Born in Nova Scotia, Baritone Michael Downie completed his musical training at Acadia University, the Banff Center for the Arts, the Royal Conservatory of Music and the University of Toronto’s Opera Division. No stranger to the stage, he has performed extensively in both opera and oratorio.
Some oratorio credits include Messiah, Israel in Egypt, The Creation, Dettingen Te Deum, Rejoice in the Lamb, The Celestial Country, Fantasia on Christmas Carols, Requiems by Brahms, Durulfe, Faure and Mozart, as well as J.S. Bach’s Magnificat and many of his cantatas. Mr. Downie has also performed large scale masses by Bach, Beethoven, Bruckner, Haydn, Mozart and Rutter.
Bryan Estabrooks, originally from Ottawa is a Toronto area Baritone. While in Ottawa he studied with Laurence Ewashko. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto and received his Master of Music from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Performances include those with the Toronto Operetta Theatre and Opera in Concert as Maximilian in Candide and the Marquis in Dialogues des Carmélites, Major Murgatroyd in Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience and the role of Escamillo in Carmen with Opera by Request. He recently performed the role of Pilatus in the Bach Consort's performance of the St. John Passion under the direction of Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Bryan is also a member of the exciting new vocal group I Quattro.
Drum Set/Steel Pan, Diploma, Jazz Performance, Percussion (Humber College) B. Music Honours/ B. Education (University of Toronto/OISE)
Joe Cullen is the Head of Arts at West Humber Collegiate, where he teaches steel drum, Motown bands, guitar and Drumline courses. His Drumline program at West Humber CI has performed at the Rogers Centre for seven years running, and the steel band program at WHCI is the largest steel pan credit course in Canada.
Joe has over 25 years experience with the National Band of the Naval Reserves as Drum Section Head, drum and steel drum soloist, and he was also conductor for this ensemble. He also played drums for the show band on two Caribbean Cruise Ships and has played for numerous musicals. He has taught African drumming, jazz history, drum set, steel pan and drum line for many summer camps including the Yamaha Power Music Camp at the University of Toronto, CAMMAC music camp, St. Andrew’s College, and regularly teaches drumline for the Iqaluit Music camp in Nunavut each summer.
Joe has been the steel pan ensemble instructor at the University of Toronto since the course began in 2006. He has recorded drum set and steel pan parts for many CDs, played live at Toronto’s largest venues including Roy Thompson Hall, Maple Leaf Gardens, Hamilton Place, BC Place, and the Rogers Centre. He is also a very busy clinician, adjudicator, steel band arranger and leads a steel pan combo for all types of functions. Joe has been honoured to play for the PCS for several years, including their anniversary concert at the Rose Theatre in 2011. Joe is very pleased to be backing up the Peel Choral Society once again.
Drum Set/Steel Pan
One of the most versatile flautists in Ontario, Stephen Tam is equally comfortable as soloist, chamber musician or orchestral player, performing repertoire ranging from the baroque to the contemporary.
Stephen is the First-Prize Winner of the 32nd CBC/Radio-Canada National Competition for Young Performers. His past concerto engagements include appearances with the Calgary Philharmonic, the Banff Festival Orchestra and the Canadian Sinfonietta. His performances have been broadcast on multiple occasions nationwide on CBC Radio.
As chamber musician, Stephen has performed at The White House, the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival and the Hong Kong Government House. He is a founding member of the woodwind quintet, the Sinfonietta Winds. Highly regarded as interpreter of contemporary music, Stephen is a frequent guest of Contact Contemporary Music, New Music Concerts, Toca Loca, the Toronto New Music Projects and 5-Penny New Music Concerts (Sudbury).
Stephen is currently the principal flute of the Canadian Sinfonietta, and regularly serves as principal flute with many orchestras and choral groups around Ontario. In the past, he has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and the Ontario Philharmonic.
A dedicated and highly-respected teacher, Stephen is the newest flute faculty member at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music. Concurrently, he teaches flute at the Don Wright Faculty of Music, University of Western Ontario.
Stephen received his Master of Music in Orchestral Performance degree and the Professional Studies Certificate from the Manhattan School of Music, where he was a student of Jeanne Baxtresser and Michael Parloff. He also studied with Douglas Stewart at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, where he obtained his Bachelor of Music in Performance with Honours.