Allene Hackleman has been principal horn of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra since 2004. A native of Vancouver, Allene began studying the horn under the tutelage of her father, Martin Hackleman. She earned a bachelor of music degree from the University of Cincinnati. Ms. Hackleman served as an apprentice in the National Academy Orchestra of Canada, and has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington, D.C.), and the Montréal Symphony. Allene Hackleman has performed concerti with the Edmonton Symphony, Alberta Baroque Ensemble, and the Victoria Symphony. She is currently a member of the Summit Brass ensemble and as such is on faculty at the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute in Denver and performed with Summit Brass on their most recent CD release. Allene pursues a keen interest in chamber music and in 2008 was a performer at the Festival of the Sound in Parry Sound, ON. She also teaches at the University of Alberta.
Megan Evans is currently Assistant Principal Horn with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, a position she began in September 2008. Ms. Evans is a graduate of Kwantlen College in Langley, British Columbia where she studied with Dr. Wayne Jeffreys. She then went on to complete both a bachelor’s and master’s of music at McGill University in Montréal. Her primary instructors were Denys Derome and John Zirbel of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and she also had the pleasure of taking lessons and masterclasses with many fantastic horn players from across North America.
In 2007, Ms. Evans was appointed Fourth Horn with the Niagara Symphony in Ontario. In 2008, she was offered a position with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and was very pleased to accept. In addition to making music in an orchestra, Megan Evans also enjoys performing as a soloist and chamber musician. She has spent her last four summers at the Aspen Music Festival and hopes to return every summer for the rest of her life!
A native Edmontonian, Gerald Onciul is in his 4th decade of performing with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra as Assistant Principal Horn. After receiving a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Alberta in 1977, Gerald began his career with the ESO, while seeking further studies with James Decker, Erich Penzel and Eugene Rittich. Gerald's principal teachers were John Hermanns, John Iltis, Gloria Ratcliffe and David Hoyt. He has performed as principal horn with the Mexico City Philharmonic, Regina Symphony, and the National Ballet Orchestra. He has also performed with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Banff Opera Orchestra, and the Calgary Philharmonic. On five separate occasions Gerald has appeared as soloist with the ESO, and was Acting Principal Horn with the ESO in the 2001 - 2002 season. Since its inception in 1997, he has been a participant in the ESO's Adopt-A-Player Program, which gives public and separate school students a chance to perform their own piece on stage at the Winspear Centre for Music. He was Professor of Horn at the University of Alberta from 1992 - 2008. A highlight of his career at the university was getting a chance to play the Robert Schumann Konzertstuck for Four Horns and Orchestra with his students and the University Symphony Orchestra in Convocation Hall at the U of A, with Tanya Prochazka conducting. He is currently Professor of Horn at The King's University College in Edmonton, Alberta. Gerald has also performed internationally with the Edmonton Youth Orchestra in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1972 and with the New Edmonton Wind Sinfonia tours of France and Italy in 2000, 2004 and 2008. Performing on tenor horn, he was a founding member of the Mill Creek Colliery Band. Gerald continues to be active as a clinician, chamber music recitalist and church musician.
One of his earliest musical memories was playing a solo on tenor horn at church in the 4th grade. Being so nervous in standing in front of an audience for the first time, he blurted out "SORRY" to the congregation upon completion.
Gerald's favourite ESO performance, by far, was the Procol Harum Reunion Concert in 1992. Everyone ended up at Bandito's Restaurant after the concert where Gary Brooker and company proceeded to take over the stage and play the Blues into the wee hours of the morning. Priceless!
The Richard Strauss Horn Concerto No. 1 is a work Gerald would love to play with an orchestra. He likes listening to recordings of the Mahler symphonies while driving to and from the Winspear Centre for Music. He finds it very uplifting for a brass player!
Gerald is an avid golfer, hiker, handyman and gardener. He is married to Evelyn, a teacher, and they have sons, Nathan and Byron.
Donald Plumb began his musical career in the music education program of the St. Catharines Public School system, which has been a model for Canadian music education since its inception in the early 1960s. He played with many ensembles, including the St. Catharines/Niagara Symphony, Hamilton Opera, North York Symphony, and Banff School of Fine Arts Opera Orchestra. He went on to study with Eugene Rittich at the University of Toronto and in the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Donald joined the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in 1973 and became Assistant Principal Horn in 1977. He was a member of the Edmonton Concert Hall Feasibility Committee and has served on numerous Edmonton Symphony committees, including the Executive of the Board of Directors. He is a founding member and the coordinator of Capital Brass. His hobbies include hiking, gardening and his memberships in the Search and Rescue Dog Association of Alberta and the Alberta Doberman Pinscher Club.
A native of East Angus, Québec, Robin Doyon was appointed Principal Tumpet of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in September 2008. Since that appointment, he has appeared as soloist with the ESO, as well as the Red Deer Symphony, and the Alberta Baroque Ensemble. He received his Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Classical Interpretation at the University of Montréal with Jean-Luc Gagnon. He has studied with many masters of the trumpet, including Allen Vizzutti, Jens Lindemann, and James Thompson. In 2002, he was Laureate of the National Music Festival, the Montréal Symphony Orchestra Competition, and the Radio-Canada Young Artists Competition.
Mr. Doyon has also been the recipient of numerous other prizes, including the 2007 prix avec Grande distinction from the Montréal Conservatory of Music. He has been a member of the Grand Ballet of Canada Orchestra, and is a regular performer with the Montréal Symphony Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and the Laval, Longueuil, and the Metropolitan orchestras. He also performed with the Contemporary Ensemble of Montréal and the Contemporary Music Society of Québec. Robin Doyon currently teaches at the University of Alberta, having also been a professor at the University of Sherbrooke.
