with Edmonton Catholic Schools and as the Artistic Director of Edmonton Young Voices, an education program offering choral experiences for children and youth in Kindergarten through grade 12.

 Josie believes that the most important gift she can give her students is to love music and to then share this gift with others.  Above all else, she hopes to enrich the lives of her students by exploring the beauty and wonder of choral signing through her inspired approach to music education.