Welcome to the Choral Canada Student Chapter!

Executive Committee


Celeste Thordarson is a Soprano in her fourth year of the Classical Voice, Music Education Specialist program at the University of Toronto under the tutelage of Dr. Darryl Edwards.

Celeste has a strong sense of her future, which fuels her passions and educational goals, specifically in Choral Studies, Vocal Pedagogy, and Music Health.

Her musical commitment extends to various roles, such as being the Music Director of the Children’s and Adult choir at Annunciation BVM Parish. She is also a Co-Conductor at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Engineering Skule Choir and Assistant Conductor with the VIVA Singers’ Junior Chorus. She previously worked with Sistema Toronto and the Toronto Children’s Chorus.

Beyond the classical realm, Celeste has left her mark in traditional pop as a featured artist, opening performer, ghostwriter, and recording artist for national and international talents.

Enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge, Celeste is passionate about choral education and inspiring others on their musical journeys.


Diane Kolin is a singer and a musicologist. She sings jazz and classical music, in choirs and smaller ensembles. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Musicology in York University, Toronto. Her research interests are diverse and include Critical Disability Studies, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Franz Liszt. She is the editor in chief of the Journal of the French Beethoven Society - Association Beethoven France et Francophonie. The study of Beethoven’s deafness and her personal history led to her research in disability and music. She specializes in disability awareness and inclusion in the artistic world, particularly in music. Her collaboration with disabled musicians in the professional musical world allows her to expose new ideas on making music more accessible to a broader audience.


Karen Hu is a pre-service music educator and vocalist based in Milton/London, Ontario. They are currently completing a Bachelor of Music with Honours in Voice Performance at Western University and hope to pursue choral conducting beyond the undergraduate level. At the university level, Karen serves on the Music Education Students Association, Choir Council, Faculty of Music Student’s Council, and is a co-conductor of the Student Leadership Choral Collective  at the Don Wright Faculty of Music. Karen is also the co-creator of The Choral Collection, a database of choral and music education resources to expand upon programming and advocating for the inclusion of Access, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Decolonization (AEDI-D) practices within and beyond choral spaces


Kathy Haddadkar is a passionate conductor, pianist, and singer pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting at the University of Toronto. She is the teaching assistant for MacMillan Singers and freelances as a chorister, music director and soloist. Kathy is the former Conductor and Director of Florivox Choir. She has been featured as guest conductor with the U of T Oratorio ensemble and served as guest lecturer for the U of T Faculty of Engineering Choir. Kathy has also supported institutional governance as Vice President Academic of the Graduate Students’ Association at the University of Alberta. She is grateful to have been selected as a conductor for the 2023 European American Alliance Summer Institute in Paris. Invested in the future of choirs, Kathy’s doctoral research aims to acknowledge the intersections of visual impairment and choral music. She looks forward to supporting the choral arts as Student Chapter co-chair. 


Laura is a recent PhD graduate in the Music Education program at Western University in London, Canada. A recipient of the SSHRC Graduate Scholarship-Doctoral award, Laura’s research interests include the social and affective impact of collective singing on involuntarily childless women, the impact of infertility on social and musical identity, and lifelong musical learning.

Since 2004, Laura has established herself as a self-employed private voice, piano, and music theory teacher. She is Music Director of the Addison Women’s Choir in Cambridge, Ontario, and enjoys her role with Choral Canada as a member of the advocacy committee. Rooted in her personal experience with involuntary childlessness, Laura is passionate about raising consciousness of the experience, and working to support those who are childless not by
choice, particularly in the Canadian context. She facilitates two groups on Meetup.com for childless individuals in Ontario and, most recently, founded the Involuntarily Childless Researchers facebook group.


William Austin is a Tenor, beginner organist, and third year Bachelor of Science student majoring in Medical Sciences at Dalhousie University and minoring in Music with Cindy Townsend. William is very grateful to have sung with the Quintessential Vocal Ensemble, MUN Chamber Choir, National Youth Choir of Canada, Dal Chorus, and presently the Halifax Camerata Singers and the Galileo Baroque Choir!

Aside from his musical interests, William conducts research with Adiblab through Dalhousie’s School of Biomedical Engineering. William is developing a viscosupplement injection for treating early stage osteoarthritis and a bilayered silicone-polyurethane film to give an anti-fouling coating to facial prosthetics for people who have undergone surgery for facial cancers. William was generously awarded an NSERC grant for his research during the summer of 2023.


Our goals are to:

  • Cultivate and promote the work of student choral and group singing musicians by exhibiting their research, performances, and compositions in Canada and beyond.

  • Provide opportunities for the advancement and growth of student choral and group singing musicians.

  • Facilitate communication amongst student choral and group singing musicians across Canada.

Student Membership Benefits

Student Membership benefits encompass opportunities for professional development and networking, access to and discount on the Podium choral conference and festival registration fees, access to job postings, repertoire resources and student news, and engagement through service on the Student Chapter Executive and other committees.

Learn more about our Student Membership by visiting our Membership page.


Two signature programs of the Student Chapter are a Poster Session featuring student research, and Conducting Master Classes and seminars, including a conducting master class with the National Youth Choir of Canada and its conductor. Both programs occur as part of the national Podium conference.  

​Other Opportunities

Student members are eligible to apply to the National Youth Choir Conducting Apprenticeship Program, and Podium Research Presentation Sessions.

Student members are also eligible to submit articles to Anacrusis.

Since 2018, full-time students enrolled at an educational institution have the opportunity to start a Choral Canada Student Chapter Branch at their place of learning. See Student Chapter Branch Guidelines.



Banner photos: Sam Moffatt Photography