excerpts from Monday night's rehearsal.
ARUNA ANTONELLA HANDA is a singer/composer working in Toronto. After a hiatus from the stage, Aruna is back in full voice, excited to share new work with audiences. She has sung in a variety of contexts in Canada, the US and the UK. Last year, her song cycle Have You Seen My Sister? was selected as part of the program of Independent Projects for Toronto's Nuit Blanche 2017. Aruna has been collaborating with the very talented Sirens and jazz and blues musicians in Toronto. She is planning to record her latest material, collaborating with NY-based producer David Seitz.
(L-R) Jennifer, Lindsay & Caitlin
CAITLIN HOLLAND has a voice full of warmth that beckons us to stop whatever we are doing and listen. She performs regularly in a variety of pop and classical ensembles in the city and as a solo act. She studied pop, classical, and jazz singing, earning an advanced diploma in musical theatre performance and ARCT designation in vocal pedagogy. In addition to maintaining a busy teaching studio, she also is the music director at Malvern Emmanuel United Church in Scarborough and mum to beautiful baby Alex.
LINDSAY MCDONALD From eight-voice jazz choirs, to contemporary Canadian women's choirs, from musical theatre to rock bands, Lindsay loves to sing the tough parts. A composer and arranger, Lindsay’s music has been performed across Canada, the UK and Thailand. She has a BMus in composition, a double-major (piano and voice) in jazz and commercial music, and an ARCT in performance from the Royal Conservatory of Toronto. Lindsay is thrilled to be singing with the Sirens, and brings incredible arranging skills to each note.
JENNIFER WAKEFIELD tied her performance degree with music education and when the opportunity came to teach overseas, she travelled to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania where she worked for five years, immersing herself in local live music. In 2008, she moved to Toronto where she teaches and sings in a variety of choral, backup vocals and duo projects. Recent credits include backup vocals for singer-songwriter Melanie Peterson, vocalist in a Fujiwara dance piece in the Danceworks 40th Anniversary, soloist in “Have you seen my sister?” a vocal installation at Nuit Blanche Toronto 2017, soprano in “The Christmas Story” pageant a cappella quartet, and arranger/vocalist and flautist in a Sprig of Rosemary, a Celtic music duo.
RAPHAEL ROTER plays drumset in the 11-piece band, Asiko Afrobeat Ensemble, whose first Canadian album was met with critical acclaim. The band has played the Toronto Jazz Festival, Guelph Jazz Festival and Afrofest and has played alongside Seun Kuti, and Antibalas & Zap Mama. Raphael has played and recorded with Doug Tielli, Adam Rudolf, Meliani Brulee, Trisha Foster, Patrick Hewan and Aline Morales. Raphael has also directed and conducted the street percussion group Samba Elegua and has toured in Europe and Canada with the performing dance group Lila Ensemble.
CHRIS ADRIAANSE plays upright and electric bass with a number of groups and ensembles. He has played with eclectic groups like Lullaby North (“Walk in Spirals” 2011, “Speak in Tongues” 2013, “Forget in Rhymes” 2015) Lila Ensemble, Tia Brazda, Shaky Knees (“7 Years” 2014) the Doug Tielli Band, The Ryan Carr Band, Crankbox, Astrosurf (“Live Off the Ocean Floor” 2016) the Adriaanse/Stanley Duo, Emily Raquel (“Self Titled” 2015) and with jazz musicians and free improvisers in many performance contexts.
Pianist and composer KRISTIAN PODLACHA has performed with Cirque du Soleil, Against the Grain Opera, at the Davos World Economic Forum, with Pulitzer-Prize winning composer Caroline Shaw and at the Banff Centre for the Arts - all in 2018. Upcoming engagements include Luminato festival, Pride, Intersections at Yonge-Dundas Square, in New York and returning to the Banff Centre for the Arts for AtG's Orphee+.
He was Spectrum's 2017 Composer-in-Residence, and has written for ensembles as diverse as DJ and Metis Fiddling trio, solo piano and electronics.