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A flagship program of the Alberta Choral Federation, Choralfest is Alberta's non-competitive festival for choirs. We're pleased to introduce a new format for Choralfest North and South -- visit the What's New in 2016 page for details.

Choralfest welcomes the participation of choirs of all ages and levels of experience. Primary emphasis is placed on the continued encouragement, education and development of the individual choir.

March 1-5 • Knox United Church
Evaluators • Dr. Laurier Fagnan, Jackie Hawley, Dr. Jerry McCoy

March 10-12 • McDougall United Church
Evaluators Dr. Marta McCarty, Dr. Dominic Gregorio, Elaine Quilichini

April 7-9 • Mount Royal University, Leacock Theatre
Evaluator • Dylan Bell
SPOTLIGHT CONCERT • Sat, April 9, Ironwood Stage and Grill



LAURIER FAGNAN  is Associate Professor of Music at Campus Saint-Jean of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, where he conducts the dynamic Chorale Saint-Jean. He holds a DMus in Choral Conducting from the University of Alberta as well as an MMus in Vocal Pedagogy from Université Laval. His doctoral thesis titled “The Acoustical Effects of the Core Principles of the Bel Canto Method on Choral Singing” has won national dissertation prizes in Canada and the US. He is director of the Vocal Acoustics Lab at the U of A and has just released an instructional DVD that combines the practical application of bel canto principles to choral singing with innovative vocal acoustics analysis techniques. Dr. Fagnan has given over four hundred workshops in the area of bel canto vocal technique for choirs from Vancouver to Paris. The endless possibilities of the human voice never cease to amaze him.


JACKIE HAWLEY is the Founding Director of the Cantiamo Girls Choir of Ottawa ( She was Artistic Director of the Ottawa Children’s Choir from 2008 – 2015. She has conducted and toured internationally with adult, youth and children's choirs and has been a clinician for choirs and schools for over twenty five years. Ms. Hawley has presented at numerous events including Festival 500 and Podium, was on the Podium committee (Ottawa 2012), is on the Choirs Ontario Board and writes the children’s choir column for Anacrusis.

Ms. Hawley works frequently with the Education Department of the National Arts Centre and is Music Director of the NAC’s 500 voice annual Music Monday Choir. Ms. Hawley was a teacher with the Ottawa Carleton District School Board, and continues to give music leadership workshops to Board staff. Ms. Hawley graduated from University of Toronto with an honors degree in Music Education and from University of Ottawa with a Bachelor of Education.


JERRY McCOY, 2013 winner of the Texas Choral Directors Association’s prestigious Choirmaster Award, is Regents Professor of Music Emeritus for the University of North Texas, where between 2000 and 2015 he conducted the internationally renowned UNT A Cappella Choir and served as Director of Choral Studies, leading one of America’s foremost choral studies and performance programs. In addition, from 2007 to 2015 he was a member of the ACDA National Executive Committee, serving as the organizations national president from 2009 to 2011.

Dr. McCoy currently is Music Director for Schola Cantorum of Texas and serves on the advisory boards of INTERKULTUR, Choro in Schola (Portland, Oregon) and the Young New Yorkers Chorus (New York City).

He has served as guest conductor/clinician in thirty-nine US states, in addition to serving in guest roles in Austria, China, Cuba, Great Britain, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, and Venezuela.  Dr. McCoy’s choirs have sung refereed performances on the programs of four national conferences of the American Choral Directors Association (1997, 1999, 2005, 2013).  In addition, his choirs have also sung refereed performances for the national conferences of the Association of British Choral Directors (2000), the Music Educators National Conference (1992), the National Collegiate Choral Organization (2008), and the Organization of American Kodaly Educators (1983). His choirs have given vetted concerts and interest sessions for the Southwestern Division of ACDA (seven times since 1988), the Texas Choral Directors Association (2004 and 2011), and the Texas Music Educators Association (2004, 2010, and 2015). Guest engagements for 2014-2016 include appearances in Canada, Guam, Alabama, Arkansas, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, South Dakota, Washington, and Texas.

