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HIGHWOOD LIONS
MUSIC FESTIVAL

FESTIVAL SCHEDULE NOW ONLINE IN MUSICFESTIVALSUITE ACCOUNTS

March 1- Festival Program Released

March 11-22- Festival Takes Place

March 24- Adjudicator's Showcase

QUESTIONS? Contact our Festival Director HERE

Music Notes

ABOUT OUR FESTIVAL

We are a non-profit annual festival for all students of music. The festival runs for two weeks every spring, and offers professionally adjudicated classes for all ages and levels of study. We also offer a small range of non-musical expressions such as speech & poetry. 

To view the message from our president at the 2023 AGM, click HERE.

To find out more about our festival, visit our about page HERE.

About

Sponsor the Festival

Will you help us encourage and equip the young musicians of the Foothills?

Our festival relies on the financial and volunteer sponsorship of our community. 

FInd more information HERE.

meet the staff

MEET OUR 2024 ADJUDICATORS

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Originally from Three Hills, Alberta, Janna Olson holds degrees in church music, piano performance and piano pedagogy.  Performing, adjudicating, and giving workshops have provided diverse opportunities for her to share her love of music in Canada, the United States and Europe. Janna currently resides in Edmonton teaching privately and as a sessional instructor at The King’s University. She is active as an examiner and clinician while maintaining a thriving private piano studio which includes students from ages 5-70+ years old.  She is on the faculty of the Gordon Institute for Music Learning and is passionate about connecting piano pedagogy with research on how the musical mind works.  She enjoys playing chamber music and performs piano duet and duo repertoire.  An outdoors enthusiast, Janna spends time hiking, skiing and most recently learning to play disc golf.  

Janna Olson

Intermediate Piano

Maryan Threndyle

Junior Piano

Maryan Threndyle has a Master of Music degree in piano performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She completed undergraduate degrees in music and education at Mount Allison University in Sackville New Brunswick.

With an active piano studio in St. Albert since 1983, Maryan has taught at all levels from beginner to ARCT. Her students have often received festival awards and other scholarships. For 13 years she was a teacher with the Yamaha Junior Music Program in Edmonton. She is inspired by adjudicating at music festivals around the province and is looking forward to hearing your performance!

From 2003-17 Maryan was Festival Coordinator of the St. Albert Rotary Music Festival. This community service led to being recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International in 2008 and 2012. A strong supporter of the festival movement in Alberta and across the country, she is thrilled to be invited to the Highwood Lions Music Festival.

Through the years, Maryan has valued the opportunity to sing with the Richard Eaton Singers, Edmonton’s symphonic choir and Kappella Kyrie, Slavic Chamber Choir.

Praised for her “combination of tenderness and vivacious energy” (San Francisco Chronical) and “sheer virtuosity” (LA Splash), Canadian pianist and chamber musician Jani Parsons has established herself as a musician of warmth, brilliance, versatility, and vivid expression and a vibrant and inspiring teacher. Jani is a founding member and executive director of Latitude 49 and co-author of “Technique Through Repertoire” published through Piano Education Press. She was recently appointed Assistant Professor of Piano and head of the piano program at the University of Calgary in 2021.

Jani holds a Doctoral degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University

of Michigan, studying with Dr. Arthur Greene and Dr. John Ellis. As an avid performer and supporter of living composers, Jani has worked directly with many composers to premiere upwards of eighty new solo and chamber works and has appeared in 10 professionally released records. Past performances include appearances at the Chan Centre for the Arts, the Banff Centre for the Arts, Detroit Symphony Center, the Ravinia Festival and the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago). Her infectious energy for educating young musicians has led to positions at Baylor University and residencies at Princeton University, the New England Conservatory, Indiana University, and Northwestern University among others.

Senior Piano & Piano Plan I

Jani Parsons

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Maria Medlow

Strings

Originally from Argentina, Maria grew up playing the violin and piano. Upon moving to Canada , she was accepted at the Senior Academy at Mount Royal Conservatory and studied with prominent teachers including Lise Elson, Cenek Vbra and John Lowry.  Maria completed her ARCT certification in both violin and piano and moved to complete her music performance studies at the University of Calgary under the direction of Edmond Agopian.

