Brenda Muller, Artistic Director/cellist
Ardeleana’s founder and Artistic Director foBPORTRAIT115br 25 years, Brenda is known as an outstanding and innovative cellist, poet, song-writer and inter-disciplinary performer. From her roots as a classical cellist who graduated from the University of Western Ontario with an honours degree in music performance, Brenda has gone on to create conceptual art events from the linkages between art music, popular music, theatre, poetry, dance and visual art. Her excellence as a cellist and her original artistic voice as a poet and songwriter have been acclaimed both nationally and internationally.
Brenda has produced six recordings which feature the art music of Canadian composers, including Spinners of Starlight, the first CD to feature only music by Canadian Women, and a CD of original cabaret songs, Wolf At My Door.   She has toured as a chamber musician throughout Canada and the United States, and been broadcast on the CBC and other radio stations.  Brenda has premiered over 100 works of new music and performs frequently as a soloist and as a collaborator with visual artists, dancers, actors and poets.  She has won many awards for her artistic excellence, and an a Applause Award for her work for and with children and teens from the York Region District School Board, where she formerly worked as a part time music teacher.  She is currently the Ontario representative for the Association of Canadian Women Composers as well as the Artistic Director of the York Youth Orchestra, the Blue Bridge Festival, and the Ardeleana Chamber Music Society. She is now a proud resident of McDougall Township where she owns Whispering River Music Studios.
Brenda wrote, composed, and conceived of Jonathon’s Storm for the Ardeleana Chamber Music Society’s Blue Bridge Festival, a festival of Poetry, Music and Song that bridges chamber music, professional musicians, composers, writers and community throughout York Region. The work was first premiered in McKellar near Parry Sound at the Straw House Gallery, where she is frequent performer, and has been performed for children of all ages at galleries and out of doors in Newmarket, Unionville, Orillia and Parry Sound.
Amy Dodington, Soprano

A native of Muskoka, Ontario, Amy Dodington (Hon. B.Sc.; B.Mus.) has received awards from the Canadian Music Competition and the Alliance for Canadian New Music Projects. Her voice has been described as sounding “like crystal clear water,” and possesses exceptional sincerity and warmth. Her moving performances in Bach, Handel and Mozart Oratorios and her eclectic solo recitals have earned her a loyal, enthusiastic following throughout Ontario and beyond.Amy Doddington

Some highlights of Amy’s career include sharing the stage with Placido Domingo at the Black Creek Festival and performing under Maestro Helmuth Rilling in the home church of J.S. Bach in Leipzig, Germany. Amy’s operatic appearances include Cavalli, Gilbert and Sullivan and Offenbach. She has been giving her signature “Nostalgia” recitals for over ten years at various locations and festivals including the Huntsville Festival of the Arts and Barrie’s Colours of Music Festival. Recent solo engagements include Buxtehude with the Kitchener-Waterloo Grand Philharmonic Chamber Singers, Mendelssohn with the Blue Bridge Festival, and Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem with the Cellar Singers in Orillia. Amy is a new member of the Elmer Iseler Singers, one of Canada’s leading professional chamber choirs.

Andrea Cerswell, Soprano

Praised for her “bright, pretty voice with surprising power” (Opera Canada), Canadian soprano Andrea Cerswell is gaining attention and acclaim for her exciting presence on opera and concert stages.Andrea Cerswell

As Antonia in LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN, Andrea waslauded as “one of the vocal glories of the opera…her voice is strong…superbly supported by her acting talent” (Halifax Chronicle Herald). Andrea recently interpreted the role of one Mozart’s most charming characters, Despina, in COSI FAN TUTTE, as part of L’Accademia Europea dell’Opera in Italy, and was invited as a guest artist to sing the role of Lucia in THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA with the Opera Studio Nederland. Other opera and concert highlights include Pamina and First Lady in DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE, First Wood Sprite in RUSALKA, Elisetta in IL MATRIMONIO SEGRETO, Servilia in LA CLEMENZA DI TITO, Concepçion in L’HEURE ÉSPAGNOLE, Weber’s MASS IN E FLAT, Haydn’s MASS IN A TIME OF WAR, Handel’s MESSIAH, and Orff’s CARMINA BURANA.Cerswell has made appearances with the Canadian Opera Company, Opera Studio Nederland, Opera Kitchener, Brampton Symphony Orchestra, and The Bayfield Festival of Song.

