ODMF History

2018 Adjudicator

Melodie Hewer

Melodie Hewer began her musical studies before she learned to read, and it has been a growing passion, joy, and influence in her life ever since.

Melodie has trained extensively with the Royal Conservatory of Music, having earned an A.R.C.T. in piano performance, and a Silver Medal in flute

performance. She is currently an RCM-certified teacher in all disciplines, and has been awarded the CFMTA award for professional achievement. Melodie

is a graduate of McMaster University, and a former teacher at Durham College of Applied Arts and Technology. Having operated a a successful

piano studio for the past 25 years, and having collaborated in numerous choral and instrumental contexts, she is able to draw on her rich upbringing

to inspire the same enthusiasm and confidence in the next generation of musicians.

As a teacher, Melodie likes to take a collaborative approach in the learning process, exploring with students what they like about a piece and why they

chose it, as well as what parts of it need more finesse. “It increases their critical listening at the same time it increases their confidence, understanding

and ownership of the learning process.”

In recent years, Melodie has taken on increased roles in the sphere of music education, having become a Royal Conservatory examiner in 2007, and

having served in executive roles in the Ontario Registered Music Teacher's Association. She is now several years into the world of adjudicating for

numerous competitions and festivals, yet another arena where she seeks to share the love and discovery of music with the upcoming generation, and to

encourage them to reach their greatest artistic potential, all the while having fun and enjoying the journey.




Paul Coates holds ARCT diplomas in both piano and voice as well as a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from the University of Western Ontario. He also studied at the Chautauqua Institute and the Banff School of Fine Arts. He was privileged to perform for Elisabeth Schwarzkopf in London England and has attended master classes with Gwendolyn Koldofsky, Elly Ameling and Rudolph Jansen.
Since his graduation he has enjoyed an active and varied performing career as both singer and accompanist, including solo concerts, chamber music, appearances with orchestras, CBC and TV Ontario broadcasts.
Paul has been a faculty member of the School of Music of Windsor and the Royal Conservatory of Music where he taught in both the Community School and the Glenn Gould Professional School.
Currently he maintains a private studio in Stratford. He is also active as an adjudicator and a clinician for ORMTA and is excited about his new series of talk for any organization on “FINDING A KINDER WAY – to BE who YOU ARE!”
The importance of being mindfully present in the now while celebrating the whole student. You are AWESOME just because you are. Not because of what you do or do not do! Your imagination is your limitation in life. You should have no limits when it comes to your imagination. However there is value in having a process that Acknowledges – Empowers - Inpsires.”
Mr. Coates has examined for RCM & CC has been travelling across Canada presenting a workshop for teachers, parents and studentss entitled: “Calming the Practice Monster.” NEW “The Studio Monster Experience” – Practice Tips & Tools that make a Difference. Contact Regal Monster Productions if interested in booking a TALK!



ODMF 2016 Piano Adjudicator: Donna Mak 

A.D. (CT, USA), M.Mus. Perf. (New York, USA), B.Mus. Perf., (Toronto, Canada), ARCT.
Registered Music Teacher (ORMTA, CFMTA).
Examiner (Royal Conservatory of Music, Canada & Royal Conservatory Music Development Program, USA).
Piano Performer/Accompanist.
K-W Music Instructor Gold Award Winner (2012) and Platinum Award Winner (2013).
K-W Recipient of the ORMTA Contribution to Teaching Award (2014)
Executive Vice President, Recitals Organizer, and Awards Convenor (KWORMTA).

Canadian-born and of Chinese descent, Donna Mak has had an extensive performing history as a pianist, accompanist, chamber musician, and concerto soloist with orchestras. She began studies with Claire Wilson, with subsequent principal teachers Marjorie and Garth Beckett, Marietta Orlov, Boris Lysenko, Arkady Aronov, and Luiz de Moura Castro. She studied chamber music and accompanying with Patricia Parr, William Aide, John Hess, and Mitchell Stern. Pedagogy teachers included Marina Geringas and Vera Wills. Donna eagerly took many special interest workshops and seminars presented by the Miller Institute for Performing Artists on injury prevention and ergonomics for musicians, as well as courses in psychology. Her formulas and tips for "practicing for success" that work for herself have been adapted and applied to her students on an individual basis, and have achieved successful results. Donna has also had masterclasses with such renowned artists as Anton Kuerti, Richard Goode, Greta Kraus, and Dalton Baldwin.

