Artistic Leadership

Conducting excellence

The TMChoir’s artistic leadership team guides the artistic planning for the Choir, leads the Choir in rehearsals and prepares them for appearances with the TSO and other orchestras, and conducts TMChoir concerts.

Jean-Sébastien Vallée, Artistic Director

Internationally recognized conductor, scholar, and pedagogue Jean-Sébastien Vallée was named as the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s 8th Artistic Director in June 2021. In addition to his work as Artistic Director of the TMChoir, Jean-Sébastien is Associate Professor of Music, Director of Choral Studies, and Coordinator of the Ensembles & Conducting Area at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University. Jean-Sébastien has conducted ensembles throughout North America, Europe and Asia and has prepared choruses for leading orchestras including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and the National Arts Center Orchestra in Ottawa. In addition to his interest in choral, operatic, and orchestral music, Jean-Sébastien is an advocate for contemporary music, making one of his priorities to premiere and commission works by young composers and program rarely performed repertoire. He has recorded extensively under the label ATMA Classique.

Read the media announcement.

Read Jean-Sébastien’s full biography.

Tracy Wong, Composer in Residence

Dr. Tracy Wong is a Malaysian-Canadian choral conductor, music educator, composer, vocalist, and pianist. Dr. Wong is passionate about helping choral leaders and educators to provide unique experiences for their singers and students through collaborative commissions, customized workshops, festivals, and artist residencies. She does this through focusing on the balance of performance practice considerations, vocal and acoustic explorations, and choral artistry and heart.

Read Tracy’s full biography.

Irene Gregorio, Collaborative Pianist

Irene Gregorio enjoys a diverse and active musical life as a pianist, educator, and music director. As a pianist and chamber musician, she has collaborated with members of the LA Phil and San Francisco Symphonies. She has served as pianist for the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, LA Opera Education and Outreach, and the University of Southern California Chamber Singers, among others. Her performances as a collaborative pianist have taken her throughout North America, Europe, Cuba, and the Philippines, and she has also appeared on PBS, CBC Radio 2, and on film soundtracks in the LA area.

Read Irene’s full biography.

Rena Roussin, Musicologist in Residence

Rena Roussin is a doctoral candidate in musicology at the University of Toronto, and is currently writing a doctoral dissertation on constructions of disability and gender in Joseph Haydn’s operas and oratorios. More broadly, her research interests include conceiving of art music and music theatre as forms of activism and social justice in historic and current contexts. As a Métis and settler woman with additional Haida ancestry, Rena also has a major interest in the ways art music in Canada might work in solidarity with Indigenous artists, communities, and peoples to realize equity and reconciliation. She is an active public musicologist, and in addition to her work with the TMC, also serves on the curatorial/editorial board of Musicology Now, the Canadian Opera Company’s Indigenous Circle of Artists, and as a Guest Curator for Soundstreams’ 2022-23 Indigenous Encounters concert series. Rena is also a pianist and vocalist.

Lesley Emma Bouza, Community Engagement Coordinator

Lesley Emma Bouza

While completing her degree in saxophone performance at the University of Guelph Lesley discovered the potential of her singing voice and has never looked back. She then went on to study voice at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama before returning to Canada to become an active Toronto based musician. Some of Lesley’s career highlights include Lesley Sings Joni, a Joni Mitchell tribute concert, Steve Reich at 80 with Soundstreams, Dido and Aeneas at Carnegie Hall with Les Violons du Roy, and a tour of Taiwan as a member of the Swingle Singers. In addition to being a busy performer, Lesley is an accredited music therapist.

Read Lesley’s full biography.

Justin Jalea, Community Engagement Advisor

Justin Jalea

Human rights activist, conductor, and JUNO-nominated tenor, Justin Jalea is an internationally sought-after consultant for projects that seek positive social change through the arts. In his dual role of musician/activist, Justin has collaborated with organizations such as Americans for the Arts, the National Guild for Community Arts Education, the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, and the United Nations. Justin is a seasoned choral artist having sung with professional choirs throughout Canada and the United States, including the Canadian Chamber Choir, the Choir of St. Andrew & St. Paul, Pro Coro Canada, Luminous Voices, and the Choir of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York.

Read Justin’s full biography.

Musical Assistants

Paul Genyk-Berezowsky

Paul Genyk-Berezowsky

A performer and teacher, Paul Genyk-Berezowsky is passionate about sharing stories and raising voices. In addition to his work as Musical Assistant with the TMChoir and Core Singer with the TMSingers, Paul is a Collaborating Artist with ANIMA Early Music. He has conducted choirs throughout Canada and served as Associate Conductor with the Pax Christi Chorale. Paul’s light-hearted yet exacting approach to choral leadership draws on his diverse experiences as an orchestral musician, classical guitarist, rock musician, and certified teacher of the Alexander Technique. A firm believer in music’s ability to promote wellbeing, Paul excels at leading therapeutic choir programming including – over the past decade – for groups of physicians, healthcare workers, and individuals with intellectual differences. He has also produced concerts in benefit of causes such as brain tumour research and patient support.

Nicholas Nicolaidis

Nicholas Nicolaidis

Nicholas Nicolaidis is an award winning choral and orchestral conductor with over 25 years experience. Born in South Africa, Nicholas began his conducting career at the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir School. He worked with young treble voices at Pridwin Preparatory School for Boys, mature tenor/bass choristers with the Welsh Male Voice Choir of South Africa, conducted oratorio choirs such as the Philharmonia Choir of Cape Town and the Symphony Choir of Johannesburg and the premier chamber choir the Chanticleer Singers of Johannesburg. Since making Canada his home in 2019, Nicholas has sought opportunities to serve the choral community in Toronto and is delighted to assist maestro Vallé and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir Organisation for the 23/24 season.

Emily Parker

Emily Parker

Emily Parker is a Toronto-based soprano and conductor. Emily’s passion for choir emerged at a young age, and today she sings professionally with a number of choral groups including the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, St. Clement’s Church choir, and the Toronto Festival Singers. Emily is a conductor with Modern Sound Collective and Young Voices Toronto. Recently, she was a conducting intern with the 2023 Ontario Youth Choir. Emily has previously conducted with the Etobicoke Centennial Choir and Kingsway-Lambton United Church’s Junior Choir. Emily also enjoys teaching from her private voice and piano studio. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto.