Angela Park has established herself as one of Canada’s most sought-after pianists. Praised for her “stunningly beautiful pianism” (Grace Welsh Prize, Chicago), “beautiful tone and sensitivity” (American Record Guide), and for performing “with such brilliant clarity it took your breath away” (Chapala, Mexico), Angela’s versatility as both soloist and chamber musician has led to acclaimed performances across Canada, as well as in the United States, Europe, Japan, and Mexico. Angela has performed for such notable series as Montreal’s Pro Musica, Ottawa Chamberfest, Parry Sound’s Festival of the Sound, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Lyrica Baroque, Winnipeg Virtuosi, Debut Atlantic and Prairie Debut Tours, CBC Onstage, Orchestra London Canada, Sinfonia Toronto, Stratford Symphony, and the Northern Lights Music Festival in Mexico. She is a founding member of the award-winning Ensemble Made In Canada, the Mercer-Park Duo, the Seiler Piano Trio, and the AYR Trio. Angela has recorded solo albums, as well as collaborative discs with cellist Rachel Mercer, oboist Linda Strommen, and Ensemble Made In Canada, for labels including NAXOS Canadian Classics, Centrediscs, and Enharmonic Records. In 2010 Angela earned her DMA in Performance from the Université de Montréal. From 2011-2014, Angela was Visiting Assistant Professor of Collaborative Piano-Woodwinds at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. She is currently Artist-in-Residence with Ensemble Made In Canada and Assistant Professor of Piano at Western University.
Colleen Kennedy, Principal Oboe with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, was born in Comox, B.C., moved to Ontario at an early age, and grew up in Toronto. She studied music at the University of Western Ontario and at the Juilliard School in New York. Her teachers included Harry Sargous, Robert Bloom and Richard Killer. Colleen has been performing with the TBSO since 1981 when she moved to Thunder Bay, supposedly for a year or two. One thing led to another; and she started a family, discovered the beauty of the area we live in and the support our community has for the arts. Now, 40 years later, Colleen also works with the TBSO administration as Director of Development and is back at school taking courses with Toronto Metropolitan University (the new Ryerson University). Colleen is also a sessional lecturer at Lakehead University, teaching oboe and Woodwind Techniques. In her spare time, in addition to oboe reedmaking, Colleen loves running and hiking. Colleen has been performing with Consortium Aurora Borealis since February 1982.
Flutist Doris Dungan has been active in the Thunder Bay classical music scene for over four decades. Originally from Pennsylvania, she earned her B.Mus. (with High Distinction) and M.Mus. degrees from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. As Assistant Professor of flute at the University of Southern Mississippi, she was honoured with the Excellence in Teaching Award. While based in the southern U.S., Doris performed extensively as principal flutist of orchestras in Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama and appeared as soloist with the New Orleans Pops Orchestra and the Mississippi Gulf Coast Symphony. She also toured the region giving solo recitals and as a member of the Southern Arts Baroque Trio. Ms. Dungan has performed at two National Flute Association Conventions, and has furthered her studies by participating in master classes with Marcel Moyse, William Bennett, Julius Baker and others. While a core member of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra from 1980 to 2021, Doris Dungan was featured as flute or piccolo soloist on each of the TBSO’s subscription series. She has been heard nationally in recital on CBC radio, and regularly performs with Consortium Aurora Borealis, Southampton (Pennsylvania) Chamber Music Society, and Tamarack Wind Quintet. She is also one half of Duo Adelphi, along with her harpist sister Cheryl Dungan Cunningham. Doris teaches flute at Lakehead University, and maintains a private teaching studio.
