DR. RAYMOND WISE
Raymond Wise serves as Professor of Practice, African American African Diaspora Studies Department, the Associate Director of the African American Arts Institute and Director of the African American Choral Ensemble at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. He earned Ph.D. and M.A. in Music Education from The Ohio State University (2002, 1996) and a B.F.A. in Music from Denison University, Granville, Ohio (1983). Studied in Opera, Art, and German at the Institute for European Studies in Vienna, Austria (1982) and African-American History, Music, and Dance at San Francisco State University in San Francisco, California (1983).
Raymond's research and teaching interests includes the history and performance of African American Gospel and Sacred music. He is an ordained minster and regularly serves as a singer, pianist, composer, director, conductor, lecturer, and teacher for orchestras, opera companies, churches and choral festivals throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia.
Returning favourite, Nicole is a graduate from Humber College with a diploma in Jazz Studies where she honed her skills by studying with great instructors such as Trish Colter, Pat Labarbara, Denny Christianson, Shelly Berger and Don Thompson. She graduated in 1998 from Humber College and quickly started to use her God given gift becoming a sought after studio musician. Nicole was a principal soloist with the Juno-awarding winning Toronto Mass Choir for over 10 years, being featured on many of their gospel recordings.
Nicole has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Joe Hendricks, Alvin Slaughter and Shelly Berger and many other seasoned artists. Nicole was also on the inaugural television season of Canadian Idol, making it to the top 30.
Nicole has now opened her own music school called Nikki’s School of Music and is happy to share with others her unique vantage point of being not only an experienced singer, but also a seasoned gospel music artist/instructor. She also works at Humber College directing and teaching their Gospel choir ensemble! For over 20 years, Nicole has been using her gifts from the Lord on piano and voice to bless thousands.
Jasmine Jones began her musical journey singing with her church choir, which she later came to play the drums for. Her love of music came from singing and dancing to Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and spanned all the way over to music from her Caribbean background. Rhythm was an influential part of how she enjoyed music.
Playing drums for over 22 years, Jasmine is now the drummer for the dynamic worship band, For The Master. She co leads the music Department at Kingdom House Christian Centre in Brampton. She is also a member of the Toronto Raptors 6ixStix group, that performs on their home court and various events. Jasmine was a drummer with the Juno Award winning Toronto Mass Choir for 8 years. She toured internationally with this choir, led workshops, and recorded on The Live Experience CD.
Jasmine is passionate about music education as well. She is a graduate of the Humber College music program, and has been teaching drums for over 13 years at Kaos Music in Toronto.
A solid foundation in any band, Tim Ball had emerged as one of Toronto’s most beloved and respected bass players. With firm dedication to making every song the most it can be, Tim helps deliver a cutting-edge sound that is not only fun to listen to, but also inspiring. In his 18 years on bass, Tim has played and recorded for many of Toronto’s well-known gospel and R&B artists such as Toronto Mass Choir, York University Gospel Choir, Toya Alexis, Kim Davis, Aileen Lombardo, Mark Masri, and Echoes of Praise. Also, an emerging producer and prolific songwriter, Tim heads the dynamic award nominated worship group, “For The Master”. “Tim is also the music director for the Kingdom House, located in Brampton, ON.
Joy Brown is a performer/arranger/producer/teacher/choir director. She has worked with well-known artists such as Mark Masri, Kevin Pauls, Hilario Duran, Shelly Berger, Michael Burgess, the Nathaniel Dett Chorale and the Juno-Award Winning Toronto Mass Choir. She has toured as a music director, bandleader, and piano soloist throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, Central America, and the West Indies.
A graduate of McMaster University with a B.Sc. in Nursing, Joy also has a B.A. from Waterloo University with a music specialty in piano. She is a Humber College Graduate in Jazz and Commercial Music for which she won the prestigious Board of Governor’s Achievement Award. Ever multi-talented, Joy is also an Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Music with an ARCT in Piano Performance.
Joy is happily married to Delroy and is the proud mom of Julian, Bryden, and ‘Princess’ Sara.
Karen and her husband, Oswald own Burke Music Inc., a Gospel music company which also offers production and publishing services, consulting and choral workshops. In 1988, Karen co-founded the Toronto Mass Choir; a gospel choir and continues to serve as its principal director. She runs the choir with her husband, Oswald Burke, developing the choir’s touring schedules and choral arrangements. Since its inception, she has also written many original songs for the choir’s recordings. Karen holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from McMaster University and a Master of Education degree from York University.
