Shirley Madden, Music Director
Shirley is very pleased to be assuming the role of Music Director for the Village Voices! A trained soloist, holding multiple degrees in both performance and teaching, Shirley currently sings with the Amadeus Choir.
Shirley was the recipient of the Long and McQuade Director’s Award, the Outstanding Service Award for York Region and a THEA (Theatre Ontario Award) for Music Direction. She has also run clinics and workshops for choral conductors 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!
Ruta Roumbanis, Accompanist
A graduate of the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto in organ performance, where she was a student of John Tuttle. She started her career as a piano accompanist at the age of nine at her childhood church, St. John’s Latvian Lutheran Church (Toronto). She has performed at numerous organ recitals and Latvian cultural events in Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Boston. Ruta has worked as choir master and organist at several Toronto and Markham churches, and is currently Minister of Music at the Church of St. Luke Lutheran, North York. Ruta also earned her Bachelor of Education degree from Western University. She recently retired from the York Region District School Board where she worked as an elementary classroom teacher and special education teacher. Upon retirement, she once again focuses her time on making music. Ruta lives in Markham with her husband and two sons. In her spare time she enjoys working in the garden and going to their family cottage.