Meet Our Adjudicators

Instrumental: Oscar-Jose Garcia
Oscar-Jose Garcia retired from teaching in 2016 after 34 years as the Director of Bands at
St. Mary Catholic School in Westlock Alberta. Over his long tenure at St. Mary, Oscar-Jose, has operated Junior and Intermediate Junior
High Concert Bands, a High School Wind Ensemble (Concert Band) and a High School Jazz Band. He has coached many school combo bands (Student run rock bands) and instrumental quintets. His schools bands have received countless Superior and Gold Awards at local, national and international music festivals for their high level of performances and accomplishments. He has traveled extensively with his high school Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band over the years exposing them to the cultures and musical experiences worldwide. Seeing such US cities as New York, San Francisco and Seattle. Closer to home, here in Canada he visited such cities as Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton. He has also taken his school bands to Spain where he performed with the kids in Madrid, Segovia, Avila, Cuenca and Toledo. Oscar-Jose was also nominated for the Alberta Excellence in Teaching Award. He has appeared as a guest conductor for the Alberta Honour Band and the Fort McMurray Honour Band. His school band program was known all across Canada and was considered to be one of the top small high school band programs in Alberta.
Oscar-Jose is very passionate and has a great understanding of music and conducting student bands. He has an ease and fun way of getting kids to understand the concepts of team work in relationship to playing as a complete ensemble. Oscar-Jose’s teaching motto is very simple; “All kids should have the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument and the chance to surround themselves in a cohesive group of musicians during their educational years. Music does make you smarter.” Oscar–Jose is also a very accomplished and recognized flamenco guitarist. He performs regularly with his wife, singer and flamenco dancer Judith Garcia, along with their flamenco troupe “Flamenco En Vivo” which they founded in 1999. 

 Piano: Sylvia Shadick-Taylor

Edmonton pianist Sylvia Shadick-Taylor excels as a soloist, yet is equally comfortable as a chamber musician, collaborative pianist, teacher and clinician. She has been heard in concert in Canada, Thailand, Germany, France, Japan and at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in New York City with Hungarian/Canadian violinist Nándor Szederkényi (1998) and more recently with cellist Tanya Prochazka (2011). 

Sylvia has a strong interest in contemporary music and has premiered many Canadian and American works. Due to her promotion of Canadian music, she was named an Ambassador of the Canadian Music Centre in 2009. Through her virtuosic pianism and musicianship, Sylvia’s performances are known to transform music into captivating storytelling.

A respected name in the musical community, Sylvia has worked for many organizations including the University of Alberta, Edmonton Opera, Opera NUOVA, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Alberta College and Pro Coro Canada, and is Co-Chair of the Contemporary Showcase Edmonton Society.

John Charles of the Edmonton Sun wrote, “pianists …such as Sylvia Shadick-Taylor…who shine and inspire, especially in contemporary music…help make Edmonton a city of cultural champions.” 

Voice: Melanie Baux

Soprano Melanie Baux has always loved being surrounded by music. Melanie has a Diploma in Music Performance from Mount Royal University and a Bachelor of Music Performance from The University of Manitoba. Melanie has studied under with many well reknowned teachers including Canadian coloratura Tracy Dahl. In concert Melanie has performed withwith The Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, The Calgary Youth Orchestra , The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bach Festival society orchestra. Melanie is sought after as a private voice teacher and adjudicator, and is dedicated to enriching the lives of her students through music . 

As a young singer, Melanie participated in the Mount Royal Choral Program, Alberta Youth Choir, Ad Libitum Vocal Ensemble, Spiritus Chamber Choir and The Winnipeg Singers. Melanie is the artistic director of the Cochrane Young Singers choral Program,and has been a vocal coach and rehearsal lead for The Calgary Boys Choir. Melanie is a founding member of La VIe, one of Calgary’s premiere vocal ensembles. Melanie has been a musical director for Grease (Winnipeg, Manitoba) The Sound of Music (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and Eve: The True Story (Pincher Creek, Alberta). She has frequently adjudicates at musicfestivals and gives master classes in both Musical Theatre and classical vocal performance. Melanie teaches private voice lessons as well as group and private Musical Theatre classes. Her greatest joy comes from sharing her love of music with her students and her three little boys.

Speech: Lary Benson 

Edmonton tenor, Lary Benson graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Education Degree Major in  Music .  Further studies in Singing, Dance, Acting and Opera were undertaken at Morley College, London England and at the Banff Center.  Lary has had a lengthy career as an opera singer performing for most major opera companies in Canada including Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver Opera, Pacific Opera, Manitoba Opera and the Canadian Opera Company.  Lary’s career has included many engagements as a tenor soloist in Oratorio and Musical Theatre, which led to several CBC broadcasts.  He is featured as a soloist and chorister on a 5 disc recording of 35 Sacred Concerti by Bortniansky undertaken by North America’s Ukrainian Millenium Choir.  Lary has been employed as a vocal instructor for many years at

MacEwan University’s Theatre Arts Program and at the Alberta College campus, Conservatory of Music in Edmonton.  In 2008 Lary  received a Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award at the Edmonton Mayor’s  Celebration of the Arts. Just recently Lary was honored by the Alberta Music Education Foundation with  the 2015 Music Education Recognition Award.

Lary continues to perform concerts with his versatile group called Tenor Power and also mentors many students who are active as performers in Musical Theatre and the Vocal Arts.