Heidi Elise Bearcroft
I am full of gratitude for having Heidi bring her enthusiasm and encouragment to the project and the music. I don’t think I would have played as well without her!
Harpist Heidi Elise Bearcroft is one of the most outstanding solo, chamber, and orchestral musicians of her generation, and has performed solo recitals everywhere from New York to Los Angeles, Vancouver to Vienna, and has collaborated with many world-class musicians at the Strings Chamber Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Tanglewood, and St. Barth’s Music Festival. Principal Harp with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since 2011, Heidi previously performed as a member of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (with which she has also appeared as a soloist). She has been a member of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony since 2001. She is the winner of many competitions, including first prizes at the 2009 American Harp Society National Competition and the 2004 American String Teachers Association National Solo Competition, and is the recipient of the Anne Adams Award (2010) and the Victor Salvi Award (2008). She has been featured twice as a soloist on NPR’s From the Top. In 2015, she released Genetic Harps, a recording of harp duets with her mother, Gretchen Van Hoesen.
Darren was instrumental in bringing focus and structure to giving Betsy’s piece life. His bassooning is effervescent and grounding all at once! I thank him for his musicianship and support!
Toronto Symphony Orchestra Associate Principal Bassoon Darren Hicks hails from small-town Nova Scotia. Prior to joining the TSO in September of 2018, Darren was a Fellow at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida and a Rebanks Family Fellow at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto. He was a member of the Verbier Festival Orchestra from 2013 to 2015 and was the recipient of the Dean’s Prize at Yale’s Commencement 2014, the 2012 National Arts Centre Orchestra Bursary, and a 2012 Nova Scotia Talent Trust Bursary.
My time university was spent with some pretty fine musicians, one of which was Andy. We run into each other on gigs a few times a year and I don’t know exactly why but whenever Andy is involved in a performance I’m in, I always play better! He was a natural choice to play the wind and weather.
Andy Morris, pacifist, hits things for a living. His passion for making things with his hands, whether music or instruments has resulted in a fun journey around the globe. Based in Toronto he maintains a busy freelance career as percussionist and timpanist for groups as varied as Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Elora Festival Orchestra, Toronto Children’s Chorus and many others. He started his work underground regularly in the Toronto theatre scene as solo percussionist with the Toronto production of The Lion King and continues to appear in pits for a variety of visiting shows. As a commercial musician he has recorded over 120 jingles and movies as well as the sometimes sublime to ridiculous experiences performing at local venues to back up their visiting artists such as Aretha Franklin, Andreas Bocelli and Frank Sinatra Jr. He has toured Canada, Europe and Asia with John Wyre’s heartbeat Ensemble, Patricia O’Callaghan and his award- winning trio Zebra Schvungk. Recent highlights included performances with Sarah McLachlan, Roger Hogeson of Supertramp, Elora singers, and a Christmas album for Matt Dusk. Andy especially loves working with living composers developing new work for chamber ensemble.
John Rice, Elder Wasauksing First Nation
A true honour to have Elder John Rice take part in this project. I look forward to performing Niibin live with him as well!
John Rice, Zahgausgai “Sun Ray”, Mukwa “Bear Clan”, is an Ojibwa Anishinaabe and a 3rd Degree member of the Three Fires Midewiwin Society. John’s home community is Wasauksing First Nation near Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada. He has made it a life passion to study the “MIikaans” Teaching which is about the whole development of the human before, during and after life. John’s childhood was rich in the stories of his people. Stories from his childhood included the migrations of the Anishinaabe, creation stories of his people and various sacred items. John generously shares his knowledge throughout the Central Ontario Region. He currently works as part of the Counselling and Wellness Team at Mamaway Wiidokdaadwin Indigenous Interprofessional Primary Care Team in Barrie, Ontario. John employs Anishinaabe stories and teaching as a narrative to guide individuals through life events and mental health struggles. He travels internationally and is a well respected teacher and elder in the Anishinaabe Nation. John is a Story Teller, Big Drum Carrier, Ceremonialist, Singer and Dancer. His greatest joy is watching Ojibwa youth learn and practice the culture.
Christina Marie Faye
I first saw Tina perform as a collaborative pianist over a weekend of a flute conference in Toronto. Through some really tough repertoire, hot days, even having to do some last-minute sight reading, she was perfect, musical, and such a calming presence. I have wanted to play with her ever since!
Christina is an accomplished pianist making her home in Toronto. She works with a number of choirs and opera/theatre organizations, currently including the Pax Christi Chorale, Canadian Children’s Opera Company, Nathaniel Dett Chorale, and for the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s ‘Singsation’ series. Tina holds the Principal Keyboard position with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and is the music director for Donway Covenant United Church. Recently, several tracks she recorded for StudioMDHR's hit video game 'Cuphead' were featured on an album that reached #1 on the Jazz Billboard charts.
Richard has been shaking pompoms for me in flagrant disregard of my own doubts and fears. His encouragement and faith has been crucial and unwavering.
Richard Herriott was born in Singapore in 1963, of British Parents. He spent his early childhood in London, England, and in 1967, the Herriott Family emigrated to Canada. He made his recital debut for CBC at age 12. At age 18, he made his Orchestral debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under Sir Andrew Davis to great acclaim from both audience and critics. He has given Concerts in 14 Countries around the World, and has played under many great Conductors including Wyn Davies, John Pryce- Jones, Uri Mayer, Georg Tintner, and Kevin Mallon. Herriott is also widely celebrated for his highly developed and unique ability of Improvisation. Major Ballet Companies in North America and Europe have repeatedly asked for his services as Dance Accompanist, in response to his highly energetic and imaginative original Music for Class. He has composed several short Ballets, and has also written Concerti for Guitar, Oboe, 2 Oboes, 2 Celli, and Piano. In 2017, Herriott performed with Orchestra Toronto, under, Kevin Mallon, his 1st Piano Concerto The Newfie Bullet. In 2019, he premiered his 2nd Piano Concerto An Electric Organ, a Ladder, and a Persian Rug with Orchestra Toronto under Michael Newnham. It was in November of 2019 that Herriott made his Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra debut under Marc David in a second performance of The Newfie Bullet. During the Pandemic, he increased his activities as a comper in writing a Solo Piano Suite and a 3rd Piano Concerto. He also made his Symphony in the Barn debut in a performance of Beethoven's Appassionate Sonata and is delighted to appear again in 2021 in a performance of Beethoven's 3rd Piano Concerto.