My Educational Background
I received a Bachelor of Music from Brandon University in Manitoba in 1983, and was awarded the Gold Medal in Music that same year.
I also attended the Banff School of Fine Arts for two years (1986 – 1988) in the MUTSE program (Musical Theatre Studio Ensemble), working with acting coaches, movement instructors, singing teachers, and directors to hone my theatre skills, performing in many theatres in Alberta and British Columbia.
I have continued to explore vocal pedagogy through various other seminars and workshops. In 2001 I attended the week long Vocal Arts Centre Symposium for Voice Performance Pedagogy, Health and Science offered by the great vocal pedagogy teacher Richard Miller at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio.
I attended the NATS (National Association of the Teachers of Singing) National Conference held in Vancouver in 2005 with teachers from all over North America, attending lectures on everything from vocal pedagogy, voice science research, and foreign language pronunciation, to how to sing rock and roll in a vocally healthy way.
As a part of the NATS Ontario Spring Meeting, I attended two workshops in 2013. The first, featuring Aaron Low, an Ontario licensed speech-language pathologist specializing in singers, dealt with laryngeal tension in singing where he demonstrated his hands-on voice box and neck manipulation and massage (a weird and wonderful approach to a common problem for singers). The second featured Barbara Young, the Musical Consultant on musical theatre productions at Stratford, who was offering advice on what adjudicators are looking for in musical theatre classes at local festivals.
My Teaching Experience
I was the principal voice teacher at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario for 16 years, teaching students the intricacies of classical repertoire, including technique, style, foreign language pronunciation and interpretation of text. Several of my students have gone on to professional music careers of their own.
I have also enjoyed teaching out of my home here in Guelph since 1991, working with individuals of varying ages, musical backgrounds and levels of ability to find their own voice and path to musical expression.
I have been a member of NATS (National Association of the Teachers of Singing) since 1996, and frequently send my students to the regional competitions held each fall in southern Ontario.
Tannis as a Solo Performer
My solo work has been split between art song recitals and major oratorio works, with a soupçon of opera thrown in on occasion for good measure.
I have performed recitals in Calgary, Edmonton, and around much of southern Ontario, including here in Guelph.
My oratorio experience includes the Brahms Requiem at the Elora Festival, Messiah with the Guelph Chamber Choir, the J.S. Bach Cantata “Wachet auf” with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir, and have been heard frequently on CBC Radio broadcasts of the Tafelmusik Baroque Chamber Choir.
Tannis as a Choral Performer
I sang with the Elora Festival Singers and was a member of the St. John’s Anglican Church Choir in Elora, both under conductor Noel Edison, for nine years. I also sang with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir under conductor Noel Edison for two years.
I was a long standing member of the Tafelmusik Baroque Chamber Choir in Toronto under conductor Ivars Taurins for 25 years.