Under his leadership, the UNT A Cappella Choir was featured on the programs of the 9th Taipei (Taiwan) International Choral Festival (2009) and the 2nd Daejeon (Korea) International Choral Festival (2012). In 2011 he served as headliner for the Korean Federation for Choral Music national conference in Gyeongiu, South Korea.

His commercial recordings include releases by Klavier Records and GIA Music Publications, as well as the premiere recording of Jake Heggie’s Ahab Symphony, released in the fall of 2014 on CD Baby.

Dr. McCoy sang and recorded with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers in New York City and throughout southern France, and with the Banff (Canada) Festival Chamber Choir led by distinguished Swedish conductor Eric Ericson. Prior to joining the faculty at UNT, he served as Director of Choral Activities at Oklahoma State University (1984-1994, 1995-2000), the University of Arizona (1994-1995), and Nicholls State University (1982-1984).


DOMINIC C. GREGORIO is Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of ChoralMusic at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan.In 2012, Dr. Gregorio graduated with theDoctor of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and was awarded the USC Order of Areté Medal, the highesthonour accorded a graduate student upon graduation. He also holds a triple major Masters Degree in Music from Temple University in Philadelphia (Voice, Choral Conducting and Music History) and a B.A. in Music from the University of Guelph. In 2015, Dominic was awarded the University of Regina New Faculty Teaching Award of Recognition, and under his leadership, the University of Regina Chamber Singers were recent finalists in the Choral Canada CBC Amateur Choir Competition.

A frequent baritone soloist, Dominic has performed recently with the Regina Symphony Orchestra, the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, the Regina Philharmonic Choir and the Per Sonatori Baroque Ensemble.

Dr. Gregorio is a former conductor of the McMaster University Choir, Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, USC Thornton Opera Chorus, USC Thornton Apollo Men’s Chorus, Toronto Singing Out, and the Taipei Philharmonic Foundation Choruses. Dominic is proud to serve Choral Canada as VP Communications and editor of Anacrusis.


DR. MARTA McCARTHY, Conductor, is an Associate Professor at the University of Guelph, where she has been directing the choirs and teaching pedagogy and musicianship for nineteen years. A graduate of Westminster Choir College of Princeton (M.Mus), the Royal Conservatory of Music (ARCT, piano performance) and of the University of Toronto (B.Mus, B.Ed., Ph.D.), Marta was awarded the 1999 Elmer Iseler Conducting Fellowship. She also received an Ontario Volunteer Service Award, was named a member of the June Callwood Circle of Caring and, in 2005, was named a Woman of Distinction for Arts & Culture in Guelph. She led the UG Chamber Singers to 1st place in the 2011 ACCC National Amateur Choir Competition (Collegiate category) and, in 2012, to 3rd place in the Mosbach International Chamber Choir Competition in Germany. Her University of Guelph Women’s Chamber Choir has also received national acclaim, performing at national conferences such as Podium 2012 and winning 3rd place out of 78 entries in the Contemporary category of the 2006 CBC National Choral Competition. Dr. McCarthy was chosen to conduct the 2014 Ontario Youth Choir, and is President of Choral Canada (2014-2016).


ELAINE QUILICHINI is recognized internationally for her exceptional musicianship, distinguished work and extraordinary gift for inspiring others.  As a Master of Music (Kodály), she has served as a clinician, lecturer, adjudicator and guest conductor across Canada, the United States, Australia, Japan, Argentina, Brazil and the Canary Islands.

In 1995, Ms. Quilichini founded the Calgary Girls Choir, and with her vision and passion has built it into one of the most celebrated choirs in the world.  Ms. Quilichini conducted the University of Calgary Women’s Choir for over ten years and continues to lead an active music studio. A notable indication of Ms.Quilichini’s stature in the choral community is her successful choral series published by Alliance Music Publishing, Houston, Texas. 

