The National Show Choir Canada Championships are not only an educational experience for students; it’s for teachers too.
Educators or choir directors with experience to share are encouraged to become a mentor. Connect with others who have successfully started a show choir at their school along with some of North America’s top directors and choreographers and mentor those who are overcoming hurdles to starting one at their school.
Leading the way are our first mentors:
Two time Canadian National Show Choir Champion Director / Educator
John L. Baker
U.S National Champion Show Choir Director / Educator
Founding Director, Renaissance School of the Arts
Performing Arts Consultant, Winnipeg School Division
U.K National Champion Show Choir Director / Educator
Award Winning Director/Choreographer and Show Choir Historian
Other mentors will be added shortly.
Contact us to find out how you too can help lay the foundations for a strong show choir presence in Canada.
Paul Aikins, Assistant Curriculum Leader, Music Theatre Department at Etobicoke School of the Arts.
Paul has a degree in Vocal Music from the University of Western Ontario, and is a graduate from OISE – Faculty of Education at the University of Toronto. He holds an Honours Specialist in Vocal Music. He has been on staff at ESA for the past 10 years. Prior to this, Paul studied acting at FACT in Paris (Franco Americain Cinema Theatre), voice with Kevin Stites, Paul Massell and Roma Riddell. He has studied with many dance teachers at the former Randolph Studios in Toronto. Paul has worked professionally in Music Theatre for 12 years, represented by The Talent House, Career highlights: The Stratford Festival, Huron Country Playhouse, NCL Cruiseline, and Canada’s first mega-musical, Napoleon. More recently, he has been focused on Directing/Producing, and has co-directed & produced several shows at ESA, including Les Miserables, Footloose, Seussical, Cats, Anne of Green Gables, and Urinetown. Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.5
John Baker recently retired as the choral director at Enterprise High School in Enterprise, Alabama where he taught for 27 years. During his tenure at Enterprise High School Mr. Baker’s choirs performed and competed in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, Illinois, Indiana and Hawaii. The Enterprise choirs traveled abroad to England, Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Austria, Switzerland and China. Students from the choral department participated in 7 overseas tours. Under the leadership of Mr. Baker, Enterprise High School (the Encores) was named Show Choir Nationals Grand Champions in 2007 and was considered one of the top groups in the country.
Choirs from Enterprise High School have been invited to sing for State and Regional conventions of the Alabama Music Educators Association as well as the American Choral Director Association. They have given two performances in the East Room of the White House and were the featured choir at the nationally televised Lighting of the National Christmas Tree where they were accompanied by the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own”.
Mr. Baker is the Past President of the Alabama Music Educators Association and the Alabama Vocal Association. He serves as a clinician for Show Choir Camps of America and keeps a busy judging schedule during show choir competition season.
John Baker received his bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Auburn University and the Masters of Music Education from Troy University. He started his teaching career in Americus, Georgia before moving to his Hometown of Enterprise, Alabama. He serves as the Music Director at Saint Luke United Methodist Church. He has served in this position for 27 years.
John and Kim Baker have 4 grown sons. Brad, Chris, Mitchell and Robert. A daughter in-law Alison and one grandson Hayes. John is proud to work with Southeastern Performance Apparel as a Music Education Specialist.
Steve Lehmann, Founding Director, Renaissance School of the Arts
As a director, instructor, writer and arranger of music, Steve appreciates how much his own regular live performances feed his musical acuity. So he encourages his music students to take full advantage of live performance opportunities whenever they can – and he works hard to create such opportunities, too.
Steve holds an Honours Bachelor of Music degree in composition from Wilfrid Laurier University. In 1993, he founded Renaissance Music Academy, which has since grown into Renaissance School of the Arts, where he remains founding director, and still does some private teaching. The school offers dance, art and vocal lessons in addition to a myriad of instrumental courses and it is the proud home of KW Glee.
The consummate composer has contributed much to the world of music by creating pieces for feature films (including Fraternity House), short films (including the Cyanide and Happiness animations), video games, websites, and award-winning commercials (awards include two Emmys and one Addy). Steve’s music has also been heard on CBC radio, Breakfast Television, Canada AM, and film festivals around the world. He has performed with Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Haydain Neale from Jacksoul, Juno-nominated bagpiper Rob Crabtree and he has performed for Bill Clinton. In addition, he has been involved in over 30 musical stage shows since he started his musical career over 20 years ago.
