Sami is a Toronto-based composer, songwriter, and vocalist. A recipient of the William Irving Fairclough Graduating Scholarship and the Lothar Klein Memorial Fellowship in Composition, Sami’s music has been performed and read by the Sistema Intermediate Choir, the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and at the inaugural Canadian SongSlam. Recently, Sami has been involved in composition for media, working on commissions for Toronto-based directors and animators.
Rachel Bogues, soprano
Rachel was born and bred in Omagh, Northern Ireland. She graduated with an MSc in Performance Science from the Royal College of Music, London. She is an experienced soprano and has sung with many London-based vocal ensembles prior to relocating to Toronto, including London Oriana Choir, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, and the Thomas Tallis Society. When she is not singing, Rachel is usually found at spin class, reading, or travelling (when she’s not working downtown!).
Julia Brotto, soprano
Julia holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Toronto, specializing in music education and classical voice. She is a pre-service teacher in the Master of Teaching program at the University of Toronto, with concentrations in vocal music and social sciences. She began her musical journey at age 10, taking private voice and piano lessons. Now, with over thirteen years of choral experience, she is excited to be joining the Exultate Chamber Singers in its 40th season. When she isn’t singing or studying, you can find her going for walks, doing yoga, or scoping Toronto’s food and drink scene.
Reid Brownscombe, bass
Prior to joining Exultate, Reid sang with The Amadeus Choir for 12 years. His choral experience goes back more than 50 years, singing with the Toronto May Festival Choir as a child. When not singing, he can be found at the cottage on Stony Lake.
J. Scott Brubacher, bass
Originally from London, Ontario, Scott completed a BMus in Theory and Composition and a MMus degree in Composition at the University of Western Ontario. Since moving to Toronto in 2006, he completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Composition, studying with Gary Kulesha. When not singing or composing, Scott likes to drink craft beer, travel the world, pet his cat, cook, garden, and read. During the day he works in administration for a charitable foundation.
Thomas Burton, tenor
Raised in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, tenor Thomas Burton is a multi-faceted musician active in the Toronto area. Thomas currently serves as Artistic Director of Durham’s RESOUND Choir, Director of Music at Munn’s United Church in Oakville, and as an Assistant Conductor with the Oakville Choir for Children and Youth. He holds degrees in Trombone Performance and Choral Conducting from McGill University and the University of Michigan, respectively. When not making music, Thomas enjoys cooking, cycling, and meeting cute dogs!
Valeska Cabrera, alto
Valeska, originally from Melipilla in Chile, has sung in choirs since childhood. When she was studying for her undergraduate studies in musicology and choral conducting, Valeska led the Alonso de Ercilla School Choir and founded the Camerata Vocal de Melipilla in her home city. Currently, Valeska is completing post-doctoral research at the University of Toronto, focused on choral pedagogies involving teaching music through choral singing by two distinguished Ontario children’s choirs. Valeska also conducts the Agora Ibero-American Choir that she founded in Toronto in 2019.
Elaine Choi, alto
Originally from Hong Kong, Elaine Choi is a Chinese-Canadian choral conductor. She has obtained a DMA in Choral Conducting from the University of Toronto, and is the Director of Music at Timothy Eaton Memorial Church. In 2018, Elaine founded Babεl, an SATB chamber ensemble with a mission to connect cultures through choral music. Elaine is also the conductor of the S/A Chorus of the University of Toronto Faculty of Music.
Suzanne Coultes, soprano
Suzanne began singing seriously in the Hart House Chorus and at St Thomas’s Church, Toronto, where she was a section lead for over 15 years. She trained as an assistant conductor under John Tuttle and holds the Professional Diploma in Choral Conducting from the Royal Canadian College of Organists. She has sung professionally in many choirs including St James Cathedral and Holy Blossom Temple. Suzanne works as a parks planner at the City of Toronto and loves exploring the city with her family.
