From winning the Québec Provincial Gymnastics Championship to thrilling audiences with her possession of a “warm, agile mezzo-soprano voice”, mezzo-soprano Barbara King is no stranger to the stage. Barbara ended 2019 singing the role of Dalila in Samson et Dalila with Opera by Request and started 2020 making her debut as a principal soloist with Calgary Civic Symphony (Sunday Afternoon at the Opera). In 2018, Ms. King sang the role of Carmen with Opera Kelowna, was an Alumni Mentor with Opera NUOVA, and sang as Flora in Manitoba Opera’s new production of La Traviata. Barbara has also performed with Calgary Opera, Edmonton Opera, Italy’s Tuscia Opera Festival, Italy’s Amalfi Coast Music Festival, Mercury Opera, Opera by Request, Barrie’s Colours of Music Festival, Cowtown Opera, Calgary Concert Opera Company and Rocky Mountain Symphony Orchestra. A native of Montréal, Québec, Barbara currently resides in Calgary, Alberta, where she has co-founded Calgary Concert Opera Company and Divas Opera and is proud to have been invited to be the vocal judge for this year’s AMEF Student Recognition Awards.
Dr. Josh Davies is a Yamaha Performing Artist and two-time Grammy-nominated performer who enjoys a diverse career as a versatile performer and educator. He has performed extensively in solo, chamber and orchestral settings throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada and Europe, in venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas and the Jubilee Auditoriums in Calgary and Edmonton. Josh's discography spans many genres from classical to jazz, baroque to contemporary, and rock to funk. Since 2012, Josh has been the trumpet professor at the University of Lethbridge in Lethbridge, AB, Canada where he teaches studio trumpet, jazz history and is the director of the U of L Jazz Ensemble. Josh holds a Doctor of Musical Arts and a Master of Music degree from The University of Texas at Austin.An avid patron of the arts, Josh has served on many boards of arts organizations, the most recent being his appointment to the World Trumpet Society Board of Directors. He has also been the featured artist at many North American music festivals and conferences that most recently include the Vic Lewis Band Festival and Cantando Festivals.
Calgary native, Dr. Lana Henchell graduated with her Doctoral degree in piano performance from McGill University, and her Bachelor and Master degrees in piano performance at the University of Calgary. Dr. Henchell has competed and performed solo and collaboratively across Canada, and in France and Portugal. In addition to community recitals and recording projects with colleagues in the city, she performs with pianist Carmen Morin (Coimbra Duo). Together, they won the Piano Duo Special Prize “Francis Poulenc” in the 2018 Coimbra World Piano Competition.
Dr. Henchell teaches privately and at the University of Calgary, adjudicates music competitions and gives masterclasses across Canada. Three years ago, she launched Soundboard Music Tour – a performance and touring program designed to promote classical music, offer educational enrichment to aspiring musicians, and create awareness of the arts in Alberta.
Photo: Greg MacKay and Calgary Philharmonic
Violinist Maria van der Sloot enjoys a diverse career of orchestral and chamber music performance. Born in Medicine Hat, AB, she has been a grand prizewinner in chamber music at the Canadian Music Competition and a finalist in the National Music Festival, and she has appeared as soloist with the Calgary Philharmonic and National Arts Centre Orchestras. She has performed extensively throughout North America and was awarded the Berkeley Piano Club’s 2018 Barbara Fritz Award as part of L’arc Trio. She has performed for Music for Food, NPR’s From the Top, the Boston Symphony Prelude series, the Virginia Arts Festival, and the Calgary Philharmonic Emerging Artists series. She has also participated in the Banff, Orford, Tanglewood, and Morningside Music Bridge summer festivals.
Maria is a graduate of the New England Conservatory and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she received her B.M. in violin performance and M.M. in chamber music, respectively. Her primary mentors include Donald Weilerstein, Ian Swensen, and Cordula Merks, and she is grateful for graduate support from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. Maria is a full-time member of the Calgary Philharmonic and will commence in 2020 as Concertmaster of the Calgary Civic Symphony. She is on faculty at the Valhalla Summer School of Music, El Sistema Calgary, and the Calgary Music Academy.
David is President and Principal Consultant with Delta Strategy Group, and since 2016 has served as the part-time Executive Director of the Calgary Civic Symphony. His prior operational experience includes a period as the Chief Executive Officer for Lifeline Malawi, a Canadian-registered charity that operated two medical clinics in Malawi. Prior to Lifeline Malaw, David was Managing Partner with Legacy Executive Search Partners (50% owned by Delta Strategy Group Ltd.) where he provided executive search services across the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors. David established Delta Strategy Group in 2000 when he began his consulting career. He has spent 30+ years as a senior corporate executive and management consultant working in Saskatchewan, Ontario, Alberta, the USA, and in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Over his career both pre- and post-executive, David has worked across a diversity of industries ranging from oil and gas to agribusiness, mining, manufacturing and transportation, education and financial services.
As with many children, David began his relationship with music by starting piano lessons and moved on through the trumpet to arrive at percussion. He played percussion with the award-winning North Battleford City Kinsman Band, later with the Regina Community Orchestra, and finally for the Westwinds Music Society in Calgary. During his life he has maintained an active appreciation for music of all genres.
David also has an extensive volunteer life. He is currently chair of the Fellows committee for Certified Management Consultants Alberta and recently served as Chair of the National Certification Committee of Certified Management Consultants – Canada. He has been a volunteer facilitator with the Alberta Board Development Program, and over the years has served on the boards of numerous charities and not-for-profits.
David is a Saskatchewan native, and a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan (Regina campus) with a BA (Great Distinction) in Political Science and from the New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University with a Master of Science (MS) in Collective Bargaining and Organizational Behavior. He is also a Fellow Certified Management Consultant.