Provincial Reps

Provincial Representatives

British Columbia Choral Federation

Willi Zwozdesky, Executive Director

Willi-ZwozdeskyWilli Zwozdesky is widely-known as a choral conductor and for his work as an arranger, which form a large part of an active musical career that also includes music publishing and arts management. A native of Alberta, Zwozdesky later moved to Seattle, where he completed a Master of Music in choral conducting and a Master of Arts in music theory at the University of Washington in 1981. Following his move to Vancouver in that year, he established himself as a leader in the city’s cultural community, working in choral music, education, musical theatre, and most notably, as the conductor of the Vancouver Men’s Chorus, a position he still holds today. He also trained in arts administration at The Banff Centre School of Management and at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. 

At the core of Zwozdesky’s career are his choral arrangements, many of which regularly appear in concert programs and recordings across Canada and abroad. In 1990 he established Rhythmic Trident Music Publishing, which focuses on his own and new Canadian work. An active choral clinician and adjudicator, Willi has also volunteered on a number of national and regional organizations, including the Canadian Music Centre, GALA Choruses, Inc., the World of Children’s Choirs 2001 and, presently, the Association of Canadian Choral Communities. In 2004, his dedication to choral music was recognized with both a Legacy Award from GALA Choruses for his contributions to that movement and a Willan Award from the British Columbia Choral Federation for outstanding service to British Columbia’s choral community. In addition to his freelance work, he serves as the Executive Director of the British Columbia Choral Federation.

Alberta Choral Federation

Brendan Lord, Executive Director

Brendan-LordBrendan Lord holds a Bachelor of Arts(Music) degree from Augustana University College, a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Alberta, and is currently studying for the Doctor of Music degree in choral conducting, also at the U of A.  His conducting teachers have included Dr. Marc Hafso, Dr. Robert de Frece, Dr. Debra Cairns, and Dr. Leonard Ratzlaff.  Mr. Lord has recently completed two major recitals which included J.S. Bach’s rarely performed Easter Oratorio and the Canadian premieres of James MacMillan’s Cantos Sagrados and James Bassi’s Harpsonnets.Recent awards include the Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship, a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada fellowship, and the University of Alberta President`s Award.  He is a frequent adjudicator and clinician with choirs of all ages and abilities, and is an active composer and arranger of choral music having had his pieces performed across Canada and the United States.  In addition to his work as a freelance musician, Mr. Lord is the Executive Director of the Alberta Choral Federation and a member of Pro Coro Canada. 

Saskatchewan Choral Federation

Denise Gress, Executive Director

Denise-GressDenise Gress is Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Choral Federation (SCF). A born organizer and administrator, Denise has many years experience in project, event and organizational management. A business owner for 10 years, Denise is committed to providing exceptional service to both the SCF and the Association of Canadian Choral Communities (ACCC) and looks forward to meeting members and forging new relationships.

Denise’s interest in choral and instrumental music was rekindled during her involvement as Administrator of a large Regina high-school music program. “I enjoyed working within the musical community and I am very pleased to be involved in this capacity again”, she says. Although not a musician herself, she is an excellent audience member and appreciates all musical endeavours (or tries to!).

Denise has worked at all levels of government, in the co-operative sector and with private business. Her forte is organizing systems and events and she is excited about collaborating with her counterparts across Canada and the volunteer Board members of ACCC to increase opportunities for choral music study, performance and appreciation across Canada. 

Manitoba Choral Association

Robert Neufeld, Executive Director

robert-neufeldRobert Neufeld holds a Bachelor of Arts (Music)degree from the University of Winnipeg and a Bachelor of Religious Studies (Choral conducting concentration) degree from Mennonite Brethren Bible College, now known as Canadian Mennonite University.

He was self-employed for many years as a contract cleaner. He conducted the 50-voice choir at Emmanuel Evangelical Free Church in Steinbach, Manitoba for 14 years. He is busy as accompanist (piano and organ) for weddings, funerals, festivals, grad recitals and church music events. He is a member of Canzona (Winnipeg’s premiere baroque ensemble), the CMU Alumni Choir and has sung occasionally with the Winnipeg Singers, Renaissance Voices and Ecco. He was on the board of the EastMan Choral Association from 1989-2006 and was their representative on the MCA Board in the early 1990’s. Robert has served as Executive Director of the Manitoba Choral Association since August 2006. 

