The ESG Choir is supported by professional singers who act as section leaders and as occasional soloists.
Emily Taub, First Soprano
Whilst completing her degree in Voice at McMaster University, Emily had the privilege of not only participating in its concert and chamber choirs, both as a chorister and soloist, but also leading the concert choir as assistant conductor to Rachel Rensink-Hoff. Emily also had the pleasure of vocal directing several musicals during her studies with McMaster Musical Theatre and continues to provide vocal instruction with clinics.
Emily has toured abroad with the acclaimed production of Ruth Fazal’s “Oratorio Terezin” across Europe, Israel and Carnegie Hall and was featured as a soloist with the HPO at the Hamilton Place performance. An alumna of the Hamilton Children’s Choir, Emily has recently accompanied the Ilumini ensemble to China, South Korea and France. Emily is very honored to now hold a position on the artistic staff as a conductor of two feeder choir programs. A student of Tom Schilling and the “vocalway studio”, Emily continues to pursue excellence in classical voice. Most recently, Emily has founded a mixed voices ensemble: À LA MODE out of Hamilton.
Meghan Jamieson, Second Soprano
Nova Scotia-born Soprano, Meghan Jamieson, has performed with the Maritime Concert Opera singing the role of Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and later the role of Amor in Orfeo ed Euridice, the DGM Music Inc. production of Rent and several Dalhousie Opera Workshops including Mahagonny Songspiel, where she sang the role of Jessie and Cinderella, where she brought the character of Miranda to life. Her performance as Cathleen in Riders to the Sea at the Halifax Summer Opera Workshop was reviewed in the magazine Opera Canada, where she was described as “an exciting and beautiful young singer with a wide vocal range and much acting ability.” In the summer of 2015 Meghan played the role of the First Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. She debuted at the Glenn Gould School in her role as Parthénis in Offenbach’s La belle Hélène and her title debut in El Gato con Botas this fall playing the role of the Cat. She looks forward to her title role in Alcina in Handel’s Alcina in the spring.
Meghan has completed her Bachelor of Music in Performance at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, close to her hometown, under the tutelage of Lucy Hayes-Davis. Now she is working towards her Artist’s Diploma at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto, studying with the incomparable Monica Whicher and coaching with the incredible Peter Tiefenbach.
Gwenna Fairchild-Taylor, First Alto
Ottawa native soprano Gwenna Fairchild-Taylor is currently in her final year of an Opera Diploma at the University of Toronto. This past season she sang the role of Lady with a Cake Box in Argento’s Postcard From Morocco with “great conviction and pathos” (Barczablog) and brought “heartfelt sadness to a lyrical aria of mourning” (NOWMagazine) in creating the role of Hanna Campbell in Footsteps in Campbell House, a new opera with libretto by Michael Patrick Albano. She is a 2015 Laureate of Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques and will appear in gala concerts in Montreal from November 12th-15th.
Gwenna is also a 2015 recipient of a Government of Nunavut Culture and Heritage Grant for her music and drama classes with young women and children in the arctic designed to foster positive self esteem and encourage participants of all ages and from all walks of life. Other select 2014/15 engagements included excerpts from Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder with North York Concert Orchestra and Vivaldi Gloria. Previous opera credits include Lady Billows in Albert Herring (UofTOpera), creating the Box Office Attendant in Bekah Simms’ The Box Office, the title role in The Merry Widow (UWOpera), and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni (Opera NUOVA). Past summer seasons have brought Gwenna to Stratford Summer Music Vocal Academy, St. Andrews by-the-sea Opera Workshop, and the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy.
Gwenna holds a Master of Music (Opera) from University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Music (Honours Voice Performance) from Western University where she studied with Jackalyn Short. Find out more about Gwenna at gwennafairchildtaylor.com.
Margaret Bardos, Second Alto
Hungarian-born mezzo Margaret Bárdos is based in Southern Ontario and loves touring. At home with classical as well as new, experimental music, she seeks out creative challenges and cherishes working with good hearted people. With a voice described by Opera Canada as “mellow, fruity, that caresses the ears”, recent highlights have featured interdisciplinary collaborative projects that make use of her varied training: from Butoh dance and physical theatre to extended vocal technique and improvisation.
