Lyric Soprano Alexandra Kosachukova Babbel, being the only American-born member of her family, has approached her music with a great sense of privilege. Her German mother and Ukranian father met and married in a displaced persons' refugee camp after fleeing the Stalinist terror in Ukraine and later immigrated to the US where Ms. Babbel was born.
Ms. Babbel's opera career in Chicago included the title role in the World Premiere production of Philip Hagamman's opera The Aspem Papers and roles with the Lincoln Opera and the Milwaakee Opera Company in Puccini's La Boheme, performing both the roles of Mimi and Mussetta. Ms. Babbel has enjoyed Operatic and Concert Solo performances in Canada, Germany, England, Switzerland, Holland, Italy and solo concert tours in Russion and Ukraine. In addition to training with teachers Galina Vesnevskaya and Kathleen Kaun, and Vocal Coaches John Wustman and Joan Domaman, Ms. Babbel sang in Master Class for Maureen Forrester and Elly Ameling.
Alexandra Babbel holds a BA in Choral Music Education from the University of Michigan, a MA in Opera Performance from the University of Alberta, and Post-Masters Certificate Performance from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. She held the faculty position of Voice Department Head at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois, before relocating to Canada.
ction of Philip Haga
Catherine Bundt- Piano - 2017
Catherine Anne Bundt is a graduate of the UBC Piano Performance Program where she studied with Jane Coop and participated in master classes with Fanny Waterman, Menahem Pressler, Elly Ameling and Rudolf Jansen. She wsa a full scholarship student at the Banff International Centre for the Performing Arts where she studied with Marek Jablonski and later completed two years of further studies with Lee Kum-Sing, again at UBC.
Catherine is an active performer, teacher, and adjudicator who strongly believes in the value of music in children's lives and sees teaching music as giving young students a "gift for life".
She has been a BC Registered Music Teacher for hte past 30 years and served several terms on the South Fraser Branch Executive Council and Festival committees. In an attempt to make music accessible and affordable to her local community, Catherine has also hosted more than 30 "house concerts" in her home featuring performing artists from universities and music schools.
Catherine is a member of the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators' Association and has given classes and workshops throughout the province. She is also a member of the Royal Conservatory of Music College of Examiners and presently maintains a full private studio in Surrey, BC.
Susan Aylard- Band/ Instrumental - 2017
Susan Aylard has travelled the world perfoming in Sweden, Russia, Denmark, Mexico, Ireland, the USA and, of course, throughout Canada. She started her violin studies before her third birthday at the Vancouver Academy of Music. During her high school years, her studies took her to private lessons at UBC. A consistent winner at local music festivals, she completed her Grade 12 school year winning the Senior division at the BC Festival of Arts. She went on to post-secondary studies in Winnipeg and CMU and the University of Manitoba for her performance major.
As a member of the "Sabeon Trio" including piano, cello and violin, Susan twice competed at Canada's National Music Competition. Locally she recently received the presitgious Okanagan Arts Award for her contribution to music in the Region. Teaching is also part of Susan's passionate music career, and she has spent years developing her Suzuik teacher training to combine it with her love of fiddling.
After years of playing professionally in various BC orchestras, and fronting the "Cats and the Fiddle" and "Rough Pearl" she currently mainly focuses her talents as a first violinist with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and fiddling upstream with "Cod Gone Wild". Sue likes to describe her style as "rough pearl fiddling". Her Baroque (translated to Rough Pearl) classical training is definitley evident in her arrangements and performances. As well as working freelance for other artists and recordings, she has two cd's that feature her fiddle playing. When not switching between violin and fiddle, she enthusiastically manages the Maples Waterfront Resort B and B in Sorrenot along with her husand and two kids.
Susan Bertoia- Speech Arts/ Drama - 2017
Susan Bertoia is a Vancouver-based professional theatre artist, actor, and teacher and also serves as an adjudicator at drama and speech arts festivals in BC. She is in high demand with her engaging theatre artist residencies produced indpendently and through ArtStarts.
Susan holds a BFA in Theatre from UBC and has advanced theatre studies (commedia dell'arte and physical theatre) from international institutions. Her devised theatre performances are extensively movement-based, abstract and at times narrative. As an actor she has worked with Arts Club Theatre (Vancouver), Western Canada Theatre (Kamloops), Richmond Gateway Theatre, and many other well-established theatre companies.
Susan is the recipient of the Vancouver Jessie Richardson's Award for Outstanding Performance; Supporting Actress nominee, and received the Gordon Armstrong Theatre Artist Award. She is also Artistic Director of Vancouver's only Italian-Canadian theatre company, BellaLuna Productions.