Marie Anderson has devoted her life’s work to the study and teaching of voice to singers of all ages in various forums, and co-founded SONG in 2013. She began her music studies at the University of Western Ontario, receiving an Honours Bachelor of Music Education (1976) and a Bachelor of Education (1977). As a life-long learner, she continued vocal studies throughout her career with voice teachers at McGill University, The Royal Conservatory of Music, the University of Western Ontario. She has also studied advanced courses in vocal pedagogy and choral technique at Princeton University and the Voicecare Network, St. John’s University, Minnesota.
In 2009, she completed a Masters of Education from Queens University, Kingston Ontario with a focus on vocal pedagogy. Before moving to Kingston in 2007, Marie lived in Cobourg, Ontario, where she and her colleague Deirdre Morrell founded and directed the award-winning youth choirs, La Jeunesse. Her choirs toured Europe five times, receiving gold medals in four international competitions between 1993 and 2007. Besides touring internationally and recording five CDs, La Jeunesse produced several musicals, including The Secret Garden, Anne Of Green Gables, Godspell, and Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Marie brought Murray Schafer’s work to Northumberland County once more in 2016 with the production of The Spirit Garden produced with SONG and an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant for artist participation. Marie has also acted as vocal director and music director for many regional theater productions produced by the Northumberland Players, including Evita, Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Full Monty, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. In 2002, Marie was musical director of Jesus Christ Superstar, a production that won many Eastern Ontario Regional Theater awards: her award was for musical direction, and the entire show was remounted in Sarnia as one of the best regional productions of the year in Ontario.
Since returning to Northumberland County in 2013, she has done musical direction for Northumberland Players productions of Les Miserables (2015), The Secret Garden (2016), Forever Plaid (2016), and Sister Act (2017). While in Kingston, Marie was assistant conductor of Cantabile Choirs under the artistic direction of Dr. Mark Sirett. She conducted the two youngest choirs and the Womens’ Choir during Dr. Sirett’s sabbatical. Marie developed and facilitated a popular group vocal technique program for Queens Conservatory, and has re-established it here in Northumberland County with co-facilitator Shannon Linton, with whom she also produces pop-up choir opportunities for the community. She has a thriving vocal studio in Northumberland County and in Kingston. Marie taught vocal technique in the St. Lawrence Music Theatre Department for three years, working with students to learn roles, audition, and complete weekly master class assignments.
Additionally, she developed a unique youth arts program at Sydenham Street United Church that brought church and community members together in two music dramas, most notably a commission by R. Murray Schafer for the composition and artistic direction of a community-inspired music drama called JoB: A Cosmic Tapestry, which premiered in May, 2011.
She moved back to Northumberland County in 2013 to help found and provide artistic direction for SONG, an El Sistema-based music program for social transformation in Northumberland County. Since its inception in October 2013, it has served over 200 students in the community, with instruction in choir and strings several times a week. Marie has received several awards for the work she has done in developing voices and creating musical/theatrical opportunities for individuals and community groups. She has been recognized nationally with the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for outstanding community contributions, she was named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International, and was awarded the first Arts award for community service for Northumberland County in 2002. She continues to facilitate workshops and music camps across Canada. Marie also has two wonderful adult children who are fine members of their community in Ottawa.
Shannon Linton is a singer, choir director and music educator. She is the co-founder of SONG, a member of the Safe Harbour Chamber Choir, and also teaches private voice lessons and group lessons. Shannon has performed extensively in opera and oratorio, including solos with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the University of Ottawa Orchestra and Choirs, the Canadian Centennial Choir, and the Cantiamo Girls Choir.
These days Shannon also makes up half of the acoustic pop duo Northern Hearts, is the mom of a 9 year old boy and 7 year old girl, and lives on her family farm north of Cobourg.
Deborah Henderson holds degrees in Fine Arts and Education from Queen’s University. She lives in Port Hope where she has maintained a violin studio since 1997. Prior to that time, she spent 10 years teaching at Bowmanville High School.
Deborah has performed as assistant concertmaster of the Northumberland Orchestra and Quinte Symphony. She also does pit orchestra work for musical theatre, however, her preferred genre is chamber music. Her most treasured musical experience has been performing music written by her mother, Ruth Watson Henderson, who is internationally recognized as a pianist and composer of choral music. Deborah believes that the arts have the power to enrich the lives of all people, and that as an educator, it is her role to help people discover that power.