Kara Callaghan was born and raised on PEI. Her passion for music was encouraged from a young age as a means to channel her energy, to put it nicely, or to shut her up, to put it honestly! Kara’s choral experience started with the Confederation Centre Girls Choir and continued locally, nationally, and abroad, until present day. She is an Accredited Music Therapist with a Bachelor of Music Therapy from Acadia University; however, she now works as a Registered Nurse. Kara remains active in the music ministry at St. Dunstan’s Basilica, and is excited to be joining Sirens for the upcoming season!
Annette Campbell is a mezzo-soprano from Charlottetown, PEI. She has a Bachelor of Music degree (University of Prince Edward Island), a Master of Arts in musicology (McGill University) and a Diploma in Public Relations (University of Victoria). Annette has been a member of many different choral ensembles, including the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Chorus, the Orpheus Singers and the St. Lawrence Choir. She has also appeared onstage and served as music director and/or vocal coach in several musical theatre productions. She taught music privately for many years and lectured sessionally at McGill and UPEI. Annette has also worked in arts administration, most notably with the Canada Council for the Arts. She is a founding member of Sirens and sings with PEI choral ensemble Luminos.
Sara comes from Truro, NS and grew up in Kensington, PEI. Her musical career began early with piano lessons and church choir. After taking voice lessons through high school Sara went on to graduate from St. Francis Xavier University with a B. A. Mus in Vocal Jazz. She then went to Toronto and completed a Masters of Sacred Music at the University of Toronto and Emmanuel College. There she studied Vocal performance with Lynn Blaser. She had the pleasure of learning conducting and choral techniques from Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt, Dr. Lori Dolloff, and Zimfira Poloz. Sara currently conducts the Amabile Singers, a 20 person professional choir based out of Charlottetown. While not busy singing and teaching, she spends time at home with her husband Dave, and their 2 year old son Ben.
Mezzo-soprano Suzanne Campbell received much of her early vocal training as a member of the Confederation Centre Girls’ Choir. She completed her undergraduate studies in vocal performance and music education at Dalhousie University and later received a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from The Boston Conservatory. Suzanne is a regular soloist at several churches in Charlottetown and has often appeared as the alto soloist with the Confederation Singers under the direction of Don Fraser. Suzanne currently teaches singing to students of all ages at her home studio in Charlottetown where she lives with her husband and three children.
Originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Kate Dempsey developed a love of choral music from an early age. As a youth she sang with the Newfoundland Symphony Youth Choir (now Shallaway Youth Choir). She has also sung with the Associação Coral de Florianópolis, Trent University Madrigal Choir, and Island A Capella. She is thrilled to be singing with Sirens this season! When she is not singing Kate can be found working in the community sector, and building things. Kate lives in Charlottetown with her partner and cat, both of whom are very supportive.
Andrea Ellis is a pianist and mezzo-soprano based out of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and is an active member of the province’s music community as a private music instructor, choral musician, and arts administrator. Providing instruction in piano, theory and voice, Andrea is Registered Music Teacher (RMT) and is a certified piano teacher with the Royal Conservatory of Music. Presently, she is the Director of Music at St. Andrew’s United Church in Vernon Bridge, and is the collaborative pianist for several Island choirs including the Indian River Festival Chorus, the Amabilè Singers, and Harmonia Girls Choir. Andrea studied piano with Dr. Frances Gray at UPEI, obtaining her Bachelor of Music in 2009. She has studied voice with Sung Ha Shin-Bouey and Suzanne Campbell, and was a two-time member of the National Youth Choir of Canada (2010 with Dr. Victoria Meredith, and 2012 with Ivars Taurins).
Soprano Jennifer Gillis was born and raised a singer in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. An avid choral singer from a young age, Jennifer was a long-time member of the Nova Scotia Youth Choir under the direction of Canada’s leading choral conductors. While obtaining a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance at UPEI, Jennifer was a two-time member of the National Youth Choir of Canada. Jennifer’s choral career continued as she obtained an MA in Musicology from the University of Toronto while singing with UofT’s Bach Choir. In addition to being a new Mom to her son Jackson, Jennifer works in the field of arts administration with the Atlantic Presenters Association/Contact East in Charlottetown. She’s thrilled to continue her choral career as a founding member of Sirens.
Allison Kelly attributes her love of music to her mother who fostered her singing and other music making endeavours from a young age. Her main focus has been in trombone having started playing in grade seven and eventually going on to study it at the UPEI Music Department. At UPEI, Allison received ample opportunity for large and small ensemble work in a variety of different groups including the UPEI Trombone Quartet, the UPEI Vocal Octet and the UPEI Wind Symphony to name a few. Allison continues to work in the arts community and hopes to continue her pursuit of engaging music making experiences and is very excited to continue her journey with Sirens.
Kelsea McLean holds a Bachelor of Music from Canadian Mennonite University where she studied voice and specialized in choral education; she also graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Education. Kelsea currently serves as chorister and Artistic Director of Sirens, a women’s choir based in Charlottetown. As a recipient of several awards at the local and provincial music festivals, Sirens earned the “Richard W. Cooke Award” at the FCMF National Music Festival, placing first in the Choral Ensemble Class in 2015. That same year, Sirens also received a nomination for Music PEI’s award for Achievement in Classical or Jazz. In 2015, Kelsea founded and began directing Harmonia Girls’ Choir, the first addition to the Sirens’ family of choirs. Sought after for her high-energy and emphasis on vocal technique, she has had the privilege of providing choral clinics for PEI programs such as Music Monday and the PEI Junior Honour Choir. She was also the conductor of the Indian River Festival Chorus as part of the festival’s 2016 and 2017 season and served as adjudicator at the Atlantic Festival of Music in Halifax in 2017. Furthermore, Kelsea teaches instrumental and choral music at Morell Regional High School. Kelsea also enjoys an active solo career, having performed primarily in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and PEI including appearances with the Swift Current Oratorio Choir and Regina Symphony Orchestra, and the Canadian Mennonite University choirs and Mennonite Community Orchestra.
Marlee Saulnier is a saxophonist, vocalist and pianist hailing from Stellarton, Nova Scotia, and is currently based in Charlottetown. She holds a Bachelor of Music with Honours from Humber College in Toronto, Ontario. Marlee has had the opportunity to play and sing with numerous musical groups throughout Ontario, Atlantic Canada and Mexico, including Hilario Duran’s Humber Latin Jazz Ensemble, The Count and the Cuban Cocktail, Charlottetown-based world music group I and the Village, and Paper Lions. When not performing, you can find Marlee working as the Administrator and Office Manager for the PEI Symphony Orchestra.
Shannon Scales hails from New Glasgow, Nova Scotia where her musical talents were embraced by a rich and vibrant musical community. This is where her 23 year running choral and solo performance experience began. She continued her voice study at the University of Prince Edward Island under the direction of Sung Ha Shin Bouey; receiving her Bachelor of Music in Performance in 2010. Following her post-secondary education, Shannon moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she studied with Soprano, Lucy Hayes Davis and sought out as many musical experiences as she could. She was a member of the Halifax Camerata Singers, a Symphony Nova Scotia Chorus member, worked with Opera Nova Scotia, established her own voice studio, and was a member of Xara Choral Theatre. In the Fall of 2014, she was a featured soloist on Xara’s ECMA nominated choral album. Shannon and her Husband returned to the Island in 2015 with their new son, Sam, in tow. Since arriving, Shannon has been immersing herself in the Island’s rich music community once more and is thrilled to be back!