About Us

Great Singing!

The Schooner Cove Singers is a new exciting professional choir situated in the mid island area of Vancouver Island. The choir will be a platform for choral and organ music ….one concert a year will feature the organ with choir. It will also be a platform for new compositions, including BC and indigenous composers.    

Inspired Singing!

Inspired by the rugged shoreline of Vancouver Island, the Schooner Cove Singers (SCS), co-founded by choral conductor Dr. Elroy Friesen and acclaimed Canadian organist Jenny Vincent, will be an ensemble where talented and dedicated singers come to nurture their musical gifts and be inspired while pursuing artistic excellence in every performance.       

Making it Happen!

Through a yearly presentation including one choral and organ concert, the SCS seeks to build a new understanding and appreciation of the organ. The SCS will also introduce new compositions, support Canadian composers and deliver truly memorable performances to its audiences.    

About our concert - what others say!

Schooner Cove Singers: STELLAR


The inaugural performance by the Schooner Cove Singers (SCS) on Sunday May 27, 2018 was nothing less than spectacular - a strong statement of what is yet to come.

Dr. Elroy Friesen, SCS Artistic Director/Conductor, and Director of Choral Studies at the University of Manitoba, set the tone perfectly with the opening piece, And As I Awake (Stephanie Martin). The choir entered from the back, placed themselves around the audience and enveloped everyone with the most magnificent, rich sounds.

The Requiem (Maurice Durufle), a highlighted work on the program, was sublime indeed, with Elroy's personal touches evident.  The base of the work, Gregorian Chant, flowed throughout the work beautifully (especially in the sensitive organ accompaniment by Jenny Vincent). 

Ms. Vincent, Founder of SCS (and Artistic Director for organWORX) began the second half with her jaw-dropping performance of French composer Rachel Laurin's Toccata. If anyone missed attending this concert and ever has the opportunity to hear/watch Jenny play this work, do not pass it up. The tempo is fast...beyond presto...and the physical energies and technical capabilities needed were almost unbelievable. Jenny is one of Canada's finest, most highly esteemed organists for good reason - demonstrated brilliantly here.

Elroy took the singers to another realm entirely in the second part of the program with contemporary pieces by Canadian composers (Gloria,Timothy Corlis; They Will Pass Through the Land, Stephanie Martin; There is a River, Leonard Enns, and A Symbol of Promise, Timothy Corlis). These were works filled with sincere, personal passion (from both Elroy and Jenny, as well as the singers).  Attention to the fine-polishing detail for these compositions was masterful - the powerful emotion gleaned from the singers, as well as the organ, brought cheers, loud praise and an instant and complete standing ovation at the end of the show. Stay tuned for much more from the Schooner Cove Singers, Oceanside's new professional chamber choir - they will be back in the 2018-2019 season for organWORX.

Submitted by Mary Leigh Warden

Our team

Jenny Vincent - Accompanist and Founder


One of Canada's finest organists, Jenny Vincent has performed as soloist throughout Canada and the United States and has enthusiastically shared the stage with other musicians and choirs from coast to coast.  Jenny is recognized for her superior accompanying skills, as exemplified by her work in Toronto as accompanist for the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, Canada's first professional chamber choir dedicated to the creation and performance of Afrocentric music of all styles.  In 2015, Ms. Vincent performed at the National Convention of Organists in Winnipeg, Manitoba, as accompanist for the Canzona Choir directed by Dr. Elroy Friesen, in celebration of the new Canadian Museum of Human Rights.  Since her arrival in the Oceanside area on Vancouver Island, Jenny continues to demonstrate her dedication to the exploring of many genres of music for the organ, displaying the king of instrument's capacity for the traditionally classical as well as contemporary - from Bach, to Celtic, to Gershwin, to hits from movie soundtracks.  Jenny's highly successful organWORX series at Knox in Parksville showcases her passion.

Dr. Elroy Friesen - Artistic Director and Conductor


Praised for being "innovative, expressive and dynamic," Dr. Elroy Friesen is Director of Choral Studies at the University of Manitoba where he conducts numerous choirs and teaches graduate and undergraduate conducting and music education.  Dr. Friesen earned degrees from the University of Manitoba (B. Mus., B.Ed., M.Mus.) and the University of Illinois (DMA) and is credited with extensive research on the practice and performance of Baroque choral music.  Published research by Dr. Friesen includes studies of the choral music of Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara, and Nordic repertoire - especially new Canadian works.  Dr. Friesen's award-winning ensembles have collaborated with outstanding arts organizations - the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra; the Royal Canadian College of Organists; Canzona; WSO New Music Festival; Soundstreams Canada; Groundswell; Vancouver Chamber Choir; Musik Barock Ensemble; Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and the Latvian Radio Choir.  Additionally, Dr. Friesen is co-founder of fikamusik (an intensive professional choral conducting program), and founder/past Artistic Director of Prairie Voices.  Dr. Friesen has appeared as guest conductor with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the National Arts Centre Orchestra and is in demand as clinician, adjudicator and conductor throughout Canada, the United States and Europe.

