The James T. Chestnutt Scholarship, named after our dedicated and long-time Board Chair, is an annual award to emerging choral musicians to participate as a singer with conducting study and performance opportunities for a complete season with the Elmer Iseler Singers and Artistic Director Lydia Adams.
For the first time in the 10-year history of this Scholarship initiative, the Singers welcome two emerging conductors to this unique conducting protégée experience, and we congratulate and look forward to working with each of these fine conductors in the coming months.
Manishya Jayasundera is an emerging conductor, educator, singer and pianist. She received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto where she completed her degree in Classical Voice Music Education. She is currently in the Master of Teaching program at OISE with Vocal Music and French as her teachable subjects. She received her ARCT diploma in piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music. Manishya was the apprentice conductor with the Exultate Chamber Singers at the October 2022 concert. She was also the most recent conducting intern at St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto. Currently, Manishya is the Senior Choir Conductor with the Brampton Children’s Chorus and she sings with various groups in the GTA.
A graduate of the voice program at McMaster University, Emily Taub is a lead soprano at Eglinton St. George’s United Church choir as well as the founder of the VOX Youth Community Choir. She has also acquired a position in the Juno Award winning Elmer Iseler Singers who recently returned from their tour to the Maritimes. Emily has performed alongside the Achill Choral Society as soloist in Mozart’s Coronation Mass and was featured as a soloist in Avanti Chamber Singers’ production of Considering Matthew Shepard. Emily founded À LA MODE Choir out of Hamilton, now celebrating its ninth season. She also enjoys providing clinician work for local choirs, most recently as guest speaker for CANACC the Canadian A Capella Conference and as guest clinician and performer for the Niagara Catholic School Board. When not conducting, Emily teaches voice privately, composes and arranges choral works and performs around the GTA in her Gospel trio EmBoddiement.
CONGRATULATIONS to both Manishya and Emily. We look forward to a joyous time this year working and sharing our talents with this next generation of inspiring Canadian choral conductors.