Growing up, she accumulated a wealth of experience performing at countless venues and actively competing at the local, provincial, and national levels, and was a multi-award and scholarship recipient throughout. She has appeared on television, newspaper, and radio for her piano endeavours. In Toronto she won the prestigious W. O. Forsyth Scholarship for both piano and academic excellence all four consecutive years there, and maintained Honour Roll status in New York. In Connecticut, it was one of Donna’s solo piano recitals that inaugurated the newly acquired Steinway in Millard Theatre, and she was a performing member of the American Liszt Society; pianist in the Contemporary Players ensemble which included premiering new works on a regular basis; celeste player for the Groton Ballet Orchestra’s "Nutcracker"; and accompanist for the Avon-W.Hartford-Simsbury school board.

Donna has had numerous years of teaching experience, and was also Assistant to the Director of Chamber Music Studies at the University of Hartford and the piano instructor at a private school for boys in North York. She has adjudicated for music teachers’ branch competitions both in and out of province. Currently, Donna dedicates an exciting schedule of teaching piano and theory students at her own Studio in Kitchener, while continuing to accompany choir and travel as a Senior Examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music Examinations (Canada) and the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program (USA). In 2012, she was Waterloo Region’s Gold Award recipient for Music Instructor, and in 2013 she was honored further with the Platinum Award. Donna has been a member of the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association for over 10 years. Currently the executive Vice President of KWORMTA, she also continues to be the K-W music recitals organizer. Her colleagues nominated Donna to receive the "Contribution to Teaching Award" in 2014 and she was honoured with the award at the provincial convention.


Penelope Dale

Penelope Dale holds a diplôme d’études supérièures, and a concours, à l’unanimité du jury in vocal performance from the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec à Montréal, as well as a Diploma in Education (Music Specialist) from McGill University. Her principal voice teacher was Madame Marie Daveluy, of Montreal, Quebec.

Ms. Dale has performed as a soloist in live performances for Radio Canada, in opera and in concert. She is a former faculty member of The Royal Conservatory of Music, where she taught voice and sight singing. Penelope was a compiler of The Royal Conservatory of Music Voice Syllabus, 2005 Edition, and the Voice Repertoire Series, Third Edition, and has authored articles for the Royal Conservatory of Music Newsletter, Music Matters. She conducts voice examinations for The Royal Conservatory of Music, and has been a member of the College of Examiners of The Royal Conservatory of Music since 2005. Ms. Dale is also in demand as a festival adjudicator, and has adjudicated at numerous festivals in Ontario and in Manitoba, including the Windsor Kiwanis Music Festival, the Pickering Music Festival, the South Simcoe Arts Council Music Festival, and the Winnipeg Music Festival.

Penelope’s students have been received enthusiastically in festivals, competitions, vocal examinations, and university and high school entrance auditions. Graduates from her private voice studio have been accepted into vocal study programmes at universities throughout Ontario, such as the University of Toronto, the University of Western Ontario, McGill University, McMaster University, and Wilfrid Laurier University. Current students have been awarded placements at the Etobicoke School of the Arts, Claude Watson School of the Arts, and Cardinal Carter School of the Arts. Her students have received Silver Medals for attaining the highest mark in all of Ontario and Quebec in their voice examinations at The Royal Conservatory of Music, and numerous scholarship awards from the Davenport Music Festival, the Newmarket Music Festival, and the Kiwanis Music Festival.

Penelope Dale has received many awards for her singing, including first prize at the CIBC National Music Festival. She is a member of several professional organizations, including the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators’ Association (CMFAA), the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), (past Vice-President, Special Projects – Ontario chapter), and the Ontario Registered Music Teachers’ Association (ORMTA).



