Meet Our Board & Staff
Carole Bestvater, violinist, strives to share her joy of music with those around her. She is equally at home in classical and folk genres, maintaining a full schedule as a performer and educator. Carole relocated to St. John’s to pursue a Master’s Degree in Violin Performance with Dr. Nancy Dahn at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and loved it here so much that she decided to stay.
Passionate about community, Carole founded the Strong Harbour Strings Program, an after school music program based in the belief that communities can be strengthened through the learning and sharing of music. Carole is also on faculty of the Suzuki Talent Education Program, Assistant Principal Second of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, and maintains a private studio. As a performer, you can catch Carole fiddling with local bands such as Youngtree & The Blooms, High & Lonesome, Crooked Stovepipe, and the Chris Andrews Band, or you can find her in classical music ensembles such as the Strong Harbour Strings Collective, Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, or The Isabella Project.
Peter Smith has worked in the music business since 2015, primarily performing under the moniker Peter Willie Youngtree and fronting the Alt-Country/Rock act Youngtree & The Blooms. Both Peter and his band have become known for being able to liven up a room as reliably as they can rouse those pin-drop moments in otherwise noisy crowds. Peter has written two award-winning albums and he had the honour of being named the Ron Hynes SOCAN Songwriter of the Year in 2019. Currently, he is working on producing a third album, studying sound engineering, and creating a duo project with Local 820 board member (and member of Youngtree & The Blooms) Carole Bestvater. He also happily works as a Child and Youth Care Practitioner with the non-profit Key Assets.
Jessica Bemister or more commonly referred to by her stage name Evelyn Jess is an openly gay singer/songwriter from the out port town of Musgrave Harbour, Newfoundland. Jess has been playing, writing and performing music since her early teens. She holds a Diploma from the College of the North Atlantic for Music Industry & Performance and as a solo artist, Jess has had the pleasure of singing alongside Juno Award Winner, Serena Ryder. In June 2018 she was also the winner of the Amelia Earhart Songwriting Competition. Jess currently resides in sunny Kelligrews, Conception Bay South and plans to release her very first EP in the Fall of 2020.
Amy Collyer-Holmes, a cellist originally from Toronto, has made Newfoundland her home since 2016. A Tuckamore Young Artist Program alumna, she performs regularly with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, Opera on the Avalon, and the Watershed Ensemble. Amy received her Bachelor of Music from Queen’s University studying with Wolf Tormann, and completed her Master of Music in Cello Performance & Pedagogy at Memorial University under the direction of Vernon Regehr. She is passionate about music education and currently has 25 private cello students; she also teaches for the Suzuki Talent Education Program, and is the Board Chair for Strong Harbour Strings. In her spare time, Amy can be found enjoying the outdoors with her dog Bonnie.
Lianne was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario and began playing flute at the age of 10. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree from University of Windsor where she studied with Jaimie Wagner and Liesel Deppe. Lianne has performed in various camps and masterclasses and has taught students of all different ages and skill levels. Lianne earned her Master’s degree in performance/pedagogy at Memorial University of Newfoundland where she studied with Michelle Cheramy. In her spare time, Lianne enjoys reading, going to the beach, playing with her fur babies, yoga, and baking. Lianne is currently teaching students of all ages while pursuing her yoga teacher training certification, and she hopes to combine both of these disciplines in her career!
Born in beautiful Burin, Newfoundland, Grant has performed, studied and taught throughout Canada. Having thoroughly enjoyed a 30 year teaching career, Grant is now the Artistic Director of the Calos Youth Orchestras and teaches bassoon at the MUN School of Music. He is also the Principal Bassoonist with the NSO and a member of the Rotary Music Festival Committee in St. John’s.
Annie Corrigan is an oboist, music educator, and arts administration professional. She is the English horn player for the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra and a Performer/Assistant with MUN’s Chamber Orchestra. Annie is a co-founder of The Watershed Ensemble, a Newfoundland-based chamber ensemble dedicated to bringing new and rarely-performed works to the province. As an Academic Program Administrator for MUN’s School of Music, Annie organizes the School’s annual audition cycle and coordinates its Community Outreach Programs.
