For over 75 years now, students in our community have come together to practice, perform and perfect musical repertoire treasured throughout the ages at the annual Midland Y’s Men’s Music Festival. Each year a new ensemble of talent unites their extraordinary academic and artistic skills for a spectacular experience that is loved and appreciated by all.
From Bach and Chopin to modern folk, pop and musical theatre, The Midland Y’s Men’s Music Festival encourages the study and advancement of music from the Renaissance to the 21st Century. It provides youth of all ages and backgrounds with a unique opportunity to perform, to be adjudicated by music professionals, and to be rewarded.
Building Life Skills & Creative Expression
Through participating in an adjudicated performance, artists take creative risk-taking, acquire enhanced confidence in their abilities, and learn critical assessment skills that will help them grow and improve in all areas of life.
In practice and performance, students actively honour and appreciate each member of the ensemble as they make beautiful music together. They are able to acknowledge shared and personal strengths, or areas of improvement, through valuable feedback provided by the festival adjudicators.
This year, five esteemed music adjudicators will be joining the festival to help uplift each student’s progress and potential with their professional insights.
Get to know a little more about the incredible adjudicators coming to town by checking out their bio highlights below.
DENNIS BECK – INSTRUMENTAL
In addition to teaching experience at the junior and senior high school levels, Dennis Beck has been a University lecturer, Conservatory conductor, and played clarinet with the Edmonton Wind Sinfonia and the CBC’s Edmonton Wind Ensemble.
His articles on music education have appeared in several professional journals and, since 2000, he has written analyses of band compositions for different volumes of the highly regarded series of music texts, Teaching Music Through Performance in Band.
Recognized as an advocate for excellence in conducting, Dennis was one of ten alumni of the Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University named as the inaugural recipients of the university’s Wall of Fame honour in 2008.
- Earned two undergraduate degrees from Western University, and completed a graduate program in conducting from the University of Calgary.
- 1994 – co-founded the Unionville Wind Conductors’ Symposium
- 2011 – OBA recognized him with an Honourary Lifetime Membership, and also that year he was named to the Advisory Board of the Midwest Clinic in Chicago.
- 2013 – recipient of the Canadian Band Association’s National Band Award
- For twenty years he taught music, coached soloists and chamber ensembles, and conducted bands at Unionville High School’s Arts York program, in Markham.
- Faculty member at the Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University in London, Ontario, where he was conductor of the Symphonic Band and taught music education and conducting.
ROB TARDIK – GUITAR
Rob Tardik is a multi-award winning “FUNlectic” guitarist and contemporary pop/jazz/world/fusion instrumental music artist. He has performed at venues all across North America including the prestigious Seabreeze Jazz Festival, Jazz on the Vine and the Catalina Island Jazz Festival, Living Arts Centre in Mississauga, Oakville Centre and Glenn Gould Theatre in Toronto. His last 4 CD’s have spawned 5 U.S Billboard charting singles two of which went to the Top 10. His 5th album Moments came out mid-November 2015 and his first radio singles, “Sip and Salsa” and “Rite of Passage” debuted as Billboards most added tracks in the fall of 2015 and the first months of 2016. His summer single “Hang Time” and latest fall single “Eros” both made the most added new songs on the U.S Billboard charts for 2016! His holiday single “Christmas Moments” was also a top added track and Rob is working on his 6th album SYNERGY due out in late 2017.
His awards include placing 1st overall in the prestigious 2017 IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards), 2010 Canadian Smooth Jazz Guitarist of the Year; the #1 spot on the U.S.-based, Music Choice Contemporary Jazz charts for 4 weeks and being named Mississauga’s “Established Performer of the Year” in 2007, and nominated again in 2016 for his musical contributions, an award won previously by Oscar Peterson and Rik Emmett.
- Top Ten Billboard Charting Artist
- 2017 IAMA 1st place winner (International Acoustic Music Awards)
- 2017 Metal Works Guitar Faculty/ Centennial College Faculty / Merriam School of Music Faculty
- 2010 Canadian Smooth Jazz Guitarist of the Year
- 2007 Mississauga Established Performing Artist of the Year
Balance ● Energy ● Laughter ● Love
Let’s all do our part to ring this B.E.L.L of life loud and clear!
JUSTYNA SZAJNA – PIANO
Pianist Justyna Szajna enjoys a diverse career as a performer, chamber musician, teacher, and adjudicator.
