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Who Are We

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John Morgan
Founder, Morgan Music

John Morgan has a passion for music education and performance and believes in bringing out the best in musicians, vocal groups, and individual artists he works with by creating a working environment that fosters learning, creativity, musical development, collaboration, and fun. John focuses on directing multi-genre vocal groups, as well as delivering full-service music direction for local artists, corporations, and events through his studio, Morgan Music, in Calgary. He is a conductor, organist, pianist, recording engineer, and published composer and arranger whose work has been performed by groups across North America, including the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

John is the Artistic Director of Revv52, a 52-voice auditioned pop vocal group; Artistic Director of Mount Royal Kantorei, an auditioned 82-voice mixed chorus that is part of Mount Royal University's Conservatory; Vocal Director of the Young Canadians, a 120-member auditioned vocal and dance group made up of youth and young adults between the ages of 8-21; and the Music Director and Organist at St. Anthony’s Church. He also works with a variety of other musical groups and ensembles in the city.

During his tenure with Mount Royal Kantorei, John launched the inaugural Kantorei Choral Festival in April 2023, attracting choirs from across Canada and commissioning new works from renowned composers. Under his direction, the choir created an innovative series of videos during the 2020 pandemic that generated tens of thousands of views and garnered national attention. He has also led the choir in collaborations with prestigious groups such as The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and Calgary Youth Orchestra, raising funds for important causes like The Calgary Food Bank and the Aboriginal Friendship Centre.

With Revv52, John spearheaded the creation of over 35 music videos during the 2020 pandemic, amassing millions of views and national recognition. He secured substantial funding to invest in cutting-edge technology, making Revv52 the first choir in the world to use individual handheld microphones. John has expanded the group’s performance style to include immersive staging and choreography and provided personal vocal coaching to each member, significantly raising the group’s performance level.

John has provided musical direction for special events including the 100th Anniversary of the Rotary Club, One Rock Music Festival, The Tenors' "Home For the Holidays" (2018) and "The Wonder of Christmas" (2019), Dave Kelly Live "Home", The We Day Benefit Concert, and over 30 Young Canadians Shows. Through his work with the Young Canadians and the Calgary Stampede Grandstand Show, John has had the opportunity to work with industry professionals such as Tamara Beatty (The Voice), Scott Henderson (Earthtones and Souls in Rhythm), Dave Pierce (Producer - Michael Bublé, Vancouver Olympics), Paul Brandt, Jocelyn Alice, and play keys for Jann Arden.

In 2024, John won an Excellence in Teaching Award at Mount Royal University. He was nominated for the Calgary Award for Community Impact in the Arts in 2021 and was the SMP Press Composition Competition Runner Up in the Sacred Music Category for “Angelus” in 2020. Additionally, he was nominated for the Top 40 Under 40 by Avenue Magazine in 2018.

Revv52 - Artistic Director 2019 - Present
The Young Canadians - Vocal Director 2010 - Present
Mount Royal University's  Kantorei - Artistic Director 2014 - Present
St. Anthony's Church - Music Director / Organist 1999 - Present
Bishop Carroll High School - Pianist 2010 - Present
National Council for Liturgical Music - Chair 2016 - 2020
conocoPhilips Choir - Director 2014 - 2018
Artistic Director - WE Benefit Concert 2015 - 2017


Cassandra (Cass) Bessette
Music Production Assistant
Cass is an aspiring choral composer and conductor currently working toward her BMus in Composition at the University of Calgary. She has sung with a number of ensembles in the Calgary area including Mount Royal Artio, Mount Royal Kantorei, Cum Vino Cantus, Calgary Youth Orchestra, and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.  Through her work with these ensembles, Cass has had the opportunity to perform alongside artists such as Tanya Tagaq, Chris Hadfield, The Tenors, and Tony DeSare. She also had the honour of directing the St. Matthew’s United Church choir for their final season until their closing in June 2020.
While the typical stand-and-deliver choral model still serves its purpose, Cass is particularly fulfilled by more elaborate interdisciplinary works.  Passionate about challenging and controversial topics, she is currently working on a choral theatre piece which explores the spectrum of human emotion through a story of trauma and recovery. Cass believes that the pursuit of a raw, honest musical experience always leads to the greatest personal revelations for artists and audiences alike and strives to evoke a certain level of discomfort in most of her creative endeavors.
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cass has been given an excuse to make public her (previously) secret love affair with the recording arts.  In 2020, she had a hand in producing a fair number of virtual choirs, including Kantorei’s Women Rising project and Artio’s Metropolis silent film videos.  In her time at Morgan Music, Cass has worked on Invictus for Mount Royal Kantorei,  We Three Kings and December's Keep for the Calgary Men's Chorus and other virtual projects.  You can check out her work on the virtual video page

