MARC JENKINS, Director
Marc began playing rock and roll guitar as a young boy in Edmonton, AB. Influenced by both rock and roll and classic country genres, his musical education grew during years of touring Canada in a working rock band.
When Victoria became home in 2004, Marc quickly established roots in the music community. He came to manage the team at Larsen Music, and it was during his 13-year career that The Choir YYJ was launched. In 2014, he took over direction and management of the group, began arranging their repertoire, and completed Community Choir Leadership Training in Victoria.
The popularity of The Choir inspired Marc to expand. He began a new drop-in choir singing experience, All Together Now, in 2016, and created a second ensemble, The Chorus, in 2017.
Marc still loves picking up his guitar, and most days you’ll find him creating music. He has produced and played pedal steel for Pharis and Jason Romero’s Juno award-winning album Sweet Old Religion (Best Traditional Folk Recording, 2018), and continues to arrange, write, produce, and perform on tour and in studio sessions.
ERIN GRAY, Accompanist
A life-long pianist, Erin brings remarkable talent to The Choirs YYJ.
As our Accompanist (since 2014), she contributes to the entire process of creating music for The Choir and The Chorus. Erin deftly navigates Marc’s arrangements and typically arranges her solo piano parts (incorporating a whole band’s parts) in their entirety.
Erin supports our singers throughout every rehearsal, co-creates and brings flair to our music, and wows audiences at our performances.
Erin has a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance from the University of Toronto and a diploma in Jazz Studies from Vancouver Island University.
Tanya Semple, Administrator
Tanya is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and arranger who has been playing music and singing in choirs since childhood. They have spent the last 15 years performing and touring both as their solo act Elder Sister Plum and in bands, most notably The Half Moon Shine. They’ve been hired to sing on and create vocal arrangements for a variety of local artists’ recording projects.
In 2023, Tanya graduated from the Music Technologies program at Camosun College/The Victoria Conservatory of Music, and has developed a keen interest in mixing and editing, live sound, and sound design.
Tanya started singing with The Choir in 2015. They were a guest performer with The Mini Choir and The Chorus in 2018, then joined The Mini Choir in 2018. They’ve arranged two songs for The Choir. When the opportunity arose to take over the position of Registrar in 2020, they were thrilled to take it on and engage with The Choirs YYJ community in a deeper capacity.
Ashley Bontje, Guest Arranger
Ashley is an arranger for The Choirs YYJ. Ashley joined The Chorus shortly after moving to Victoria in 2018, and continued to sing with the choir until she moved to Vancouver in 2022. She is thrilled to stay involved with the choir through arrangements and coming back to the island to attend The Choirs’ concerts!
Ashley studied Music Composition at Stanford University (BA) New York University (MA). She arranges for The Choirs YYJ, Island Song, and Seattle Ladies Choir.