Mr. Dykstra has been a performing artist in North America for over 35 years. His travels have taken him to the US, where he lived for 20 years, and performance credits include recording with renowned clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, performances of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto #1 with the Great Bay Philharmonic in 2016 and 2018, chamber music collaborations with renowned New England artists, and solo concerts in Canada and the United States. He has also toured with NYC Living Arts Company in performances of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess in the United States and Trinidad. Recently relocated to his native Canada in 2020, he now resides in Kelowna and continues an active musical career which includes performing, mentoring, arranging, and musical collaborations of all types. Paul is on the Faculty of the Kelowna Community Music School, and is a member of the College of Examiners of the Royal Conservatory of Music. His past teachers and mentors include Helmut Brauss (University of Alberta) master classes with Robin Wood and Anton Kuerti, and touring performances on behalf of the Valhalla School of Music in the Kootenays. Mr. Dykstra was a finalist for the American Prize Concerto Competition in 2016. Paul is very pleased to be back in the Cariboo for Festivals in Quesnel (where he lived for 17 years) and Williams Lake!
Melissa Braun is a passionate voice teacher, music educator and community builder.
As a voice teacher, Melissa aims to help each student develop the skills and technique they need to express freely in a range of styles. She loves exploring tools that allow students to communicate narrative, character and emotion and delights in the moment when students feel they have truly conveyed meaning through their music.
She is the founder and CEO of the Squamish Academy of Music where she has successfully been fostering community and collaboration since the academy opened in 2010. As Artistic Director for the Broadway or Bust Performing Arts Program, Melissa has directed hundreds of young performers in musical theater productions. When she’s not teaching in the private studio, she is often found in the theater as a director, performer, or audience member.
Melissa holds a Bachelor of Music in voice from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Bachelor of Education from OISE University of Toronto. She is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the British Columbia Teachers Federation and the SpeakEasy Cooperative and is a Gold Medal RCM teacher. She is honoured to share her approach to music education and her knowledge of the singing voice as a
clinician and adjudicator throughout Western Canada.