Gerald Ens is a PhD student in Religious Studies at McMaster University under the supervision of Dr. P. Travis Kroeker. His primary research interests include Christian ecclesiology, Christian ethics, philosophical theology, Mennonite theology, phenomenology, and political theology. His current work brings together theological, ethnographic, and sociological research to examine and constructively engage trends in Mennonite churches from lay to professional leadership models.
Ens’s publications include “Boundaries Thick and Permeable” (Zwickau Press), an examination and constructive proposal for ecclesial boundaries. Ens holds a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship and a Harry Lyman Hooker Senior Fellowship.
Ens holds an MA from McMaster University and a BA (Hons) in Theology and Philosophy from Canadian Mennonite University. He has many years of ministry experience in Mennonite Church Manitoba’s camping ministries and will probably preach a sermon if you ask him to.
André Forget is a writer and critic. His work has appeared in The Walrus, The Literary Review of Canada, and Canadian Notes and Queries. He is managing editor at The Puritan, a Toronto-based literary magazine.
Based in Montréal, Québec, organist and composer Adrian Foster is the co-founder and co-artistic director of Earth World Collaborative. His recent projects include the Electroacoustic Vespers, Triptych (a concert of contemporary minimalist works by Philip Glass, Huw Morgan, and Joel Peters), and Searching for Lalla (a collaboration between Foster, composer Noa Haran, and percussionist Rob Cosgrove). Adrian frequently performs together with soprano Kimberley Lynch, including world premieres and Canadian premieres by the composers Jason Noble, Noa Haran, and Bruce Mather.
Adrian recently completed his doctorate in organ performance at McGill University, under the direction of Hans-Ola Ericsson, where his research focused on the music of Olivier Messiaen. His doctoral thesis, titled "From Recorded Sound to Musical Notation: Reconstructing Olivier Messiaen's Improvisations on L'Âme en bourgeon," involved a complete reconstruction and critical analysis of Messiaen's 1977 recording. The reconstructed improvisations were performed for the first time in February 2017, at the église des Saints-Anges (Lachine), with acclaimed soprano Dominique Labelle reciting Cécile Sauvage's poetry.
Marlee Gruß-Neidhardt is a member of the Directors Guild of Canada
Originally from Saskatchewan, Amy Hillis is quickly establishing herself as one of Canada's most versatile and vibrant violinists. As part of her busy solo, chamber music and orchestral performance schedule, Amy performs on the 1820 Joannes Franciscus Pressenda, on loan from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank. She is the winner of the 2017 McGill Concerto Competition and will perform as soloist with the McGill Symphony Orchestra during their 2017-2018 season. With funding and support from the Saskatchewan Arts Board, Amy has performed for more than 40,000 young people in fifty different Canadian communities during five tours as member of the Horizon String Quartet. Amy is also the recipient of the prestigious Sylva Gelber Foundation Music Award which is given to Canadian musicians of outstanding ability and career potential.
Amy is currently pursuing a Doctor of Music in Violin Performance at McGill University in Montréal with the esteemed violin professor, Axel Strauss. Her studies are funded by a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS) Doctoral Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).
Vincent Lauzon is a dilettante who writes, versifies, translates and composes. He has been published in French and English, and his first book for young readers, published waaay back in 1987, was nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Awards. He did not win. He lives in Laval.
Born in Quebec city, soprano Kimberley Lynch is now based in Montreal Quebec where she has recently completed her masters in opera and voice performance. After pursuing voice lessons in Calgary for many years where she grew up, she decided to return to the province of Quebec in order to pursue a bachelor of Voice performance at McGill University. After graduating with honours in 2014, she decided to continue her studies at McGill to obtain a Master’s in voice performance and opera under the guidance of professor Joanne Kolomyjec. Throughout the course of her university studies, she has appeared in numerous Opera Mcgill productions, the most recent one being the title role in Handel’s Rodelinda in March 2016. Other highlights include Amy March, in Little Women, by Mark Adamo, Barbarina in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, Cupid in Venus and Adonis by John Blow, and Peaseblossom from Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
In addition to her studies in opera, Kimberley is also equally adept in the realms of oratorio, early music, and contemporary repertoire. Having performed in various early music ensembles at the Schulich School of Music, in 2015 she was chosen to be part of a chamber performance at Early Music America’s Young Performers Festival (Boston, MA). Other concert highlights include a performance of music by John Cage in “ORGAN2/ASLSP”; an all night concert of music by John Cage at Christ Church Cathedral, Montreal (2015), performing as a soloist in Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater performed by the studio of Joanne Kolomyjec (2015), presenting recital of new music (in collaboration with organist Adrian Foster) for soprano and organ as part of McGill’s noon hour organ recital series, and appearing as a soloist in Calgary’s Voicescapes production of Handel’s Messiah.(2010)
Christopher Murtagh is a fantastic Sound Engineer living in Montreal Quebec. He has collaborated on numerous projects with countless artists.
In addition to concertizing, teaching, conducting, and composing, Joel Peters is co-artistic director and founder of Earth World, a creative force which generates new music, art, and literature through collaboration.
Peters began piano lessons at the age of 15 with Audrey Falk-Janzen in Waldheim, Saskatchewan. Eight years later he earned a Bachelor’s of Music from Canadian Mennonite University, studying piano with Cheryl Pauls and organ with Dietrich Bartel. In 2014, he obtained a Master’s from McGill University, studying repertoire with Hans-Ola Ericsson and improvisation with Dr. William Porter. In May, he graduated from the same university with an Artist Diploma.
Among the numerous awards Peters has received are those recently won in 2016 at le Concours OSM Manuvie: third prize in the organ category; prize for the best performance of the imposed Canadian work; Stingray Rising Stars Award (Publics Choice); and the Orford Music Prize. And of personal highlight, Peters received perfect scores from the jury members for his final Artist Diploma recital entitled, “Organ Ocean Waves of Sound.” This project also inspired the short story “The Lower Registers” by Toronto-based writer André Forget (core member of Earth World).
Joel Peters is currently Music Director at St. John’s Lutheran in Montreal.
Pooja Sen holds an MA Art History from McGill University. She is a PhD student in American Studies and Film and Media Studies at Yale University. Her research focuses on contemporary digital video art, critical race theory, and media studies.