Christina Murray is the Artistic Director of Xara Choral Theatre Ensemble. She approaches her conducting practice through the voice, and is known for her innovative programming as well as her visionary commitment to decolonizing the choral art form.
Christina holds an honours undergraduate degree in music (voice/conducting) and philosophy from Mount Allison University. She has continued graduate work in feminist liturgical practices, and has subsequently studied conducting with Diane Loomer, Jon Washburn, Michael Zaugg, and Elise Bradley. Also an active and accomplished choral singer, as a young person she was selected for two hours with the National Youth Choir of Canada and has frequently sung with the Canadian Chamber Choir since 2007. Christina served as Head of Choral Studies at Kodaikanal International School in South India from 2002-2004 and has twice served as Resident Conductor of the Nova Scotia Youth Choir (2005-2006 and 2017-18). She currently also serves as the Head of Choral Studies at Dalhousie University.
Collaborative Pianist & Composer in Residence
Pianist, composer, and educator Jennifer Trites studied theory and composition at Memorial University. Since discovering her passion for choral music as a child, she has been a member of many different school and community based choirs, including the Memorial University Festival and Chamber Choirs, Choeur Maha, and the Saint Lawrence Choir. Jenny is currently teaching elementary music for the Halifax Regional School Board.
Jenny has been recognized for her innovative work in both the music and theatre communities of Nova Scotia. In 2013, Jenny was lauded for her large-scale work, The Roaring Girl – a musical adaptation of a 17th century comedic play. Recently, her choral compositions have won competitions held by the Amadeux choir, the Oriana Women’s Choir, and Atlantic Voices. In addition to singing with Xara, Jenny has also served as musical director for the Gilbert and Sullivan Society.
Resident Lighting Designer
Originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Matt Downey has been operating as a Designer and Theatre Technician in Halifax for five years. He is a frequent collaborator with Xara, Lions Den Theatre, and the Villain’s Theatre (formerly Vile Passeist Theatre) as a lighting and set designer. He is a recent recipient of both the Wes Daniels Design Award and the Robert Merritt Technician Award.
Stage & Personnel Manager
In 2008, Erin Gaudet joined the newly formed Camerata Xara Young Women’s Choir as a singer in the Alto section. Today, she is thrilled to continue her work with Xara as the Stage and Personnel Manager. Past involvement in the arts has been an important part of Erin’s life, and she enjoys all aspects of preparing for a performance. In her “other life,” Erin is a middle school teacher in the Annapolis Valley.