The Fort Saskatchewan Music Festival committee would like to offer our sincerest thank you to our distinguished Adjudicators for being a part of our Festival!
BIANCA BACIU (PIANO)
Dr. Bianca Baciu has led an active career as soloist, chamber musician and pedagogue. She has performed throughout Europe and North America and has collaborated with distinguished artists such as Serban Lupu, Vagram Saradjian and Tanya Prochazka. After establishing her early career in Europe, at age 24, Dr. Baciu moved to Canada, where she has received numerous awards including the Marusia Yaworska Scholarship for the most talented musician in Canada, and the prestigious Izaak Walton Killam PhD Scholarship for research at the University of Alberta.
Bianca Baciu received her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance (2000) and a Diploma in Advanced Pedagogy (1999) from Transylvania University in Romania, her Master's in Piano Performance from the University of Western Ontario (2002), and her Doctorate in Piano Performance from the University of Alberta (2006), and has worked under the guidance of pianists such as Radu Lupu, Jacques Despres and Victor Rosenbaum.
After moving to Canada in 2000, she completed a series of recording projects featuring solo and chamber music works by Canadian composers, and in 2006, she recorded a world premiere CD featuring piano solo works by Canadian composer Jack Behrens at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Her CD presenting Behrens's Homages for piano solo was released by Centaur Records in 2008. Dr. Baciu's book "Death of the Author - A Tribute," discussing postmodernism in Jack Behrens's piano music was also released in 2008.
Dr. Baciu has served on the ARMTA Edmonton Executive as the Artistic Director of the Northern Alberta Concerto Competition and the Young Artist liaison.
In addition to her administrative and performance engagements, Dr. Baciu is a dedicated teacher and a sought-after clinician and adjudicator. She has taught at "Transylvania" University in Romania, the University of Western Ontario in London and the University of Alberta in Edmonton. She currently teaches piano and piano literature at Alberta College, Grant MacEwan University, and also maintains a full private teaching studio in Edmonton. Her students have received numerous awards and scholarships.
Dr. Baciu is a certified mindfulness and meditation instructor. She is also a member of the Royal Conservatory of Music College of Examiners, and a certified Performing Arts Medicine practitioner.
ALLISON GRANGER (VIOLIN)
Born in Brandon, Manitoba, Allison began classical training at the age of 4, and at 12 years old was teaching at Brandon University.
At age 16, Allison moved to Calgary to join the group Barrage with whom she travelled the world. She excelled as a soloist in theatrical production, live performance, studio recordings and commercial/radio broadcasts with multiple tours on 3 continents, sharing the stage with such notables as Lady Antebellum, Alanis Morrisette, Blake Shelton, Natalie MacMaster, Leahy, Great Big Sea, Blue Rodeo, Jann Arden, Reba McEntire and Keith Urban to name a few.
She is nominated frequently for Awards such as the Gemini’s, Canadian Film Awards, WCMA’s, Junos and Canadian Country Music Awards. She took home the CCMA Award for “Fiddler of the Year” in 2013. In 2016, she was inducted into the hall of Fame in Canada and she has landed in the top 11 fiddlers in Canada at the Canadian Grand Master Fiddling Competition numerous times.
She continues to perform with Crescendo and the Edmonton Singing Christmas Tree, and also as a soloist with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and Edmonton Opera, among other numerous projects. She has her own recording, Forever Fiddling, for sale currently. Check it out at www.allisongranger.com.
SUSAN FARRELL (CHORAL/VOCAL)
Nova Scotia native, Susan Farrell has been making waves in Alberta the last several years as a rising choral conductor.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Music from Mount Allison University, a Master of Music from University of Alberta Choral Conducting and is a Licensed Musikgarten Teacher.
Susan leads Spíra early childhood music classes through Kokopelli Choirs and conducts the Braille Tones and Semitones choirs, which serve adults and children with special needs in Edmonton. She also leads the Edmonton Children’s Choir, and can be found leading music at St. Paul’s United Church on the weekends, too!
Susan’s sense of fun guides her singers to create a sense of community and her enthusiasm for singing encourages them to find and celebrate their own unique voices.
ALLEN JACOBSON (BAND)
Mr. Jacobson is a Trombonist/Vocalist/Composer/Arranger/Educator who has performed throughout Canada and internationally for many years. During the course of his career he has established a reputation as an outstanding performer and educator.
Allen Jacobson has performed with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Baden Baden Philharmonic (Conductor & Soloist), the European Philharmonie (Conductor, Soloist) the Citadel THEATRE, Tommy Banks Band, The Joan Rivers, Rich Little and Red Skelton Shows, European productions of Cats, Chicago and Cabaret, West Side Story (among numerous others), The EdJE (the JUNO nominated Edmonton Jazz Ensemble), film scores, jingles, modern dance collaborations and numerous commercial recordings.
Allen was 1st/Jazz Trombonist with the Tommy Banks Big Band/Orchestra, a nationally (Canada) acclaimed performing, touring and recording ensemble. He has been heard on national and regional Television and Radio Programs and in concert halls (Canada, Germany, Sweden, France, Denmark, Japan, South Korea) both as a soloist and ensemble performer. He is also in demand as a Soloist and Conductor with Contemporary Music Ensembles and Jazz Big Bands and Orchestras.
As an Educator, Mr. Jacobson has many years of experience as an adjudicator, providing workshops/seminars and in private teaching. He has provided workshops/seminars to schools, Colleges and Universities throughout Western Canada and Germany. He has taught Jazz Trombone, Vocals and Ensembles at the Hochshule fur Musik Rheinland-Pfalz, Mainz, and Jazz Trombone, Vocals (Classical and Jazz), Improvisation, Composition, Ensembles and Big Band at the Frankfurt Musik Hochschule (University of Performing Arts). Mr. Jacobson has also been on the faculty of the Peter - Cornelius Conservatory (Mainz) and as Visiting Professor at the Mannheim University of Performing Arts.