2019 Clinician Biographies
Senior & Intermediate Piano – Dr. Patricia Tao
Junior Piano – Dr. Leanne Regehr
Beginner Piano – Mari Alice Conrad
Voice – Elizabeth Raycroft
Strings – Clayton Leung
Winds – Allison Balcetis
Creative Music – Allan Gilliland
Pianist Patricia Tao leads an active life as performer, teacher and concert organizer. She toured throughout the U.S. and Europe as a founding member of the New York-based Guild Trio for ten years. As soloist, she toured for Columbia Artist’s Community Concert series and overseas as an Artistic Ambassador for the USIA. Ms. Tao’s live performances have been broadcast on National Public Radio’ s Performance Today, WNYC’ s Around New York, WQXR’ s The Listening Room, the public television series Premiere Performances out of St. Louis, and she is heard regularly on Chicago’s WFMT and Canada’s CBC. With the Guild Trio, she commissioned and premiered new works by William Bolcom, Sheila Silver, Harvey Sollberger and others, and has recorded on the CRI, Arktos, Centaur and Con Brio labels.
For the last ten years, Dr. Tao has performed in Canada and the U.S. with her piano trio, Trio Voce, which released two recording on the Con Brio Recordings label. In 2002, she established Hear’s to Your Health Concerts, a free chamber music series at the medical school at the University of Alberta, and she has been instrumental in initiating and directing the Edmonton Chamber Music Society’s Summer Solstice Festival and for planning music outreach into the local community for the last eleven years.
Ms. Tao has taught at the University of Virginia, Western Washington University, and is currently Professor of Music at the University of Alberta. In addition to adjudicating music festivals, she has given master classes in Europe, China, the U.S. and Canada.
Leanne Regehr is a versatile and sensitive pianist who is widely recognized for her intuitive ability to collaborate with other musicians across an extensive range of repertoire. She is the featured soloist in a live recording of Victor Davies’ Mennonite Piano Concerto with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and is currently based in Edmonton where she serves on the faculties of the University of Alberta and The King’s University.
Leanne’s reputation in opera has grown through engagements as a répétiteur with Shreveport Opera, Mercury Opera, and Edmonton Opera. Her dedication to the development of young singers has been shown through her work as a faculty member with Opera NUOVA and Cowtown Opera Summer Academy, as a staff pianist for Sherrill Milnes’ VoicExperience Program in Florida, and as a Coaching Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival. She has performed with many organizations including the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, Pro Coro Canada, Da Camera Singers, Luminous Voices, and the Academy Concert Series in Toronto.
Leanne completed her Doctor of Music in Piano Performance at Northwestern University and explored further studies at the Banff School of Fine Arts, the Universitat Mozarteum in Salzburg and the Aspen Music Festival. She has enjoyed playing the masterworks of the choral repertoire during her seventeen seasons as accompanist with the Richard Eaton Singers, and freelances as a soloist, vocal coach, recital partner, and adjudicator.
Mari Alice Conrad is passionate about Canadian contemporary music and music education. She completed a double Associate Diploma in Piano Performance and Accompanying (AVCM Performance/Accompanying) and Pedagogy (AVCM Pedagogy) from The Victoria Conservatory of Music, holds an ARCT Teacher’s Diploma, is a Registered Music Teacher, a member of the Kodaly Society of Canada with a Level 1 certificate, and is a certified Kelly Kirby Introductory Piano Program Instructor.
Mari Alice embraced a classical piano foundation in her youth, competing and winning awards and scholarships in local and international festivals. She has participated in orchestras, bands, and choirs and has played several instruments, including many brass, string, woodwind, keyboard and percussion instruments honing competition skills specifically on the classical guitar, cello, marimba, and voice. This breadth of musical skill has proffered occasions for her to conduct large ensembles and develop music programs in her community; currently co-directing a summer instrument camp in Strathcona County. She manages a vibrant music studio near Sherwood Park, Alberta and is committed to facilitating, engaging and enriching musical opportunities for her students. Her students have earned scholarships and awards in local festivals and competitions for piano performance, especially in Canadian Contemporary Music categories. Through her composition program, her students have also received awards locally, provincially and nationally for their original compositions. With support from her family and students, Mari Alice is currently finishing her BMus in composition, and her love for music inspires her students, students’ families, audiences and especially her houseful of bright boys!