Ms. Cerswell has trained as a young artist at L’Accademia Europea dell’Opera, Opera NUOVA, Halifax Summer Opera Workshop, The Banff Centre, Toronto’s Summer Opera Lyric Theatre, Queen of Pudding’s Music Theatre, Opera on the Avalon, and Canadian Operatic Arts Academy.

Nicholas Gough, Tenor

Tenor Nick Gough is happy to be back performing in “Jonathon’s Storm”Nick Gough

His recent credits include Froh/Mime in Das Rheingold, Elder Gleaton in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah with Opera by Request. Other opera credits include Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, Laertes in Hamlet and Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi. For the past few years Nick has been with the Elora Festival singers and is one of the professionals in the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.

Catherine Maguire, Piano

An accomplished and versatile performer who has worked as a pianist, singer, conductor and actor, Catherine is best known as a pianist and has performed extensively in Canada, England and Germany. She has been the pianist for Ardeleana for 10 years, premiered many works of new music, and has recorded many CD’s including Wolf at My Door, on which she is both vocalist and pianist.Catherine Maguire

A graduate of the Music Bachelor program of the University of Western Ontario and the prestigious Guildhall School in London, England, she also holds the title of “repetiteur”, granted to her by the University of Toronto Opera School where she was awarded the Josephine Harper Memorial Scholarship and the Ruth and Felix Leberg Scholarship. She is much sought-after in this capacity, having accompanied some of Canada’s premier opera singers including Lilac Cana, Nancy DeLong and Robert Owen, and performed with them in many prestigious locations, including most recently the Ford Centre for the Performing Arts. She also accompanied and performed with the Brampton Lyric Opera Society for two operas, and accompanied and coached opera singers in a variety of operatic roles.

Rod Fogarty, PercussionRod Fogarty

As a drummer-percussionist with over forty years of professional experience, Rod has toured and recorded with some of popular music’s most memorable and enduring artists. At the age of seventeen, Rod became house drummer on Dick Clark’s “Caravan of Stars” tours. He held that position for three years, serving as musical director in his final season. His performance experience runs the gamut from R&B legends such as, Sam & Dave, Jackie Wilson, and Jr. Walker & The All-Stars to classical masters, including Leonard Bernstein, Beverly Sills, and Roberta Peters. In addition to maintaining a busy teaching schedule in Toronto, he regularly performs both live and in the recording studio. Rod is also a published music journalist and a contributing writer for Modern Drummer and Downbeat magazines.

Wesley Bells, Violin

Twenty-three-year-old Wesley Bells of Aurora, currently playing his great grandfather’s violin, studied firstly under the direction of Louise Martin for 13 years, and for the last 12 years with Corey Gemmell. He is preparing for his fourth year in the Bachelor of Music Violin Performance Program at the University of Toronto, studying under Annalee Patipatanakoon, while continuing to teach privately at The Bells Violin Studio.

Wesley, often as concertmaster, performed 7 years with the Huronia Strings Ensemble, Barrie, conducted by Louise Martin, and 7 years with the Mooredale Youth Orchestras, Toronto, conducted by Clair Carberry, Kristine Bogyo, Anton Kuerti and Bill Rowson. He also performed as assistant concertmaster with the York Chamber Ensemble, Aurora, conducted by Tony Browning, and as first violin from 2009 to 2011 with the York Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Gregory Burton. Wesley is currently a member of the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Briskin.

Studying RCM theory under Megan Newcombe, Wesley received Honours with Distinction, with a mark of 99 percent for Rudiments, First Class Honours in Introductory Harmony and Honours in Grade 3 Music History and both Grades 3 and 4 Harmony, while at the same time studying to a grade 8 Piano level under Anne Goodwin. Wesley received five violin scholarship awards from the New Tecumseth Spring Festival of the Arts. Competing in Barrie Kiwanis Music Festivals, he was awarded 52 first place awards, 7 scholarships at the Spirit of Music Showcase, and 8 Outstanding Strings Performance Awards. He competed in the 2007 prestigious Rose Bowl in Barrie, and the OMFA Provincial Finals, twice in London, Toronto, Peterborough, and at the diploma level in Waterloo. In November 2008 Wesley was awarded The Royal Conservatory of Music Silver Award for the highest Grade 9 Violin examination mark in Ontario and in both 2009 and 2010 received First Class Honours for Grade 10 and Performer’s ARCT Violin exams.