Biographies

Carolyn Boyes

 

Carolyn Boyes grew up singing in school and church choirs and has been active in Manitoba’s choral community ever since. During her career as a public school Music specialist, she has taught at the elementary, middle and senior levels, in English, French Immersion and milieu programs. She has worked as the Winnipeg School Division's Performing Arts Consultant and currently teaches high school Choral Music.


During her tenure as Artistic Director and conductor of the Winnipeg Boys' Choir (WBC), the choir has performed many times with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, including performances of Spring Symphony (Britten), Carmina Burana (Orff), The Spirit Garden (R. Murray Schaefer), and Brother Heinrich’s Christmas (Rutter), and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (Nutcracker, Carmina Burana). A highlight for the choir was singing A Ceremony of Carols (Britten) with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra in 2015. Collaborations with the city’s finest choirs have included Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Canzona and world premiers of John Grier’s A Song of Joys with the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir and Andrew Balfour’s Notinikew with Camerata Nova.


In addition to her work with the WBC, Carolyn prepares children's choruses for Manitoba Opera and is instructor of Choral Techniques with the University of Manitoba's Orff Certification Program. She has been guest conductor of the Eastern Manitoba Youth Choir, the Manitoba Senior High Provincial Honour Choir and the Alberta Children’s Chorus. Carolyn earned a Master of Music from the University of Manitoba. She was awarded the Michael J. Proudfoot Award for Excellence in teaching at the 2009 Winnipeg Music Festival and was recently honoured by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra on the occasion of their 70th anniversary, for her contributions to music education.

Spencer Duncanson

 

A member of ACTRA, Spencer Duncanson holds a Masters of Education in Curriculum/Arts Education and a Post Baccalaureate Certificate in School Counseling from the University of Manitoba. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Music Education from Brooklyn College in New York and studied vocal performance at the University of Nevada-Reno.

He is the founder of The Little Opera Company, a not-for-profit organization, dedicated to the production of operatic entertainment of high quality and broad accessibility. The organization also serves as a venue for local artists to profile and promote their talents.

As an arts educator and performer, as well as an operatic singer, Mr. Duncanson has experience in film and stage as a narrator and actor. He coordinated fine art, band, choral music, dance and drama programs for Sisler High School as its Visual and Performing Arts Department Head. He has also served as a sessional arts instructor at the University of Manitoba and taught voice at the Manitoba Conservatory of Music & Arts.

 

Deena Grier

Much in demand both as a collaborator and vocal coach, Deena Grier's work as pianist, recitalist, and music director continues to spread her reputation as a sensitive musician and skilled diction coach. Ms. Grier has been active in Canada and the United States on operatic productions ranging from Handel to Stravinsky, performing with Fraser Lyric Opera Society (Prince George, BC), Opera in the Ozarks (Eureka Springs, AR), as well as Boston Conservatory Opera and Harvard College Opera in Boston, MA during her graduate studies.

Ms. Grier's return to Winnipeg finds her working extensively in the fields of choral music and opera, premiering Michael McKay’s The Confused Castrato last spring (Little Opera Company), and music directing L’incoronazione di Poppea (Manitoba Underground Opera) surrounded by the stunning architecture of Cathédrale de Saint-Boniface in August 2018.

This September, Deena is pleased to return to working with the Winnipeg Boy’s Choir for the third consecutive season and continues to privately coach promising young vocal talents within the city to hone their craft and advance their studies in both opera and art song.

Ms. Grier holds a Masters Degree in Collaborative Piano (Opera Emphasis) from The Boston Conservatory at Berklee and a Post-Baccalaureate in Collaborative Piano from The University of Manitoba.

Lisa Rumpel

 

Praised for her "fierce artistry” and “poetic” pianism, Winnipeg-based pianist Lisa Rumpel is passionate about communicating classical music to a variety of audiences. As an alumnus of the Franz Schubert Institute, Vancouver International Song Institute, Opera NUOVA, the University of Manitoba and Brandon University, Lisa’s work has been inspired by mentorship experiences with Laura Loewen, Judy Kehler-Siebert, Robert Richardson, Tracy Dahl, Michael McMahon, Julius Drake, Helmut Deutsch, Elly Ameling, Graham Johnson, and others. With experience in art song, chamber music, opera, and choral accompanying, Lisa brings her sparkling personality and zest for collaboration to every project she undertakes.

Since completing her Master of Music (Collaborative Piano) at the University of Manitoba in 2015, Lisa has been an active member of the Manitoba music community. She is a sought-after vocal collaborator and coach, chamber musician, choral pianist, teacher, adjudicator, and board member, and she has performed with many of Manitoba’s foremost musicians including Tracy Dahl, Andrianna Chuchman, Lara Ciekiewicz, James McLennan, and others. In addition to her extensive freelance work as a vocal and instrumental collaborator, Lisa is a vocal coach and collaborative pianist at the University of Manitoba Desautels Faculty of Music. She is Associate Director of Flipside Opera, an independent company that prioritizes employing local artists, programming modern and Canadian compositions, and captivating a diverse audience. Lisa is also Associate Director of Living Room Live, the national classical home concert touring organization. An avid recitalist, Lisa particularly enjoys performing in house concerts, inviting audience members of every background to enjoy classical music.

Larry Weckwerth

 

Larry J. Weckwerth was born and raised in Minnesota. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Moorhead State University (Minnesota) in 1975. His abiding love of church music prompted him to further his studies at Valparaiso University (Indiana) where he received a Master of Arts degree in 1981. His studies have included work with organists Dr. Philip Gehring, Dr. William Eifrig, John Scott (St. Thomas - New York; d. 2015), the German organist and composer, Jan Bender (d. 1994), and the noted English conductor and composer, John Rutter. Larry has lived in Winnipeg since 1976 and has served as music director at Augustine United Church, Messiah Lutheran Church and Christ Lutheran Church. He further pursued his love of music as a music educator at École Laura Secord School in the Winnipeg School Division No. 1 where he taught elementary music and conducted handbell choirs and a choral ensemble of 200 voices. In 2011 he was presented with the Michael J. Proudfoot Award “in recognition of a conductor exemplifying a passion for excellence in choral work”. He continues to be involved in the local music community as rehearsal conductor for the Winnipeg Boys Choir. Larry retired from the Winnipeg School Division in 2013.

Albert Bergen

 

Born and raised in Germany, Albert grew up in a musically loving family. Beside everyday singing, every child in the family had to learn to play an instrument. And so it was that Albert started to take violin lessons at the age of six. In 2004, he and his family moved to Kleefeld, Manitoba. In 2009, Albert graduated from University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education with Distinction. Albert has enjoyed many successes as a violinist, some of which include 1st prize trophies at “Jugendmusiziert” and participation in numerous masterclasses in Germany, and 1st Prize winner of the Concerto Competition and the Genser Competition at the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Music. He also teaches private violin lessons at his home studio and was the adjudicator of string classes at the 2019 Lakehead Festival of Music and the Arts.
 
Beside his great passion for the art of violin, Albert developed an interest and passion for choral music. That passion lead to a choral program in his church in Steinbach where, since 2006,  he has directed the Men’s and Mixed Choirs. For the past eight years, he has taught classroom music, violin and choir at Mitchell Elementary School. In 2017, he was a choral clinician at ChoralFest  (Manitoba Choral Association) in Winnipeg, and in 2018 and 2019 he was a guest conductor with the Eastman Choral Association. Albert has most recently joined the artistic team of the Winnipeg Boys' Choir. 
 
Albert is married to his lovely wife Elly and together they have four children, David, Benjamin and Timothy and Heidi.