Pamela Brown - Choir Manager


Having lived most of her life in Ottawa, Ontario, Pamela was fortunate to work under the baton of various notable conductors including Mario Bernardi; Trevor Pinnock; Helmuth Rilling; Henry Mancini; Iwan Edwards, and Dr. Lisette Canton.  In her young teenaged years, Pamela was invited to join the Cantata Singers, choir-in-residence at the newly opened National Arts Centre.  From there Pamela branched out musically and, over the years, has sung with several groups, performing everything from Baroque, to Gilbert and Sullivan, to jazz.  Ms. Brown benefited from vocal studies under the tutelage of Cheryl McCarthy and Dr. Lisette Canton, and master classes offered by several of the afore-mentioned conductors.  Bringing over 50 years of choral experience to Schooner Cove Singers, including solo engagements in choral productions and community theatre, Ms. Brown is thrilled to be a part of this new and exciting venture, Schooner Cove Singers.


Our Choir

Elise Boulanger - Soprano


Elise Boulanger has a Diploma in Classical Vocal Performance from the Victoria Conservatory of Music. She is a driven singer whose passion is well paired with her undeniable skill. She has a unique ability to completely transport listeners with her soprano avalanche of a voice. It sounds as if she has swallowed an amp. She has been a frequent soloist and guest performer with The Malaspina Choir, Tidesmen Chorus’ and Yellow Point Singers. Elise has also performed with the Vancouver Island Opera, VCM’s Opera Studio, in the Pacific Baroque Music Festival and for Olympic ceremonies. 

In 2017 Elise composed and premiered “The Warming,” a choral piece drawing attention to climate change. Her sincere intentions are to inspire us to take the necessary actions needed for our survival. This is a common expression behind her own music, under both her self-titled project Elise Boulanger, as well as her Classical-Pop duo, The Blooming, who recently performed for the 2018 JUNOs. She is also involved with collaborating with electronic producers, one of her greatest desires.

Owen Worby - Bass


Owen Worby is a twenty-two-year-old musician going to University at the University of Victoria. Figuring an opportunity in Parksville to be much better than waiting for work to fall into his lap, Owen seized the reins by auditioning for his first professional vocal ensemble: Schooner Cove Singers. Owen began playing music Eleven years ago by learning the Trombone, but after Eight years, and Five years of singing, realized that his true passion was in voice. Since then, Owen has been working as a singer in the Victoria area to deepen his pool of knowledge, skill, and understanding of music.

Adam Sperry - Tenor


Adam Sperry grew up immersed in the choral culture in Manitoba and has developed a passion for opera, oratorio and art song during his time at both the Canadian Mennonite University and The University of Manitoba. Adam has spent the past year performing with local companies across Manitoba and western Canada. Recent highlights include singing as tenor soloist in Stravinsky’s Les Noces with the University of Manitoba Singers, the title role in Mozart’s Idomeneo with Manitoba Underground Opera, tenor soloist in Carmina Burana with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and as soloist and ensemble in Monteverdi’s Vespers with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

Rosemary Lindsay - Alto


Rosemary Lindsay holds a degree in Music with a major in voice from the University of British Columbia and has enjoyed a varied career as a soloist, choral singer, teacher and conductor. After taking her degree, Rosemary apprenticed as a vocal teacher with the renowned pedagogue, Nicolai Kolesnikov, learning both classical and popular styles of vocal technique and has sung everything from bluegrass to rock, pop, jazz and classical. Not unsurprisingly, she loves choral music for the breadth of genres it encompasses. Always an avid chorister, she was a founding member of Phoenix: A Chamber Choir, notable for its prestigious wins in national and international choral competitions. She was invited to sing with Elektra, Vancouver’s premier women’s choir, at its inception; she toured with Jon Washburn’s Vancouver Chamber Choir, and sang many seasons with the with the Vancouver Cantata Singers. Rosemary currently conducts Timbre! Choir in Port Alberni and teaches voice, choir and conducting at Vancouver Island University. 

