We are excited to introduce our 2022 Adjudicators to you. They include Elizabeth Rotoff (Vocal) and Tiffany A. Wilson (Piano and Instrumental) from Manitoba as well as locals Nathalie von Niebelschutz (French Drama and Speech Arts) and Susan Mercure De Gagné (English Drama and Speech Arts).
Elizabeth Rotoff has performed across Canada and in England in opera, musical theatre and recital. She has had leading roles in the operas Carmen, The Tales of Hoffman, La Clemenza di Tito, Cosi fan tutte, Die Fledermaus, Hansel and Gretel, The Medium, Kismet and many more. In Winnipeg, she has performed as a soloist with the Winnipeg Philharmonic Choir and Women of Note and has appeared in roles with the Little Opera Company. Her voice students consistently perform well in exams, music festivals and other competitions. Many of her students have gone on to professional careers in the disciplines of classical music, musical theatre and jazz. She is currently on the board of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) as President and the Manitoba Registered Music Teacher’s Association. She is also an active adjudicator and clinician. In addition to her love of the arts, Elizabeth has a strong passion for helping singers optimize their instruments for performance in singing as a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach and founder of The Fit Singer. Her expertise as voice teacher and health coach has brought her into collaboration with the Resonanz Opera Singing Artists program in Cleveland, Ohio. She has also been a presenter at NATS at the local and national levels and at the 2019 Canadian Federation of Music Teacher’s Associations National Conference.
Raised in a musical home where she was inspired to sing and play instruments from a young age, Tiffany A. Wilson carries on the multi-generational musical tradition every day. Whether she is educating young voices and little fingers at St. John’s Ravenscourt private school, teaching students of all ages and skill levels in her elegant home studio, acting as a collaborative pianist at festivals and competitions, examining for the RCM or adjudicating and encouraging aspiring musicians, Ms. Wilson is true to her upbringing. Ms. Wilson’s accomplishments as a musician and educator are a product of her dedication to musical excellence. She is a voice examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music and a certified Intermediate Specialist in piano. Ms. Wilson earned her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and Theatre at the University of Manitoba Faculty of Music and acquired an A.M.M. in piano from the Western Board of Music. Further vocal studies brought her to New York and then abroad to Europe where she performed, studied, and perfected her French and Italian. She now shares her vast knowledge, experience, and passion with her students. Following in her grandmother’s footsteps, she has served as the President elect of both the Manitoba Registered Music Teachers’ Association (MRMTA) and the national Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association (CFMTA). Her vision for both organizations lead to the implementation of new initiatives, including a digital resource library and a national online E-Festival for Registered Music Teachers across Canada. If that wasn’t enough to satisfy her musical thirst, Ms. Wilson is also heavily involved in giving workshops and master classes throughout Manitoba and Ontario. Ms. Wilson is grateful for her childhood musical indoctrination, as she has dedicated her life to creating beautiful music, inspiring musicians, and acting as an educator and mentor. Anything but traditional, Ms. Wilson has shown her hands-on approach to learning music by travelling Europe and studying with this century’s masters: Mary Thomas (England), Gianni Raimondi (Italy), and Jean Girodeau (France). Her novel methods continue as her vision for the future inspires those sharing her passion of music.
Susan Mercure De Gagné grew up thinking she wanted to be a marine biologist, an astronaut, or a pharmacist. But when she actually did grow up, she learned that what really called to her soul was the Arts. It was her involvement in Arts programs offered in the district that slowly caused the uprooting of her plans. She ended up completing her Honours Bachelor of Arts as well as her Bachelor of Education after deciding she could no longer deny that she was born to be a teacher. She accepted a teaching position at Fort Frances High School and immediately volunteered to direct the fall play. She has since directed three plays and ten musicals at FFHS, taught numerous English, creative writing, and drama courses, and co-founded the school’s Travel Club so all students can have the opportunity to learn in the global classroom. She believes that the Arts can be transformative, and that they are for everyone. She has coached princesses to become lions, and peasants to become kings. She loves having her ideas of how a script should be performed completely shattered by her students’ interpretations, and loves even more when students exceed their own expectations. Without fail, seeing the joy on students’ faces during curtain calls moves her to tears. If you cannot find Susan in the theatre in the spring, look harder. She’s almost always there that time of year. If she’s really not there, she can be found in the garden with her children, in her craft room with her children, or wherever else her children have convinced her to go.
Nathalie von Niebelschutz (B.A, B.Ed., M.Ed.) has been a French teacher for over 30 years. She has taught Core French, Extended French and Immersion French in the Rainy River District and the Ottawa Capital Region. Nathalie has been involved in the Rainy River District Festival of the Performing Arts as a choral director and teacher for many years, preparing students to perform in a choir and to recite poetry, in both English and French. Nathalie has worked with students aged 6 to 14, coaching and directing children to improve their ability to sing and recite language clearly, correctly, expressively and with maximum vocal ease. As a Canadian-Swiss, Nathalie speaks French and English fluently.
Teaching is a passion for Nathalie. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Ottawa, a Bachelor of Education from Lakehead University, a Master of Education from the University of Ottawa, as well as additional teaching qualifications, including Special Education and French as a Second Language from the University of Toronto. Nathalie is recently retired from the Rainy River District School Board. Currently, she lives in Fort Frances with her husband Ken, with both of their children grown and living and studying in Ottawa and Toronto. Nathalie enjoys traveling, reading, cooking and gardening. She continues to teach occasionally, establishing positive relationships with her students and motivating them to reach their full potential and to develop their passions.