Northern Arts Academy - NAA
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Agnes McCarthy

NAA Director, Voice instructor, Choir Director

Agnes McCarthy leads a busy life as Director of Sault Ste. Marie’s Northern Arts Academy, providing comprehensive multidisciplinary training for singers with diverse musical interests.  She also currently serves as a music specialist with the Algoma District School Board and is an Adjunct Professor of Voice and Voice Coordinator at Algoma University where she teaches private voice as well as Musical Theatre and Elementary Music Methods courses.

Agnes began her undergraduate studies in Voice (B. MUS./B. MUS. ED. degrees) at Memorial University of Newfoundland.  She then relocated to Montréal to pursue graduate studies in Early Music Performance (M. MUS.) at McGill University.  Agnes came to Sault Ste. Marie as part of the Artist in Residence Program at Algoma University and has since served in the capacities of performer, voice instructor, choral conductor and coordinator of the vocal division of the Sault Ste. Marie Music Festival.  Her choirs and private students have distinguished themselves by winning numerous national awards, and many have gone on to professional careers. She is in demand as a choral and voice festival adjudicator and clinician across Canada.

Agnes has spent her professional career in Sault Ste. Marie deeply involved in the musical life of the community as a teacher and performer.  She has collaborated with The Sault Symphony, The Algoma Chamber Players, The Chamber Singers of Algoma, The Algoma Festival Choir and with The Musical Comedy Guild of Sault Ste. Marie as Vocal Director for their productions of Les Misérables and Jesus Christ Superstar.   



Paul Dingle

NAA Director, Piano instructor, Theory instructor, Accompanist/Coach

Paul Dingle brings a lifetime of professional experience to the NAA as a performer, collaborative pianist, conductor, clinician, adjudicator and teacher. Paul originally relocated to the Sault to work at Algoma University. As a Senate Adjunct Professor he teaches music history, theory, popular culture, orchestral and choral conducting, audio arts, piano performance, and is Director of The AlgomaU Choir. Paul is also Organist & Choirmaster at Central United Church, where he runs a choral and handbell program.

He began undergraduate studies in harpsichord and early music in England at Trinity College London. Paul completed a Bachelor of Music degree in musicology at Memorial University of Newfoundland, and a Master's Performance degree in piano at Brandon University. Upon his return to his native Newfoundland he founded and was Artistic Director and Conductor of the Terra Nova Chamber Players, a professional orchestra specializing in Baroque music. Paul was also a composer and performer in the experimental multimedia group Fusion, an ensemble dedicated to high-technology arts productions involving analog, digital and hybrid synthesis, as well as a contributor to the International Sound Symposium, a biannual festival of new music, art, and dance. Paul’s first recording for CBC FM radio broadcast as a 16 year old pianist was his introduction to the world of audio and recording technology, an experience that has become a lifelong passion. Later studies in recording technology, acoustics and psychoacoustics led to a research interest in the historical interface between music and technology.

Paul has spent his professional career in Sault Ste. Marie collaborating in the musical life of the community as a teacher, conductor and performer. He has partnered with The Algoma Conservatory of Music, The Sault Symphony, The Algoma Chamber Players, The Chamber Singers of Algoma, The Algoma Festival Choir, Algoma Fall Festival, The Northland Chorus and The Steeltown Silver Band.  His long association with musical theatre includes serving as Musical Director for The Musical Comedy Guild of Sault Ste. Marie’s productions of She Loves Me, Les Miserables, Jesus Christ Superstar, Mary Poppins and A Christmas Carol.


Skye Smith

NAA Movement & Acting Coach

Skye Smith is delighted to share her expertise in performance and movement with Northern Arts Academy, and spread her passion for performing arts.

Skye has has been working in community theatre for more than ten years. She's starred in many memorable productions such as White Christmas with the Sault Symphony Orchestra, The Producers with the Musical Comedy Guild, and God of Carnage with In Your Eyes Projects. Skye has also directed and choreographed for many productions, and mentored in the popular Soo Sings For Kids for the last four years.

She earned her Bachelor Degree in Music at Algoma University studying with Agnes McCarthy and studied dance at Sherry Walsh Academy of Dance Arts obtaining a teaching certificate in Jazz, Ballet, and Stage/Tap. She taught primary and recreational Jazz, Tap and Ballet at Sherry Walsh for five years before going back to school to study Public Relations and Event Management at Sault College. She studied at Vancouver Film School at a week long intensive Acting workshop, and worked on many local film sets. You may have seen her in the locally filmed movie, The Story of Luke. or in Northern Know How videos for Northern Credit Union as a "Northern Financial Survival Guide".


Keiko Larocque

Voice Instructor, Choir Director

Keiko Larocque was born and raised in the small northern community of Chapleau, Ontario where her love of music sprouted at a young age. For over nine years she has provided music for Chapleau’s Sacred Heart Parish Church, offering her talents for masses, funerals, baptisms, and weddings alongside music director and lifelong friend Nancy Sylvestre. For the past two summers, Keiko has held her own voice studio to a standard of excellence in which she and her hometown are extremely proud of. With a rich variety of students, both young and not-so-young, teaching privately and directing choirs has given her an opportunity to pass along the knowledge and experience she has gained through her music.

Keiko began her undergraduate studies at Algoma University, and with the guidance of voice instructor Agnes McCarthy, she completed her Bachelor of Arts and Music degree in April of 2019. In addition to her classical training, Keiko was involved in Algoma University’s Choir, Musical Theatre Ensemble, and Jazz Ensemble as her passion for music extends to a variety of genres. Having also participated in the Northern Arts Academy Honour Choir during her time in Sault Ste. Marie, she has competed in festivals with the choir and as a solo performer, achieving high scores in each category. During her final year of studies, Keiko earned the opportunity to teach at the Northern Arts Academy. This experience made for an essential stepping stone in the development of her own teaching style, and she is honoured to be asked to return again!

Keiko currently studies at Wilfrid Laurier University under the instruction of Jennie Such. This fall she will enter her third year on the road towards a Bachelor of Performance in Voice. Her time at Laurier has introduced her to new tools to use in the practice room, and she is excited to pass them on to her students. Keiko aims to help her students feel comfortable in their voices, and confident in their performance.

Darielle Chomyn

Voice Instructor, Choir Director, Triple Threat Instructor

Darielle Chomyn, or you may know her as "Dee", is beyond excited to join the voice faculty at the Northern Arts Academy.   

Dee graduated from Algoma University with a BA in Music ('19) and is continuing her education for a B. Mus in Performance at Sir Wilfred Laurier University.
Her time spent at Algoma is where she studied voice with Agnes McCarthy, and Paul Dingle (coach) for three years. During her studies, Agnes gave Dee the amazing opportunity to substitute for the NAA Musical Theatre classes.  Since then, she has continued to teach numerous times in the studio, as well as online with Skye Smith.

With over 10 years experience in music theatre, she brings knowledge as an actress, choreographer and vocal coach. Her favorite (yet challenging) part about music theatre is character work, and the overall process of personal growth and development.

Now based in Kitchener, ON Dee has joined St. Andrew's Presbyterian church as a choral scholar, and teaches Pre-School music in the KW/Cambridge area. 

Dee's goal is to teach in a positive, fun and nurturing way, so that anyone can sing and express themselves freely with absolute confidence.