Andrew Foster, tenor
Andrewrelocated to Toronto from England in 2017, where music was always a major part of his life. Throughout school, Andrew was involved in bands, musicals, and choirs. He plays guitar and piano and has a degree in Music Technology. When not singing, Andrew can be found pandering to the whims of his two cats or learning to play the banjo. You might see him busking in the street sometime, so keep a look out!
Julia Frodyma, soprano
Julia holds a Bachelor of Music and Advanced Certificate in Performance for Voice from the University of Toronto and recently completed her ARCT in piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music. When not making music, Julia is either cooking, on a road trip, or hiking somewhere in Southern Ontario.
Ryan Garbett, bass
Ryan was born and raised in Toronto, where he lives and works as a horn player. Ryan has performed with some of Canada’s premier professional ensembles including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Canadian Opera Company. He has participated in many of the country’s most prestigious training programs, most notably the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, of which he is a three-time alumnus and recipient of their award of excellence. Ryan holds a bachelor’s degree from McGill University and an Artist Diploma from The Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School.
Mary Gillmeister, alto
Mary is a Montrealer who made the move down the 401 on a whim and has been making music in Toronto ever since. She has enjoyed many enriching choral experiences as a soloist and professional singer in numerous and varied groups, from large oratorio choirs to one-to-a-part ensembles, performing in Canada, the USA and the UK. Away from music, Mary can generally be found watching, writing, or worrying about the fate of her beloved Liverpool FC. Hey 19!
Nathan Gritter, tenor
Nathan is currently in his final year of study at the University of Toronto, completing his bachelor’s degree in vocal music education. He works as tenor section lead at Kingsway Lambton United Church, Toronto, and holds the apprentice conductor position with Resonance, a youth choir in Mississauga. He is an alumnus of the Ontario Youth Choir and was accepted into the 2020 National Youth Choir of Canada. Nathan is passionate about early choral music. When not singing, you can find him learning new chess tactics, cooking a new dish, or playing games with his family and friends.
June Higgins, soprano
June sang in choirs and played the violin throughout her youth in Boston. As an undergraduate, she sang with the Princeton University Glee Club, the Princeton Madrigal Society and the Princeton Chapel Choir. Since moving to Toronto, she has sung with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the Tallis Choir, and the Amadeus Choir. Outside of singing, June is a clinical psychologist in private practice.
Mira Jung, colaborative pianist and alto
Mira’s first memory of music making is when she was five years old, playing the Flea Waltz on her cousin’s piano. At the age of ten, she became an accompanist for her music classes at school and for weekly masses at a local church. Her love of music grew as she learned to play other instruments, which led her to earn a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Toronto. Mira finds singing with Exultate Chamber Singers not only joyful, but also very helpful in her personal musical growth. Outside of music, Mira welcomes adventures such as parasailing on the Pacific water and hiking to the summit of the Mont Tremblant.
Janice Kerkkamp, alto
Janice holds a MusBac and BEd from the University of Toronto and an ARCT in Voice Performance. For many years she has sung and played flute professionally with various ensembles and has enjoyed touring with these groups in Canada, the US, the UK, Germany, and Bulgaria. She is a private music teacher (singing, flute, rudiments, harmony, counterpoint, analysis, and music history). In her spare time, Janice is a voracious reader.
Shanda Lee, soprano
Shanda teaches music at Kingsway College School, where she is director of several choirs, teaches core music classes, and is the music director for the annual musical. Shanda was a long-time member of the Bell’Arte Singers and with that choir had many memorable performance opportunities including tours to England, France, Austria, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. When not singing or teaching, she strives to make it to yoga classes and to be more than just a “summer” runner.
Sadie Menicanin, soprano
Sadie is a lifelong choral singer, having participated in choirs in Hamilton, Montreal, and now Toronto. She is also a pianist and obtained her Bachelor of Music from McGill University. When she’s not singing, you’ll find her reading something at the Faculty of Music library as she pursues her PhD in musicology.
