Announcing the 2018 WMC McLellan Competition


Join us at the WAG on March 17th, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

to hear these talented artists perform in front of three adjudicators

to determine the 3 Finalists for this competition!

Tickets at the door only –  Adults $10  Students $5


The semi-finalists in alphabetical order:


Canadian Flutist, Twenty-Year-Old Jaena Kim is currently studying at the Schulich School of Music under Denis Bluteau. She began her studies at age six and made her debut with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra at thirteen. Kim has been invited to perform with the WSO on tour, as well as the Montreal Symphony Orchestra’s Musician Association and the Winnipeg Youth Symphony Orchestra. Kim has competed at national and international competitions, including Prix d’Orford Musique, the FCMF National Competition, the Canadian Music Competition, and the WMC McLellan Competition. She attended the Banff Centre’s Master Class for Strings and Winds, Orford and Domaine Forget. Kim is a member of the Downwind Quintet, McGill Symphony Orchestra and the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble. Kim attained her Performance ARCT from the Royal Conservatory of Music in both flute and piano. She is the recipient of the WMC Centennial Scholarship and wishes to acknowledge the support of the Manitoba Art’s Council and Woman’s Musical Club of Winnipeg.


Winnipeg born soprano, Jessica Kos-Whicher graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree and Post-Baccalaureate diploma in vocal performance under the guidance of Tracy Dahl and Monica Huisman at the University of Manitoba. Most recently Jessica appeared as Lauretta in Manitoba Underground Opera’s production of Gianni Schicchi. Other recent highlights include; Tatiana in Opera NUOVA’s production of Eugene Onegin conducted by Gordon Gerrard, Pamina in The Magic Flute…Retold with Manitoba Underground Opera, Elle in Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine with Opera NUOVA and L’UniThéatre in Edmonton, AB and Sister Rose in Opera NUOVA’s production of Dead Man Walking under the baton of Rosemary Thomson. In her debut with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra Jessica was a soloist for their Adventures in Music concert series conducted by Richard Lee. An avid competitor in the Winnipeg Music Festival, Ms. Kos-Whicher was runner-up for the Rose Bowl in 2015, 2013 and 2012. Jessica was the recipient of the Reg Hugo memorial trophy in 2014 & 2016 for best performance of an opera aria. In November 2014, Jessica competed in the MET National Council Auditions and was one of the encouragement award recipients. Since then she has been a district finalist within that competition (2015, 2016). In May 2017, Jessica was awarded the Manitoba Arts Council Travel/Professional Grant for the second time.


Manitoba-grown mezzo soprano Meagan Larios holds a Bachelor of Music from Canadian Mennonite University and a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Performance from the University of Manitoba. In Manitoba, she has performed with The Winnipeg Singers, Camerata Nova, The Professor Bach Project, The Winnipeg Soloists Choir, and The Mennonite Festival Chorus. She was heard as a soloist in Duruflé’s Requiem and Fauré’s Requiem in D minor during her time as soloist at Augustine United Church. Now based in Toronto, she was Alto Soloist in Händel’s Coronation Anthems, in Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de Confessore and in Haydn’s Missa in Agnustiis at the Creemore Choral Festival in Creemore, Ontario. After singing with Toronto Operetta Theatre’s Ensemble Chorus, Ms Larios quickly became a featured artist as Kate in The Pirates of Penzance, and in their season closer “Galope Offenbachien” – a tribute to the music of Jacques Offenbach. Ms Larios is active in the local “Indie Opera” scene in Toronto where she was recently seen as Julia/Jules in a workshop production of Pomegranate, a new opera developed in conjunction with the Dora Award-winning Tapestry Opera. This December, she is featured as Alto Soloist in Windsor Symphony’s Messiah. In 2018, she sings Romeo in Bellini’s I Capuleti ed i Montecchi, and returns to Opera by Request as Medoro in Händel’s Orlando.


Hailed for her “sweet sincerity” and “clear voice soaring to stratospheric heights” (Opera Canada), soprano Andrea Lett is quickly making a name for herself in the opera world. Noted for her warm, versatile tone, Lett has been featured across the Canada with companies such as Saskatoon Opera, Manitoba Underground Opera, and The Winnipeg Gilbert and Sullivan Society, and Opera Nuova. Notable roles include Queen of the Night (Die Zauberflöte), Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), Monica (The Medium), , and Frasquita (Carmen). Lett received her Bachelor of Music at the University of Manitoba studying with Monica Huisman, and her Masters in Opera at the University of Toronto studying with Mary Morrison. This past summer, Andrea was an Apprentice Singers at the Santa Fe Opera covering Adele in Die Fledermaus, and covered the role of Ah Sing this November in San Francisco’s World Premier Girls of the Golden West by John Adams with libretto and directed by Peter Sellars.


