Rowena Bridson is thrilled to have joined the Laudate Singers. Rowena was born in Toronto and received both her ARCT Piano Performers and her ARCT Piano Pedagogy diplomas from the Royal Conservatory of Music. After moving to Vancouver in 2003, Rowena continued her musical studies with a Bachelor of Music degree specializing in Voice Performance from the Vancouver Academy of Music. Rowena enjoys performing regularly, having performed in Canada and the U.S. When not performing, Rowena enjoys teaching in Richmond, where many of her students have won awards and scholarships at local music festivals.
I am an active teacher, singer songwriter, choral singer and mother of two little boys. Originally from Vancouver Island, I have lived in Vancouver since 1992. After completing my Bachelor of Music (UBC) degree in 1996, I joined the alto section of Laudate Singers which, at my 19th season, makes me the longest serving member of Laudate Singers.
When I’m not singing in Laudate, I teach voice, beginner piano, choir, music and movement both through my own home music studio and through the City of Vancouver and the City of Burnaby. I also sing as a soloist and as a choral singer. During the Christmas season, I manage and sing in the a cappella caroling group Caminando and in the Angelus Singers.
Laura Kaario is delighted to be singing such a diverse variety of fantastic music with the wonderful group of people in Laudate. Having grown up surrounded by choral music, she feels it is a highly spiritual and truly human experience to be singing and sharing with others. Laura holds a Bachelors of Music in Music Education (2018) from University of Victoria, and a Conducting Certificate (2015) and Music Diploma (2015) from Capilano University. She is a soprano and pianist, and has taught piano, voice, and preschool music classes.
When not making music, Laura is very often making food. Gardening, fermenting, cooking, baking, and preserving – not to mention eating – are some of her favourite hobbies. She is currently taking time to explore matters related to sustainable farming practices, self-sufficiency, as well as her place and purpose here on earth. A perfect day in the life of Laura starts with a book and a cup of coffee, includes a hike in the beautiful North Shore mountains or a swim in the ocean, and ends with dinner with friends and family.
The love of singing and choral music.…memories: a boy soprano in Nelson Boys Choir; challenging hours of practice and performance while at UBC; singing monsters, like Messiah and B minor, as member of Vancouver Cantata Singers; finding a choral home with Laudate.
Once a geologist exploring the wilds of British Columbia, then an IT pro in somewhat tamer corporate corridors, now retired – work is still fun, demanding and rewarding.
We call North Vancouver and its many gifts home, but wife Cathleen and I also love to leave to wander, along the coast, in the mountains, and often across to the interior plateaus.
Kilian Benson is a young singer from California who began his serious commitment to music with the Chanticleer LAB Small Ensemble in San Francisco from 2011 to 2015. In 2018 he received a diploma in Classical Vocal Performance from Capilano University. He now sings tenor for Laudate Singers, for Christ Church Cathedral Choir in Vancouver, and as well as for Capilano University Festival Chorus as a section leader.
Rachel Buttress was born and raised in Vancouver. She achieved her Diploma of Music (2012) and Conducting Certificate (2013) at Capilano University, then completed her Bachelor of Music with distinction at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick (2015).
This is Rachel’s fourth year with the Laudate Singers. She has been featured as a soloist for several Laudate and Capilano University Singers’ concerts. Rachel has performed around Vancouver, throughout BC and the Maritimes, and all over Europe. With an eclectic taste in music, she enjoys singing genres ranging from folk to opera.
Currently, Rachel is proudly making her living as a performer and music teacher throughout the Lower Mainland.
Jessica De Gaust
Jessica De Gaust has recently moved back to British Columbia after completing her Honours Bachelor of Music, Music Education (2018) from Western University under the tutelage of Barbara Dunn-Prosser. She also holds a Diploma of Music (2014) and Certificate in Conducting (2015) from Capilano University, and her Level I Certification in ORFF Methodology (2014) from the BC ORFF Chapter.
Jessica has an extensive choral background singing with numerous ensembles over the last ten years. Her most recent choral experience before Laudate was singing in the dynamic women’s ensemble Les Choristes led by Jennifer Moir. She was also a Soloist and Choral Scholar for two years at St. George’s Anglican Church in London, Ontario. A young Mezzo-Soprano known for her “powerful and rich low range” and “expressive stage presence”, Jessica is excited to join Laudate and create beautiful music with like-minded choristers.
Preston Lee is an ambitious up-and-coming musician currently studying at Capilano University on classical trumpet, piano and voice. Although he first started his musical training on piano at around age 4, he decided to pursue trumpet as his main instrument which he started at around age 6.
He aims to finish his Bachelor of Music to transfer into the Bachelor of Education program; one day he hopes to become a music teacher at an elementary or secondary school to share his musical love and passion with young minds and others alike.
Eager to have joined Laudate near the end of the 2015/16 season, he is looking forward to singing under the wonderful director Lars Kaario once again.
Adam is thrilled to be back with Laudate for their 2016/17 season! Adam first joined Laudate in 2002, and has enjoyed many of the opportunities singing with this choir has given him. Aside from Laudate, has performed with singing ensembles from Capilano University and UBC. He is a graduate of the Capilano University Bachelor of Music Transfer Program (2008), and holds a Bachelor of Music (2013) and a Bachelor of Education (2014) from UBC.
