Cory Apolcer has created, developed and fine-tuned his skills as an artist, session player and performer in areas around the world. His passion as a musician and drummer is reflected in his musical versatility, instincts and refined, yet inspired technique.
It was clear at 13 years old, after picking up a set of his father’s drumsticks, that Cory had a special interest, fresh perspective, commitment and love for the craft that molded his studies alongside various musical influences such as various rock and alternative artists, as well as strong passion for Afro, Latin, Jazz and Brazilian.
Cory’s love and dedication to his instrument motivated him through countless private lessons with prominent Canadian Jazz drummers like Kevin Dempsey and playing clubs and venues throughout his high school years. From there, he knew he wanted to further his studies and expand his repertoire with more intense study and training. Cory earned a Jazz Performance graduate from Mohawk College for the Applied Arts, followed by a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Performance from the University of Toronto where he studied with Terry Clark and Bob McLaren.
Since graduating from the University of Toronto in 2008 Cory has explored many different musical avenues from private teaching, performing on multiple cruise ships, being a band leader and member as well as limited tour engagements with artists including, Michelle Wright, Barbra Lica, The Mathews Brothers, Jamie Stever, Trevor Walsh Group, Ryan Malcom and Brad James. His ability to come into any professional environment and instinctively play what is needed, has gained Cory a reputation as a versatile, authentic and passionate drummer.
While residing in Los Angeles, Cory’s enthusiastic performance style rounded out the roster of the LA based, Canadian rock band Nero Zero. Fellow band member Diz Thomas shared that ‘Cory realized what most California musicians do not. Master your instrument and THEN audition for a band. Just looking like, a rock star will not get you through an audition … ‘. With the help of mixer Frank Gryner, Nero Zero Toured New Zealand with their second album as well as the US; playing regularly to their West Coast fan base at venues such as the Whisky A- Go –Go, The Viper Room and Troubadour Lounge.
Over the years, Cory channeled his concentration for all types of music into a varied skill set that allows him to demonstrate his drumming vocabulary. Cory has over 15 years of private teaching and is an established freelancing drummer on the Canadian country scene. Currently residing in Hamilton, Ontario, He assists in local and regional master classes/clinics with music schools and has been featured in various radio and television programs. The Jamie Stever band was recently featured on WSM radio live from the Capital Theater in Lebanon, TN. He is currently the drummer for Canadian country artist, Jamie Stever and Brad James, happily spending time rehearsing and writing in Music City, Nashville TN. Cory’s expert playing can be heard on several North American releases with Jamie as well. During off-tour times, Cory maintains a busy schedule of performing, writing and teaching the instrument that has shaped his career.
A leading interpreter of contemporary music, pianist Allison Wiebe is a frequent performer in North America and the UK. Currently on the piano performance faculty at Western University in London, Ont., she maintains an active performing and teaching career.
As a solo pianist, she was a semi-finalist in the 24th Annual Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition, and is also a frequent collaborative artist. A work on her recent chamber recording, Undercurrents was nominated at the Western Canadian Music Awards. Allison has been praised by the Globe and Mail for “thought-provoking” and “highly entertaining” programming, and by the New York Times for “methodical and mesmerizing” performances. She is currently the pianist for CONTACT contemporary music based in Toronto.
Allison holds a Master of Music in piano literature and performance, studying with James Anagnoson. She completed her Bachelor of Music (Honours) degree at Brandon University in Manitoba. As a senior piano member of the College of Examiners at the Royal Conservatory of Music, she also recorded components of the new Perspectives compact disc recordings launched by Frederick Harris Music. Allison has extensive experience adjudicating music festivals around North America.
