NATIONAL CO-HOSTS – GANDER NL
Jessie Downey: Jessie Downey is an 11th grade French immersion student at Ascension Collegiate as well as a proud Newfoundlander. She is happy to be a member of the school’s improv, volleyball, drama, and Skills Canada teams as well as a member of the art club and jazz band. She is passionate about art and music and loves spending time with her family. Jessie was recently awarded second place provincially in the Royal Legion’s Remembrance Day Contest (black and white poster category), winning her a trip to Europe with the legion this summer. Last year she represented team Newfoundland with her partner at the National Skills Competences Canada Competition in Vancouver, BC for 2D animation. After a successful provincial competition she will be doing the same again, this time with her twin brother for this years competition in Toronto. She has successfully completed the DELF B1 level French exam and has been to Quebec as well as St. Pierre participating in educational programs. In grade 9 she was a member of the Newfoundland 15U elite volleyball team and has been playing for five years. She has been happy to be a part of her schools drama teams for four years winning best actress in grade 9 and will be performing along with her drama team in the provincials this year for their original regional winning play. Jessie is a big fan of the outdoors, creativity, and kind people and does face painting at parties to make some extra cash.
Liam Dawson: Liam Eric Dawson (born Dec 3, 1998) from Bay Roberts is a Newfoundland actor, singer and dancer. He is best known for portraying the Rat King and Fritz in the stage production of The Nutcracker. He has won many awards including best actor in a leading role and best actor in a supporting role at the Western Regional Drama Festival four years in a row.
Liam placed first at the Kiwanis Musical Festival for the musical theatre duet, “I Can Live with That” as well as other awards for musical theatre solos. Liam was also part of the Cantare Youth choir, which sang at New York’s famous Carnegie Hall.
His many stage credits include, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr (White Rabbit), A Midsummer Night’s Dream – (Fairy), A Tribute to Broadway (Michael Banks), Laughing Stock (Mad Scientist), The Merchant of Venice (Balthazar, Servant), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast JR- (Lumiere), The Tempest (Adrian, Ship’s Boy), The Mumberly Inheritance (Marmaduke Mayhem) and Cardbored (himself). He was recently cast in the role of a bully in the movie Hold Fast based on a book written by Newfoundland author Kevin Major and was an extra in a short film called Cathy for the Women’s International Film Festival.
Liam currently resides in Bay Roberts, Newfoundland and is a Level 1 student at Ascension Collegiate High School
Katie Shaw: Katie is a grade five student from Stratford Elementary School. She is a dancer, singer, and musical theatre lover having recently played the role of Veruca Salt, in her school’s production of Willy Wonka.
ST. JOHN’S NL
Amy Grainger: Born and raised in colourful St. John’s, Newfoundland, soprano Amy Grainger developed a love for music at a very young age. It was this passion that led her to study music professionally with the aspiration to pursue a career in performing. Complimented for her “crystal clear and soaring” voice (The Telegram), Amy has recently been seen as Belinda in MUN Opera Workshop’s presentation of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. Also a frequent performer in community theatre, Amy recently covered the role of Cosette in Atlantic Light Theatre’s Les Misérables, and starred as Dorothy in Peter MacDonald Productions’ The Wizard of Oz. While Amy now focuses her studies in voice, having recently completed her B.Mus. in Vocal Performance, she also employs her many years of piano studies in teaching private piano at Take Note Music School and accompanying the choir at St. Teresa’s Parish.
Halifax Regional Municipality
Coady Turner: Coady Turner is a typical 10-year old boy: full of life, a sparkle in his eye, and a real jokester! As Co-host for the Halifax portion of the webcast, this Harbour View Elementary grade 5 student plans to activate his school mates and excite them as we celebrate the power of music in our schools and in our lives on Music Monday. Coady is an avid singer, and is teaching himself to play guitar and violin. He enjoys a range of genres in music from rock, to easy listening, to jazz, classical and even opera! Much of this interest stems from the prominence of music making in his family and there seems to be shortage of talent there. Outside of school, Coady enjoys fishing, hunting and trapping. There is no doubt that Coady is going to be a real leader when he grows up, and on Music Monday there is little doubt that he will shine in his role as Co-host of the Halifax celebration.
David Peretz-Larochelle: David is in his third year of Music Education majoring on percussion. He is Co-VP Social of MEdUSA, McGill University – Music Education Undergraduate Students’ Association. If he is not in class or planning the next event, he is most likely teaching teenagers how to play percussion at Collège Notre-Dame. Born and raised in Montréal, David will always be glad to teach you some French on the side (and some alpine skiing if you’re interested!). David is the Manager for the Montréal New Horizons band.
NATION’S CAPITAL ON
Malcolm Horava: Malcolm is a private student of Steven van Gulik (2nd Trumpet, NAC Orchestra). He is currently very involved at Canterbury High School (one of two Ottawa high schools which specializes in the arts) in all kinds of musical ensembles, as well as playing in the Ottawa Youth Orchestra. He has also taken part in the MusicFest Nationals and won a 2013 National Honour Award.
He is also a recent trophy winner of the Kiwanis Music Festival (National Capital Region).
Sierra Jennings: Former Wexford Collegiate grad, Sierra Jennings is an 18 year old aspiring artist from Toronto. Her love and passion for music has brought her to be a part of a number of musicals such as Rent, Les Mis and Hairspray. Sierra sang with the Wexford Gleeks when they performed during the live webcast with Commander Chris Hadfield. She believes music can unite people of different ethnicities and ages, and continues to use it to empower youth.
Declan Baker: Declan Baker is a grade eight student at Holy Family School in southeast Edmonton. He participates in the Glee Club and drama program there, and has sung in Columbian Choirs for eight years. Declan also plays and studies guitar, and this summer, will participate in the Foote Theatre School summer program for the third year. Declan is also a hockey player (his team was city division champion this year), and is addicted to video games.
Mercy Walker: Mercy is a grade 12 student at Templeton Secondary in Vancouver. She plays Cello and piano and sings. She teaches the junior choir at Saint James Music Academy and hopes to go to school for music
Daniel Ashley AKA MC DASH was born and raised in the Yukon Territory, where he began his diverse entertainment career. His high-energy performances engage audiences in a stunning blend of mc-ing, beat-boxing, dj-ing, and gymnastics. He has a gift for enthralling audiences of all ages and walks of life. Daniel is a founding member of the Root Sellers, an electronic and hip-hop fusion band based in the Yukon. A few of Daniel’s most notable performances include: The opening ceremonies of the 2012 Arctic Winter Games, the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremonies and the BC Canada house at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Daniel Ashley has been the President of the Yukon College Student Union. He is a Whitehorse based musician, and longtime youth facilitator with Bringing Youth Towards Equality (BYTE).