2023 Adjudicators

Brass - Jim Tranquilla

Trombonist Jim Tranquilla is an active soloist, chamber and orchestral musician who travels throughout Canada and abroad with chamber music ensembles, bands, stage shows, and orchestras. His affable approach to collaboration has earned requests to participate in major events including the Juno Awards, East Coast Music Awards, and 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. He has shared the stage with a wide range of stars from legendary artists The Who, Adele, Frank Sinatra Jr., and Sting to Canadian icons Michael Bublé, Dianna Krall, and Measha Bruggergosman. As co-founder of the trombone quintet iTromboni, Jim tours extensively and performs at several of Canada’s finest concert halls and prominent festivals.

Jim is also a sought-after educator, adjudicator, clinician, and arranger, having led workshops and masterclasses at schools and universities from coast to coast. He has worked as a Development Agent with Jeunesses Musicales of Canada (Montreal, QC) and as brass instructor/ensemble director at Memorial University of Newfoundland (St. John’s, NL) and Mount Allison University (Sackville, NB). While living in Newfoundland, he was Director of Education & Outreach for the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director and Conductor of the Newfoundland Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Now happily living back in his home province of New Brunswick with his lovely family, Jim spends his time gardening, fishing, being a dad, and juggling a variety of professional positions. He is the Director of Community Engagement with the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra, Executive Director of Tutta Musica Orchestra (Sistema NB Teaching Artists) and plays with Vancouver Opera, Symphony New Brunswick, Symphony Nova Scotia and Tutta Musica Orchestra.

Chamber - Brian Mix

Brian Mix enjoys a multi-faceted career as a performer, educator, adjudicator, administrator, string instrument specialist, and lawyer. As an orchestra cellist, Brian has played with the Vancouver Symphony, the CBC Radio Orchestra, and the Victoria Symphony, among others, and has appeared as a soloist and toured throughout western Canada, the USA, and Taiwan as a chamber musician.

As an educator, Brian has adjudicated festivals across Canada, conducted youth orchestras, been a member of the RCM College of Examiners, and taught cello, chamber music, and music history. Brian has also lectured, presented pre-concert talks, written essays on music, and provided program notes and CD liner notes for a number of prominent presenting organizations and performers. Alongside his performing career, Brian is the Artistic Director of the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra, manages the Vancouver branch of Wilder & Davis Luthiers, one of Canada’s foremost specialists in stringed instruments, and is also a lawyer specializing in civil and criminal litigation.

Brian’s principal teachers include Eric Wilson, founding cellist of the Emerson String Quartet, and Donald Whitton, principal cellist of the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Other musicians with whom Brian has studied include Eric Rosenblith, Hans Jorgen Jensen, Jaap ter Linden, Phoebe Carrai, and Tom Rolston.

Choral - Elroy Friesen

Elroy Friesen is Director of Choral Studies at the University of Manitoba where he heads the graduate studies program in choral performance, conducts numerous choirs, and teaches graduate conducting.

His award-winning ensembles tour nationally and internationally and are frequently recorded and broadcast by the CBC. They enjoy collaborating with many outstanding local and national arts organizations, including the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Canadian College of Organists, WSO New Music Festival, Soundstreams Canada, Groundswell, Vancouver Chamber Choir, and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.

Dr. Friesen studied at the University of Manitoba (B. Mus., B. Ed., M. Mus.) and at the University of Illinois (DMA), receiving numerous scholarships and grants from the Manitoba Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Foundation for Choral Music in Manitoba. He is a co-founder of fikamusik: a choral conducting intensive based at the University of Manitoba and has had numerous performances as guest conductor with the Winnipeg Symphony and the National Arts Centre Orchestras.

Classical Voice - Darryl Edwards

With magnetizing insight, Darryl Edwards confidently creates and revives pathways new and old with performing artists and audiences. Toward storytelling and discovery, he melds his vibrant international experiences to gather and empower singers to their fullest realizations in radiating the world’s interactive dramas.

The University of Toronto Faculty of Music, the Centre for Opera Studies & Appreciation (COSA Canada), and their exciting communities of meaning-makers have led him to be an innovator in teaching, learning, and performance. Artists he has taught and is teaching are heard at the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Montreal Opera, Vancouver Opera, Calgary Opera, Edmonton Opera, Brott Opera, and Opera Atelier, and the Canadian Opera Company. He has nurtured artist-administrators and artist-educators who are now at the centre of such organizations as Debut Atlantic, the Toronto Children’s Chorus, Viva Singers Toronto, the University of British Columbia School of Music (Voice/Opera), Mount Allison University Faculty of Arts, and Dean Artist Management.

With a doctorate in musical arts (Michigan), degrees in music and education (Western), and performing and teaching experiences in the USA, China, Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy, Syria, Brazil, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Norway, Professor Darryl Edwards flourishes in the creation and nurturing of learning, performers, and performances.

