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2022 Adjudicators

Gary Ewer- Choral / School Choirs


Gary Ewer is a composer, arranger, conductor and clinician. A native of Halifax, he received his B. Mus degree in music composition from Dalhousie University. He subsequently studied composition at McGill University with composers Alcides Lanza and John Rea. He has an extensive background in choral conducting as the current director of Dalhousie University’s Collegium Cantorum, as well as former director of The Dalhousie Chorale and Chamber Choir. He has also most recently been a Senior Instructor of Music at Dalhousie, teaching aural skills, music theory, orchestration and choral techniques.

As a public school music teacher for many years, Mr. Ewer conducted concert bands, choirs, and the Halifax Schools Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Ewer’s choral and instrumental compositions and arrangements have been performed by The Elmer Isler Singers, Symphony Nova Scotia, Halifax Camerata Singers, and many other ensembles.

He has also authored “The Essential Secrets of Songwriting”, a set of ebooks for developing songwriters. He has been conducting concerts with Symphony Nova Scotia’s Community Outreach programs for the past several years, and continues to be active as a choral clinician and adjudicator.

Rebekah Maxner – Junior Piano


Rebekah Maxner is a well-respected Canadian composer whose piano solos are listed and published by the Royal Conservatory (RCM) and the London College of Music Examinations in London, England (LCM). Her duets are listed by the National Federation of Music Clubs in the United States (NFMC) and in December 2021, she was the feature composer on TopMusic.Co. Rebekah maintains an independent piano studio in Hantsport, Nova Scotia, where she lives with her husband and three growing children. She attended Acadia University ('95) where she studied piano with John Hansen, and completed her music degree with a major in composition under Owen Stephens. A member of the NSRMTA and Red Leaf Pianoworks, Rebekah is an active member of our Canadian music community as a clinician and adjudicator. In 2019 she launched her Piano at Play blog and has built a worldwide audience. She writes about piano pedagogy, piano studio business, keeping piano lessons fun and piano music. Membership is free and gives free exclusive content. Piano teachers are also invited to join her MaxMusic Piano eSheet Club and get newly-composed studio-licensed piano music at a big discount! You are invited to visit: https://rebekah.maxner.ca

Tara Scott - Senior Piano


Tara Scott is one of Atlantic Canada's most renowned collaborative pianists. Her love of teaching and performing has led her to pursue staff accompanist positions at Western, Dalhousie, Acadia, and Mount Allison Universities. She has performed extensively with singers, instrumentalists and choirs across Canada. Tara has been music director and pianist for twenty full-length operas with Maritime Concert Opera. She co-founded, with Nina Scott-Stoddart, Halifax Summer Opera Workshop, an opera training program with fully staged productions, now in its sixteenth season. She has worked as Music Director for Eastern Front Theatre, Essential Opera, Acadia's Singing Theatre and has performed with Opera Nova Scotia, Opera New Brunswick and Halifax Theatre for Young People. Tara maintains a busy private piano studio in Dartmouth NS and is on faculty at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts. She has adjudicated extensively for music festivals throughout the Maritimes and has worked as piano examiner for Mount Allison and the Maritime Conservatory. She is also the accompanist for Dalhousie's Collegium Cantorum, directed by Gary Ewer. Tara received a Bachelor of Music Degree in piano performance from Mount Allison University, under the tutelage of Dr Janet Hammock. She studied with Dr John Hess at Western University, receiving a Master's degree of literature and performance in collaborative piano. Originally from Grand Bay-Westfield NB, Tara now resides in Dartmouth with her husband and three children. She is delighted to be back in Truro adjudicating this year!

Erin Bardua - Voice


Soprano Erin Bardua is a frequent soloist, voice teacher, and stage director. She is also a co-founder of Essential Opera, a concert opera company performing and creating in Ontario and Atlantic Canada.

Like many performers, Ms. Bardua's most recent work has been on film and online, including a programme of contemporary and original music for unaccompanied voice and voice with flute titled Afterwards-Day for Sappyfest: Infinite Variety. In 2020, her company Essential Opera produced two operatic films: Mirror, mirror, by Anna Pidgorna; and December, by Monica Pearce. The company is now developing a new work with Nova Scotia composer Fiona Ryan.

