Saskatoon Music Festival

Encouraging & Supporting Young Musicians since 1930

2024 Adjudicators

Diana Wiens - Piano III

Diana Wiens was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Music studies, which began at the age of seven, included piano instruction with Dr. Lyell Gustin of Saskatoon. Upon completing her Associate Degree in Piano Performance with the Royal Conservatory of Music, and graduating from the University of Saskatchewan, she taught elementary and junior high for three years before pursuing further music studies in Europe. During her five years in Germany, she studied, performed widely, and for the last two years instructed piano at the Nordwestdeutsche Musik -Akademie and at the University of Bielefeld. In 1974, she returned to Canada to accept a position on Music Faculty at the University of Guelph, Ontario. Here, she and her husband initiated the first applied music courses in piano and voice, both of which continue to be offered today. Since 1975 they have lived in Edmonton.

From 1988 – 2009, Diana Wiens was Adjunct Professor in the Music Department at Taylor University College in Edmonton; for 8 of those years she co-chaired the Department. She is in demand as an adjudicator and workshop clinician across Canada; festivals include the Kiwanis Music Festival of Greater Toronto, Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival, and Provincial Music Festival final competitions in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Currently, Diana Wiens is artistic director and conductor of the Te Deum Singers, a community choir in Edmonton, Alberta. She was invited to conduct this choir in a performance of Mozart’s “Vesperae Solennes de Confessore” at Carnegie Hall, New York in April of 2020; unfortunately, Covid-19 cancelled those plans. 

Gene Aulinger - Elementary Bands

Gene and his wife Diane have lived in North Battleford since 1988. Gene currently works with the North Battleford City Kinsmen Band, administers an after school string program, and maintains a private studio of students. Until his retirement in 2004, Gene was the Music Consultant for the school division. After retiring from classroom work, he accepted a position as the Arts Consultant with the Living Sky School Division. Previous to his time in the Battlefords', he was a full time Band Director with the Kindersley School Division for fourteen years.

Gene has adjudicated festivals and led workshops in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Wisconsin and Louisiana. During these events, his goal has been to create an appreciation of music and performing. He has performed several recitals on clarinet of nineteenth and twentieth century literature, and has recently been a guest performer with the Gallery Singers, the Kinsmen Senior Band, Battlefords Sax Quartet, and Battlefords Clarinet Quartet.

Jennifer Tenford - Elementary Bands

Jennifer Tenford is in her twelfth season as Assistant Principal Bassoon and Contrabassoon with the Regina Symphony Orchestra. She holds undergraduate degrees from the University of Regina and the University of British Columbia, as well as a Master of Music degree in woodwind performance and conducting from the University of North Texas. Born and raised in Regina, she began playing the flute with the Regina Lions Junior Band. Attending Campbell Collegiate, Jennifer subsequently took up the saxophone to play in the jazz band, later studying classical saxophone with Karen Finnsson at the U of R. She joined the South Saskatchewan Youth Orchestra, first with her flute, then after beginning bassoon studies with Alan Denike, became principal bassoon. 

In addition to her orchestral work, she enjoys performing a variety of musical genres including saxophone quartet, big band, woodwind quintet and most of all, musicals. She has put her doubling skills to excellent use playing in the pit orchestra for over 60 musical productions so far. In addition to performing, Jennifer teaches applied saxophone and woodwind techniques at the University of Regina. She recently retired from a rewarding career teaching public school bands in Quesnel, BC and Moose Jaw, SK.

Jennifer now lives in Regina with her husband Jim and spoiled cats Charlotte and Harvey. Together they enjoy adventure travelling - some of the highlights being kayaking in the Galapagos Islands, leatherback sea turtle conservation in Trinidad, hiking the Juan de Fuca marine trail on Vancouver Island, a camping safari in Tanzania, and cycling on their tandem bicycle through Europe. At home she enjoys quilting, knitting, gardening and dinners with her book club.  

