jen Jennifer Fontaine, virtual voice, theatre and choir: Jennifer Fontaine is the Founder and Artistic Director of Ain’t Seen Noth’n Yet Productions in Ottawa where she works extensively in developing inclusive and attainable Musical Theatre experiences for young, emerging and seasoned artists. Jennifer has been dedicated to teaching and developing performing arts opportunities for over 15 years. She is active as a voice teacher, music theory rudiments teacher, performance coach, audition coach, producer, director and performer. Jennifer teaches singers of all ages and backgrounds. She loves teaching a variety of styles of music and acting. Many of Jennifer’s students have gone on to perform and study all across the country, the United States and even overseas in music theatre, theatre, film and commercial music. Jennifer graduated from the Canadian College of Performing Arts Inaugural Company C program, holds an ARCT in Voice Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Canada and has recently completed the Evidence Based Voice Work Pedagogy Program: Voice Function 101 by Maddie Tarbox. Jennifer has directed over 30 musicals and performs when time permits, favorite roles include: Fantine in “Les Misérables”; Percy in “The Spitfire Grill”; The Witch in “Into the Woods” and Mrs. Lovett in “Sweeney Todd”. Jennifer loves adjudicating and working with all artists and is excited to be part of the Annapolis Valley Music Festival this year.

jenJoan Harrison, virtual string:  Joan Harrison, PhD (uOttawa, Faculty of Education), MM (Yale School of Music), self-identifies as a “multipotentialite”. She has performed as principal cellist in the New York City Opera, and in chamber music with stellar musicians including Itzhak Perlman and duo partner, Elaine Keillor with whom she has recorded four CDs. Her PhD research, supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), investigated links between string pedagogy and citizenship education. Joan continues growing this relationship through the Capital Strings and Voices Collective (CSVC), a charitable organization she created to bring communities together through the arts and democratic practices. CSVC is currently invested in Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation commitments through a collaboration with Kitigan Zibi Anishnabeg where youth from both communities are learning music together.

In addition to her position as a Part-time Professor at uOttawa, Joan develops products that connect music cognition, physical wellness, and fun ( In 2020 she was one of two Canadians awarded a fellowship to the Global Leaders Program where she received executive and management training for agents of societal change. When not in her office, garden, music studio, or art room, Joan is often accompanied by a little dog and a giant rabbit.

jen Dr. Krissy Keech, Junior Piano
: Dr. Krissy Keech is passionate about piano, pedagogy and practising!
She completed her PhD in Music Education at McGill University, where she focussed her doctoral research on elements of piano pedagogy and teacher effectiveness—in particular, applied teachers’ identification and correction of students’ errors. She continues to research teacher effectiveness, effective practice methods, and best practices for error correction.

Dr. Keech has a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Acadia University, where she studied under Prof. John Hansen, and a master’s in piano performance from McGill University, under Profs. Marina Mdivani and Sara Laimon.

While her university training is in classical music, she has broad experience performing piano music in other styles: jazz, blues, folk, congregational, show tunes, Latin-American, and pop. As an accompanist, Dr. Keech is especially recognized for her rehearsal and performance skills in choral settings. She has worked with the Annapolis Valley Honour Choir, Nova Scotia Youth Choir, Canadian Chamber Choir, and numerous internationally renowned choral conductors (e.g., Elise Bradley, Scott Leithead, Michael Zaugg). She has been on the accompanying staff at Acadia, collaborating with and coaching woodwind students. As a gig musician, she continues a busy schedule of playing and singing at weddings, conferences, church services, restaurants, and other special events.

The guiding principle behind her research and teaching philosophy is the belief in the importance of the well-rounded musician, which includes being able to improvise and compose, in addition to the more traditional skills of learning to read and interpret Western music. Mistakes are also fascinating as they are inevitable and integral to the learning and creative processes. How do teachers, on the one hand, create an atmosphere where mistakes aren’t feared, where errors are embraced as learning opportunities, while on the other hand, maintain high standards of performance?

In addition to teaching full-time at Acadia, Dr. Keech has also been operating a private home piano studio for over 25 years. She adjudicates at music festivals and conducts workshops on topics such as teaching students to improvise, how to practise, and the pedagogy of practice.

jen Tara Scott, Senior Piano:  Tara is one of Atlantic Canada’s most renowned collaborative pianists. Her love of teaching and performing has led her to pursue staff accompanist positions at Western, Dalhousie, Acadia, and Mount Allison Universities. She has performed extensively with singers, instrumentalists and choirs across Canada.

Tara is the principal Music Director and Pianist for Maritime Concert Opera, based in Lunenburg NS. With MCO, she has performed eighteen full-length operas and has conducted chamber orchestras for two productions. She co-founded, with Nina Scott-Stoddart, Halifax Summer Opera Workshop, an opera training program with fully staged productions, now in its sixteenth season. She has worked as Music Director for Eastern Front Theatre, Acadia’s Singing Theatre and has performed with Opera Nova Scotia, Opera New Brunswick and Halifax Theatre for Young People. In 2019, Tara received a Merritt Award from Theatre Nova Scotia for outstanding music direction of KAMP the musical.

