2022 Adjudicators

Intermediate & Senior Piano Adjudicator

Eric Nyland

Eric is a pianist (ARCT, LRCM) and actor (BFA, CAEA). For twenty years, Eric has worked professionally in theatre, film, voiceover, music, and music pedagogy throughout Canada, as well as having performed student recitals in Cremona, Italy.

Eric runs a private teaching studio in Calgary and is a member of the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators’ Association. He has studied with Dr. Lillian Upright, Dr. Irena Kofman, and Linda Kundert, and has taken masterclasses from Dr. Jennifer Snow, Dr. Jacques Despres, and Dr. Ludmilla Lazar.

Eric has developed and taught two courses for Mount Royal University (Introductory Keyboard for Adults – learn to read, and play by ear/improvisation), served as the musical director for the theatre improvisation company The Kinkonauts and for the long-form theatre improvisation duo One Lions (winner, Best Show at Vancouver International Improv Festival, 2016).

In 2015, Eric appeared as soloist in Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto for the inaugural concert of the Calgary Arts Orchestra, and in 2016 he served as composer, music director, and lead actor in Armin Wiebe’s The Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven Blatz for the Station Arts Centre.

He is the winner of the 2013 Jack Friedenberg Memorial Scholarship for pianists and was nominated for the 2015 Outstanding Actor in a Play by the Calgary Theatre Critics’ Awards for his work in the world premiere of Nicholas Billon’s Butcher.

Junior Piano Adjudicator

Marlis Gunderson

Marlis loves music. She started playing piano by ear when she was 4. She took lessons and finished her RCM Grade 10 while in

high school. After graduating she became an ICU nurse. Missing her music, she completed her ARCT with Jaquie Ryan after nursing graduation and has been teaching piano since. She continues to do private duty nursing.


Marlis enjoys learning new music by being involved in the Roubakine Piano Club, where she participates in master classes twice a year. She also adjudicates across Alberta and is organist and accompanist for several choirs and vocal groups.


She resides in St. Albert with her husband, close to her 2 grown children and 4 young granddaughters. Marlis is very excited to be invited to the Sherwood Park Music Festival.

Classical Vocal Adjudicator

Elizabeth Turnbull

Elizabeth Turnbull has been hailed by the critics as ‘a revelation’, with ‘controlled passion, acute timing and glistening presence’. Her many credits include appearances with major orchestras and opera companies across North America. She also portrayed ‘Lyubija’ in the European (France, Serbia and Ireland) and Canadian (Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver) tours of Svadba. Her roles range from the baroque (‘Juno’ in Semele), to the romantic (‘Carmen’ in Carmen), modern (‘Augusta Tabor’ in the Canadian premiere of The Ballad of Baby Doe) and new (creating the role of ‘Maria Picariello’ in Filumena). Concert experience has included the oratorios of Bach, Bruckner, Handel, Mendelssohn, Saint Saens and Vivaldi, the symphonies of Beethoven and Mahler, the songs of Brahms, Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky and Rachmaninov, as well as numerous new music compositions.


Recent performances have included the creation of the role of ‘Elizabeth’ in Opera on the Avalon’s new John Estacio opera, Ours, as well as a reprise of ‘Maria’ in Calgary Opera’s remount of Filumena, and the role of ‘Larina’ in Calgary Opera’s Eugene Onegin.


Ms. Turnbull's discography includes 3 CDs with Toronto's Bach Consort, two recordings with the Ukrainian Art Song Project (songs of Lysenko and Stepovyi), as well as a self-produced disc of Irish and Scottish Songs, entitled ‘The Meeting of the Waters’. Many of her Canadian operatic performances have been heard across the country on CBC's ‘Saturday Afternoon at the Opera’.


Since 2009, Ms. Turnbull has been on faculty at the University of Alberta as an instructor of voice. In the music department there, she has also taught the Opera Workshop and chamber music classes. Ms. Turnbull is in demand as an adjudicator and as a master classes clinician at festivals and young artist programs across the country.

Musical Theatre and Choral Adjudicator

Dr. Danica Hoffart

Dr. Danica Hoffart is a singer, conductor, musical director, educator, and adjudicator. Since 2018, she has taught voice in Theatre Arts at MacEwan University. From 2001-2018, Danica was on faculty at Red Deer College where she taught private voice lessons, choir, singing for the stage, music history, and ear training.

She has performed with the Central Alberta Chamber Players, Kompany! Dance, and has been a soprano soloist with the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra. Select musical directing credits include South Pacific, Footloose, Cabaret, The Sound of Music, and The Wizard of Oz. Danica holds a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Arts in Music from the University of Alberta, and a PhD in Music from the University of Calgary. Her research examines best practices in leadership and the empowerment of individuals through participation in choir.

Speech Arts Adjudicator

Andrew Ritchie

Andrew Ritchie (he/him) is a director, theatre maker, improviser, teacher, and producer born and raised on Treaty 6 territory in Amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton) who has directed and performed across Canada. He has a MFA in Directing & Creation from York University, a BA in Drama from the University of Alberta, and is a graduate of the Banff Centre/Citadel Professional Theatre Program. He is a co-founder and current artistic director of Thou Art Here Theatre, which recently became a non-profit. He is a faculty member with the Citadel Theatre’s Young Companies & Foote Theatre School and is an ensemble member with Rapid Fire Theatre. He is on the board of Paths for People, an active transportation advocacy non-profit. Previously he was the Sandbox Series Coordinator & Theatre School Director at the Globe Theatre in Regina and was a co-founder and festival director of the Common Ground Arts Society’s Found Festival. Learn more about his work and upcoming projects at www.andrewritchie.net

Instruments Adjudicator

Kathie Van Lare

Kathie Van Lare, born and raised in Calgary, has been teaching music in the Calgary area for over 30 years. Recently retired from full-time teaching, Kathie continues to direct the Foothills Music Society Concert Band and the Westwinds Music Society Jazz Gold South Big Band. Kathie is active as a guest conductor and adjudicator throughout much of western Canada and has also served on faculty with MusiCamrose and the Calgary Regional Summer Band Workshop.