E-Chen Hsu joined the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra in 1999 as a clarinetist and bass clarinetist, and is one of the founding members of the Tamarack Wind Quintet. She studied at the University of Western Ontario, receiving an Honours Bachelor of Music degree in Clarinet Performance. She earned a Master of Music degree at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. One of her favourite things since joining the TBSO has been collaborating with Principal Clarinetist Peter Shackleton, and performing together in recital on occasion. In 2013, E-Chen had the honour of appearing as a soloist with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra on the Classical Plus series. She also plays with the Winnipeg Symphony and the Britt Festival Orchestra in Jacksonville, Oregon. An active chamber musician, E-Chen has performed in chamber ensembles for the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber, and with Consortium Aurora Borealis and New Music North in Thunder Bay. In 2006, she joined the Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra in Iowa, where she enjoys playing opera every summer. E-Chen teaches clarinet at Lakehead University.
A native of Toronto, violinist Jeremy Bell earned a B. Mus degree from the University of Toronto, and from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, he received his Masters and Doctor of Music.
Dr. Bell is a recipient of numerous grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts and is a prize winner of the Eckhardt Grammatté National competition and the Conseil Québécois’ Prix Opus. He has studied with David Zafer, George Neikrug, Joyce Robbins, Metro Kozak and with members of the Orford, Juilliard, Tokyo, and Orion string quartets. Joining the Penderecki String Quartet in 1999, Dr. Bell is Artist in Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University where he teaches violin and chamber music.
Described by the Toronto Star as a violinist who “agitates in the most intelligent and persuasive manner”, Bell has performed recently with the Penderecki Quartet at Arsenale Festival in Poland, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Is Arti Festival in Lithuania, MBZ Zagreb, State Museum of Music in St. Petersburg, REDCAT/Disney Centre in Los Angeles, Roxy/NOD in Prague, Fundacion Juan March in Madrid, Jane Mallet Theatre in Toronto, Paris University 8, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City, Indiana University in Bloomington, Casalmaggiore Festival in Italy, Tovar Festival Venezuela, Virtuosi Festival Brazil, Adam Festival New Zealand, the Hong Kong Academy, the Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre, the Banff Centre in Alberta, and the Chan Centre in Vancouver.
With the Penderecki String Quartet, Bell has recorded over 25 discs including the premiere Canadian recording of the Béla Bartók string quartet cycle and Marjan Mozetich’s ‘Lament in the Trampled Garden’ (winner of the 2010 JUNO Award for composition). From 2000-2007, Bell was the artistic director of NUMUS Concerts where he created several multi-media events at the Perimeter Institute and with Dancetheatre David Earle. He has performed a wide range of music, performing baroque with Consortium Aurora Borealis and Les Violons du Roy, Cuban jazz with Hilario Duran, as well as collaborating with pipa virtuoso Ching Wong, NYC’s DJ Spooky, and rap star Jay-Z. In addition, Bell has performed as soloist with many orchestras in Canada, USA and Mexico, including the Toronto Symphony, the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony, the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, performing concertos of Beethoven, Berg, Brahms, Hatzis, Locatelli, Lutoslawski, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Päart, Prokofiev, Saint-Saens, and Schoenberg. As guest concertmaster he has appeared with the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony, the Hamilton Philharmonic, the New Zealand National Symphony, and the Canadian Opera Company. Dr. Bell plays an A.S. Bernadel violin (1854).
Violinist Katie Stevens, Assistant Concertmaster with the TBSO, holds a B. Mus. from the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music, a Performance Diploma from the Mount Royal Conservatory, and a M.Mus from the University of Ottawa). Her teachers have included Lorand Fenyves, Erica Raum, William van der Sloot and David Stewart. Katie has received top awards and bursaries from several organizations and foundations, and worked as a freelance musician and teacher in Ottawa after graduating. Katie has performed with such orchestras as the Canadian Opera Company, the National Arts Centre and the Winnipeg Symphony, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra as well as with Ottawa’s premier chamber orchestra, the Thirteen Strings. She maintains an active teaching studio in Thunder Bay, has a deep love of chamber music, and enjoys dabbling in different musical genres. She studied Baroque performance practice at Glenn Gould with Tafelmusik’s Jeanne Lamon, and has a keen interest in this area. She has collaborated with virtuoso violinist Jeremy Bell on several occasions, and performs regularly as lead violinist with Consortium Aurora Borealis.
