SoPA instructors come to the school straight from the stage and studio, and are still working in the performing arts.
Dance Performance, Performing Arts Foundation and Theatre Performance Instructional Staff
Jennifer Cullen holds a Bachelor of Music from Wilfrid Laurier University, where she studied voice performance and piano. Jennifer has performed in Canada, the United States, and Germany. In Prince Edward Island, she has performed the role of Elsa in Confederation Centre’s Sound of Music, Maggie in Harvest Moon at the Guild, and has sung with the choral ensemble Sirens. Jennifer has been assistant music director for the Confederation Centre’s Christmas productions, and was the musical director of the Charlottetown Festival’s 2012 and 2013 Young Company production of Feux Follets. Last summer, she was music director for the Charlottetown Festival’s workshop of A Misfortune. Jennifer also has a private voice and piano studio in Charlottetown.
Kylie Fudge Jensen
Originally from Victoria, B.C., Kylie Jensen is a dancer, choreographer and teacher. She received her early training in ballet, contemporary and modern at the Victoria School of Contemporary Dance and the Victoria Academy of Ballet. She moved to Toronto for post-secondary studies in dance at York University and is a graduate of the Performance Studies program at George Brown College. Kylie holds a Certificate of Professionalism from Canada’s Ballet Jörgen, and has voice and acting training. She has a strong base in movement improvisation and Dance for Camera work, and has taught and danced professionally in Toronto. In addition to creating her own collection of works on her company Influuent Momentum, Kylie has performed in solo pieces, duets, and group work in a variety of settings, including backup dancer for international artists. The opportunity to work with and train under some of the industry’s most exciting professionals has instilled within her a passion for creating and a love of teaching to one’s highest potential. Kylie is thrilled to be starting a new chapter with the Holland College School of Performing Arts and Dance Umbrella.
Katie Kerr is a graduate of the Musical Theatre Performance program at Sheridan College. While studying, she played Wendla in Spring Awakening, and originated characters in Come From Away, and The Theory of Relativity, two new Canadian Music Theatre works. She has appeared on stage and screen in Canada and overseas. Katie has just finished her sixth season at the Charlottetown Festival. She has played various roles, with highlights including Sophie in Mamma Mia!, Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables, Gnat in Alice Through the Looking Glass, as well as a company member in the world premiere of Evangeline. She can also be heard on the Evangeline original cast recording. She is thrilled to return for her third year of teaching at the Holland College School of Performing Arts.
Cameron has worked in professional theatre in Canada for over twenty years. Companies include: Vancouver Playhouse, Citadel Theatre, Theatre Calgary, Lunchbox Theatre, Manitoba Theatre Centre, CanStage, Acting Upstage, Theatre Aquarius, Grand Theatre, Drayton Entertainment, Lighthouse Festival, Red Barn, Stirling Festival, Segal Centre, Theatre New Brunswick, Neptune Theatre, Stephenville Festival, Harbourfront Theatre, Mirvish, LivENT, and several seasons at the Shaw and Charlottetown Festivals. He has been nominated for a Dora Award and a Merrit award and has been in several Dora, Jesse, Stirling, Masques and Merrit award-winning productions.
Cameron has also worked as a producer and playwright with his company The Department of Everything. Highlights include Turtle Island, with award-winning children’s entertainer Chris McKhool, and six Dora Award nominations for the production of Matt MacFadzean’s richardthesecond.
Cameron holds a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from the University of Windsor.
Marlane O’Brien has been a professional member of the entertainment industry in Canada for nearly forty years. Theatre, Film, Television, Radio, Voice Over, Actor, Singer, Director, Producer, Choreographer, Dancer; her experience and skill set is deep and wide ranging. She is well known on Prince Edward Island for her work at the Charlottetown Festival: Patsy Cline in A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline, Marilla Cuthbert, Rachael Lynde, Mrs. Sloane/Mrs. Spenser over several seasons of Anne of Green Gables, Jeannette in The Full Monty, as well as her work in Ring of Fire, If You could Read My Mind, Dads, her own productions of Maritime Star and Menopositive! The Musical, and her featured work on the television series Emily of New Moon and the animated series Eckart. Her Island teaching credits include four years with the Stage Door Theatre School, three years with the Confederation Centre’s Arts Discovery Days, Shakespeare and scene study coach with the Charlottetown Festival’s Young Company, Holland College acting teacher, as well as offering private tutorials for voice, audition and monologue preparation.