Studio Musician and Indigenous Consultant

Akina, a talented Cree singer, gained widespread fame by performing "O Canada" in Cree at a National Hockey League game between the Calgary Flames and the Vancouver Canucks on February 3, 2007. This historic performance marked the first time in Canadian history that the national anthem had been sung in an Indigenous language at a major league sporting event. Her rendition was not only a significant cultural milestone but also captivated the audience, earning her national recognition.

Akina's talent and unique voice have led her to perform at prestigious venues such as the Francis Winspear Centre for Music, the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, and the Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary, among others. Her powerful performances have left an indelible mark on audiences across Canada.

In addition to her solo performances, Akina is a member of the renowned vocal ensemble Revv52, where she continues to showcase her vocal prowess. She has also performed with Emmylou Harris' band, further highlighting her versatility and ability to blend seamlessly with different musical styles. Notably, she sang with Michael Bublé on tour at the Calgary Saddledome on October 4th, 2022, adding another high-profile performance to her impressive repertoire.

Her Cree version of "O Canada" has been a significant part of her career, leading her to perform for distinguished audiences, including the Lieutenant Governor of Canada, Premier of Alberta Ed Stelmach, Premier of Alberta Rachel Notley, and at the All Chiefs Assembly in Fort McKay. She has also performed at the Manito Ahbee Powwow in Winnipeg, celebrating Indigenous culture through her music.

Akina's creative journey includes participating in a songwriting workshop in Nashville with renowned artists Gretchen Peters, known for "Independence Day," and Don Schlitz, famous for "The Gambler." These experiences have enriched her musical artistry, contributing to her development as a songwriter.

Akina performed "O Canada" with Revv52, and the performance garnered national media coverage and amassed over 500,000 views on YouTube, further cementing her status as a prominent figure in the Canadian music scene.

Looking ahead, Akina's new album "O Canada" is set to be released for Canada Day 2024, showcasing her profound connection to her heritage. She is also working on a country studio album, scheduled for release in Fall 2024, demonstrating her versatility and expanding her musical repertoire.

Beyond her performances and recordings, Akina works at Morgan Music as a studio musician and Indigenous Consultant, where she continues to contribute to the music industry with her expertise and cultural insights. She also sings with her band, Akina & the Wolf, in and around the Calgary area, focusing on a classic rock sound. Additionally, she recorded a Cree CD for Alberta Education's Social Studies Curriculum, further contributing to the preservation and promotion of Indigenous culture through education.

With her unique voice and dedication to promoting Indigenous culture through music, Akina continues to inspire and resonate with audiences nationwide.

Garrett Banfield
Garrett Banfield is a high school student and an aspiring music director, composer and producer.  His passion for music drives his desire to excel as he gains both an education and hands-on experience in the music industry.  He is training to direct a wide variety of vocal and instrumental groups and teach a variety of music from classical to rock. Additionally he is currently taking a mount royal course in choral conducting under Andrea Ciona, royal conservatory piano under Linda kundert-Stoll and conducting the congregation in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 
Garrett attends Bishop Carroll High School where he’s a member of the chamber choir, an auditioned classical choir, and the vocal Jazz program, which is a smaller auditioned choir where they perform jazz and rock classics.  When not performing or learning, Garrett is often writing classical compositions from piano sonatas to orchestrated symphonies.
Garrett has also had the opportunity to work with Scott Henderson (Grandstand Show music director, Earthtones, Souls in Rhythm) and Dave Pierce (Grandstand show creative director, producer-Michael Buble, Vancouver Olympics) through the Young Canadians programs.

Bishop Carroll Chamber Choir - Member 2023 - Present
Bishop Carroll Vocal Jazz Choir - Member 2023 - Present
Mount Royal University Choral Conducting - Student 2023 - Present
Royal Conservatory Piano, Linda Kundert-Stoll - Student 2023 - Present
Solo Vocal, Lauren Woods - Student 2021 - Present
Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede/Young Canadians school of the performing arts - Member 2018 - 2023
Cantaré children's choir - Member 2014 - 2016
Youth Singers Calgary - Member  2016 - 2018
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints - Conductor - 2021 - Present
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