Westwinds recruits Music Professionals from the Calgary area to lead our musical programs. Find out a little more about each below.
Anita Perlau (Joined 2012) - Mixed Choir, Green Choir
Anita has had the privilege of working with singers spanning in age from three to seventy – the young and the young at heart! She is passionate about ensuring that her students have opportunities to develop their own musical literacy while nurturing their love of singing!
Anita has enjoyed a varied career in the field of music education as an elementary school music specialist, choral conductor of children and adult community choirs, workshop clinician and university lecturer.
As a life long learner, Anita strives for the elusive “best practices” of a music educator. Anita has advanced certificates in both the Kodály and Orff philosophies, a Master of Education (music education) from the University of Alberta and completed the summer program at the Kodály Institute in Kesckemet, Hungary.
Currently, Anita is the coordinator and an instructor of the Early Childhood Kodály Musicianship program at Mount Royal University Conservatory in Calgary. In addition, she teaches music education courses at the University of Alberta. She is the President of the Alberta Kodály Association, wife to the most supportive husband and Mom to two awesome teenagers!
Anne Gray (Joined 2001) - Choral Ensemble
Anne Gray began her post-secondary studies at the University of North Texas, and holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Calgary. Her experience includes teaching a Kodaly-based music program for grades 3-6 with the Calgary Board of Education, pre-school Kodaly classes at Mt. Royal Conservatory, past director of Westwinds Music Society's Green Choir and Women's Choir and current director of its Choral Ensemble, and thirteen years of high school choir teaching at Central Memorial High School. She currently teaches music at WO Mitchell elementary school. Anne also works as a guest clinician, conductor and adjudicator with school and community choirs.
Anne's passion as a choir conductor and teacher is to help choirs discover a path to improving vocal technique, musical literacy, performance expression, and appreciation of music's rich offerings.
Chris Herard (Joined 2012) - Bronze Concert
Chris Herard is a highly sought after educator, conductor, performer, clinician, adjudicator and producer from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He has been involved in music education for over 25 years as a performer, instructor, director and choreographer. He is currently Director of Bands at Bishop Carroll High School and also directs for the Westwinds Music Society.
Chris’ ensembles have won numerous gold medals at top-level events around the world. Chris holds bachelor degrees in Music and in Education from the University of Calgary, a Master’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Hawaii and has presented at many conferences and workshops.
Chris often adjudicates and guest conducts at many local, national and international events. Through his appointment to the International Judging Bureau of the World Association of Marching Showbands he has judged the European Championships (Germany), National Championships in Taiwan and Hong Kong and numerous World Championships held in the USA, Brazil, Denmark, Malaysia, and Taiwan. In 2014, Chris was appointed to the Board of Directors of WAMSB International. His work as an educator, conductor, adjudicator and musician has also taken him to Japan, Thailand and throughout North America . Chris has been appointed to the “Sudler Shield” jury, an international panel of the John Phillip Sousa Foundation which awards excellence in band worldwide.
As a performer, Chris has travelled around the world as a multi-instrumentalist and singer and has well over 20 recordings to his credit. His band - the Heebee-jeebees, have received numerous CARA awards and nominations - the “Grammys” of A Cappella. (Their music is available around the world on iTunes.) Chris was inducted into the Canadian A Cappella Hall of Fame in 2009. He has also produced many recordings for other artists, and has composed and recorded many jingles and commercials.
Chris is very passionate about music education and its benefit for students. Chris is a founding member, and sits on the board of CADME, the Calgary Association for the Development of Music Education, an organization that has proudly granted over $1,000,000 to local music education initiatives over the past decade. A highlight for Chris was coordinating and directing the largest band ever assembled in Calgary – close to 4000 students celebrating music education at the Juno awards. Chris was also appointed to the Alberta Education Arts Curriculum Working Group charged with re-developing the curriculum for K-12 students in Alberta.
Chris is a member of Phi Beta Mu, the Alberta Band Association, The Canadian Academy of Arts and Sciences, The American Federation of Musicians, the National Association for Music Education, the World Association of Marching Show Bands, and sits on the board of the Alberta International Band Festivals.
Chris resides in Calgary with his wife, two young children and a chocolate lab.
Jane McLauchlin (Joined ) - Blue Concert
Jane McLauchlin knew at a young age she wanted to be a teacher. Along with growing up in a house full of music, the decision to pursue a career as a music teacher became clear during a Grade 7 band class. Since then, she has had a successful career teaching Junior High School Concert and Jazz Band, Elementary and General Music and African Drumming in Calgary for 30 years. She received her Bachelor of Music degree and her teaching certification from the University of Calgary and has since taught at a variety of schools in Calgary, most recently, the North Campus of the Arts Centered Learning Program at Sir John Franklin School.
Her bands have regularly received ‘Superior’ rankings, have won numerous awards and have travelled extensively throughout Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. She has been guest conductor at the Calgary Summer Band Workshop and the Northern Alberta Junior High Honour Band and most recently, adjudicator for Grade 1 bands at the Alberta International Band Festival.