Jody Racicot has played over 100 roles in his theatre, film and
television career. Highlights include Neanderthal in Night at the
Museum and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, the hotel
manager, Giorgio, in The Lizzie McGuire Movie, Dr. Zarkov in Flash
Gordon (Leo Award winner; best supporting actor in a TV series),
Vernon in Stargate SG-1 (Leo Award nominee; best guest star in a TV
series). Theatre goers may remember him as the hilarious evil stepmother, Putrid Von Farfrompoopin, in the Confederation Centre’s pantomime Cinderella, Lopakin (Larry) in Watermark Theatre’s updated The Cherry Orchard and Toby in Victoria Playhouse’s Rope’s End. On the eve of the last federal election, Jody produced and starred in Harold Pinter’s terrifying political masterpiece One For The Road at The Guild in Charlottetown. Jody is the founding producer and director of St Andrews Summer Theatre and former board member of the Prince Edward Island Council of the Arts.
Peggy Reddin is Director of Arts Education at Confederation Centre of the Arts. In 1988, she co-founded dance umbrella with Julia Sauvé and has served as its director since 1996. She is a graduate of the National Ballet School Teacher Training Program and holds a BA (Philosophy) from the University of Prince Edward Island. Ms. Reddin taught with Charlottetown Ballet Theatre, DancEast, and the Charlottetown Festival Young Company, and has directed and choreographed numerous events on the Island. She was also the project founder for Dance with D.A.W.N., an innovative dance programme for women with disabilities. In addition to her work in arts education, Ms. Reddin is very involved in the local arts community. She has worked in collaboration with Theatre PEI, the PEI Symphony, and the UPEI Music Department, among others. She has served on the boards of the PEI Council of the Arts and Culture PEI, and as a juror for the New Brunswick Arts Board and the PEI Council of the Arts.
Jan Rudd has 30 years of experience as a performer, director, writer, teacher and arts educator. Actors training at Michael Chekhov Acting Studio & MICHA; Labrynth Theatre Co at the Public NYC; Rod Menzies Acting Studio; Sedgwick Russell Acting Studio among others. During her 15 years in NYC, Jan worked extensively on educational projects with YoYo Ma, the Berlin and New York Philharmonics, and Rosie O’Donnell’s musical theatre program. She was a curriculum consultant for the Weill Institute at Carnegie Hall and collaborated with Carnegie Hall to create a Model Music & Arts School in Harlem. Along with teaching at SOPA, Jan taught the Confederation Centre’s Young Company, the Confederation Players and in UPEI’s Theatre Department. Jan was a founding member, writer and performer of the drill queens and a cast member in the original Annekenstein. Her one-woman show Safety in Numbers was produced @ Midtown International Festival and picked up as “best of” to play at Theatre Row NYC. Jan is also a certified film production manager. Some of her other credits include the Confederation Center of the Arts Summer Festival (actor), Confed Centre’s Christmas Shows (film direction) Halifax Comedy Festival (comic), PEI Fringe Festival (directing), The Guild (acting/directing/ producing), CBC Radio and TV and comedy clubs in Canada and the US.
Julia Sauvé has her Master’s in Movement Education, and has been performing, teaching and choreographing in Prince Edward Island and the United States for the past 36 years. She co-founded Dance Umbrella and Montage Dance Theatre, and has performed with the Charlottetown Festival. She has choreographed numerous high school and community musical productions. Currently, Julia is artistic director for Luminosity black light theatre which specializes in family edutainment-style performances.
Taryn Verkerk holds her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance-Dance from Ryerson University. She has trained and performed around the world in various styles such as contemporary, jazz, ballet, and tap. Prior to moving to the Island to teach with Dance Umbrella and the Holland College School of Performing Arts, a partnership with Confederation Centre of the Arts, Taryn spent several years teaching and choreographing in British Columbia.
