Meet Our Conductor
Joanne Collier has shared her passion for choral singing with people of all ages as either a singer or conductor her entire life. Currently she teaches for Holy Spirit Catholic Schools at The Children of St. Martha School in Lethbridge. She is Music Director at St. Augustine’s Church and a voice instructor for the University of Lethbridge Music Conservatory. For nineteen years she was on faculty at Medicine Hat College where she taught voice and directed children’s, youth, and adult choirs including the award-winning MHC Girls’ Choir.
An active member of Alberta’s choral community, the MHC Girls’ Choir participated and gained honours in many performances and collaborations with choral friends, at Canadian choral festivals, and touring in Scotland, England, Wales, EXPO 2000 in Germany, and China. In 2004 the choir received 3rdplace in the Youth Choir category at the International Musical Eisteddfod in Llangollen, Wales. In collaboration with the MHC Academy Orchestra she has conducted Handel Messiah, Mozart Requiem, Vivaldi Gloria, Pergolesi Stabat Materand Rutter Mass for the Children.
Joanne has been active as an adjudicator and clinician throughout the western provinces and is the founding artistic director of the Southern Alberta Vocal Experience (S.A.V.E.) summer vocal intensive for young singers at the University of Lethbridge. For many years she served on the board of the Alberta Choral Federation (now Choir Alberta) and served a term as president. Joanne has also taught at the University of Lethbridge Faculty of Fine Arts as a sessional instructor in studio voice and choral ensembles.
Originally from Boissevain, Manitoba, Joanne holds a Bachelor of Music (Performance) from the University of Manitoba and Master of Music (Vocal Performance) from the University of British Columbia. Following an accomplished career of almost twenty years, she entered the Faculty of Education at the University of Lethbridge in 2011 where she received the William Aberhardt Gold Medal upon graduation. She is the recipient of the Alberta Choral Federation’s “Con Spirito” award for contributions to choral music in her community, the Johann Strauss Foundation scholarship for study in Austria, Medicine Hat College Employee of the Year and City of Medicine Hat Civic Award for contributions to the arts.
Meet our Accompanist
Mary Lee Voort received her early musical training in BC and completed a BMus in piano performance at the University of Lethbridge. She began playing for ballet classes and church services at age 13, accompanied her musical friends whilst at the U of L, and was hired as accompanist for the Lethbridge School District 51’s string program under the mentorship of Barbara Walker. Mary Lee had the privilege of playing for the Anne Campbell Singers, travelling with them to Europe and acting as rehearsal pianist for the massed international choir festival in Vienna, Austria. Over the years, she has been the accompanist for hundreds of young musicians; numerous school and church choirs; musical theatre productions directed by Fran Rude and Ken Rogers; and almost any other situation that requires playing many notes on short notice!
Mary Lee keeps busy with her positions as organist at St Augustine's Anglican Church, accompanist for Vox Musica, keyboardist with the Lethbridge Symphony, and a full teaching schedule. Her greatest joy is being part of our richly talented musical community.
Meet Our Assistant Director