Erica Phare-Berg - Alto

Associate Conductor  

A native of Montreal, Erica Phare-Bergh obtained her M.Mus. in Choral Conducting from McGill University and conducted the Vanier College Choirs, FACE Young Singers, and the McGill Conservatory Choirs. A move to Calgary led Ms. Phare-Bergh to teaching French and Music for the Calgary Board of Education and directing the William Aberhart High School Choirs; Westwinds Green Choir; Kairos Young Singers, and the Savridi Singers. In 2006, Erica traveled to Uganda to work with the African Children's Choir Literacy Schools. Two years later, she spearheaded the Montreal premiere of Oratorio Terezin, a large-scale work with the African Children's Choir Literacy Schools. In demand as adjudicator and presenter (ChoralFest, MCA, Podium), Ms. Phare-Bergh was the guest conductor for the Tenth Anniversary of the CBC-McGill Youth Gala. She and her husband, Rick, currently reside on Vancouver Island, BC. Together they write children's books (A Song with Every Story series) which incorporate original songs and classical music. Erica is a published arranger with Cypress Choral Music.

Doug Colwell - Bass


Doug Colwell loves to sing. As a “preacher's kid” he grew up singing in church and participating in choirs; a lifelong passion. High School band and musical theatre led to adult participation for nine years in a musical theatre group. More recently, Doug has sung for ten years with the award-winning “Island Voices Chamber Choir” under the direction of Jennifer Forsland. Choir retreats and workshops have included such notable clinicians as Hussein Janmohammed, Garry Froese, Larry Nickel, Graeme Langager, Adam Conn, Jim Sparks, Brainerd Blyden-Taylor and Geoffrey Boers. Doug has also sought out workshops with Louise Rose, Willi Zwozdesky and Erick Lichte. He is excited to be singing under the direction of Elroy Friesen; joining with the talented Schooner Cove Singers and the accomplished Jenny Vincent. 

Scott Reimer - Bass


Scott is a choral professional from Winnipeg who is known to his peers as a bit of a vocal chameleon. He has sung as a chorister and soloist with most of Winnipeg’s premier ensembles including The Winnipeg Singers, Canzona, Camerata Nova, and Polycoro, as well as beyond Manitoba’s border with the National Youth Choir, the World Youth Choir, and the international chamber choir, Time Ensemble. Scott has also performed as a soloist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. He conducted within Prairie Voices Inc. for several years and was instrumental in the founding of its second choir, Horizon. Scott teaches high school music and has been guest conductor for numerous regional youth choirs in Manitoba. He is beginning a master’s degree in choral conducting at the University of Manitoba this fall and is in constant search of new opportunities to foster community through choral music.

Bonnie Stebbings - Alto


A native of Vancouver, Bonnie began her musical education at the age of seven and then went on to study at the University of BC where she received her degree in Music. Being inspired by this experience she continued to study with private coaches attaining an ARCT in vocal performance. Bonnie spent most of her career teaching and performing in Vancouver before moving to Vancouver Island where her long-time interest in art led her to enroll in art school where she attained a Dip. of Fine Art in 2012. She continues to be involved in the music and art scene and is thrilled to have the opportunity to sing with the Schooner Cove Singers.

Christopher DonLevy - Tenor


Chris Donlevy is a Saskatoon-born Winnipeg-based performer and is excited to be singing for you today! Opera: Gianni Schicchi, Magic Flute... Retold. (Manitoba Underground Opera); The Bremen Town Musicians (Saskatoon Opera in Schools); The Cunning Little Vixen (Opera Nuova); La Traviata, Falstaff, Of Mice and Men (Manitoba Opera Chorus). Musical Theatre: Carousel (Opera Nuova) It's A Wonderful Life (Persephone); 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Persephone); Two Corpses Go Dancing (Live Five Saskatoon); Saskatchewan Outdoors (Sask Parks). Upcoming: The Scorpions Sting (Saskatoon Opera in Schools); La Bohème (Saskatoon Opera). Training: BFA in Drama -Distinction (USask). Chris thanks Marcel Desautels and the Wright Family for their support with his degree. 