Maria is currently an active member of the Calgary Musicians Association and is also the Registration Chair for the Cochrane Youth Talent Festival and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Alberta Music Education Foundation. She has performed and recorded solo and chamber concerts with members of the Calgary Opera, Calgary Cowtown Opera, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Red Deer Symphony, Metropolitan Opera of New York, Rocky Mountain Symphony Orchestra, Cirque De Soleil and played alongside Michael Buble for his 2014 Canada Tour.  She was invited to record for the Canadian Country Music Awards and was featured in the CBC Television special for the CCMA awards.Maria runs a thriving private studio in Calgary. Her students have been finalists in the Canadian Music Competition, placed in provincials at the Kiwanis Music Festival, and won medals and scholarships for RCM exams. She has prepared her students for successful admission to classical string programs throughout North America. Maria continues her active role as a teacher, adjudicator and performer hosting and playing numerous concerts and fundraisers in support of different charities. 

Dr. Danica Hoffart is a singer, conductor, musical director, educator, and adjudicator.  She currently directs the Ross Street Singers in Red Deer, AB and is a vocalist with the Central Alberta Chamber Orchestra.  For over two decades, Danica taught post-secondary Music and Theatre including private voice lessons, choir, singing for the stage, music history, and ear training.  She has performed with Kompany! Dance and has been a soprano soloist with the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra.  Select musical directing credits include South Pacific, Footloose, Cabaret, The Sound of Music, and The Wizard of Oz.  Danica holds a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Arts in Music from the University of Alberta, and a PhD in Music from the University of Calgary.  Her research examined best practices in leadership and the empowerment of individuals through participation in choir.

Danica Hoffart

Musical Theatre

Angela Siemens

Choir

Angela Siemens holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Bachelor of Music from Augustana University College. She continued her studies at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, where she played leading roles in Opera Studio’s productions of Brother XII and Romeo and Juliet. She also holds a Voice Teacher’s ARCT from the Royal Conservatory of Music and earned her Student Certificate in Yodelology. Recently, she was delighted to play the role of Coco’s sister in the world premiere of It’s Coco!—a musical fusion opera written by Cheryl Cooney and Anna Maria Kaufmann. Mrs. Siemens enjoys performing, adjudicating, and teaching. She has a thirst for knowledge and a keen interest in the science of vocal pedagogy and its applications. Her students have earned numerous scholarships and awards, but more importantly, have cultivated a deep appreciation for music and a love of singing. She believes that music is an important part of life and strives to share her joy of music with everyone she works with. She currently teaches from her private studio in Red Deer and loves working with her choir, The Inglewood Sunshine Choir.

Craig Johnson

Band/Brass/Woodwinds/Percussion

Originally from Winnipeg MB, Craig studied privately with a long list of classical and jazz instructors on his primary instruments (Trumpet & Piano). After highschool he attended The University of Manitoba furthering his studies in the Performing Fine Arts Program. He went on to study Jazz Arranging, Orchestral Composition, and Writing for Motion Picture and TV earning his General Music Studies degree at The Berklee College of Music in Boston. Now living in Calgary with over 30 years of teaching and performing experience Craig remains an

active clinician, teaching within the Calgary Board of Education and private sector band music programs. He maintains a large private student base, and has had a number of students go on to pursue their own musical careers at the professional level.

In 2003 Craig accepted the position of Musical Director for a Calgary based big band association followed by a second offer in 2019 from an additional association. His roles include, directing, writing and arranging a large portion of the bands repertoire for performance. In addition to teaching and adjudicating music festivals throughout Alberta, as a band leader he leads his own groups of various sizes and has been commissioned by different organizations and independent artists to write music for their specific recording and or performing projects. Currently Craig is creating a self published music company under the name MAXALBY Music Publishing, making available his original works and arrangements for Jazz Ensemble, Concert Band, Orchestra, and various small group ensembles ranging from beginner to advanced to professional levels.

Joy Berg

Voice

Professor Emeritus (from Concordia University of Edmonton), Dr. Berg is delighted to now be living in the Camrose community, continuing to be a sessional instructor at The Kings University as well as at Augustana. Joy sang for 16 years as an Alto with Procoro Canada (Edmonton’s professional choir), and is the curator for the Cypress Publishing church choir series, Songs for the Sanctuary. She holds a Doctorate of Music degree in Choral Conducting as well as a Doctorate of Worship Arts. Joy started her business, Sanctuary Sounds, which includes the Camrose community choirs of Ubuntu:Collective. Joy also enjoys her continuing role in conducting The Kings Community and Alumni Chorus throughout the year.

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