Clark Bryan, BMus'90, Mmus'92 is an award-winning concert pianist and has performed internationally, recorded 14 CDs and has been featured on radio and television. During the Pandemic, Clark has recorded over a thousand piano works on You Tube. As a teacher, Bryan has taught thousands of students, adjudicated more than 70 music festivals coast-to-coast in Canada, given dozens of workshops and written a book, "Gateways to Learning and Memory".
In 2004, he founded The Aeolian Performing Arts Centre. Today, this historic and legendary Centre is recognized as a beacon for arts and culture in Ontario and regularly hosts musical artists of many genres and is prized for the gift of intimacy and acoustics it provides to both audiences and performers.
Bryan believes that everyone should have universal access to music, art and culture. Because of this belief, he launched El Sistema Aeolian in 2011. This free, UNESCO award-winning program has offered more than a thousand children and youth an opportunity to experience the joy of a rich musical education. "Music is one of the most powerful tools we have for social change today," he says. In all his roles at El Sistema – teacher, administrator, and executive, he displays a progressive, social-justice mindset. Whether incorporating mindfulness exercises with music lessons or arranging for ensembles to perform with celebrity musicians such as Ashley MacIsaac, The Canadian Brass or Stephan Moccio, he is consistently researching and applying new ways to make music education more engaging.
Other activities have included co-founding two new programs. Aeolian Pride Choruses, choirs open to people of all backgrounds and identities and Rebelheart Collective, a conductor-less chamber orchestra that offers mentorship to young apprentices and offers free tickets to every concert.
Bryan was awarded Musical Personality of the Year (2005) and won a Jack Richardson Award for Community Contribution (2011). In 2017, Mr. Bryan was given the Western Alumni Award of Merit and inducted into the Don Wright Faculty of Music Wall of Fame. In 2018, Clark was recognized with a Canada 150 Award through the House of Commons for his contributions to community and the nation. In 2022, Clark won Best Classical Solo Musician at Forest City London Music Awards. In 2023, Bryan was featured in a book about London by renowned author Richard Bain.
Bryan continues to extend his reach into the community. Whether speaking about the power and joy of music study in his TED talks or engaging in community activism, Clark is committed to community. He speaks regularly at events, is featured on radio and television and continues to expand inclusive arts programming at The Aeolian's Education Campus
Soprano Irene Ilic received her Master's degree in Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music and has performed a variety of operatic and musical theatre roles in the U.S. and Canada. She has been a guest soloist with many Canadian choirs and orchestras, performing as soprano soloist in works such as Orff's CARMINA BURANA, Purcell's KING ARTHUR, Haydn's THE CREATION, Handel's THE MESSIAH, Bach's ST. JOHN PASSION, and the REQUIEMs of Faure, Durufle, Brahms and Rutter.
Ms. Ilic has a thriving private teaching practice in Newmarket and is a member of NATS, ORMTA and the CMFAA. She has adjudicated many music festivals throughout Canada. She is the founder and director of the Newmarket Voice Festival, an annual event since 1996, and member festival of the OMFA.
Many of her students have won the Silver and Gold Medals for the highest mark in Ontario for an RCM Voice Exam. She was involved in repertoire selection for both the 2012 edition and 2019 edition of the Royal Conservatory of Music Songbook Series.
Her students have starred in the Toronto casts and touring productions of THE LION KING, THE SOUND OF MUSIC, BILLY ELIOT, MARY POPPINS, and more. Her annual "Tea & Tunes" student concerts have been held for over twenty-five years and have raised thousands of dollars for Sick Kids Hospital.
Irene is very proud that many of her students have gone on to pursue music at the university level and as a career path.
