Program Advisory Committee

The Program Advisory Committee plays an integral role in the visioning, development, and evaluation of Choir Alberta programs.  Artistic components, including guest artists, venues, and repertoire selection, are within the purview of this committee.


Jean-Louis Bleau, Calgary

Jean-Louis Bleau has been very involved in the Calgary and area arts scene for a number of years. He is the Artistic Director of Choral Programs and the Program Administrator for General and Orchestral Programs at Mount Royal University, where he also directs Mount Royal Artio. In addition to his work at Mount Royal University, Bleau is the artistic director of Cum Vino Cantus and the University of Calgary Chamber Choir. Bleau's passion for music, especially choral music, is evident through his unique and expressive conducting style, and his enthusiastic approach to rehearsals. Bleau has always sought to push the boundaries of choral music and the concert experience through unique collaborations and concert events. This has resulted in performances around a lake in the heart of Kananaskis and concert events in a planetarium, parking garages, an industrial shop and even a swimming pool. When not engrossed in music, Bleau can be found with his partner on their farm northwest of Calgary enjoying the mountain views and the quiet peace of the country.


Josie Burgess, Edmonton


Rita Burns, Edmonton


Heather Dempsey, Lac La Biche

Heather Dempsey (BA Mus, BEd Mus) has been teaching music both privately and for Northern Lights School division for over 20 years, and is an active organizer of many community musical events in her home town of Lac La Biche.  Heather is the founder & conductor of the Lac La Biche Choral Association’s Boreal Chorus and Northern Lights Harmonics.  In her role as a public school music educator, Heather has taught choral and instrumental music from Kindergarten through grade 12 and presently teaches at Aurora Middle School where she conducts the 45 voice Aurora Middle School Choir and three middle school hand bell ensembles.  Heather was recently recognized by the Royal Conservatory of Music for her 20 year role as a centre rep in Lac La Biche. 


Joel Forth, Edmonton

Joel Forth has been a passionate participant in Edmonton's choral music community since 2003. In addition to teaching choral music and vocal jazz at Edmonton's largest high school, Joel also sings in Edmonton's favourite nerd-a cappella ensemble, Apocalypse Kow, and composes and arranges a wide variety of music. Joel is excited to be serving on Choir Alberta's board of directors.


Catherine Glaser-Climie, Calgary

Catherine Glaser-Climie has nurtured and inspired singers of all ages through her acclaimed work with choirs and singers for more than thirty years.  Choirs under her direction have won awards at the local, provincial and national level and regularly perform with Calgary Opera, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and are frequently heard on radio and television.  Currently she is Founder / Artistic Director of the Cantaré Children’s Choir in Calgary, a nationally-acclaimed programme of one hundred and fifty singers ages six to eighteen, and serves as Minister of Music at Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Cross. In demand to share her expertise with all levels and ages, and known for her captivating warmth and enthusiasm, invitations to appear as adjudicator, lecturer, guest conductor and clinician take Catherine across North America.


Nicole Hounjet (Chair), Calgary

Nicole Hounjet is honored to sit on the Board of Choir Alberta and is excited to bring vibrant and enriching programs to singers and conductors at every age and stage.  She has been the Music and Fine Arts Director at Foothills Composite High School/Alberta High School of Fine Arts for the past 12 years. During her time at FCHS/AHSFA her ensembles (choirs, bands, and jazz) have all regularly performed and have been recognized at provincial and national music festivals. An accomplished musician, Ms Hounjet completed her music degree at the University of Alberta where she was mentored by wonderful women, passionate about choral music: Dr. Debra Cairns and Dr. Ardelle Ries.  Since her time at U of A, Nicole has continued to study with wonderful teachers including James Jordan, James Whitbourn, Gregory Boers, Richard Nace, and Rodney Eichenberger. As an educator and conductor, Nicole believes in empowering her singers to fully engage in the music by building a mutual trust, respect and empathy within the ensemble.  Nicole also conducts the Westwinds Women’s Choir which is a part of the larger Westwinds Music Society.


Quan Le, Calgary

Quan is a passionate musician and educator. His background in Kodály pedagogy and its emphasis on music literacy and repertoire of the highest quality is very much at the heart of his teaching. He is currently the music director at the Calgary Girls' School and his choirs and bands have received numerous awards and recognition at the local, provincial and national levels. More recently, Quan has dedicated much of his time and energy to composing and arranging music for choirs and band, and this has provided him with another creative outlet to share his love of music. In addition to his work as an educator and composer, Quan is also a trombonist with the Calgary Civic Symphony and also sits on the planning committee with the Alberta International Band Festival. Outside of music, he is a "foodie" and loves to cook for friends and family. Being so close to the mountains, he also finds much joy being in the great outdoors camping, skiing and hiking.


Carmen So, Edmonton


Jordan Van Biert, Edmonton


Daryl Weisenburger, Stony Plain

Daryl Weisenburger is co-director of the Choral Department at Memorial Composite High School, a public school of around 1200 students, in Stony Plain, Alberta.  Daryl is passionate choral singer himself, as well as being an accomplished and experienced musical educator with over 28 year of experience!  Memorial has four choirs, a mixed voice chorus and a mixed voice ensemble, as well as a women’s choir, and a men’s ensemble.  Memorial’s choirs have been successful on the Provincial level, and perform throughout the year at many local events, festivals, and competitions throughout Western Canada and internationally. 


Heidi Wood, Calgary



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