Anna-Maria Mersov, alto
Annahas been singing in choirs regularly since 2009, including the McMaster University Choir and the Hart House Chorus. Anna works as a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist, and when she is not at work or singing, she’s busy rock climbing, playing tennis, and salsa dancing.
Vivian Moens, soprano
Over the past four decades Vivian has sung with a range of choirs. She found her home with Exultate in 2003 when John Tuttle was conductor and is now delighted to be under the direction of Mark Ramsay. When not singing, Vivian is busily engaged with her work as the Operations Manager of Exultate. She is always proud and happy to see in the program the names of friends and family who so kindly support Exultate, many of them since she first joined.
Lori Nemoy, alto
This is Lori’s 3rd year as the chair of Exultate’s board of directors. She has an MA in Education from the University of Ottawa, and since 2017 she has worked as a research coordinator in health professions’ education at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. Lori has just begun a BSc in Nursing degree at the University of Toronto, pursuing her lifelong dream of clinical work. When she is not singing, studying, or researching, you can find Lori enjoying an outdoor adventure.
Brian Prinzen, bass
Brian was born and raised in Niagara Falls, Ontario, where heattended McMaster University and discovered how much those years of piano lessons in his early life made him passionate about music. He began studying vocal performance at McGill University and is happy to be singing with Exultate under Dr. Ramsay. Brian works as an IT Specialist for an architectural firm in Toronto, and when he’s not at work or singing you’ll find him biking around Toronto or behind his computer playing video games.
Jeff Reynolds, bass
By joining Exultate, Jeff renewed a love of choral singing that began at age 7 in an Anglican Church boys’ choir. Amidst a life of professional trumpet playing, conducting and teaching at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, Jeff has sung in several other choirs, but says Exultate is the most enjoyable ensemble of all. When not making music, Jeff enjoys time with his wife and kids, long walks on the Bruce Trail, and sailing.
Michael Rowland, tenor
Michael has been singing in choirs since he was a boy. While he has no formal training, his love of music, in particular choral music, has motivated him to form part of several choral groups in Toronto. When he is not singing, Michael is retired and is enjoying life with his family and friends. He enjoys trying to stay fit, volunteering as a parishioner at St. Thomas’s, and following the Raptors and basketball in general with sometimes overly fervent interest.
Nataliya Sandul, alto
Nataliya was born in Ukraine. She holds Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education degrees from the University of Toronto, where she majored in piano, studying with Mia Bach. She is an active member in the Ukrainian community here in Toronto, dancing for over 20 years with Ukraina, School of Arts Dance Company, singing in Ukrainian Youth Ensembles Levada and Orion Choirs, and as a committed choir member of the St. Demetrius Ukrainian Church. Nataliya is inspired to be singing with such a talented group!
Duncan Stuart, tenor
Duncan is a former jazz instrumentalist whose choral development and training has been “in situ,” singing in choral ensembles such as Toronto Amadeus Choir, Victoria Scholars, Studio Sixteen, Nathaniel Dett Chorale, Canadian Chamber Choir, and Pax Christi Chorale and Chamber Choir. His unusual vocal range has allowed him to be engaged as a countertenor, tenor, and baritone soloist. Outside of music, Duncan is a grade 4/5 Teacher/Math specialist and a doting father to Jemma and an imminently arriving baby brother.
Mishaal Surti, tenor
Mishaal is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario and its Faculty of Education where he was awarded the Don Wright Scholarship in Vocal Music. As an educator, conductor, and composer, Mishaal has facilitated workshops and conducted performances for Podium/Choral Canada, OMEA, OAME, NCTM, NCSM, and the Ontario Ministry or Education, and has been published by the Canadian Music Educators’ Association, Ontario Music Educators’ Association, and Cypress Choral Music. When he is not singing, Mishaal is a manager with the Ministry of Education, leading innovation, math pedagogy, and STEM education in schools and school boards across Ontario. “Just sing your song!”—KF