Heather Fraser maintains an active career as a choral conductor, music educator and collaborative pianist in Nova Scotia. She is currently the Artistic Director of both the Annapolis Valley Honour Choir and The Aeolian Singers, and a music specialist in the Halifax Regional Arts Program—a department of the Halifax Regional Centre for Education—and is also an active clinician, presenter and adjudicator.
Passionate about the power of choral music to build community and understanding, Heather was the Program Director for the Nova Scotia Choral Federation for seven years and is now serving Choral Canada as the VP of Advocacy. This role has kept her busy during the pandemic, finding ways to support the community’s needs through webinars, online discussions and workshops, and keeping singers connected from coast to coast to coast. There has also been an increased need to advocate for equitable treatment of singing communities across the country. Heather initiated the Covid 19 Singing in Canadian Schools Impact Survey (2021), partnering with other national music organizations to measure the severe impact singing restrictions have had on students, educators and music programs across Canada.
Heather is grateful to have had the opportunity to study conducting and pedagogy with many mentors across Canada, USA and the UK. She was honoured to be the first conductor in Pro Coro Canada’s emerging artist program with Michael Zaugg (2016), a Conducting Fellow with the Canadian Chamber Choir with Julia Davids (2015) and was Apprentice Conductor of the National Youth Choir of Canada under the guidance of Dr. Victoria Meredith (2010).
Heather holds degrees from Acadia University (B.Mus, Piano Performance), and McGill University (B. Music Education).
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 while away in Ottawa, and continued singing, directing and playing the organ for churches in her neighbourhood after moving to her neighbourhood of Minto, New Brunswick.
A member of the Aeolians since 1989, her fellow choristers were 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 Professor Gregory Servant. She also studied composition with composer Professor Laura Hoffman.
Joanne taught voice and piano privately from 1998 through 2004 in the Halifax area, and in 2005 was appointed the Assistant Conductor of the Aeolian Singers under previous director Jackie Chambers. She has enjoyed being a part of the artistic team playing such a supportive role for various conductors as well as opportunities to arrange music for the choir.
Now blissfully retired, Joanne wishes to continue supporting the Aeolians in any way she can and also spend lots of quality time with her partner Denise and their little 12-year-old Frenchy.
Ria Kim (she, her) is a pianist originally from Korea and currently teaching at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts and collaborating at Dalhousie University. She received her education at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts with Oxana Zotova at the Fountain School of Performing Arts (Dalhousie University) with Lynn Stodola, Peter Allen and at the Manhattan School of Music with Daniel Epstein where she earned her MMus.
Ria’s main interest has expanded from classical performances towards pedagogy, performing multi-genre and cross-genre music and incorporates such freedom in her teaching and collaborative performances. At her attendance at Domaine Forget, Shandelee Music Festival, Bowdoin Music Festival she had the opportunity to study with Yonghee Moon, Philip Chiu, John Forconi, Chiharu Iinuma.
Her passion for collaborative piano playing continues this year.
Business & Communications Manager
Jenny is so proud to be a part of the Aeolian Singers team. First and foremost, she is a fan of the choir and is very excited to be representing such an incredible group of singers.
Before marriage and two kids, Jenny was a professional theatre stage manager for 10 years, working across the country for theatres such as The Stratford Festival, The Shaw Festival, Neptune Theatre, The Atlantic Theatre Festival, The Banff Centre and many more. After that whirlwind career, she transitioned into a career of event management, which she is still involved in today. In 2010, she took a break from professional work to be home with their little kids. Her family spent the next eight years in the USA living in Seattle, Washington, Santa Cruz, California and Twin Falls, Idaho as her husband Dan built his career in science. Luckily in 2018, they had an opportunity to move home to Halifax and be closer to family and friends again. After all that traveling, it’s clear that there is no better place to live than Nova Scotia!
Jenny will be reaching out regularly to update audiences on the exciting news of the choir, opportunities to get involved with the choir, and where to find out more about concerts and upcoming events. Jenny strongly believes this is a choir like no other and is in the process of evolving and setting a new bar for excellence in choral music for Nova Scotia. Under the incredible creative direction of Heather Fraser, the Aeolian Singers are on their way to redefining what choral singing can be, for audiences old and new.
After attending the 2022 and Spring 2023 performances of the Aeolian Singers, Laurie knew she wanted to be a part of this incredible group and was excited to learn that the choir was in need of a Marketing Manager.
A passionate marketing professional hailing from Ontario, Laurie was lucky to start her career with Postmedia, the largest newspaper group in Canada, focusing her efforts mostly on digital marketing.
After a move to New Brunswick in 2018, she started working at Kent Building Supplies in Saint John as the Digital Marketing Manager and Communications Lead for the Retail Division of JDI.
Traveling for work allowed Laurie the opportunity to explore more of the Halifax area and she knew it was where she was meant to be. Now Laurie is a proud member of the team over at Propeller Brewing Co, the oldest operating craft brewery in Nova Scotia. As the Marketing Manager, she focuses on brand development, communications, marketing, and product development.
For the choir, Laurie works behind the scenes, promoting the Aeolian Singers through social media, print and digital media, capturing photos and videos of the talented singers, and coordinating the concert programs.
Anne Marie Coolen