DKSM Board of Directors
Board Chair - Kirsty Howatt
Christiana (Kirsty) Howatt began to play the flute at age 9 after attending a summer introduction to music camp (at her mother's insistence) in her hometown of Winnipeg, MB. Music evolved into a real passion in her life (thanks Mom!). She graduated with a Bachelor of Music (Flute Performance) at the University of Manitoba and went on to pursue a Bachelor of Laws and practice law in Winnipeg and Southern Manitoba for several years. She is now a stay-at-home mother (and wife to her farmer husband) who maintains a small studio (in non-Covid times) of flute and piano students. All three of her children study violin with Jason Vanwynsberghe and her two older children have thoroughly enjoyed participating in Cadenza as well as the various string ensembles (and her youngest child is excited to follow in his siblings footsteps!).
I was born and raised in Morden, and somehow against all odds have ended up back here in my adulthood. I started playing the cello when I was in 3rd grade, and since then have had the opportunity to play in community orchestras in Winkler (originally under Douglas Kuhl), Bolivia, Virginia and Toronto. For those from the area who may remember him, I currently have the honour of playing my uncle Reynold Siemens' cello (though not nearly as well nor as dedicatedly as he played). I work as a mental health and a medical nurse in several hospitals in Manitoba, and have the ongoing privilege of playing in the DKSM Post Roads orchestra. I am happy to have the opportunity to be on the DKSM board with people who are so dedicated and passionate about making music exciting and accessible to people in the Pembina Valley.
Music has been my life from RCM piano exams to singing in many choirs. I studied piano, voice and organ in Toronto and sang in choirs from early years to the Ontario Youth Choir and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. For twenty eight years I taught music at Winkler Elementary School and now am privileged to join the DKSM board. Looking forward to live music soon!
Angel entered the Education University of Hong Kong to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education, She studied piano with Ms. Carol Yu (Steinway Artist and Steinway Spirio Recording Artist) and conducting with Dr. Philip Chan and Dr. Paulina Wong.
Angel is a choral music enthusiast. She was a music department head since 2009, music director of choirs and handbell teams at Carmel Pak U Secondary School. Angel leads the choirs of Carmel Pak U Secondary School and actively participates in competitions and public performances in Hong Kong and worldwide. Choirs conducted by Angel have been awarded many prizes, including the Best Choir (Second Division) in the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival, and the Gold Prize in the Hong Kong International Youth and Children’s Choir Festival (Hong Kong Secondary School section) in 2011 and 2013.
In the 5th Children’s Choral Festival held in China, Angel’s choir won the Gold Prize (youth section) and Angel herself was awarded the “Outstanding Conductor Prize”. In 2018, her female choir and mixed choir won the Gold Prize in the 2nd Singapore International Choral Competition. And she won the “Best Conductor Award”.
Angel also headed the handbell teams at Carmel Pak U Secondary School, which received numerous Gold awards in the Hong Kong Handbell Festival and the Asia Inter-Schools Handchimes and Handbell Competition. The handbell team was on performance tours to Malaysia and Taiwan in 2011 and 2014 respectively.
Southern Manitoba born, Violinist Jason Vanwynsberghe holds a Bachelors of Violin Performance from the Brandon University School of Music, as well as Minors in Music Composition and English Literature. Since his studies, he has been actively been involved in the southern Manitoba music community.
Jason enjoys performing in a wide variety of settings and styles. He has played as Concert Master of the Brandon Community Orchestra, and Brandon University Orchestra, as well as performing with the Manitoba Underground Opera Company, the Grande Prairie(AB) Symphony and Singing Concert series, and Numerous Musical Theatre shows with CandleWick Productions. Additionally Jason has performed both as a solo act and as a freelance/session musician, often featuring the Electric Violin, his Voice, and a loop pedal.
Equally interested in Music Education, Jason also operates a large violin Studio in and around the communities of Manitou, Morden and Winkler. As a conductor, Jason is the current Director of DKSM string ensemble Post Road Strings. He has served as guest conductor and clinician of the Brandon Community Orchestra, and Music Director for the Manitoba Oak Valley Passion Play.
As a composer, Jason has also written several commissioned and frequently performed Compositions. Notable among these: ‘A Prairie Sunset’ (Brandon Community orchestra, 2018), ‘Impromptu’ for Solo Violin (2015), and ‘Mass of Kenosis’ (2019).