Praised for his “brilliant technique and control” (Chronicle Journal) and “wonderful musical personality” (Winnipeg Free Press), Gregory Lewis is recognized as one of Canada’s most prominent rising musicians. Since his debut with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra at age ten, Mr. Lewis has appeared with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Consortium Aurora Borealis, and the University of Manitoba Symphony Orchestra. As a recitalist, he has been a featured across North America, with highlights including the Scotia Festival of Music, Virtuosi Recital Series, Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg, Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, and performances in Carnegie Hall and Juilliard’s Paul Hall. Named one of CBC’s “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30” of 2017, Mr. Lewis has won numerous prizes at prestigious competitions, receiving First Prize in the Canadian National Music Festival and the American Protégé Competition, and Second Prize in the Doris McLellan Competition and the Canadian Music Competition National Finals. Through his studies, Mr. Lewis has had the chance to work with many of the world’s most respected artists, including Midori Goto, James Ehnes, Giora Schmidt, Donald Weilerstein, and Paul Kantor. He completed his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Manitoba with Oleg Pokhanovski, and currently studies with Ani Kavafian at the Yale School of Music.


David Liam Roberts has been described as a “Prodigiously gifted young cellist who displays an artistic sensibility well beyond his tender years” (Winnipeg Free Press). A student of Yuri Hooker, David Liam has been awarded prizes at national competitions such as the Canadian Music Competition and the FCMF National Music Festival, in addition to numerous scholarships and honors from local competitions in Winnipeg. David Liam began his cello studies at the age of three, and at age 14 became the youngest grand prize winner at the Winnipeg Music Festival. More recently, he was awarded the Madeline Gauvin Scholarship as a winner of the Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg Scholarship Competition in 2016. He has been mentored by many of the great pedagogues of our time, having attended several music festivals including the Morningside Music Bridge program and the Meadowmount School of Music as a scholarship student. As the winner of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s 2016 Student Soloist Competition, David Liam performed as soloist with the WSO in several concerts at local schools as a part of their “Up Close and Orchestral” tour. He has also appeared as soloist with the Winnipeg Youth Symphony Orchestra, in which he served as principal cellist for several years. A frequent recitalist, he performed a solo recital for the 2015 Agassiz Chamber Music Festival, in addition to having organized and performed six public solo recitals in the past. He also spends much of his time as a chamber musician, and has been performing often as a member of the Chroma Quartet since 2014. Since September 2016, David Liam has been a Regional Director of the “Back to BACH Project” through which he and other young musicians in Winnipeg have given performances and presentations at several elementary schools. Their objective in this project is to provide peer-to-peer inspiration for children to have vision and determination in pursuing excellence. An artist dedicated to communicating meaningful ideas through music, David Liam is particularly interested in philosophy.


Kayla Solomon has recently completed her third year of Bachelor’s of Music Performance at Brandon University under the performing guidance of Dr. Edward Bach and intends to continue studying with Dr. Edward Bach for her Masters in Music Performance. She has received numerous scholarships for Academics and Music through her studies at Brandon University. She is a member of the Brandon University Symphonic Band, Brass ensemble and Trumpet Ensemble and was also a member of the National Youth Band of Canada 2016 in Saskatoon, SK. Kayla placed third in the Brass category at the National Music Festival 2016 in Edmonton, AB. She has tutored junior musicians in trumpet and piano as well as math, science and French. She continues to be involved with her high school, supporting their concerts as a guest performer and providing clinics and recitals.


