Meet your Choralfest 2023 Evaluators!
Sarona Mynhardt has one goal in life, and that is to truly make a difference in the lives of the singers she works with. She firmly believes that through Music a teacher/conductor does not only have the opportunity to teach music literacy and musicianship skills, but those life skills and qualities that are universally important. Those of love, compassion, humanity, respect, discipline, passion and joy! Born and raised in South Africa, Sarona completed her education degree in Pretoria. In 1996 she immigrated with her husband and two children to Canada.
Sarona founded the White Rock Children’s Choir, which had Choirs at several levels under her artistic direction for 20 years. The Choir participated regularly in International Festivals, and she conducted them in prestigious venues across the world.
Sarona has taught Music in both the public and private school systems, she was on the board for the BC Choral Federation for five years and received the BCCF Willan award for outstanding service to the BC Choral Federation in 2015. She regularly serves as a Guest Conductor for Honour and Festival Choirs, Adjudicator at Music Festivals, and Clinician for Conductor and Choral workshops. She is also a registered teacher of SongShine, a program for singers experiencing neurological challenges as well as those dealing with aging voices.
Sarona currently lives on the BC Sunshine Coast where she founded the Inspirito Women’s Vocal Ensemble, works with Parkinson’s patients, and continues to teach voice at her private studio.
Cynthia Peyson Wahl
Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Cynthia Peyson Wahl holds a Bachelor of
Music Education (University of Regina), a diploma in Contemporary Music, Jazz Voice (Grant MacEwan University), and a Master of Music Education (University of Toronto). For fourteen years she taught choir, vocal jazz, and musical theatre at Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and directed the jazz choir at Canadian Mennonite University. She currently teaches choir, vocal jazz and musical theatre at Balfour Collegiate in Regina, Saskatchewan.
At DMCI her choirs were featured performers at Choralfest Manitoba, the
Choral Canada Podium conference, and the Canadian Rocky Mountain Festival in Banff. In 2011 and 2012, her choirs won the Earl Grey Trophy for Outstanding performance by a choir at the Winnipeg Music Festival, and in 2011, her Chamber Choir won the Lieutenant Governor’s Trophy for most outstanding performance of the Winnipeg Music Festival.
Cynthia is the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards for choral
excellence, and is published in two books – The Palgrave Handbook on Race and the Arts in Education, and Teaching Music Through Performance in Choir, vol. 5. Cynthia enjoys a busy schedule as a clinician/workshop presenter, regularly travelling across Canada and the US to work with choirs of all genres. She is currently completing her PhD in music education at the University of Toronto.
A graduate in choral conducting and pedagogy from the University of lowa,
Dr. Mark Sirett is Founding Artistic Director of the Cantabile Choirs of Kingston ON,
a large multi-choir organization, recognized internationally for its innovative programming and artistry. He has taught at the University of Alberta, Western and Queen’s. He has won two international awards in conducting: the Jury Prize, Cork International Choral Festival, Ireland, and Outstanding Conductor Young Prague Festival. He is recipient of the President’s Leadership Award (Choirs Ontario) and the Mayor’s Arts Award (City of Kingston).
Mark is also an award-winning, composer with over two hundred published works (Boosey & Hawkes, Walton, Hal Leonard, Cypress and others). He is frequently in demand as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator. He has directed the APAC Festival Choir in South Korea, AMIS European High School Women's Honours Choir, Luxembourg and twice, Unisong in Ottawa on Canada Day, as well as honours choirs in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and Alberta. He has been guest conductor for the University of Toronto Conducting Symposium and last summer was guest conductor for the Nova Scotia Youth and Adult Camps and Conductors’ Symposium.
Most recently, Mark was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada for 'his steadfast commitment to the field of choral music as a renowned composer, conductor and community leader.'