Valerie Grant

Valerie Grant, Licentiate, C.C.- C.I.C.B., is a registered ballet teacher with the Cecchetti Canada, a Member of Cecchetti International Classical Ballet and British Columbia Dance Educators Association.

Valerie has been teaching dance for over thirty-five years and has successfully prepared many students for exams and performances, has choreographed for competitions, pageants and theatre companies, adjudicated dance festivals and is invited to guest teach at workshops and private studios.

Her early training included summers at Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada’s National Ballet School and teacher training at Canada’s National Ballet School. Valerie has trained in Cecchetti, R.A.D. and Vagonava methods of ballet and has studied and performed ballet, jazz, modern and flamenco dancing. Studies in art, music and anatomy enhance her teaching of dance.

Valerie was BC Representative and Chairman for Cecchetti Canada/BC three separate times, served on the BC Executive Committee for many years and serves on the Cecchetti Classical Ballet Awards committee. Valerie is currently the Resource Manager for Cecchetti International Classical Ballet and is also an Advisory Panel Member of the Margaret Saul Scholarship Fund.

As a teacher and owner of Arabesque Dance Studio in Victoria BC, Valerie has been teaching students of all ages and abilities. In her classes, Valerie blends her love of dance, music and art in a way that inspires and encourages students to reach their potential.


Shay Kuebler

As a child of the 80’s, Shay grew up with a passion for The Ninja Turtles and action movies. Naturally, this would bring him to martial arts, theatre and dance at the age of 5. As he became a professional performer and budding choreographer, his value for versatility and exposure to new things continued to grow. This connected to his belief that art and creativity are empowered through collaboration and continual rediscovery. He considers himself a very good generalist and is grateful for his experiences in numerous forms of dance, music, theatre and martial arts. He’s continued to invest in his interdisciplinary background through intensive study periods in Brazil, Japan, China and The USA in everything from Shaolin Kung Fu to Taiko Drumming.

Shay’s versatility as an artist has created opportunities to work as choreographer, movement director and director for both the screen and stage. Some of his choreography and directing highlights include: “SEE”, “Psych”, “HP Computers”, “Bravo Fact”, Ballet BC, Ballet Edmonton and Royal Caribbean Entertainment.

As a performer, Shay has worked as a principal actor, stunt performer, circus performer, dancer and percussionist. Some highlights include: “Sonic 2”, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”, “Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies”, “One Way”, “Like Mike 2”, “Another Cinderella Story”, “Spectacular”, and “Reefer Madness The Musical”.

With Royal Caribbean Entertainment, Shay is a director and choreographer of the company’s largest and newest aqua productions. These aqua shows integrate divers, synchronized swimmers, acrobats, dancers and specialty performers in a state-of-the-art aqua theatre. With the company, he’s assisted in the creation of Fine Line and HIRO, and, most recently, was the creator and director of the newest and largest aqua production InTENse.

​In 2014, Shay founded his performing arts company Radical System Art (RSA). RSA creates live dance-theatre works that look to captivate audiences through impactful themes, visceral physicality and rich visuals. As a director, choreographer, producer, composer and performer, Shay and RSA have created 7 full- evening shows that have toured all over the world. For Shay, RSA is a cradle for unbridled creativity and exploration.

Shay has lived and worked in Vancouver, BC, Canada, for 19 years. His range of experiences and training enable him to be an asset on any production. He feels immense purpose in creating and supporting others in their creative pursuits, and believes creativity is what makes us human. It is our greatest gift.

Shay is thrilled to be adjudicating the fine talent

at the 2024 Chilliwack Music and Dance 77th annual Festival!


Angela Rae Murdoch

Angela is a Third Generation Dance Teacher currently in her 28th year as a Professional Dance Educator and Choreographer. Trained in Tap, Jazz, Ballet,

Acrobatics, Lyrical, Modern, Contemporary, Hip Hop and Musical Theatre, Angela considers herself a “Jane of all Genres.”

A graduate of the Randolph Academy for Performing Arts Triple

Threat Conservatory in Toronto, Ontario, Angela has performed on stages

across Europe, Australia, New Zealand and North America as a Dancer. She also

starred in the Official Cannes Film Festival Selected “Pink & Green”. And

most recently she can be seen on the small screen in “Guilty Party” alongside

Kate Beckinsale.

As a Certified Mindfulness Coach, Angela brings perspective and

positivity to her Dance Teaching and Adjudications. “Performing on stage is not

about winning. It’s about seeing a goal with absolute clarity and using all of your potential to work to achieve it.”

Angela is overjoyed to be here at Chilliwack Music and Dance Festival

and wishes the competitors to have the most fun possible on and off stage.


Josh Nitkin

Josh Nitkin is a graduate of the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts and holds certification with PAA (Professional Adjudicators Alliance), BATD (British Association of Teachers of Dancing) and PAEC (Performing Arts Educators of Canada) in Tap, Jazz and Urban with which he helped create the syllabus. Josh has 30 years of training and performance in Tap, Jazz, Acrobatics, Modern, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Musical Theatre and more!

With almost 20 years of teaching, Josh’s students have gone on to win numerous overall awards and have garnered choreography awards as well. Josh is a sought after Adjudicator across Canada and the United States. Having adjudicated for Dance Masters of America (North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Houston, Great Lakes), American Dance Awards, Terpsichore Dance Celebration/Dance Starz, AmeriCup, Dance Xtreme Nationals, Millennium Productions Nationals, Peak Invitational and many others.

Josh is also a former dancer with Celebrity Cruise Lines and Corpus Dance Projects, having performed in Alaska, France, the UK, Belgium, Japan, and all over Central and South America.

