get to know our new Artistic Director, Markus Howard.
As a conductor, director and choreographer, Markus Howard has worked extensively in the arts throughout Canada and abroad. He has appeared in 27 countries, working with musicians of varying ages, cultures and experiences. Conducting choirs and opera, and as a private voice teacher, Markus works in many musical genres including opera/oratorio, musical theatre, pop and jazz voice.
His talents have been recognized by Yamaha Music Canada, the Swedish Ministry of Culture, the Ontario Arts Council, and the International Association of Jazz Educators. He has been nominated four times as a candidate finalist by the Ontario Arts Council for the Leslie Bell Prize for Excellence in Conducting.
Mr. Howard pursues an active adjudicating schedule across North America, most recently overseeing Classical Voice and Music Theatre at the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals National Finals, Nova Scotia Provincial Finals for Voice and Choirs, and the Ontario Music Festivals Provincial Finals. This coming season takes him to Newfoundland, British Columbia and Stratford, Ontario. Currently, Markus is the Artistic Director for two of Ontario’s most outstanding youth choir organizations, the award-winning Guelph Youth Singers and La Jeunesse Choirs, and concludes an eleven-year tenue leading the Oriana Singers of Cobourg, and as Interim Conductor for London Pro Musica Choir. He serves as the founding conductor of the professional chamber choir LA MOVIDA, and appears as guest conductor for advanced choirs around the province.
In September of 2022, he will take over the role of Artistic Director for the Durham Philharmonic Choir. Recent engagements include concerts with the Guelph Symphony Orchestra, and as conductor for the Handel opera, Alcina with Halifax Summer Opera. He held the position of Lead Artist Educator with the Canadian Opera Company, and was on the faculty of the Royal Conservatory of Music, Glenn Gould School and the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts.
His students grace opera and concert stages, including members of the Stratford and Shaw Festivals, Toronto’s Lion King, Billy Elliott, The Producers, and Jersey Boys, and a number of Broadway and National Touring companies, and has worked as lead voice coach for Mirvish Production’s Lion King School. At the University of Toronto, Markus directed the Hart House Jazz Choir and Massey College Choirs. Mr. Howard is a PROUD recipient of the Paul Harris Fellowship from Rotary International.