Adjudicators

 Christine Donkin - Junior Piano

Christine Donkin composes award-winning, critically acclaimed music that appeals to a broad range of listeners and performers. Described as “stunning” (ConcertoNet.com), "highly imaginative" (American
Record Guide), and having “enormous impact” (The Washington Post), her work is promoted by several publishers and is performed all over the North American continent and beyond.

Christine composes music for musicians of all kinds. High calibre concerts at such venues as Carnegie Hall and the Moscow Conservatory are interspersed among frequent performances featuring young soloists, community orchestras, and church choirs. The Toronto Symphony, Symphony New Brunswick, Symphony Nova Scotia, Thirteen Strings, Elektra Women’s Choir, DaCapo Chamber Choir, and the Canadian Guitar Quartet are just a few of the ensembles that have performed her music in Canada.

Christine is frequently called upon to work with music students and teachers as a guest speaker, clinician, and adjudicator. Over one hundred of her pedagogical compositions, arrangements, and figured bass realizations appear in The Royal Conservatory of Music graded repertoire and studies books.


Patricia Tao - Junior Piano 

Pianist Patricia Tao, founding member of the Guild Trio for ten years, leads an active career as performer, teacher, and concert organizer. As pianist of the prizewinning Guild Trio, she performed throughout the United States and Europe and was awarded the position of Trio-in-Residence at the Tanglewood Music Centre. As a soloist, Dr. Tao toured Europe and the United States as an Artistic Ambassador under the auspices of the USIA and for Columbia Artist’s Community Concerts series. 
She has commissioned and premiered numerous works, including William Bolcom’s “Spring Trio,” and Sheila Silver’s “To the Spirit Unconquered,” which she recorded on the CRI label.  She has also recorded a solo CD on the Arktos label featuring works of Schubert, Liszt and Corigliano, and Chopin and Strauss cello and piano sonatas on the Centaur label. With Trio Voce, she has recorded two CDs, featuring the trios of Shostakovich and Weinberg, and their latest containing trios by Suk, Arensky, and Zemlinsky.
Dr. Tao received her undergraduate education at Harvard University, a master’s degree with distinction from Indiana University and her doctorate from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where her principal teachers were Leonard Shure, Gyorgy Sebok and Gilbert Kalish. She has given master classes at numerous schools in North America, Europe and China and has held performance residencies in East Hampton, NY, Stony Brook University, and the University of Virginia. She is Professor of Music at the University of Alberta, where she teaches piano and chamber music. 

Linda Kundert - Intermediate/Senior Piano

Linda Kundert holds a Master of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Calgary and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Southern California.  She has an Associate Teacher’s Diploma from Mount Royal University and an ARCT Teacher’s Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto (RCM).  Her major teachers were: Willard Schultz, Charles Foreman, Priscilla King, Peter Turner, James Bonn, Adam Wibrowski, Donald Bell, Dr. Marienne Uszler and Dr. Jean Barr.  Ms. Kundert is a successful independent studio teacher, RCM senior examiner, Frederick Harris editor & reviewer, festival adjudicator, collaborative artist, and she is a master class and workshop clinician.  She is the Co-Founder, President & Artistic Director of Cassa Musical Arts, which celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2018. 
Ms. Kundert was honoured with the Alberta Registered Music Teachers’ Association Recognition Award in 2006, was Chair of the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association (CFMTA) “Peak Performance” Conference and Celebration held in Calgary in 2005, and in 2011 was given the CFMTA Hugheen Ferguson Teacher of Distinction Award.  Ms. Kundert was more recently honoured with the City of Calgary 2015 Community Achievement in the Arts Award, and was awarded Teacher of Distinction by the RCM in 2016.  She is currently a piano instructor at Mount Royal University and in Okotoks.  Her students continue to receive many awards and scholarships in both performance and composition.  Ms. Kundert loves to teach, and she has nurtured many students of all ages and levels.  With her guidance, more than 40 students have achieved their ARCT and Licentiate diplomas.  For fun, she enjoys horseback riding and she plays competitive softball.

