Esther Madsen, a choral conductor with over 40 years' experience, leads Festival SingersEsther Madsen is a career studio teacher and musician with over 40 years of experience in her field of theory and piano studies. Even while working towards her Associate degree, she took on a full studio of students. Her Associate degree in teaching is from the Western Board, now Conservatory Canada, studying with Vera Shean. A Bachelor of Arts specializing in Music rounded out her early education. She still enjoys learning through workshops and masterclasses, even when she is the clinician. From the Royal Conservatory of Music, she has become a certified teacher for piano and theory in all levels of instruction, from beginner to advanced. Even beyond preparing students for examinations, she enjoys teaching music for the sake of music, sharing the joy and love of music as it enriches and fulfills our lives.

Active involvement in the music festival movement came first as a performer, an accompanist, then as a parent of performers. She later moved to being president of her own local festival for many years, to being a volunteer at her local level. While serving a three-year term as a member of the Provincial Executive for the Alberta Music Festival Association, the National Music Festival was held in Edmonton for two of those years, which brought the excitement of the local level to a much larger stage. There is such a thrill about being involved in the festival movement in her local community.

Esther has been conducting choirs for over 40 years. She loves the dynamic of people coming together who enjoy making music together. In the past five years she has conducted the Senior choir of the Elk Island Regional Honour Choir Association, which has travelled to the United States and British Columbia to participate in music festivals. She is excited to begin a journey with Festival Singers.


Linda Steinbring has a BMus and ARCT (Performance). She has taught piano, voice, music theory, music history, harmony, counterpoint and music analysis.

An accompanist and former vocal coach at King’s University College, Linda Steinbring has also served as a Western Board of Music examiner, festival adjudicator and member of Opera Theatre of Alberta.

Past conductors and accompanists

Year Director/Conductor Accompanist
1994 Bruce Cable Catherine Adam
1995 Bruce Cable Catherine Adam
1996 Troy Lamoureux Gayle Berg
1997 Chandelle Rimmer Gayle Berg
1998 Glynis Middleton Gayle Berg
1999 Glynis Middleton Gayle Berg
2000 Glynis Middleton Gayle Berg
2001 Gillian Brinston Gayle Berg
2002 Gillian Brinston Gayle Berg
2003 Gillian Brinston Gayle Berg
2004 Gillian Kurschat Gayle Berg
2005 Brendan Lord Gayle Berg
2006 Brendan Lord Gayle Berg
2007 Adam Robertson Gayle Berg
2008 Adam Robertson Gayle Berg
2009 Elaine Myhre Denis Arseneau
2010 Heather Bedford-Clooney Denis Arseneau
2011 Heather Bedford-Clooney Linda Steinbring
2012 Heather Bedford-Clooney Linda Steinbring
2013 Heather Bedford-Clooney Linda Steinbring
2014 Heather Bedford-Clooney Linda Steinbring
2015 Heather Bedford-Clooney Linda Steinbring
2016 Heather Bedford-Clooney Linda Steinbring
2017 Esther Madsen Linda Steinbring
2018 Esther Madsen Linda Steinbring