Following a twelve-year stint as a high school music teacher, Burke became a Professor in the music department at York University in 2005, teaching music education and musicianship courses and developing the first post-secondary gospel music curricular courses in Canada including the 100-voice York University Gospel Choir. Her busy music career continues as a guest speaker and conductor, songwriter and clinician offering gospel music workshops for many organizations both in Canada and overseas including the Ontario Music Educators Association (OMEA), the Toronto District School Board and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. Burke has also spearheaded other initiatives to share gospel music with the community such as the City Youth Gospel Project.
Corey Butler currently serves as the Musical Director of the Juno Award winning Toronto Mass Choir. He has written songs and performed with Grammy Award winning Hall of Fame inductee, Carvin Winans and has played with some of the finest musicians and singers in Toronto including Jackie Richardson, Andrew Craig and the late, Archie Alleyne.
The award winning music producer is also a music professor in the Music Industry Arts Performance (MIAP) program at Centennial College and one of the course directors of the York University Gospel Choir at York University.
In addition to his skills as a piano player, musical director, educator, and producer, Butler also regularly conducts and writes for a Symphony Orchestra that performs moving compositions and arrangements that entertain and inspire. To that end he has gained a reputation in that arena and is affectionately called 'The Maestro'.
Corey has a passion for composing music and producing concerts that address the social and cultural issues we face within our communities. With that said, Zamar Music Productions Inc. was established to impact communities through Music Art Mentorship and Education and Music Art Performance and Production.
Over the years, Corey has mentored many young musicians and continues to do so at the College and University levels. He has a heart and passion to see the legacy of great musicianship and musical literacy continue throughout Canada, especially within his ethnic community.
DR. KAREN CYRUS
Music educator, researcher and musician, Karen holds a PhD in Ethnomusicology from York University, and a Licentiate of the Royal schools of Music (LRSM, teaching piano). She is a registered member of the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT vocal intermediate) and a graduate of UWI (BA, 1990) and Mico Teachers College (Music – honors).
Karen has worked in music ministry since 1985 in a variety of positions including church pianist, playing for weddings, directing choirs, and as an accompanist. She has taught music at all levels, from pre-Kindergarten to Grade 9 and been an instructor of piano, recorder, elementary and secondary methods in a number of teacher training colleges in Jamaica along with teaching group piano classes for many years at York University.
Karen is an avid researcher with a talent for creating visuals for abstract concepts. She currently volunteers at Richmond Hill Pentecostal Church and her publications include music textbooks that are widely used in elementary and high schools in Jamaica.
DR. MELISSA DAVIS
Dr. Melissa Davis is an active concert soloist, music professor, choral conductor, worship leader, vocal instructor and clinician. Dedicated to the ministry of the Gospel through music, she has been a worship leader for over fifteen years, and a minister of music for over twenty-five years in the GTA and abroad. Dr. Davis received her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Vocal Performance and Literature from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and has been a music professor at the University of Arkansas and Tyndale University College and Seminary. As a concert soloist and professional chorister, she has toured internationally singing in France, Wales, the Caribbean, the United States, and throughout Canada. She has been a guest soloist with several choirs and orchestras throughout North America and abroad including the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. Melissa has conducted many ensembles, notably the 100-member University of Illinois Black Chorus and recently launched the Tyndale Community Choir for singers throughout the GTA in September 2016. Currently serving as Director of the Music Department at Tyndale University College and Seminary, she has also made frequent solo appearances on Vision TV, and CBC Radio.
DR. JESSE FEYEN
Jesse Feyen is founder, coordinator, and professor of the Music Industry Arts and Performance (MIAP) program at Centennial College in Toronto, Canada. He holds a PhD in Ethnomusicology from York University. He is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist who has performed internationally in a wide range of genres and contexts. He serves as music coordinator for The Meeting House: East Toronto.
Troy is a musician, vocalist, and music educator. He began learning how to play the steel pan at the tender age of eight. Since then, Troy has utilized his talent at church and various community events. He has also shared his expertise in steel pan with his students over his teaching career through after school programs and Saturday morning lessons. As a result of receiving a $10,000 grant, Troy was able to purchase a set of steel pans that were used to both enhance and create a culturally relevant music curriculum for his elementary students. He often found ways for his students to showcase their talents by performing in school concerts, assemblies and local community events.