 Jessica Wagner - Classical/Popular Vocal

Jessica Wagner is an emerging soprano who recently completed her Masters in Performance at the University of Victoria under Benjamin Butterfield. 
Having a diverse repertoire and performance interest, Jessica has studied at baroque academies, and contemporary music labs. She has performed many Canadian/world premieres including as a guest soloist at the SALT New Music Festival in Victoria B.C. She recently performed her debut operatic comprimario role in Pacific Opera Victoria's production of Rinaldo. Jessica also performed as a soloist for CapriCCio Ensemble’s performance of Schubert Mass in Eflat. 
In addition to performing, Jessica has been a voice instructor for the last ten years and is thrilled to be adjudicating at the Sherwood Park Music Festival for the first time.

Juleta Severson-Baker - Speech

Juleta Severson-Baker has taught and adjudicated Speech Arts and Drama in Western Canada and internationally for two decades. Her work has had a particular focus on teaching the performance of poetry, debate, and voice fundamentals. She believes that everyone should have the chance to explore the power of their voice. After 17 years of teaching and developing programs at the Mount Royal University Conservatory in Calgary, she now is an Arts Immersion Educator at Calgary Arts Academy. Ms. Severson-Baker is also a published poet whose 2013 book, Incarnate, was shortlisted for the W. O. Mitchell City of Calgary Book Prize and the Gerald Lampert Memorial Prize for Poetry.


Diane Llewelyn-Jones - Musical Theatre

Diane Llewelyn-Jones began singing in festivals at the ripe age of 7. A love of performing laid the foundation of a lifelong musical and theatrical career. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre Arts from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and was the owner and artistic director of the Waterton Teenie Weenie Theatre Company in Waterton, AB. It has been her privilege to take on many varying roles including Ruth Sherwood in Wonderful Town, Margaret Johnson in Light in the Piazza, Anna Leonowens in The King and I, Cleo in The Most Happy Fella, Charlotte Drake Cardoza in Titanic, Baroness Schroeder in The Sound of Music, Rose Alvarez in Bye Bye Birdie and Aunt Eller in Oklahoma!
She has also performed throughout the western United States at the Playmill Theatre in West Yellowstone, MT and the Pink Garter Theatre in Jackson Hole, WY, toured with the Whittlin' Whistlin' Brigade children's theatre company and Equipoise modern dance company, and co-founded the Playwrights Workshop Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona. 
She has taught musical theatre privately and conducts musical theatre camps and master classes in communities throughout Alberta. Diane has been focusing her recent time directing and choreographing middle and high school musical theatre productions where she finds great joy in working with the students’ insatiable appetites for the performing arts.


 Vladimir Rufino - Strings

Brazilian violinist Vladimir Rufino performance schedule has brought his love for music to stages across continents. Over the years, he has performed in many prestigious concert halls such as the Walt Disney Hall, Symphony Space, Rolston Recital Hall, and Sony Centre.
Vladimir Rufino holds a Doctor of Music degree from the University of Alberta, a Master of Music degree and Artist Certificate from Azusa Pacific University, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Universidade Federal da Paraíba. He studied with Mr. Yerko Pinto Tabilo and Mr. Charles Stegeman. He was a recipient of numerous scholarships and participated in many music festivals and symposia in Brazil, Canada and United States including the Starling-Delay Symposium on Violin Studies at The Juilliard School.  He was an Artist in Residence at the Banff Centre with the Vaughan String Quartet.
Vladimir Rufino’s orchestral experience includes performing in Brazil with Orquestra Sinfônica da Paraíba, and as concertmaster for the Orquestra Sinfônica Jovem da Paraíba, assistant concertmaster and soloist for the Orquestra de Câmara da Cidade de João Pessoa, concertmaster for the Azusa Pacific University Symphony Orchestra (USA), and concertmaster for the University of Alberta Symphony Orchestra. He regularly plays with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (Canada). His chamber music experience includes many international performances, notably as part of the Quartet Quarta Dimensão, the Camerata Brasílica (where he served as concertmaster), Villa-Lobos String Quartet, and the Vaughan String Quartet.
Rufino is married to the violist Fabiola Amorim and enjoys being able to share the stage with her in many occasions.


