About our Music Director

Erna Van Daele's conducting career covers the spectrum from youth and community orchestras to university and professional ensembles. Since founding the Kitchener-Waterloo Community Orchestra, she has held long-term appointments as music director of the Georgian Bay Symphony, the London Community Orchestra, and the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony Youth Orchestra. Her guest conducting engagements include appearances with the Canadian Opera Company, Orchestra London, the York Symphony, the Canadian Chamber Ensemble, Hart House Orchestra, the International Symphony and the university orchestras at Wilfrid Laurier, Western, and Brandon. This year, 2008-2009, is her fifth season as music director of orchestra@uwaterloo.

Erna has pursued extensive orchestral and operatic conducting studies with Raffi Armenian, Andrew Davis, and Kazuyoshi Akiyama. She holds degrees in composition and music theory from the University of Western Ontario and is a graduate in orchestral conducting from the Professional Training Program (since renamed the Glenn Gould School). For several years she taught theory, conducting, orchestration and aural skills at Western and Wilfrid Laurier, and - since 2007 - at the University of Waterloo. Erna Van Daele is a recipient of Canada's national conducting award, the Heinz Unger Prize, and has received a number of honours for her stage and film compositions. Recently she was presented with the 2006 Kitchener Waterloo Arts Award in Music for her long-term achievements in Waterloo region.