Graham Academy Faculty and Staff

Principal Faculty

Ian Locke graduated with a BFA (Acting) from Grenfell Campus, Memorial University in 2016. He has worked with numerous companies, including Gros Morne Summer Music, Off-Broadway Players, Stage West Theatre Festival, Theatre Newfoundland-Labrador, & Wintertide Music Festival. He has worked professionally as an actor, director, and writer for many works. Acting highlights include Henry IV, The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui, Three Sisters (Grenfell), Blood Brothers (OBP), The Anger in Ernest & Ernestine (Stage West), & The Reele & Trewe History of New Founde Lande, King of Broadway  (GMSM). In 2017, his original work Postcards from the Train received an ACE Award for Best Historic Project. He also works with Corner Brook’s newest improv troupe: the Reele & Trewe Crew. He has travelled as far as Tasmania, Australia with the Youth Theatre Island Exchange Project’s production of With Cruel Times In Between, and can be seen in some short films: Emile’s Legacy, High Alert (CNA Productions), and Crossroads (CRK Films). His theatrical mentors include Sara…H McDonald, Jerry Etienne, Michael Waller, Linda Moore, Jeannette Lambermont-Morey, Peter Wight, Olivia Olsen, & Andrew Bridgmont. He has also performed as a clown under the guidance of Louise Gauthier.

Locke has also performed in numerous concerts around Corner Brook. He has received awards from the Rotary Music Festival, including Best Operatic Voice, Most Promising Performer, & the Aaron Bradbury Memorial Scholarship for Musical Theatre Performance. He has been seen in concerts that range from classical to popular music, including: The Magic Flute (SMUS), The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Wonderful Music of Disney, The Beatles Spectacular (GMSM), & A Winter Solstice (Wintertide), along with his own Cabaret series at the Rotary Arts Centre, of which there have been three installations thus far. He has trained vocally under the tutelage of Dr. Gary Graham, and has received training from Dr. Jennifer Matthews, Winston Noren, and Bernard Turgeon.

Locke has also ran a number of workshops for young people at the Regional and Provincial Newfoundland Drama Festivals as well as with the National Boychoir of Canada, covering areas such as improvisation, scene creation, and character creation through movement and voice. In 2016, he became a founding faculty member for Graham Academy, teaching acting with a strong focus on creation and breaking the perception of typical theatre and directing the youth performances.

 

Ryanne Spencer  “grew up” at The Dance Centre in St. John’s, under the direction of Mara Noftall and Janine Fraser where she studied ballet (successfully completing Grade 1 – Advanced 1 Cecchetti Syllabus examinations), tap, jazz and broadway. She completed The Dance Centre’s teacher training program and was a member of their faculty for 8 years between 1998 & 2014. Ryanne has also taught dance in numerous community recreation centres which has given her the privilege of bringing dance education to many children and communities for the first time. Ryanne has furthered her dance training in ballet, jazz, hip hop, lyrical and contemporary styles in a variety of settings across Canada (Halifax, Toronto, Waterloo, & Winnipeg) and the US (New York and Los Angeles). Ryanne’s love of dance and desire for education led her to pursue a degree in Kinesiology at Dalhousie University in Halifax. During this time she taught in the university’s recreational dance program and studied Jazz Dance through Dalhousie’s theatre program. Ryanne then completed a Masters in Physiotherapy at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and has been working as a physiotherapist for 11 years, practicing in Ontario, Nunavut, St. John’s and Corner Brook. In addition to dance, Ryanne has studied voice, piano, and saxophone and was a member of the Holy Heart Chamber Choir. She fell in love with musical theatre at a young age and became involved with Peter MacDonald Productions (PMP) in St. John’s, performing in many shows including “Scrooge”, “Joseph & the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat”, “Annie”, & “Anne of Green Gables”. She is very excited to be joining the GMSM family and looks forward to sharing her passion for dance and musical theatre with children and families on the west coast.

Yvette Coleman A Native of Newfoundland and former student of Dr. Gary Graham, now residing in Toronto; soprano, Yvette Coleman is lauded for her virtuosity; captivating audiences with manifold styles of voice including opera, art song, jazz, folk and musical theatre.  Yvette is a graduate of The University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Performance voice.  She has trained at the Vancouver International Song Institute, Boston University, Tanglewood Institute, The St. Andrews’ Vocal Technique Program as well as The Center for Opera Studies in Sulmona, Italy. Yvette is now a singer-songwriter in Toronto working with producers within and outside of Canada.  Last summer she performed her first set of original shows and has since spent her time co-writing and recording her first full album.

Kelly-Ann Evans is an award-winning performer, producer and educator who has been onstage non-stop since the age of 7. She is the owner/operator of Rock City Studio (two-time MusicNL nominee for Educator of the Year) where she teaches voice and piano, facilitates performance workshops, and directs a women’s choir called Earth, Wind & Choir! She is also the owner/director of Red Dress Entertainment (tributes to Rod Stewart, Michael Jackson, Queen, Abba, Women of Motown, to name a few) and co-creator/director of Total Talent, which is a performance workshop series for young musicians looking to pursue and hone their chops in commercial music performance.