Pamela Brown - Soprano

  Choir Manager

Having lived most of her life in Ottawa, Ontario, Pamela was fortunate to work under the baton of various notable conductors including Mario Bernardi; Trevor Pinnock; Helmuth Rilling; Henry Mancini; Iwan Edwards, and Dr. Lisette Canton. In her young teenaged years, Pamela was invited to join the Cantata Singers, choir-in-residence at the newly opened National Arts Centre. From there Pamela branched out musically and, over the years, has sung with several groups, performing everything from Baroque, to Gilbert and Sullivan, to jazz. Ms. Brown benefited from vocal studies under the tutelage of Cheryl McCarthy and Dr. Lisette Canton, and master classes offered by several of the afore-mentioned conductors. Bringing over 50 years of choral experience to Schooner Cove Singers, including solo engagements in choral productions and community theatre, Ms. Brown is thrilled to be a part of this new and exciting venture, Schooner Cove Singers.

Aaike Biglow - Alto


Aaike studied voice in Kamloops and sang there in choirs, in small ensembles, in several musicals, and with the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra. Since moving to Parksville in 2011, she has sung with several choirs, with the Vancouver Island Opera, and as a soloist. Musical opportunities abound on this Island and this new choir is another joyful gathering!

Adam Dyjach - Tenor


A native of Waterloo Ontario, Adam commenced his musical education at Wilfrid Laurier University in Voice Performance under the direction of Kimberly Barber. He now resides in Victoria, BC where he completed his Masters in Voice Performance with Benjamin Butterfield at the University of Victoria and currently studies privately with Carolyn Sinclair. Adam has performed extensively in concert and on stages across Vancouver Island and the mainland. 

He is a choral scholar at St. Barnabas Church under the direction of Michael Jarvis. In the past Adam has been a member of the St. Christopher Singers, Victoria Philharmonic Choir, Victoria Choral Society and Pacific Opera Victoria Chorus. He also teaches private singing lessons and is a music instructor at the Taber Music School. 

Iona Lister - Soprano


Iona has studied piano and voice with the Royal Conservatory of Music, earning an ARCT in 2010. She is a choral scholar at St. Barnabas, in Victoria, and teaches private music lessons. Having originally specialized in piano music from the Romantic era, Iona now primarily sings early music at St. Barnabas. Currently pursuing a PhD in medieval literature, Iona hopes one day to merge her musical and literary worlds to study medieval music manuscripts

Skye Donald - Soprano


Skye Donald was born in Nanaimo and raised in Parksville, where her love for music was fostered through participation in local community, church and school choirs. Skye studied voice locally with Sharon Wishart before entering the music program at Douglas College in New Westminster. She has starred as Queen of the Night in a production of Mozart’s the Magic Flute and participated in Royal City Musical Theater’s production of Carousel.

Since returning to the Oceanside area, Skye has participated in Vancouver Island Opera’s recital series and provided solos for the Parksville and District Community Choir, Malaspina Choir and has been the choir director at St. Stephen’s United Church since 2007. 

Outside of music, Skye raises alpacas on her farm in Errington and is quite active in her community.

Avaleigh Crockett - Alto


Avaleigh has always sung, but her special love of choral music began in university and led to her participation in numerous choirs and musical organizations. After earning an MMus in musicology, she became a member of Pro Coro Canada, a professional chamber choir in Edmonton. While in Pro Coro, she was fortunate enough to work with vocal pedagogue Eva Bostrand, and to sing under such extraordinary musicians as Eric Ericson, Anders Eby, Søren Hansen, Ward Swingle, Robert Sund, Tönu Kaljuste and Simon Carrington. In more recent years she has participated in choral projects in Victoria and Edmonton. Avaleigh has lived in Oceanside for nearly eight years. She loves living here where she enjoys walking, cycling, Pilates and Tai Chi, and looks forward to singing with Schooner Cove Singers.

William Constable - Bass


William Constable is an up-and-coming bass, studying with Gary Relyea in Victoria, BC. Despite earning a Bachelor of Music on the Clarinet from the University of Victoria, he now spends most of his time singing in various ensembles around the city. He appears regularly as a choral scholar in the Christ Church Cathedral choir and will be performing with the Vox Humana and Victoria Philarmonic Choir for their concerts in early June.

John Eisma - Tenor


John is completing his undergraduate degree in music at the University of Manitoba. There, he studied voice under the studio of Robert MacLaren. Throughout his degree John has performed with the faculty’s choral ensembles such as the University of Manitoba Singers and Cantata Singers as well as the Opera Theatre and Musical Theatre ensembles. He has also studied conducting under Dr. Catherine Robbins and is currently the Director of Sacred Music at St. Gianna’s Roman Catholic Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba. After graduating from the faculty of Music, John aspires to complete his education degree to pursue a career in music education. 



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Do you have questions, want to find out more about our upcoming auditions? Reach out and let's make magic happen. brownpm17@gmail.com

Schooner Cove Singers

(250) 937-8911