She became involved in the Westwinds Music Society by joining several of the bands to try out life on the ‘other side of the baton’ and plans to continue to participate in the Wind Orchestra and the Gold South Jazz Band.
She has toured and performed in China and Eastern Europe with Westwinds and participates annually in ‘adult band camp’ with renowned guest conductors in Canmore.
Jane is inspired by her students every day and takes great joy from watching these young people grow into accomplished, confident musicians with a love and appreciation for being a part of the exceptional experience of band and all that entails. She is excited and honoured to be invited to be the Westwinds Blue Concert Band director and is looking forward to working with this inspired and keen group of adults..
Jeremy Legault (Joined 2013) - Silver Jazz
Mr. Jeremy Legault has a very active musical career both as a performer and music educator. Currently, Jeremy is the Director of Bands at St. Mary's High School in Calgary AB, a comprehensive music program which incorporates both Classical and Jazz instruction in two Concert Bands and two large Jazz Bands. In the Spring of 2012 the Jazz 1 Big Band was the featured group during the "National Child Mental Health and Wellness Symposium", and in the Spring of 2013 was the featured guest during the "National ERDI Superintendent Conference", representing students for all Fine Arts across Canada. St. Mary's Music Program has been awarded local and international awards, and is very active in Calgary's music community, frequently working with local musicians and clinicians, as well as world renowned CADME guest artists.
Jeremy is an active member within the Calgary music community. In 2006 Jeremy co-founded the "Metropolitan Winds" performing the role of Artistic Director and Principal Conductor until the Spring of 2013. Currently Jeremy is director of the "Silver Jazz Band" within Calgary's "Westwinds Organization". He is an executive and performing member (Trumpet) with the "Alberta Winds" Wind Ensemble. In January of 2013, Jeremy founded the Ismaili Community Youth Music Program and is currently the organization's Director of Bands. Jeremy is on staff with the "Calgary Stampede Show Band" teaching brass techniques and assisting with conducting the full ensemble. Jeremy is the Alberta International Band Festival Honor Concert Band Coordinator, working each year with the festival's finest high school musicians and guest conductors. Jeremy is an active guest conductor and clinician within both the Adult Community Band and School Band scenes in Calgary.
Jeremy received a Bachelor of Music from the University of Calgary (1999) and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto (2001). After completing a Diploma in Wind Conducting from the University of Calgary (2003), Jeremy completed a Master of Music Degree, specializing in Wind Ensemble Conducting, while studying with Dale Lonis, Fraser Linklater and Earl Stafford at the University of Manitoba (2005-2006).
Kevin Willms (Joined 1993) - Gold Jazz North, Symphonic Band, Wind Orchestra
Kevin Willms was born and raised in Calgary. In June of 2018, he “graduated” after teaching instrumental and choral music for the Calgary Board of Education last 31 years. During this time, Aberhart High School. His ensembles consistently performed at “Superior” levels and have received much recognition for their outstanding performances at local and international music festivals. His ensembles commissioned several new works for wind band and jazz ensemble and performed across Canada and the USA as well as in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic, Spain, China and Cuba.
Mr. Willms has been the Artistic Director of the Westwinds Music Society for 22 years. Westwinds is an adult community music organization dedicated to providing exceptional music education to adults of all levels of experience.
The Calgary Association for the Development of Music Education, recognized internationally as CADME was formed in 2003 with Mr. Willms as its founding President. He continues to serve in this role. CADME is a not-for-profit charity born from the vision of dedicated music educators committed to enhancing and expanding music education for all students in the Calgary region. www.cadme.ca
Mr. Willms is active as a clinician, guest conductor and adjudicator. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the “Elkhorn Award” from the Alberta Band Association, “David Peterkin Memorial Award” from Phi Beta Mu, Pan Canadian Students Choice Award, Excellence in Teaching Award and the Tommy Banks Award, recognizing his long-term contribution to music education in Alberta. He was named “Educator of the Year” by the Calgary Educational Partnership Foundation. In December, 2017, Mr. Willms was inducted as Laureate to the John Philip Sousa Legion of Honour.
Mentorship and contributing to the broader development of music education has always been an important priority. Mr. Willms is very proud to be a Senior Advisor with “Music Mentors International”. This unique organization specializes in providing music educators with intensive workshops in rehearsal techniques as well as pedagogical concepts designed to assist teachers in building the best ensembles and musical communities possible. www.mmiachieve.com
Mike Sakatch (Joined 1993) - Gold Jazz South, Wind Orchestra
Mike Sakatch retired from full time teaching in 2010 after 32 years with the Calgary Public School Board During his tenure with the Board his ensembles regularly received recognition for outstanding performance. Currently he teaches the percussion classes at Lord Beaverbrook and William Aberhart High Schools, and conducts band clinics throughout the Calgary region. Mike has been a director with Westwinds Music Society since 1994. Currently he is conducting the Wind Orchestra and the Gold Jazz Band south.