Upcoming / current highlights: Living Creature in Schafer’s Apocalypsis for Luminato, a tour with Theatre for Social Change, backup for Polaris-winning Tanya Tagaq, an evening with the Toronto Concert Orchestra at Casa Loma, oratorios in Owen Sound, St. Catharine’s, Ottawa and Toronto, a multidisciplinary installation in Waterloo, and site-specific explorations throughout Ontario with various artist collectives.
She continues an association with MT Space Theater and Inter Arts Matrix in Kitchener-Waterloo, the Institute for the Music and the Mind at McMaster University in Hamilton, the Mother Courage Collective in Stratford, and is a grateful member of the studio of Tom Schilling. Margaretbardos.ca
Ross Mortimer, First Tenor
Ross Mortimer, tenor, is a native of London, Ontario. He completed his is Bachelors of Music, Voice Performance, at Western University in the spring of 2015. There he studied under the tutelage Torin Chiles and Christiane Riel. Ross has now relocated to Toronto where he is continuing his studies privately with Nathalie Paulin.
This Summer Ross was invited to Edmonton where he performed the role of Simon Stimson in the Canadian premier of Ned Rorem’s Our Town. Past roles with UWOpera include Torquemada in L’heure Espangole, Le théière, Le petit vieillard and La rainette in L’enfant et les Sortilèges, Romeo in City Workers in Love and Olaf in Gisela in her Bathtub, the two later directed by the opera’s librettist, Michael Cavanagh. As a soloist Ross has performed most recently with the London Community Orchestra in selections from Berlioz’s Nuit D’été and with the London Youth Orchestra in Benjamin Britten’s arrangements of British folk songs. He looks forward to presenting the third annual Carols by Candlelight concert in London, an event that has raised over $10,000 for local charities.
Ross is thrilled to be part of ESG choir and looks forward to enjoying the miracle of singing together every Thursday and Sunday!
Michael Sawarna, Second Tenor
Michael Sawarna is happy to be a member of the Eglinton St. George’s Choir this year. He is a member of the Elmer Iseler Singers and a section lead for the Amadeus choir. His past choral experiences had him singing with the Aradia Ensemble, Choir 21, the Elora Festival singers, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and the Nathaniel Dett Chorale. He also plays bassoon with The North York Concert Orchestra.
Bryan Estabrooks, Baritone
Ottawa-born lyric baritone Bryan Estabrooks first joined Eglinton St. George’s choir in 1999 while completing his BMus at the University of Toronto. After completing his Master of Music at the University of Michigan he was thrilled to rejoin his fellow choristers. When not singing at ESG, Bryan has performed in the city with Toronto Operetta Theatre, Opera in Concert, members of the Toronto Symphony (Messiah for the City), and as a soloist and workshop educator with various local choirs. Bryan also works in video and audio content production, recently on his brother Jonathan’s debut album: These Miles.
Kenneth Baker, Bass
Kenneth Baker has performed across Canada from Victoria, B.C. to St. John’s, Newfoundland. Having received his musical education at Wilfrid Laurier University and Toronto Opera School, he has performed as soloist with the Canadian Opera Company (COC), Stratford Festival, K-W Symphony, Tafelmusik, Opera Piccola, Opera in Concert, Royal Opera, Tapestry Singers, Toronto G & S Society, Elmer Iseler Singers, and Toronto Boys’ Choir. Versatile in Opera, G & S and Music Theatre, Kenneth has performed more than 60 stage roles, as well as performing in numerous concerts and recitals. He is currently in his 35th season with the COC as a chorister, and was the bass soloist and section lead at St. Timothy’s Anglican for 7 ½ years prior to coming to ESG. His home church is St. Clements Anglican, where he sang with his children at the 9:00 service while they were with the youth choir. He is looking forward to being a part of the ESG family.