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Judges | 2024 Student Recognition Awards

Stan Climie

Stan Climie - Winds & Percussion

Stan Climie has earned distinction as one of Calgary's most versatile musicians, who is very active as both teacher and performer. He is Bass Clarinetist of the Calgary Philharmonic and a founding member of Ensemble Resonance. 

Stan's dedication to the nurture of future musicians is evidenced by his work  at the University of Calgary, Ambrose University and Mount Royal Conservatory.

John Thompson

John Thompson - Strings

After 43 seasons as Principal viola of the CPO, John Thompson retired in 2014, having enjoyed a fulfilling career in the musical life of Calgary. In addition to his orchestral responsibilities, he was a featured soloist with the orchestra on many occasions, participated in numerous chamber music ensembles, both locally and internationally, while actively pursuing educational activities with students and youth orchestras.

John has taught at the University of Calgary, and as an instructor at the Mount Royal University Conservatory, he taught viola, coordinated the Academy program’s Chamber Music and conducted various ensembles, including the Calgary Youth Orchestra with whom he has engaged in numerous international tours.

He has adjudicated across the country at local, provincial, and national levels and is frequently asked to sit as a jury member for competitions.

He has been recognized for his services to music in Alberta with an Alberta Achievement Award from the Province and a Distinguished Faculty Award from Mount Royal College.

Even in retirement, John still coaches and conducts various ensembles, while enjoying performing with the CPO and other orchestras when asked.

Gareth Jones

Gareth Jones - Community Service

Gareth Jones is the director of the University of Calgary’s Wind Ensemble and the Symphonic Band as well as being the Instructor of Trumpet and Conducting. He is also the Director of the Alberta Winds. In 2014 he was named the conductor of the National Youth Band of Canada.

He was Assistant Principal Trumpet with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra from 1992 to 2007 and continues to play with the CPO whenever his conducting schedule allows. Before that, he held the same position with the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra. 

He has studied conducting with the renowned pedagogues Jorma Panula, Gustav Meier, Michael Haithcock, and Michael Jinbo. He has been featured on JUNO-nominated blues CDs, appeared on CBC radio as a soloist and chamber musician, been a guest lecturer with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and been a reviewer for the latest update of the Royal Conservatory of Music trumpet syllabus.

He received the University of Calgary Teaching Excellence Award in 2018. In 1996, he placed first among North American competitors in the Ellesworth-Smith International Trumpet Guild Solo Competition, placing third worldwide.

As a conductor, he founded the Calgary Honour Band and the University of Calgary Brass Choir.  He was also a founding member of the chamber ensemble “Rosa Selvatica” and has been a featured soloist with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra on several occasions. 

He studied conducting at the Pierre Monteux Institute and Canada’s National Arts Centre and received his Master of Music in conducting from the University of Calgary.

He studied trumpet at Northwestern University with renowned pedagogue Vincent Cichowicz, where he won the prestigious concerto competition and a scholarship for performing excellence.

Elaine Dobek-Shandro

Elaine Dobek-Shandro - Piano

Elaine Dobek–Shandro holds a Bachelor of Music degree (U of A), a Maste'rs of Music (Peabody Conservatory, Johns Hopkins), and did doctoral studies at UBC. Her major teachers included: Beatrice Costigan, Alexandra Munn, Lillian Freundlich, Ellen Mach Senofsky, and Robert Silverman.

Other studies included three summers in Aspen, Colorado with Jeanine Dowis, one summer in Germany and Austria with Jeorg Demus and Ellie Ameling, and masterclasses with Georgy Sebok, Leon Fleischer, and Gwendolyn Goldofsky.

Throughout the years, Elaine has primarily been a collaborative artist, playing concerts with violinist William van der Sloot, cellist Robert Bardston, violist Michael van der Sloot, pianist Elinor Lawson, as well as dou-piano recitals with her husband, Constantine Shandro. Elaine participated at string camps in Medicine Hat, Calgary (Music Bridge), and numerous summer programs of Music Alberta in Camrose and Red Deer, both as choral and staff accompanist. An unusual highlight was playing several concerts at the International Tuba and Euphonium Conference 2000 in Regina. For the better part of the past forty years, Elaine has accompanied students at the Provincial and National Festivals as well as at the Canadian Music Competition.

Frequently, Elaine performed with such guest artists as Andrew Dawes, (violin, UBC), Joe Witco (saxophone, Uof Arizona), William Street (saxophone, U of A), Shelly Younge (flute, ESO), David Stewart, (violin, U of Ottawa), John Griffiths (tuba, U of Regina), and Victoria Chang (viola, Peaboady Conservatory). Since 1986, Elaine has adjudicated piano festivals and exams throughout British Columbia and all the prairie provinces.

Elaine has been on staff at the Medicine Hat College and Conservatory as of 1979. Her students have achieved many awards locally, provincially and nationally. She enjoys teaching a wide range of students ages 5 to 65 and likes the challenge of finding a suitable schedule of studies for each. Some of her students have gone on to become practicing musicians, and many more have pursued medical studies, but all have made music a part of their lives in some way.