While at UBC, Adam sang in “The Schütz Project”, under the direction of Charissa Bagan, and he helped form the a capella group “Sonic Boom”. Adam has also had numerous solo opportunities, including being the guest soloist at the Coquitlam Chorale’s Spring Concert in 2012, and being the bass soloist during Capilano University’s presentation of “Mozart’s Requiem” in Spring 2014. In April 2016, Adam appeared in his first Broadway production, playing the part of Avram in Royal City Musical Theatre’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof”. In Spring 2017, Adam will be returning to the stage at Capilano University to be the bass soloist of their presentation of “Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor”.
Aside from all of this, Adam is one of the music teachers at Brentwood Park Elementary School in Burnaby, where, among his many teaching duties, he conducts the intermediate choir. Adam always enjoys sharing his deep singing voice, along with his bright personality with his fellow singers, as well as audience members, and he hopes you enjoy what Laudate Singers has in store for you this season!
Heidi Bjornson is a Mezzo Soprano from Victoria, BC. Heidi has a Diploma in Music performance from the Victoria Conservatory of Music, a bachelor in classical voice performance from the University of Toronto, and studied Opera performance in the University of Toronto’s Opera Masters program. Heidi joined Laudate Singers this Fall.
Marco Del Rio
After singing with the choir for five years, Marco is excited to have an opportunity to compose for the Laudate Singers! He began to compose over the course of his music studies at Capilano University and the University of British Columbia, where he worked with composers Jocelyn Morlock and Stephen Chatman. As an experienced arranger, Marco loves to re-imagine works in a different and usually unexpected light. He now brings what he’s learned from many wildly contrasting works and genres into a composition residency with the choir that he hopes will be formative and artistically innovative.
Mezzo-Soprano, Kate Flynn is very excited to be joining the Laudate singers for her first time, after being an audience member/ fan for their 2017-2018 year. Hailing from Chatham, Ontario, Kate studied voice with Torin Chiles throughout her undergraduate degree at Western University, and after 4 “short” years, graduated the music program with a major in vocal performance. Her most recent performance was last fall of 2017 where Kate Flynn performed the title role of Orfeo composed by Christoph Willibald Gluck with the UBC Opera Ensemble. She has also performed roles in multiple summer programs such as Nancy in Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival in Nova Scotia in 2017, and her first title role as Handel’s Radamisto with the Accademia Europea Dell’Opera program in Lucca, Tuscany Italy in 2016. Kate has also performed as La Badessa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Chorus in Verdi’s Falstaff in 2016 with the University of Western’s Opera.
Kate is currently working as a kindergarten aide at Talmud Torah Elementary school. She is thinking of going back to school for a teaching degree in the hopes of becoming an elementary school teacher in the near future. However, as much as she enjoys working with those energetic 5-year-old rugrats, Kate is so happy to be able to come together with the Laudate Singers every Tuesday evening and sing her heart out with some very talented and passionate performers.
Hailing from Cranbrook, BC, Jocelyn Molnar has studied and performed across Canada. In spring 2017 she received her Bachelor of Music with Honors in Performance from Western University in London, ON, and has recently returned to British Columbia. Currently, she is a voice and piano teacher throughout the Lower Mainland, teaching with Resound Music School.
She most recently played the role of “Mrs Pasek” in Opera NUOVA’s production of The Cunning Little Vixen, as well as singing “1st Girl” in Carousel and soprano chorus in Eugene Onegin. Her other operatic roles include Lay Sister and Prima Sorella Cercatrice in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Guccio in Gianni Schicci, and La Chauve Souris and La Bergère in Ravel’s L’enfant et les Sortilèges. Her musical theatre credits include Emily in A Christmas Carol, Wendy Jo in Footloose, Shoreditch Sal in Treasure Island, as well as roles in Suessical the Musical, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Miss Saigon, Les Miserables and The Wizard of Oz. She also was an assistant director to Tom Diamond with the Canadian Operatic Arts Academy in London, ON.
She earned a Diploma of Music from Capilano University, and was a winner of their annual scholarship competition. At Western she received the Board of Governer’s Music Award, Hymn Society Award, Lindsay Memorial and Transfer Student Admission scholarships. Other awards include College of the Rockies Academic Achievement, University Women, Passport to Education, Sunrise Rotary and East Kootenay Credit Union Scholarships.
Molnar enjoys preparing a broad range of repertoire, from baroque music to contemporary Canadian works, and is also passionate about choral singing and conducting. She enjoys hiking, biking and camping throughout the exciting BC landscape.
Andrew has been studying music from a very young age, starting with the piano when he was 5 years old. He began singing and taking voice lessons when he was 12 and has since been singing in churches and choirs. Moving from the Okanagan in 2011 to study the drums, Andrew has been singing bass in various choirs on the North Shore. After recently graduating from Capilano University with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz, Andrew is excited to be returning to Laudate Singers this season as he hopes to continue to spread the joy of music as he moves to the next chapter in his life.