Dr. Edwards celebrates his accomplishments and his compelling work with young artists in cascades of remarkable performing events and outcomes in darryledwards.ca and cosacanada.org.

Guitar - Daniel Ramjattan

Dr. Daniel Ramjattan (DMA, M. Mus, B. Mus) has become an ambassador for the classical guitar in Canada, having premiered dozens of chamber and solo works for guitar. He has given recitals in Vienna, Austria, Italy, and various locations across Canada, the United States, Trinidad and Tobago, and Japan, and has received an array of top prizes in provincial and national solo guitar competitions. He has performed in festivals such as Koerner's 21C Festival, INNERChamber, Chamberfest, the Livorno Music Festival, Italy, and many more.

His debut studio album, Inspirations: New Works for Solo Guitar, features his interpretation of six brilliant works by Canadian composers, including three world premiere recordings, available for streaming on all major platforms. CBC Radio’s Paolo Pietropaolo featured the album as the Record of the Week in March 2022, and WholeNote Magazine described his playing as "beautifully clean." The project was created in part thanks to a generous recording grant from the Ontario Arts Council.

Daniel’s primary teachers have included Dr. Jeffrey McFadden, Patrick Roux, Bruce Holzman, Wilma Van Berkel, and Lorenzo Micheli, and he has performed in masterclasses for world-class artists such as Sergio Assad, Jorge Caballero, Denis Azabagic, Judicael Perroy, Fabio Zanon, and many others. He has taken first prize at competitions such as the Ottawa-Gatineau guitar competition and OMFA Provincial Guitar Competition open level in 2014 and 2016. He also placed second in the FCMF National Guitar Competition in 2016, and he has placed as a finalist in the Montreal and Hamilton International Guitar Competitions.

He completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Toronto in August 2022, where his dissertation focused on music performance anxiety in classical guitarists, and received a senior doctoral fellowship from New College for this research in 2021-2022. He often shares insights from his research with his guitar students and performance coaching clients and has given lectures on music performance anxiety at McGill University, the University of Toronto, Wilfrid Laurier University, Mount Royal University, the University of West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago, and more. CBC television’s the National has also interviewed him as an expert on music performance anxiety and stage fright. In 2020, he joined Wilfrid Laurier University's Faculty of Music as a classical guitar instructor, and this Fall 2022 marked the inauguration of the Music Performance Anxiety course he designed for the faculty of music.

Musical Theatre - Donna Fletcher

Donna Fletcher is an accomplished actor, singer, and concert performer with a wide range of national experience. Proud of her prairie roots, Donna received her early training in Winnipeg and earned a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Manitoba, a diploma in Music Theatre from The Banff Centre for the Arts, and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from The University of Toronto.

As an actor, Donna has been acclaimed in principle roles from east to west with the Charlottetown Festival, Drayton Festival, Rainbow Stage, Theatre Calgary, Stage West Calgary, the National Arts Centre, Manitoba Opera, MTC, PTE, MTYP, WJT, the Belfry Theatre, and Persephone Theatre. As a director Donna has helmed the Rainbow Stage/WSO concert presentation of South Pacific; for Opera on the Avalon Phantom of the Opera, Into the Woods, and The Sound of Music; for NUOVA Kiss Me Kate, Carousel, and City Workers In Love; for Dry Cold Productions The Bridges of Madison County, The Addams Family, A Man of No Importance, and Sweeney Todd; as well as Brundibar for the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. Donna conceived the WSO presentation of Send in the Clowns: The Music of Stephen Sondheim where she took the stage with TONY Award winner Len Cariou.

Donna serves as First Vice President & Manitoba/Nunavut Councillor for Canadian Actor’s Equity and was inducted into the Rainbow Stage Wall of Fame in 2012. Always seeking new challenges, she co-created Winnipeg Musical Theatre Company Dry Cold Productions which is celebrating its 22nd season. Donna is a nationally respected clinician, Voice and Musical Theatre Instructor at the University of Manitoba Desautels Faculty of Music as well as the University of Winnipeg Theatre Department. Most importantly, she is mum to Amalia.

Piano - Ian Parker

Magnetic, easy-going, and delightfully articulate, Canadian pianist/conductor Ian Parker captivates audiences wherever he goes. As a pianist, he has appeared with top Canadian orchestras including the symphonies of Toronto, Quebec, Vancouver, Victoria, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Orchestre Métropolitain, and the Calgary Philharmonic. In the U.S., orchestral highlights include the San Francisco, Cincinnati, National, Santa Barbara, Richmond, and Honolulu symphonies as well as the Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom, to name just a few.

Born in Vancouver to a family of pianists, Mr. Parker began his piano studies at age three with his father, Edward Parker. He holds both the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, where he was a student of Yoheved Kaplinsky. While at Juilliard, he was awarded the Sylva Gelber Career Grant by the Canada Council for the Arts, presented annually to the “most talented Canadian artist.”

