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Thursday, June 5 - Saturday, June 7, 2025

Our Conductors

Emily Li

Emily Li stands as a globally acclaimed handbell virtuoso hailing from Hong Kong. She is an accomplished conductor, composer, soloist, and educator with over 30 years of experience. Her fascination with handbells ignited in 1986, sparking a deep passion for this heavenly instrument. Since 2000, Emily has dedicated years to honing her handbell dexterities in the United States under the guidance of esteemed masters in the field. She is the Artistic Director of the Hong Kong Handbell Academy, Hong Kong Youth Handbell Ensemble and Gloves Handbell, Chairperson of the Handbell Association of Hong Kong, and the Principal Guest Conductor of the Ministry of Bellz in Singapore.

Driven by a vision to popularize handbell ringing in Hong Kong, Emily established the Hong Kong Handbell Academy in 2004, aiming to offer the general public access to handbell resources and comprehensive professional training. She founded the Hong Kong Youth Handbell Ensemble (HKYHE) in 2005 and started training handbell conductors and performers of the young generation. 2006, she founded the Handbell Association of Hong Kong (HAHK) and organized the annual Hong Kong Handbell Festival. Under her leadership, the Association joined the International Handbell Committee in 2010, making Hong Kong the host city of the International Handbell Symposium in 2020.

       Find out more about Emily . . .

Mark Matterson

Mark grew up in Powell River, British Columbia singing in the world-renowned choirs of the Powell River Academy of Music under the direction of Don James.  As a teenager, he was able to observe and learn from top choral conductors from around the world while both volunteering and working at the International Choral Kathaumixw.  He received a Bachelor of Music from UBC in 1995 majoring in Music Theory, studying piano with Dr Terrence Dawson and conducting with Professor James Fankhauser.  Mark has been continually working as a church musician for nearly 40 years since obtaining his first organist role at the age of 13.  In Vancouver, Mark was the Music Director at Lynn Valley United Church and the tenor section lead at St. Mary’s Kerrisdale Anglican.  In 2003, his IT job in the financial sector was relocated from Vancouver to Toronto and Mark set to find places to scratch his musical itch in a new city.  He sang with the Toronto Camerata as a tenor section lead and then found St Peter’s Erindale Anglican Church in Mississauga.  At St. Peter’s, Mark has been an Associate Director of Music as well as an interim Director of Music when required.  He has been privileged to conduct major works at the church such as the Faure Requiem, Handel’s Messiah and a movement of Brahm’s Third Symphony.  As a tenor soloist, Mark has sung the role of the Evangelist in Bach’s St John’s Passion as well as solos in Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Carmina Burana and more.  He has written many compositions including an Evensong Service, a number of Mass settings, anthems and many arrangements for both vocal and handbell choirs.

In 2007, Mark took over as the Director of the St. Peter’s Handbell Choir.  New to handbells, he quickly became fascinated with the possibilities of making music with the set of White Chapel bells that have meant so much to the church and the ringers since they were introduced to St Peter’s in 1975.  In addition to ringing monthly during Sunday morning services, the choir also participates in Christmas Lessons and Carols and hosts an annual Spring Concert.  The choir has been attending the OGEHR Festival since they started and it is always an event that is highly anticipated by the ringers.  One of the biggest highlights of Mark’s handbell experience was playing alongside his wife Jenny as part of a quartet in front of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Phillip when they visited Toronto in 2010.  During the pandemic, Mark created handbell videos to be shared during virtual worship services to make sure that bells would continue to be heard during that time.  Mark was the OGEHR Central West Area Representative from 2017 until 2023.  He has directed a few massed ringing events within the Central West Area including a replay of the 2023 festival in October of that same year  

Mark lives in Mississauga with his wife Jenny and has two sons, Trevor and Kevin.

       Check out some of Mark's YouTube videos . . .

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