"Leading with Care"

Music Staff

Jonathan Oldengarm, Director of Music

Jonathan holds degrees in organ and harpsichord performance from Wilfrid Laurier (BMus, 1998) and McGill Universities (MMus, 2000; DMus, 2005), and also studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Stuttgart, Germany from 2003-2005. His principal teachers include Douglas Haas, Barrie Cabena, Colin Tilney, Hank Knox, John Grew and Ludger Lohmann. In 1996 he earned the Fellowship diploma of the Royal Canadian College of Organists (RCCO), winning the Porter and Peaker prizes.

He is a laureate of the RCCO National Competition, as well as the International Organ Competitions of Calgary, Dublin and Montreal. He has held major scholarships from the Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Foundation, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

Recent performance highlights include the Crystal Cathedral's Hour of Power broadcast; St. Thomas Church, New York; the Houston Bach Society's Organ Vespers; the Winnipeg Symphony; Himmerod Abbey, Germany; the Christuskirche, Mannheim, Germany; the Grote Kerk, Vlissingen, the Netherlands; St. James Cathedral, Toronto; and the 2008, 2009 and 2014 RCCO National Conventions.

Jean-Sébastien Vallée, Conductor

Active conductor, scholar, clinician, and adjudicator, Dr. Jean-Sébastien Vallée is a rapidly rising conductor on today's concert music stage. Dr. Vallée is Director of Choral Studies at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University in Montréal, Canada. Prior to his appointment at McGill University, Dr. Vallée served as Director of Choral Studies at California State University, Los Angeles, and was on the choral faculty of the University of Redlands. Ensembles under his direction have sung for the American Choral Directors Association and California Music Educators Conferences, and were awarded first and second places at the San Luis Obispo International Choral Competition in 2011.

Vallée has studied under such renowned conductors as Chester Alwes, Eduardo Diazmunoz, Iwan Edwards, Agnes Grossman, Chantal Masson-Bourque, Nicole Paiement, Raphaele Ponti, Miroslav Papsavov, Donald Schleicher, Fred Stoltzfus, and Jon Washburn. Dr. Vallée holds degrees from the Université Laval, the Université de Sherbrooke, the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

In addition to his interest in choral, operatic, and orchestra music, Vallée is an advocate for contemporary music, making one of his priorities to premiere and commission works by young composers and program rarely performed repertoire. As a scholar, Dr. Vallée's research interests are varied and focus primarily on Renaissance French music, the oratorical works of Michael Tippett, and Conducting pedagogy, more specifically the connection between audiation and gestural communication. Dr. Vallée has been invited to present his research at several national and international conferences including the American Choral Directors Association Conventions, Festival 500 in Newfoundland, Canada., the National Collegiate Choral Organization conference, Podium, the national convention of Choral Canada, and the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities. Dr. Vallée is also founder and director of INSPIRAVI, a 20-voice Los Angeles based professional chamber choir, and Artistic Director of the Mountainside Master Chorale in Los Angeles and choral conductor at the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul in Montréal.

Wayne K. Riddell CM, Director of Music Emeritus

Wayne Riddell has been described by music critics as "a choral trainer of genius". The founder and former director of the Tudor Singers of Montreal, Mr. Riddell has established a reputation as one of Canada's distinguished musicians who instills in those who sing under his direction a consistent sense of ensemble and musicality which have been hailed by the most demanding of audiences and charmed the most difficult critics. His drive, personal discipline and sense of humour are reflected in the respect and devotion of all who have worked with him, whether artist or support staff. Mr. Riddell and the Tudor Singers have toured from coast to coast in Canada many times, as well as concertizing extensively in Europe and the United States. The choir has been frequently broadcast on the C.B.C. and has several recordings to its credit.

Mr. Riddell is a graduate of McGill University where he also served for a number of years as Director of Choral Music Activities. He also studied in West Germany as a guest of that country's government. In 1980 the choir was awarded the first Healey Willan Prize by the Canada Council. He was chorus master of the Montreal Symphony and has been invited as guest conductor of that and other orchestras. Mr. Riddell is in constant demand as an adjudicator, workshop leader and guest conductor with many of Canada's leading choirs and orchestras. In addition, Mr. Riddell maintains an active performing and conducting career abroad.

In July 1988, Wayne Riddell was named a member of the "Order of Canada" in recognition of this outstanding contribution to choral music. In May 1992 he was honoured with the "Distinguished Service Award" from the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors.

Andrew Gray, Assistant Conductor

Andrew Gray is an active choral director and singer. He is the artistic director of Chœur des enfants de Montréal, conductor of the Laval Festival Chamber Choir.