Judith Oatway - Vocal II

Winnipeg Soprano, Judith Oatway, has a passion for singing displayed in her commitment to performance and vocal education. Her performances have been described as '...polished and dramatic…' (Opera Composer Blog).. Judith serves as a sessional instructor at the Canadian Mennonite University and University of Manitoba Desautels Faculty of Music teaching voice and vocal pedagogy. Judith co-founded the Summer Music Academy at the Community School of Music & the Arts at CMU, a summer program for young singers in Winnipeg. She has served on the boards of the Associated Manitoba Arts Festivals and the MB Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Judith holds a Master’s in Literature and Music Performance from the University of Western Ontario. Recent performance highlights include a Manitoba tour of the music of John Greer and La Ciesca (Gianni Schicchi). Past performances include Zwei Dame (Die ZauberflöteI), Magda Sorel (The Consul), Mother (Hansel & Gretel), Anne Maurrant (Street Scene) and Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni). She has performed with Manitoba Underground Opera, The Little Opera Company, Kitchener Opera, and the Halifax Summer Opera, among others. As a co-founder and Artistic Director of Flipside Opera & Art Song Collective, an independent vocal music organization, Judith believes the future of vocal arts is alive and well in Manitoba. 

Kim Mattice Wanat - Musical Theatre

Kim Mattice Wanat holds a Bachelor of Education Degree from the University of Alberta with a major in drama and an ARCT from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. She is a performer, teacher and director. For 10 years she performed as a freelance artist in touring productions across Canada; including Backstage Broadway, a touring production of “Broadway Musicals Through the Decades” and “WIND, WOMEN & SONG” a female quartet – 2 sop, 1 piano and French horn, which performed classical music. In 2000, this quartet released a CD entitled La Dolce Vita.

Ms. Mattice Wanat is well known as a voice teacher, adjudicator and pedagogue clinician conducting workshops for teachers and choral directors across Western Canada. In 2007 she published a book for teachers entitled “Unleashing the Expressive Resonant Voice.” For 4 years this text has been used in the vocal pedagogy class at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. For the past 26 years she has taught voice to the professional acting students in the drama department at the University of Alberta, and has acted as voice coach and musical director for several of the Bachelor of Fine Arts productions. In 2011 she served as the director of the Opera Workshop program at the University of Alberta in the music department.

Her commitment to sharing her expertise with singers, actors, teachers and choral directors has earned her extensive recognition including Global Television’s Woman of Vision Award, The City of Edmonton’s Salute to Excellence in the Arts Award, and the YWCA’s Woman of Distinction in Arts and Culture Award. Most recently, she was 1 of 100 Albertans chosen by the Alberta Centennial Celebrations committee who recognized her significant achievement and contribution as a voice teacher and artistic director.

Marcia McLean - School Music

Marcia is currently the artistic director of the Swift Current Oratorio Choir and an adult chamber choir, Prairie Spirit. Mrs. McLean also teaches private voice lessons, gives choral workshops and adjudicates. She adjudicates for the Saskatchewan Music Festivals and has adjudicated at the Moose jaw Band and Choir Festival, Brandon Jazz Festival and Brandon Music Festival. In January of 2014, members of the Oratorio Choir travelled to New York to perform Karl Jenkin’s “Stabat Mater” in Carnegie Hall with several choirs from around the world. In 2010, she retired after 18 years as Director of Choral Music at the Swift Current Comprehensive High School. There she conducted an 80-voice concert choir, a vocal jazz ensemble and the Comp. Chamber Singers. In 2010, the Chamber Singers were selected to perform at the Association of Canadian Choral Community’s convention held in Saskatoon and in 2007, performed at Festival 500 in Newfoundland. In addition, the choir presented Showcase Concerts at the Rocky Mountain Festival and won awards at Music Fest Canada and the Heritage Music Festival.

Marcia was the founding director of the Swift Current Children’s Choir and conducted the choir for 12 years. Marcia serves on the board of the Swift Current Music Festival and is a member of the Sask Choral Federation. She served as President of the Sask Choral Federation for four years and has just completed her term on the board. Mrs. McLean was guest conductor of the Sask Choral Federation choir camp in the summer of 2011 and on numerous occasions served as vocal coach at the SCF summer camps. In 2004, Mrs. McLean was awarded the “Pro Musica Award” by the Sask Choral Federation for outstanding service in the choral community. In 2001, she received the “Paul Harris Fellowship” from the Swift Current Rotary Club for outstanding leadership and community work with young people.