Hailing from Beamsville, Ontario, Kevin Brohman joined the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra as Principal Timpanist in the Fall of 2019. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance from Wilfrid Laurier University, studying with Dave Campion and Brennan Connolly and has studied in the Artist Diploma Program of the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music with Charles Settle. During his time as a student he played in master classes for artists such as Evelyn Glennie and She-e Wu, and has performed alongside Sō Percussion and TorQ Percussion Quartet. He is grateful to have received mentorship throughout his education and career from John Rudolph and Aiyun Huang.
Previously Principal Timpanist of the Stratford Symphony Orchestra, Kevin has also performed with the Niagara Symphony, Kingston Symphony, and is an alumnus of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, the National Academy Orchestra, and the Colorado College Summer Music Festival. He has performed in concert halls across Canada and Europe, and worked under conductors such as Raffi Armenian, Edwin Outwater, Scott Yoo, Glenn Mossop and Bramwell Tovey to name a few. In March 2023, Kevin will make his orchestral solo debut with the TBSO, performing Michael Oesterle’s Kaluza Klein for vibraphone and string orchestra. As a drum set player he performs regularly as a member of the Martin Blanchet Jazz Quintet, and is often seen up front with various artists alongside the TBSO.
In addition to teaching drum kit and percussion privately, Kevin teaches percussion at Lakehead University and in group classes through the Thunder Bay Conservatory of Music. He has also taught at the Niagara Symphony’s Summer Music Camp. In his spare time he is an avid home cook with a keen interest in bread baking, and enjoys going for walks and hikes with his wife Jess and their dog Winston.
Marc Palmquist is a native of Minnesota, with one foot in the USA and one in Canada.
Directly on the heels of study in NYC where he earned a Masters Degree in Cello Performance at the Manhattan and Juilliard Schools of Music in New York City, Marc performed as solo cellist in the Broadway musical ‘Gigi’. During that touring year, the NYC Broadway production of ‘Gigi’ toured every major city of North America performing in every major venue! Fellow cast members included major stars: Louis Jourdan, Tiana Elg, Betsy Palmer, Lisa Howard, and many more.
Marc joined the TBSO as Principal Cellist in 1985. He has performed extensively with the renowned Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, (St Paul, MN) and the MN Orchestra, (Minneapolis, MN). During the TBSO’s off-season, he has also performed seasonally with the: Colorado Festival Orchestra (Boulder, CO); NYC Met Opera & La Scala Orchestra’s joint European Tour, (Milan, IT); the Florida Festival Orchestra (Fort Lauderdale, FL) both within Florida and touring in
As a featured TBSO soloist, Marc has appeared over twenty times during his tenure performing major concerti and important solos in the repertoire. He has been broadcast on the CBC, NPR, and MPR radio networks.
Since 1985, Marc has appeared annually in Consortium Aurora Borealis’ concert series, which has offered him many opportunities to expand his musical repertoire in areas rarely explored by orchestras.
Throughout his TBSO tenure, Marc has shared his varied administrative skills within the TBSO organization: Personnel Manager (1995-2005), Production Manager (1987-1989), Union Steward (1991-1994), Player’s Committee Member, Artistic Advisory Committee Member, Music Director Search Committee Member.
Marc enjoys working with his hands: building, creating, fixing, and boating! In 2005, Marc built his own Solar house with his own two-hands! This state-of-the-art home is energy net-zero, and part of Ontario’s Micro-FIT green electricity production, which helps offset carbon emitting electricity production. He is also involved in the field of electrified vehicle and boat propulsion and hopes to accept a new ‘Aptera’ fully-self-charging electric vehicle in 2024.
