Dr. Elizabeth Grant, BCC Founder and Artistic Director Emerita
Originally from Nova Scotia, Elizabeth holds an Associateship (Piano Performance) Diploma from both the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Maritime Conservatory. She has had a long-standing connection with Brandon University from which she holds a Bachelor of Music (Voice Performance), a Kodaly Music Education Specialist Certificate, and a Master of Music (Music Education). She has adjudicated extensively from Vancouver to Halifax, and is a popular clinician at local, provincial and national events. She conducted the Brandon Choral Society for 25 years, has coordinated the Kodaly Summer Programme and taught a variety of graduate and undergraduate music education courses at Brandon University. She also maintains a large private piano studio, and has been Musical Director of First Presbyterian Church for over 40 years. She is the founding director of the Brandon Conservatory Chorale, which has included an Apprentice Choir, Boys’ Choir, Concert Choir, Chamber Choir and Adult Choir (Bel Canto). The Chamber Choir has represented Canada at numerous international events. She led the Mecca Community Choir, and took a 70 voice adult choir to China for the pre-Olympic Cultural Celebrations in 2008. Awards include the YWCA’s Woman of Distinction Award for the Arts, the PAUL HARRIS FELLOWSHIP by the International Rotary Club, the Manitoba Choral Association Peace Garden Award, the Brandon University Alumni “Excellence In Teaching Award”, the Governor General’s Queen’s Jubilee Commemorative Medal and an Honourary Doctorate of Music from Brandon University in 2009.
Marla Fontaine, Director of Youth Choirs
Marla Fontaine is the Director of Youth Choirs for the Brandon Conservatory Chorale program and is the music specialist at École Harrison in Brandon, where she directs four choirs from grades one to eight. Before moving to Brandon in 2008, she taught music in the St. James-Assiniboia School Division in Winnipeg and directed the Divisional Children’s Choir. She was also the choral director at Vincent Massey High School in Brandon.
Marla holds a Bachelor of Music Specialist degree (Choral, Instrumental and General) and a Bachelor of Education from Brandon University. She completed her Level II Orff from the University of Manitoba and is currently working on her Master of Performance in Choral Conducting. Marla is committed to music advocacy and professional development in music education. She is a Past President of the Manitoba Music Educators’ Association, and she is the Brandon coordinator for Orff Children’s Day.
Originally from Flin Flon, Manitoba, Marla is in demand as a guest conductor and has particularly enjoyed working with the Western, Eastern and Central Manitoba Youth Choirs as well as the Provincial Honour Choir. Marla sings with “das Femmes”, a vocal ensemble made up of eight women, and she co-conducts “Konektis”, an adult chamber choir. In her spare time, Marla enjoys running, swimming, skiing, camping, and traveling with her two children, Miles and Gracie.
Marla is honoured to continue Dr. Elizabeth Grant’s legacy in her role with the Brandon Conservatory Chorale.
Deanna Ginn, Bel Canto Director
Deanna Ginn is well-known in the community as the founding conductor of Prairie Blend, a TTBB choral ensemble that is now entering its 20th season. In the past, Deanna has worked extensively with choirs throughout the region – most notably those in the CPSings! Choral Music program at Crocus Plains, the renowned Western Manitoba Youth Choir, and Trinity United Church choirs. A two-time graduate of Brandon University, Deanna had the privilege of studying choral conducting under Dr. Earl Davey, Dr. Elizabeth Grant, and Dr. Andrée Dagenais. She looks forward to working with Bel Canto, which feels like coming home to where her love of conducting was first nurtured.