Kelly-Ann has a BMUS from Memorial University and studied Musical Theatre Performance atSheridan College in Oakville, Ontario where she received the James Award for outstanding vocal achievement.She is a multiple MusicNL award winner (Pop/Rock Artist & Female Artist of the Year) and ECMA nominee who has been a company member of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, as well as with the original Canadian company of Queen’s musical We Will Rock You (Mirvish) in Toronto where she performed with Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor.

Television credits include hosting Out of the Fog on Rogers Television, dance credits in Rosemary Houses’ Bloomsday Cabaret, as well as Above and Beyond, a CBC mini-series shot in Newfoundland. She also played the role of Jan Parsons, the rugby queen tackling Jake Doyle on season one of CBC’s breakout hit showRepublic of Doyle.

Kelly-Ann’s first love and second home is the theatre. She has been seen locally in many diverse leading roles including everything from Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar (Beothuck Street Players) to Diana Goodman in Next to Normal (Best Kind Productions), from Ursula the Sea Witch in The Little Mermaid (Theatre St John’s) to Velma Kelly in Chicago (TADA EVENTS). She has been a DIVA (Tada! Events) for many years and loves her work playing and touring as Fifi DuBois with the Wonderbolt Circus.

As an educator for over 20 years, Kelly-Ann is insanely passionate about sharing her love for music! As a performer she is always pushing herself to take risks, learn new skills and push boundaries. As a teacher she loves to inspire young performers to do the same and to explore their creative and artistic sides. Her mantra as a teacher is not to produce as many “riffs” as possible but to instil confidence in students to find their own voice and share it with the world!

 

Jennifer Stratton-Renouf is a native of Corner Brook, NL, where she studied piano under the tutelage of Gary Graham. She went on to pursue a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Education at the University of Western Ontario. Ms. Renouf received a Master of Education, with a focus on Music Education, from Memorial University. She has worked as a school music teacher in the Port au Port, Deer Lake, and Corner Brook areas. As well, Ms. Renouf has worked as a piano and voice tutor and accompanist for individuals and festivals, including Festival 500 at the local and provincial levels.

 

 

 

Gary Graham has been a performer and music educator in Corner Brook for forty years. His musical education includes the Banff Centre, the Music Schools of Acadia University, and McGill University. Gary was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Memorial University in 2013. Through the direction of his well-decorated choirs, and his teaching of students both individually and in the school system, Gary has given the gift of music to thousands of children and adults during his career.

 

 

A native of Corner Brook, Chelsea Marks has been actively involved in theatre, music, and dance from a young age. Chelsea studied music (voice, piano, and flute) with Mr. Gary Graham, Ms. Monica Coffin, and Mr. Darren White. She was also lucky enough to take dance classes in jazz, ballet, modern, and tap from Ms. Amy Andrews and all the wonderful staff at Dance Studio West. While Chelsea enjoys all forms of music and dance, her favourite is musical theatre because it encompasses all of her favourite things! She has worked with numerous theatre companies over the past few years, including Lock and Keynote Productions, Off Broadway Players, Stage West Theatre Festival, and Gros Morne Summer Music.

After she graduated from Corner Brook Regional High, Chelsea studied for five years at Memorial University of Newfoundland – Grenfell Campus. She took courses in many disciplines, mainly focusing in Computational Mathematics and Environmental Science, but after five years, she realized she wasn’t enjoying what she was working towards. So, in August 2016, Chelsea made a snap decision to apply to College of the North Atlantic to study Business Administration. This has been one of the best decisions of her life! Chelsea is currently going into her second year of business, and plans on focusing on accounting. After she completes her diploma at CNA, Chelsea plans on returning to Grenfell Campus to complete a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

When she is not at school, Chelsea can be found at Dance Studio West, where she is the office manager. She loves her job and all the opportunities it has provided her. She loves her dance family and cannot imagine her life without them! She also loves working with the wonderful kids who dance at the studio, and has taught and assisted classes in the past.

Chelsea has also recently started stage managing and has been mentored by Ms. Karla Biggin. She has learned many things about stage management over the past couple years, but still has a long way to go! Chelsea is very excited to join the Graham Academy this year, and is honoured to be stage managing all their productions for the 2017-2018 musical theatre year!

Jennifer Beynon- Martinec B. Mus., B. Mus. Ed., M. Mus., is a Ph.D. candidate in Music, Medicine and Education at Memorial University. She is a voice and music education graduate from the University of British Columbia and the University of Western of Ontario. She has been a member of many prestigious choirs, for example: the World Youth Choir and the Juno-nominated Canadian Chamber Choir.

Jennifer has been a choral conductor and vocal pedagogue for over fifteen years in both Canada and Europe; having worked with prestigious organizations such as: St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto, Ontario, the Amabile Boys Choir, the Bach Children’s Choir, and the prize-winning Czech Boys Choir. Jennifer was awarded the Don Wright Scholarship for Vocal Music (UWO, 2001), the Lloyd Bradshaw Scholarship in Choral Conducting (UofT, 2003) and most recently the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (SSHRC, 2016).

