Conductor

David Bowser (2012 to present)

David Bowser has conducted music for ballet, opera, film, television and the concert stage, and has performed in Canada, the United States, France, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. He has been music director of the Polyphonia Chamber Ensemble, the St Lawrence Chamber Orchestra, the Hart House Singers, the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and the Brantford Symphony Orchestra. He has also served as assistant conductor of the Quebec Symphony Orchestra and the Nova Scotia Opera. He has conducted the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Waterloo Chamber Players, the Hart House Orchestra, the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra. He has appeared on both national language networks of the CBC television and radio, and has recorded music for the Oprah Winfrey Show including the ABC primetime special, Legends. In Europe, he has performed on the podium of the Sophia Festival Orchestra in Bulgaria, the Kromeriz Symphony Orchestra in the Czech Republic, the Maribor Philharmonic Orchestra in Slovenia, the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra and East Slovak State Opera in Kosice, Slovakia. More recently he conducted Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess with the Nassau City Opera in the Bahamas.

Following studies in flute at the Conservatoires de Musique in Tours and in Paris, David earned a Master of Music degree in composition at the University of Toronto, and the Diplôme d’Etudes supérieures II (Masters Degree) in conducting under Raffi Armenian at the Conservatoire de Musique in Montreal. He also studied voice in Montreal with Marie Daveluy. He completed his formal studies in Austria, studying orchestral and operatic conducting at the Musikhochschule in Graz with Wolfgang Bozic, and at the Musikhochschule in Vienna with Leopold Hager. While residing in Vienna, he gained from private studies and consultations with conductors including Sir Simon Rattle and Dennis Russell Davies. He has participated in many conducting clinics and masterclasses with Eric Ericson, Georg Tintner and Gustav Meier, among others. He attended the conducting classes of Gianluigi Gelmetti at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including the Ontario Arts Council’s Chalmers Performing Arts Grant, the Canada Council’s Professional Development Grant and the Victor Feldbrill National Graduate Fellowship and Eaton Fellowship from the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto.

Currently, David is Music Director and Conductor of the NYCO Symphony Orchestra, the Hart House Chorus and the Oakville Choral Society. He is an active guest conductor, composer, instructor and vocal coach, and is a doctoral student at the University of Toronto.

Brad Ratzlaff (2006 to 2012)
B.Mus M.Mus. B.A. B.Ed.Brad Ratzlaff

Brad Ratzlaff is currently the Music Director and Organist at Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church. He is Artistic Director of the Hart House Chorus, University of Toronto, and Associate Director and Accompanist of VIVA! Youth Singers of Toronto.

Brad has twice been the recipient of the Elmer Iseler Fellowship in choral conducting. He holds an M.Mus in Performance (Conducting) from the University of Toronto, where he was a member of the teaching faculty for several years. He also holds associate degrees from the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Royal Canadian College of Organists.

Brad is a former member of the bass section of several professional choirs, including the Concertgebuow Choir of Amsterdam, the Elora Festival Singers, and the Elmer Iseler Singers. Brad has studied voice with Gary Relyea, piano with Ruth Watson Henderson, and choral conducting with Jon Washburn, Leonard Ratzlaff, the late Elmer Iseler, Doreen Rao and Helmuth Rilling.

“I believe that music is one of the most powerful means of story telling available to humans. When we sing or play an instrument, we have the opportunity to communicate to others ideas and emotions of profound depth and meaning. The study of musical style, articulation, and phrasing empowers students to make connections, giving them an ability to express themselves effectively through new ways of communication. It is my goal that students begin to discover this joy of artistic expression, developing the confidence to share their own musical stories with others.” - Brad Ratzlaff

John Tuttle (1981 to 2006)

B.Mus. (Curtis) FAGO, FRCO, FRCCO

John Tuttle graduated from the Curtis Institute where he studied organ with Alexander McCurdy. Following graduation he served in the United States Army as Organist and Choirmaster of the Post Chapel at theUnited States Military Academy , West Point , NY , and then returned in 1971 to serve as Dr. McCurdy's successor at the First Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia .

In 1975 he left the United States for Toronto, Canada , to become Organist and Choirmaster of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, where he remained until accepting the post of Organist and Choirmaster for St. Thomas ’s Anglican Church in 1989.

In 1979 he was appointed Organist to the University of Toronto, where he also teaches organ for the Faculty of Music.  In 1981 he founded the Exultate Chamber Singers, a twenty-voice ensemble that has gained a national reputation for superb choral singing.  He retired from conducting the Exultate Chamber Singers in May 2011.  From 1981 to 2006 he conducted the Hart House Chorus.  From 1985 to 2000 he was Music Director of the Canadian Children's Opera Chorus, which commissioned numerous operas for children, and toured throughout Canada and the USA.
 
In 2005 he accepted the post of Organist and Choirmaster of Trinity College Chapel at the University, where he trains the Trinity Chapel Choir for weekly services, works with the Bevan Organ Scholar, and coaches the Divinity students in liturgical music.
 
He holds the Fellowship Diploma of the American Guild of Organists, and holds honorary Fellowship diplomas from the Royal College of Organists (UK) and the Royal Canadian College of Organists, of which he was Naional President from 1986 to 1988.

In 2004 he was awarded a Doctor of Sacred Letters (honoris causa) from Trinity College.

Denise Narcisse-Mair (1974 to 1981)