Patrick Cashin

Described by CBC Radio as “a truly original interpretive voice,” pianist Patrick Cashin is becoming known as a distinctive presence on the Canadian music scene. He designs unique recitals centred around the best of the piano repertoire and particularly enjoys playing Mozart piano concertos, in which he improvises and composes cadenzas in the style of Mozart.

As a student of Timothy Steeves at Memorial University, Patrick won several competitions including the Atlantic Young Artist and Petro-Canada Young Artist Competition, resulting in some early success playing recital tours and concertos with local orchestras. He left Newfoundland to study for two years at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto, then went on to complete a Master’s and Doctorate in performance at l’Université de Montréal under the guidance of legendary piano pedagogue Marc Durand. Patrick wrote his doctoral research paper on improvisation in the Mozart concertos and began integrating his own material into performances, appearing as guest soloist with l’Orchestre philharmonique des musiciens étudiants de Montréal (OPMEM) and the Memorial University Orchestra. He works as a collaborative pianist and teacher in Montréal, Québec.

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Julia Halfyard

Julia Halfyard has delighted audiences across Canada, in theatres, concert halls and cabarets, with music ranging from classical to contemporary, and in contexts from the ridiculous to the sublime. In 2015 Julia was a member of the cast in the world premiere of the Alan Menken / David Spenser musical “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz” at the Segal Centre in Montreal. The Cast Album for this musical was release on December 2016 and quickly made the top ten musical theatre albums of the year on the London Theatre website.  She played the mother in the acclaimed commemoration video, “Sing You Home” with the Ennis Sister and Shallaway Youth Chorus. She has worked with a variety of theatre companies throughout Canada including The Sunshine Festival, The Charlottetown Festival, Spirit of Newfoundland, TaDa Events, Stephenville Festival, Artistic Fraud, Atlantic Light Theatre, and has been a featured soloist with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra.

In her other professional life, Julia works with Student Life at Memorial University, and also leads the popular Instant Choir with Festival 500 – Growing the Voices.  She is pursuing the study of music and community in a PhD program at Memorial University most importantly she is a proud mom to young Estelle and Seth who are always singing, dancing, and acting up.

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Emma Schmiedecke

Praised for her “huge musicality, depth of interpretation, and technical expertise needed to distinguish oneself in the music profession” (Manhattan International Music Competition), cellist Emma Schmiedecke was most recently awarded a Silver Medal in the Professional Category of the 4th Manhattan International Music Competition. As an advocate for contemporary music, she has worked closely with composers Joan Tower, George Tsontakis, John Corigliano, Ana Sokolovic, and Susan Botti, and has performed with the Da Capo Chamber Players, Fifth House Ensemble, Against the Grain Theatre Company, Novarumori Ensemble, and the Contemporaneous New Music Ensemble in multiple world premieres. As guest soloist Emma has performed with the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic, and Bravura Philharmonic.

Emma will be attending the University of Toronto School of Music as a doctoral candidate in Cello Performance in the studio of Joseph Johnson this fall. She obtained both a Graduate Diploma and a Master of Music in Cello Performance from the Schulich School of Music of McGill University. She also holds an Artist Diploma from the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music, a Bachelor of Music from the Bard College Conservatory of Music, and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Bard College, all magna cum laude. She plays a 1918 Italian cello “Tutto” by Puglisi of Catania.

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SHHH!! Ensemble

SHHH!! Ensemble is a piano/percussion duo dedicated to the creation and dissemination of new and rarefied sounds. The Ottawa-based duo of pianist Edana Higham and percussionist Zac Pulak pride themselves in the presentation of programmes that are as accessible as they are groundbreaking. Recent commissioning projects include new music from Canadian composers John Beckwith, Jocelyn Morlock, Mathew-John Knights, Daniel Mehdizadeh, and a forthcoming double concerto from Kelly-Marie Murphy, among many others.

 The duo has toured nationally, presenting their unique, avant-accessible programming at concert series, chamber music festivals, and universities. Other engagements have included residencies at the Vormingscentrum Destelheide (Belgium), Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and the Canadian Music Centre (Toronto). Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 would have seen the duo premiere three new works in collaboration with the Ottawa International Writers Festival and the Ottawa New Music Creators, participated in a three week career development program led by the Gryphon Trio, perform a CBC Classical live recital broadcast from Toronto, and perform at the Ottawa International Chamberfest. Despite the interruptions, SHHH!! Ensemble has continued to perform through livestream concerts in collaboration with OrKidstra and the National Arts Centre’s #CanadaPerforms series.


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Patrick Kreeger

Giving his Carnegie Hall debut at age 17, Patrick Kreeger has established himself as one of the leading musicians of his generation. Kreeger has performed in many prestigious venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall (NY, NY), Benaroya Hall (Seattle, WA), Meymandi Hall (Raleigh, NC), Verizon Hall (Philadelphia, PA), Bulgaria Hall (Sofia, Bulgaria), St. Patrick’s Cathedral (NY, NY), Peterborough Cathedral (U. K.), Musée des Augustins (Toulouse, France), Kunsten Museum of Fine Art (Aalborg, Denmark), as well as numerous other venues in the U. S., U. K., France, Italy, Israel, Denmark, and Bulgaria.

A devoted educator, Patrick was appointed to the faculty of The Juilliard School in 2019, where he teaches music theory in the college and Evening Division programs. He also serves as the Associate Organist at New York City’s historic Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church. During the summer, he teaches choral conducting, chamber music, and musical studies at Curtis Institute of Music’s Young Artist Summer Program. He maintains a small private studio, and many of his students have been admitted into prestigious music programs in the U. S. and Europe.



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