CBC Radio 2 host Tom Allen is a passionate music lover, storyteller, accomplished trombonist, writer and broadcaster. He is a frequent onstage host for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and has brought his Classical Goodtime Variety Show to orchestras across Canada. His cabaret Bohemians in Brooklyn, with Patricia O’Callaghan, Bryce Kulak and his wife, the harpist Lori Gemmell was the surprise hit at the Young Centre Cabaret Festival in Toronto and was described as “slickly written” and “beautifully punctuated with songs.” Tom has also had three books published, most recently The Gift of the Game, a reflection on hockey and the role the game plays in the life of a divorced parent.
Patricia O’Callaghan is something of a wandering minstrel. Her fifteen-year career has taken her across genres, continents, and a range of disciplines and passions. Her recording career spans six solo CDs and many interesting guest collaborations. A speaker of French, Spanish, and German, her early recordings focused on European cabaret, and she is considered a specialist in the music of Kurt Weill. Patricia has performed his Threepenny Opera, Seven Deadly Sins, and Kleine Mahagonny with Soulpepper Theatre Company, Edmonton Opera, and Vancouver Opera, amongst others. Patricia has had the honor of premiering many new compositions, working with such creators as R. Murray Schafer, Dennis Lee, Christos Hatzis, George Aperghis, Steve Reich, and Steven Page, to name a few.
Vernon Regehr is an active recital, chamber and orchestral musician, conductor and teacher who has made festival appearances with the First Avenue Chamber Players of New York City, Trinidad Arts Festival, International Festival of Ensembles in St. Petersburg, Russia, University of Victoria, Artspring, SoundaXis New Music Festival, Hilton Beach, Toronto Summer Music Festival, Music in the Barns and the Chamber Music Societies of Quebec and Kitchener-Waterloo. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with the Shanghai, Afiara, Fitzwilliam and Lafayette string quartets, Andrew Burashko, Mark Fewer, Suzie Leblanc, and Leon Fleisher. Full Spectrum, his first solo record on the Centrediscs label features new Canadian works for solo cello, including the 2014 East Coast Music Award for Composition of the Year (Lamentations). John Terauds of Musical Toronto writes, “…Regehr executes [Versprechen] with elegant ease, as he does every other one of the very difficult pieces on this album.” He is currently on faculty at Memorial University School of Music where he teaches cello, bass, and conducts the chamber orchestra.
Composer Andrew Staniland has firmly established himself as one of Canada’s most important and innovative musical voices. His music is regularly heard on CBC Radio 2 and has been performed and broadcast internationally in over 35 countries. As a leading composer of his generation, he has been recognized by election to the Inaugural Cohort of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists Royal Society of Canada in 2014. Andrew is the lead composer/educator with the Gryphon Trio’s Listen Up! education initiative, created and produced in collaboration with the Gryphon Trio and music educator Rob Kapilow. Andrew also performs himself, both as a guitarist and working with new media (computers and electronics). Andrew is currently on faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
More than 30 years of relentless experience have garnered Brennan a solid reputation as a player, composer and arranger of contemporary classical, jazz, folk and world music — always exploring, always open to new ideas, Brennan’s talents resist classification. Geoff Chapman of the Toronto Star says: “Brennan … is a central figure in this country’s music.” Brennan was named the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council Artist of the Year for 2006. He directs the Memorial University Jazz Ensemble and Gamelan Sagara Asih (the Memorial University Gamelan Ensemble). His expertise as a pianist, percussionist, composer and producer can be heard on some 100 albums to date.