Welcome to ECM's voiceLAB

Our 5-week voiceLAB comprises of writing a new song collaborating with our ensemble-in-residence and mentor (with an online video premiere).
See below for full details on lectures, guest speakers and more!

  • Work with high-profile musicians

  • Compose a piece for our ensemble-in-residence with world premieres (online video premieres)

  • Opt in to our 5-week intensive Orchestration Workshop and receive a discount on the tuition (composing short excerpts with weekly readings and feedback): visit ORCHShop page or email us

  • Become an alumni MEMBER (free of charge) - see Membership benefits

  • Guest lecturers on composing, finding your voice, vocal writing and working with living poets, electroacoustic writing and career talks

  • 5-week Mentorship program

  • Ensemble readings/discussion workshops with our ensemble-in-residence prior to world premieres

  • Social media highlights and long-term alumni at ECM

  • All workshops, lectures and readings are online via Zoom

Dr. Mark Wilkinson
Canadian Baritone and Leading Voice Pedagogue

Voice TBA

Dr. Vincent Ho, Guest lecturer
Multi-award winning composer

Dr. Ho has taught at the University of Calgary and currently serves as Artistic Director to Land’s End Ensemble and New Music Advisor to the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. His works are published and managed by Promethean Editions Ltd and Peters Edition.

Dr. Bekah Simms, Guest lecturer
Lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Juno-nominated Canadian composer with specialty in electroacoustic approaches, transcription-based composing and composing using sampling.

Dr. Matthew Emery
Lecturer at Carelton University & University of Toronto

Dr. Emery has received over thirty awards and prizes for his compositions and his work has been included on nineteen albums, including a Juno nominated disc. His over sixty publications are published by G. Schirmer, Boosey & Hawkes, Hal Leonard and many others.

Guest lecturer: Ronald Royer
Composer & Music Director with the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra

Performed by over 70 orchestras.

With Career talk, working with an orchestra, studio recordings and copyright, communicating with an orchestra including commissions and the logistics on composer-in-residence positions

Dr. Daniel Mehdizadeh, Mentor
Composer-in-Residence, Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra

Mentorship throughout the festival. Lectures on composition techniques, orchestration, idiomatic writing, notation standards and career guidance.

voiceLAB (Spring 2023)

About the Festival

Our festival is a 5-week mentorship and ensemble collaboration program. Up to eight (8) composers will be selected to produce new works for our ensemble-in-residence, this round being works for Baritone and Voice (TBA) duo (without electronics), with an online video premiere release. During this workshop, readings and mentorship is offered by both our Ensemble-in-Residence and our Composer-in-Residence, preparing each composer's work for its premiere. All video premieres will be posted on ECM's YouTube channel and may be shared and re-posted publicly. All shareable links will be given out.

Accepted participants will be expected to write a 4 minute voc al duet using the selected poem (see below). This festival is intended to further the compositional and collaborative skills of emerging and early-career composers as well as to provide them with an opportunity to have their music reach audiences across the globe. At the festival, composers will have a chance to connect with high-profile musicians, opening up possibilities for future commissions and collaborations. Guest lecturer, Dr. Vincent Ho, speaks on finding your unique voice and on incorporating your identity into your music. Guest lecturer Dr. Bekah Simms talks about electroacoustic approaches, and Dr. Matthew Emery speaks about vocal wirting, as well as working with living poets, securing copyright use and more. Guest artist, Ronald Royer from the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra, will give talks on career opportunities, becoming composer-in-residence, receiving commissions, studio recordings and much more.

Please keep in mind that this festival is a collaborative process between the composer, mentor and the ensemble. Therefore, no previously written works will be considered.

Schedule (all meetings will be virtual using Zoom): all times are Eastern Time (ET)

  • TBA: festival begins.