Music Performance Instructional Staff
Maria Campbell is a contemporary artist and singer. Most recently, she has been praised for her “…gorgeous soprano [voice], compelling stage presence and detailed dramatic skills…” [localxpress.ca, 2017] in Stan Rogers: A Matter of Heart at Neptune Theatre. Other theatre credits include Robyn Hood: This Tale’s Even Fairlier at Confederation Centre of the Arts, Aladdin: Another Fairly Tall Tale, Harvest Moon Rising, The Guild, Anne and Gilbert, Harbourfront Theatre and Victoria Playhouse, Abegweit: Soul of the Island, Confederation Centre of the Arts.
Maria graduated with a Masters of Music in Performance from the University of Auckland where she was awarded first class honours and performed the role of Nancy in the UoA/Opera Factory production of Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring. She has attended both the Accademia Europea Dell’Opera and the Canadian Operatic Arts Academy, and holds an Artist Diploma from Western University. Maria also sings soul and folk styles, and slays with Charlottetown Motown band, The Motones.
She has served as a board member for arts organizations Ars Longa, and the Prince Edward Island Council of the Arts. She also works as a visual artist, fitness trainer, and movement director for various projects; and was voted Fusion Charlottetown’s 2017 Influencer of the Year for the work she does in her community.
Guitar, Theory, Harmony
An accomplished guitar and music instructor, Chad Deagle completed Selkirk College’s Contemporary Music program in 2003; Yamaha International Guitar Pedagogy courses in 2004, at the Yamaha Music Centre in Toronto; and, in 2009, graduated from UPEI with a Bachelor of Music majoring in classical guitar performance and musicology, first class standing. During his studies he was the recipient of several scholarships and university prizes. He has also studied and performed in master classes with esteemed players such as Dr. Jim Dickson and Eugene Cormier (Acadia University). Recently, Chad has completed a year of studies with Chilean virtuoso Dani Vargas via Hollywood, California. He has also studied with Canada’s own, Nick Johnston. Chad has extensive and diverse performing experiences on stages from British Columbia to Prince Edward Island, performing numerous styles from R & B, rock and metal, to classical, country, bluegrass, jazz and folk. While in university, he performed early Renaissance music with the UPEI Wind Symphony. Chad has been the lead guitarist in some of PEI’s hottest rock acts and has done studio session work, appearing on recordings all across Canada. Recent theatre credits include occupying the guitar chair for the international hit Mama Mia! The Musical with the Charlottetown Festival. Chad has been a guitar instructor for over 15 years, with teaching experience in all styles, levels and age groups. He has been teaching guitar on P.E.I. since 2003 and he runs the P.E.I. School of Guitar in Charlottetown.
Business of Music, Music Licensing, Music Technology, Ensembles
An award-winning audio designer and film, television, and video game composer, Craig graduated with a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Prince Edward Island with a Major in Classical Guitar and Musicology, as well as a Specialist Certificate in Orchestrating and Producing Music for Film and Video Games from the Berklee College of Music.
As a film and television composer, his music is currently heard in over 120 films and television shows airing daily in over 110 countries worldwide. He has also composed music for more than 35 video games, also acting as the lead audio designer for the projects.
Craig has performed in many genres of music including classical, Latin, blues, rock and country. He was one of the original members of the Latin group Esté Mundo, and has played with many local and regional touring bands, including his own blues band, Dodge and the Pushbutton Automatics.
Just a few of the companies that he has worked with include: National Geographic, A&E Television, History Television, BBC, Barclay’s Premier League, New York Knicks/MSG Basketball, National Football League, National Hockey League, CTV/Bell Media, Fox Sports 1, NBC, CNN, Six Flags, MTV, Discovery Channel, and Disney.
A dedicated music educator, Craig teaches Music Performance students how to create multiple revenue streams with their music and how to properly manage their music careers. Visit Craig’s Taris Studios website and his IMDb page.