2015 Adjudicators:

Peter Dickson
Peter has been playing the trumpet since grade 8.  He is a graduate with a Music Education degree from the University of Western Ontario.  Peter has been teaching elementary instrumental music with the Peel District School Board for 15 years where he has taken school groups to participate at the Atlantic Band Festival in Halifax as well as the Musicfest Canada which is hosted in different cities across Canada.  He has played with a variety of community bands since graduating and is currently a member of the Brampton Jazz Mechanics.  He is pleased to be participating in the festival this year.

Amber Morphy
Soprano and pianist, is a versatile performer, teacher and adjudicator. She has travelled throughout Canada and enjoys working with youth in a workshop, festival or exam situation. Amber began her musical training in Ontario completing a Bachelor of Music in voice and piano at Wilfrid Laurier University. She then graduated with a Masters in Music from the University of Western Ontario, specializing in vocal performance. She has been a member of the College of Examiners for the Royal Conservatory of Music for 20 years. She examines all levels of piano and voice. She is also an active adjudicator for music festivals and competitions throughout Canada. Amber has performed extensively in Ontario with Elora Festival, Gallery Concert Series, Kokoro, K-W Opera, Hamilton Opera, Summer Lyric Opera Theatre, Cambridge Symphony Orchestra and many more. She is an active recitalist throughout the Waterloo region. She is also an accompanist and coach for singers at an integrated arts high school in Kitchener. She owns her own successful private music studio in Cambridge, teaching over 35 students a week. In 2003, Amber had the honour of being the first Artist-in-Residence for the city of Cambridge. This exciting position allowed for monthly concerts, workshops, performances at community events and the creation of her first self titled CD. In her spare time, Amber is a competitive triathlete and yoga instructor.

Joan Plume

Joan received her ARCT degree in vocal performance from The Royal Conservatory of Music (1973), and became Director of Music at St. Matthew’s United Church that same year. She started a Children’s Choir. She introduced English Handbells to the congregation after attending classes at Westminister Choir College in Princeton. At the church, she has conducted up to 2 vocal choirs, 1 English Handbell choir and a youth Chime Choir, where some of the members are as young as 10. Currently, she conducts one vocal choir and a handbell choir. She also rings in a Handbell Quintet, made up of a small group of ringers from the Bells of St. Matthew’s.

As a clinician and conductor at many Handbell events across Canada and internationally, she was honoured to be the Canadian Conductor of 600 massed handbell ringers at the 10th International Handbell Symposium in Korea in 2002. She also co-ordinated the 11th International Handbell Symposium in Toronto in 2004 and planned other local Handbell events.


2014 Adjudicator:

Susan Robinson


Born in Meaford, Ontario, Susan first studied piano with Esme Crichton of Meaford and then Shirley Hawkins of Owen Sound. Susan obtained her ARCT in 1986 and was awarded scholarships for Best Piano Performance from 1984 to 1986 at the Grey County Kiwanis Festival. She has also performed at the Provincial Kiwanis Music Competition and with the Georgian Bay Symphony, as well as for the Blue Mountain Festival of the Arts.

Susan studied at the University of Toronto with Patricia Parr and Boyanna Toyich, and graduated with a Bachelor of Music Education in 1990. She was one of the first graduates of the Licentiate Diploma in Performance and Pedagogy in what is now the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto (1992), and also received her Fellowship Diploma in Piano Performance from Trinity College of Music, London.

Susan was on the piano faculty of the Royal Conservatory of Music from 1991 to 1999, and has been a member of the Royal Conservatory College of Examiners since 1993. Susan is currently an active member of the Kitchener-Waterloo branch of the Ontario Registered Music Teachers Association and has served on ORMTA Provincial Council. As a member of the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators’ Association, Susan also is active as an adjudicator across Canada. She enjoys the challenges of running a private piano studio in Kitchener, and teaches students of all ages.