Lyric soprano, Gloria Gassi has been described as “vocally outstanding, with an empathy for the spirit of the song, (Messiah, Handel), dramatically captivating, with beautiful tone and a prowess for ringing high notes.” (Fiordiligi, Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte)
Representative Oratorio performances in Canada and abroad include Bach's St. John Passion, Bach’s Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, Brahms' Requiem, Handel's Messiah, Handel’s Saul, Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass, Haydn’s Missa Brevis, Honegger's King David, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Purcell’s Ode to St. Cecilia, Schubert’s Mass in G, Rutter’s Magnificat, Vaughan Williams’ Mass in G and Serenade to Spring.
Ms. Gassi maintains a vibrant, thriving studio, where the natural gift of each voice is honoured and developed. Her students, from both Toronto and London, have won national awards, attained university degrees in Voice Performance and Education, and are working professionally in opera, choral singing, theatre, television and radio.
Ms. Gassi sang as soloist and in ensemble with the acclaimed Elmer Iseler Singers, performing in Canada, U.S.A., Germany and the Orient. A seasoned conductor at all levels of education, her choirs, have sung internationally and been described as having “a warm, resonant tone with precise intonation and artistic musical expression.”
Ms. Gassi holds a Master of Music with Honours in Voice Performance and Literature, (Western University) a Licentiate and Associateship in Voice Performance, Gold Medal, and an ARCT in piano. She is the recipient of several awards, notably the Sir Ernest MacMillan award for conducting, (Mendelssohn Foundation) and Western University Students’ Council award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
A frequent guest clinician, she has adjudicated both Voice and Choral festivals in Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Alberta. Ms. Gassi is appointed to the Department of Performance Studies at the Don Wright Faculty of Music, Western University, where she teaches Voice and conducts the St. Cecilia Singers.
Originally from beautiful B.C., Rebecca’s extensive dance training and performing began at a very early age at her mother’s dance studio. After training under the National Association of Teachers of Dance based in London, England, Rebecca achieved her Fellowship accreditation in ballet, tap and modern stage. More recently, her studies have continued into International Ballroom and Latin. Rebecca is on faculty at several Toronto academies including the Joy of Dance, Byfield Dance Experience and the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts.
Rebecca is a sought-after adjudicator and guest instructor and her love for the stage has brought her to perform all over Canada. She was a member of Shawn Byfield’s national tap dance ensemble Funk Factory and her choreography has been featured in such productions as the Toronto-based Women In Dance and the season-opening gala celebration for the Stratford Festival. She is currently working with the tap collaboration Toronto Rhythm Initiative that melds the rhythmic talents of local tap artists with live jazz musicians.
Graeme grew up competing in all styles of dance and at the height of his competitive career in 2005, he represented Canada at the IDO World Dance Championships in Germany where he received 3 Gold medals including one for Male Showdance Soloist. He choreographed 'Cabaret' for the University
of Toronto Follies and 'Footloose' at the Randolph academy. He is a sought after
guest teacher/choreographer at studios throughout Toronto and Ontario, is a certified
gymnastics coach and has adjudicated festivals and competitions from coast to
As well as being a passionate choreographer and educator, he is an experienced performer on stage and screen across the country. Favourite theatre credits include: 'Mamma Mia!', 'Footloose', 'All Shook Up', ' The Music Man', 'Anne of Green Gables' (Drayton Entertainment), 'West Side Story' (Stratford Festival), 'Les Feux Follets" (Charlottetown Festival), 'Beauty and the Beast' (Theatre Aquarius), 'The Nutcracker' (Toronto Ballet) and Favorite Screen credits include: 'Odd Squad', 'Reign', 'Full Out' 'The Music Man' (Disney), Series regular on college cheerleading drama 'Hellcats' (CW Network), 'Mirror Mirror' staring Julia Roberts, and the series finale of 'Warehouse 13' as tap dance double for lead actor Aaron Ashmore. Select commercial credits for Graeme include 'Del Monte', 'Milk', 'The Source', 'Tim Hortons' and 'Zantac' as well as stunt credits for 'KFC' and 'Spike TV'.
Graeme is looking forward to sharing his knowledge and experience with this generation of competitive and aspiring dancers and performers!