Xiaoling Li began to learn playing violin when she was 12 years old. After nine years of intensive professional training at Xian conservatory of Music under professor Zongde Wang, she became a member of the Shaannxi Symphony Orchestra. During the time with the orchestra, she regularly appeared as soloist. She also appeared on the local and National television and radio as well. Twelve years ago, she joined Niagara Symphony Orchestra when she moved to Canada. She has held an associate concertmaster position since then. She also plays with many different orchestras and Chamber groups in south Ontario. In addition, she teaches at music school and privately.
Based in St. Catharines but hailing originally from Sarnia, Ms. Wieler leads an active musical life.
During her music studies at Brock University (B. Mus. Hon. 1997), she studied voice, conducting, choral music and early music histories. She is the soprano soloist and assistant choir director at St. George’s Anglican Church in St. Catharines. Since 1992, she has been an integral part of the award-winning Niagara Vocal Ensemble (Harris Loewen, director), a twelve-voice women’s group which performs regularly throughout the Niagara peninsula, Stratford and greater Toronto area; she also performed on their recording Voices of Niagara (1996), which features many Niagara-related composers including Robert Hunter Bell, Ronald Tremain, John Butler and Leila Lustig. The group recorded another Niagara-themed collection of Christmas music this past May. Jody has also sung under the direction of Robert Cooper, as a member of Chorus Niagara. She continues studies with Tom Schilling of New York City, with whom she is preparing her first opera roles.
1999 brought her a successful audition with the Opera Ontario Chorus, with which she performs on a regular basis. To date, she has appeared in Faust, Eugene Onegin, Die Lustige Witwe, Elisir D’amore, La nozze di Figaro, Les Pêcheurs des perles, Lakmé (English-speaking Canadian Premiere), La fille du regiment andCarmen.. As a member of their Ambassador Choir, she enjoys going to Hamilton-area schools promoting opera and performing for young students. She was 2004’s honoured recipient of the Christine Stanton Memorial Scholarship through Opera Ontario, awarded to promising singers. She has performed at such prestigious functions as the Kitchener Opera Ball and the re-opening of the Hamilton Art Gallery in conjunction with Opera Ontario. Recent concert appearances include being soloist with Brock University’s choirs, Niagara Vocal Ensemble, James Street Night of Art, the early music group Hildegals (Holly Gwynne-Timothy, director) and The Messiah with Choralis Camerata and the International Symphony Orchestra (Sarnia/Port Huron).
Jody enjoys singing all classical music, giving regular performances with select colleagues from Niagara, including benefit concerts for Women’s Place St. Catharines, St. Barnabas’ Church and Hospice Niagara. She also enjoys singing and discovering modern classical repertoire. She maintains a private voice studio from her home where she enjoys teaching children and adults alike, working toward increasing their love of music. Other diversions include teaching an Italian Opera appreciation course for Brock University’s Continuing Education programme, adjudicating music festivalsand making art glass beads.
Principal cellist of the Niagara Symphony, Gordon Cleland has performed across North America. He has appeared as soloist with the Niagara Symphony (Schumann Concerto in A minor and Vivaldi Double Concerto in G minor with Gisela Depkat) and for the Debut Series in Montreal, and will be playing a concerto this spring with Mercredi musique (Boccherini Bb Major). He has extensive experience as a chamber musician, notably with pianist Karin di Bella at Brock University. Gordon is a member of the Thorold String Quartet with violinists Xiaoling Li and George Cleland and violist Andree Simard. Gordon has broadcast frequently for CBC FM Radio and has performed on TV5, the international French television network. His strong interest in contemporary and Canadian music is reflected in the repertoire he performs.
In addition to his activities as a performer Gordon has made a strong commitment to music education. In addition to teaching cello for Suzuki Niagara he teaches cello and string techniques at Brock University. He has been a featured performer for the Concertino Program of Jeunesses musicales, whose artists are carefully chosen for their pedagogical skills and their ability to communicate with young people. Gordon has adjudicated music festivals across Canada and runs a private studio in the Niagara region.
Gordon started his musical training in London, Ontario and completed his studies with a Master of Music degree from Boston University. His principal teachers were George Neikrug, Walter Joachim and Gisela Depkat.