The Potashville Music Festival is coming up in March, and the names and bios of the adjudicators have been released.
1. Sharon (Guina) Gerspacher
Sharon began studying piano with Rosalie Calver in Yorkton, Sask, and then took her ARCT in piano performance in 1987 under the direction of Jean Laube from Springside. She went on to study with Robin Harrison in Saskatoon at the University of Sask and received her LTCL under his direction. She won many scholarships and awards at the Yorkton music festival, and won the Haydn/Mozart scholarship at Provincials in 1988. Her focus of her career has been as a piano teacher and she has taught in Yorkton, Battleford, Regina and Humboldt over the years. Many of her students have competed at Provincials and even won the National composition competition, and several have gone on to pursue a career in music.
She has also been a very active accompanist in Humboldt and area for many community events, and has played piano for many concerts in the Marysburg concert series. In addition to playing for the choirs and also doing some solo piano work, she has played for Sharon Carter and Maxine Moore (voice), Terry Sturge (cello), and has been the co-director/accompanist for children’s choir camps. She is also an active voice teacher, and has been a member of St. Peter’s choir for many years. She has 3 very musical children, the youngest of whom is in a music program in university.
2. Adria McCulloch
Critically acclaimed soprano Adria McCulloch began her vocal training on a hay tractor in rural Alberta, singing through a dust mask. She holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Maryland Opera Studio, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Regina. She has performed the role of Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and the title role in Gluck’s Armide. As a member of the Calgary Opera Emerging Artists, Adria toured southern Alberta playing Susan in Allan Bell’s Turtle Wakes. She is also a graduate of the Opera Lafayette Young Artists in Washington DC, where she performed the Naiad in Gluck’s Armide at Kennedy Center, DC and Lincoln Center, NY, and recorded Une Bergère in Lully’s score for the NAXOS label. Other roles include Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Anaman in Opera Erotique with Out of the Box Productions in Toronto and Pamina for Cowtown Opera’s Magic Flute.
Ms McCulloch has performed with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and the Regina Philharmonic Chorus and The Toronto Concert Orchestra at Casa Loma. She premiered works for the Prairie New Music Festival and in Songbook, with Tapestry New Works. She has presented recitals across North America, and toured with Opera Sesame, an interactive and educational music workshop for middle and high school students throughout the state of Kentucky.
Adria is the Musical Director and performer for My Virtual Dream, a collaboration with neuroscientists that creates stunning dreamscapes driven by brainwaves. Powered by Brain Computer Interface and The Virtual Brain technology, MVD fuses art, entertainment and research. This installation has been performed at the Ontario Science entre, Los Angeles, and Berlin.
For 9 years, Adria built a private voice studio in Toronto of professional and amateur musicians and actors, physicians, scientists, university lecturers, and TedTalk presenters. She regularly presents vocal master classes and performance workshops to various groups throughout southern Ontario. She designed a Creative Process camp for children, aged 6-10 that includes mask, mime, improvisation, and musical ensemble.
3. Dr. Aaron Wilson
Having spent his career in the Pacific Northwest and the Southern United States, Dr. Aaron Wilson is honored to be a part of the Brandon University School of Music as the Assistant Professor of Low Brass. Prior to his appointment at Brandon, Wilson performed with the Bay Street Brassworks, a brass and percussion ensemble based out of Indianapolis. His involvement with the group enabled him to perform educational and community concerts along the east coast. In addition, Wilson has performed with several professional ensembles including the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra, the Piedmont Triad Jazz Orchestra, the Market Street Brass, and the Durham Symphony, where he served as the principal trombonist.
An energetic solo artist, Wilson presents recitals regularly across North America. His repertoire selection is highly varied, featuring standards of the trombone repertoire, chamber music selections, electroacoustic works, and off-the-wall avant-garde pieces. Additionally, Wilson has been featured as a guest artist with the North Carolina Trombone Festival, the UNCG University Band, the Whatcom Wind Ensemble, and the Indiana Junior All-State Band. Wilson also has presented several masterclasses at middle schools, high schools, and colleges across the United States. Specializing in trombone, euphonium, and tuba performance instruction, Wilson’s approach to teaching is anchored in developing healthy playing habits in an intensive, yet fun learning environment. His research into online performance instruction and low brass pedagogy has allowed him to give several presentations at the Carolina BandFestival, the North Carolina Trombone Festival, and the North Carolina Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators Spring and Fall Forums, and the UNCG Graduate Research and Creativity Expo, where he received honorable mention.
Wilson earned his Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he studied with Dr. Randy Kohlenberg. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from Western Washington University, where he studied with Greg Cox. While at UNCG, Wilson had the opportunity to teach undergraduate low brass students, conduct the UNCG Trombone Ensemble, assist with teaching the school’s brass methods course, as well as teach several sections of freshman level music theory and ear training. Furthermore, he was active in organizing the annual North Carolina Trombone Festival, Carolina Band Festival, UNCG Summer Music Camp, and the 2013 College Band Director’s National Association Conference in Greensboro.