Marion Samuel-Stevens is serving as our Interim Artistic Director.
CHAMBER CHOIR CONDUCTOR
GYS is actively searching for an Interim Chamber Choir Conductor.
JUNIOR CHOIRS CONDUCTOR – MARION SAMUEL-STEVENS
Canadian Soprano, Marion Samuel-Stevens, has been described as an engaging, direct performer and actress. Her performances range from the intimacy of recitals to the grandeur of opera. Marion has been the Ontario winner of the NATS Artist Awards competition and second runner up in the regional NATSAA competition in Indiana, where her voice was described as “beautiful and rich with evenness and colour throughout“. She was also a semi-finalist in the prestigious Eckhardt-Grammatté competition which gives special attention to new Canadian music. In both competitions Marion showed her well-developed ability to switch between a wide variety of vocal and dramatic styles with efficiency and finesse.
Marion has performed across Canada and the United States and Europe. She is a graduate from the University of Toronto’s Voice Performance program where she also participated in the prestigious Opera Undergraduate program. As well as studies at Wilfrid Laurier University she has attended many prestigious enrichment programs across North America and Europe where she had the pleasure of studying with many acclaimed international musicians including Elly Ameling, Rudolph Jansen, and Martin Katz.
Marion is an adjunct professor of Voice at the University of Guelph where she is active in creating a new program for contemporary music. She also maintains a private studio, with students going on to careers as classical soloists, musical theatre performers, music therapists, actors and teachers. She is the director of the Guelph Youth Singers Musical Theatre Summer Camps and has been the director of the operetta camp at the Southern Ontario Suzuki Institute (SOSI) since 2018. She also serves as the conductor of the Guelph Youth Singers Junior Choirs and has conducted several ensembles in the Guelph and surrounding area. Described as “intelligent, relatable, and engaging” she is sought after as a clinician and adjudicator.
Marion has sung in choirs since the age of 8, including the Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus with John Tuttle, the Toronto Mendelssohn Youth Choir with Robert Cooper, the Ontario Youth Choir with Lee Willingham, Deral Johnson and Elmer Eisler, and professionally in the Nathaniel Dett Choral, the Elora Festival Singers, Mississauga Choral Society, Arcady, the Boris Brott Festival Choir, and the Guelph Chamber Choir.
An avid supporter of new music, she has had the pleasure of debuting several works by Canadian composer, Peter Skoggard, as well as performing works by Ronald A. Beckett, Jake Heggie, Ricky Ian Gordon, and John Harbison all under the guidance of the composers themselves. Her unique approach to poetry and ability to interpret challenging works with ease has also allowed her to perform in the Bohlen-Pierce scale. Of her portrayal in Ronald A. Beckett’s Ruth, “Marion Samuel-Stevens was outstanding in the title role. Her warm, full voice floated across the registers, especially to some silvery, shiver producing high notes. I found I was keenly looking forward to her next solo moment.” – Murray Charters
Equally comfortable on the operatic and concert stage, Marion is sought after for her subtle interpretations of text and character, as much as for her warm, supple, and luminous voice.
Focusing her continuing education on the ever-changing field of vocal pedagogy and health, Marion has attended the Commercial and Contemporary Music Vocal Pedagogy Institute at Shenandoah University as well as completing certification in Vocal Health First Aid and Vocal Habilitation through Vocal Health Education in the UK. Marion is currently completing her Master’s in Vocal Pedagogy from the University of Wales (Voice Study Centre) where her area of focus is the athleticism of singers as well as the parallels between athletic and vocal coaching. She plans to write a handbook on coaching techniques for music instructors, highlighting the most effective ways to intrinsically motivate students.
As a conductor, Marion’s goals are to create a challenging and supportive environment in which students can find their own unique voice as well as explore different vocal colours and their impact on a choral sound. Combining excellence in performance and healthy singing she motivates choristers to work hard while creating community and learning.
COLLABORATIVE PIANIST – DERICA SCOTT
Derica Scott is an accomplished pianist currently studying at Wilfrid Laurier University in the history, critical analysis, and theory department. She has a decade of experience teaching piano and voice of all ages and styles. Her most recent accomplishments are her accolades in both Royal Conservatory performance and theory exams and one-on-one work with vocalists through the NATS vocal competition and university juries. As an alumnus of GYS, it is her pleasure to be able to work with the choir as a collaborative pianist.