Jazz Bands

Sandro Dominelli Top

SANDRO DOMINELLI is one of Canada’s most creative, talented, and tasteful drummers. Through his continuing success as a much sought-after composer, bandleader, side man, and producer, he has proven to be an established luminary in the Canadian music scene. Sandro’s musical sensibilities have caught the attention of international and local blues musicians alike, who have been inspired to perform or record with his influence including David Clayton Thomas, Colin James, Tom Cochrane, Jack DeKeyzer, Jack Semple, Lester Quitzau. Most recently, having won the 2018 Edmonton Memphis Blues Challenge and placing in the semi-finals of the International Blues Challenge, Sandro has firmly established himself in the Canadian blues community. As a composer, Sandro has received a Juno nomination, 2 Western Canadian Music Awards, Canadian Music Award, City of Edmonton Arts Awards, and more. Currently, Sandro is Executive Director of Dominelli Studios, a non-profit recording arts centre in Edmonton. Also an educator at MacEwan University in the Music Department.

Joel Gray Top

Edmonton-based freelance trumpeter and music educator with 25-years of experience, Joel Gray has shared the stage with some of the world's finest artists, including Tommy Banks, PJ Perry, Slide Hampton, Diana Krall, Nikki Yanovsky, Lew Tebackin, Allen Vizzutti, Gino Vannelli, Kent Sangster, Hugh Fraser, Jens Lindemann, and commercial talents Frank Sinatra Jr., the Temptations, Gino Vannelli, Wayne Newton, and Rollanda Lee, to name a few.

Known for his versatility, Joel is in high demand in both jazz and classical genres. He is a regular performer with many local artists and diverse musical ensembles, including the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, The Edmonton Jazz Orchestra, The Edmonton Jazz Collective, Edmonton Opera, Pro Coro Canada, the Don Berner Sextet, the Prime Time Big Band, the Retrofitz, the Polyjesters, the Tommy Banks Big Band, The New Orleans Connection, and Capital Brass, to name only a few.

Joel is also a veteran in the orchestra pit, having performed many professional musical theatre productions, including the National Broadway Tours of Book of Mormon, Wicked, Marry Poppins, A Chorus Line, Billy Elliot, Beauty and the Beast, The Wizard of Oz, as well as many local professional productions presented at the Citadel Theatre. He has recorded on over 30 CDs and performed numerous times for CBC radio, and played assistant principal trumpet with the ESO in Carnegie Hall in May of 2012, and was a featured soloist with the ESO in January of 2018 doing a "Tribute to Louis Armstrong."

As a music educator, Joel has been teaching since 1995, and teaches trumpet at MacEwan University and has taught at Augustana University and Keyano College. He is an instructor at MusiCamp Alberta and has adjudicated for the Cantando Music Festival, the Rocky Mountain Music Festival, the Foothills Jazz Festival, and the Kiwanis Music Festival. Since 2004, he has been the director of the award-winning “Littlebirds” big band.

Concert Bands

Dr. Dennis Prime Top

DR. DENNIS PRIME is a well known clarinetist, conductor, educator and arts administrator. He has served as Dean of Music at the renowned New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida as well as on the faculties of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, the University of Wisconsin in Madison, the University of Alberta in Edmonton and served as the Director of Canada’s 2nd largest music school, Alberta College Conservatory for over 15 years. His principle conducting teachers include Robert Reynolds (University of Michigan) and Eugene Corporan (North Texas).

He has performed as soloist, conductor and chamber musician throughout the world including North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. He has served as guest conductor for several North American festivals and music workshops and continues to research and commission quality repertoire for a wide variety of ensembles. He has judged several major festivals and is in constant demand as a clinician and adjudicator. His interest in quality music education spurred the creation of the North American Cantando Festivals.

Dr. Karem Simon Top

KAREM J SIMON is an active soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, and conductor. He has been a member of the UPEI Music Faculty since 1991, where his principal duties include the instruction of clarinet and saxophone majors, the conducting of the Wind Symphony, and the teaching of courses in music education.

A native of Newfoundland and a graduate of UBC, Northwestern, and Mount Allison Universities, Dr. Simon has been a featured artist with the PEI Symphony, Saint John String Quartet, Gros Morne Summer Music Festival, and the International Clarinet Association's ClarinetFest.

As a Canada Council for the Arts and PEI Council of the Arts grants recipient, he studied contemporary clarinet techniques in 2008 with Robert Spring at Arizona State University. He is known as a passionate and sensitive musician, able to inspire musicians of diverse backgrounds. His philosophies and methodologies have been forged through his forty-two years of public school and university teaching, and synthesized through his experiences and studies with some of the leading wind band conductors – John Paynter, Eugene Corporon, Dale Lonis, Michael Haithcock, Craig Kirchoff among them. Conducting engagements with the PEI Symphony Orchestra, the National Youth Band of Canada, and a variety of provincial Honour Bands highlight his career. The UPEI Wind Symphony has produced twenty-two CDs under his direction. Recently, he released an album, Solitary Clarinet, a collection of pieces for unaccompanied clarinet, which is available on all the major online music streaming platforms.

Cheryl Ferguson Top

CHERYL FERGUSON received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance (French horn) and a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Mary (Bismarck, ND). She has also done graduate work at Southern Oregon University, and has earned a Master in Curriculum Studies (Music Education) at Acadia University (Nova Scotia).

Cheryl has taught music at every level, including K-6 general music classes, ten years running junior high band programs, and has been in her current position as Director of Bands at Fort Richmond Collegiate since 2006. Cheryl is also the Director of Concert Band at Canadian Mennonite University.

Cheryl has completed the Canadian Wind Conductor’s Development Program Levels I and II. She is active as a clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor, including conducting the 2010 Manitoba Junior Provincial Honour Band, the 2017 Manitoba Intermediate Honour Band, and many regional Honour Bands across the Prairies. She has adjudicated at band and chamber music festivals across the Prairie Provinces and in North Dakota. She has also been a guest conductor for the Red Deer College Adult Concert Band, the Alberta Youth Wind Symphony, the Regina Catholic Schools Honour Band, and for the Prairielands Jazz Camp.

The Fort Richmond Collegiate band program, under Cheryl's direction, was awarded the Don Green Award at the 2011 Optimist Band Festival in Winnipeg.

In 2013, Cheryl received the Manitoba Band Association Award of Distinction recognizing an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to music education in Manitoba. In 2014, she received the I. Keith Mann Outstanding Band Director Award, national recognition given to one band director in Canada per year. Cheryl was also awarded the Community Hero Award from the Manitoba Legislative Assembly in 2018.

Cheryl serves as French horn instructor at Canadian Mennonite University, and maintains a private studio of private French horn students. She continues to perform with the Winnipeg Wind Ensemble and the Ferguson Family Brass Quartet. She has conducted the Adult Advanced Band at International Music Camp for several years.

Cheryl serves the band community in Manitoba through significant service to the Manitoba Band Association, including being the Concert Band Festival Chairperson, the Manitoba Honour Band Administrator, Co-chair of the MBA Solo Challenge, and a Regional Representative on the MBA Board.

In 2016, Cheryl was invited to record a TED Talk on Motivating People toward Excellence. The talk is available on YouTube and in the link below: