A Community Choir in North Perth
Todd Kasenberg has music deep in his blood. His great grandmother is said to have been the owner of the first piano to reach Saskatchewan. His parents both had professional careers as musicians, and his dad still plays 4 nights a week at the age of 79. Todd had better-than-average opportunity to sing as a youth, and took advantage of it. He was fortunate to be coached by great teachers, including David Shanks, a choir master with classical training in Ireland. Todd has led choirs over the past 15 years, and upon contemplating his move to North Perth, wondered about the possibilities of a community choir. His fortunate encounter with Michelle Kyle has brought Joyful Voices into existence.
Todd is not a professional musician – but a talented and passionate amateur conductor and group motivator who brings fun to choral singing. He loves the dynamic of group accomplishment, and is a sensible, patient coach. He is a precisionist about enunciation and breathing in singing. He expects his choirs to be committed to strong beginnings and strong finishes. He likes seeing choirs smile.
Professionally, Todd works in the digital enablement of learning and marketing. He owns his own consultancy, and has clients in the high tech, healthcare and not-for-profit sector. He facilitates group meetings and focus groups. He is also a software entrepreneur. When not getting excited about Joyful Voices, he is running for Mayor of North Perth, pitching in as a member of the Atwood Lions, and enjoying laughs and skill improvement with the Linguists of Listowel Toastmaster Club. Choir members will likely be regaled (and become fed up) with references to Star Trek.
Michelle Kyle has been a pianist since age four, and a professional musician since age 11, when she played piano and accordion for five Ottawa dance studios. Childhood music experience included formal piano, cello and voice lessons, and family gatherings at Saskatchewan farms, playing music in fields on guitars, pots and pans. At age 16, she was assistant principal cellist of the Saskatoon Symphony. She studied cello performance at Brandon University and Wilfrid Laurier University, then earned a Master’s degree at McGill University and a Fellowship diploma from Trinity College of Music in England, considered equivalent to a doctorate without dissertation, both in piano performance.
Michelle has been a professional musician in many contexts across Canada. She has played music for weddings and special events for over 25 years. As a pianist, she has accompanied choirs, individual singers, instrumentalists, and dancers. She has played cello in symphonies and string quartets. She has been music director for professional musical theatre productions, artistic director of a Toronto concert series, church organist and choir director, singer-pianist in restaurants and retirement homes, and artistic director of the choir and orchestra of the Toronto Heliconian Club, a meeting place for professional women in the arts and letters, founded in 1909.
Michelle has also been a lawyer, rock climbing instructor, photographer, editor, and web developer at a major bank, and she rode her bicycle across Canada. She has lived in the Monkton area since 2011. She teaches adult skills upgrading in Listowel, is the pianist at St. Andrew's, runs several part-time businesses, and is the chief litter box cleaner for 19 cats.