  • TBA: meet the ensemble - lecture on voice types and vocal writing - poems will be selected

  • TBA: Composers begin writing for the duo (start sketches) and in contact with Mentor

  • TBA Lecture on Composition and Notation by Dr. Daniel Mehdizadeh (writing for the voice, composition & orchestration, idiomatic writing and notation standards: Score & Part preparation) - vocal score study.

  • TBA: Dr. Vincent Ho, Lecture on Finding your Voice

  • TBA: first drafts due

  • TBA: Dr. Matthew Emery: lecture on vocal writing & poetry - working with a living poet, securing copyright use and more!

  • TBA: Ensemble Workshop: taking a look at your drafts (discussions and adjustments of drafts)

  • TBA: Talks on Career with Guest Lecturer Ron Royer (being a composer in the 21st century, career talk, collaboration and working with an ensemble and orchestra, and more)

  • TBA: Dr. Bekah Simms: Lecture on electroacoustic approaches

  • TBA: second drafts due

  • TBA: Ensemble Workshop: Reading of vocal pieces

  • TBA: Final scores due (in preparation for the premieres)

  • Ensemble prepares final pieces during the month of TBA in preparation for their recordings - premieres to be set for shortly after recording session and production of videos

Poem to be used:

  • On the first day of lectures (TBA) composers will each present the ensemble with 3 poems of their choice, from which only one will be selected by the ensemble/mentor. All poems shall be in the public domain, or with a signed waiver of copyright from the poet/publisher. All poetry should be in ENGLISH. If you are applying, please begin looking for poetry that inspires you. If you do not have any poetry in mind, one can be suggested to you.


Composers should send a google (or other cloud) link to a shared folder containing 1 pdf resume, 2 pdf scores and 2 recordings (MIDI files are acceptable) and a portrait photo of the applicant. PLEASE DO NOT SEND FILES DIRECTLY AS ATTACHMENTS - only links to pdfs and audios will be accepted. Youtube and SoundCloud links are also acceptable. Please make sure the access to the links are not set to private, and that multiple emails can access the files.
Scores should showcase the ability to compose for solo or small chamber ensemble.

Application fee: none
Tuition: $950 CAD

Submission deadline: TBA - Eastern Time.
Send everything to: music@eastchamber.com
Email Subject line should read:

Have questions? Send us an email: music@eastchamber.com

We are proud to announce our production parnternership with the Ottawa Pianos

More about our Mentors

Dr. Mark Wilkinson

Vocologist and Voice Scientist
Voice Pedagogue

D.M.A. - The Ohio State University
M.Mus. - University of Alberta
Diploma - Franz-Schubert-Institut
B.Mus. - Université d'Ottawa

Canadian baritone Mark Wilkinson is a vocal musician and actor whose eclectic career has expressed a versatility of artistry founded in a gift for dramatic truth-telling and sumptuous vocalism in a vast array of repertoire.

Dr. Mark's interest lies in representing the uniquely challenging space that singers occupy in being both musicians and actors -- he chooses artistic collaborations that embrace the voice as a musical instrument and lyrics as a legitimate tool for expression. As such, he has worked with myriad colleagues around the world in the most traditional and avant-garde settings. From singing J.S. Bach on national Canadian airwaves to stealing the show with P.D.Q. Bach himself, and from descending into madness in black-box theatres to leading the North American premiere of a Margaret Atwood play, Dr. Mark's multiple talents and professionalism bring assured artistry to any setting.

As an expert in chamber music, theatre, early music, and new compositions, Dr. Mark enjoys intimate collaborations in venues both big and small. He has been featured on CBC Music, Radio, and Television throughout his career, and is an engaging voice-over artist, narrator, master of ceremonies, and public speaker.

Dr. Mark also brings his career as a voice scientist and voice health specialist to masterclasses, clinics, and workshops across North America. He is one of Canada's leading voice pedagogues with a singular ability to habilitate and rehabilitate both professional and aspiring professional voice users. In addition to his rare background in clinical voice therapy and laryngology, he is known as an expert in educational psychology, curriculum design, and the neuroscience of learning.