Josh is very pleased to be returning to adjudicate live at the

Chilliwack Music & Dance Festival 2024.



Dr. Michael Keddy

Fred Stride


Russ Baird

Russ Baird has taught choir, band and orchestra in Ontario, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan at the elementary and secondary levels and in the Music Education departments of the University of Northern Colorado, the University of Toronto and the University of Victoria.

He is a past chair of the Canadian Choral Festival and the founder of the Ontario Vocal Festival, Canada’s largest high school choral festival. He served for six years with the International Association of Jazz Educators as the International Chair of Vocal Jazz and as the IAJE Journal vocal jazz editor. He was a driving force in establishing JazzCanada, an organization dedicated to the promotion of quality jazz education.

His love for music education manifests itself in an unfailing enthusiasm for seeing students of all ages experience the true soulful joy of music made artfully.

We welcome Russ to our Festival for his first appearance as our choral adjudicator.

Russ is looking forward to adjudicating our entries and working with the

Choral Division and our Festival Committee.


Monica Lee

Monica Lee is recognized as a highly sought after distinguished collaborative artist and music instructor. Performing locally and internationally, Monica has performed in various concerts with fellow musicians from the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra. Monica has also conducted and collaborated in large and small ensembles, such as choirs, concert and jazz bands, and alongside performing flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet and baritone. She was also a member of the UBC University Singers ensemble, singing in numerous concerts.

Monica presently performs collaborative works in several music competitions and concerts across North America. She enjoys adjudicating in music festivals and giving masterclasses and workshops. She also coaches in summer music camps, teaching music students to broaden their piano experience in piano ensemble playing. Monica is also an ensemble member of numerous ensemble groups, performing in concerts and creating recordings of various genres of music.

Monica has worked countless hours in non-profit organizations, creating events that feature young, talented musicians. She has also performed in many benefit and charity concerts, making appearances on live television. She is presently a member of the Northwest Piano Ensemble Society.

Presently, Monica is a piano faculty member of the Vancouver Academy of Music and also maintains a private music studio. Born and raised in Vancouver, Monica holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance and the Royal Conservatory of Music Piano Performers and Teachers Diplomas with distinction.

From a very young age of ten, Monica has taught piano and since then, has never stopped teaching. Her passion in being a role model and instructor to students has compelled her to continue and inspire young children to continuously live with music. Her charismatic and lively personality has nurtured many students to develop a passion for music, teaching with infinite patience and spirited energy.

We welcome Monica to our Festival as an adjudicator.

Monica is honoured and pleased to be back adjudicating all of the Junior and Lower Intermediate piano entries and working with the Piano Division and our Festival Committee.


Susanne Ruberg-Gordon

Quoted by the Chronicle Herald as “A superb musician”, Swedish-born pianist Susanne Ruberg-Gordon is a highly regarded and sought after chamber-musician and collaborative pianist. She is recognized for her artistry, nuance, and interpretation, and has performed in Canada, the US, China, and UAE with artists such as Dame Evelyn Glennie, Andras Diaz, Ron Leonard, Ian Swensen, James Campbell, Timothy Chooi, Nikki Chooi, Desmond Hoebig, John Kimura Parker, Josh Jones, Arnold Choi, and Sydney Lee.

Susanne is the pianist and core member of the Juno nominated Land’s End Ensemble in Calgary, a piano trio that is dedicated to excellence in performance and recording of Canadian and International new music, and to enriching collaborations with eminent composers and artists.

As a passionate educator, Susanne is a faculty member at the Mount Royal University Conservatory Academy and APP Programs where she teaches Piano, Chamber Music and is the Artistic Facilitator of Collaborative Pianists. She also teaches at the Valhalla Summer School of Music. Her piano students have pursued University degrees and careers in music and her chamber music coaching have seen her students win Regional and Provincial level music competitions as well as being recommended to the National level competition for CMC.

Since 2001, she has been a Collaborative Artist for the prestigious and acclaimed Morningside Music Bridge program in Canada, US, China, and Poland.

We welcome Susanne to our Festival as our senior piano adjudicator.

We look forward to having Susanne share her passion for music while adjudicating all of the Upper Intermediate and Senior Piano entries and having her work with the Piano Coordinator and our Festival Committee.


Chloe Meyers


Karyn Way

Karyn is very active in Vancouver as a singer, adjudicator, director and music instructor. Some of her favourite performances include Madame Giry in The Phantom of the Opera”, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel”, Eva Peron in Evita”, and the Second Lady in The Magic Flute”. As a director, Karyn most recently staged and music directed productions of “Frozen, Jr.”,

Dear Edwina”, and “Shrek, Jr.” for the Kay Meek Youth Conservatory in West Vancouver. She has also directed Amahl and the Night Visitors” for the Vancouver Academy of Music as well as several evenings of opera scenes. She was on the faculty at Capilano University as a voice instructor for four years and was head of voice for Stagecraft Theatre School for eight years.

Karyn currently teaches voice, piano and music theory at her home studio, Vocalis Music and also teaches singing for Lights Up Theatre School and the Richmond Academy of Dance. Karyn continues to adjudicate and give masterclasses in voice and musical theatre at festivals across Canada.

At the University of British Columbia, Karyn earned a Bachelor of Music Degree in Voice Performance and a Master of Music in Opera. She also earned Diplomas in Musical Theatre from Grant MacEwan College and the Banff School of Fine Arts. Karyn is a proud member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). She also has advanced certification as a voice teacher for the Royal Conservatory of Music and is a member of the RCM College of Examiners.

We welcome Karyn back for a live festival and she is looking forward to adjudicating our entries and working with the Vocal Division and our Festival Committee.