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.
Accompanist: Antonina Cox
Native of Belarus, Antonina Cox received extensive training in Belarus, Russia and Canada which totals over 20 years. She studied many musical disciplines, majoring in piano and musicology at the Special Music School in Minsk (Belarus) and St.Petersburg Conservatory (Russia). Upon arrival to Canada she decided to take organ lessons at the Mount Royal Organ Academy (with T.Fullerton and later, Neil Cockburn). Upon finishing exams with high marks she obtained certificate of Associate with Royal Canadian College of Organists. She also took studies in a program “Master of Teaching” at the U of Calgary and taught music in elementary schools.
As a pianist and organist she has worked with choirs and soloists, including Calgary Bach Society, Calgary Women’s Chorus, Okotoks’ Big Rock Singers, Calgary Choral Society, Cantare Children’s Choir, Revv 52, the Dutch Canadian Choir, Mount Royal Children’s choir. She also provided accompaniment for many elementary and high school productions and accompanied dancers at the Alberta Ballet. She has traveled with singers and dancers from Russia and Canada to many countries the US, the Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, Vatican, Bulgaria, Australia and New Zealand.