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The 2023 Stars of Excellence Concert

We are excited to announce that the 77th annual Sudbury Music Festival will be a predominantly in-person festival!
In 2023 (with the exception of School Choirs, Bands and Large Ensembles), SMFestival participants will perform and receive feedback face-to-face with their adjudicator. Click to hear the CBC Morning North interview with Adjudicator John Kraus.

All Registrations Due: January 31st, 2023
Festival Adjudications: March 25th-April 5th, 2023


Music Theatre
Original Composition

Speech Arts & Drama


Adjudication Schedule 2023
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Adjudicators for 2023

Marlene Finn

A native of Ottawa, Marlene Finn earned her Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance from the Université de Montréal. An active teacher, adjudicator and performer, Marlene is a faculty member at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec in Gatineau where she has been serving as Professor of Piano since 1986.  Her duties have also included teaching music and piano literature, collaborative piano as well as coaching chamber music ensembles. Prior to her position at the Conservatoire, she has taught at Queen’s University in Kingston and at the Université de Montréal. A highly appreciated pedagogue, she is regularly invited to give master classes and adjudicate competitions and exams across Canada. Many of her students have been the recipients of prestigious awards and scholarships and have been accepted in the finest music schools in the United States and in Europe.

Her piano teachers have included Dr. Natalie Pépin and the late Yvonne Hubert in Montreal as well as Martin Canin in New York. She has participated in numerous master classes and piano seminars in the United States and in Europe where she had the opportunity of studying with Paul Badura-Skoda, Jorg Demus, Leon Fleisher, Bela Siki and Menahem Pressler among others.

Marlene has performed as a soloist, collaborative pianist and chamber musician in Canada, the United States and in Europe and has been heard on CBC and the SRC. Since 2001, she especially enjoys her collaboration with pianist and colleague Pierre-Richard Aubin. They regularly perform four-hand and two piano repertoire, including transcriptions of major orchestral works.

John Kraus
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John is an alumnus of the Western University, where he studied Music Education. He studied clarinet with Jerome Summers, Robert Riesling and Robert Sheffield and conducting with Jerome Summers, Morihiro Okabe and William Gordon. As the founding director of the Durham Chamber Orchestra, the Lakeridge Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, the former Music Director of the Clarington Concert Band, the current music director and conductor of the Northumberland Orchestra & Choir, and the new Music Director of the Parkdale Symphony Orchestra, Ottawa, John has worked in many different genres and with many local and international talents, including Mary Elizabeth Brown, Anastasia Rizikov, Adam Nelson, Quartetto Gelato, Molly Johnson and the Sultans of String. As a clarinettist John performs with the Lavender Chamber Ensemble and as a saxophonist John is a member of the Electric City Swing Band.

He has dedicated more than 30 years as an educator working with high school students from around the world, sharing his passion for Music. John regularly conducted honour high school ensembles as part of the annual Conference of Independent Schools Music Festival (CISMF), held annually each spring at Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto. He continues to work with students, professionals, and amateur adult musicians who may have entered the arena for the first time or who have returned to something that they began as youngsters, working with the Liftlock New Horizons organization, Peterborough and as an instructor at the Lakefield Summer Music Camp.

John is a member of the Ontario Music Educators Association and has led workshops on 'best practices', creativity and composition, and technology in the Music classroom across the province. He was a coach with the woodwind section and sectional conductor of the La Jeunesse Youth Orchestra, Port Hope. He regularly works with ensembles preparing for festivals and is a member of the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators Association.

Michael Faulkner

An active member of the Ontario Registered Music Teachers’ Association (ORMTA) Kingston Branch, Canadian Federation of Music Teachers Associations (CFMTA) and National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Michael Faulkner holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Queen’s University, Kingston and is also a graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music A.R.C.T. (Piano Performer and Teacher, Vocal Performer and Teacher). Michael is also a member of the Canadian Music Festivals Adjudicators Association (CMFAA) and has adjudicated numerous music festivals, competitions as well as giving Masterclasses and performances within these communities across Canada.

Known for his musical insight, beautiful tone and technical command, Michael began his music studies at age four, participating in numerous music festivals and competitions receiving many top awards and distinctions.

Michael enjoys a rewarding career as teacher of more than 60 weekly students of all ages and levels in piano, voice, pedagogy and theory. He teaches in person and online to students from across the country. Many of his students have received top honours, distinctions and awards throughout Canada and a large number have pursued careers in music as well. He also actively performs in his own community and across Canada and is well versed in Opera, Oratorio and Music Theatre repertoire. As an accompanist Michael is in high demand working with singers and instrumentalists of all ages and abilities from beginner to professional level. Michael has also enjoyed working for a number of years with Conservatory Canada as an examiner in piano and voice. He is a member teacher with Music for Young Children (MYC) and believes the start of music education at an early age is very important. For more than 35 years Michael has worked as a Church musician and frequently is asked to provide musical service and guidance to many Worship denominations.  Michael’s community choir, Let’s Make a Choir in the Quinte region has more than 50 voices singing for various charities. Even virtually the community choir has remained strong rehearsing regularly.  Michael believes that music is a lifelong passion and is always looking for new musical challenges and enrichment. Michael is an avid animal lover and enjoys skiing, hiking, attending music concerts and theatre.

Jeffrey McFadden
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Over the course of a thirty-year career, Jeffrey McFadden has established a place among the most admired guitarists of his generation. His professional debut was at the final Toronto guitar festival 'Guitar ’87,' and he has since performed across North and South America, and Europe. In 1992, Jeffrey McFadden was awarded a Silver Medal in the prestigious Guitar Foundation of America Competition. His debut recording was the first in the on Naxos and has sold in the tens of thousands of copies. He has recorded 10 highly acclaimed CDs since then exploring the 19th century heritage of the guitar, the lesser-known works of Barrios, and the complete cycle of Bach Cello Suites.


Jeffrey McFadden‘s doctoral dissertation formed the basis of his groundbreaking book, Fretboard Harmony: Common-Practice Harmony on the Guitar, which is used world-wide.


McFadden is Head of Guitar Studies and Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, in the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, which is ranked as one of the top 20 universities in the world. A sought-after pedagogue and clinician, his students have garnered numerous International awards and scholarships. He was recognized as the 2018 ‘Teacher of Distinction’ by the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Recipient of the 2012 City of Hamilton Arts Award for Music McFadden is also founder and artistic director of the Sauble Beach Guitar Festival.

Peter Scherzinger

Trumpet player and composer, Peter Scherzinger has attended Humber College, York University, Laurentian University, Nipissing University and the University of Toronto. He has performed with many local Sudbury groups including the Northern Brass Quartet, the Northern Brass Choir, the Sudbury Jazz Orchestra, Gary DiSalle and the Affordable's, Patricia Cano, Stephan Paquette, and the Sudbury Symphony. He has also performed for Joan Rivers, Bobby Vinton, Hal Linden and in musicals for Yes Theatre, Theatre Cambrian, and the Sudbury Theatre Centre. He currently is retired from teaching at Lasalle Secondary School and has taught Trumpet lessons for many years for the Laurentian University Music Program. Peter has released two CDs with the original jazz group Broche à Foin, “Hommage a Anonyme” and “People We Have Known”. The second CD won the MFM album of the year award in 2011.

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