Drums, Music Styles, Ensemble
Alan Dowling is a drummer, music educator and drum clinician. He has performed with the Charlottetown Festival, Doug Riley, Measha Bruggergosman, The Jive Kings, Meaghan Blanchard, Dennis Ellsworth and many others. After studying Music Performance at Berklee College in Boston, Alan completed degrees in both music and mathematics from UPEI. He is an active performer in many genres and has played and recorded with artists covering such styles as rock, country, pop, Celtic, jazz, classical and world music. He has several East Coast Music Association and Music PEI awards in genres ranging from Roots Traditional to Jazz. He has performed at jazz festivals in Quebec, Nova Scotia and PEI and has made guest appearances with Symphony Nova Scotia and the PEI Symphony Orchestra. He is the founding director of the Holland College Welshmen Community Band and has juried nomination and funding submissions for Factor, the ECMAs and Music PEI. Alan is endorsed by Sabian cymbals and Vic Firth drumsticks.
2017 SOCAN Songwriter of the Year! Kinley completed a Bachelor of Music with a Major in Viola Performance from Dalhousie University, studying under Philippe Djokic. She plays violin, percussion, and sings backup in the indie rock band Hey Rosetta! She has appeared on stage with Matt Mays, In Flight Safety, Jenn Grant, Rose Cousins, Broken Social Scene as well as being a regular player with Classic Albums Live. She also completed a tour with Grammy-winning artist Anne Murray. Her album credits include: Hey Rosetta, Matt Mays, Jenn Grant, Two Hours Traffic, Molly Rankin, In Flight Safety, Buck 65, Classified, Christina Martin, Dennis Ellsworth, Rita MacNeil, and multiple others. She has a singer/songwriter project, The Express, with Liam Corcoran and the duo has released a self-titled album of their original compositions. Kinley enjoys performing lots of different genres of music. She has toured Australia, USA, Canada and Europe multiple times, appearing at festivals such as Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, Ottawa Bluesfest, and Mumford and Sons Gentlemen of the Road tour.
Piano, Ear Training, Keyboard Harmony, Arranging
Sean completed studies in composition, experimental / electronic music and jazz improvisation at McGill University. His compositions include electro-acoustic music, installations, experimental music
videos, avant garde chamber and orchestral pieces, dance and theatre. He also scores extensively for film and television.
As a performer, he has had the opportunity to play jazz, blues and alternative music with many regional, national and international artists over the years.
Sean is a board member of the Screen Composers Guild of Canada and a founding
member of the Canadian Electro-Acoustic Community.
Ken Fornetran is an alto saxophone player currently living on Prince Edward Island. Originally, from the border city of Windsor Ontario, he had the opportunity to hear and meet many of Detroit’s finest jazz musicians at a young age. In the late 80’s he relocated to Toronto Ontario, to study with Pat LaBarbera at Humber College. Since then, he has performed at festivals, and club dates across Canada with some of the jazz scene’s leading musicians. He has performed in bands led by Roy Styffe, Bob Mover, Norman Marshall Villeneuve, Bernie Senensky, Jerry Fuller, David Occhipinti, and many others. He performed with international musicians Curtis Fuller, bassist Rodney Whitaker, as well as a who’s who of the Toronto jazz scene. Ken Fornetran’s debut CD – “Shadows and Short Stories” was given a 4* star review in Downbeat Magazine and later mentioned as one of the “best CDs of 2005” list in the same prestigious publication. It also received critical acclaim in other important media including The Toronto Star. The CD featured mostly duo performances with jazz piano great David Restivo, as well as some stunning vocal tracks with Thyron Lee Whyte. In addition to his career as a musician, Fornetran has also earned a reputation asone of Canada’s finest woodwind repair technicians.
For over 20 years, Deryl Gallant has been involved in the PEI music scene as a sought after performing, touring, recording, and instructing bassist.
Comfortable in any style of music, most notably he is known as a member of the Jive Kings, The Dennis Lee Project, many Charlottetown Festival productions, as Sonny Caulfield’s bassist, and, most recently, Deryl has been working with the Glen Strickey Winterjazz Quartet, Ian Toms Trio, The Collective, Island Jazz, Alan Dowling Trio, Brian Dunn, Amy & Rachel Beck, Jill Chandler, Kelley Mooney, and Amanda Jackson Band, along with many more.
In 2015, he was awarded the Music PEI Musician of the Year Award and named the 2015 Doug Riley Artist by the PEI Jazz and Blues Festival.
