Directors

Adam Mailman
Director Band on the Bow and Riverside Jazz

Adam Mailman is the music director of Cochrane Music society’s adult concert and jazz band programs, and the music teacher at Central Memorial High School in Calgary, Alberta.

Adam exemplifies self-improvement through musical growth. His approach to pedagogy focuses on teaching the whole musician, not just the performer. Guest conducting ensembles such as Westwinds concert bands, Valley Winds Concert Band and school ensembles at their band camps and rehearsals is becoming a great joy for Adam, as he shares what he’s learned from his mentors with a wider audience.

Adam is a leader in Calgary area professional learning through organizing professional development events for Calgary teachers throughout the year as part of the Alberta Teachers Association Music Professional Learning Community and the Calgary Board of Education Fine Arts Advisory Council. He performs regularly with the Prime Time Big Band, and the Alberta Winds Ensemble percussion section, where he has been section leader since the ensemble’s inception in 2003.

Adam has studied with Dr. Mark Hopkins, Dr. Dale Lonis, and Dr. Glenn D. Price in pedagogy and conducting, with degrees from University of Calgary (B.Mus, B.Ed) and Acadia University (M.Ed).
Recently, Adam’s school bands have been recognized at Whistler Cantando (Gold and Silver), Alberta International Band Festival (Superior), and the CMS Band on the Bow at Alberta Band Association Festival of Bands (Superior).

Diego Bechthold
Director Choral Waves

The artistic director of Choral Waves in Cochrane is Diego Bechthold. Diego attended high school in Langley BC, where he achieved entrance into the BC Honour Jazz Band. He attained his Bachelor of Music degree at Trinity Western University, and during his time as a student there was offered the opportunity to teach a university course in Jazz Combo, as well as perform with the prestigious Vancouver Chamber Choir, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and CBC Radio Orchestra.

Diego went to UBC for his Bachelor of Education degree. Since then has taught as a high school music director (choir, concert band and jazz band) at several high schools in BC and Alberta, including Banff High School, Bow Valley High School in Cochrane, Bert Church High School in Airdrie, East Lake School in Chestermere and currently, Webber Academy. He is in demand as a guest conductor and clinician with various community and high school music ensembles.

Amongst his music students’ achievements include well-received performance tours in Vancouver, Victoria, Seattle, Kamloops, Revelstoke and China. His High School Choir students in Airdrie placed first in their regional festival and were invited to perform at Provincial Choral Festivals, placing in the top 5 in Alberta, for five consecutive years. His Jazz Band students in Airdrie developed a tremendous reputation for their musicality and performances, putting on an annual event called Swing City where they would perform three hours of music with dinner and dancing. These students also performed for then Premier Alison Redford’s fundraising dinner, as well as for the Lieutenant Governor’s visit to Airdrie to select the host city for the Summer Games. While in Chestermere, his Beginner Concert Band students were named the top band at the RVSD Beginner Band Festival for three consecutive years. His Junior Concert Band students were named the best Middle School Band at the Sun Peaks Music Festival in 2017. Recently while at Webber Academy, his Grade 8/9 Concert Band received the award for Most Outstanding Junior Concert Band at the Alberta International Band Festival. Choral Waves also recently performed at Southern Alberta ChoralFest where they received Gold. Diego has a deep passion for music and the benefits of music in young people’s lives. His love of teaching music inspires all members of his ensembles to reach their potential regardless of their ability.

JS Ryu
Accompanist

Jung-Suk (JS) Ryu is the inaugural President and CEO of the National accessArts Centre (NaAC) by day, and fills the rest of his life with music when he can. An award-winning pianist and recipient of the Royal Conservatory Silver Medal, JS completed his ARCT in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory at the age of 13 under the direction of Dr. Mary Tickner at UBC.

In recent years, he has been engaged as an accompanist and music director, working with the Ottawa Symphonic Ensemble, the Cantata Singers of Ottawa, Coro Vivo Ottawa, and most recently, as the Music Director of the Valley Winds Concert Band in Canmore.

In 2019, JS was named one of Calgary’s “Top 40 Under 40” by Avenue Magazine in recognition for his work in the arts. In 2017, he was appointed one of five “Young Cultural Innovators” from Canada by the Salzburg Global Seminar.

Learn more about JS