In addition to his work at the keyboard, Ian Parker is currently in his second season as music director and principal conductor of the VAM Symphony Orchestra at the Vancouver Academy of Music. Working with some of Canada’s most promising young orchestral players, Mr. Parker programs and conducts four concerts per season in Vancouver’s historic Orpheum Theatre. He is also artistic director of the Resonate chamber music series at the Kay Meek Centre in North Vancouver.

First Prize winner at the 2001 CBC National Radio Competition, Ian Parker has also won the Grand Prize at the Canadian National Music Festival, the Corpus Christie International Competition and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Competition. At The Juilliard School, he received the 2002 William Petschek Piano Debut Award and, on two occasions, was the winner of the Gina Bachauer Piano Scholarship Competition. Heard regularly on CBC Radio, he has also performed live on WQXR (hosted by Robert Sherman) in New York.

Speech - Julia Pal

Julia Pal earned her A.R.C.T in Speech Arts and Drama from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and was awarded the gold medal at the diploma level. After graduating from the University of Toronto, she performed in children’s theatre and collaborated with other theatre artists on several original shows. She later earned her Bachelor of Education in drama and visual art from Queen’s University and then went on to pursue her interest in singing and graduated from the Humber College jazz program.

Julia has been active as a teacher and workshop leader for over 30 years with the Royal Conservatory of Music, Learning Through the Arts, Kingsway Conservatory of Music, and the Toronto District School Board conducting classes in creative drama, improvisation, scene study, and speech arts. She also continues to coach privately, adjudicate for speech arts festivals across Canada, and is a member of the RCM College of Examiners for Speech Arts and Drama.

In addition to her teaching commitments, Julia remains active as a theatre artist, storyteller, and singer. As a teacher she is dedicated to helping students build self-confidence, increase their expressive skills, and develop strong techniques for oral presentation through speech arts and drama activities.

Strings - Kerry DuWors

With “exceptional intonation and a tangible empathy” (Gramophone Magazine), Canadian violinist Kerry DuWors is an acclaimed soloist and chamber musician. A versatile artist, DuWors collaborates with an array of ensembles from her duo work to leading chamber orchestras. Described as having a “commanding combination of strength, sweetness, and brightness” (WholeNote Magazine), she has performed across Canada, the US, Japan, Central Asia, Europe, Mexico, and New Zealand. She recently toured Portugal, Armenia, and Georgia with JUNO-award winning jazz pianist and composer David Braid. Memorable performances with James Ehnes, Yo-Yo Ma, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Montreal's collectif9, and New York's The Knights. She has been a soloist with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony, Saskatoon Symphony, Montreal Chamber Orchestra, Red Deer Symphony, and Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.

Kerry's discography includes duo526's Ballade for PARMA Recordings (2014) and DUO FANTASY (2019) with pianist Futaba Niekawa. "DuWors and Niekawa are a beautifully balanced duo" (Gramophone Magazine), they "create an art that goes beyond mere interpretation. The personality of the two musicians expands out with a creative attitude towards the world" (Sonograma Magazine).

Kerry has won prestigious awards including Grand Prize at the 26th Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition, Felix Galimir Award for Chamber Music Excellence, and two Canada Council Career Development Grants. She is a four-time laureate of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Musical Instrument Bank and played on Gagliano, Pressenda, and Rocca violins between 2003-2015. She currently plays on a modern instrument by Felix Krafft modeled after the 1735 “Plowden” Guarneri.

Prof. Kerry DuWors was appointed to Brandon University's School of Music in 2003 as the youngest tenure-track music professor in Canada. Her students have competed and won prizes at the National Music Festival as representatives from Manitoba in the String and Chamber Music categories, Saskatchewan Shurniak Concerto Competition, as well as the finals for the Shumiatcher Scholarship Competition (Regina) and Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg McClellan Competition.

Prof. DuWors is also in demand as an adjudicator and competition juror across Canada. She regularly gives studio classes at Brandon University and has been invited to give masterclasses internationally.

Woodwind - Peter Stoll

Known for his virtuoso energy on stage as well as an easy and entertaining way of speaking with the audience, Peter Stoll teaches clarinet, chamber music, woodwind performance, and the Business of Music at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music. He is a frequent performer with orchestral and chamber ensembles throughout southern Ontario. Tours as a soloist and with various ensembles have taken him across Europe, to Russia, and the United States as well as to Japan and China. In 2019, Peter shared in the win of a Dora Mayor Moore award for Best Ensemble-Opera in Toronto.

A popular adjudicator up to the national level, he has worked across Canada and in the USA. Peter is particularly known for his enthusiastic, positive comments and detailed suggestions to young musicians, and has been invited to adjudicate at over 130 local festivals across Canada. Fluent in both official languages, he has heard bands, orchestras, woodwind, brass, and percussion solos and ensembles coast to coast.

Peter is also a member of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s National College of Examiners, where he is the area Specialist for Winds, and was the Chief Compiler of the 2014 edition of the clarinet examination syllabus. His website is www.peterstoll.ca.