Daniel Tselyakov, acclaimed for the sensitivity and depth of his interpretations, the rare emotional intensity and bold energy of his performances. Born into a musical family, Daniel began his piano studies at the age of five with his father, well-known Canadian pianist Alexander Tselyakov, before subsequently completing a bachelors degree at the Oberlin Conservatory with Angela Cheng, and a Masters at Université de Montréal. He has won numerous scholarships, trophies and awards, including the McLellan Competition, Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg Scholarship Competition, the Provincial Music and Speech Finals for the Most Outstanding Piano Performance of music by J. S. Bach, the Toronto Summer Music Academy, the National Canadian Music Competition, and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra Young Player Award. As a pedagogue, his students have gone to win gold medal at the Royal Conservatory of Music examination for the highest mark in Manitoba. Daniel is also co-artistic director of the Clear Lake Chamber Music Festival in Riding Mountain National Park. Daniel has studied with legendary mentors including Sergei Babayan, Marc-André Hamelin, André Laplante, Marc Durand, John Perry, Jamie Parker, and Michael Kim. In April 2014 he made his debut at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. By the age of 12, he had performed Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 as a soloist with the Penderecki String Quartet. He was the youngest musician ever to be invited as guest artist with the prestigious Virtuosi Concert Series, and has appeared as a soloist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (Liszt’s Second Piano Concerto), the Canadian Sinfonietta (Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals), the Winnipeg Symphony Chamber Orchestra (Bach Concertos) and the San Luis Potosi Symphony Orchestra (Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on the Theme of Paganini and Prokofiev’s Second Piano).


Kristy Tucker is currently pursuing a Master of Musical Arts at Yale University under the tutelage of Frank Morelli, previously completing her Masters at McGill, and Bachelor’s at the University of Manitoba. Winner of numerous competitions, Kristy has been featured as a soloist with the University of Manitoba Wind ensemble twice as winner of the U of M concerto competition, and has been awarded such scholarships as: a Manitoba Arts Council Grant, WMC Scholarships, NYO Canada’s Award of Excellence, Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition Scholarship, and numerous festival awards. She has been invited to attend summer programs such as the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (2014, 2015 and 2017), the Young Artists’ Program at the National Arts Centre, and the Orford Academy. Kristy is an active chamber musician and orchestral player in both Montreal and Connecticut, and has performed with her professional woodwind quintet “The Downwind Quintet” for the past 2 years. Most recently, Kristy has been offered a full time position with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra.


Included in CBC Music’s 2017 edition of “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians under 30,” pianist Paul Williamson currently studies at the University of Manitoba where he is pursuing his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance under Dr. David Moroz. An award winner at local, provincial, and national competitions, Paul received first place in the piano category of the 2014 Canadian National Music Festival and first place as well as every semifinal award at the 2017 Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association national piano competition. As a soloist, he has appeared with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the University of Manitoba Symphony Orchestra, the Abbotsford Youth Orchestra, and the Fraser Valley Symphony Orchestra. Paul has worked with and attended masterclasses for such distinguished pedagogues as Robert McDonald, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Matti Raekallio, John Perry, Andre Laplante, and others. He has participated in the Morningside Music Bridge International Music Festival, the Orford Arts Academy program, and the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival.


Ainsley Wray is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto where she completed her Masters of Music in Voice Performance.  At this time, she studied with Nathalie Paulin and Patrick Raftery.  She began her studies at the University of Manitoba where she completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Voice Performance and a Post Baccalaureate Diploma in Voice Performance. During this time, she had the privilege of studying with Lois Watson-Lyons and Tracy Dahl. Recent roles include Suor Genovieffa in Suor Angelica (Manitoba Underground Opera), Pamina in Die Zauberflöte (AEDO), Pallade/Amore 2 in L’incoronazione di Poppea (COSI), and Lucia in Angela and her Sisters (The University of Manitoba).  Ainsley has received numerous awards and scholarships, and looks forward to future performing opportunities.




Since his orchestral debut at the age of nine, Tony Zhou has performed as soloist with orchestras such as the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Polish Baltic F. Chopin Philharmonic, and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. He has prized at the Jacobs School of Music Concerto Competition, Canadian Music Competition, Doris McLellan Competition, and Morningside Music Bridge Concerto Competition. He has been featured in concerts presented by Orford Music, National Music Centre in Calgary, Royal Conservatory of Music, and Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg. Regular summer festival appearances include the Nadia Boulanger Institute in Paris, Banff Piano Masterclasses, Morningside Music Bridge, and Orford Music, where he has worked closely with Dang Thai Son, Yoheved Kaplinsky, and Andre Laplante. Chamber music collaborations have resulted in guidance from pianist Menahem Pressler, violinist Mauricio Fuks, violinist Ani Kavafian, and baritone Andreas Poulimenos. Tony received his Bachelor of Music from Indiana University – Jacobs School of Music as a recipient of the Premier Young Artist Award, Music Faculty Award, Dorothy L. Herriman Award, and Ernest Hoffzimmer Award. Currently, he is pursuing a Master of Music in Piano Performance (Jacobs School of Music) with a Minor in Arts Administration (School of Public and Environmental Affairs) while being appointed as an Associate Instructor of Piano. His principle mentors are Arnaldo Cohen and Emile Naoumoff.