Prior to teaching in Swift Current, Marcia taught music and choir at Esterhazy High School for twelve years, conducting both vocal jazz and concert choir. Mrs. McLean received her Bachelor of Music at Brandon University.

Maria Medlow - Strings

Originally from Argentina, Maria grew up playing the violin and piano. Upon moving to Canada , she was accepted at the Senior Academy at Mount Royal Conservatory and studied with prominent teachers including Lise Elson, Cenek Vbra and John Lowry. Maria completed her ARCT certification in both violin and piano and moved to complete her music performance studies at the University of Calgary under the direction of Edmond Agopian.

Maria is currently an active member of the Calgary Musicians Association and is also the Registration Chair for the Cochrane Youth Talent Festival and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Alberta Music Education Foundation. She has performed and recorded solo and chamber concerts with members of the Calgary Opera, Calgary Cowtown Opera, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Red Deer Symphony, Metropolitan Opera of New York, Rocky Mountain Symphony Orchestra, Cirque De Soleil and played alongside Michael Buble for his 2014 Canada Tour. She was invited to record for the Canadian Country Music Awards and was featured in the CBC Television special for the CCMA awards.Maria runs a thriving private studio in Calgary. Her students have been finalists in the Canadian Music Competition, placed in provincials at the Kiwanis Music Festival, and won medals and scholarships for RCM exams. She has prepared her students for successful admission to classical string programs throughout North America. Maria continues her active role as a teacher, adjudicator and performer hosting and playing numerous concerts and fundraisers in support of different charities. Maria resides in Calgary with her husband and 6 year old son Lucas. 

Mark Ward - Brass, Woodwind, Percussion

Mark Ward retired from teaching high school band after 32 years having taught in BC and Alberta. Mark completed undergraduate degrees at Western University and the University of Lethbridge and a Master of Music at the University of Victoria. He has served on the board of directors of the British Columbia Band Association and the Alberta Band Association including a term as president. Last year he was recognized by the ABA with an Honorary Lifetime Member Award. He is a member of Phi Beta Mu, an international honorary organization of band directors, Mark continues to share his passion for music as a brass instructor at the Medicine Hat College and conducts the Gold Community Band in Lethbridge and the Andante Community Band in Medicine Hat. He sees community and school music as a critical part of Canadian heritage and culture and is very proud to be part of the strong musical community in Southern Alberta.

Michael Oike - Piano I

Pianist Michael Oike enjoys a busy and diverse musical life in his hometown Winnipeg, Manitoba. For over 30 years he has taught piano to students of all ages, given workshops and masterclasses, and adjudicated at music festivals all across Canada. Michael performs in chamber music ensembles and as vocal and instrumental pianist. Michael’s training includes solo piano studies with Alice Nakauchi & Sydney McInnis, in Toronto with Boris Lysenko where he received the University of Toronto Forsythe Scholarship as the outstanding graduating pianist. In addition, Michael was fortunate to work with the renowned pedagogue Jeaneane Dowis at her New York studio and twice as a chamber music fellow at the Waterloo Festival (Princeton University), and seminars with Rudolf Jansen and Martin Isepp (Aldeburgh School in England and Academy of Singing at Banff), two of the leading pianists in the field of vocal accompanying.

Away from music Michael enjoys golfing, curling, biking, cheering for the Jets, Raiders and Blue Jays, and tinkering in the kitchen perfecting his blueberry pies, butter tarts and sushi. 

