2017 Adjudicators:
Monica Punke - Choral / School Choirs

Monica George Punke was born, raised and educated in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. After a period of time living, studying and singing away from here, she and her husband returned to Pictou County and made their home here.  Monica is a graduate of the University of Kings College and Dalhousie University, Halifax, and the University of Melbourne, Australia. She has been involved with the choral arts since childhood, through church and cathedral choirs; school, university, community and city-wide choir programs; NSCF provincial choral camp and youth choir: as chorister; director; resident conductor; school music teacher, grades P to 12; lecturer; conference presenter; workshop leader and clinician.  These varied experiences, coupled with her private voice teaching, continue to provide her with a forum for exploring and celebrating her love of singing.

Monica directed the Pictou District Honour Choir program for twenty five years. During that time there were many sub-choirs including Chor Omega, Chor Vivace, Chor Alpha and Voicemale, the choir for the young men of PDHC. PDHC won many awards locally, provincially and nationally, performing in various places across this country from Corner Brook to Whistler, BC. Internationally, they were invited to sing at Carnegie Hall, New York City, under the baton of Canadian conductor, Jean Ashworth Bartle. At home, they inaugurated and hosted a choir festival for young singers in SATB choirs known as JUVENATA! – now a youth choir program of the NSCF.

More recently, the Pictou District Honour Choir ended its mandate and morphed into a much smaller and select studio choir known as Seinneadair, Gaelic for Songsters. They have been heard in Truro at the Choirs for Comfort concerts.

Monica is also in her fifteenth season of directing the Trinitarians, an adult choir, for the "mature and young of heart", based at Trinity United Church, New Glasgow.

In addition, Monica runs Voicetime Music Studio for young people who want to learn to sing and study the voice.

Terri-Lynn McNichol– Junior Piano

Terri-Lynn McNichol is a graduate of the music department at Dalhousie University in both piano & vocal performance and has been actively teaching all levels of piano, voice and theory for over 25 years. Currently residing in Saint John, N.B., she is also an organist and choir director, is the music director, voice coach and orchestra conductor for the Saint John Theatre Company’s main stage musical productions from 2013 to present, and is an active concert accompanist and performer across New Brunswick. Terri-Lynn is an active adjudicator for all levels of Piano, Vocal, Choral, and Musical Theatre classes for music festivals across the Maritime provinces, and most recently started a new part-time career as a school bus driver.

Terri-Lynn has been named a “Teacher of Excellence” by the Royal Conservatory of music, with several students earning Silver and Gold medals from the RCM in piano and voice. Over the years, many of Terri-Lynn’s students have earned scholarships to study music at Universities and Musical Theatre/Performing Arts programs across Canada. A number of Terri-Lynn’s students have been prize winners at the Local Music Festival level, with several students earning recommendations to the Provincial, as well National Music Festival Competitions.

Terri-Lynn is secretary and webmaster for the New Brunswick Registered Music Teachers’ Association (NBRMTA), is Secretary for the Saint John Music Teachers Association, and is a proud member of the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators’ Association (CMFAA), the National Association of the Teachers of Singing (NATS), and the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers Association (CFMTA).

Richard Boulanger - Senior Piano

Upon completion of studies leading to three Prizes from the Montreal Conservatory of Music, under the tutelage of Yvonne Hubert, Richard Boulanger proceeded to further his musical training, first in Germany with pianist Karl Engel, then in Paris where he was to enjoy six years of advanced study under the tutelage of Nadia Boulanger.

His published doctoral thesis, Les innovations de Domenico Scarlatti dans la technique du clavier, from the Sorbonne (D. Musicology) is devoted to the work of Domenico Scarlatti.
Dr. Boulanger is currently active as a concert pianist and full professor of music history and piano at the Université de Moncton in the province of New Brunswick. Fluent in both official languages, he is frequently requested to adjudicate music festivals across Canada.

During his last sabbatical (2013-2014), he prepared a CD devoted to Richard Gibson’s solo piano works.

Sally Dibblee - Voice

Canadian soprano Sally Dibblee, critically acclaimed as “tour-de-force of vocal control and expressive flexibility”, has performed many of opera’s greatest lyric soprano roles with dramatic intensity and a charismatic stage presence throughout North America.

Most recently Ms. Dibblee had her theatre debut in the role of Florence Foster Jenkins in the play Souvenir with St Andrews Summer Theatre. On the opera stage she made her debut in the title role of the The Merry Widow with Edmonton Opera and with Calgary Opera she debuted the role of Anna Sorensen in the Canadian Premiere of Silent Night by Kevin Puts. In the fall she performed the role of Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus with Calgary Opera. On the concert stage she was soprano soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Symphony New Brunswick, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and with the Fredericton Symphony Orchestra.