Dr. Vanessa Mio-Quiring is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor within the Faculty of Education and the Music Education (Continuing Education) departments at the University of Windsor. She is also the Director of the University of Windsor Lab School: Strings program in Windsor, Ontario, Canada and a violinist with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra. Vanessa completed a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Studies degree (with a focus on violin pedagogy) from the University of Windsor. Vanessa also earned a Master of Music, a Bachelor of Music, and a Performance Diploma in Violin Performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where she studied violin with Mimi Zweig, Kathleen Winkler, Baroque violin with Stanley Ritchie, and string pedagogy with Mimi Zweig and Dr. Brenda Brenner. Vanessa established the first Canadian model of this precollege program at Wilfrid Laurier University, in addition to a unique string pedagogy course for postsecondary performance and music education students at both Wilfrid Laurier University and Western University. She has also developed the first Strings Additional Qualifications courses for teachers in Ontario, which are offered online through the University of Windsor. She has pursued a variety of professional development opportunities and has become a sought-after clinician, teacher, and adjudicator, working with students of all ages from across Canada. Vanessa is the String Discipline Specialist for The Royal Conservatory of Music, College of Examiners, and has traveled extensively throughout North America as an Ambassador for the Certificate Program. She also studied chamber music at the Banff Centre for the Arts with the Très Chic Piano Trio (Chamber Music Residency for Pre-Formed Ensembles).
Ms. Potter holds a Bachelors Degree in Piano Performance from the University of Western Ontario, and a Masters Degree in Piano Pedagogy and Performance from the University of Michigan. Academic positions held include Lecturer in Piano Pedagogy at the University of Michigan, and Coordinator of the All-State Program at the Interlochen Centre for the Arts. She has been recognized with several awards in both teaching and performing, including the Alice B. Kern Excellence in Teaching Award (University of Michigan), and the UWO Gold Medal.
Wendy has appeared as an accompanist and chamber musician for recitals at the University of Toronto, the Royal Conservatory of Music and throughout the GTA. She has also collaborated with the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra and the Toronto Wind Orchestra. As a member the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicator's Association, her work as an adjudicator takes her on extensive travel throughout Canada, as does her role as a senior member of the College of Examiners for the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Ms. Potter is passionate about the importance of teaching and performing music by Canadian composers and is currently the co-coordinator of Contemporary Showcase Toronto. She is a long-time resident of the Beaches Area of Toronto, where she has had the privilege of running a home-based studio as both a teacher and freelance musician for the past many years. Encouragement and validation are at the heart of her interactions with young people. She is committed to clear and knowledge-based communication, while being inspired by her own students every day.
Style and musical elegance combined with an intuitive theatrical sense are the hallmarks of soprano Monica Whicher's performances on the concert and opera stage. She has performed with orchestras, opera companies and at chamber festivals across Canada, the United States, Mexico, Europe and Asia with conductors including Helmuth Rilling, Peter Oundjian, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Franz Paul Decker, Steuart Bedford, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Duane Wolff, Pinchas Zuckerman, Trevor Pinnick, Hervé Niquet, Andrew Parrott, Harry Bicket, Timothy Vernon and Alexander Weimann.
Ms. Whicher was nominated for a Juno Award for "Singing Somers Theatre" (Centrediscs) and two Dora Mavor Moore Awards. Critically acclaimed for her portrayals of Mérope in Lully's Persée (DVD) and Telaïre in Rameau's Castor et Pollux (both Naxos), she is also featured on the Juno-Award winning CDs Mozart's Magic Fantasy, Beethoven Lives Upstairs and Daydreams and Lullabies. Other recordings include Lullabies and Carols for Christmas, with harpist Judy Loman (Naxos), Hatzis' Erotikos Logos (Marquis), and Centrediscs recently released, Juno-nominated Breathe: Music for Voices and Early Instruments by James Rolfe. Monica appears on The Art Songs of Mykola Lysenko, The Art Songs of Yakov Stepovyi, and The Galicians l and ll, all for the Ukrainian Art Song Project.
A former member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, Ms. Whicher studied at the Banff School of Fine Arts, the Britten-Pears School of Music, and the Steans Institute, and was a recipient of the George London Award, Sullivan Foundation Grants, and a Canada Council Career Development Grant. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto, where she studied with renowned Canadian soprano, Lois Marshall.
Monica Whicher is an Assistant Professor of Voice and Head of Voice Studies at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music.