Brenda Uchimaru, “Uch”, whose career spans 37 years as a music teacher, department head and music consultant with the Hamilton, Waterloo and York Region Boards of Education in Ontario, is a frequent clinician, guest conductor, and adjudicator at choral festivals and music conferences across Canada and abroad. Most memorable is several years adjudicating the National Children’s Festival of the Arts in the Cayman Islands. Her concert, chamber and jazz choirs have consistently received Gold standards at Musicfest Canada. Some artists they have performed with are Paul Anka, Reba McEntire, The Nylons, and the Canadian Brass. As back-up ensembles they have sung with Susan Aglukark at the Juno Awards and Michelle Wright at the Canadian Country Music Awards.
Brenda has just retired from Markham’s Unionville High School, one of Ontario’s premiere arts program schools. For 12 years she taught a full vocal program, and directed the Concert, Chamber and Jazz choirs. In 2009 and 2011 the Chamber Choir was heard across Canada as the demonstration ensemble for The Coalition for Music Education’s “Music Monday” song. Some memorable performances are Banff 2001, Beijing and Shanghai 2008 and Italy 2010.
Brenda serves on the Board of the Ontario Vocal Festival, is the Music Course Director for the Ontario Education Leadership Centre, and teaches the Summer Vocal Additional Qualification Course at OISE for the University of Toronto. Brenda is former director of the Wilfrid Laurier University Jazz choir, was founder and creative director of Hamilton’s Vox Nouveau Singers and currently conducts the Cambridge Male Chorus, her own chamber choir, Kokoro, the Japanese word that embraces heart and soul, and for the 2012-2013 season, will be interim director of Toronto’s Bell’Arte Singers. In her spare time she enjoys being MD for community music theatre and swinging with big band alto saxophone.
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