Presenting The Mississauga Festival Youth Choir Artistic Staff
Katherine Ilson Dickey : Artistic Director
Katherine received her Honours Bachelor of Music (Education) and Bachelor of Education from Western University. She has years of experience teaching both vocal and instrumental music in a private school setting. She teaches piano in her home studio and is an accompanist for private vocal students and the music department at Cawthra Park Secondary School. She is a member of the Creative Arts Team at Trinity, Streetsville, where she also worked as Music Director and Children’s Ministry Director.
Katherine has been involved in community music productions for over 25 years, directing children’s musicals, producing music programs for retirement residences and as rehearsal accompanist and vocal coach for musical theatre productions in Mississauga and Georgetown. Recent shows include the Thea award winning The Little Mermaid (Theatre Unlimited, 2017) and the upcoming musical The Producers with Meadowvale Music Theatre for 2018. Her current volunteer projects include Music Director for The Parkland Players and a member of the travelling music ministry “Travelling Light”
Svetlana Kotliarenko : Accompanist
Svetlana Kotliarenko is a native of Kiev Ukraine, where she studied at the Tchaikovsky State Conservatory. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Fine Arts, specializing in piano performance.
During her studies at the Conservatory, she received the highly coveted First Prize in the National Competition.
Since moving to Toronto, Svetlana pursued a musical career in a variety of avenues. Currently, she is the Music Director at St. John’s United Church in Oakville, teaches piano and theory in her private studio, and is the accompanist for the Mississauga Youth Festival Choir.
Abigail Freeman : Assistant Director
Abigail Freeman has been a performer and arts educator for over fifteen years. She has been the featured soloist with with the Heliconian Choir & Orchestra, Canadian Orpheus Male Choir, Arcady and the Brantford Symphony and the Brott Festival, the Mississauga Choral Society, Counterpoint Chorale, the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra, and the Georgetown Bach Chorale.
On the operatic stage she has appeared as the Queen of the Night and Papagena (The Magic Flute), Despina (Cosi fan tutte), Zerbinetta (Ariadne of Naxos), Annchen (Der Freischutz), Blonde (Die Entfuhrung as den Serail), Ophelia (Mark Richards’ Hamlet) and The Chair (A Chair in Love). She also frequently performs with Windmill Theatre. Ms Freeman is currently the Music Director at the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga where she leads an adult mixed voice choir. She has also worked as the Vocal Teacher and Choir Director for the Froebel Education Centre and has been a choral singer herself since childhood, having sung with the Elora Festival Singers, Arcady, the Mississauga Choral Society, the Toronto Children’s Chorus, the Holy Family Oratory Choir and the MacMillan Singers. Freeman completed a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Toronto (Canada) and a Master of Music Degree from Binghamton University (United States). She currently also teaches voice, piano and theory in her own private music studio
Myroslava Horich : Rehearsal Volunteer
Graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from McGill University, then received her teaching certificate from Ottawa Teachers’ College.
She worked as an itinerant vocal music teacher for the Toronto Catholic District School Board from 1981 – 2013, entering her school choirs regularly into the TCDSB music festivals. And was a Choirmaster at St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Mississauga from 1988-2000.
Currently retired and seeing her granddaughter’s enthusiasm in singing with the MFYC over the last two years prompted Myroslava to continue in her love of choral music, and to volunteer in the capacity of rehearsal assistant.
Hilary Menezes : Conducting Intern
Hilary joins MFYC for the 2018/19 season, and we are delighted that she will share her enthusiasm, and expertise with our young choristers. Now in her final year as a Vocal Major at Cawthra Secondary school, Ms. Menezes has been a chorister in numerous choirs throughout her school years, and is a member of the prestigious Les Belles Classiques, and the Senior Concert Choir.
Outside of school, she is a member of the Peel Senior Honour Choir and the Mississauga Summer Chorale. Hilary has both her RCM Grade Seven Piano and Grade Six Vocal exams, which she passed with exceptionally high marks, and as a result was honoured with the IEP Music Studio’s Outstanding Student Award.
“Working with young students is something I absolutely love! I feel I have the skills, experience, and passion necessary to motivate and encourage youth to reach their full musical potential. My plan is to attend university and to study music and humanities, after which I plan to attend Teachers College with the goal of becoming a music teacher. I am definitely a “people person”, and I look forward to working in a profession that allows me to give back to my community, and to inspire young students as I have been so encouraged by the amazing music teachers I have known. I look forward to a fantastic season”