Sheila is a classically trained dramatic soprano and passionate educator who has led her students to great personal and professional success in music and performance. She is a board member of the Vancouver Chapter of the National Association Teachers of Singing with over eighteen years of experience teaching classical voice, opera, musical theatre, jazz, and contemporary styles.
In 2018, Sheila was awarded 'Teacher of the Year' by the Coquitlam District Music Festival in honour of her students' achievements in the festival.
Sheila is on faculty at the Richmond Academy of Dance and maintains a thriving private home studio in Surrey, BC. Additionally, Sheila consults with the Delta School District providing vocal training to the students of the Delta Film academy, is a teaching artist with Vancouver Opera, and adjudicates music festivals and vocal competitions where she is often asked to conduct workshops and masterclasses. She has adjudicated in Chilliwack (2020), North Vancouver (2020), Prince George (2019), Thunder Bay (2019), and Lethbridge (2018).
Sheila has coached vocal students to the BC Provincial Music Festival where, for the past five years, her students have placed top three in both the Classical Voice (2015-2018) and Musical Theatre Voice (2017-2019) categories. Sheila’s students have been accepted for study at the Manhattan School of Music, Curtis Institute, New England Conservatory of Music, University of British Columbia, University of Lethbridge, Vancouver Academy of Music, Boston University’s Tanglewood Summer Institute, Sheridan College, Randolph Academy, Canadian College of the Performing Arts, and Capilano University.
Sheila firmly believes that professional development is essential to her success. Thanks to a grant from the Vancouver Opera Chorus Endowment Fund, she attended the NATS National Conference in Las Vegas and attended several masterclasses on new techniques for teaching and supporting young voices. She has also undertaken levels 1 and 2 of Estill Voice Training with Anne Marie Speed, studied vocal pedagogy with celebrated pedagogue Shannon Coates, and attended Opera Programs Berlin’s workshop “Teaching online: Vocal Technique, Resources, and Strategies.”
In addition to teaching, Sheila maintains a busy performing career. In her most recent appearance as a soprano soloist in Britten’s War Requiem with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, she was met with critical acclaim from Classical Voice North America’s David Gordon Duke: “The late Russian diva Galina Vishnevskaya’s inimitable sound informs the soprano writing, and the young Christie worked the part’s fierceness, defiance and almost hysterical intensity.”
Before joining Vancouver Opera’s Yulanda M. Faris Young Artist Program, Sheila was a featured artist in the Georgia Straight’s Fall Arts Preview. As a member of the Young Artist Program, Sheila performed the title role in Gustav Holst’s Savitri and covered four main-stage roles including Tosca in Tosca, Lady Billows in Albert Herring, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and Elisabetta in Don Carlo.
Further highlights include the High Priestess in Aida and Giovanna in Rigoletto (Vancouver Opera), the soloist in An Evening in Roma (Vancouver Symphony Orchestra), Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow (Burnaby Lyric Opera) and soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra). Sheila was a long-standing member of the Vancouver Opera Chorus (2002-2019) and still performs in Vancouver Opera’s community outreach events.