Jennifer Knelman holds a Teachers’ ARCT, a Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Music Degree (Literature and Performance) from the University of Western Ontario. Her early musical training was from her Mother, Fay Pullan, with whom she was studying when she received two RCM provincial gold medals, and then she continued on scholarship at the Royal Conservatory of Music. During the following years at University she studied advanced theory, while majoring in performance. Her principal teacher was James Anagnoson.
Jennifer instructs for the University of Guelph, including musicianship, harmony and internet online courses. Her most recent creation was recently honoured with two awards, one from the government of Ontario for advanced use of technology, and one other, the Provost’s award for innovation from the University of Guelph. She also has an online course with the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies, The Key to Music. She was a piano examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music for over fifteen years, and now examines for Conservatory Canada. She has enjoyed years of Festival adjudicating, lecturing for ORMTA groups, and offers a new initiative for teachers called Virtual Studio Adjudicating, giving their students advice through audio recordings. Currently with her husband Kevin, they have released CDs of Kevin’s music, for adults and children’s music, including his popular arrangements of Beatles’ songs for classical guitar, all at CDbaby.com or KnelmanMusic.com. Jennifer is also a ranked tennis singles player competing on the senior International Tennis Federation’s circuit and enjoying observing the many parallels between sport and music.
Feel free to contact Jennifer at JenniferKnelman@icloud.com
Dr. Rachel Rensink-Hoff is the newly appointed Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music Education at Brock University. She has also been named Artistic Director of the Niagara-based Avanti Chamber Singers. Former conductor of the McMaster University Choir and founder of the McMaster Women’s Choir, Dr. Rensink-Hoff completed her Doctorate and Master of Music degree at Western University, pursuing additional studies at the Eastman School of Music Conducting Institute, the Voice Care Network of St. John’s University, Minnesota, and the University of Toronto. She has engaged in master-classes under the conductors Helmuth Rilling, Joseph Flummerfelt, Anton Armstrong, Dale Warland and the late Sir David Willcocks. Vice-President of Programming for Choral Canada, Rachel Rensink-Hoff is the 2014 winner of the prestigious Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting awarded by the Ontario Arts Council.
In 2015, her McMaster Women’s Choir was awarded first prize in the National Choral Competition for Amateur Choirs of the CBC and Choral Canada. That same year she was nominated for the Excellence in Teaching Award at McMaster University. She publishes regularly in the Choral Journal of the American Choral Directors’ Association as well as in Choral Canada’s Anacrusis and The Canadian Music Educator. Rachel works frequently as guest conductor, adjudicator, conference presenter and workshop clinician. Current engagements include a session on Canadian and American women choral composers at the 2017 national conference of the American Choral Directors’ Association in Minneapolis, Minnesota and a presentation on Canadian choral music at the 2017 World Symposium on Choral Music in Barcelona, Spain. She will also serve as guest conductor of the 2017 Nova Scotia Provincial Youth Choir.
A creative powerhouse in Toronto, Alexandra is a producer, choreographer and performer. An industry elite, she began her career performing on tours in Europe, Asia and North America. Alexandra has performed with today’s most iconic artists; Lady Gaga, Nick Jonas and Psy Gangnam Style (to name a few). Setting her sights on the film and television industry, Alexandra continues to accumulate impressive credits: Hairspray (the movie), The Next Step, Make it Pop, The Next Star, Full Out (the movie), American Gods and I, Martin Short, Goes Home. Recently, Alexandra has choreographed for Canadian superstar, Ruth B. Lost Boy and is an Actor (who does all her own stunts) in a soon-to-be-released video game. Alexandra is an inspiring presence within the industry and her community.
Annie Chen is a graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and has also studied dance throughout Canada, New York and Taiwan. She is an interdisciplinary performer with extensive training and professional experience in dance, acting, stunt and voice. Annie also has over ten years of teaching, choreographing experience, and has adjudicated throughout Canada.
Professional experience includes but not limited to the closing ceremony of the 2015 Pan Am Games and the opening ceremony of the Parapan Am Games. She has performed live with artists such as Lady Gaga at MMVA 2011, PSY at MMVA 2013 and Eric McCormack for Gilda’s Club hosted by Russell Peters. She choreographed and performed an opening number for a T-Pain’s concert at the Canadian Music Festival as well as various music videos for Much Music. You can see her dancing on commercials for Tim Horton’s and 7-Eleven. Some of Annie’s TV/Film credits include Full Out on Netflix, Hollywood motion picture Carrie, the spectacular series finale of Warehouse 13, Hallmark’s One Starry Christmas movie, Guillermo del Toro’s vampire series The Strain and the popular kid’s series Odd Squad.
Annie has recently finished performing in the Broadway musical Mamma Mia in B.C. and Hamilton, Ontario. She is very excited to pass on her knowledge of the industry with younger generations. For more details, visit www.msanniechen.com.
Ralph has been a professional musician and music educator in London, Ontario for over 30 years. Accomplished as a performer on saxophone, clarinet, and flute, Ralph directs and plays lead saxophone in the London Jazz Orchestra, recipients of several London Music Awards. His past performing credits include The Grand Theatre, Talbot Theatre, Imperial Theatre, Stratford Festival Theatre, Orchestra London, Ice Capades, Garden Brothers Int. Circus, RCMP Musical Ride, Della Reese, Mel Torme, Rob McConnell, The Supremes and many more. Recently retired from a career teaching instrumental and vocal music at the high school level, Ralph continues to be active as a performer, clinician, adjudicator and teaching Woodwind Methods at the Don Wrights Faculty of Music, Western University in London.