About - OUR TEAM

Artistic Team

 


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Artistic Director:

Torri Airhart

Torri was born and raised in Yellowknife, NWT. He grew up in a very musical family where both his parents were involved in singing and playing piano/organ on a weekly basis. Torri started piano lessons at the age of 4 and that remained one of his greatest passions up until University. He attended University of Manitoba for his undergrad degrees (B of Music/ B of Ed), during which he was actively involved in numerous vocal groups (University Singers, Bison Men's Chorus, VocalEase) where he also developed a keen passion for Vocal Jazz.

After University, Torri spent 7 years as a full-time worship pastor in Winnipeg and Minneapolis. Upon returning to Canada, he received a Masters in Music (Choral Conducting) from the University of Calgary where he studied for two years under Malcolm Edwards. Alongside his studies, Torri became involved in the Calgary Choral scene, holding positions with Youth Singers of Calgary, The Savridi Singers, and was a founding director of Harmony through Harmony. During this time, his day job included building a music program that included concert band, jazz band, choir and vocal jazz that won multiple awards at local, national and international competitions. He has also been an adjudicator and clinician for Westwinds and Three Hills Musicale.

Torri is excited to join ARC and work with an amazing group of singers and staff people - and to be a part of the new chapter in ARC's next 20 year history!

Torri's musical tastes are incredibly varied - classic rock, pop, Broadway, jazz, and even some occasional modern country! But the two most frequent “go to” stations would be Bach or Jazz.
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Associate Artistic Director :

John Vooys

Born and raised in Calgary, John grew up enjoying music through playing piano. He entered the choir scene in college as he completed a BFA in drawing at ACAD and a Master of Christian Studies from Ambrose. One of his many talents is composing music and he has more recently begun sharing it with people, including our ARC family!

One thing that excites John about ARC is that he loves making great vocal music with other people, and this community gives him the opportunity to stretch singers who have less experience or confidence with their voices. To John, music is something that helps us feel and understand, while singing together creates felt connections that other forms cannot. His favourite choir song is "O Maria" by Anuna and his favourite non-choir song has got to be "Inspector Norse" by Todd Terje!
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Something Good Director & Creative Assistant:

Michelle Kotelko

 
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Accompanist:

Reina Gomez

Coming soon...
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Accompanist:

Garrett Krause

Garrett is a born and raised Calgarian, who began his musical training at a young age through the singing-based Kodály music program at Mount Royal. He sang in children's choirs before switching to focus on playing the piano from junior high onward. As well as attaining his piano performance ARCT he studied music composition at the University of Calgary and is a national award-winning composer.

He enjoys working as an accompanist, especially with choirs like ARC, because of the chance to collaborate and be a part of a group and community of excited people who are all there to share their love of music. He believes that music has such a strong power to unite people and connect all our emotions and powerfully tell stories.

Garrett loves pretty much all music: from early medieval chants to modern avante-garde orchestral pieces, film scores, pop and rock. A long-time favorite song of his is Tusk by Fleetwood Mac.
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Accompanist:

Lorel Leal

Lorel had her Canadian upbringing on a family farm. One thing that excites her about ARC is creating great music, all together as a community. To Lorel, music brings satisfaction, comfort and a personal sense of accomplishment! Favourite song? I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor!
 

Administration Team

 


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Executive Director:

Brenda Giroux

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Born in Regina, SK, Brenda and her family made Calgary their permanent home in 1980, after years of moving back and forth due to her Dad's job.

Brenda graduated with a BEd and taught elementary school until taking a career sabbatical in 2000. Re-entering the workforce in 2012, she was hired as Executive Director at a Calgary private school. In the years that followed, Brenda graduated with a MBA in Executive Management from Royal Roads University in 2017 and worked as Executive Director for two additional organizations before joining the ARC team in 2021.

Brenda is excited about the ARC community. She notes that “In the short time I've been with ARC, I've been impressed with the connection, enthusiasm and joy that is realized in this
community.”

Finding it impossible to choose a favorite song, Brenda's go-to genres are classical (thanks to her RCM training) and jazz. Brenda feels that music is the best way to express feelings and emotions. It calms and soothes, it celebrates and motivates, it challenges and encourages growth.

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Business Manager:

Leslie Forward

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A born and raised Calgarian, Leslie has been involved in the arts scene, specifically music (concert/jazz/marching bands), for most of her life. She is a CPA, CGA by day and an avid volunteer by night, supporting various organizations to further arts, education, western culture and overall continue to keep Calgary shining!

She is excited to partner with ARC to not only support their current business needs, but also strategic initiatives to keep the songbirds singing, helping to provide a great space for community building, creative activities and engagement within the city.

The main reason that music is so important to Leslie is her philosophy that individuals do not need to share a common language to understand and communicate with one another when music is involved and it is a large mood shifter. The moment certain songs, such as YMCA, Bohemian Rhapsody, Friends in Low Place and others come across a radio, everyone turns into the best backup singer! Classical and Jazz are usually playing in her home to set a relaxing background atmosphere but nothing is better than country in the car for a long drive!
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Marketing & Communications Coordinator:

Bri Gare

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Bri comes to ARC from a small town in southern Ontario. Moving to Calgary in 2020, she is currently pursuing a Communications degree from the University of Calgary. Studying film and drama as well as media studies brings her great joy and makes her a great fit for the ARC team.

Bri is excited to connect with members of ARC and join the amazing community that has already been so inviting! She is thrilled to support ARC singers with anything and everything, as well as welcome new members to the ranks!

She believes that music is a way to express identity, love, emotion, and passion that can't' be shared any other way. She loves the arts, especially musical theatre, and has a love for any and all Taylor Swift and Gracie Abrams releases (Can you tell she's a Gen Z?)
 
PRODUCTION TEAM


The ARC Production Team manages the delivery of public performance logistics, staging, costuming, properties, backstage management and sets. The Production Team meets regularly during the year to develop the plan in support of the season program requirements. Public performances include Christmas shows, ARC Annual Talent Show and the popular Year-End Production. Please contact our Artistic Director for exciting volunteer opportunities to become involved with ARC productions. 
 
PRODUCTION MANAGER:
Keith Kotelko

LOGISTICS COORDINATOR: 
Peter Wolf 

VENUE/STAGE COORDINATOR:
Sharon Stiles

CHOREOGRAPHY: 
Lisa Ryan

COSTUME COORDINATOR: 
Stella Arcega


CHOIR COORDINATORS:
Debbie Goodman: Up2Something
Phyllis Kimpton: She's Up2Something
Susan Douglas: Something Good




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