A graduate of The Ohio State University, Dr. Mark continues to be inspired by his colleagues from whose generosity he has learned so much over the years. He is currently a proud French-speaking resident of Ottawa, Ontario, the traditional and unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg.

Guest lecturer

Dr. Vincent Ho

Multi award winning composer

Vincent Ho is a multi-award winning composer of orchestral, chamber, vocal, and theatre music. His works have been described as “brilliant and compelling” by The New York Times and hailed for their profound expressiveness and textural beauty, leaving audiences talking about them with great enthusiasm. His many awards and recognitions have included three Juno Award nominations, Harvard University’s Fromm Music Commission, The Canada Council for the Arts’ “Robert Fleming Prize”, ASCAP’s “Morton Gould Young Composer Award”, four SOCAN Young Composers Awards, and CBC Radio’s Audience Choice Award (2009 Young Composers’ Competition).

During the period of 2007-2014, Dr. Ho has served as the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s composer-in-residence and had presented a number of large-scale works that have generated much excitement and critical praise. His Arctic Symphony has been described “as a beautiful work that evokes the Far North in a very special way” (John Corigliano), and “a mature and atmospheric work that firmly establishes Ho among North American composers of note” (Winnipeg Free Press). His percussion concerto, titled The Shaman, composed for Dame Evelyn Glennie was hailed as a triumph, receiving unanimous acclaim and declared by critics as “Spectacular” (The New York Classical Review), “A powerhouse work” (The Winnipeg Free Press), and “Rocking/mesmerizing…downright gorgeous” (The Pittsburgh Gazette). His second concerto for Glennie titled From Darkness To Light, Ho’s musical response to the cancer illness, was lauded as “a lasting masterpiece of sensitivity and perception” (Winnipeg Free Press). His cello concerto, City Suite, composed for Canadian cellist Shauna Rolston, has received similar praise with critics calling it “Thrilling” (Windsor Star) and “Overflowing with striking ideas…The most successful piece heard at this year’s Festival” (Classical Voice America).

Born in Ottawa, Ontario in 1975, Vincent Ho began his musical training through Canada’s Royal Conservatory of Music where he earned his Associate Diploma in Piano Performance. He gained his Bachelor of Music from the University of Calgary, his Master of Music from the University of Toronto, and his Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Southern California. His mentors have included Allan Bell, David Eagle, Christos Hatzis, Walter Buczynski, and Stephen Hartke. In 1997, he was awarded a scholarship to attend the Schola Cantorum Summer Composition Program in Paris, where he received further training in analysis, composition, counterpoint, and harmony, supervised by David Diamond, Philip Lasser, and Narcis Bonet.

In his free time, he enjoys running, reading, traveling, dancing, hiking, playing chess, and learning the keyboard works of Bach, Beethoven, Ravel, and Ligeti (among many others). He is also an enthusiast of old-time radio shows, photography, crime noir, Zen art, jazz, Jimi Hendrix, graphic novels, and Stanley Kubrick films.

Dr. Ho has taught at the University of Calgary and currently serves as Artistic Director to Land’s End Ensemble and New Music Advisor to the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. His works are published and managed by Promethean Editions Ltd and Peters Edition.

Dr. Matthew Emery

Choral & Vocal Writing

Dr. Matthew Emery is a Canadian composer who “writes with an honesty which enchants” (Vancouver Sun), and whose music is “profoundly beautiful and moving” (CBC Music). His music has been performed in twenty-eight countries, and recent performance venues include the Great Wall of China, the White House and the Musikverein. Matthew has received over forty commissions and his music has been performed by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Chamber Choir, Elmer Iseler Singers, National Youth Orchestra of Canada, National Youth Choir of Canada, European Union Youth Orchestra, Orchestra London, the Art of Time Ensemble, Rolston String Quartet, Dennis Wick Canadian Wind Orchestra, Erin Wall, Susan Platts, Rena Sharon, Simone Osborne, Leslie Fagan, Tracy Dahl, and the Bach Music Festival of Canada Orchestra.

