Leroy Wiens, Conductor and Artistic Director
Leroy Wiens is the founding conductor of the Okanagan Festival Singers. Leroy has earned several degrees including a B.A. from the University of Winnipeg, B.Ed. and B.Mus. degrees from the University of British Columbia, and an M.Mus. from the University of Oregon. He has studied with noted Canadian conductors William Baerg and James Fankhauser, with Wayne Riddel at the Elora Festival, and with Helmuth Rilling at the Oregon Bach Festival. The founding conductor of the Kelowna Community Chorus, Leroy retired from this position in 2014. He has guest conducted for the Okanagan International Festival of the Arts, Viva Musica, Kelowna Mozart Festival and the BC Choral Society. He has also held the position of Assistant Conductor with the Vancouver Cantata Singers. In 2010 he was the recipient of the Arts Educator award from the Central Okanagan Arts Foundation for excellence in arts education. His conducting repertoire includes a full range of experiences, from large choral/orchestral works to a cappella standards including folk songs and jazz. Leroy has an exceptional talent to motivate and inspire his singers. He has recently retired from the Central Okanagan School District as a music specialist. Leroy and his family reside in Kelowna.
Ursula Pidgeon, Accompanist
Ursula Pidgeon received her Bachelor of Music degree from Queen’s University, majoring in piano performance and oboe. As a scholarship recipient at the Banff Centre, she studied Piano Literature and Pedagogy with Dr. Robin Wood. Ursula and her family moved from Ottawa to West Kelowna in 2010. She thoroughly enjoys participating in the rich musical life here in the Okanagan! Ursula teaches students of all ages and all levels. Her contagious enthusiasm encourages students to do their best, whether preparing for music festivals, exams, or just playing for their own personal growth. She also keeps busy accompanying students for exams and Kiwanis Festival. In addition to accompanying OFS, she is accompanist for the Kelowna Community Chorus and the Kelowna Community Music School Youth Choir.