Gloria in Excelsis

Critically acclaimed soprano Adria McCulloch began her vocal training on a hay tractor in rural Alberta. She holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Maryland Opera Studio, and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Regina. She has performed the role of Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Susan in Allan Bell’s Turtle Wakes and the title role in Gluck’s Armide, and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. She is a graduate of the Opera Lafayette Young Artists in Washington DC, where she performed the Naiad in Gluck’s Armide at Kennedy Center, DC and Lincoln Center, NY, and recorded Une Bergère in Lully’s score for the NAXOS label. Other productions include Songbook with Tapestry New Works, Anaman in Opera Erotique and Chromesthesia with Out of the Box Productions in Toronto. Adria is the Musical Director and performer for My Virtual Dream, a collaboration with neuroscientists that fuses art, entertainment and research. Powered by BCI and The Virtual Brain technology, MVD has been produced in Toronto and L.A.

Tenor Spencer McKnight has been described as “one of the finest tenor voices” in Canada. McKnight has garnered much attention both in concert and in competition over the course of the last six years, including multiple awards at a national level, and the 2018 winner of the Gordon C. Wallis Opera Competition.  Though early in his career, Spencer has had the opportunity to sing a wealth of oratorio repertoire, and had recent engagements with the Regina and Saskatoon Symphony Orchestras. One of his exciting upcoming engagements is the North American premiere of Rebecca Dale’s Materna Requiem with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra on March 7, 2020.  In 2020 Spencer will join his long-time collaborator Mark Turner in a tour of a new recital programme. McKnight studied with teacher and mentor Lisa Hornung for many years, he now studies with Toronto based vocal pedagogue Mark Daboll.  His voice is described as fresh and brassy with stratospheric high notes, Spencer is proud to be a recipient of funding from the Saskatchewan Arts Board.

Michael Hawkes, Bass is thrilled to be joining the Regina Philharmonic Chorus again this year.  This will be his fourth time performing with the choir, having sung Mozart’s “Solemn Vespers” in 2016 and Jenkin’s “The Armed Man” and Orff’s “Carmina Burana” concerts last year. Having lived most of his life in Regina, Michael’s singing began as a young child with the Conservatory Children’s choir, led by Deborah Nelson. As a graduate of Campbell Collegiate, he sang in many of the vocal groups available during his time there and was the recipient of the Men’s Choral Award in 2001. During his time at the University of Regina, Michael studied voice with Peter Groom and sang with the University of Regina Chamber Singers. Michael is an alumnus of the Kokopelli Choir Association in Edmonton and a 15-year member of Regina’s Halcyon Chamber Choir. Michael also had the opportunity to work with renowned composer, Eric Whitace, in 2018 as part of an auditioned choir with singers from around the world that culminated in a one night only performance at the renowned Carnegie Hall in New York City.  Michael would again like to thank the Regina Philharmonic Chorus for the opportunity to be a part of this fantastic concert as well as those who have supported him over the years. 

April Polasek, Soprano, was born and raised in Regina. April discovered her love of singing in the chamber choir and vocal jazz groups at Dr. Martin LeBoldus High School. She has also sung in the SMEA Honour Choir and the University of Regina Chamber Singers. April has been a member of the Halcyon Chamber Choir since 2008, and has often been featured as a soloist.  She has also enjoyed taking part in many performances involving Per Sonatori Baroque Ensemble and the Regina Symphony Orchestra.

Tava Burton, Soprano, was born and raised in Regina.  She first began singing as a chorister in the Holy Rosary Cathedral Children’s Choir. Tava was a member of the O’Neill High School Choir and Vocal Jazz group from 2006-2010 and has sung in the Halcyon Chamber Choir since 2008. She has taken part in many Regina Symphony Orchestra performances throughout the years. Tava is excited to be a soloist with the Regina Philharmonic Chorus.