Windsor Choral Festival

Virtually May 13-14, 2022

The Windsor Classic Chorale created the Windsor Choral Festival in 2012 to provide ongoing vocal training and education free of charge to Windsor-Essex choirs. An intergenerational event like no other, the WCF engages expert clinicians from across the country to work with choirs of all ages and skill levels in our region, promoting community building through collaborative singing and Canadian choral music in workshops, choral clinics, and massed choir performances.

Windsor Choral Festival Virtual Concert 2022

Clinicians for 2022 Vocal Technique for Choral Singers Workshop


Karen Burke

Karen Burke holds a Master of Education Degree from York University, an Honours Bachelor of Music Degree from McMaster University, and an A.R.C.T. Diploma in Piano Teaching from the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Karen and her husband, Oswald own Burke Music Inc. a Gospel music production and publishing company and in 1988, Burke co-founded the Toronto Mass Choir, a Juno award-winning gospel choir.  TMC has recorded 14 albums and toured in ten different countries including Italy, Poland, and the Dominican Republic.  

In 2005, Burke became a professor in the music department at York University developing the first post-secondary gospel music curricular courses in Canada and establishing the York University Gospel Choir.  

Burke has offered workshops for many schools and organizations including the University of Toronto, University of Western Ontario, the Ontario Music Educators Association (OMEA) and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). Burke has also travelled abroad teaching Gospel music in countries such as the United States, Poland and Romania.

Burke’s major research thesis, ‘The Gospel Choir Community in Motion” was awarded a research prize by York University.  In 2016, York University appointed Burke as the Inaugural Fellow for the Helen Carswell Chair in Community Engaged Research in the Arts providing leadership for research in the Jane & Finch community to assist RPSM and various other community arts organizations.

In 2019, Burke was awarded the Harry Jerome Award in the Arts, Media and Entertainment category which acknowledges a history of outstanding achievement in the creative arts, media and/or entertainment industry.  The BBPA Harry Jerome Award is recognized as the most prestigious national award in the African-Canadian community.  

In 2020, Burke joined a list of other Canadian music icons in a collection of interviews in the new book release of ‘Talk’ by well-known musician and on-air radio host, Bill King.

Dr. Melissa Morgan is the Assistant Professor of Choral Music in the department of Media, Arts, and Performance at the University of Regina. An active conductor, she is frequently asked to serve as a guest clinician, adjudicator, and conductor with high school, children’s choirs, and church choirs throughout Canada.

As a researcher and scholar, Dr. Morgan has contributed articles to Teaching Music through Performance in Choir, Vol. 5. She is also published in the Canadian Music Educators Journal, and the American Choral Directors Association monthly publication, Choral Journal. Her choirs have won numerous awards including, second prize in the chamber choir category of the Choral Canada National Competition for Amateur Choirs.

Dr. Morgan holds a Doctorate of Music Performance in Choral Conducting from the University of Toronto, a Master of Music Performance in Choral Conducting from the University of Western Ontario, a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Regina. She is also an Associate of the Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music (ARCT) in piano, voice, and flute. For more information on Dr. Morgan please visit her website: http://www.classicmel.ca

Melissa Morgan
Timothy Shantz

Timothy Shantz is a conductor, collaborator, tenor soloist, teacher and life-long dreamer. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of Calgary’s professional choir, Luminous Voices, and the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Alberta’s Department of Music. Choirs in Calgary flourished during his leadership as Chorus Master for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and Artistic Director of Spiritus Chamber Choir. Kenneth DeLong of the Calgary Herald wrote, “It is hard to believe that it has been a full decade since Timothy Shantz became the chorus master of the CPO Chorus. During this decade, Shantz, always energetic and full of initiative, has transformed the choral life of the city.” As a conductor, Timothy is recognized for the breadth of his work, from early music to contemporary works, including virtuoso unaccompanied choral music and large choral-orchestral masterpieces. Under his direction, both Luminous Voices and Spiritus Chamber Choir earned national choral awards, including Outstanding Choral Recording (Luminous Voices 2016 & 2018), and the Healey Willan Grand Prize for Choirs (Spiritus Chamber Choir 2017 & 2013). In 2021, he was honoured to receive the Richard S. Eaton Award of Distinction from Choir Alberta in recognition of exemplary service to choral music in the province of Alberta.

Timothy Shantz has several recordings, including Artem Vedel: Twelve Sacred Choral Concerti & Divine Liturgy St. John Chrysostom (2021) featuring works by one of Ukraine’s finest 18th Century composers. Sea Dreams (2020), music of Peter-Anthony Togni, was nominated for a 2021 JUNO Award. Previous recordings include Zachary Wadsworth’s The Far West (2016), of which Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote “beautifully sung, as everything here is, by the aptly named Luminous Voices,” and Mendelssohn’s Te Deum (2015) with Luminous Voices, as well as James MacMillan’s Seven Last Words (2014), All the Stars Looked Down (2012) and of Stars and Solitude (2010) with Spiritus Chamber Choir.

Tim holds a Doctor of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music with a dissertation analyzing the unaccompanied choral work Sun-Dogs by composer James MacMillan. He is also a graduate of the University of Alberta’s Choral Conducting program (M.Mus 1999), and earned a degree in piano performance from Wilfrid Laurier University (Hon. B.Mus 1995). He has had the pleasure of studying conducting with John Poole, Jan Harrington, Carmen Téllez, Frieder Bernius, Jon Washburn, Leonard Ratzlaff, Debra Cairns and Noel Edison.

Windsor Choral Festival – United in Song

“Participating in the Windsor Choral Festival has become an annual tradition for me, allowing me the opportunity to network and collaborate with a wide array of singers from the area. It is always a privilege to work with and learn from clinicians who are leaders in the choral community.”

Hannah Cole
Windsor-Essex Youth Choir

“The festival is a great opportunity to connect people who love singing.  Each year, I am more impressed with the breadth and depth of the community of musicians and singers in Windsor-Essex.  It has united our choral community in ways I don’t think we even imagined in our first few years.”

Melinda Munro
Windsor Classic Chorale

“I once heard someone say that music is a world of its own, connecting millions of people through the power of passion itself. At the Windsor Choral Festival, the organizers managed to gather local groups of talented individuals who share a collective love of choral music, creating an amazing event where people could learn, have fun, and make meaningful connections. I was really moved by the piece Bersatu Senada. Tracey Wong’s story of being grounded by her music as she moved to Canada really resonated with me, as choral music has always been a huge part of my life as well. I had an amazing experience when I visited the Windsor Choral Festival with my choir, and can’t wait to come back next time.”

Lakshmi Tharuvai
Windsor-Essex Youth Choir