notes and voices from the past - inspiring the future

Stella Claire ter Hart is a well known Canadian composer, educator, adjudicator and accompanist. She is directly descended from the Italian composer, Tomaso Vitali and has many other musical family members and ancestors. Stella is the only individual in Canada to have been awarded all four available diplomas from the Toronto Conservatory of Music: piano pedagogy, piano performance, composition, and theory.  Stella was born and raised in Estevan, Saskatchewan.

A first generation Canadian, she is poignantly inspired by her rich European background which includes French Huguenot ancestors on her father's side fleeing to the Netherlands in the 15th century to avoid persecution and the loss of her maternal grandmother's entire Jewish family (over 600 relatives) in World War 2 concentration camps, among them her 79 year old great grandfather, and a little 7 year old girl, also named Stella.


Professional choral accompanist, opera accompanist, composer, adjudicator, conductor, music educator and examiner. Stella holds ARCT diplomas from the Toronto Conservatory of Music. While growing up in Saskatchewan, she studied piano with Mary Murakami (Estevan), William Moore (Regina), Robin Harrison (Saskatoon) and Marilyn Engle (Calgary).  She is a widely sought after adjudicator and has brought her fun and unique interactive adjudicating skills to numerous music festivals in Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. From 1997 to 2002 she was the Head of Music at Rothesay Netherwood Private School in Saint John, New Brunswick. Stella is a retired member of the Toronto Conservatory of Music Board of Examiners after having served as an examiner in the History Department for over 10 years.  Stella presently focusses on composition with an emphasis on choral works and solo instrumental works.


Ms ter Hart is the winner of numerous composition competitions including the Diva Complex Composition Contest, the Pacific International Song Writing Competition and the Ruth Watson Henderson Choral Competition. She has accompanied some of Canada's best opera voices including Measha Brueger-Gosman, Stewart Howe, Cicela Mannson, Monette Gould and Cindy Townsend. She has been commissioned by CBC Radio 2 and Symphony New Brunswick. Stella adores playing for choirs and soloists; she has the soul of a singer and as an accompanist instinctively shadows and enhances the singer's every breath and phrase. Ms. ter Hart has conducted choirs and bands as well as maintaining a large, private piano studio.

Compositions (list not inclusive of all available compositions)


Through the Fog - programmatic symphonic work based on the Newfoundland folk song, Cape St. Mary's
Millenium Shadows - ouverture for orchestra; commissions by Symphony New Brunswick, 2000
Reflections for Orchestra - symphonic tone poem
A Maritime Suite - string orchestra work based on Canadian Maritime tunes
4 Songs of Innocence - hauntingly beautiful and provocative work for soprano, percussion and brass. Commissioned by CBC Radio 2, Halifax, NS.
as the light shimmers - flute and piano work; winner of the Pacific International Song Writing Competition (New Zealand), instrumental category. 


When a Woman Shops - flirtatious set of 4 short works for soprano/piano commissioned by Jessica McCormack
I heard the Voice of Jesus Say - haunting, contemporary arrangement of this beautiful tune for voice and piano
Songs of the Land - delightful arrangements of Canadian folk songs for solo voice and piano
3 Songs for Children - educational solos for young voices based on the poetry of R. L. Stevenson


Beginning BAND Basics - unique theory series for instrumentalists
Beginning VOICE Basics - unique theory series for vocalists


My Favourite Things - piano duets; intermediate level
Best Friends - piano duets; junior/intermediate level
Forgotten Dreams - piano solos; intermediate level
Dust Bunnies - piano solos; junior level


Ode to the Pig - award winning, whimsical SSA/piano choral work full of fun and imagination; co-winner of the 2005 Ruth Watson Henderson Choral Competition.
She's Like the Swallow/piano - stunning SSA choral arrangement of this ethereal Newfoundland folk song
in a corner of the stable - SSA/piano choral work; dramatic, inspiring & provocative; Christmas or Easter
God of Light - SATB/accappella uplifting and inspirational Christmas work
The Afterglow of Pain - SATB/piano work based on the poetry of black slave women
Where Fancy is Free - Scottish folk song arranged for SSA choir and celtic harp
Lost Lullabyes - SSAA/piano work using WW2 Jewish "holocaust survivor" songs
The Maid on the Shore - SSAA acappella work; newly composed folksong style tune based on a Nova Scotia text
The Bloody Gardener - Newfoundland text, newly composed folk style; highly effective acappella work for SSAA
My Child - beautifully written with flute and piano accompaniment, this SSAA choral work reflects on the wonder of childhood, and how its moments, though fleeting, still live forever through us all.
We Love Christmas (most of the time) - SSAA Treble Voices or Women's Choir.  Send your audience home grinning with this humorous and entertaining medley of 8 well known Christmas tunes - if you can find all 8!


You can reach Stella anytime via EMAIL

Many of Stella's compositions are available at or by contacting her directly.