Artistic Staff

We want to congratulate Ms MacNay for her acceptance into the prestigious Masters Conducting program at the University of California, Long Beach.  This is a tremendous opportunity for her to continue to develop her conducting skills and we wish her the very best! Ms MacNay will return to us throughout her two year study program and we look forward to hearing all about her new experiences.  We also want to welcome Ms Jennifer Potter who will be our interim conductor while Ms MacNay is away.  Ms Potter is no stranger to our choir or our audiences and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with her!  Exciting times ahead for everyone!

Linda M. Hawkins, Artistic Director

Linda Hawkins has been associated with the Georgian Bay Children's Choir since Sept. 1990 both as accompanist and conductor of the training choirs, and was a GBCC choir parent for nearly a decade. In 2001 she assumed conducting responsibility of all choirs within the GBCC program. Along with her current GBCC responsibilities, she teaches piano, rudiments, harmony, counterpoint and music history in her private studio. She is a member of ORMTA and volunteers with numerous community groups. Linda has received her music training through the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, Canada.

As a director of church choirs and ensembles, she has co-written, directed and produced, with her husband John, three childrens musicals, including one for television. Other media work includes narration and production for radio and television.

Treasured and significant influences have been organ studies with Clifford Gates and piano studies with Arlene MacNay, as well as Doreen Rao Choral Music Experience. Linda lives in Owen Sound with her husband. They have three children.

Regan MacNay, Director

Regan MacNay was born into a musical family and grew up in the town of Wiarton. Her musical studies began at the age of three at her mother’s keyboard. By Grade 7 she was a member of the Children’s Festival Chorus under the direction of Jeannette Steeves. During high school, she became immersed in the musical community at West Hill Secondary School, where she played percussion in the Senior Concert Band under the direction of Fred Parsons, and sang in the Senior Concert Choir and Chamber Choir under the direction of David Tupper. She also played percussion in the Georgian Bay Symphony under the direction of John Barnum and sang in Jeannette Steeves’ choir, A Cappella. Before graduation from high school, Regan completed her ARCT in piano performance under the tutelage of Shirley Hawkins (piano) and Linda Hawkins (theory and history).

While attending the University of Western Ontario, Regan sang in the St. Cecelia Singers under the direction of Jennifer Moir. In her first year, she was part of a massed choir and orchestral production of Elijah by Mendelssohn, directed by Victoria Meredith. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts, Honours Music and English degree in 2003, she moved to Toronto to complete a Master of Arts in English Literature at York University. Regan worked for a year as an editorial intern at HarperCollins Canada while she pursued a Publishing Certificate at Ryerson University. Her interests shifted to education, and she moved to Kingston to complete a Bachelor of Education at Queen’s University.
In her first year of teaching, Regan directed three choirs and taught vocal music to students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 at Albert College in Belleville. From there she moved to Peterborough to work at Lakefield College School where she taught Grade 7/8 music, Grade 9, 10, and 12 English, and directed the Concert Choir. While in Peterborough she began studying voice with Pamela Birrell and sang with the Peterborough Singers, directed by Syd Birrell. She had the great pleasure of being the sectional rehearsal leader and guest conductor over the course of the three seasons that she was a member. While living in Peterborough, Regan joined the Ontario Vocal Festival and has participated in choral symposiums led by respected choral clinicians Mark Sirrett, Ken Fleet, Jennifer Moir, Nancy Kidd, Richard Nace, and Hilary Apfelstadt.

Regan moved back to the Grey-Bruce area to pursue her career in education with the Bluewater District School Board, where she is currently a supply teacher. Regan continues to study voice with Laura Pudwell and is extremely pleased and privileged to be the director of the Georgian Bay Concert Choir for the 2011/12 season and the Georgian Bay Children’s Choir for the 2012 spring session.

Dr. Leslie Wyber, Conductor: Rhythm & Jazz

Musician and educator Leslie Wyber is at home on the concert stage, piano studio and in the classroom. In her multifaceted career she has performed as a soloist and chamber musician across Canada and developed music programming in a myriad of settings for children and young adults.

As an entrepreneur Leslie founded the Guelph School of Music. In her 10 years as music director she mentored a faculty of 10 music teachers, designing arts
programming for preschoolers, lessons and group classes for instrumentalists, and producing student and professional concerts.

A passionate advocate for music education for all children, Leslie spent four years as
music teacher at Spruce Ridge Community School. In her Kodaly-based programmes, all children, from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6, sang in the classroom and on the stage. And in a cash-strapped climate, boomwhackers, recorders, buckets, bubble-wrap, bicycle horns, trash-can lids, and just about anything else that makes noise was incorporated into musical performances.

Trained from an early age in the conservatory system in Alberta, she gained acclaim as a young pianist, sang in choirs, played the cello in orchestras and French horn in bands. As a graduate of the University of Victoria she was awarded the Victoria Medal for the highest graduating average in the Faculty of Fine Arts and went on to study piano performance as a graduate Rotary Scholar at the Hochschule der Kunste in Berlin, Germany. She was a fellowship student at the University of British
Columbia where she received a Masters Degree and Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance.

Leslie was a member of the piano faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University for 10 years. Since 2008 she has lived in Owen Sound with her daughter, Zoe, two guinea pigs, a cat a cockatiel and a parrot. She has a piano studio and performs as a soloist, accompanist and is a member of the Surround Sound Trio. Visit her website.

Bethany Matthews, Accompanist

Bethany’s musical education began at a young age under the teaching of her mother, who instilled in her a passion for music. As she advanced in her studies, Bethany began piano lessons with Mrs. Shirley Hawkins and completed several exams with the Royal Conservatory of Toronto, most recently obtaining the Associate Diploma in piano performance.

Bethany has performed twice as a soloist with the Georgian Bay Symphony Youth Orchestra and has participated in masterclasses sponsored by the Sweetwater Music Festival. She has won multiple scholarships from the Grey County Kiwanis Music Festival, and has gone on twice to be a provincial finalist with the Ontario Music Festival Association.

Bethany began teaching piano in 2012 and now has a small but growing studio, always welcoming new students.

Thanks to the GBCC, she has discovered a love for accompanying and is now in demand as an accompanist in Owen Sound and surrounding area.


Alyssa Schroder, Accompanist

Alyssa began her musical education at an early age with her teacher Tonya
Young in Aurora, Ontario and continued her piano studies with teacher
Sheila McLean. After moving to Owen Sound with her husband, Alyssa
started working towards her ARCT with the Royal Conservatory of Music.
She has most recently completed courses in theory history, harmony, and
the RCM Grade 10 piano with teachers Jennifer Lanthier, Irene Enns, and
Linda Hawkins in the Owen Sound area.

Alyssa has been involved in music studies for nearly twenty years,
participating in ORMTA competitions, recitals, and Kiwanis festivals. When she is not at the piano, she can often be found painting and working on her latest art pieces, or teaching piano lessons at her small, privately-run home studio. She has a love for sharing art and music with others and
greatly enjoys working with and teaching young children.