Artistic Director: Cass Bessette (they/she)
Cass is a choral composer, arranger, and conductor working toward their BMus in Composition at the University of Calgary. They have been involved in the YYC choral community for nearly a decade, performing and directing with several local ensembles including Cum Vino Cantus, Mount Royal Kantorei, Youth Singers of Calgary, and Artio. They have also had the honour of working with major artists such as Tanya Tagaq, Chris Hadfield, The Tenors, Joshua Rist, and Eric Whitacre.
Cass has become well-known for their bold approach to performance as well as their ability to lift up and encourage fearlessness in others. Fascinated by interdisciplinary performance art, Cass seeks out new creative intersections and aims to bring an enhanced choral experience to singers and their audiences alike. They also have a passion for digital audio production and continue to develop their knowledge further through their partnership with local studio Morgan Music (John Morgan).
When they aren’t busy creating music, Cass enjoys spending time at home with their two kitties, gaming, and going to the cinema.
Collaborative Pianst: Matthew Kallio (he/him)
Matthew Kallio was born in Sudbury, Ontario where he took his first steps in music through the Royal Conservatory of Music. After RCM studies in piano he furthered his music education through Cambrian College's music department earning a diploma in piano performance and finished his studies in piano performance and organ at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
Following Acadia university, Matthew worked in Halifax at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts in the piano faculty and as a collaborative pianist. In 2015 he moved back to his home province of Ontario. Following this move Matthew became greatly involved in music scene in Northern Ontario which included artistic direction of the City of Lakes Music Society where he spearheaded a number of performances of chamber music including "Bachanalia: A Wild Celebration of Johann Sebastian Bach" and "Ode to St. Cecilia - music by George Frederic Handel and Henry Purcell". In addition Matthew created and performed in the "Keys to the Library" through his role as COLMS director, a concert series which brought chamber music to the local libraries. Since moving to Calgary, he has held positions as music director at Grace Presbyterian Church as well as pianist at the Alberta Ballet.
Matthew is an experienced keyboard collaborator having performed with orchestras (Sudbury Symphony Orchestra, YES Theater Orchestra) as well as choral groups (Young Sudbury SIngers, Laurentian University Chorus, Sudbury Chamber Singers, Octatonic Decadence, Acadia University Chorus). He has also performed in many musical theater productions through the Toronto based theater company YES theater. In addition, has also led successful music programs as a music director in several churches across Canada and concertized extensively. Matthew loves collaboration with other musicians in chamber music, duo ensembles, voice and most recently, four handed piano works.
Outside of music, Matthew enjoys downtime by cooking, reading and spending time with his husband Jamie and their two dogs Audrey and Maverick.