Bill Dimmer has performed with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra since 1971. He is a graduate of the University of Calgary and has studied in Denmark with members of the Royal Danish Orchestra and in Chicago with members of the Chicago Symphony. He has performed with the Tommy Banks Band and with several other performing organizations as player and conductor, including the Plumbers Union (a recorder group which gave a Command Performance for the Queen during the 1978 Summer Commonwealth Games). Bill has also been active as an adjudicator and conductor and is currently music director of Nova Musica, a community orchestra in Edmonton.
Bill is host/narrator of the ESO's Educational Concert series, former Director of MusiCamrose (a residential summer music workshop) and has been on faculty at The University of Alberta, Grant MacEwan College/Alberta College Conservatory and Concordia College.
Bill is also a pilot and flies with and is Zone Commander for Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) Edmonton.
FIRST SEASON WITH ESO.
1971-72 - the year of the "platinum" Procol Harum recording.
EARLIEST MUSICAL MEMORY
Listening to parent's scratchy old 78 of the Mendelsohnn Violin Concerto before I was old enough to go to school
FAVOURITE MEMORY WITH THE ESO
Too many to list; from Procol Harum to Renee Fleming and Playing at EXPO in Vancouver to touring to Inuvik.
WHAT'S PLAYING RIGHT NOW IN YOUR CD PLAYER/iPOD
Canadian Jazz Artist Kevin Turcotte
Since 1980 John McPherson has been Principal Trombone of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. A native Edmontonian, John has been both a trombone and euphonium soloist with the ESO. In addition, the orchestra has performed many of his compositions. Previous orchestral experience includes the Toronto Symphony, Hamilton Philharmonic, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra, and the Canadian Opera Orchestra.
An active musician in many areas John has played with the Tommy Banks Band, the New Orleans Connection, the Canadian Hot Stars Dixieland Band, the Alberta Jazz Repertory Orchestra, the Bad for Business Big Band and many others. As a chamber musician John has performed and recorded as a member of the Canadian Chamber Ensemble, the Malcolm Forsyth Trombone Ensemble, the Albertasauras Tuba Quartet, the Old Strathcona Town Band, and the Plumbers Union. He is a founding member of E-SWAT, a tactical musical strike team of the ESO which launches surgical attacks of music where it’s least expected.
As an educator John has been part of the ESO’s Adopt a Player program, taught at numerous music camps, and since 1985 has been Visiting Assistant Professor of Trombone and Euphonium at the University of Alberta.
Composition has become an increasingly important part of John’s career. He has received commissions from Grande Prairie Regional College, the Wild Rose String Quartet, and the Alberta Foundation for the Performing Arts. His works have been performed by such groups as the Edmonton Symphony, the Hammerhead Consort, Take 3, the NOWage Orchestra, the Beau String Quartet of Calgary, Basstiality of Toronto, and the Festival City Pops Orchestra. Many of these performances have been recorded and broadcast on programs such as Arts National, Two New Hours, and Alberta In Concert.
Kathryn Macintosh was born in Montréal but spent her formative years in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. As a teenager she was glued to the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts every Saturday afternoon. She attended Acadia University and the University of Toronto, where she studied with Gordon Sweeney. Kathryn joined the ESO in 1983.
Her favourite composers at the moment are Copland and Rautavaara. She enjoys bicycle commuting most months of the year, and growing vegetables.
A native Edmontonian and a graduate of the University of Alberta, Christopher Taylor has performed with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra since 1975. Christopher studied with former ESO trombonist Dr. Malcolm Forsyth and furthered his education in Los Angeles and Chicago. Before entering university he was a member of the Edmonton Youth Orchestra, the Cosmopolitan Band, the Banff Festival Orchestra, and the Canadian Chamber Orchestra. He was a founding member of the Malcolm Forsyth Trombone Ensemble and the Festivo Brass Quintet. Since 1981, Christopher has held the position of Instructor of Bass Trombone and Brass Ensemble at the University of Alberta. Christopher has appeared in the ITV Concert series with international artists such as Henry Mancini and Anne Murray, and in showbands with Bob Hope and Red Skelton. He is active as a freelance musician and has appeared as a soloist and chamber player in North America and Europe. Christopher's free time interests include hiking, sailing, painting, sculpture, photography and travel.
Scott Whetham joined the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra as Principal Tuba in 1984, and with them has performed the concertos of John Williams and Vaughan Williams. He is on fifteen of the orchestra's recordings. A highlight for him was the ESO 1994 "Northern Lights Tour". Other orchestras and ensembles with which he has performed include the Calgary Philharmonic, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Opera and Ballet Orchestras, Broadway's touring production of Annie, and the National Symphony Orchestra of Peru. He has taught at the the University of Regina, The Banff International Festival of Youth Orchestras and currently teaches tuba at the University of Alberta and MusiCamp Alberta (formerly MusiCamrose).
Mr. Whetham began playing tuba in the North Vancouver Youth Band, under the direction of Arthur Smith. He studied with Dennis Miller (Vancouver Symphony), with further training at the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and the Eastman School of Music. Attending classes of Arnold Jacobs, Roger Bobo, Richard Erb and Christopher Leuba (horn) were additionally inspiring. He has been featured in broadcasts on the CBC as both performer and composer. His Nonet for Brass - After Emily Carr was recently premiered at the International Women's Brass Conference in Toronto. In Edmonton, he plays with the Tarragon Tea Orchestra (a European style salon orchestra), a tuba quartet and a basement rock band. Scott collects extremely boring postcards and is learning how to winter cycle after making the decision to go carless.