Born and raised in Vancouver BC, Nick Ainsworth is delighted to be joining Laudate Singers for his first season this year. He began singing, many years ago, as a boy soprano in his elementary school choir, and continued pursuing this passion through his undergraduate studies at McGill University, during which he sang with the a capella ensemble New Earth Voices, as well as performing in favourites of the light opera repertoire as a member of the McGill Savoy Society. He spent several years training under Matthew Chittick (M.Mus; Calgary Opera) as a classical lyric baritone.
Nick returned to Vancouver in 2011 to study medicine at the University of British Columbia, during which he began three years serving as Artistic Director of the UBC Medicine Choir. Before joining Laudate, Nick sang for three seasons with the Vancouver Peace Choir, under the direction of Brian Wismath and Timothy Corliss.
When he’s not making music, Nick is a resident physician in UBC’s Psychiatry residency training program, and hopes to pursue a career as a geriatric psychiatrist. He enjoys skiing, hiking, and biking in his spare time. An avid instrumental musician, he is proficient in concert percussion, piano, and guitar, and in the past has performed as timpanist with the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra and the A Little Night Music Orchestra.
Emile Deedes-Vincke grew up in North Vancouver and is currently a second-year student at Capilano University. He is studying for his Classical Music Diploma as a voice major. After joining his first choir in 2016 at Seycove Secondary School he wrote his first piece near the end of that school year. He quickly fell in love with the choral world and found his passion for composition. Capilano University Singers performed his composition, Winter, on their Okanagan tour February 2019, and took his Laudate Dominum on their 2019 tour to Italy. Laudate Singers sang Emile’s first commissioned piece Ignite in May for their concert Heartbeat. He is delighted to be joining Laudate Singers as composer in residence and looks forward to singing with them in the coming years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Isabella is ecstatic to be in Laudate Singers this coming year, and hopefully many after! Isabella has been in choirs for all of her life and has been performing in the children and youth choirs at Highlands United Church since she was as little as 3. In high school, Isabella helped to establish a grade 4-7 choir with Frances Roberts at Argyle Secondary School to encourage more students to be excited for high school choir. Isabella also often participated in Pantomines and Musicals through out her high school career. Now that she is in the Music Diploma program at Capilano University, she is the leader of God Free Spirits which is the youngest choir at Highland’s United Church! When Isabella isn’t performing or leading choirs she is teaching Sunday School at Highlands. Being in Laudate Singers is a wonderful outlet for her to express and challenge herself in new ways!
Laurel Curley was born in Smithers, BC and was raised overseas. Spending 4 years in Tanzania and 9 years in Bangladesh, Laurel was exposed to many different music cultures.
In 2018, Laurel moved back to Canada to pursue a diploma of Music in Voice from Capilano University. Laurel has loved singing since a very young age crediting her first love for singing to her dad who always wanted to jam! Laurel grew up singing in choirs and travelled with her choirs to perform in choir competitions in India, China, Jordan, Italy and Oman. She is now pursuing a bachelors in Early Childhood Care and Education. This is Laurel’s second year in Laudate singers.
Maria grew up in the rural community of Fisher Branch, Manitoba, where she received musical training from an early age. She moved to Vancouver to pursue her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of British Columbia, and graduated in 2019. With a rich background of performance in solo voice, choir, piano, dance, and poetry, Maria has a special love for choral music and the emotional connection it fosters between musicians and audiences. Maria is a current member of the Vancouver Chamber Choir and the self-directed vocal ensemble VanDeca, alongside her work as a rehearsal assistant with the Vancouver Bach Children’s Chorus and as a freelance musician. She is excited to join the wonderful Laudate Singers this season!
Originally from Whitby, Ontario, Cassie Karvonen holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from the University of Toronto (2017) and a Master of Music in Opera from the University of British Columbia (2019). She discovered her love of choral music and opera at a young age through her over 10 year membership in the Young Singers choral organization. While she is a classically trained Soprano, Cassie enjoys exploring performing a variety of genres of music and plays piano, guitar and trumpet. She is also an enthusiastic voice teacher with experience teaching a variety of styles and levels of music. Cassie is thrilled to be beginning her first season with Laudate Singers.
Alana Davies is thrilled to join Laudate this season. She has been a choral singer for the last eight years and has performed a wide variety of classical, contemporary, and jazz pieces with several different ensembles. For the last three years, she sang in the UBC Chamber Choir under the direction of Dr. Graeme Langager. She is also a classical pianist and an amateur theatre/musical theatre actress.
She recently graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Human Geography and is pursuing a career as a diplomat. In her spare time, she enjoys speaking French, playing hockey, and trying to up her Jeopardy! game. She cannot go a day without English Breakfast tea or oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. She is looking forward to her first season with Laudate!
Raised in BC, Monica is excited to be joining the Laudate Singers this year. Monica grew up singing in church choirs and the Richmond Youth Honour Choir. As a young adult, she minored music at Queen’s University (BAH, B.Ed), studying under Dianne Baird for voice instruction, and sang in the Queen’s Chorus and Women’s Chamber Choir. She is now teaching in the public-school system, and pursuing a certificate in music conducting. Monica has most recently sung in ROCA, and is an assistant music conductor with RYHC. In her spare time, Monica loves being outdoors and enjoying all the wonderful hiking that BC has to offer.
Elizabeth has grown up with a love for music and it has lead her on the path to pursuing music. She is currently in her second year of the classical Music Diploma program at Capilano University and plans to complete a Bachelor of Music so she can pursue her love for performing. Elizabeth grew up in North Vancouver and she started playing the violin at a young age. She also sang in choirs in her community and in high school. She is honoured to be a part of Laudate singers this year and can’t wait for the opportunities it will give her.
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.
Alec is a graduate of the Music Diploma program at Capilano University; he also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance from the University of Victoria. Alec’s musical career is broad in scope. He currently functions as a pianist, teacher, and baritone chorister.
Alec is excited not only by the musical opportunities that Laudate has to offer, but also to be part of a community of music enthusiasts. He looks forward to an inspiring season with Laudate!