A recipient of the Alberta Choral Federation’s ‘con spirito’ award for her contributions to the choral arts. In2003 Ms. Quilichini made her debut as maestro at Carnegie Hall directing the choral concert A Tribute to Peace and Freedom. In 2010 she led a CGC tour to Italy where her choirs performed Mass at St. Marco's Basilica in Venice and the Vatican in Rome.

Ms. Quilichini is on the faculty of the International Summer Academy of Choral Conducting and Music Pedagogy in Las Palmas, Canary Islands and is Artistic Director of the Nebraska Wesleyan University and the Wichita State University summer choral programs. She continues to serve at the New England Conservatory in Boston as conductor of their youth and children’s choral summer program.  In 2010, Ms. Quilichini accepted invitations to conduct the Children's Honor Choirs at both the Eastern and North Central Division Conferences of the American Choral Directors Association, as well as the Virginia Organization of Kodály Educators (VOKE) Children’s Choir Festival in Fairfax in 2010 and 2011. 

Ms. Quilichini has conducted numerous provincial and state honour choirs, ACDA regional honour choirs, the Asian Pacific Activities Conference in Osaka, Japan, and has twice been selected to conduct the National Honor Choir for the Organization of American Kodály Educators. Ms. Quilichini served as adjudicator/lecturer at Concurso  Ansilta  in San Juan, Argentina, guest lecturer at the Boston Area Kodaly Educators Conference and the National OAKE conference,  as well as conductor of a city-wide youth choir at the Dalai Lama’s appearance in Calgary.

Ms. Quilichini accepted invitations to conduct the Children's Honor Choirs at both the Eastern and North Central Division Conferences of the American Choral Directors Association, as well as the Virginia Organization of Kodály Educators (VOKE) Children’s Choir Festival in Fairfax in 2010 and 2011.  Upon Ms Quilichini’s return from WSU Children's Kodaly Choir Camp,the Calgary Girls Choir’s most senior choir, Brava, was awarded first place at the ACCC competition in July 2013.  Ms. Quilichini has been invited to conduct the Women’s Honour Choir at the Kodaly National Conference (OAKE) in 2014 located in Atlanta, Georgia.

Global Television recently recognized Ms. Quilichini, as a Woman of Vision. This award celebrates women whose passion, talent and commitment is reflected in their achievements. A perfect fit for Ms. Quilichini’s contributions.


In a word… multifaceted. Juno-nominated Dylan Bell’s musical curiosity has kept him effortlessly crossing and blurring musical boundaries.
Since he first discovered his parents’ eclectic Beethoven-to-Bob Dylan record collection, Dylan’s musical curiosity has kept him effortlessly crossing and blurring musical boundaries. Dylan is a mainstay on the Canadian music scene, having sung with many of Canada’s premiere vocal ensembles such as Cadence; Hampton Avenue, the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, The Watch, the eclectic FreePlay Duo, and the 1980s-era vocal pop group Retrocity. When he’s not singing, he freelances as a keyboard player and bassist, working with varied artists from world-music’s Autorickshaw, to veteran rockers Honeymoon Suite, to his own Police tribute band, Synchronicty III, as well as studio and theatrical work.

Behind the mixing board, Dylan has produced or engineered several award-winning albums, including a Juno co-nomination as Best Engineer for the Cadence albumTwenty For One, the albumFerris Wheelswith the world-renowned Swingle Singers from London, England, and the most recent, Juno-nominated album with the a cappella legends The Nylons,Skin Tight.

Dylan’s work as a composer and arranger has garnered international recognition, as winner of the John Lennon International Songwriting Competition and a Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award. When it comes to vocal arranging, Dylan wrote the book… literally. His major work “A Cappella Arranging” (co-written with Deke Sharon) was published by Hal Leonard Music in 2013 to international acclaim.His choral compositions can be heard in such varying contexts as the Victoria Scholars, the Canadian Chamber Choir, and Cadence. Dylan is also in demand worldwide as an instrumental teacher and vocal/choral clinician.

Visit Dylan at