Choirs Ontario

Elizabeth Shannon, Executive Director

elizabeth-shannonElizabeth Shannon is the Managing Director of Choirs Ontario, where she is responsible for the management of services, programmes and projects that promote the awareness, appreciation and performance of choral music throughout Ontario. Elizabeth currently also serves as the Managing Director of Talisker Players Chamber Music, a unique ensemble in Toronto specializing in the performance of vocal chamber music. Prior to moving to Toronto, Elizabeth was the Artistic Administrator of the Victoria Piano Summer School and Faculty Representative to the Board of Directors at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, Victoria, British Columbia.

Elizabeth is also the founder and former Artistic Director of Via Choralis, a mixed-voice chamber choir on the Saanich Peninsula in British Columbia. Her conducting experience includes positions with the Victoria Conservatory Children’s Choir, the Sidney Classical Orchestra and the Victoria Piano Summer School Chorus.

Elizabeth is an active music educator and piano teacher, and was a Faculty Member in both the Piano and Theory Departments at the Victoria Conservatory of Music in Victoria, British Columbia where she taught piano, theory and musicianship skills. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto, and is an Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Alliance des chorales du Québec

Alain Lanctôt, Executive Director

2014-alain-lancto0302tIn January 2013 Alain Lanctôt was appointed as Executive Director of Alliance des chorales du Québec, a position that he also held between 1985 and 1990.

After completing a University degree in French Linguistics, Alain worked for many years as a business administrator. Choral music has always been an important part of his life, both as a chorister and choral conductor, and after several years leading his church choir, Alain became a member of the Diocesan liturgy committee in charge of finding and distributing French liturgical music for both choirs and cantors. He also participated in the training of cantors for different parishes.

Studies in piano and singing and his experience as a soloist led Alain to conduct several choral groups in the Montreal area. In March 2000, he founded the Opus 16 vocal ensemble which he continues to conduct, and he is a member of the Ste. Anne Singers. Alain participates regularly as guest conductor for choral activities in France where he led a workshop at Choralies 2001 in Vaison-la-Romaine with À Coeur Joie France.
Alain’s knowledge of the Québec choral world and his professional capacities were recognized in 1993 when he received the Ordre du mérite choral du Québec award.

After many years as Executive Director for seniors’ residences Alain is returning to ACQ in time to celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2014-2015.

“I have always believed that the choral discipline in all its aspects is a way to reach the greatest possible number of people. Music contributes to better communication between people coming from different backgrounds or experiences and helps them achieve a shared artistic goal of excellence without barriers of race, language or culture.”

New Brunswick Choral Federation/Fédération chorale du Nouveau-Brunswick

Dianne Roxborough Brown, Executive Director

dianne-roxboroughPianist Dianne Roxborough Brown performs regularly as accompanist, liturgical musician and in concert in the Fredericton area and throughout the Province of New Brunswick.

After completing a Science degree at UNB, she returned to music studies and completed an ARCT in piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto. Dianne’s recent musical endeavours include the formation of a piano duo with Krystyna Higgins, pianist for tenor Derrick Paul Miller and accompanist for the STU Singers.

Dianne became Executive Director of the New Brunswick Choral Federation in the spring of 2012 and brings extensive experience in Arts Administration through her many years of assisting with the activities at the UNB Centre for Musical Arts. 

Nova Scotia Choral Federation

Tim Callahan-Cross, Executive Director

timTim Callahan-Cross is a graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. He worked with the Nova Scotia Choral Federation as Program Coordinator from 1987 until 1997 when he assumed the position of Executive Director. Prior to working with the federation he owned and operated the acclaimed Halifax restaurant Café Quelque Chose, worked as a dietetic supervisor at the Halifax Infirmary Hospital and was a qualified fitness instructor with the YMCA.

He has served as a volunteer on committees and boards of several choirs as well as the Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council, the YMCA, the Family Pride Camping Association and Kinap Community Centre. Currently he is treasurer of the Cultural Federations of Nova Scotia and a board member of Mocean Dance. Tim makes his home in Halifax with his husband Thomas and son Bruno. He has enjoyed singing with a few local community choirs and currently sings with Nova Voce.