Prior to moving to Newfoundland in 2016, she served as principal oboe of the Carmel Symphony Orchestra and second oboe in the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic. She also worked as an announcer and producer for Bloomington, Indiana’s NPR affiliate WFIU, serving as the daily host of Morning Edition and the producer/host of the weekly program Earth Eats. Annie is currently completing her Doctorate of Music (Oboe) from Indiana University.
Douglas Vaughan was an instrumental music specialist in the Newfoundland and Labrador school system for over 30 years. His high school concert bands and jazz bands have won top awards in local, national and international competitive music festivals. Doug also directed the Eastern School District Band from 2004 - 2012, an auditioned ensemble providing a more advanced musical experience for the members who would then bring those experiences back to their school ensemble. He has been a member of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra for over 35 years and served as Principal Horn for 20 of those years. In April 2019, he was awarded the NSO Players Award in recognition of his contribution to the orchestra, the teaching profession and the musical community of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Doug has also adjudicated at music festivals throughout the province since 1993 and enjoys helping younger players develop their musicianship through performance. He has also been a regular faculty member of the MUN Junior Band Week since its inception in 2012. In 2013, he co-founded Atlantic Light Theatre, a company that stages Broadway musicals, as well as their original Newfoundland musical, A Call To Arms, a true story from the First World War. This production was videotaped in September 2019 and will be distributed to our provincial junior high and high schools by the Department of Education. The company provides professional performing opportunities for local actors and musicians and, as part of Atlantic Light Theatre's mandate, brings back professional Newfoundland and Labrador born performers to be in their productions and to mentor younger actors.
Doug is excited to be a part of the CFM820 Board of Directors and looks forward to the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead for musicians in Newfoundland and Labrador.
A two-time ECMA nominee, three-time MusicNL award winner and multi-time MusicNL nominee, Jordan Coaker has his hands in many aspects of the music industry in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Outside of Quote the Raven, he fronts local Pop Funk group With Violet, he is the former frontman for rock band Waterfront Fire, and a budding engineer/producer. He is a regular in the local theatre community performing in many productions with TaDa Events.
Michelle is a singer, songwriter and relative new-comer to the St. John's music scene. Steady and soulful, Michelle is driven to write, perform and improvise, each song expressing a spirituality and desire to keep moving, learning and creating. For Michelle, music is the art form that connects all things - people, emotion, and the world around us. As these connections thrive in strong music communities and the real-time creation of an experience through impromptu collaboration, Michelle is an avid participant in the CO-Video Collective series, the Sunday Night Blues Jam, MusicNL Open Mic, Night Music, and the former St. John’s Jazz Jam sessions. In recent years, Michelle’s work continues to make an impression with the imaginative Soul Jazz Funk project, The Resolution, the eclectic jazz and folk duo, Elle & B and as a lead singer in a contemporary worship band. Always refining her art, Michelle is currently songwriting for her first solo project.
In addition to musical pursuits Michelle manages the business operations of The St. John’s Convention Centre and has experience in event management, sales, marketing, strategy and finance. Michelle is community minded having managed Bannerman Park Foundation and has held leadership roles on various local Boards such as Wreckhouse Jazz and Blues Inc. and Clean St. John’s. Michelle is also starting her third year as director on the national board for Convention Centres of Canada.
Dave Sharp is the contractor and co-band leader of the musical group, Idlewild. He plays Celtic Flute, Silver Flute, Whistle, Recorders, Mountain Dulcimer, Epinette, Tenor Banjo, Mandolin, Cittern, Clawhammer Banjos, Guitar, Fiddle, Dance Caller, Storyteller, Puppeteer, Bodhran, teaches and sings tenor vocals. Dave has an extensive collection of world flutes that he plays.
Dave has played music with many ethnic groups from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds and writes and composes music in a variety of styles.
He enjoys researching and playing all kinds of ethnic and traditional tunes. He is also an animator/illustrator (network television for 19 years), Professional Sculptor, commercial artist, instrument maker, draftsmen and woodcarver. Dave has been the Business Agent for the American Federation of Musicians, Local 104 for the past 21 years.
Rozalind MacPhail brings over 25 years of experience working in the music industry. In her role as Executive Director of AFM Local 820, Rozalind helps musicians learn about pension, instrument insurance, filing contracts, applying for U.S. touring and more. Outside of the office, Rozalind works as a touring artist, film composer, session musician and music educator.