Tara maintains a busy private studio in Dartmouth NS for piano instruction and vocal coaching. She has adjudicated extensively for music festivals throughout the Maritimes and has worked as piano examiner for Mount Allison and the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts. She is also the accompanist for Dalhousie’s Collegium Cantorum, directed by Gary Ewer.

Tara received a Bachelor of Music Degree in piano performance from Mount Allison University, under the tutelage of Dr. Janet Hammock. She studied with Dr. John Hess at Western University, receiving a Master’s degree of literature and performance in collaborative piano. Originally from Grand Bay-Westfield NB, Tara now resides in Dartmouth with her husband and three children.

jen Travis Mandel, Brass: Travis Mandel is Principal Trumpet of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, Cathedral Brass & a member of the Central Band of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Born and raised in the National Capital Region, he began the trumpet at age 14 in Le Centre d'excellence artistique of l'École secondaire publique De La Salle. He later pursued his studies at the University of Ottawa where he completed both his bachelor and master's degree under the tutelage of Eric Rupp. His desire to perfect his craft led him to the University of Montreal where he took selected courses in orchestral performance while studying with renowned trumpeter and pedagogue Manon Lafrance. In recent years, Travis has participated in a number of masterclasses and seminars, most notably at the Center for Advanced Musical Studies at Chosen Vale (2016 & 2017) where he had the opportunity to work with soloists Hakan Harderberger, Clément Saulnier & Marco Blaaw as well as a host of orchestral players including Thomas Stevens, James Thompson & Craig Morris.

Over his young career, Travis has appeared in concert with many orchestras in Eastern Canada, most notably with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, l’Orchestre symphonique de Gatineau, l’Orchestre symphonique de Longueuil and l’Orchestre de la francophonie. He has played with a variety of military bands, but his proudest moments came as member of the Band of the Governor General's Foot Guards, a band he served with until 2016. His career highlights include playing for His Royal Highness Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, appearing on stage with jazz artist Diana Krall as well as performing solo works with the University of Ottawa Orchestra and the Central Band of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Although Travis enjoys performing, he has a great passion for music education and thoroughly enjoys working with young musicians. In 2012, he returned to his roots accepting a position as a brass clinician at the newly renamed Centre d'excellence artistique de l'Ontario. He has also been teaching in a variety of other arts programs throughout the National Capital Region which include le Programme spécialisé en arts of l'École secondaire catholique Béatrice-Desloges, Arts Canterbury and the Ottawa Youth Orchestra Academy. In 2019, Travis joined the faculty of Carleton University as Performance Instructor (trumpet) and he has recently been selected as the Conductor of the Ottawa Youth Concert Orchestra for the 2022-2023 season.

Travis Mandel is a Bach trumpets endorsing artist.

jen Shannon Quinn, String and Fiddle:  Shannon is an award winning instrumentalist from Halifax, NS. Having earned her music degree from the renowned Humber College in Toronto, Shannon toured internationally with the Scottish 'Paul McKenna Band'. She has performed at Disneyworld, alongside the Chieftains, Cirque Du Soleil as well as touring with Joel Plaskett, Lennie Gallant, Jimmy Rankin and many others. Shannon recently won the ECMA for 'Instrumental Album of the Year' in 2022 for a live-off-the-floor traditional Irish album called '20 summers' which featured no editing or overdubs and every track was a single live take. Shannon has also won multiple Music Nova Scotia Awards including 'Educator of the year', and has been nominated for several Canadian Folk Music Awards. Shannon previously owned the 'Lydian School of Music' in Dartmouth where she trained hundreds of students in violin/fiddle, piano as well as group fiddle classes. Her training is in primarily Classical, Jazz and Irish, but her repertoire includes a lot of Scottish, French Canadian and Modern Celtic repertoire as well. She is looking forward to her first experience adjudicating the Annapolis Valley Music festival! 

 Dr. Bethany Turpin, DMA 
is a singer, teacher, and conductor living in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. She currently teaches private and group singing and piano classes from her home and local library. Bethany received a Doctor of Musical Arts from Western University in 2022. Her research was on the relationship individuals have with their voices and how that impacts their sense of self. She calls it Voice Image.

Bethany has performed in many opera productions and myriads of recitals. Although she firmly believed she would be a performer and certainly not a teacher Bethany quickly discovered that she loves teaching and hates auditions. It turns out that helping others grow in confidence and their love of music is very fulfilling work. She refuses to admit that being obsessed with learning is a problem and has begun a fourth university degree – a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology. She hopes to become a therapist for artists. 

When she isn’t teaching or studying, Bethany does all sorts of community music things. She plays keys in a cover band called Free Admission, sings in the community choir, plays percussion in the community band, and acts in the local community theatre. At the end of the day, she happily comes home to the loves of her life, her dog Penny and cat Julian. Her partner Curtis understands.

Share This Information

FacebookTwitterLinkedinDiggStumbleuponGoogle BookmarksRedditNewsvine

Join Our Mailing List

Join our mailing list to receive priority updates and information about the festival: