MEET THE ARTISTIC TEAM
Thomas Burton, Artistic Director
Raised in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Thomas Burton is quickly becoming established as a dynamic contributor to Canada’s choral community. He is active as a conductor and singer throughout Canada and the United States. Thomas serves as Artistic Director of RESOUND Choir (Durham), Director of Music at Calvin Presbyterian/Deer Park United Church (Toronto), and is conductor of the Tenor/Bass Choir at the University of Toronto. Additionally, Thomas is Co-Conductor of the award winning ensembles Raise Her Voice (Oakville), and the Eastern Horizon Chamber Choir (Halifax).
An advocate for the community building power of music, Thomas enjoys conducting performers of all ages and abilities. He has had the privilege of working with such ensembles as the Pacific Chorale, the Toronto Amadeus Choir, Pro Coro Canada, and the Vancouver Chamber Choir. In 2020, Thomas was selected as Apprentice Conductor of the National Youth Choir of Canada and will tour with that ensemble in the spring of 2022.
Thomas is a recipient of the Iwan Edwards Award in Choral Conducting, the Ken Fleet Choral Conducting Scholarship, and the Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Foundation Award. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Trombone Performance from McGill University and a master’s degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Michigan where he studied with Dr. Jerry Blackstone and Dr. Eugene Rogers.
Cheryl Duvall, Collaborative Pianist
Toronto-based pianist Cheryl Duvall has established herself as one of Canada’s foremost contemporary music interpreters. Her voracious eclecticism has led to her immersion in a wide variety of compositional aesthetics and collaborative endeavours and imparted versatility, a lucid sense of contour, and an evocative sonic and emotional presence.
Alongside violinist Ilana Waniuk she co-founded the “adventurous and smartly programmed” (Musicworks Magazine) Thin Edge New Music Collective. Since their inception in spring 2012 they’ve commissioned over 75 works, spearheaded imaginative multidisciplinary initiatives including Balancing On The Edge, and joined forces with leading creative performers such as Charlotte Mundy, Jason Sharp (Constellation Records), and Montréal’s Ensemble Paramirabo, with whom they recorded an album.
A dynamic soloist and in-demand collaborator, Duvall has immersed herself in a wide variety of compositional aesthetics and collaborative endeavours. In 2016 her formidable skill and commitment was recognized with a nomination for the KM Hunter Award. Recently, she’s embarked on her second commissioning project to gather concert length solo works from a diverse selection of Canadian composers. The project encompasses the open ended hush of Can/Japan-based composer Daryl Jamieson, Keiko Devaux’s vibrant cascades of colour, the dexterous texture of James O’Callaghan, Jason Doell’s hypnotic introspection, the visceral and immersive electroacoustic textures of Dutch-Canadian composer Lieke Vander Voort, the intimate and ecstatic compositions of Patrick Giguère and Anna Höstman, whose piano music is the subject of her debut solo recording, Harbour (Redshift Records). Harbour has been featured on the CBC radio and was chosen as the #1 Modern Composition Recording of 2020 by UK’s ‘The Wire’ Magazine and was nominated for a Juno for Classical Composition of the Year.
Walter Mahabir, Assistant Conductor
Walter Mahabir is a graduate of McGill University with a Master’s degree in choral
conducting, as well as a Bachelor’s degree from York University in classical voice. Walter has taken part in choral concerts and choral conducting workshops in Canada, the United States, Austria, France, Czech Republic, Italy and Germany.
He was the former Choral Conductor and piano teacher at the Regent Park School of Music, Apprentice Conductor of the Orpheus Choir of Toronto, and has also sung with the Ontario Male Chorus, the Ottawa Bach Choir, the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, the Cantabile Chamber Singers, Voces Boréales, and the Canadian Male Chorus.
Walter is currently working as the Intern conductor for St. Michael’s Choir School – his alma mater, where he graduated in 2008 – and sings in various ensembles around the GTA.