Artistic Staff

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Jeannie Vanwynsberghe Pernal

Founder/Artistic Director

Jeannie has focused her passions and talent on the development of young male voices for the last twenty-five years. She received her received her Bachelor of Music Education and Kodaly Certification from Brandon University. She specialized in Elementary Music Education and choral conducting. In addition, she was awarded her Voice Care Certificate from St. John’s University, North Dakota. Upon graduation from university, she secured a position as Director of Music at the all boys St. John’s Ravenscourt School in Winnipeg. In 1998 she moved to Vancouver, where she founded and directed the Boys’ Division of the Vancouver Children’s Choir. In October of 2001, Jeannie moved to Grande Prairie with her family, and formed the Grande Prairie Boys’ Choir. In 2013, Jeannie was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work with the choir and the choir’s contribution to the community. Recently Jeannie and the boys were awarded the Con Spirito award for their contribution to choral music in the province of AB. She currently mentors under Elise Bradley of the Toronto Children’s Chorus and Trent Worthington of Edmonton. Jeannie is married to Steve Pernal, and together they have three children.

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Trent Worthington

Composer in Residence

Trent Worthington is an Alberta musician who has been active in the Edmonton-area arts community for several decades. His activities include music performance and conducting, teaching, composing, recording, consulting, and having fun making music. He performed with Pro Coro Canada as a singer for almost thirty years, in addition to being chorus master and associate conductor for ten of those years. Trent has also been a founding member of VOCE The A Cappella Experience, and is a long-suffering member of the PreTenors Comedy Opera Troupe. Trent has written and arranged music for dozens of orchestras and choirs, including the Saskatchewan Honour Choir, the award winning Chronos Vocal Ensemble, The Redemptorist Community, iCoristi Chamber Choir ProCoro Canada, and the popular Edmonton Singing Christmas Tree. The Edmonton Metropolitan Chorus has produced an entire concert consisting solely of his compositions. He has served as an adjudicator for Festivals on a provincial and national level. Trent holds a Masters in Education degree from the University of Alberta. He has taught math, computing technology, special education and music in K-12 education, as well as teaching music at Alberta College and computing technology and music at King’s University College. Trent has also done studio work for television, film and music as editor, producer and performer, and has been a gigging musician for most of his life. Trent is currently teaching at George Simpson Junior High School in St. Albert, Alberta, where he lives with his wife Dianne.

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Lisa Fisher

Theory and Duke of Edinburgh Coordinator

Lisa grew up in Portland, Oregon, but has spent the majority of her teaching career in Western Canada teaching music in schools, directing community & church choirs, and accompanying both choirs and soloists. She currently teaches classroom music and choir at Grande Prairie Christian school.

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Mark Brazier

Continuum of Men Conductor, Advanced Theory Instructor

Born and raised in England, Mark has always had a passion for music and in sharing this passion with others through performance and teaching. In 2012, Mark received his Bachelor of Music with Honours from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester where he specialised in Trumpet performance. The same year he moved to Grande Prairie, Canada where he began teaching Music in French at École Nouvelle Frontière. In 2013 Mark began working with the Grande Prairie Boys Choir both as a theory instructor and in leading a group called the Continuum of Men, an all male a cappella group of singers. During the summer of 2014 Mark coordinated and directed the music for a play called ‘Chasing the Dream’ which had been written to celebrate and explore the last 100 years of Grande Prairies history. Most recently Mark has accepted a position as an Instructor at the GPRC Conservatory teaching Trumpet, Voice, Piano and Music Theory and looks forward to continuing his work with both the French school and Boys’ Choir. Mark also directs the Continuum and the Parent’s Choir.

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Carmen Bartel

Men of Note Accompanist

Carmen Bartel began her musical studies with Vera Schopp in Lanigan, Saskatchewan. She advanced to the studio of Dr. Lyell Gustin in Saskatoon where she completed her Licentiate Performer’s Diploma through the Trinity College of Music. Carmen went on to complete an Honours Bachelor of Music Degree from Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo Ontario.

Carmen has lived in the Peace Region for approximately 30 years. She is a piano instructor for the Grande Prairie Regional College Conservatory and operates a private studio in Grande Prairie. Carmen is active in the community as an accompanist for college and community members. She currently teaches students from all areas of the Peace Region and is the accompanist for the Senior and Men of Note Choirs of the Grande Prairie Boys’ Choir.

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Jeremy Thielman

Junior/Senior Accompanist

Jeremy grew up in Debolt, AB and started piano lessons at age 7. He performed regularly in the GP Music Festival and was twice recommended to the Provincial Festival. He achieved his ARCT in Piano Performance in 2007 and his Bachelor of Music (University of Alberta) in 2016. In between, he went to bible school, got married, started teaching piano, and started a family. Along with accompanying the boys choir, Jeremy also teaches piano and music theory, accompanies the voice students at GPRC, and enjoys family time with his wife and three kids.

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Meghan Cherwak

Vocal Coach

Meghan Cooper hails from Grande Prairie, is a recent graduate of the University of Alberta’s Bachelor of Music program, where she majored in voice. During her time at the University of Alberta, she also completed a Bachelor of Secondary Education with a major in music and a minor in drama. A long-time fan of the GP Boys Choir, she is so excited to be working with the boys first-hand this season as their vocal coach.

Meghan has worked as a private vocal coach for three years and has worked with several different choirs both as a conductor and voice consultant. She has studied the methods of several influential voice specialists, including the Berton Coffin, David Wilson, Alexander Technique and Estill methods, and feels that her extensive background in these various methods allows her to be able to diagnose and address any kind of vocal challenge or goal. Her own private voice study was done under the direction of Elizabeth Turnbull and Shannon Hiebert at the University of Alberta. She has also sung in the prestigious University of Alberta Madrigal Singers Choir under the direction of Leonard Ratzlaff, and performed for two years with the University of Alberta Opera Workshop class. Since beginning her own classical music training over 16 years ago, Meghan has found such a sense of joy and fulfillment in her own life.

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Nikki Meers

Drama Instructor

Nikki Meeres has always had a passion for music and theatre. Born and raised in Grande Prairie AB, Nikki is a local voice instructor/artist with over 17 years of vocal training and 12 years of musical theatre training. She has been in several musical productions, including Sleeping Beauty, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. Nikki has completed a Music Performance Diploma in Voice from the GPRC and musical theatre training from the Broadway Teaching Group Musical Theatre Workshop in New York City. She has recorded two country albums in Nashville, TN, Fireworks and Ferris Wheels and Sparkle and Shine. Both are currently on iTunes. Nikki has performed venues with The Nikki Meeres Band at music festivals including, Bud Country Fever and Craven Country Jamboree. She also has completed a Music Together training Diploma for group music classes ages 0-12. Nikki is the Founder and Director for the Meeres Music Productions Summer Theatre Camps.

Service. Mentorship. Camaraderie.

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