Marc and partner, Deb (Clarinetist), maintain their USA and Canadian residences, and together have raised four successful dual-citizens.
Growing up at home, guitarist Mario Potestio was exposed to an eclectic musical collection, including all genres, from Classical to Jazz, World Music to Country Music, R&B to Pop. He received his first guitar on his thirteenth birthday, and became a different person, practising daily for several hours, quickly developing enough skills to play with cover bands in town.
Mario recognized the freedom of improvisational music early in his musical life after borrowing a John Coltrane record from the library. In 1991, he attended Toronto’s Humber College to develop his knowledge of jazz and theory, studying with some of Canada’s top educators, and receiving full scholarship in his final year. In 1996 Mario entered the University of Toronto’s newly-formed Jazz program, studying with Lorne Lofsky, one of Canada’s foremost jazz guitarists, who greatly influenced Mario’s approach to improvisation.
He was invited to attend the Banff International Jazz Workshop, led by New York great trumpeter Dave Douglas. Here Mario performed in ensembles with jazz greats John Abercrombie, Mark Turner, and Dave Douglas, naming just a few. After Banff he went to New York to study with guitarists Rez Abbasi and Ben Monder.
Mario performed all over Canada, the U.S. and Bermuda with the Garden Brothers Circus Showband, playing at such great venues as the Air Canada Centre, Roger’s Centre and the Corral. A 5-year stint with the Carnival Cruise Line’s Showband followed; he was also showcased nightly with his jazz trio consisting of guitar, bass and drums, as he developed his unique musical jazz voice.
In 2017, after a 25-year hiatus, Mario returned to Thunder Bay, and realized the depth of its music scene and that he could contribute to it. He now enjoys performing with some of Thunder Bay’s top musicians.
Born in Québec City, Martin Blanchet began his musical training on the violin and the piano before pursuing the double bass as his main instrument. During his studies at Conservatoire de Musique de Québec, he completed the Technique en Jazz et Pop degree, a Master’s degree in Classical Interpretation, and a second Master’s degree in Chamber Music. Martin joined the TBSO as Section Bass in 2007 before winning the Principal Bass position in 2009. Martin previously held the chair of Assistant Principal Bass in Orquestra do Algarve in Portugal. He also served as Principal Bass with the World Orchestra of the Jeunesses Musicales. He toured Europe three times, playing in amazing concert venues such as the Berliner Philharmonie, Royal Concertgebouw, and Saalbau Essen.
Martin has performed with notable ensembles such as La Orquesta de Extremadura de Badajoz in Spain, L’Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, l’Opéra de Québec, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. In summer 2009, he was invited to perform the Dittersdorf Double Bass Concerto in Pommersfelden, Germany. Martin has taught double bass at the Campus Notre-Dame-de-Foy in Québec City and is presently Contract Lecturer at Lakehead University. Jazz music has also been a big part of Martin’s career, leading him to form the Martin Blanchet Jazz Quintet.
Martin Blanchet is the vocalist, bassist, and musical arranger for the quintet, creating and performing various shows, including Café Paris, Sharp Ninth, Manouche, and Mini-Café. Most recently, Martin has begun conducting and arranging music for an all-French choir with the association of Le Club Culturel Francophone de Thunder Bay.
Martin Blanchet Jazz Quintet - Café Paris
Violin, Clarinet, Guitar, Double Bass, Percussion
Café Paris is one of Thunder Bay’s premier jazz ensembles, featuring some of the city’s most diverse and talented musicians. The group was created in November of 2015 by Martin Blanchet. It is one of his many bands that perform under the consortium of musicians that make up the Martin Blanchet Jazz Quintet. From jazz to classical with touches of world music, Café Paris delves into many different musical genres. The quintet has been fortunate to be the featured artists with many events in Thunder Bay including: The Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, Arts and Heritage Awards, Canada Day Celebrations, Live at the Waterfront, Folklore Festival, Franco-Festival, Club Culturel Francophone, Magnus Theatre, Centr’elles, Centre Francophone de Thunder Bay, Lakehead University, the City of Thunder Bay, and many more.