Erin has performed with Orchestra Toronto, the Talisker Players, Nota Bene Baroque, Pax Christi Chorale, Toronto Sinfonietta, Oshawa-Durham Chorus, Arcady Baroque Ensemble, St. James Cathedral Choir, Capella Intima, London Pro Musica, the Menno Singers, Pacific Opera Victoria, Vancouver Opera, and Opera Anonymous, among others. Her concert repertoire includes many oratorios by Handel (including Messiah, of course), and others such as Haydn’s Creation, Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s Magnificat and Passions, Vivaldi’s Gloria. Erin's operatic roles have included Alcina (Handel), and numerous Mozart such as Pamina (The Magic Flute), Countess (The Marriage of Figaro) and Donna Anna (Don Giovanni). She has also premiered leading roles in several new operas.

Erin has provided dramatic coaching and stage direction for the Halifax Summer Opera Festival, where she directed Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea in 2018 and Handel's Alcina for the 2019 season. She also often works with Mount Allison University's Opera Workshop, and currently teaching lyric diction. She operates a private voice studio in Sackville, NB.

Andrew Alcorn - Band & Instrumental


Andrew Alcorn is a native of Antigonish NS. After completing a Diploma in Jazz Studies in 1982, he finished his BA Mus. at St. F.X. in 1983 and a Graduate Diploma in 2003. He spent some time in Toronto playing trumpet with of The Royal Canadian Artillery Band, the Silverthorne Brass band and did freelance work. After returning to Nova Scotia, Andrew started a teaching career that spanned 30 years in the New Glasgow area. He had the good fortune to work alongside his wife Janice (vocalist, choir director) for most of these years building a well-rounded and reputable program. He taught all levels of bands from elementary to high school, including concert bands, jazz bands and a variety of instrumental ensembles. His bands were often top award winners at local, provincial and national festivals. His three daughters are all enjoying a life in the music industry as well.

Alcorn was president of the Nova Scotia Band Association from 2001-05. Andrew was a director with Nova Scotia Honours Jazz and Acadia jazz camp staff for over 20 years. He has done workshops with the Nova Scotia Youth Wind Ensemble and Junior Wind Ensemble on many occasions and has been a presenter at the Nova Scotia Music Educators Conference several times. When he is not teaching, Andrew can be found performing or recording with any one of many top Nova Scotian ensembles including the Stadacona Band, The Back Alley Big Band, Latin Groove, Nova Brass and many others. He is the recipient of the “Excellence in Teaching” award, the NSMEA “Lifetime Achievement” award and the Nova Scotia Band Association’s “Master Teacher” award.

Andrew retired from teaching in 2016 and is enjoying performing, recording, adjudicating, cycling, kayaking, carpentry, and quality time with his family.

Katie Cochrane – Musical Theatre & Jazz/Blues


Originally from the South Shore, Katie Cochrane recently returned home to Nova Scotia, after living in New York City completing her Master of Music Theatre in Vocal Performance with an Advanced Certificate in Vocal Pedagogy at New York University Steinhardt, while working professionally as a music educator and performer. She also holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Acadia University.

Katie has performed across the United States and Canada; recent credits include Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana (MCO), Featured soloist in Halifax Musical Concerts Cocktails and Candy Canes, performances at Carnegie Hall with Essential Voices USA and the New York Pops (A Frank and Ella Christmas and The Songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein), and Mother Superior in Sister Act the Musical at The Frederick Loewe Theatre. Past credits include: Featured ensemble in On the Town in New York City’s historic Provincetown Playhouse, Ado Annie in Oklahoma! (Opera NUOVA), Jenny in Company (MTOT), Pitti Sing in The Mikado (MCO), Ms. Nordstrom in A Little Night Music (HSOF), along with other performances at New World Stages, Skirball Center for the Performing Arts and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in NYC.

Equally as passionate about her love of teaching and vocal pedagogy, she is currently on the voice faculty at Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts in Halifax, in addition to managing her private voice studio with students across Canada and the United States and being a regular clinician and adjudicator.

Katie has had the pleasure of teaching as adjunct faculty at New York University, vocal coach at Broadway Artists Alliance in the heart of New York City, and voice staff at Belvoir Terrace in Lenox, Massachusetts. Katie recently received the Bravura Nova Scotia Elizabeth (Bee) Huxtable Professional Development Fellowship to pursue further Vocal Pedagogy Professional Workshop at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. She is co-program director along with Patrick Maubert of the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts Musical Theatre Summer Intensive program. Stay tuned for more information about the Summer 2022 intensive at www.maritimeconservatory.com.

Website: https://www.katiecochranenyc.com/ Instagram: @katie_cochrane_voice_studio