our Artistic Director
Increasingly noted as “one to watch” in Canada’s choral community, Heather is currently Artistic Director of the award-winning Annapolis Valley Honour Choirs (regional auditioned choirs for Grades 5-12) and the Program Director of the Nova Scotia Choral Federation. She received her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Acadia University and a Bachelor of Education from McGill University in Music and Creative Arts. Heather has also participated in advanced conducting courses with the British Kodaly Academy, the Westminster Choir College Summer Conducting Institute and privately. An Apprentice Conductor of the National Youth Choir of Canada in 2010, she has worked as a collaborative pianist and was a member of the National Youth Choir of Canada. She has conducted Halifax’s All City Music Soundtrax choir and led the Halifax Youth Honour Choir as well as working as a clinician and presenters for the Perform! Artist in Residence Program throughout Nova Scotia.
During the 2016-17 season Ms. Fraser will be undertaking a self-directed intensive study period with top choral conductors in the US and Canada; the choir will be led by guest conductors for this season.
our Assistant Director
Joanne Slack has been making music with piano, organ and voice from the age of six. She completed her Royal Conservatory Grade 10 in Piano in Ottawa, and continued singing, directing and playing the organ for churches in her home neighbourhood. A member of the Aeolians since 1989, choir was instrumental in her decision to study piano and voice at Dalhousie University where she received her Bachelor of Music degree in 1997. There she studied choral conducting and sang with the Dalhousie Chamber choir under the tutelage of Dr. Walter Kemp and enjoyed performing and singing in the Opera Group with Prof. Gregory Servant. She completed two composition courses with composer and Professor Laura Hoffman. Joanne taught voice and piano privately from 1998 through 2004 in the Halifax area, and since then was appointed the Assistant Conductor of the Aeolian Singers under previous director Jackie Chambers, now serving in this role under current Director, Janet Gaskin.
Diana Torbert received her Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Converse College in South Carolina and her Master of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music in New York, with further studies at Aspen Music School in Colorado. Her musical career has encompassed a wide range of solo and ensemble performances with orchestras, chamber groups, instrumentalists and vocalists, choral groups and opera.
Since moving to Halifax in 1987, she has become well known as a pianist, teacher and adjudicator. Ms. Torbert has performed frequently with Symphony Nova Scotia and on many concert series in the region. She is well known as a collaborative pianist in the musical community of Nova Scotia and at Dalhousie University’s Department of Music. She is the pianist for Rhapsody Quintet, who have released six CDs: the newest one, “Passion” was just released in October, 2012. Rhapsody in Red won the Music Industry Association of Nova Scotia’s Best Classical Recording Award in 2005. Rhapsody in Red was also nominated for Best Classical Recording at the East Coast Music Awards in 2006. Rhapsody by Request also won the 2009 “Classical Recording of the Year” from the Nova Scotia Music Awards. Rhapsody Quintet has performed twice as guest artists with Symphony Nova Scotia, and on many concert series in the Atlantic Provinces and in Ontario.
Ms. Torbert has taught hundreds of students from beginning to professional levels during her 40- year teaching career and continues to maintain a large private studio in Halifax. She is currently the Past President of the Halifax Chapter of the Nova Scotia Registered Music Teachers’ Association.