In the spring of 2010, Steve and Amanda Kind started KW Glee; a show choir for which Steve has created unique mash-ups, innovative arrangements and original recordings. The first concert was held at a church that seats 700 and it was sold out five weeks in advance of the event. Since then, requests have come pouring in; they’ve been featured in local papers, magazines, a book and they’ve played for fashion shows, museum concerts and city officials specifically requested the group for the largest outdoor New Year’s Eve celebration in the Waterloo Region. Starting January 1, 2010, an original single created for this event, It’s A New Year, can be downloaded from iTunes in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Waterloo Region.
Tricia Penner is the Performing Arts Consultant in the Winnipeg School Division, works with the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Learning Through The Arts Program and is the Creative Director of Programming and Producer of two main stage productions of the Youth Singers of Calgary. She has been involved with Show Choirs as a performer and Choreographer throughout her career. She has worked as Clinician and Adjudicator in both Canada and the US.
She has had the pleasure of serving as Guest Conductor for the Central Manitoba Honour Choir, the Louis Riel School Division Honour Choir, the Provincial Honour Choir and the Eastman Region Honour Choir. In Winnipeg, she conducts the Winnipeg School Division South Honour Choir and the Junior Hi Divisional Choir. She is currently working together with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra on their “Music Connections” Project.
Rachel Walker is the Musical Director for the UK’s top Show Choir, Euphoria.
Since passing her music degree with honors in 2003, Rachel has enjoyed a varied music career, teaching and performing across the UK, Austria and Prague. Rachel currently works as a vocal teacher, composer, arranger and director. She is particularly proud of the fact that under her tuition her students have a 100% pass rate for their singing exams, and has been highly commended by three Colleges of Music for helping her students achieve some of the highest marks the college has ever awarded for vocal exams.
As a versatile musician, Rachel performs with her own classical ensemble Con Spirito, composes her own award-winning alternative rock songs under the name RVox Rox which are available on Itunes, and has written the music and lyrics for two original musicals, which sold out when they were performed in the UK, and received critical acclaim. Rachel has also performed on live BBC radio and television, won many awards and prizes for her performing and songwriting and holds diplomas in vocal teaching and performing.
Along with her talented colleagues Emma Mason and Tina Kelly, Rachel set up Euphoria Show Choir in September 2010. Since then the choir has gained international recognition performing on Britian’s Got Talent winners Spelbound’s UK tour, at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London, the Manhattan Center in New York, Grand Central Station, the Empire State Building and at many events across the UK to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Euphoria was even asked to perform at the London Olympics last summer, on television series The Voice UK, and have recently been asked to perform as guest stars in many international contests including the National Show Choir Championships of Ireland, in Dublin.
In March 2013, Euphoria Show Choir were the first UK Show Choir in history to perform as guest stars for the National Show Choir Championships of America, and are the only international recipients of the FAME award. As part of Euphoria’s performance, the choir performed an original song written by Rachel called “Body On Mute”. The lyrics for the song were then featured in an article written about the choir in the top American Show Choir magazine, and since the song was premiered in New York, Rachel has been contacted by many people saying how moved they were by the song and asking for permission to perform it.
Mike Weaver is an award winning director and choreographer based in Chicago.
Mike has been the recipient of numerous awards for his continuing innovations in the field of show choir and he regularly collaborates with some of the country’s most noted high school music departments, staging concerts and theatre productions. His work has garnered awards for best directing, choreography, lighting, set, and show design.
He also works widely in both conceptual and technical development with a variety of projects ranging from musical concerts to theatrical productions. Credits include work with Carnival Cruise Lines, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom: Marine World Africa USA, Warner Bros Publishing, over a dozen university and colleges and numerous summer institutes and workshops.
As a writer and historian, Mike co-authored the recently released book Sweat, Tears and Jazz Hands: The official history of show choir from Vaudeville to Glee.