As well as concerts, education is very important to the members of the band. Café Paris has given performances in schools around the city such as La Vérendrye and Franco-Supérieur. They also created a show for youth called Mini Café which was released online for the Canada Day Celebrations.
In 2020, Café Paris performed an online Christmas show, organized by the Club Culturel Francophone, to raise money for Christmas baskets to give to families in need around Thunder Bay.
Following successful crossover concerts with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, Café Paris is excited for this new venture in collaboration with Consortium Aurora Borealis. For this concert, the band will perform as a quintet including Katie Stevens, violin, E-Chen Hsu, clarinet, Mario Potestio, guitar, Martin Blanchet, double bass, and Kevin Brohman on percussion.
Canadian pianist Shoshana Telner has performed across Canada and abroad. Described as an “authentic musician with a sparkling technique” (Le Droit) and “full of fire and warmth” (the New York Times), Shoshana has a passion for engaging audiences with exciting performances. She made her solo orchestral début with the National Arts Centre Orchestra at the age of 16 and has since performed as soloist with several orchestras including the Québec Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Classical Orchestra, and the National Academy Orchestra.
Shoshana received a Bachelor’s degree on full scholarship from Boston University, a Master’s degree from the Juilliard School in New York, and a Doctorate in performance from McGill University. She has taught piano and coached ensembles at McGill University, the University of Ottawa, Wilfrid Laurier University, and currently teaches piano at McMaster University. She frequently gives masterclasses, adjudicates competitions, and examines for the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Shoshana has performed at numerous summer festivals including the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, the Elora Festival, the Kincardine Summer Music Festival, the Brott Music Festival, and the Blueridge Chamber Music Festival. She has been awarded honors at the International Stepping Stone Competition, the Esther Honens International Piano Competition and the Canadian Concerto Competition. Shoshana’s recordings include solo works of Canadian composer Colin Mack (CanSona), the Grieg violin/piano sonatas with Jeremy Bell (Chestnut Hall Music), Mozart Sonatas and Sonatinas (The Mozart Effect) and the six Bach Keyboard Partitas (Centaur Records).
VC2 Cello Duo
VC2 Cello Duo is an innovative cello duo ensemble that captivates audiences through their performances of classical masterworks, unknown gems and boundary pushing music. Comprised of cellists Amahl Arulanandam and Bryan Holt, CBC Music says VC2 is “a tight unit, with excellent intonation and expression.” They present artistically challenging, yet accessible programs in venues ranging from intimate cabarets to Roy Thomson Hall.
As respected cellists, they have performed as part of leading music organizations including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, Soundstreams, Art of Time Ensemble, Continuum Contemporary Music, New Music Concerts, Music in the Barns, Thin Edge New Music Collective, and others. The duo has been featured artists at Ottawa Chamberfest, Indian River Festival, Ottawa New Music Creators, 21C Music Festival, Ritornello Festival, and the Prairie Cello Institute.
Committed to the creation of new works by living composers, especially those from their home country of Canada, VC2 commissioned five Canadian composers to create works based on the Beethoven Cello Sonatas project. In addition to their performances, VC2, with the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council, recorded these works and in fall 2018, released the album Beethoven’s Cellists which CBC Radio calls a “first-rate” recording.
In February 2018, VC2 embarked on a tour of the East Coast of Canada, presented by Debut Atlantic. The duo also spent time summer 2018 at the soundSCAPE performance and composition exchange in Maccagno, Italy and brought home a number of new works by emerging international composers. VC2 is thrilled to be one of Prairie Debut’s 2019-20 Touring Artists. This summer, they premiered a work by Canadian Kelly Marie Murphy, titled Final Glimpse, commissioned by the Toronto Music Garden/Harbourfront.