Music Director

Lyn Vernon joined the Prince George Cantata Singers as Music Director in 2016.  She is an internationally celebrated mezzo-soprano opera singer (later dramatic soprano) and inspirational vocal teacher. Receiving her music and voice education at the University of British Columbia under the tutelage of Barbara Custance, Kathryn Bailey and Marshall Sumner, she also studied conducting under Bruce Dunn and James Schell. Lyn studied voice with Margaret Harshaw, Indiana University; Ruth Falcon, New York; Carole Smith, Zurich; and Maria Carp, Geneva.

Her distinguished twenty-year career as an opera singer began with the Vancouver Opera and took her to the SanFrancisco Opera where she won the Gropper Memorial Award in their Merola program, Opernhaus Zurich, Geneva Opera, English National Opera, Australian Opera Co., and the Canadian Opera Company. During these years she performed such lead roles as Carmen (Carmen), Marina (Boris Godunov), Judith (Bluebeard’s Castle), Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier), the title role in Tchaikovsky’s Joan of Arc and many others. With the Vancouver Opera Vernon sang the role of Fidelio (Fidelio) and Santuzza (Cavalleria Rusticana).

She returned to British Columbia and established the Coastal Soundwaves Chorus and Orchestra on the Sunshine Coast. As Founder, Director and Conductor, productions included Jesus Christ Superstar, Fiddler on the Roof, Oliver, Anne of Green Gables involving at times a 50-voice choir and 20-piece orchestra.

Vernon has conducted Handel's Messiah, Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance, and many other choral and orchestral concerts. She joined the staff at Capilano College with their outreach program, teaching ensembles and has been involved in choral training at Pender Harbour and Sechelt.

For the past ten years Lyn has called Prince George her home, spending her time teaching voice in her private studio, and organizing recitals and performance opportunities for her students. Her passion for community inspired her to join forces with the Prince George Symphony Orchestra, Le Cercle des Canadiens Français and Les Colons Biens as Artistic Director for two performances of Colas et Colinette, by Joseph Quesnel, widely regarded to be the first operatic work with original music to be written on Canadian soil.

 

Music Director as of Jan. 1, 2019Neil Wolfe headshot

Neil Wolfe will be changing positions from chorister to Music Director as of January 1st, 2019. Neil received his Bachelor of Arts with a double major in English and Spanish in 1980 from the Simon Fraser University. In addition, Neil has taken courses in Kodaly and Orff music methodologies as well as courses in choral conducting. Presently, Neil is studying voice with Lyn Vernon.

Neil began teaching in 1981, semi-retired in 2014, and fully retired in 2018. For the past twenty years, Neil has taught music from Kindergarten to Grade Seven in Prince George at Vanway Elementary, and most recently at Immaculate Conception School. Neil's school choirs, most notably the Vanway Trebles, have consistently represented Prince George at Performing Arts B.C., the provincial festival, and regularly have earned "Winner" and "Runner-Up" placements. Both choirs have been praised for their expressive phrasing and dynamics, attention to diction, vocal blend, part balance, and tuning. Neil was an active member of the School District 57 Singfest Committee for twenty years.

Neil first joined Prince George Cantata Singers in 1990, singing with the choir until 2007 then rejoining in 2014. Neil is honoured to be invited to direct Cantata in the second half of this year, their Golden Anniversary year.