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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of  Music
December 6, 2016
Canadian Excellence

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Faculty of Music

Laurier’s Voice Program is pleased to announce the recent appointment of four new part-time voice instructors.

Sep 23/13

Laurier’s Voice Program is pleased to announce the recent appointment of four new part-time voice instructors.

James McLean (tenor) has been teaching at Laurier since the fall of 2012, and is joined this September by colleagues Marianne Bindig (mezzo-soprano), James Westman (baritone) and Vicki St. Pierre (mezzo-soprano).

All four instructors possess a wealth of knowledge of vocal pedagogy and the requirements for a career in performance and education. Adding to their inspiring careers and impressive individual achievements will be the lasting impression they will leave on their students at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Wilfrid Laurier University, the Faculty of Music, and the voice program will benefit immeasurably from the contributions of these new instructors.

James McLean

For James McLean who began teaching at Laurier in 2012 his singing encompasses a wide repertoire, from baroque to contemporary music, in opera, concert and recital. Across Canada he has sung with major organizations including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Ottawa Choral Society and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1983, James launched his European career making Germany his home for over 20 years. He was first lyric tenor of the opera houses in, Nurnberg and Essen while performing throughout Germany and Europe. James was Associate Professor at the Folkwang University in Essen and has given masterclasses on song interpretation in Canada, Germany and Italy.


Marianne Bindig

Widely praised for her artistic commitment and her interpretive and communicative skills, Marianne has enjoyed singing roles as diverse as Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro to Varvara in Katya Kabanova and from Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia to the title role in Carmen. She has also soloed with many orchestras in repertoire ranging from Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été, and Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody to Bach’s Johannes Passion and Scarlatti’s Il Primo Omicidio. In addition to appearances on concert and recital stages, Marianne has also collaborated on numerous occasions with lutenist John Edwards of The Musicians in Ordinary on repertoire from the Italian, French and English Renaissance composers. In 2009, she covered the role of the Abbess in the Mirvish production of The Sound of Music, her first foray into professional musical theatre. After discovering a love of pedagogy, Marianne returned to her Alma Mater to gain her Bachelor of Education in Music and Drama and has subsequently taught at Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Toronto and Opera NUOVA. Her poetic endeavors have won her collaborations with Canadian composers John Greer (two cycles for soprano), Harry Freedman (one cycle for soprano) and Ben Beveridge (roots musician). She continues to write and also offers “Lecture-Sermon-Workshops” on the art of understanding, loving, and presenting poetry and song.


James Westman

Internationally acclaimed Baritone James Westman has been performing in major concert halls and prestigious opera houses for over 30 years. He was the first boy treble to perform and record Mahler’s 4th Symphony with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Bernstein. This fall, Mr. Westman will perform and record Carmina Burana with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He was a member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio and the San Francisco Opera Adler Fellowship program. Annually, he guest lectures Vic One students at Victoria College in the University of Toronto on Career Innovation and Esprit de Corps. Mr. Westman has given vocal masterclasses to many Universities and Opera Company Ensembles throughout North America. He has won numerous competitions including The George London Competition, International Jeunesses Musicales Competition, International D’Angelo Competition, Licia Albanese Competition, Marilyn Horne Competition, and was a finalist at Cardiff Singer of the World. Mr. Westman has numerous Grammy and Juno nominated recordings with Decca, CBC, Opera Rara and BBC. He lives “upon the avon” in Stratford near his family’s heritage farm, which dates back to 1771.


Vicki St. Pierre

Vicki St. Pierre’s warm, lush voice “invitingly combines clarity of expression and beauty of tone,” and is described as “rich with both a darkness and brightness.” Past concert highlights include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 with the Toronto Consort, Zelenka’s St. Cecilia Mass with Tafelmusik, Stanford’s Requiem with the Orpheus Choir, Bach’s Magnificat with the Toronto Bach Consort, and Handel’s Messiah with Symphony Nova Scotia, the Edmonton Symphony, and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Tafelmusik, Victoria Symphony, Handel’s Dixit Dominus with Tafelmusik, and the music of Jommelli with Les Idées Heureuses of Montreal. On the operatic stage, Ms. St Pierre has appeared in Monteverdi’s Orfeo, Charpentier’s Actéon, and Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria with Opera Atelier, Dido and Aeneas with Ensemble Masques de Montreal and Toronto Masque Theatre, Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Toronto Philharmonia, and L’Incoronazione di Poppea with Opera Atelier, Cleveland Opera and Early Music Vancouver. Upcoming engagements include programs with the Talisker Players and the Toronto Consort.


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