Musical Director

Robert Filion has spent the past 20 years bringing choirs to the pinnacle of choral excellence. Recognized across Canada, his choirs earn top awards at local, provincial and national levels. His vocal ensembles from École secondaire De La Salle have won 6 national championships. Robert Filion's choirs are heard and seen regularly on the airwaves of CBC and Radio-Canada. The voice programme he heads in the performing arts stream at De La Salle was designated Best Music Programme in the National Capital by the Kiwanis Music Festival and CBC three times (2008, 2012 and 2017).

A talented musician and artistic director, in 2011 Robert Filion was appointed Artistic Director of Unisong, the annual Canada Day festival of Canadian choirs at the National Arts Centre. He works with the National Arts Centre Orchestra on concerts involving youth choirs. He focuses on new works and music from around the world, directing the Canadian productions of the Clifford Crawley opera, "Angel Square", Glenn McClure's "Messe des Caraïbes", "Missa Tango" by Luis Bacalov and "Missa Popularis" by Claus Bantzer. He has collaborated on productions of original Canadian works by, among others, Ruth Watson-Henderson, Laura Hawley, Kelly-Marie Murphy, Stephen Hatfield, Donald Patriquin, Frédéric Lacroix and Clifford Crawley. Robert Filion likes to surprise his audiences, and offer them the experience of all kinds of music.

Robert Filion directed the Choeur classique de l'Outaouais from 1997 to 2011, when it earned the prestigious Liette Turner award. Under his direction between 2002 and 2007, the Ottawa Children's Choir won the international Angel Network prize for the Radio-Canada/CBC broadcast "Evergreen Wishes". In 2013 he was awarded the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence. Robert Filion holds an Ontario Teaching Certificate and is a member of the Association of Canadian Choral Communities, the American Choral Directors Association, and is a member of the Board of Choirs Ontario.

Accompanist

Canadian pianist Carson Becke (www.carsonbecke.com) has performed worldwide. A versatile pianist, he is at home as a recital and concerto soloist, chamber musician and vocal collaborator. He holds a doctorate in musicology from the University of Oxford and his recordings can be heard on Spotify, iTunes and YouTube. He forms one half of Duo Octavian, a two-piano ensemble that he co-founded with fellow pianist Suren Barry in 2016. Duo Octavian seeks to expand the two-piano repertoire with their own arrangements and with arrangements/commissions by other performers and composers. Carson is committed to raising awareness about climate change and other environmental challenges through music. He is enacting those ideas through his directorship of the Pontiac Enchanté concert series in Luskville, Québec: environmental sustainability is one of the cornerstones of its mission. Carson lived in the United Kingdom for fifteen years, in London and in Oxford. In 2019 he moved home to the Ottawa area, where he currently lives with his partner Madeline and their dog Jerry.

Photo of Carson by Tam Photography.

Assistant Director

Joanny Turgeon has been a music teacher at the Centre de services scolaire des Draveurs for over 15 years. She directs and coordinates the music program at Massé School. Since this fall, she has been assisting Robert Filion in conducting the University of Ottawa Choir.

Joanny Turgeon obtained a bachelor’s degree in music education from Laval University and a master’s degree in choral conducting from the Université de Sherbrooke. She has also followed numerous training courses in conducting, vocal technique and Kodaly and Orff pedagogies.

Very committed to her community, she has been a member of the executive committee of the Choralies du CSSD where her students always excel. She has conducted several amateur choirs in the Outaouais region. In all her projects, she demonstrates professionalism and musical sensitivity. She is always looking to refine her art and knows how to surround herself with inspiring people.