Meet the Teachers!
Dianne Gryba resides in North Battleford where she works as a teacher of piano and voice, an accompanist, and choral conductor. She received her Master of Arts degree in piano performance from the University of Saskatchewan, where she studied with Robin Harrison.
Dianne has a great love of choral music, and she directs several choirs in the Battlefords including Gallery Singers, Battlefords Children's Choirs, and the Kamala youth choir. JoAnne Kasper and Jan Michael Bourgeois are co-directors for these groups. The Kamala choir has been honoured with numerous awards since its formation in 2000. The group was part of the VOICES WEST chorus performing at the ACCC Podium event in May, 2016.
Adjudicating festivals and facilitating workshops have been an enriching part of Dianne's routine for more than 30 years. She has been recognized with awards for her integrity, and for her commitment to the artistic life of the Battlefords. Her students have acheived success as professional performers throughout Canada. Dianne continues to be inspired by rehearsing and performing piano duets and duos with her long-time collaborator and friend, Bonnie Nicholson.
Chris Kelly is originally from Prince Albert and began his piano studies there with Janet Wendland. He was a member of the Prince Albert Boys Choir under Margo Fournier, and also served as their accompanist for 5 years. He later studied at the University of Saskatchewan and received a Bachelor of Music Degree – majoring in both piano and voice performance. While at the U of S he studied voice with Dorothy Howard and was a member of the Greystone Singers, Collegium Musicum, Music Theatre Ensemble and Concert Band. He then received a Masters degree from the University of Western Ontario in vocal performance, studying with Alvin Reimer.
Chris has performed as a vocal soloist with the Saskatoon and Regina Symphony Orchestras. He has performed various lead and chorus roles with Saskatoon Opera and also served as their accompanist. Prairie Opera, T.O.T.O.S., and Co-Opera are other organizations with which he has performed. He has also been a frequent soloist with the University Chorus and other community choirs.
Chris currently teaches a large studio of private voice and piano students in Saskatoon. He taught as an instructor of voice in the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of Music for 20 years. Chris is very involved as an accompanist for university music students and others in the community. Chris has also been the pipe organist and choir director at First Baptist Church for 20 years. Chris is active as an adjudicator for the SMFA.
Bonnie Nicholson is a pianist, teacher and chamber musician from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Her degrees include a Bachelor of Music (Performance) and a Master of Arts Degree from the University of Saskatchewan, as well as an A.R.C.T. in Piano Performance from the R.C.M. Teachers and influences are varied and include mentor, Robin Harrison.
Since 1985, Bonnie has served as a Sessional Lecturer in Piano, at the Department of Music, U of S, in Saskatoon. As part of her solo and teaching career, she has received the Florence Bowes Piano Pedagogy Scholarship (1993), the Dwaine Nelson Teaching Award for Excellence from the U of S Association of Student Musicians (2000) and the Sylvia Wallace Award for Sessional Teaching Excellence at the University of Saskatchewan (2004). In their recommendations and evaluations, students and colleagues have commented on Bonnie’s “innovative and insightful teaching methods”, and her “enthusiasm and encouragement”. In August 2015, Bonnie’s student Godwin Friesen was awarded first prize in the piano category at the National level of Canadian Music Festivals.
Bonnie Nicholson appears on CD with Bass-Baritone Henri Loiselle, the Saskatoon Children’s Choir, the Saskatoon Fireside Singers, trumpeter Dean McNeill’s disc entitled “Melange”, and saxophonist Glen Gillis’ discs entitled, “SaxSpectrum” and “Saxspectrum 2”. Most recently, “Les Quatre Mains 1” was released with Bonnie’s long time collaborator and friend, pianist Dianne Gryba.
Mezzo-Soprano Janice Paterson is a voice teacher in Saskatoon. Her degrees include a Bachelor of Music (Performance) and a Master of Music (Performance) from the University of Saskatchewan, and an Opera Diploma from the University of Toronto.
Janice currently teaches voice at the University of Saskatchewan and maintains a large private voice studio. As a soloist, she has performed with the Canadian Opera Company, Opera Buffa (Toronto), Co-Opera, Prairie Opera, T.O.T.O.S., Saskatoon Opera, and the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra.
Janice Paterson was a finalist at the National level of the Canadian Music Competition, was a runner-up in both the NATS competition and the Metropolitan Opera Council Regional Auditions, and was the Vocal Category and Grand Award winner at the National Music Festival. She has performed in masterclasses with Marlena Malas, Warren Jones, Edith Pergola, Mignon Dunn, Alexander Browning, and Jane Manning. Recent vocal study has been with Senora Svetlana Paoletti in Arrezo, Italy.