Stirling Festival of Sacred Praise

Tak Kwan - Strings and Orchestral

                                                “Technically superb but delivered with a depth of emotion”

                                                Born in a musical family, his father was a violin maker in Hong Kong as Tak started playing the violin at the age of seven.                                                 In 1988, he received a scholarship from the Hong Kong Bank to attend Wells Cathedral School, as Music Specialist                                                 studied in England.

                                                During his study, Tak represented the school to perform with visiting musicians from West Germany for the Dvorak's                                                 Piano Quintet in A major as a violist intensively for a week as well as he was invited to give a violin recital in West                                                 Germany in the following year. He also received scholarships to study at Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto in                                                 1989-1995. During his study, he received twice full scholarships to attend Summer Music Camp in Colorado Springs in                                                 1994 and 1995. Later in 2011, he was invited to attend Starling-Delay Symposium at Juilliard School of Music.

                                                From 2002 to 2010, Tak toured to the States and France as a soloist as well as a chamber musician. In 2003 and 2007,                                                 Tak gave solo performances to over a crowd of 15,000 in Toronto and Tampa, Florida respectively. In 2010, Tak was                                                 invited to perform and work with the professors at University of Concordia for a premiere work of string quartet as the leading violinist in St. Paul, MN. In the same year, he was invited to perform for the Queen of England at Queen's Park in Toronto. In this past April, Tak was invited back to the US for another solo performance in front of 2000 audience.

He also appears in different music festivals in Ontario as an adjudicator. His thoughtful insight and the understanding of violin playing in performance has encouraged and helped a lot of young musicians through teaching and masterclasses.

He is currently appointed as Concertmaster of Northumberland Orchestra and Choir. He was appointed as Concertmaster of Peterborough Symphony Orchestra from 1996-2016. His musicianship has promoted Tak to be Conductor at Yip’s Chamber Orchestra in Toronto since 2013. Under his conducting this year, the group won the first place at Kiwanis Music Festival in its category and also received the Kiwanis Club of the Golden Mile Award as well as came first in the Provincial Finals in 2016.

As the Founder and Music Director of Lavender Chamber Ensemble in 2014. Under Tak's direction, this professional ensemble focuses on promoting young and talented artists by rehearsing and touring together. Through the process of work and commitment, Tak shares and mentors young artists with his experiences and provides opportunity of performances for their future. Within a year, Tak has led two major tours as the first violin and fulfilled his vision. The feedback and response from the public was greatly successful. Tak also received a letter of approval from the Premier of Ontario, Ms. Kathleen Wynne for the last stop of the second tour, Turbulence and Grace in Toronto in June 2015. LCE will launch its new season this coming May, including Tak's violin recital in the fall.​
Celebrating instrumental music, vocal music, scripture and public speaking. Participants of all ages and abilities invited. 
Stirling ON.
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2017 Adjudicators 
​Paul Coates - Piano

                                                 Paul Coates holds ARCT diplomas in both piano and voice as well as a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from the                                                              University of Western Ontario. He also studied at the Chautauqua Institute and the Banff School of Fine Arts. He was                                                                privileged to perform for Elisabeth Schwarzkopf in London England and has attended master classes with Gwendolyn                                                                Koldofsky, Elly Ameling and Rudolph Jansen.

                                                 Since his graduation he has enjoyed an active and varied performing career as both singer and accompanist, including solo                                                        concerts, chamber music, appearances with orchestras, CBC and TV Ontario broadcasts.

                                                 Paul has been a faculty member of the School of Music of Windsor and the Royal Conservatory of Music where he taught in                                                        both the Community School and the Glenn Gould Professional School.

                                                 Currently he maintains a private studio in Stratford. He is also active as an adjudicator and a clinician for ORMTA and is                                                            excited about his new series of talk for any organization on “FINDING A KINDER WAY – to BE who YOU ARE!”

                                                 The importance of being mindfully present in the now while celebrating the whole student. You are AWESOME just because you are. Not because of what you do or do not do! Your imagination is your limitation in life. You should have no limits when it comes to your imagination. However there is value in having a process that Acknowledges – Empowers - Inpsires.”

Mr. Coates has examined for RCM & CC has been travelling across Canada presenting a workshop for teachers, parents and studentss entitled: “Calming the Practice Monster.” NEW “The Studio Monster Experience” – Practice Tips & Tools that make a Difference. Contact Regal Monster Productions if interested in booking a TALK!

Natalie Pratt - Vocal and Choral

                                                    Natalie Pratt studied vocal performance at the University of Western Ontario where she achieved both her                                                     Bachelor and Masters (vocal performance and literature) degrees. A recipient of numerous scholarships and                                                     awards, she has studied with teachers Darryl Edwards, Mary Lou Fallis and Gwenlynn Little and vocal coaches                                                     John Hess, Deborah Pardy, Joshua Grunmann and Kevin McMillan. Natalie has also performed in masterclasses                                                     and workshops with Rosemary Laundry, Ingemar Korjus, Roma Riddell and Brian Jackson.

                                                    Enjoying work in recital, cantata, oratorio and opera performances, Natalie’s most recent guest appearances                                                     include ‘United Voices for United Way’ (with St. Mary’s Choir School, London 2016), singing the Maltese National                                                     Anthem for Joseph Calleja’s recital (Michigan, 2010), and making her calendar debut with Orchestra London in                                                     the Serenade Brunch Series (music for horn, piano, and soprano – 2010). Favourite appearances include:                                                     soprano soloist with the Karen Shcuessler Singers (London Ontario 2006), Spring Serenade for Soprano, Horn                                                     and Piano (Orchestra London 2006), the L’Isle Adam Band (Malta Europe 2005) and soprano soloist with the                                                     Georgian Bay Concert Choir (Owen Sound 2006). Her roles include ‘Suky Tawdry’ in Britten’s “The Beggar’s                                                     Opera”, ‘Aline’ in Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Sorcerer”, ‘Mabel’ in Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Pirates of                                                     Penzance”, ‘Lauretta’ in Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi”, ‘Despina’ in Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte” and ‘Cunegonde’ in                                                     Bernstein’s “Candide”. Her other repertoire includes the cantata’s of J.S.Bach and Jean-Philippe Rameau.

Natalie resides in London Ontario where she teaches private voice and piano lessons to a thriving studio. When not performing, she travels across Canada, working both as an adjudicator and examiner for Conservatory Canada.