Frances Chiasson, Founder and Artistic Director
Frances holds Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education degrees from the School of Music at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC) where she studied piano with Dr. Terence Dawson and choral conducting with Prof. James Fankhauser. Frances has taught choral and instrumental music in primary and secondary schools and choral methods at the University of Calgary. She has conducted numerous choirs in school, community and church settings, including Lacuna Women’s Choir (UK), Amabile Girls’ Choir (UK), Donna Amabile Women’s Choir (UK), Queen Katherine School Chamber Choir (UK), Mount Royal Children’s Choir (Calgary), Scarboro United Church Children’s, Youth and Adult Choirs (Calgary), West Point Gray Academy Choirs (Vancouver) and Forest Lawn School Choir (Calgary). She has worked as a choral clinician and adjudicator in local music festivals and as a piano accompanist for choirs, singers and instrumentalists.
From 2006 until 2014, Frances and her family lived in the UK where she worked as a choral conductor, a private voice and piano teacher and was a frequent leader of singing workshops in Lancashire schools. In 2014 she relocated back to Canada and now lives and works as a choral conductor in Kelowna, B.C., working with with the Okanagan Children’s Choir, Musaic Vocal Ensemble (Summerland) and as Minister of Music at Central Okanagan United Church. Frances is a board member of the BC Choral Federation, a member of Choral Canada and Chorus America, and is a certified teacher in the province of British Columbia. And she is Mom to Sophia and Noah.
Taylor Bone, Music Director of Okanagan Youth Choir
Taylor Bone received her Bachelor of Music degree and teaching certificate from UVic in 2006, and her Masters in Music in Choral Conducting with Graeme Langager at UBC in 2017. From 2009-2017, Taylor worked as a full time high school choir director at Point Grey Secondary in Vancouver, where she directed ensembles from grade 8 to 12 including concert choirs, chamber choirs, musical theatre, vocal jazz ensembles, women’s and men’s choirs. While at graduate school, Taylor directed the UBC Women’s Choir and co-directed the UBC Chamber Choir alongside fellow graduate students.
Taylor moved to Lake Country in 2017 and has worked with local choirs and bands at elementary, middle school, and high school levels. Taylor is a member of the BC Choral Mentorship Program founded in Vancouver – a group dedicated to continued development of choral conductors and technique – and helped create an Okanagan Chapter of BCCMP in the summer of 2018.
Taylor has worked as a clinician and workshop facilitator both locally and internationally, and has presented at the provincial BC Music Educators Conference on a number of occasions. Currently, along with her work as Music Director of Okanagan Youth Choir, Taylor works as a general music and choir teacher at Davidson Road Elementary in Lake Country, and is a mom to two littles of her own.
Esther Goertz, Pianist
Esther studied piano under her mother, Hildegarde Goertz in Surry, B.C. She competed in festivals and participated in concerts and began accompanying singers and choirs at a young age, and then began a career in teaching. She entered many students in music festivals and accompanied many musicians in local festivals and concerts in 100 Mile House and in provincial festivals. Esther continues in Kelowna as a church musician, teacher and accompanist.
Gloria Brooks, Musical Associate
Gloria began her singing career at age 5, singing on her older sister’s radio program in Vernon, BC. She grew up in Penticton, studying piano and voice throughout her school years, participating in the Okanagan Music Festivals, Royal Conservatory Exams, church and school choirs, musicals and local summer arts programs. Gloria went on to study voice at UBC in Vancouver, where she began her long association with beloved teacher, Madame Marie Schilder.
Gloria moved to 100 Mile House in 1974 and was very involved in the arts while there, as a singer and as part of the executive of the Concert Association, Arts Council and Festival of the Arts. She had a large private voice studio while in the Cariboo, working with many talented students both young and old, and conducted choirs – children’s, women’s and community.
Since Gloria moved with her husband Gary, to Kelowna ten years ago, she has been a member of both Chorealis Vocal Ensemble and Aura Chamber Choir. Retired now from teaching, she is currently singing with the Okanagan Festival Singers and happily assists Frances Chiasson with the Okanagan Children’s Choir. Gloria is also the BC Choral Federation Regional Director for the Central and South Okanagan.
Rhonda Draper, Musical Associate