Shirley Madden, Music Director

Shirley is very pleased to be continuing in her role as Music Director for the Village Voices! A trained soloist, holding degrees in both performance and teaching, she currently sings with the Amadeus Choir.

Shirley was the recipient of the Long and McQuade Director’s Award, the York Region District School Board Outstanding Service Award and a THEA (Theatre Ontario Award) for Music Direction. She has also run clinics and workshops for choral conductors, including several for the OMEA (Ontario Music Educators’ Association) and was honoured to have been one of five conductors chosen nationally for the Amadeus Choral Conducting Symposium. At this event, she worked with internationally esteemed conductors Lydia Adams and Linda Beaupré and then conducted the combined voices of the Amadeus Choir and the Eglinton-St George’s Choir in a final concert.

Shirley has conducted numerous choirs in the past, performing everything from Classical Choral Repertoire to Music Theatre and Vocal Jazz. All of her choirs have won numerous awards at the local, provincial and national level, but her first love is working with community choirs. She enjoys the challenge of working with choirs of mixed experience but still believes very strongly in always selecting “excellent music and performing it with musical excellence”, so that both the singer and the audience are enlightened and uplifted! Shirley insists that from the first rehearsal to the final performance, singing in a choir should always be an engaging, challenging and joyful experience for everyone!

Adolfo De Santis, Accompanist

Adolfo De Santis studied in Italy where he achieved his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance graduating “with distinction”, and he also holds a Masters Degree in Composition and Orchestral Conducting. He earned the top prize in the Stresa International Chamber Music Competition as well as several other music competition prizes in Italy. Adolfo has served as the Music Director for organizations like Opera Buffa and Centuries Opera and more recently as the Opera Director and Coach of the Toronto City Opera. As well as the Village Voices, he currently accompanies the Toronto Beaches Children and Youth Choir (TBCYC) and has made several professional recordings as the accompanist of various choirs and musical organizations in both Italy and Toronto.

Our section leads

Twila Pak, Soprano

A graduate of Waterloo University (Engineering), Twila’s musical training started with playing “tap-n-kick-back” with her mother while still in the womb! Twila started piano lessons at four and matured as a singer and pianist through leading the Children’s Choir in her church in Hong Kong. While at Waterloo she was the percussionist/timpanist and keyboardist for the UW Orchestra. She also performed as a duet partner with a vocal student there. A graduate of ABRSM (Vocal Certificate and Piano Diploma) in 2011, Twila has continued her music career as a singer, accompanist, harpist, and music tutor. In addition to leading the soprano section of Village Voices, she also serves as a choir member and church pianist/organist for Toronto Jaffray Chinese Alliance Church and gives private instrumental lessons part-time.

Laura Hope, Alto

Laura Hope has enjoyed singing in many groups over the years. Her musical pursuits have led her to perform in many wonderful venues across Canada, as well as Dublin (Ireland), Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen (Scotland) and even at Carnegie Hall (New York). Presently, she sings in both Village Voices Choir as well as the Amadeus Choir. As music director at St. Cyprian’s Anglican Church, she directs the choir, plays piano and organ. She also assists the church school children with their musical pursuits.

During “pandemic times”, Laura has had to do too much playing and singing into her phone, as well learning the intricacies of sharing recordings for church and choirs.

Chris Norman, Tenor

Tenor Section Lead Chris Norman has been with Village Voices since 2005. A lifelong chorister, he was a member of the Bach Children’s Chorus, Scarborough Schools Voice Ensembles and Toronto Mendelssohn Youth Choir, among others. He is also an alumnus of the Wexford Music Theatre Program and has been a four-time member of the Ontario Youth Choir (2005-2008). Currently, in addition to Village Voices, he is also a member of the Amadeus Choir and is the Tenor Section Lead of the Leaside United Church Choir in Toronto.

Keith Loach, Tenor

Keith Loach holds a MusBach from the University of Toronto and an MA Music from York University. His graduate work focused on the effect of music on the brain, with a broader focus on how music can be supported in healthcare policy. Keith has sung with Amadeus Choir, Grace Church on-the-Hill Choir, Hart House Singers and Toronto Choral Society, and he is currently singing with Kingston Road United Church Choir. As a clarinet major at UofT, Keith enjoyed playing Dixieland and singing barbershop with the Lady Godiva Jazz Band.

Kody Pau, Baritone

Kody is a graduate of the Faculty of Music, Western University. Kody was a member of The Acapella Project at Western and took part in productions with Staff Arts in the Toronto Catholic District School Board. He has always been a strong advocate for community arts, and hopes to build upon the foundation that Village Voices has cultivated for over 30 years.

Sean Pentinga, Bass

Sean has been a lifelong singer. A graduate from Western University (in Physics), he helped form Western’s first competitive a cappella group, Equivox, that is set to compete in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA) for the fourth year in a row. He has also sung with the Bach Chamber Youth Choir, Toronto Chamber Choir, UWO Choir, and nearly every school choir he could be a part of. He’s happy to sing solo and in large and small groups and intends to keep growing as a musician for as long as he can. He currently sings with the Amadeus Choir.