Speakers & Faculty

Keynote Speaker

Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth, Executive Director – ICEL

msgrw Msgr Andrew Wadsworth is a priest of the Archdiocese of Westminster in the United Kingdom as well as an accomplished musician. His first degree was in music (majoring in voice and piano). After graduate studies in choral conducting and piano accompaniment at Trinity College London and the Royal Academy of Music, he trained as a répétiteur with English National Opera. In 1985, he was awarded the coveted Ricordi Prize for Choral Conducting. As a singer, he has performed extensively and has recorded as a soloist with the Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge under the direction of the late Dr Mary Berry, the person who, more than anyone else in the whole of the UK, served as a bridge for Gregorian chant to cross between the preconcilar and postconcilar periods.

Msgr. Wadsworth holds graduate degrees in Italian from the University of London and Theology from the Pontifical University of Maynooth. Ordained in 1990, he has had a wide range of pastoral experience in parishes, schools, universities and hospitals. A former professor of Ecclesiastical Latin and New Testament Greek at the Westminster Diocesan Seminary, he has also taught Italian at college and university level. From 1998-2009, he was full-time chaplain to Harrow School where he also collaborated on a number of performance and recording projects in choral music and music theater. His published research is in relation to Dante, Marian studies, and the history of liturgical translations in English since the Second Vatican Council.

In recent years, he has traveled extensively, directing a number of seminars for priests concentrating on the ars celebrandi in both forms of the Roman Rite. He was appointed Executive Director of ICEL in Fall 2009 and currently resides in Washington DC where the Commission’s Secretariat is based. He is in demand as a speaker and has lectured and conducted workshops on the implementation of the new translation of the Roman Missal both throughout the United States and in England, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Canada, France and Italy.

Music Programme Faculty

Alexander McCune
Director, Music & Programming

alexm Alex McCune is active as a conductor, director, teacher, vocal coach and performer in the Fraser Valley and Vancouver area. A native of Edmonton, Alex began conducting and accompanying in the Sacred Music program while studying at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy in Barry’s Bay, Ontario. He completed his BA in Music at Trinity Western University.

Alex keeps busy with many musical projects in BC’s Lower Mainland. He directs the Gloria Dei Chorale in New Westminster, the Bakerview Music Academy in Abbotsford, and trains many young voices at the Fraser Valley Academy of Dance in Mission in the musical theatre program. He maintains a small private studio for voice, and piano in the Abbotsford area. Alex loves to sing in many languages and is a big fan of pipe organs, Gregorian chant and early music.

Fr. Robert Fromageot, FSSP
Chant Immersion Class

frrobert Fr. Robert Fromageot has had over twenty years’ experience directing scholas and promoting the singing of Gregorian chant. Though he grew up in a musical family where live music in the home was the norm, he wasn’t introduced to the chant tradition of the Church until he went to Thomas Aquinas College. There he joined the schola and learned the venerable Old Solesmes theory of chant. After graduating, he studied with the late Dr. Theodore Marier. During his formative years at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary, he was placed in charge of the musical formation of seminarians. Since becoming a priest he has conducted numerous chant practica in the United States and Canada.

Mark Emerson Donnelly
Professional Class

markd Mark has been a professional singer and conductor for almost 40 years. He has a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of British Columbia (1984) and Bachelor of Arts from Thomas Aquinas College (1989). Mark also earned levels I & IV instructor certificates from the Center for Ward Music Studies at Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, where he studied with Theodore Marier. He has studied voice with Nicolai Kolesnikov,Lucille Villeneuve Evans, William Neill, Seth Riggs, et al., both privately and at UBC and McGill University (Montreal). Mark also studied advanced conducting technique with James Fankhauser.

Mark has extensive experience as a teacher. He has been a private voice teacher since 1984, and a Parochial Catholic Church Choir & Schola director for over 40 years. He has been a vocal clinician and consultant for various school, barbershop, community & church choirs, as well as being a music & mathematics teacher at the elementary and high school level. Mark has even taught logic and ethics at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary (FSSP), where he worked closely with Dr. Dennis McInery. Mark is also a music and corporate keynote speaker.

