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Guest Artists

Kevin McMillan

Kevin McMillan, Baritone

Kevin McMillan is one of the most respected lyric baritones and vocal pedagogues of his generation. Critics have praised his “elegant voice” and “singularly remarkable interpretive skills” in appearances with almost every major North American orchestra under conductors such as Masur, Norrington, Blomstedt, Lopez-Cobos, Davis, Järvi, Boulez, Dutoit, Rilling and the late Robert Shaw and Frühbeck de Burgos. His Carmina Burana recording with Herbert Blomstedt and the San Francisco Symphony received a GRAMMY award.

After schooling in Canada at the University of Guelph and Western University, Kevin attained a Master’s degree from the Juilliard School. He has achieved tenure as an Associate Professor of Voice in the School of Music at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where he teaches a full studio of undergraduate and graduate voice students, Undergraduate and Graduate Vocal Pedagogy, coaches the JMU Bach Aria Group, and coordinates the Graduate Voice Area. His students are now performing with major opera companies, furthering their studies in major graduate programs and, recently, two of his male students won both college-level classes at the National (North America-wide) level of the 2014 National Association of Teachers of Singing competition.


Sheila Dietrich

Sheila Dietrich, Soprano

Described as “sparkling, secure, and ethereal” (KW Record), Canadian soprano Sheila Dietrich is a versatile and in-demand young performer whose style and vocal technique shine in both concert and operatic roles.

Sheila has appeared as a soloist with ensembles across Canada including Les Violons du Roy, Capella Intima, Nota Bene Baroque Players, TACTUS, the Toronto Classical Singers under Jurgen Petrenko, the Elora Festival Singers and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir under Noel Edison, the Guelph Chamber Choir under Gerald Neufeld, and The Bach Elgar Choir under Howard Dyck.

A Kitchener-Waterloo native, Sheila received her Bachelor of Music, Performance and Opera Diploma from Wilfrid Laurier University where she studied with Victor Martens. She continues to study with mezzo-soprano Laura Pudwell.

Last season, Sheila made her Carnegie Hall debut as a featured soloist in an evening devoted to the music of Purcell, under the direction of Richard Egarr. She was also a finalist in the 2015 New York Oratorio Society Solo Competition and was awarded the Johannes Somary Prize for fourth place.

Chris Fischer

Chris Fischer, Tenor

Tenor Chris Fischer is well known throughout southwestern Ontario as an expressive and versatile interpreter of concert repertoire from Bach to Zelenka. A section leader of the Guelph Chamber Choir (GCC) since 2002, he has participated in three recordings and was featured as a soloist on the 2010 release Christmas in the Royal City. He also participated in two international GCC tours, to Austria and the Czech Republic in 2006, and to England and Wales in 2012, where he was recital organist. Chris has appeared many times as a solo artist with this ensemble, most recently in Haydn’s Mass in Time of War, Handel’s Messiah, and Mozart’s Requiem.

Operatic credits include the roles of King Caspar in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, Don Basilio in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, and the Narrator in Ruth: a Musical Drama, by Canadian composer Ronald Beckett. Chris has recorded with Arcady, Masterworks of Oakville, and the Elora Festival Singers, with whom he made his debut at New York City’s Carnegie Hall in 2015.

In addition to performing the demanding role of the Swan in Orff’s Carmina Burana with the GCC this season, Chris will be singing Messiah with the Milton Choristers, Arvo Pärt’s Passio with the Grand Philharmonic Chamber Singers, two cantatas by J. S. Bach with the Spiritus Ensemble, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah with Masterworks of Oakville.


Tina Yanchus and James Hibbard

Tina Yanchus and James Hibbard, Pianos

Tina Yanchus holds Bachelor of Music and Master of the Science of Music Degrees from the Juilliard School in New York City, where she studied with Jacob Lateiner and Joseph Raieff. As a performer she has played both in recital and with orchestras in Canada and the United States.

James Hibbard holds Licentiate and Fellow Diplomas from Trinity College, London England. He studied with Reginald Bedford and has participated in master classes given by Nadia Strycek in Quebec, and Norman Shetler, Balint Vazsonyi, and John Ogdon at the Institute for Advanced Musical Studies in Switzerland. He is Director of Music at Calvary United Church in London. Recently he performed all of the Chopin Etudes in Oregon and at Western University on both modern and period pianos.

James and Tina are husband and wife, and as the Yanchus-Hibbard piano duo, they have performed extensively, including several times on CBC Radio's Mostly Music and Arts National. They have also performed and coached chamber music together for 11 years at the Kincardine Summer Music Festival. They currently teach at Western University’s Don Wright Faculty of Music, and are both much in demand as a Music Festival Adjudicators. James and Tina have both maintained a large class of piano students for more than forty years. Some of these students have furthered their studies at prestigious institutions, such as the Juilliard School, Eastman, Columbia University, and the Glenn Gould School.

Duo Percussion

Duo Percussion

Brennan Connolly, Percussion

Dave Robilliard, Percussion

Nominated for “Best Percussion Ensemble” in 2014 by Drum! Magazine, Duo Percussion is a professional percussion pairing known for their eclectic and high-energy performances. Using traditional and non-traditional percussion instruments, including marimba, vibraphone, drum set and brake drums, they present diverse programs of classical, contemporary and Canadian music. Founded by Brennan Connolly and Dave Robilliard, Duo Percussion is dedicated to expanding the percussion duo repertoire and attracting new audiences. Having commissioned a number of works by Canadian composers, they are committed to musical excellence and have a passion for fostering creativity.

Founded in the spring of 2008, Duo Percussion was first engaged to perform at a secondary school in Ontario and, with an outstanding response, the demand for the group was immediate. They perform and give workshops in schools across Ontario, and also appear in concert halls and community venues both in Canada and internationally. Recent appearances include the New Hamburg Live! Festival of the Arts, the Bach Music Festival of Canada, the Wolf Performance Hall in London, Ontario, the Ontario Music Educator’s Conference and MusicFest Canada.

Duo Percussion is proud to be endorsed by Pearl/Adams Drums and Concert Percussion as well as Dream Cymbals and Gongs.