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[tabs style=”boxed”] [tab title=”Sharon Minemoto”]Since the age of sixteen Vancouver based pianist and composer, Sharon Minemoto has been performing to audiences around the world. In 1997, Sharon started her own quintet made up of Canadian jazz greats Brad Turner on trumpet, Ross Taggart on tenor saxophone, Darren Radtke on bass and Bernie Arai on drums. This band performs her original compositions and has recorded four shows for CBC Radio as well as a CD released on Cellar Live Records entitled, “Side A”. The album spent eight consecutive weeks in the top 10 for the Canadian national jazz and blues charts, Chartattack. Sharon’s groups have been featured at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, The Vernon Jazz Club, The Okanagan Jazz and Blues Society, The Powell Street Festival, The Hornby Island Arts Festival, Festival Vancouver, the Jazz On The Wing series in Whitehorse, YT and at Club JZ in China.

In addition to composing, Sharon puts her arranging talents to work on standards and pop tunes for her trio featuring bassist Paul Rushka and drummer Paul Townsend. The trio came out with their debut CD called “You Can See The Ocean From Here” in Spring 2008.

Sharon holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Performance from Capilano College in North Vancouver. While she was a student there, she was selected from applicants across North America as the pianist for the IAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators) College All-Star Band. Since graduating, she has studied with pianist Geoff Keezer in 1999, and then received a Canada Arts Council grant in 2000 to study composition with Don Thompson in Toronto.

In addition to her quintet and trio, Sharon has also performed in ensembles led by Alan Matheson, Cory Weeds, Fred Stride, Dee Daniels, Joani Taylor, Laura Crema, James Danderfer, Ali Ryerson, Karin Plato, Jennie Emery, Steve Maddock as well as the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Phoenix Chamber Choir. In March 2006, she toured Europe with Persian pop legend, Dariush. Sharon has also done some arranging and recording for the ABC TV Series , “Men In Trees” and acted as piano coach for the upcoming Hollywood film, “2012-Farewell Atlantis”.

Sharon is a faculty member in the School of Music at Vancouver Community College. She has also taught at workshops and masterclasses at the UBC Summer Music Institute, The Shawnigan Lake Music Workshop, Capilano College, the Smithers Jazz Retreat, the Douglas College Jazz Institute and at the Shanghai International School. As an adjudicator she has worked at the Vancouver School Board Jazz Festival and at the Rotary Music Festival in Whitehorse, YT.[/tab] [tab title=”Mary Pettinger”]Mary Pettinger is one of two accompanists that Higher Ground is privileged to work with on a weekly basis. Playing the “more traditional repertoire” for the choir, Mary is able to showcase her classical roots in many styles of choral accompaniments. From a background that includes both solo singing and Royal Conservatory piano instruction, Mary demonstrates her understanding of the voice and choral techniques by developing that rare technique of being able to anticipate what the conductor will do and be ready to support that from the piano. Mary has accompanied many other choirs and groups including Seycove Secondary School Chamber Choir, the choirs of Carson Graham Secondary School, Highlands United Church Spirit Singers, and small community based groups. When Mary isn’t practicing Higher Ground accompaniments, she can be found advising clients on fashion trends at get dressed or sailing the waters of BC with Rob on their sailboat Berceuse. She is a ferocious Scrabble player and crossword fan.[/tab] [/tabs]

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