Deryl has tracked bass on 26 recordings in his career and is currently enjoying his role as a classical bass professor at the University of PEI and bass instructor at the Holland College School of Performing Arts. www.dbass.ca
Find out more about Deryl in this interview with SBL.
Karen Graves has a Bachelor of Music Performance from the University of Toronto, and a Post Graduate Diploma of Music from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow. She freelanced in the Toronto music scene for twenty years before returning to the East Coast to settle on PEI. During that time she played with the National Ballet Orchestra, The Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, the Hamilton, Windsor, and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphonies, as well as playing in the pit orchestras of several shows in Toronto- Crazy For You, The Lion King, and The Sound of Music. She was a member of the orchestra at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-On-The-Lake for seven years, during which time she was also part of the quartet in residence.
When she isn’t playing classical music, she can be found performing onstage with many pop and rock artists, from Ray Price to Ron Sexsmith. She is currently a member in Chantal Kreviazuk’s touring band, and recently toured the USA as a member of Steven Page’s band. In addition to her live appearances Karen has spent many hours in the recording studio. Her playing can be heard on the albums of Tom Cochrane, Sarah Slean, K-OS, Royal Wood, July Black, Michael Kaeshammer and Dolores O’Riordan, to name a few. You can find out more on her website at: www.karengraves.ca
Charlottetown native Joey Kitson is one of Atlantic Canada’s favorite singers. The versatile vocalist is equally at home singing Celtic ballads, soulful rhythm and blues, big band jazz or musical theatre. Kitson began his love of the blues as lead singer of the Island group the Rock Island Blues Band in the late eighties. While enrolled in the Diploma in Jazz Studies program at St. F.X. University in the nineties, Kitson discovered the “Great American Songbook”, and appeared as Judas Iscariot, in a Theatre Antigonish production of “Jesus Christ Superstar”.
As the charismatic front man for the ECMA award winning, Juno nominated Celtic Rock group, Rawlins Cross, Kitson has toured through North and South America and Europe, collected numerous music industry awards and helped sell truckloads of albums. He also has sung with the great Doug “Dr. Music” Riley, finding yet another outlet for his impressive musical sensibility. Kitson has performed in feature roles in a number of Confederation Centre of the Arts productions in his native Charlottetown, PEI, including Canada Rocks, British Invasion, Stan – A Matter of the Heart and the timeless Anne of Green Gables. Kitson’s debut solo recording is STAN – a collection of songs by Canadian folk music legend Stan Rogers.
Mark Parsons holds a Master of Music Degree in Performance from McGill University and a Bachelor of Music Degree in Education from the University of Prince Edward Island. His principal instructors on trumpet were Russell DeVuyst and Charles Daval (McGill), Gregory Irvine (UPEI) and Don E. Johnson (Humber College). As a performer, Mark was an original member of the ECMA award winning group, The Jive Kings. He has also performed with the PEI Symphony, Charlottetown Jazz Ensemble, the R&B/Soul Band Dry Toast, Charlottetown Festival Orchestra, Northumberland Brass, and various other brass, jazz and R&B ensembles. Mark is the former conductor of the Holland College Welshmen Community Band, and has taught at UPEI, Acadia University summer music camp, Three Oaks Senior High School. He is currently the music director at Charlottetown Rural High School.
Alan David White
Drums, Music Business, Music Styles, Ensemble
Alan White first started playing drums in junior high and high school jazz and concert bands. He enrolled in the Humber College Music program and studied drums with some of Canada’s top drummers, including Mark Kelso, Paul DeLong and Ted Warren. After graduating from Humber College with honours in 2007, Alan started playing drums professionally. Knowledgeable and functional in many different styles including jazz, Latin, Afro-Cuban, rock, funk, country, Celtic and pop music, he has performed alongside some of Canada’s finest musicians. His professional credits include several main stage productions with the Charlottetown Festival, including The Full Monty, Christmas Blaze, Christmas Rocks, and British Invasion: America Strikes Back. Internationally, Alan has entertained passengers on Celebrity Cruises of the Mediterranean and Caribbean seas. Currently Alan performs with the Charlottetown Jazz Ensemble, Groove Company and More Soul.