Troy holds the following degrees with York University: Bachelor of Sociology degree with Honours, Bachelor of Education degree, in addition to a Master of Education degree. He is a recipient of the Eva Smith Bursary Award and was also awarded the Honderich Scholarship Award by the Toronto Star in Partnership with York University. Troy has been working in the elementary panel with the Toronto District School Board for the past 17 years and has been particularly teaching instrumental and vocal music for the past few years. He also serves as a member of the Toronto Mass Choir.
As a gifted musician, singer and songwriter, Rob Greene has been a sought after soloist and worship leader in Canada and abroad. Born and raised in Dover, Delaware, Rob began singing at his home church at the age of 5. He continued his education in music, majoring in Music Education with a Choral concentration at the University of Delaware. He toured with the University of Delaware Chorale in Los Angeles, California singing at the American Choral Directors Association Conference in 2004. He developed his talents in teaching, vocal coaching, and song writing at Gateway College of Evangelism, St. Louis, Missouri and later released his single “Stand” with the college choir, chorale, and ensemble. He has continued to have numerous recording artists record and publish his music.
Rob has conducted numerous choir clinics and worked with worship teams both in Canada and the U.S. and currently resides in Belleville, where he serves as Worship Pastor at the First Pentecostal Church of Belleville directing the FPC Choir, teaching voice/piano studies, and facilitating dynamic worship experiences. It has been his desire to use singing and the gift of music to reach others with the saving message of Jesus Christ.
Darren is a musician, vocalist, arranger, songwriter, music educator, clinician and consultant. His musical journey encompasses a wide range of experiences in church, community and educational settings.
Darren holds a music diploma from Grant MacEwan College, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music from York University, a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto and a Master of Music degree in Music Education from the University of Western Ontario. He is currently pursuing his doctorate degree in Music Education at the University of Toronto, having research interests lying formal gospel music education and issues of equity, diversity and social justice in public school music curriculum.
Darren has been teaching high school music with the Peel District School Board since 2008. In January 2018, he joined the Faculty of Music at Wilfrid Laurier University as contract faculty, teaching undergraduate music education courses. He has presented gospel music workshops at the annual Ontario Music Educators' Association (OMEA) conference and for Long and McQuade's March Learning Clinic Series. Darren is a member of Toronto Mass Choir. He is also the President and Lead Music Consultant of Destiny Music Consulting Inc., a company that provides a wide range of musical training, arranging and consulting services.
Gregory Hines is no stranger to the ever-growing dance industry. Having worked since 1995 under legendary Choreographer Luther Brown as a hip hop Judge from “So You Think You Can Dance Canada, Gregory has toured all over Canada and the US for numerous artists such as Mariah Carey, rapper Eve, Jully Black, Shawn Desmond, Christina Aguilera, Maestro Glenn Lewis and many more. He has also made numerous television appearances dancing for such award shows as “The Canadian Urban Music Awards, The 2000 & 2001 Juno Awards” and the 2001 Teen Choice Awards, to name a few.
These experiences has given him many tools and intensive training to later branch out and begin his own Dance Academy, DOAHL. Gregory has had the opportunity in teaching cutting edge hip-hop workshops in Europe and was a host of a television show called “Love Is Moving”. Gregory’s dancers have performed at huge events such as Winterfest 2015 and ‘Open Heavens’ 2015 New Year’s Eve celebration. Gregory spends time motivating and inspiring the many dancers that attend the academy to reach their fullest potential in not just dance but all areas of their lives.
Nicole Hamilton is the founder, and Artistic Director of Inica Dance Industries. A certified dance educator, and member of Dance Masters of Canada and Dance Masters of America, Hamilton has served as a faculty member, master workshop leader, mentor, and guest teacher at institutes across Canada, and the U.S.A, including but not limited to; George Brown College, University of Toronto, and Royal Academy of Dance.
Hamilton's choreography has been showcased on many platforms including Canada's National Arts Centre, and Toronto's Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, with special commissions including but not limited to; WRM South Africa, and the Toronto Fringe Festival. As a touring Educator, she has presented in national, and international conventions, and championships including; En Avant - RAD world convention, Creation Dance Championships, the Performing Arts Medicine Association and more.
Hamilton serves as a reporter for Dance Channel Television, is a contributing host on The Career Buzz Show, and a Producer with Turn Out Radio, reporting on National and international dance news.