Ms Dibblee is in demand as a voice teacher, Masterclass lecturer and adjudicator. She has been a faculty member at Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB and with Opera Nuova in Edmonton, AB.

Ms. Dibblee is featured on an ECMA 2007 nominated disc with the Saint John String Quartet and on Le Souvenir, Canadian Songs for Parlour and Stage with acclaimed baritone Russell Braun.

Richard Bennett - Band

Richard Bennett (B.Mus.Ed, M.Mus.) was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan (1960) and grew up as an “air force brat.” At the age of 12 he entered Middleton Regional High School where he quickly acquired a deep appreciation of music under M.W. Harvey.  He remembers early family life being filled with airplanes, art, music, plays, NHL & CFL, numerous house moves and “all things British.”   Middleton would have to wait 8 years while Richard finished his schooling in Summerside, P.E.I., graduating from Three Oaks High School in 1978 before attending Dalhousie University.

Mr. Bennett holds a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Dalhousie University (1982) and a Master of Music (School Music) Degree from the University of Calgary (1996).  He has served on numerous curriculum development teams at the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Annapolis Valley Regional School Board.  He is an active member of the Nova Scotia Band Association, a former member of the CMEA Board of Directors, and a Past President of the Nova Scotia Music Educators' Association.

He completed the Wind Band Conducting Programme at the University of Calgary in 1992 (including studies with Vondis Miller, Glenn Price, Jeremy Brown, Craig Kirchoff, Stanley DeRusha, John Paynter, David Whitwell, Timothy Reynish, and Frederick Fennell).  In addition to his school bands he has, at various times, conducted the West Nova Scotia Regiment Band, the Acadia University Concert Band and Wind Ensemble, the Acadia Summer Winds, the Nova Scotia Youth Wind Ensemble, the Nova Scotia Junior Youth Wind Ensemble, as well as the Prince Edward Island Senior and Intermediate Honour Bands.  During the summer he often instructs at band camps including the South Shore Music Camp and Acadia Band Camp.  Mr. Bennett has also adjudicated at music festivals in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Saskatchewan and is often invited to guest conduct and offer clinics throughout Atlantic Canada.

Mr. Bennett was Director of Bands at Middleton Regional High School, a position he held from 1982 – 2015 (33 years).  He taught instrumental music to students in grades 7 through 12 and directed the Beginner, Junior, and Senior Concert Bands as well as the Junior and Senior Jazz Bands.  Out of some 10,000 “non-contractual” hours of rehearsals came concerts, trips, clinics, guest appearances and many profound musical experiences with 1000 or so students of “MRHS.” Personal highlights include performing at Vimy Ridge (2001), the inspiration of Michael Colgrass’ remarkable graphic notation work (2009, 2012) and being witness to countless “lightbulb” moments.  He is most proud of many students expressing gratitude for “not just teaching us music but for teaching us about life.”

In his spare time he enjoys playing trumpet and flugelhorn with the “Annapolis Big Band.” He enjoys arranging for brass ensemble, concert band, wind ensembles, jazz ensembles, and orchestra (his “MacGillivray’s Cape Breton” was performed by Symphony Nova Scotia several years ago). He’s been known to really let his hair down as composer/arranger, keyboardist and “horn player” with his “Wednesday Nite Guys” free improvisation sessions or the “Tidal Funk Orchestra.” If there is pen and paper nearby he might dash off a quick cartoon and he has even dabbled in dinner theatre.  If you can’t find him he’s in the woods with his camera.

Mr. Bennett and his wife of 30 years, Phyllis, have three sons.  All five Bennetts lead busy lives but find time for musical activities such as bands, choirs, musicals and more.

Andrea Jeffrey – Musical Theatre & Jazz/Blues
Soprano, Andrea Jeffrey is a graduate of the University of Toronto where she completed her Master in Music (Vocal Performance) under renowned singer and pedagogue Mary Morrison, O.C. Since completing her degree she has been gaining experience across Canada in both opera,recital work, and as a teacher. Andrea has been a soloist with Opera Nova Scotia, and sang the title role in their production of Mozart's Bastienne and Bastien and most recently Laura in Verdi's Luisa Miller. While living in Toronto, she had the pleasure of singing with the Aradia Ensemble under the direction of Kevin Mallon and has since joined them on three Naxos recordings. Andrea has been teaching at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts in Halifax since 2006. Her singers have gone onto undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as professional theatre companies.
Phillip Black - Guitar
Philip R. Black was born in Montreal where he gave up taking piano lessons shortly after receiving a guitar for his 12th birthday. A devotee of folk music during his teens he later studied the classical guitar, receiving a B.Mus. in guitar performance from Dalhousie University in 1984. He taught elementary music in the Truro area for 29 years and, in semi-retirement, continues to practice and perform on his small guitar collection. He looks forward to traveling to Germany this summer to continue his studies at the Iserlohn International Guitar Symposium.