Elizabeth Raycroft, soprano, trained in Edmonton, Houston and in Vienna. She has performed with Edmonton Opera and many local symphony orchestras. She has worked with world renowned conductors and directors. For three years, she performed the role of Mother with “edmonton coOPERAtive’ during their Christmas performances of Amahl and the Night Visitors. In 2014, Ms. Raycroft performed in the Edmonton Fringe megahit “Propylene Glycol, Maltodextrin, Retinol Palmitate and Other Words I don’t Understand Like Love”, which also toured throughout Alberta in June and July 2015. She is an avid performer of new music and recently performed the World Premiere of “Four Songs, Op.15” by Joseph Lai. Recently, Ms. Raycroft performed the role of Signora Nacarelli in the Walterdale Theatre’s production of “The Light in the Piazza”. She regularily shares her experience and knowledge in masterclasses, workshops and through adjudicating festivals throughout the province. Her students consistently excel at local, provincial and national festivals. Many of her students have performed with the Edmonton Youth Orchestra, have performed in local, provincial and national musical theatre productions, with the Edmonton Opera, and in international opera houses. She maintains an active and full studio at MacEwan’s Alberta College Conservatory of Music and is also on the faculty of The King’s University College where she teaches voice, diction and vocal pedagogy.
Canadian violist and violinst Clayton Leung began violin lessons at the age of three at the Langley Community Music School. He continued his studies at the University of Victoria, and then pursued the viola at the University of Minnesota and the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Clayton was Principal Violist with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, Ashland Symphony, and the National Repertory Orchestra. He has also performed with the Victoria, Vancouver Island, and National Arts Centre Orchestras. As an avid chamber musician, he has performed in the Music at Memorial and the Atlantic String Quartet Recital series, and at the National Arts Centre and Toronto Summer Music Festival. He has also been in residence at the Perlman Music Program, and the Orford and Banff Arts Centres.
After joining the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in 2013, Clayton has immersed himself in the local arts scene; making appearances at the Edmonton International Jazz Festival, Edmonton Recital Society, Early Music Alberta, concertized with Kent Sangster’s Obsessions Octet and co-founded the Canadian string ensembles, Trio de Moda and YEG4 (string quartet). He made his Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and Alberta Baroque Ensemble solo debuts in February and March of 2016 respectively.
Aside from playing violin and viola, Clayton is fond of playing the piano and ukulele, and in his free time he may be spotted around Edmonton sipping on lattes and lifting heavy weights in the gym.
Internationally recognized as an ambitious contemporary saxophonist, Allison Balcetis has studied and collaborated with artists from around the world. Her international performance career includes concerts throughout North America, Europe, Brazil, Thailand, and Taiwan. Recent projects include partnering with André Mestre to create Curto-Circuito, a yearly workshop for young Brazilian composers, which has seen the creation of over 30 new pieces for saxophone and piano since 2014. Other creative partnerships include Colin Labadie, Ian Crutchley, Nicolás Arnáez, Thierry Alla, Rodrigo Bussad, and André Ribeiro. Her work as a soloist and chamber musician has produced over 70 world premieres.
As a faculty member of the University of Alberta since 2009, Allison trains the next generation of thoughtful, artistic musicians, teaching saxophone, chamber music, woodwind techniques, and aural skills. Outside of the university, Allison helps develop the contemporary arts community as President of New Music Edmonton, Alberta’s premiere new music concert presenter. From 2015-2018 she was co-curator of SubArctic Improv and Experimental Arts, a monthly concert series pairing dancers, musicians, text, and visual artists in a totally improvised context that saw over 200 artists grace its stage.
Allison’s recent chamber activities include the Edmonton Saxophone Quartet, improvisation ensemble damn magpies, UltraViolet ensemble, and work with Edmontonian musicians and dance companies such as the Jen Mesch Dance Conspiracy and Mile Zero Dance.
In 2007 Allison co-founded Anubis Quartet, a Chicago-based ensemble with more than 30 commissions and premieres of provocative new music, performing with them until 2014. During her undergraduate degree, Allison won first place in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in 2005.
While earning her Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Alberta under the direction of Dr. William Street, Allison produced her first solo recording, Zeniths and Nadirs. She also holds degrees from Bowling Green State University where she studied with Dr. John Sampen, and is the first – and only – saxophonist to earn a joint degree from the Université de Bordeaux and the Conservatoire National de Région de Bordeaux where she studied with Marie-Bernadette Charrier.
One of Canada’s busiest composers, Allan Gilliland has written music for orchestra, choir, big band, film, television and theatre. His music has been performed by some of the finest ensembles and soloists in the world and appears on over 30 CD’s. For five years (1999 ‐ 2004) he was Composer-in-Residence with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, writing 11 works for the ESO. He has written concerti for violin, trumpet, harp, cello, flute, oboe, accordion and clarinet. He has also been Composer-in-Residence at the Festival of the Sound in Parry Sound, the Colours of Music Festival in Barrie, Ontario and the Strata New Music Festival in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. All his music can be found at www.allangilliland.com Allan is currently the Dean of Fine Arts and Communications at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta Canada where he was head of composition from 2004–2016 and chair of music from 2012–2016.