Currently, Jennifer is the co-artistic director of the Atlantic Vocal Ensembles, assistant conductor of the Quintessential Vocal Ensemble and conductor of the CARA Choir in St. John’s, NL and a per-course instructor at Memorial University. Jennifer enjoys being active in the St. John’s community with her three children and husband, Jakub Martinec.

Dianna Alteen is back in Corner Brook after five years of studies in the arts world. Having studied flute and piccolo under Dr. Michelle Cheramy, Dianna graduated with her Bachelor of Music (Honours) from Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) in 2016, and then moved to Toronto where she completed a post-graduate program in Arts Administration and Cultural Management at Humber College (2017).

During her time at MUN, Dianna was a member of the MUN Wind Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra, Flute Ensemble, Chamber Choir, Festival Choir, and an inaugural member of the MUNkapeli Singers, continuing her love of performing in ensembles. She also performed at the St. John’s Kiwanis Festival winning many awards for her solo performances. While at MUN she studied both instrumental and choral conducting under Dr. Jason Caslor and Dr. Jakub Martinec. This was also where she discovered her passion for Arts Administration, helping to plan and manage some of MUN Music’s outreach programs including the MUN Honour Band (2013-2015), and MUN StringFest (2014-2015).

Upon graduation from MUN, Dianna continued her education in Arts Administration, and moved to Toronto to study at Humber College. While in Toronto she worked with Choral Canada as the Programs and Office Assistant where she worked on the 2017 National Youth Choir and National Choral Competition for Amateur Choirs.

Having studied piano and voice with Dr. Gary Graham, and flute with Karen Michael, Dianna was a frequent performer on Corner Brook stages while growing up. A winner of numerous Corner Brook Rotary Music Festival awards including the Senior Rose Bowl (2011) and the Rotary Music Festival Scholarship (2012), she went on to win the Woodwind Award at the Newfoundland Provincial Music Festival in 2012. Theatre was also a large part of Dianna’s life, being a TNL Youth Theatre student from the age of 4, and being selected as a member for the Youth Theatre Island Exchange Project.

Now, Dianna is back in Corner Brook working as Gros Morne Summer Music’s Festival Manager, and as the main administrator for the Graham Academy. Along with her love of administration, she has a true love for music education, and will be teaching Band at Immaculate Heart of Mary School, as well as having a private studio at Gary Bennett Music. Dianna is very excited to be rejoining the Corner Brook Arts community once again as an administrator, educator, and performer.

Linda Butler Carr is a dedicated choral pedagogue, specializing in children’s choirs. She began her musical training in voice and piano under the tutelage of Dr. Gary Graham and studied flute with Doreen Redmond. Linda continued her education at Mount Allison University finishing her Bachelors of Music and of Education. She completed her formal education earning a Masters of Music in Education from Mount St. Vincent University.

Currently, Linda is the conductor of the West Coast component of the Atlantic Boy Training Choir (4-8 yr. olds) as well as an accompanist for several school choirs in the Corner Brook area.  Recently, Linda was the conductor of the Bay of Islands Musical Arts Children’s Choir who participated in Festival 500 and and were Gold Medal recipients in the St. John’s Rotary Choral Fest. This Children’s Choir sang in BIMA’s production of Puccini’s Suor Angelica in 2013.

Linda is a Music Education Sessional Instructor in the Faculty of Education at Memorial University.

For thirty-two years, she was a K-12 music specialist with the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District. During this time, she was a pilot teacher and member of the curriculum writing team that developed and wrote the current NL Provincial Music Curriculum.  Throughout her career with the NLESD, Linda conducted various choral and band ensembles including Primay, Elementary, Junior and Senior High choirs, and Beginner, Junior and Senior High bands. These ensembles performed regularly in the Corner Brook Rotary Music Festival and the Festival 500, as well as biannually at the St John’s Rotary and Atlantic Band (Halifax) Fests.

From 2007 until her retirement in 2015, Linda served as the Principal of Pasadena Elementary in Western NL and was the 2014 recipient of the NLESD’s Victor May Outstanding Principal Award.

Linda is thrilled to be a member of the Graham Academy faculty and is looking forward to an exciting year with their talented young students.

Erin Smallwood is a local dance and performance enthusiast who has had a broad range of experiences over the past 25 plus years. She has trained and performed with many dance studios in St. John’s including Kittiwake Dance Theatre, Judy Knee Dance Studio, and The School of Dance. Since moving to Corner Brook in 2007 she has also taken classes with Dance Studio West and has performed in a number of Musicals with Off Broadway Players. Erin has also performed in many GMSM productions dating back to 2011 and most recently in The Paul Simon Spectacular.

Erin’s particular interests and experiences are in the areas of Jazz, Contemporary and Musical Theatre. She has performed in numerous stage performances with TaDa Events including Diva’s Do Broadway, Diva’s Do Christmas, The Rocky Horror Show, Cabaret and Chicago. Erin has a love of performance, character development and connecting with an audience and brings a great intensity and focus to her work as an artist.

Faculty subject to change.