Though a teacher and conductor his whole adult life, Mark has been just as busy as a solo and choral performer. He was a member of Vancouver Opera and L’Opera du Montreal Choruses for many years before retiring from opera in 2013, and is an alumnus of both the Vancouver Chamber Choir and Phoenix, A Chamber Choir. He continues to perform national anthems (Canadian, American, Italian, Irish, English, Korean, Japanese, Russian, Ugandan) at hundreds of sports, corporate and charity events, and is the Vancouver Canucks “Signature Performer”. He has sung with his daughter Colleen as VocalArt Duo and continues to perform frequently with pianist Eldon McBride. The three were the featured performers for the Barkerville Canada 150 celebration in 2017, where Eldon and Mark performed Mark setting of Alfred Noyes’ epic poem of love and death, The Highwayman.[Part 1, Part 2, Part 3] Mark has also created and performed in several vocal ensembles.

Presently, while still directing Chorus Faustinae and Schola Davidica at Holy Family Parish (Vancouver, BC), teaching voice at Mark Donnelly’s VocalArt Studio (White Rock, BC), and  fulfilling his solo vocal
engagements, Mark is currently reorganizing his music activities to focus on composing and developing a series of Seasonal Liturgical Choral Workshops.

Mark and his wife, Catherine, met at Thomas Aquinas College, and live in White Rock, BC with the four youngest of their nine children. Their four eldest children, Sean, Colleen, Theresa and Lawrence are all graduates of TAC. They have continued the musical tradition nurtured by their parents through singing and by conducting their own ensembles, two at extraordinary form masses in California. In 2018, Colleen graduated with a music degree in Opera Performance from UBC. Francis, the fifth Donnelly, will be returning to BC to continue his music studies at university after completing his BA at TAC in the spring of this year. Their sixth child, Allanna, has been the organist for the high mass at Holy Family Parish (FSSP) in Vancouver for the past two years. She will be going to (you guessed it!) TAC in the fall.

Compositions (partial list)


  • The Highwayman (tenor & piano, 2015) [Part 1, Part 2, Part 3]
  • The Burning Babe (solo voice & piano, 2017)
  • Two Newfoundland Songs
  • She Like the Swallow, (soprano & piano, 2016)
  • Proud Nancy (soprano, tenor & piano, 2016)
  • Many Christmas carols for SATB
  • Many art, broadway & folk songs & Christmas carols for soprano & tenor


  • Carol of the Bells,Mark Donnelly & the Donnelly Family Quartet, classic and
    original arrangements of Christmas Carols (conductor/arranger/singer), White Rock, BC (2009)
  • All Saints at Saint Michaels, (featuring Victoria’s Missa “O quam gloriosum”) St. Michael’s Polyphonic Choir & Domus Aurea (conductor/singer), Scranton, PA (1999)
  • O magnum mysterium, Domus Aurea (conductor/singer), Scranton, PA (1998)
  • Songs from St. Gregory’s Academy (conductor/arranger), Elmhurst, PA (1997)
  • Missa pro defunctis a duo (Mark Emerson Donnelly), Colleen Donnelly (soprano), Mark Donnelly (tenor), recorded at Holy Rosary Cathedral, Vancouver, BC,  (April, 2017) NOT RELEASED

David Poon
Advanced Class

davep A consummate church musician, David Poon is sought after as an organist, choirmaster, continuo player, and accompanist. He studied organ with Denis Bédard (organist at Holy Rosary Cathedral); improvisation with Parisian organists Thierry Escaich and Olivier Latry; and Gregorian chant with Wilko Brouwers, William Mahrt, and Scott Turkington.

His love of early music and traditional liturgy guides his musical endeavours. He directs the Coast Messiah Choir and Vespersong, community choirs that sing exclusively sacred music for concerts and choral evensong. His chamber choir MOTET strives to promote quality liturgical music across the Vancouver archdiocese, where they provide polyphonic propers for mass, perform annual Christmas concerts (during Christmastide!), and sing the rosary. As an organist, he is known for his sensitive extemporisations and clear hymn-playing.