Concert and jazz bands under her direction have been the recipients of numerous Gold Awards and “Superior” ratings and groups under her direction have been invited as featured performers on several occasions. In 2012, Kathie received the Alberta Band Association’s “Elkhorn Award” as the Band Director of the Year and in 2017 she received the Alberta Band Association’s “Vondis Miller Legacy Award”.


She is a member of the Phi Beta Mu Bandmasters Fraternity and in 2019 Kathie was inducted as a Laureate in the Bandworld Legion of Honor. Kathie was recently honoured with the Women Band Directors International, “Scroll of Excellence”. Besides music, Kathie enjoys woodworking, horseback riding and is an avid baseball fan.

Strings Adjudicator

Adèle Bossé-Morgan

Adèle Bossé-Morgan grew up as a Suzuki kid, starting cello at the age of 5 with the Society for Talent Education. She has also been a Suzuki parent, with all 4 of her children having taken lessons through the STE. As a teacher, she is a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas and is enthusiastic about professional development. She has completed ECC (Every Child Can), SPA (Suzuki Principles in Action), Cello Teacher- Training Units 1 - 10, and most recently Double Bass Unit 1. Mrs. Bossé-Morgan has been teaching with the Society for Talent Education since 1989, regularly teaching private cello lessons, cello group classes, and coaching chamber music, as well as serving as an accompanist for many STE concerts and events, and serving as music director from 2016-2020. In 2010 she also joined the staff of the Suzuki Charter School where she teaches cello, double bass, piano, and mixed-instrument chamber music classes.


Outside the Suzuki world, Mrs. Bossé-Morgan holds a B. Mus. in cello performance from the University of Alberta. She completed examinations with the Western Board of Music in both cello and piano, and upon completing her B.Mus. degree in cello performance served a 10 year term as a strings and piano examiner for Conservatory Canada. She has adjudicated festivals in strings, junior piano, and band since 2009, and also maintains a small private studio in cello, piano, and theory. She has had students compete successfully in local music festivals, as well as provincial festivals, the provincial national class, and the Northern Alberta Concerto Competition. As a performer, Mrs. Bossé-Morgan mostly freelances as her teaching and adjudicating schedule allows, but regularly plays with Quartette des Muses for a variety of functions, and has also been very active over the years playing in pit orchestras for many local musical theatre companies, as well as playing with the Edmonton Metropolitan Orchestra. For several years Mrs. Bossé-Morgan has also been involved with the music ministry at her home church, where she sings alto and plays both cello and piano.

Composition Adjudicator

Allan Gilliland

One of Canada’s busiest composers, Allan Gilliland has written music for orchestra, choir, big band, film, television and theatre. His music has been recorded on over 30 CD's including three, Collaborations, O Music and Dreaming: The Prague Sessions, dedicated entirely to his music. For five years he was Composer-in-Residence with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and is currently Dean of Fine Arts and Communications at MacEwan University in Edmonton where he was head of composition from 2004–2016 and chair of music from 2012–2016.

Guitar Adjudicator

Brad Mahon

In January 2017, Brad Mahon returned to Calgary to assume the role of Director at Mount Royal University’s Conservatory. In January 2018, he accepted the additional position of Dean, Faculty of Continuing Education. Formerly, Brad was Manager of Visual and Performing Arts at Medicine Hat College, and before that, Head of the Conservatory of Performing Arts at the University of Regina.

When not in committee meetings or studying spreadsheets, Brad regularly sneaks off campus to moonlight as a guitarist, adjudicator, clinician, and lecturer. He has released three commercial recordings, has appeared as a guest on several other recordings, and continues to perform live and via live-stream. He also maintains his long-standing affiliation with the Royal Conservatory of Music as guitar examiner and the administrative lead for the guitar program.

Brad’s formal education is highlighted by a PhD (musicology) from the University of Calgary, an MBA from Royal Roads University, and an ARCT (guitar) from the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Contemporary Vocal Adjudicator

Max Hopkins

Max grew up in Southern Alberta and attended the University of Lethbridge’s Digital Audio Arts program (BMus., 2016). During his time at school, he conducted research in environmental sound capture, soundscape composition, and sound-mapping (funded by the Joyce and Ron Sakamoto Prize for Research and Development in DAA); began composing, arranging, and orchestrating; and, perhaps most importantly, began taking voice lessons in his spare time.


Through several years of lessons with David Shefsiek, Max held leads in an Opera Workshop at the university directed by Dr. Blaine Hendsbee, performed with the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra, sang in a jazz group, debuted student composer works, sang in an a capella group, and became a recording artist.


Through supportive and encouraging teachers and exposure to various styles and genres of music, he gained a new outlook, appreciation, and love for music and singing. He is so excited to be participating as an adjudicator in the Sherwood Park Musical Festival, and hopes to impart the same encouragement and inspiration on those participating as he has received over the years.