Garth and Lisa Rempel
Artistic Directors of the Winnipeg Youth Chorus Inc., Directors of Rhapsody and Coda
As an educator, Garth has been sharing his passion for music with others for years. He began teaching private music lessons at the age of seventeen. He later redirected that passion to the classroom, and began teaching band, guitar, jazz band, and vocal ensemble after completing a Bachelor of Education Degree in 2005. He is currently running 7 performing ensembles of various styles and instrumentations at Miles Macdonell Collegiate. Aside from the performance ensembles of Miles Macdonell, Garth also directs the Winnipeg Youth Chorus with his wife and co-director, Lisa. Garth also has a passion for the creation of music. He actively writes and arranges music for performance.
Lisa was a member of the original WYC. She studied piano, french horn, trumpet and voice both through school and privately. After high school, Lisa entered the Faculty of Education with a major in music (french horn and voice). While in University, in order to gain experience with directing, mentoring, and coaching choral singers, she became involved with the Directors of the WYC and worked backstage with the singers in their musical production of ‘A Midsummer’s Night’. Garth and Lisa met during rehearsals of the musical in February (he was the hired guitarist), were engaged by June and married the following April. So, you could say that the choir brought them together. Lisa was approached by the past directors to take on the choir, and the rest is history.
Lisa is a lifelong performer as a chorister and a soloist, and she has musical theatre as well as instrumental experience to round out her skills. She has been involved in multiple recording opportunities both in the studio and on camera. Lisa has been with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and Shared Health Services for over twenty years working in various positions and programs. Currently, she is working as a Program Analyst for Digital Shared Services, supporting primary care initiatives in the province.
Chickadees Co-Music Director
Music has always been a part of Jorrel’s life. As a child, his grandparents always had music in the home: grandpa would play the drums, and grandma would sing and encourage him to find his own voice. He started taking piano lessons at the age of 10 and continued to develop his voice singing in church and enjoying karaoke with the family. His passion for singing grew through his involvement in many choirs during his youth including Winnipeg School Division Honour choirs, and Provincial Honour choirs. After high school, Jorrel continued to foster his love of choir singing with the University of Winnipeg Downtown Vocal Jazz, SonoLux, and Ecco Singers.
A graduate of University of Winnipeg, Jorrel holds a Bachelor of Education with a major in musical theatre. He has done work on musical productions with Winnipeg Studio Theatre and Stage 16, and on many school productions. Jorrel is also an artistic director of Ecco Singers and sits on both the Choralfest and MB Sings committees with the Manitoba Choral Association.
Chickadees Co-Music Director
As a lifetime member of the original Winnipeg Youth Chorus, Melanie describes her role as Choral Director of the younger group within the current WYC family as coming home. Throughout her younger years, she participated in musicals, TV productions, and musical recordings with Fred Penner, Len Udow, and Cindy Kane. She studied piano and voice. Melanie has a background in Early Childhood Education and is currently Executive Director of Razorback B.L.A.S.T.S. Inc. School Age Program. She works to provide music and drama activities for all the children under her care. She has produced many plays with her daycare kids and runs a dance club. She was a member of the Sisters of the Holy Rock, where she was also one of the choreographers. She has incorporated music and drama plays at her church, including Christmas and Easter.
Rhapsody & Coda Accompanist
Samson has been enamoured with music since a young child. Fueled by the power of parents with an excellent taste in tunes and two grandmothers who play the piano, a lifestyle with music at the helm was inevitable for him.
Samson is classically trained and has been taking piano lessons since age 6. He is happy to have attended Miles Macdonell Collegiate, where he played trumpet and keyboard under the guidance of none other than Garth Rempel himself. Alongside performing in the up-and-coming Winnipeg band, The Motherfunk, Samson also frequently composes music for short films and advertisements, in working with 47Filmworks. He is currently in the process of completing a Bachelor of Jazz Studies at the University of Manitoba and is elated to be joining the WYC Music Team this year!
Choral Assistant & Chief Operating Officer
Chelsea Hertzog is a former choir member and although she graduated several years ago, she has never left! She helps Garth and Lisa out with weekly attendance, sorting, managing and handing out music and jumping into a section to help out as needed. Chelsea keeps the kids in line for us, supervising every week at the beginning of rehearsal and during our breaks. She also keeps the music team happy by bringing coffee/tea every week! Chelsea is definitely part of the WYC family!
Hudson Thiessen is currently attending the Canadian Mennonite University, where he is studying piano and composition. He has sung with the Winnipeg Youth Chorus since 2013 and is delighted to be accompanying the Chickadees this season.