Nancy Nowosad - Piano II

Nancy Nowosad received her musical training in Saskatchewan, and holds an Associateship Diploma in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Regina. Her teachers have included Dorothy Bee and Dr. Lyell Gustin. She also studied both saxophone and flute, and has been involved in a wide variety of bands and ensembles as a performer, clinician, and conductor. Nancy has had a diverse musical career while living in various Canadian centres as well as in Germany and England, including private teaching, performing as a soloist and collaborative pianist, playing in and/or conducting pit orchestras, and church organist and choir director positions. Since moving to Winnipeg in 1991, she has been an active teacher of piano, saxophone and theory, as well as a workshop/masterclass clinician, an adjudicator for music festivals and competitions in Canada, and an examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada and the US, working both remotely and in person. After many years of maintaining a regular church organist position and working as an accompanist for numerous soloists and choirs, she has moved to freelance work in both. She also continues to play keyboard and provide music leadership in a 15 piece ‘big band’. Nancy has been the main facilitator of Associated Manitoba Arts Festivals’ Adjudicator Training for many years, sharing her knowledge and experience with numerous participants who have become active and well respected adjudicators. She also serves as a Presiding Examiner for RCM’s Adjudicator Certification Program, and provides mentorship to new teachers, adjudicators and examiners. She is a member of the Manitoba Registered Music Teachers' Association where she has held various Executive positions, as well as a member of the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators' Association.

Sarah Hall - Vocal I

Sarah hails from Boston, Massachusetts where she was active as a singer, conductor, vocal coach, and educator. As a professional choral singer and soloist, Sarah has appeared in venues across the United States and in Canada, England and Italy. She has sung under the batons of such distinguished conductors as Tamara Brooks, Paolo Carignani, Henry Engbrecht, to name just a few.

She has appeared in opera and concert settings with Canzona and MusikBarock (Winnipeg), Brandon Chamber Players, Festival dei Due Mondi (Spoleto, Italy), Boston Cecelia, The Cantata Singers and Ensemble (Boston), The Bridge Ensemble (Philadelphia), and The Delaware Singers and Orchestra. Recent solo appearances include the world premiere of Ken Nichols’ The River Merchant’s Wife at the Clear Lake Chamber Music Festival and in Bach’s Magnificat with Canzona and MusikBarock.

Sarah has studied voice with Paolo Faustini, Mark Pearson, Alan Wagner and Jane Wyss; conducting with Donald Nally; and has coached with Julianne Baird, Terry Decima, David Lutz, Martin Katz, Gian Carlo Menotti, Richard Miller and Roberta Morell.

In addition to her work at the University, Sarah appears regularly as an adjudicator of voice, speech arts (English and French) and choir in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Sarah is delighted to work with singers of all ages and abilities to help them grow as performers!

Stewart Smith - High School & Jazz Bands

Stewart Smith was born in Yorkton, Saskatchewan and holds degrees from the University of Saskatchewan and Northwestern University. For thirty-three years he taught instrumental music in both public and private schools to students from grades five through twelve. He is currently a Sessional Instructor in the Marcel Desautels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba where he teaches private lessons, coaches a brass chamber ensemble, and leads the Thursday Night Big Band. His principal instruments are euphonium and trombone and his performing experience includes the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, Winnipeg Wind Ensemble, and the World Civic Orchestra, to name a few. He has composed and arranged music for a variety of instrumental mediums, having received commissions for groups ranging from middle school to university level. Mr. Smith remains active as a low brass teacher and clinician. He has also adjudicated at music festivals in Saskatchewan and Manitoba and served on the faculties of band camps in the prairie provinces, in addition to the International Music Camp and the Melville Jazz Retreat.

Together with Allan Molnar, Stewart is a co-founder and co-artistic director of The ALIVE Project (Accessible Live Internet Video Education). Beginning in 2004, the ALIVE Project has successfully linked professional musicians, educators, and students by providing unique distance learning opportunities across four continents. ALIVE Project participants have worked with musicians from the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic and Boston Symphony; alumni of the big bands of Count Basie, Stan Kenton, and Buddy Rich; Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Corigliano; renowned wind conductors H. Robert Reynolds and Allan MacMurray; jazz artists Clark Terry, Bobby Shew, Frank Foster and Dan Haerle; as well as faculty from some of the top music schools in North America. Mr. Smith has presented workshops dealing with distance learning at several national and international conferences in both Canada and the United States (in person) and in Europe and Australia (via the Internet).