Dr. Emery studied at the University of British Columbia (B.Mus) and the University of Toronto (M.Mus, DMA). Matthew has received over thirty awards and prizes for his compositions and his work has been included on nineteen albums, including a Juno nominated disc. His over sixty publications are published by G. Schirmer, Boosey & Hawkes, Hal Leonard and many others. Dr. Emery currently teaches at Carleton University, and the University of Toronto.

Dr. Bekah Simms

Electroacoustic composer

Composer Bekah Simms hails from St. John's, Newfoundland and is currently based in Glasgow after nine years living and working in Toronto. Her varied musical output has been heralded as “cacophonous, jarring, oppressive — and totally engrossing!” (CBC Music), “visceral contemporary music that enfolds external inspirations with dazzling rigor and logic” (Peter Margasak), and lauded for its "sheer range of ingenious material, expressive range and sonic complexity" (The Journal of Music.) Propelled equally by fascination and terror toward the universe, her work is often filtered through the personal lens of her anxiety, resulting in nervous, messy, and frequently heavy electroacoustic musical landscapes. Recent interests in just intonation and virtual instruments have resulted in increasingly lush and strange harmonic environments.

Bekah's music has been widely performed across North America and Europe. She has worked with some of the top interpreters of contemporary music internationally, including Crash Ensemble - with whom she is currently an artist-in-residence - Riot Ensemble, Eighth Blackbird, and l’Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal. Bekah has also been the recipient of over 35 awards, competitive selections, nominations, and prizes, including the 2019 Barlow Prize. The resulting work, "metamold," was nominated for the 2022 Gaudeamus Award. Works from her debut album “impurity chains” were nominated in both 2019 and 2020 for the JUNO Award for Classical Composition of the Year. Her music has thrice been included in the Canadian Section's official submission to World Music Days (2016, 2019, & 2021), and in 2016 the CBC included her among their annual 30 hot classical musicians under 30.

Bekah is a Lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, following previous academic positions at the University of Toronto and University of Western Ontario. She holds a D.M.A. and M.Mus in music composition from the University of Toronto, and a B.Mus.Ed. and B.Mus in theory/composition from Memorial University of Newfoundland. Her principal teachers during academic studies were Gary Kulesha and Andrew Staniland, alongside significant private study with Clara Iannotta and Martin Bédard.


Dr. Daniel Mehdizadeh

Composer-in-Residence, Scarborough Philharmonic OrchestraDoctor of Musical Arts, University of Toronto

There is something vividly distinct about Mehdizadeh's music. This Canadian composer is revered for his intricate, unpredictable and haunting works. The sound and gesture of his pieces bury themselves deep in complex imagination, participating you in an exploration of uncertain visceral implications. His unique musical language is perceived as complex yet engaging, bringing together a hybrid of musical expression including contrapuntal textures and the Mehdizadeh Modes.

Dr. Daniel Mehdizadeh (DMA, University of Toronto) is currently based in the GTA and is the Composer-in-Residence for the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO). He has been involved in both national and international festival series including the latest commission from the Collingwood Music Festival in collaboration with the Penderecki String Quartet. He is regularly commissioned and holds numerous performances in Europe and North America. His works have had global exposure and have been broadcasted across Canada and the US including appearance as guest composer on CBC and Classical Jukebox Radio.

To read more, visit https://www.danielmehdizadeh.com

Ronald Royer

Composer & Music DirectorScarborough Philharmonic Orchestra

With numerous performances, commissions and commercial recordings, Ronald Royer is a prominent Canadian composer who strives to connect with audiences. Justin O’Dell of The Clarinet magazine writes: “Ronald Royer’s music is beautifully appealing and communicative”, while Stanley Fefferman of Showtimemagazine.ca contributes, “These masterful and witty pieces live up to Royer’s reputation for music that is both entertaining and imaginative.”

