board and staff
Brittany Mielnichuk (she/her) is an arts and administrative professional based out of Winnipeg, Manitoba. She has dedicated much of her life to the choral community across Canada and has a myriad of choral conducting, music education, vocal, and arts administrative experience.
As the Artistic Director and conductor of Winnipeg’s LGBTQ2* community choir, Rainbow Harmony Project, Brittany is dedicated to using music and song to build community and inspire social change. Brittany also works for Manitoba Choral Association, performs as a soloist at local venues and currently sings with the Winnipeg ensembles Canzona and Dead of Winter, in addition to teaching private music lessons and facilitating choral workshops.
Brittany completed a Master of Music in Choral Conducting at the University of Manitoba with Dr. Elroy Friesen. She also holds a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from Capilano University (Vancouver, BC) and a Diploma in Professional Music from Southwestern Community College (Creston, IO).
Jean van der Merwe
Jean is a queer, non-binary theatre-maker, opera singer and clown based in Treaty 1 territory. They are a graduate of the University of Manitoba, where they obtained both an Undergraduate Degree, and a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Music, Vocal Performance. Whether it’s their home-town of North Battleford, SK, or their new home in Winnipeg, MB, Jean takes pride in their prairie roots. Jean has performed on stages across Winnipeg, Saskatoon and beyond in shows such as Saskatoon Opera in Schools production of The Brothers Grimm (Jacob Grimm), Jacob Herd Productions’ award winning Fringe show The Cause (Jovan Musk) and The Village Conservatory of Musical Theatre & Keep Theatre’s production of Twelfth Night (Duke Orsino). Most recently, they performed as both Father and Whale in Theater Project Manitoba’s Climate & Main. Jean’s love for music is only rivaled by their love for house-plants, of which they have far too many.
youth choir assistant director & choral mentor
Caleb Rondeau (he/they) is an up and coming face in the Manitoba choral scene. He is currently completing his Bachelor of Music - Music Education at the University of Manitoba with a specialization in senior years choral.
As a chorister, Caleb has sung with NUOVOCE Chamber Choir since its first season in 2019. He is a current member of the University of Manitoba Singers and made his professional choral debut with Dead of Winter in 2022. In 2023 Caleb had the opportunity to perform Andrew Balfour’s work, Notinikew, at the Place des Arts in Montreal as a member of Dead of Winter, alongside the Winnipeg Boys Choir.
As a Métis-Queer individual, Caleb is passionate about making choir a safer and accessible place for all. He hopes to one day have a choral program that focuses on the idea of inclusion, while fostering the skills students need to be music-makers even past high school. Caleb is proud to have done presentations on Choir as a Gender Affirming Space for the Manitoba Choral Association’s IDEA Corner as well as the BEYOND Symposium.
In the year ahead, Caleb looks forward to taking on the role of Assistant Director for the RHP Youth Choir, and Apprentice Conductor with NUOVOCE. He is also very excited to be completing his music degree before moving to the faculty of education.
Dylan Summers is a Winnipeg-born pianist, organist, guitarist, and vocalist. He is an alumnus of the Desautels Faculty of Music having studied as a piano major and organ minor. Dylan has always had an interest in choral music beginning in the Winnipeg Boys Choir as a boy soprano, eventually moving on to sing in The University of Manitoba Singers all throughout the course of his studies. Now he is the organist and choir director at First Presbyterian Church, also doing freelance work as a pianist in the choral world. Dylan is a member of two local bands, Brooklyn Park and Everything +.
youth choir collaborative pianist
Peter Steur (he/him) is a collaborative pianist and singer with a great love of choral music. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in piano with a focus on playing with singers from the University of Manitoba, where he also plans to get his Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Voice Performance. He currently sings with the University of Manitoba Singers and Musical Theatre Ensemble. He has sung with the Manitoba Underground Opera Chorus since 2019 and has performed in the double feature of Dido and Aeneas and Aeneas and Dido, Orphée et Eurydice, and Castor et Pollux.
Peter loves contemporary music and this past spring had the time of his life playing in the graduating recital of his composer friend Alison Hain. Peter is very interested in bringing new and lesser-known works to light. He is a strong believer in the importance of empowering young 2SLGBTQ+ people to be their truest and happiest selves and is thrilled to be the pianist for the RHP Youth Choir. Peter lives in Wolseley with his cat, Dot.
choir manager & choral mentor
Kathleen Murphy (they/them) is a mezzo-soprano and administrative professional born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They hold a Post-Bacc in Vocal Performance and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Manitoba. Currently, they are a Business Administration student at Red River College Polytechnic majoring in Financial Services, and a President’s Student Leadership Program fellow in the James W. Burns Leadership Institute at the Asper School of Business. As a queer, non-binary individual, they are committed to inspiring social change in both their personal and professional life through music, collaboration, and community.
Kathleen is an avid choral singer who has performed with local ensembles including Dead of Winter, and is the alto soloist and section lead for Young United Church. In 2022, they had the opportunity to perform in Dead of Winter, Canzona, and Polycoro’s joint production of Bach’s St. John Passion with the Pacific Baroque Orchestra. This December, they also performed as a soloist for “Messiah Queered,” a reinterpretation of Handel’s beloved traditional work through a queer lens.
Kathleen has worked in an administrative capacity with organizations including Manitoba Choral Association and Manitoba Hydro, and has enjoyed serving as a Member at Large on Rainbow Harmony Project’s Board of Directors this past year. They are excited to continue working with RHP in their new roles as Choir Manager and Alto Section Leader, and look forward to continuing to explore the intersection between the music, business, and 2SLGBTQIA+ communities.
Kris Cahatol (he/they) is an explorer, learner, and admirer of all forms of art. He is thrilled and honoured to be joining Rainbow Harmony Project as the soprano section leader!
Kris is currently in their final year of study at the U of M in Classical Voice Performance with the hopes of pursuing further study in music therapy. Kris dreams of eventually creating his own inclusive studio for anyone wanting to learn, heal, and celebrate through music. He is passionate about working with youth, especially with Rainbow Stage's Camp Rainbow during the summer and at Meraki Theatre throughout the year. Kris is also an avid performer in Winnipeg's theatre community and is one half of the musical duo, violent affection (@violentaffectionmusic). Kris is looking forward to building community and making music within this beautiful choir!
Manitoba-born and award-winning singer Aaron Hutton (he/him) is one of the province’s most eclectic vocal artists. A versatile performer with a résumé ranging from Baroque to Contemporary Musical Theatre, Aaron has become a sought after crossover vocalist. He has performed numerous times with Rainbow Stage, Manitoba Theatre Centre, and as a soloist with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Aaron has been singing in choirs since his youth and loves making music in collaboration with others.
board of directors
Ell Hastings, President
Lori McCarville, Vice-President
Laura Effinger, Treasurer
Sarah Davis, Secretary
Aimee Dunsford, Membership Director
Anthony Paventi, Communications & Marketing Director
Karl Johnson, Fundraising Director
Cyarra Pelda, Outreach Director
Aaron Klein, Member-at-Large
Cheryl Costen, Member-at-Large
D Phillips, Member-at-Large
Eli Dueck, Member-at-Large