David is currently assistant organist at St. John’s Vancouver Anglican Church. His transcription projects include barless editions of Tomkins’ sacred works, video game boss battle music, and Messiaen for viols. Outside of teaching, performing, arranging, and composing, his interests include owning too many board games, judging Magic tournaments, and inflicting modes of limited transposition upon his wife and three young children.

Michael Perry
Intermediate Class

mperry Michael Perry has been involved in performing and directing sacred music all his adult life. His introduction to the musical tradition of the Catholic Church happened at UBC in the course of obtaining a Bachelor of Music degree in French Horn performance.

It was a pleasant surprise to be exposed to the tradition of Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony in Music History and Theory courses, as the music he heard in church every Sunday was nothing at all like that. He was inspired to try to bring some of this beautiful tradition into parish life. This included directing the student choir at Thomas Aquinas College in California for three years, directing the Gregorian Schola and polyphonic choir at St. Michael’s in Burnaby for two years, directing the choir at Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Vancouver for six years and as an elementary music teacher at Immaculate Conception School, Delta for 12 years. Michael is currently the principal of St. Anthony of Padua School in Vancouver, where he hopes to establish our rich tradition of sacred music.

Fr. Lawrence Donnelly
Beginners Class

frd biographical details coming soon!


Fr. William Ashley
Psallite Sapienter: The Teaching of Pope Benedict XVI on the Sacred Liturgy

fra Hailing from St John’s, Newfoundland, Fr William F. Ashley was ordained to the priesthood in 1977 in St Peter’s Basilica, having done a degree in philosophy at Memorial University, and an STB and MA in theology from the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome.

He has served, and continues to serve, as an elected member of the Presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese of Vancouver, has been a hospital chaplain for eight years and a pastor of a number of parishes, including St Ann’s Parish (Abbotsford, BC) and currently St James’ Parish (Abbotsford, BC).

He was the founding rector of Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary, where he taught theology, the founding superior of the Ottawa Oratory of St Philip Neri and the founding priest of St James & St Ann’s Elementary School in Abbotsford, BC, Canada.

Ariana Hurt, University of Montreal -Musicology
“A Musical Treasure of Inestimable Value?” An Overview of the Perception and Liturgical Use of Gregorian Chant in the Last Two Centuries

ahurt Originally from Surrey, BC, Ariana holds a BA in music from Trinity Western University, and is completing an MA in Musicology at the University of Montréal (slated to finish in the spring of 2019). During her time at the University of Montréal, Ariana has presented her original work at conferences in both English and French, and completed several contracts as a research assistant at the OICRM. She was awarded the Bourse de Maîtrise l’ÉMF for her research in French music.

Although her prior scholarship centers around the more esoteric musical aesthetics in 1930s Paris, Ariana is deeply interested in Early music as well as liturgical music. Equally passionate about music performance as music research, she has participated in Chant workshops with Marcel Pérès and the Ensemble Scholastica in Québec, as well as the Canadian Renaissance Music Summer School in Ontario.

Ilona Payne, Epiphany Sacred Arts Guild
The Role of Liturgical Vesture in our Relationship with God

ip Ilona Payne is a skilled craftswoman whose practice centres on church sewing. An expert on liturgical vesture, her talk will center on the nature of vestments and paraments, the history of their liturgical use and their analogies to sacred music.

Ilona is a mother of three. Her background in psychology and business administration. She is also retired shepherdess!

Ryan J. Bjorgaard
Now That We Have Come To The Setting of the Sun:
The Theology & Praxis of Vespers

rb Ryan J. Bjorgaard holds degrees in philosophy (BA), and theology (BTh, MDiv) from the Seminary of Christ the King at Westminster Abbey, Mission BC. His work in the Catholic community has involved singing in parish scholas and sacred music project groups, organizing liturgical events, and founding Catholic educational and cultural programmes. Ryan has taught classes and lectured publicly on subjects such as the Sacred Liturgy, Church history, and Sacred Music; he is the founder of the Society of St. Gregory the Great, a Catholic young adults discussion group, as well as one of the founding members and first executive director of the BC Sacred Music Symposium.

In his day job, Ryan works as a consultant, running business technology transformation projects for a Burnaby based consultancy. He is currently completing his doctoral work in theology through Pontifex University. Ryan lives with his wife and three children in Aldergrove BC.

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