Born and raised in Stuttgart, Germany, Nathan Kaleta began developing his love for music at the age of 7 with piano lessons. Inspired by his father’s musical career at the Stuttgart State Opera Chorus, he joined his first choir at age 11 and has been a passionate choir singer ever since. During his studies, he was part of Stuttgart’s Academic Choir and performed many concerts, including Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Orff’s “Carmina Burana”, Brahms’ “Deutsches Requiem” and Mendelssohn’s “Elijah”.
After moving to Canada, he contacted Lars Kaario for an opportunity to continue his musical journey on a new continent. Nathan is very excited and honored to be a part of Laudate Singers this season and is looking forward to creating beautiful music together with all these wonderful and talented singers.
Thanks in part to some negative experiences in high school orchestra, I ended up pursuing a career in science—a lucky break, because this gave me the opportunity to do music for pleasure. I’ve had a longstanding interest in “early” (Renaissance, Baroque) vocal music: past vocal highlights include advanced workshops over the years (with Paul Elliott, Nancy Argenta, Daniel Taylor, Ben Butterfield and others) along with concert performances and CBC broadcast; a sabbatical stint with David Fallis and the Opera Atelier chorus; and appearances as a soloist in concert (Bach cantatas, passions, Handel Oratorios, song recital). I’ve also been fortunate to sing with a number of fine choirs, including 20+ years with Chor Leoni and Christ Church Cathedral. More recently, I’ve enjoyed trying to expand my vocal repertoire to include more opera and other classical works, as well as jazz and other contemporary music.
Myra’s love of music is evident in everything that she does. Born and raised in North Vancouver, she is in her second year of Capilano University’s Classical Music diploma program. She will continue towards her Music and Education degree in pursuit of becoming a High School Music Teacher. Myra has been singing in various choirs throughout high school, performed with BC Honors Choir, Men’s Welsh Choir, Lions Gate Sinfonia, Blue Ridge Music Festival and Capilano Singers. She is thrilled to be part of Laudate Singers for their 2021/2022 season!
A native of San Francisco, California, Linda Webster expressed musical talent at a very young age, starting with piano lessons at age 5. She trained at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she also sang in choirs and took voice lessons. In addition, she had the privilege of singing with the San Francisco Opera on several occasions, including as a young soloist in Massenet’s Werther. She eventually became a professional concert pianist, performing with the San Francisco Symphony and other orchestral and chamber ensembles, television and live radio broadcasts, and concertizing. But she never lost her love of singing. In recent years, she resumed her vocal training and joined the Capilano Festival Chorus. This year, she is thrilled to be joining the Laudate Singers, and looks forward to an exciting season of music.
André Luiz Machado
Composer in Residence, Alto
André Luiz Machado is a classical singer and an award-winning composer of music for film, games and the concert hall. He has been working internationally within film and visual media, writing music for projects in the UK, USA, Canada and award-winning Brazilian films. In 2018 he won Best Score at the Los Angeles Film Awards and was also nominated for the Crystal Pine Award at the International Sound & Film Music Festival, in Croatia. André Luiz Machado has a master’s degree in Composition of Music for Film and Television at the University of Bristol (UK), and a bachelor’s degree in Singing and Composition at the Federal University of Goiás (Brazil). He immigrated to Canada in 2020, and decided to make Vancouver his new home. He is very pleased to join Laudate Singers as a composer in residence this year and as a tenor for the next seasons.
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.
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.
Hailing from Cranbrook, BC, Jocelyn Molnar has studied and performed across Canada. She earned a Diploma of Music from Capilano University, and was a winner of their annual scholarship competition in 2013. In 2017, she received her Bachelor of Music with Honors in Performance from Western University in London, ON. Later that year she returned to Vancouver, began performing and teaching music privately, and joined Laudate Singers. Currently, she is pursuing her Juris Doctor at the Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC.
Jocelyn’s operatic roles include Frasquita in Carmen (Bizet), Mrs. Pasek in The Cunning Little Vixen (Janáček), Lay Sister and Prima Sorella Cercatrice in Suor Angelica (Puccini), Guccio in Gianni Schicci (Puccini), La Chauve Souris and La Bergère in L’enfant et les Sortilèges (Ravel), and soprano chorus in Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky). Her musical theatre credits include Emily in A Christmas Carol, Wendy Jo in Footloose, Shoreditch Sal in Treasure Island, 1st Girl in Carousel, 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 in 2016.
Jocelyn enjoys preparing a broad range of repertoire, from baroque music to contemporary Canadian works, and is passionate about choral singing. She also enjoys hiking, biking and camping throughout BC.
Jessica De Gaust
A young Mezzo-Soprano known for her “powerful and rich low range” and “expressive stage presence”, Jessica completed 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.
Deeandra Miranda was born in the humble town of Surrey, B.C. She originally started her musical journey studying the piano at the age of 8 but began to take voice lessons shortly after and fell absolutely in love with classical and choral singing. Having been deeply inspired by her high school choir teacher, she chose to continue studying music in her post-secondary career after witnessing the power that music has to form life-long bonds and communities.
Deeandra is now fulfilling this very same vision at the UBC School of Music; she was originally in a vocal performance degree for her first three years but has since switched into music education. Alongside singing for the Laudate Singers, she is also currently in the UBC University Singers under Dr. Graeme Langager and sings with the Young People’s Opera Society B.C., founded and directed by Dolores Scott.
Angelina Van Dyke
Lyric soprano Angelina Van Dyke performs solo concert repertoire and curates concerts with other collaborating artists. A lover of choral masterpieces, she has sung in many choirs including Elektra, Tokyo International Singers and Trinity Western University Choirs, and now with Laudate Singers. She released a sacred classical recording, Wings of Rejoicing (2015) and an Italian opera recording, Innamorato alla follie (Madly in Love) in 2016. She trains singers and pianists at her own Angel Music Studios, teaches international students at SFU, and instructs MA TESOL teachers at TWU.
Having graduated from Capilano University with a Classical Music Diploma in trumpet, piano and voice, Preston is currently studying at the University of British Columbia. He is working to finish his Bachelor of Arts in Music to transfer into the Bachelor of Education program, once completed.
Preston first started his musical training on piano at around age 5, setting off his continued involvement in the music community at a very young age. Throughout his high school years, he attended the Sarah McLachlan School of Music. While there, he took part in the choirs, studied piano, music theory and began taking voice lessons. Upon graduating high school, Preston began his studies at Capilano University, deciding to further expand his musical knowledge and pursue trumpet as his main instrument, which he began learning at age 8. While continuing his education with the trumpet, piano, and singing, he loves being active in the music community, singing in various groups, churches, and semi-pro choirs.
Eager to have joined Laudate near the end of the 2015/16 season, he looks forward to singing with other like-minded musicians under the wonderful director Lars Kaario once again.