She received an undergraduate degree in Piano Performance from the University of Toronto, a post-graduate diploma in Chamber Music from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Master’s Degree in Performance and Literature from Western University.
Justyna currently serves as collaborative pianist and coach at the music department of the University of Waterloo and is on the piano faculty at the Beckett School at Laurier.
Other collaborations include the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony, Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, K-W Chamber Orchestra, Waterloo Chamber Players, and adjudicating for the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals.
In addition to her musical pursuits, Justyna is a certified yoga instructor, the founder of “Yoga for Musicians KW”, and a student at the Canadian Academy of Osteopathy.
MEL HINCH – FRENCH VOCALS
La musique classique, le chant et le théâtre font partie de la carrière de Mel Hinch depuis longtemps. Elle a obtenu son baccalauréat avec une formation mineure en musique de l’Université de Western Ontario, suivi de son baccalauréat en éducation (en anglais et en musique) de la faculté d’éducation de la même université.
Elle a ensuite enseigné le chant, le drame et le théâtre dans des écoles élémentaires et secondaires en Ontario et en Belgique. Ses chœurs de chant ont participé aux festivals ontariens de musique Kiwanis et Vocal Festival et pendant qu’elle enseignait à l’étranger, ses meilleurs chanteurs ont été choisis pour le festival international des chorales des écoles secondaires de Londres en Angleterre et pour le festival internationales des écoles élémentaires ayant lieu à Paris et à Genève. Lorsqu’elle vivait à l’étranger, Mel faisait partie du conseil de musique des écoles internationales et a été choisie pour diriger l’orchestre d’un festival de chant.
Mel a aussi été invitée à être clinicienne pour de nombreux chœurs de chant dans les églises du Grand Toronto. Dans le domaine du théâtre musical, Mel a dirigé plusieurs productions musicales dans les écoles et dans les théâtres communautaires tels que Pickering West Hill Music Theatre, South Simcoe Theatre et dès ce printemps, Kempenfelt Community Players.
En plus de son travail dans le domaine de l’éducation et du théâtre amateur, Mel a chanté professionnellement. Elle a été membre du festival des chanteurs d’Elora et a aussi été soliste avec les symphonies de Winnipeg, Toronto et Oshawa, ainsi qu’avec la société de chorale de Scarborough,des églises locales et des chorales communautaires. Enfin, Mel a joué pour la compagnie d’opéra canadienne, les productions Creative Artists et le théâtre Herongate Barn.
TORIN CHILES – ENGLISH VOCALS
Torin Chiles (tenor) wears many hats. As a performer, Mr. Chiles’ active performing career has spanned 20 years and his resume is replete with engagements from North American Symphonies and Opera Companies.
His operatic credits are vast and he has often been featured on the CBC Saturday Afternoon at the Opera broadcasts as both artists and panellist. Over the past twenty years, Mr. Chiles has become a seasoned performer of Operetta and Music Theatre repertoire, performing for every major opera company in Canada and most Canadian orchestras.
As a pedagogue, adjudicator, examiner and clinician Mr. Chiles is in ever increasing demand. He has been a full-time voice faculty member at the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario since 2004.
Mr. Chiles began his Institutional teaching career at Western University in 1999. Examining and Adjudicating have taken him across the continent since. He teaches graduate and undergraduate Vocal Pedagogy courses at UWO and frequently presents public lectures and Voice Technique Workshops to diverse esteemed groups.
Now residing in London, Ontario with his wife, Lesley, and their two young sons (Nawton and Tennyson), Torin Chiles is the Director of Music for a thriving and exciting music ministry at New St. James Presbyterian Church in downtown London.
Get your tickets today for the 2019 Midland Y’s Men’s Music Festival, running April 24th to May 10th and join us for a wonderful night of celebration!
Tickets for adults are just $5 and children attend for FREE. It’s the Music Festival’s 75th year, and a performance you don’t want to miss!
The Midland Y’s Men’s Club is a fun and active group of all ages dedicated to serving the community and making it a better place to live in. Our casual weekly dinner meetings focus on an informative speaker, lively discussions, as well as the more serious aspects of event planning and fundraising.
If you’re seeking fun, good fellowship and international opportunities, consider becoming a member of the Midland Y’s Men’s Club today!