His concert music has been performed by more than 70 orchestras, including the international iPalpiti Orchestra in Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles, USA), Sinfonia Finlandia (Finland), Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra (Czech Republic), Athens La Camerata (Greece), Joensuu City Orchestra (Finland), and Members of the Wurttemberg Chamber Orchestra (Germany). Canadian performances have included the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Victoria Symphony, Hamilton Philharmonic, Orchestra London, Niagara Symphony, Thunder Bay Symphony and Symphony New Brunswick. The Ontario Festival Symphony Orchestra performed his composition Exuberance on tour in China (available on YouTube). He has served as the composer-in-residence for Sinfonia Toronto, Mississauga Symphony (supported by the Canada Council for the Arts), Toronto Sinfonietta, Scarborough Philharmonic and the Brantford Symphony.

His music has been performed by such notables as French flute soloist and conductor, Patrick Gallois, Hungarian viola soloist and former Principal Violist of the Berlin Philharmonic Máté Szűcs, Canadian cellist Shauna Rolston, as well as ensembles such as the Gryphon Trio, St. Lawrence Quartet, and The Elmer Iseler Singers.

Mr. Royer has worked in film and theatre, and this includes (with co-composer Kevin Lau) the score for Gooby, starring Robbie Coltrane and Eugene Levy. He composed music for the theatrical production (and commercial recording) of The Storyteller’s Bag. He was commissioned to write a work for Canada Day celebrations at Niagara Falls. His work, Water and Light for live orchestra with fireworks was heard on July 1, 2006 by over 20,000 people.

Mr. Royer’s music is featured on 14 commercial recordings, with 6 on the Cambria Master Recordings label (distributed by Naxos). He has consistently received positive and enthusiastic reviews for his music. Performers on recordings include the Los Angeles Studio Orchestra (Jorge Mester, conductor), Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, (Tomas Koutnik), iPalpiti Orchestra (Eduard Schmieder), Sinfonia Toronto (Ronald Royer), 13 Strings of Ottawa (Simon Streatfeild), Toronto Sinfonietta (Matthew Jaskiewicz), HornPipes Duo, Chamber Music Society of Mississauga, Triofus, flutists Louise DiTullio and Nora Shulman, oboist Sarah Jeffrey, clarinets Tibi Cziger, Kaye Royer and Jerome Summers, violinists Conrad Chow and Aaron Schwebel, cellists Coenraad Bloemendal, Yves Dharamraj and Simon Fryer, trumpeters Brunette Dillon, Barton Woomert and Steven Woomert, hornist Gabriel Radford, and pianists Aaron Dou, Rachel Kerr and Lydia Wong. His commercial recordings and live performance recordings are regularly heard on radio, including the CBC and The New Classical FM in Canada and a number of NPR stations in the USA.

Born in Los Angeles into a family of professional musicians, he began his career as a cellist, performing with such ensembles as the Toronto Symphony, Utah Symphony, Pacific Symphony, and American Ballet Theatre Orchestra, as well as working in the Motion Picture and Television Industry in Los Angeles during the 1980’s. Having been inspired by working with a number of concert and film composers, Mr. Royer began serious studies in composition in the 1990’s, receiving a master’s degree in composition from the University of Toronto in 1997. His principal composition teachers were Alexander Rapoport, Walter Buczynski and Lothar Klein. Mr. Royer has received commissioning grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, the Laidlaw Foundation and more. He is an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre.

In addition to composing, Mr. Royer is presently serving as the music director and conductor of the Scarborough Philharmonic and has guest conducted a number of orchestras. For 21 years, he worked as an Instructor of Music for the University of Toronto Schools. He continues to teach private lessons and be an advocate for music education. Mr. Royer is married to clarinetist Kaye Royer and has composed several works for her.