Mike has performed in all types of ensembles including jazz combos, big bands as well as the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. He received his Bachelor of Arts in secondary music from the University of Eastern Washington.
Nathan Gingrich (Joined 2012) - Bronze Jazz
Nathan Gingrich received his Bachelor of Music education degree from the University of Regina. Continued studies led him to Weimar Germany where he got his advanced artist's diploma in classical trombone performance and another degree in jazz and pop trombone performance from the Hochschule fuer Musik "Franz Liszt".
While in Germany, Mr. Gingrich co-founded a number of ensembles – travelling around Germany, France, Belgium, Austria and even to China to perform.
He taught trombone and jazz music theory at the Musik- und Kunstschule Jena for 4 years before moving to Calgary in 2006 to begin teaching music within the Calgary Board of Education. Mr. Gingrich taught at Thomas B. Riley Jr. High for 3 years and in the fall of 2009 Nathan began teaching at William Aberhart High School.
Mr. Gingrich has been Bronze Jazz Ensemble director with the Westwinds Music Society since September 2012. He is involved with the Calgary Association for the Development of Music Education (CADME) as well as co-ordinator for the annual "Holiday TubaFest" and "Slide Into Spring: Calgary's Trombone Day" events.
Mr. Gingrich can be seen regularly playing with a variety of ensembles in and around Calgary as well as leading masterclasses and workshops. Playing experience has seen him perform with the Prime Time Big Band, Calgary Jazz Orchestra, Calgary Creative Arts Ensemble, The New West Brass, and Altius Brass among others.
Nicole Hounjet (Joined 2013) - Women's Choir
Nicole Hounjet is the music director of the band, choral, and musical theatre programs at Foothills Composite High School/Alberta High School of Fine Arts. During her time at FCHS/AHSFA her ensembles have regularly taken part in Musicfest, Choralfest and Choralfest Jazz. Her choirs have performed in Vienna, Salzburg, Vancouver, and in Ottawa on Canada Day. An accomplished saxophonist, pianist, and vocalist, Nicole has studied conducting with Gregory Boers, Richard Nace, Rodney Eichenberger and Deborah Cairns and received the Royal Conservatory of Music Silver Medal in voice performance under Elaine Case.
Choral music is a huge passion of Nicole’s and she believes strongly that there is nothing more exciting than when voices come together to create something beautiful. As an educator, Nicole empowers her singers to use multiple musical strategies – theory, solfege, vocal technique, and conducting – to more fully engage in the music. Nicole also believes that it is the mutual trust that builds among the ensemble that takes a piece of music from being an enjoyable sing to a truly moving experience.
Ross McIntyre (Joined 1992) - Green Concert, Silver Concert
Ross has been teaching music for The Calgary Board of Education for the past 25 years. He is currently enjoying his 16th year as director of bands at Lord Beaverbrook High School. Mr. McIntyre has worked extensively with junior and senior high school groups and honor bands throughout western Canada. In addition to his busy schedule Ross co-directs a beginning adult band with the Westwinds Music Society.
In 1993, Ross received the "Excellence in Teaching Award" from the Alberta government and in 2001 received the "Tommy Banks Award" for contribution to jazz education in Alberta. In 2006/07 Ross was honored to be chosen as one of the University of Calgary's "Top Forty Alumni". Ross along with co-producer, Samantha Whelan Kotkas and students from Lord Beaverbrook received funding from the Canadian Space Agency to create "From Blue To Red" - a hard cover children's book and interactive online e-book. "From Blue To Red" features the narration of Jazz legend, Diana Krall and three Canadian astronauts: Dr. Robert Thirsk, Julie Payette and David Saint- Jacques. Hard cover copies of "From Blue To Red" are available through Lord Beaverbrook High School and may also be viewed online at www.frombluetored.net or www.dubleuaurouge.net "From Blue to Red" is the Winner of the 2013 Award for "Best Children's and Young Adult Book of the Year" from Alberta Publishers. Most recently Ross was honoured with a "2013 Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence".
Rhonda Roedler (Joined 2004) - Percussion
Rhonda Roedler currently works with aspiring adult percussionists in the Westwinds Blue Band. Rhonda has her Royal Conservatory of Music Grade 8 Percussion. In addition, she is currently working on her Royal Conservatory Grade 9 Piano and has recently completed Intermediate Harmony. She also sings in the Westwinds Women’s Choir. When she is not practicing and performing music, she practices pharmacy with Alberta Health Services.
Greg Massey (Joined 2016) - Accompanist, Mixed Choir
Marie Lewin (Joined 1993) - Accompanist, Women's Choir, Choral Ensemble
Marie Lewin is the accompanist for the Westwinds Women's Choir, and has been with Westwinds since the Choral program was started in 1993, either as a choral conductor, or an accompanist. She is a well-known vocal accompanist for the Calgary Music Festival, Contemporary Showcase and NATS auditions, as well as a church musician. Marie also maintains an active piano studio.