Rosa Antony
Mezzo Soprano

Long time Orangeville resident Rosa Antony has had varied experience in both musical genre and style. Rosa received her musical training at the Royal Conservatory of Music; an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts from York University; a diploma in Operatic Performance from University of Toronto; and a diploma in Contemporary Music Theatre Performance from the Banff Centre School of Fine Arts where she was part of an ensemble developing and premiering new works for the vocal theatre repetoire. Among the new works premiered there, Rosa sang the title role in the first musical adaptation of Quebec playwright, Michel Tremblay's “Ste. Carmen of the Main”. In addition, Miss Antony holds a Bachelor of Education degree from OISE/UT with certification in Intermediate/Senior Music and Drama; Primary Education and also Montessori ECE training.

For 13 years Rosa performed with such groups as the Canadian Opera Company and Tapestry Music Theatre in Toronto performances and on National Tours; Taffelmusik; and Opera Atelier, to name a few. While raising her young family Rosa taught voice to adults and young people in Orangeville as well as music classes to children in her home studio and in local schools. During this time Rosa formed her own Community Opera Theatre group (Opera Plus), mounting several productions in Orangeville and area with the primary focus being: opera/music theatre education, community outreach, and fund raising for various groups such as Theatre Orangeville, CFUW, Salvation Army Food Bank, Hillside House/Family Transition Place and Orangeville Concert Association. Miss Antony has enjoyed an association with Theatre Orangeville since its early days, mounting productions like “Amahl and the Night Visitors” by G. C. Menotti (1996-2000) and “Madame Butterfly” by G. Puccini (2006) to raise funds for the theatre and for scholarships for the Young Company program.

Rosa is particularly proud of her one woman play, “The League of Notions” (about Dufferin County's Dr. Minerva Ellen Reid), conceived of, written and performed by her for the opening/closing of the Headwaters Arts Festival in 1996 at the DCMA. Her experience in live theatre continued in her portrayal of Laura in D. J. Needles' play “Maria Chapdelaine” in Rosemont and Orangeville in 1999. She will be remembered in both “Oklahoma” (Aunt Eller) and “The King and I” (Anna Leonowens) in OMT productions (2000-2001) directed by Theatre Orangeville's founding director, Jim Betts.

Rosa's current interests are in attaining a Master in Theological Studies at Tyndale University and being involved in the Lay Chaplaincy program at Headwaters Health Care Centre.

Dennis Hahn

Dennis Hahn, B.A. (hons) Mus., ARCT, (piano Performance)
Music Director and Educator, Performer, Artist, Producer
Music has been a life-long passion for Mr Hahn. Involved in several areas of the music industry, Mr Hahn has performed on stages as both a Classical pianist and also in many modern rock bands, including award winners The Apollo Effect whose music has been featured in television programs such as Degrassi, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, and in several trailers for the HBO Movie Network. He has performed alongside acclaimed Canadian acts such as Our Lady Peace, Finger Eleven, The Trews, Faber Drive and The Arkells. Mr. Hahn is well known in the local community as the keyboard player in The Campfire Poets and lead singer of the band Powder. Outside of performing, Mr. Hahn leads several groups and ensembles, teaching music from grades 3-8 at the Orangeville Christian School, co-directing the Theatre Orangeville Youth Singers (TOYS) and directing the music ministry at the Knox United Church in Caledon. He is passionate about developing musicians, believing that music is the language of the soul and that every single person can find joy at some level from either making music, or from listening to music made by someone else.

Past Adjudicators

1998 – Catherine M. Palmer (Piano), Nicholas H. Morkel (Voice)
1999 – Kathryn Robertson & Ann-Marie McDairmid
2000 – John Alonso
2001 – Sofia Kraevska and Lydia Tyson
2002 – Doreen Boss
2003 – Nancy Telfer
2004 – Jill Kelman
2005 – Joyce Hutton
2006 – Martin James
2007 – Nancy Telfer
2008 – Scott White
2009 – Susan Carscadden-Mifsud
2010 – Debra Wanless
2011 – Wayne Gilpin
2012 – Tyler Seidenberg
2013 – Ted Ellis
2014 – Susan Robinson, Rosa Antony (Voice)
2015 – Amber Morphy (Piano/Voice), Joan Plume (Handbells), Peter Dickson (Band)
2016 – Donna Mak, Penelope Dale (Voice)
2017 – Paul Coates



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Last modified: 08/17/13