NORTH LAKESHORE CHORUS: PEOPLE
Michael Korn, Producer
Michael Korn, the Producer and founder of the North Lakeshore Chorus, grew up near St. Albans, Herts, England in the 1960s and came to Canada with his parents in 1975. His father was a German Holocaust survivor and his mother survived the Allied bombing of Cologne, Germany in the Second World War. Both grandfathers fought in the Imperial Germany Army in the Great War—although his Jewish grandfather served in the British Army for eight years in the Second World War. Michael’s love of choral music lead to opportunities to sing with Scarborough Choral Society and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. He was a founding member of the Bel Canto Singers in 1993 and currently serves as their president.
Passionate about history and music—and thrilled to be able to meld the two together with a narrative—Michael was inspired by the story of Thomas Clifford Wilson, who grew up in his Prince Edward County farm house, and was sadly killed at the Battle of Passchendaele, Belgium on November 4, 1917. This passion has led to the production of over twenty concerts since 1993, all with an historical theme.
As 2019 marks the 80th anniversary of the start of the Second World War, the choir’s focus has shifted away from Great War commemorations. Michael is very excited by the prospect of travelling to mainland Italy and Sicily in June 2019. He is inspired by the dedication of choristers, accompanists, committee members and volunteers who have worked so hard on current and past productions.
North Lakeshore Chorus Committee
From left: Gianna Dassios, Anne Ellis, Kathie Wagg, Louise Gough, Doug Gough; Missing: Jacqueline Mokrzewski
Claire Shragge, Associate Producer
Having grown up in Saskatchewan before moving to Toronto, Claire came to producing concerts in a very roundabout way! She earned a science degree at McMaster University, worked as a computer programmer at IBM in Toronto and taught programming and computer applications at IBM and later at St. Lawrence College, after a move to Kingston with her husband, Peter, in 1974. They are very proud of their two sons.
Now retired, Claire enjoys singing, which she professes she has done for as long as she can remember, playing bridge, theatre and spending time with her two grandsons. A dedicated member of the Kingston Choral Society (KCS) for over 30 years, it was in her capacity as President that she first met producer, Michael Korn, in the spring of 2012. As Associate Producer of NLSC, she has spent many hours creating spreadsheets and Word documents, drafting and sending out e-mails, liaising with tour companies and choristers and acting as a sounding board for the producer. In addition to singing with the Kingston Choral Society and the North Lakeshore Chorus, she is also a member of the Kingston Senior Choristers.
Ian Juby, Conductor
As well as being the Music Director of the North Lakeshore Chorus, Ian is the Artistic Director of the Kingston Choral Society, a mixed voice choir of 100 singers which performs a diverse range of extended works and other choral repertoire from Canada and around the world.
He is also the co-founder and Artistic Director of the Kingston Capital Men’s Chorus, a 45-voice choir which performs in and around the Kingston area. In 2016, Ian joined the ranks of the Eccentric Vocal Ensemble, a 16-voice chamber group, as a contributing director and member of the bass section.
Ian’s association with NLSC dates back to 2012, conducting the choir annually at several beautiful and historic church venues in Ontario, and on tours of the Maritimes, Southern England, France, Belgium and Newfoundland.
A graduate of Western University and Queen’s University, Ian taught high school music for 30 years, and was a well-known performer and musical director at the Grand Theatre in downtown Kingston.
Jacqueline Mokrzewski, Accompanist
Jacqueline has been behind the pinao since the age of three. When she was eight she competed in the Milosz Magin International Piano Competition and finished in the top ten of an 8-12 age group. Jacqueline began studying with Dr. Douglas Humphreys of the Eastman School of Music at age nine, and in 2013, she competed in the New York Music Teachers Association Piano Competition where she received 1st prize.
Jacqueline is an avid accompanist, has earned her ARCT, and has had the honour to perform with the Bel Canto Singers, Hart House Chorus, and both the LDCSS and CCHS concert and chamber choirs. In addition, Jacqueline has been involved with various organizations including Habitat for Humanity, the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland, the Polish Women’s Association, PISK, and Quo Vadis, an association for young leaders.
In 2011, Jacqueline competed in the UTSO concerto competition where she performed Liszt’s E flat major Piano Concerto and won the opportunity to perform this concerto with the UTSO. She recently achieved a Master’s in Piano Performance at the University of Toronto under the tutelage of Professor Marietta Orlov.
Garret Rodgers, Piper
Garret has been playing the bagpipes for over 10 years after taking over from his grandpa. Garret joined a local band in London Ontario in which he learned most of his talents through the great program. During Garret's high school years, he had the unique opportunity to study for a year at Lathallan School in Northeast Scotland where he got taught by professional instructors and managed to compete with the school band. As of now, Garret attends Carleton University in Ottawa where he is studying for a degree for the Air Force. On the weekends, Garret travels down to Toronto where he is currently a member of the Grade 2 Peel Regional Police Pipe Band who are currently sixth in the world. While playing the bagpipes, Garret also is a published photographer in which he has been in many magazine companies and travels all over to showcase the magnificent world we live in today. Garret has not been everywhere, but it sure is on his list!
Garret has been a member of the NLSC since 2015 when we traveled to Europe for our "Till the Boys Come Home" Tour and in later years, Newfoundland for the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel, Canada 150, and "Peace at Last, The Boys Come Home" tour around Europe in 2018 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War. "Over the past years, it has been an opportunity of a lifetime to travel with such an amazing group as we saw in person the history in which made our world a better place today" -Garret.
As we travel around Italy this summer on our "Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye" tour, Garret is very much looking forward to play around such a beautiful country as we showcase a musical tribute to Canadian Soldiers. "I am honored to share the unique sound of the bagpipes with everyone around the world, sit back, close your eyes, and let the marvelous sound of music travel through you"- Garret.