Amy Di Nino – Conductor
Amy is an accredited Neurologic music therapist, professional musician, conductor, educator, and composer residing in Cambridge, ON. She received the Premier’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2012 for her work at the W.Ross MacDonald School for the Blind, and now runs her own private practice; ADD Music Wellness (addmusicwellness.com). She is the music director and organist at Sydenham-Heritage United Church in Brantford, ON, and Amy holds the position of Principal Percussionist with the Guelph Symphony Orchestra (guelphsymphony.com). She is also the drummer of the Dundas, ON based blues and R & B group, Cootes Paradise (cootesparadiseband.ca). Amy is currently completing her Masters of Music Therapy at Berklee.
Jennifer Lockman – Accompanist
Jennifer took piano lessons as a child, and grew up playing the piano in church and in high school. She went on to receive a Bachelor of Music degree from McMaster University, and a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Toronto. She plays the keyboards and sings back up vocals for artists in Hamilton and the GTA, performing in a variety of music venues and festivals across Ontario and Eastern Canada. Jennifer works with a wide range of performers, including solo recording indie artists, duos, trios, rock bands, swing bands, music theatre productions, dancers, and even Aerial Silk performers. Currently she is writing, recording and performing original music in the band Andreas, www.andreasband.com. They are working on their third EP, aiming to be recorded and released in 2018.
History of the Choir
2005 To Present
In 2005, the Nith Valley Singers and Music Alive were merged under one banner to form the Millennium Choral Organization. Together the choirs enjoyed continued success in bringing their love of music to the community until 2016, when the choir was renamed to Grand River Voices.
In May 2015, the organization celebrated over 30 years of its founder’s musical works at a farewell concert as Alfred Kunz retired as conductor and artistic director.
In June 2015, the organization renewed its commitment to the community by announcing that it would continue its musical journey with a new Conductor and Artistic Director, Amy Di Nino.
Music Alive – Founded in 1989
The Music Alive concert choir was a group from the Kitchener-Waterloo and surrounding areas. They were described as “ordinary people who just like to sing.” In September 1989, this ‘ordinary’ group of singers was creating an extraordinary sound. Music Alive was a one-of-a-kind choral group that brought singers of all ages together in a rich and diverse tradition of choral singing.
The choir’s first performance in Kitchener’s Centre In The Square drew a full house. More than 1,700 people were treated to a program that catered to a wide spectrum of musical tastes. Their repertoire represented music that extended from Bach to the Beatles … and beyond. The accomplishments of this choir represented a true community effort that brought together people from all walks of life to produce what Alfred Kunz referred to as ‘magic’.
Nith Valley Singers – Founded in 1985
In 1985, Alfred Kunz put out a call to the communities of New Hamburg, Baden and surrounding areas for singers to form a new choral group. Envisioning a community choir rich in the choral traditions of their ethnic and religious backgrounds, he invited people from all walks of life who just like to sing. The Nith Valley Singers was born.
The Nith Valley Singers enjoyed a rich camaraderie and the choir developed its own distinctive sound that was warm, lively and unpretentious, much like its members.