 Craig Johnson - Music Composition/Brass/Woodwinds/Percussion

Originally from Winnipeg MB, Craig studied privately with an array of both classically and jazz trained instructors on his primary instruments (Trumpet & Piano). He then continued his musical education at the post-secondary level at The University of Manitoba in the Performing Arts Program.
He went on to study Jazz Arranging, Orchestral Composition, and Writing for Motion Picture and TV earning his General Music Studies degree at The Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Now living in Calgary with over 30 years of teaching and performing experience Craig remains an active clinician with in the Calgary Board of Education band and music programs, hosting workshops as well as maintaining a large number of private students. Some of which have gone on to pursue their own musical careers at the professional level.
In 2003 Craig accepted the position of Musical Director for a Calgary based big band association where his roles include, writing and arranging music for performance, auditioning new members and directing rehearsals.
Craig performs in Calgary and across Canada with an array of different musical groups as both a musician and music writer. As a band leader himself he leads his own groups of various sizes and has been commissioned by different artists both locally and nationally to write music for their specific recording and or performing projects.


Jamie Philp - Guitar & Garage Band

Jamie moved from Calgary to Edmonton in 1977 to attend the MacEwan Music diploma program. He has been the Sessional Instructor for the MacEwan Music Program since 1983.
During the summers of 94-97, Jamie was a student and intern with the National Guitar Summer Workshop in Toronto, California and Connecticut. There, he took part in workshops and studied with Mick Goodrick, Joe Diorio, Mark Whitfield, John Abercrombie, Mike Stern, and Steve Khan.
March of 2010 Jamie performed in two shows at The Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. "Chicago" with Broadway Across America and "Sin Songs" with Alberta Ballet/Edmonton Opera/Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.
Jamie is an in-demand sideman performing and recording with many artists in a variety of styles: Wilf Kozub - Wilfred N. & the Grown Men. Pierre Paul Bugeaud - Celsius. Krystle Dos Santos - Black Mamba's. Blue Chair Band. Christine Hanson - Amati Musicians. Craig Brenan Trio. Charles Austin - Main Street. Gary Myers - Hawaiian Dreamers & PM Bossa. Brett Miles - Magilla Funk Conduit.  George Lake - Hawaiian Islanders. Don Berner - AC Dixie. William Cramer - Bullies of Basin Street. Kaley Beisiegel - Kaley Bird and the Flock. Terry McDade - Terry and the Tiki Boys. Jim Serediak, Karen Porkka, Bill Richards, Gord Graber, Greg Dust, Farley Scott, Chloe Albert, Rhonda Withnell, Jan Randall, Anna Beaumont, Chloe Goodchild, Sheril Hart, Paul Groleau, Gord Matthews, Diana Stabel, Cam Neufeld, Jordan Billy Zizi, Jessica Marsh, Mireille Moquin, Lori & Bruce Mohacsy.
Jamie won an Aria award in 1993 for his electro-acoustic composition "Shiv".


Dianne Gryba - Choral

Dianne Gryba resides in North Battleford, Saskatchewan where she works as a teacher, accompanist and choral director.  As well as maintaining a thriving studio of voice and piano students, Dianne co-teaches musical theatre classes at the Dance Connection with director, Virginia Winterhalt.  She is proud of the many students who have gone on to pursue careers in classical music or music theatre. 
Dianne has a great love of choral singing.   With JoAnne Kasper, she has directed and accompanied several groups in the Battlefords.  These include the Gallery Singers, Battlefords Children’s Choirs, and Kamala Youth Choir.   The choruses have been honoured with local and provincial awards, and Kamala has taken part in many wonderful festivals in Saskatchewan and beyond, including the Voices West events, which were initiated by Scott Leithead of Edmonton. 
Dianne has played and performed with her duo-piano partner, Bonnie Nicholson, for almost 3 decades.  This joyful collaboration has always been a highlight in Dianne’s musical life.  In 2016, Dianne and Bonnie joined with Chris Kelly and Janice Paterson, and initiated a summer school for young pianists and vocalists.  SAVP (Summer Academy for Voice and Piano) is now held annually on the University of Saskatchewan campus in Saskatoon.
Ms. Gryba is active in the Saskatchewan Music Festival Association as president of the Battlefords Festival, and as a provincial board member. 
Dianne enjoys the rich variety in her musical life, and she is thankful for the many opportunities she has had to collaborate with exceptional musicians in her career so far.  She and her husband, Greg, continue to be involved in the lives of their three grown children and their families.