Upon moving to Canada in 2009 Andrew rapidly established himself on the Montreal choral scene. Andrew is the Artistic Director of Chœur des enfants de Montréal, Conductor of the professional Chœur de Chambre de Laval (directing them both on tour in Europe and around Quebec) and a choral consultant to Gregory Charles Productions and the Mondial Choral Festiva in Laval. He is Assistant Conductor at the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul and sings with some of Montreal’s finest professional choral ensembles, namely Theatre of Early Music, Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montréal and Viva Voce.

As an invited chorus master Andrew has prepared choirs for Kent Nagano (‘Noel’ concert, Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the stake), Karl Jenkins (Jenkins The Armed Man, Adiemus), Joby Talbot (Talbot Path of Miracles), Daniel Taylor and the Theatre of Early Music (Byrd & Josquin), Gregory Charles (Mozart Requiem), Jean-Pascal Hamelin (Bach Jesu, meine freude, Dvorak Requiem, Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes, Haydn Te Deum), Robert Ingari (Beethoven Symphony #9, Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue, Bacalov Missa Tango), Eleanor Stubley (Miklos), Arnie Roth (Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy) as well as Iwan Edwards, Stephane Laforest and Alain Trudel.

He has also directed vocal ensembles for popular artists Cœur de Pirate, Les Trois Accords, The Beach Boys, Nikki Yanofsky, Marie-Mae, Malajube, Radio Radio, Sarah McLachlan, Kenny Rogers and The Canadian Tenors. In 2011 Andrew conducted both the opening and closing choral/orchestral concerts of the Mondial Choral Festival in Laval.

Born in the UK, Andrew joined his father's church choir at the age of six but even before his seventh birthday had left home to start a formal choral education as a resident chorister at Durham Cathedral, England. He went on to obtain a Bachelor of the Arts Combined Honours Degree in Music and Drama from the University of Birmingham, UK, during which time he founded an a cappella octet and the Lazybeat Big Band, conducted the chamber orchestra and directed the University Musical Society.

Andrew then worked extensively with choir & orchestra Ex Cathedra (dir. Jeffrey Skidmore) on performances of such works as Messiah, B minor mass, St. John and St. Matthew Passions, Carmina Burana, Rachmaninov Vespers, Vivaldi and Montiverdi Vespers, Poulenc Figure Humaine and much French and Italian Baroque repertoire. Whilst with Ex Cathedra he helped establish and develop their country-wide choral education project and worked as a tutor for these and similar projects for the British Federation of Youth Choirs.

In 1997 Andrew joined the internationally renowned a cappella group The Swingle Singers and toured extensively with them for 5 years. He worked with Luciano Berio on performances of his opera Outis at La Scala Milan and Le Chatelet Paris, recorded a DVD of Berio's Sinfonia under Peter Eotvös, and performed the work with conductors Pierre Boulez, Yan-Pascal Tortelier, David Roberston, David Zinman, Arturo Tamayo, amongst others. Andrew also sang for Kent Nagano on a live UK recording of Benjamin Britten’s Billy Budd with Anthony Rolfe-Johnson and Thomas Hampson.

From 1999 to 2009 Andrew managed the professional British chamber choir Tenebrae often singing and recording with the group. He taught at Aiglon International College in Switzerland, sang with the Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne under Michel Corboz, led workshops for numerous choirs around Europe and founded the Swiss-based Villars Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.

Further information can be found on his website www.andrewgray.ca.

Nicolas Walters, Organ Scholar and Music Librarian

Nicholas Walters comes from a varied background in music and sciences. In 2013 he achieved a dual-degree designation from Queen’s University, Kingston, graduating with honours in Music (B.A.) and Chemistry (B.Sc.). While in Kingston, Nicholas studied organ with Aurora Dokken and voice with Carol-Lynn Reifel. He was also actively involved at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Kingston, where he worked as the Assistant Organist for two years. Upon graduating from Queen’s, Nicholas assumed the role of Organist and Director of Music at Our Lady of Fatima Church, Renfrew — whilst continuing to receive private organ instruction from Jennifer Loveless in Ottawa. At the same time, he maintained full-time employment at Atomic Energy of Canada, Chalk River, where he worked as a Chemical Technologist for nearly two years.

Since September 2015, Nicholas has been enrolled in the Licentiate Diploma program in organ performance at McGill University, where he studies with Prof. Hans-Ola Ericsson. He has been the recipient of many awards and achievements, notably the Schulich Scholarship from McGill University, the Queen’s University Excellence Scholarship, and the Lorna and Murray Holmes Scholarship from the Royal Canadian College of Organists.