Her vast history of studies include: D.M.C, C.D.T.A, R.A.D, ADAPT, BATD, Cecchetti, Horton, Dunham, and D.E.A. She is an alumni member of the Burlington Dance Company, and Dancers Inc., and has trained across Canada, and the U.S.A with studies in Ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, modern, Lyrical, liturgical, hip hop, Acro, West African, Afro Caribbean, and Musical Theatre.
Hamilton is a Board of Director with Healthy Dancer Canada, and CPAMO (Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario).
Colette Leader-Kalumbi is an author, educator and creative soul who loves music. She shares her love of music with children and adults alike, writing books that teach life lessons with musical components and sharing seminars through the Pathfinder Ministry on creativity. She has released two steel pan instrumental albums; one with her sisters and in October 2016, another with her husband titled, “All Nature Sings”. For the last 6 years, Colette has directed the annual Power Up Youth choir and enjoys every minute of it. With her Masters of Science in Education she is able to mix what she loves with the tools she has obtained to bring others closer to God.
When she is not singing with the Toronto Mass Choir, playing the steel pan with Sisters of Steel, or writing, she continues to work on other creative ventures and ministers alongside her husband, Pascal, in various capacities.
Worship leader, songwriter, choir conductor, producer, author and guitarist, Brad Klump, received his Masters in Music Education at Indiana University and has undertaken Ph.D. work in ethnomusicology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and York University. As a guitarist, he has performed with such jazz artists as Bob Mintzer, Steve Houghton, Orin Isaacs, and Sam Rivers among others. As a composer, Brad has scored music for film and commercials, produced dance remixes, and written songs for many artists including Speech of the Grammy-award winning group, Arrested Development. Brad was hired full-time at Humber College in 2004 to design, implement and oversee their innovative Bachelor of Music degree. He has since won numerous teaching awards including the College Innovation of the Year Award (League For Innovation in the Community College) in 2009.
Further, Brad was the first professor in Canada to offer a credited course in Bluegrassmusic and, for the past five years, has created and directed the acclaimed Humber College Gospel Choir. Recently profiled in MacLean’s Magazine’s 2017 College Guide, this choir is one of only two such courses in all of Canada dedicated to the study and performance of gospel music at the post-secondary level. Brad also draws from over twenty years as a musician and worship leader in Canada, the U.S.A. and West Africa.
American-born and Canadian raised, Josette Leader, has been ministering on the steelpan for the past 14 years. She started out in a group called The Leader Sisters/ Sisters of Steel with her sisters, Colette and Zinette. Together, the trio has performed across Canada, the United States and the Caribbean. Over time, Josette has grown to love a variety of musical genres including Classical, Jazz, Afrobeat, Pop and her ultimate favourite, Gospel. While a student at York University, Josette was able to explore these genres as a member of the York Tones Steelband and credits these experiences as playing a pivotal role in the development of her personal style of steelpan performance.
Aside from her time on stage, Josette is pursuing a career as a registered social worker as it combines her passion for helping others and being a change agent for a better tomorrow. In mid 2016, she, along with a partner, founded a community program “Get it Together” which uses creative art as a vehicle to equip youth with life skills, facilitate empowerment through self-expression and to be engaged in their communities.
Stephen Lewis has been in the music industry for over 25 years as a musician, songwriter, producer, arranger, clinician and mentor. Having work with various artists, and churches, Stephen is also known for being an executive producer and judge on Canada’s Gospel Dynamic Duets in 2007 and more recently in 2013, as President of Legacy Music House Inc.
Stephen Lewis has a heart for the creatives of Canada and believes God wants to use them greatly. In the last year Stephen has been blessed with the incredible opportunity to be apart of Canada Christian College located in Whitby Ontario. There you will find him leading, teaching and guiding students in the music program as Dean of Sacred Music.
Natalie is a music consultant, clinician, arranger, director, educator, and pianist. She comes from a musical family filled with musicians, worship leaders, psalmists and music producers. After graduating from the Honours Music Programme at McMaster University, she went on to complete her Masters degree in Ethnomusicology at York University with a research focus in gospel music. Natalie believes in using her experience, skills and musical knowledge to invest in others and help them reach their musical potential.
She has been teaching privately and corporately for over 15 years and has taught courses in worship, ear training and musicianship at the post-secondary level. Currently, Natalie keeps busy as the vocal director at Agincourt Pentecostal Church in Toronto. . She is also a music professor in the Music Industry Arts Performance program at Centennial College, and runs her own business offering a litany of musical services including arranging/composing, BGVs, music workshops, consultations and music lessons.