Bleau’s passion for music, especially choral music, is evident through his unique and expressive conducting style, and his enthusiastic approach to rehearsals. He is known for asking his choirs to engage difficult music, always seeking to push the members past their perceived limitations in order to produce music which — while challenging — is ultimately very rewarding.
Bleau has always sought to push the boundaries of choral music and the concert experience through unique collaborations and concert events. This has resulted in performances around a lake in the heart of Kananaskis and concert events in a planetarium, parking garages, an industrial shop and even a swimming pool. He has worked to collaborate not only with other choirs but also a variety of musicians, choreographers, dancers, synchronized swimmers and aerial gymnasts.
When not engrossed in music, Bleau can be found with his partner on their farm northwest of Calgary enjoying the mountain views and the quiet peace of the country.
In her role as director of Spiritual Arts at Scarboro United, as a teacher passionate about learning through the arts, and EnChor Chamber Choir’s mandate to collaborate with other Canadian artists, Elizabeth has had the privilege of working with some of Western Canada’s top artists, including Corps Bara Dance, Foothills Brass, Fire Exit Theatre, Lily String Quartet, Cum Vino Cantus, singer/songwriter Paul Rumbolt, the University of Calgary Orchestra, and many choral directors from Alberta, British Columbia and the United States. Music is a family passion that she shares with her husband Graham, and their two children, Joshua and Rebecca.
To the shock of many, one of her favorite parts of being a music teacher, is starting young instrumentalists in beginning band. In fact, she has co-written a beginning band method called, “Kodaly for Band” which is in use in many schools across North America.
Ms. Drew has directed bands at Calgary’s Summer Band Workshop, MusicCamrose as well as guest conducted and adjudicated across the province of Alberta. She has been involved in coaching at the University of Calgary music education lab band students and has recently become a part of the ATA Mentorship program to walk alongside new music teachers. Sarah has had roles on the boards of the ABA and ABIF, as well as a member of the Arts and Culture board in her home town of Cochrane, Alberta.
Her love of music also extends to adults as she was the Founder and Artistic Director of the Sher-Wood-Like-To-Play Adult Community Band in Calgary for 17 years, as well as the director of the Cochrane Children’s Choir.
Living in Cochrane with her family gives Sarah quick access to the river pathways and the mountains where she loves to run, hike, x-country ski and cycle.
Ms. Baljeu graduated from Michigan State University with Master of Music degrees in both Collaborative Piano and Piano Pedagogy. Her teachers included opera conductor and repetiteur Alan Nathan for collaborative piano, and Deborah Moriarty and Derek Polischuk for solo piano. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University, where she had the invaluable opportunity to study piano pedagogy with Helen Marlais and piano with the esteemed collaborative pianist Mark Markham.