Willi Zwozdesky, now in his 37th season as conductor of the Vancouver Men’s Chorus, is widely known as a choral conductor, for his work as an arranger, and for his work in music publishing and arts management.
Zwozdesky completed his Master of Music in choral conducting and a Master of Arts in music theory at the University of Washington. At the core of his career are his choral arrangements, which are regularly programmed by leading choirs across Canada and abroad.
In addition to his freelance work as a choral clinician, he serves as the Executive Director of the BCCF, and as a choral specialist for Long & McQuade.
Willi Zwozdesky and Elizabeth MacIsaac will be leading Victoria's Choral sessions.
Elizabeth MacIsaac has been a choral director for more than twenty-five years in Canada, USA, and France. She has spent the past three years studying for her DMA at the University of Washington and is now writing her final dissertation.
For ten years now, Elizabeth has had the great joy of being involved in the international choral community, travelling widely to attend global choral conferences as a presenter and clinician, most recently in France, Hungary and Newfoundland. French fluent, Elizabeth lived in Paris for many years, teaching choral music at several schools and performing as a soprano specializing in early music. Upon her return to Canada, Elizabeth joined the faculty of the Victoria Conservatory of Music, and taught at Brentwood College School. She has directed all ages of singers in schools, communities and in several programmes at the University of Washington. Elizabeth is Founder and Artistic Director of the Victoria women’s choir Ensemble Laude which celebrates its Twentieth Anniversary this coming season.
Elizabeth recently received the Herbert Drost Award from the British Columbia Choral Federation as well as the prestigious Elizabeth Massey Award from the Canadian Federation of University Women. Elizabeth feels, however, that the greatest reward is in the music making itself: from the shared joy of singing, from raising our voices together.
Elizabeth MacIsaac and Willi Zwozdesky will be leading Victoria's Choral sessions.
Bob Rebagliati is a native of British Columbia and of Kelowna, in the Okanagan Valley. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree, a Teaching Certificate from the University of B.C., and a Master of Music degree from Western Washington University. While an undergraduate, Bob was involved in performances as a clarinetist, pianist and a percussionist. His main post-graduate activity was the writing of an extensive manual for the development of the young jazz rhythm section. He has continued to write curriculum in the areas of jazz rhythm section, jazz rehearsal techniques, jazz improvisation and concert band percussion.
For 33 years, in the North Vancouver School District, Mr. Rebagliati directed many award winning junior and senior high school ensembles in both concert band and jazz areas. In 1976, his jazz ensemble from Hamilton Junior Secondary School won first place in the Canadian Stage Band Festival. Again, in 1979, both his Handsworth Secondary Junior and Senior Jazz Ensembles qualified for the National Finals, with the Senior Band being awarded a special plaque "for most significant contribution to jazz". In 1986, the Handsworth Junior and Senior Jazz Ensembles won the highest honour in the country – the gold award – first place in their classes. Again, in 1988, his Senior Jazz Ensemble places first at the national festival (then called Musicfest Canada). At Musicfest Canada 2002, the Handsworth Senior Concert Band percussion section was awarded the Zildjian Percussion Scholarship in recognition of "Excellence In The Art of Percussion".
As a music festival adjudicator and workshop leader, Mr. Rebagliati has travelled throughout B.C., Saskatchewan, and to Manitoba, Toronto and Ottawa. He is well known for sessions covering concert percussion, jazz rhythm section, jazz interpretation, improvisation, and rehearsal techniques. Bob has been a guest conductor and clinician of honour concert band and jazz groups around the province of BC. During many summers, he has been an active group leader and teacher at music camps. Over the years, Bob has arranged music for jazz and concert bands. In 2004, his composition TONAL GESTURE for concert band was premiered in Vancouver.
At the 1991 B.C. Music Educators Conference, Mr. Rebagliati was honoured with the annual Professional Educator Award. In December 1991, Bob was presented with a Distinguished Citizen Award by the District of North Vancouver. In 1992, he was presented with a CANADA 125 medal by Mary Collins, MP. In 1994, he received the North Vancouver Music Educators' Award of Excellence. In May 1998, his jazz program at Handsworth School was awarded the High School "Jazz Program of the Year" by Jazz Report Magazine of Toronto. In 2001, Bob commissioned three compositions to celebrate his 25th year of music teaching at Handsworth School. In 2004, his final year of (high school) teaching, Bob premiered a musical collaboration by two of his jazz alumni, Renee Rosnes, a well-known pianist and composer, and Darcy Argue, New England Conservatory grad and composer/arranger. At this time Bob also received the Leadership In Music Education Award from the Coalition For Music Education In B.C. "for many years of outstanding contributions to the music education community". In June 2004, his Senior Jazz Ensemble was the first school band chosen to participate in the Vancouver International Jazz Festival Student Intensive, with a performance on the final day of the festival. Bob was the director of the North Vancouver Youth Band 2005-2008. Bob received the Jazz Supporter Of The Year award from the Envision Jazz Festival in 2009. He is a Vice Chairman of Instrumental Jazz for MusicFest Canada and is responsible for the auditioning of members of the CONN-SELMER CENTERSTAGE BIG BAND and MUSICFEST CANADA jazz scholarships. Since 2005, Bob has auditioned the Vancouver Jazz Festival Student Big Band for the annual TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival. Bob directed the Metro Vancouver Firefighters Band from 2010 - 2014. Each August, Bob directs and teaches at the Douglas College Summer Jazz Intensive. As of September 2016, Bob assumed the directorship of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music Big band.
Bob holds memberships in the British Columbia Music Educator’s Association, Canadian Music Educator’s Association, British Columbia Band Association, Canadian Band Association, Coalition for Music Education in BC, Coalition For Music Education In Canada and Jazz Educator's Network.
Throughout his career, Mr. Rebagliati has been appreciated for his dedication and insistence on excellence. He resides in Maple Ridge with his wife Maggie, where he is a freelance music educator, pianist, percussionist/drummer.