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News: 2016-2017 

Meet Our Adjudicators!
Piano Adjudicator

January 10th, 2017


We are very excited to announce this year's adjudicators! Our piano adjudicator this year is Tanya Derksen. 


Tanya Derksen is the Executive Director of the Regina Symphony Orchestra and has almost twenty years of experience in the music industry as a performer, teacher, board member, and arts administration leader. She is an active member in the Saskatchewan music community, and spent more than 15 years working in the Manitoba arts community.

Tanya has a strong education and community outreach background from her work with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. During this time, she developed the educational programming from a handful of local offerings for students to more than 20 programs that reached 60,000 students and adults each year across the province. In 2011, she initiated an innovative program called Sistema Winnipeg for students living in neighbourhoods with the lowest socio-economic status in Winnipeg.


Tanya has been playing the piano and engaging in music making for as long as she can remember. She graduated from Brandon University in 2000 with her Bachelor of Music degree, majoring in piano. She studied with Dr. Lorne Watson, Dr. David Rogosin and Donald Henry. In Brandon she operated a busy private teaching studio of piano and theory students, ranging from beginner to advanced level. Her students have successfully participated in local festivals and at the provincial level. Tanya worked as an active accompanist for many soloists, choirs and musical productions.


For the last 12 years, Tanya has taken a more active role in the arts administration world but continues to teach piano and theory. She is an active adjudicator each year for the AMAF and other festivals and truly enjoys inspiring young emerging pianists.


Tanya also completed her Masters of Business Administration from the University of Manitoba in 2012. In addition to her passion for music and the arts, Tanya enjoys running, doing yoga, eating great food, spending time with family and friends, and traveling around the world.

Piano Adjudicator

January 10th, 2017


This year we have had so many piano entries, we have had to find a second adjudicator just for them!

Loren Hiebert grew up in rural Saskatchewan, Kansas, and Manitoba. His early musical influences were hymn-singing and southern gospel music. His piano teachers have included Glenn Loewen, Donald Henry, Jenny Regehr, and Joan Passey. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music, and A.R.C.T. diplomas in Piano Performance and Piano Teaching.


Since 1980, Loren has been a music teacher in the Altona/Morden/Winkler area, with a large and active studio. His students have excelled at local festivals, and have been awarded numerous scholarships at the provincial level. Loren has adjudicated in music festivals across Manitoba and western Ontario. He is also a member of the International Music Camp piano faculty.


Loren has been the accompanist for numerous individuals and groups, including the Faith and Life Male Choir and Canzona. In addition, he is active as a chamber musician in various other classical and jazz combinations.


Loren has made four recordings with violinist Rosemary Siemens. In November of 2009, Loren and Rosemary performed in several concerts to release their most recent CD “Gospel” which raised over $33,000 for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. October of 2011 saw the release of a third CD of German Hymns sung by the acclaimed choral ensemble “Canzona” with Loren at the piano.


Loren and his wife Lori live in Altona.

Vocal/Choral Adjudicator

January 10th, 2017


This year we have Sonya Williams returning as our Vocal/Choral adjudicator!

A graduate of the University of Winnipeg with a Bachelor of Arts (Music major, vocal concentration) and a Bachelor of Education, Sonya Williams has been teaching high school music since 2003.  Sonya has also sat on the board, and served on various committees of the Manitoba Choral Association, of which, she is still member.  Sonya’s teaching career has mostly consisted of building choir programs where dormant, with a strong foundation of choral music being an inclusive art.   Sonya happily resides in Winnipeg, and is currently teaching choir, band, vocal jazz, and piano at Tec Voc High School where she has been for over ten years.

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