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Alumni Spotlight: J-M Erlendson '03

Thursday, December 14, 2017

J-M Erlendson graduated from Bayview Glen in 2003, and is an internationally-recognized process engineering expert, a successful arts entrepreneur and a highly accomplished professional musician. He attended the University of Toronto for Manufacturing and Process Engineering, earning a Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) and Master of Engineering (MEng). During this time, he was also recognized with multiple awards, including the prestigious Chalmers Award for Engineering Design and Best Vocal Group (Mid-Atlantic) at the International Competition of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCAs). He also became interested in entrepreneurship in engineering and the arts, earning his ELITE Certificate in Engineering Leadership and Entrepreneurship.

Before graduation, he already had a job in hand at CGI in their Management Consulting group, supporting process design and management. He also founded a startup music company, Countermeasure Music, which has become a major part of his career. The following year, he founded a charity and international music festival, SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival, which draws tens of thousands of attendees each year to Toronto, and was named a Top100 Festival by Festivals and Events Ontario (FEO).

Today, J-M works as a Senior Systems Engineer for Software AG, a major German software vendor. He still specializes in Process Engineering, and travels the world working with the company’s strategic clients to help them work smarter. Meanwhile, Countermeasure Music has grown into a busy and successful a cappella service and production company, touring groups around the world, creating custom music for major corporations and licensing its music for radio, television and web-content.

Recently, J-M Erlendson '03 and his wife, Elana Steingart, are busy singing and recording with Countermeasure, with their latest video of their single, "Life is Fine", trending on YouTube with nearly a quarter of a million views. They are also in the studio recording voices for an animated series, and steward two other acclaimed a cappella groups.

Beatsync is a pop-influenced a cappella group that has caught fire with corporate and festival events. Their first international tour to China was in November.

Ruach Singers is "tradition re-envisioned". A Toronto-based 8-voice professional Jewish a cappella group, they specialize In creating innovative Liturgical And Hebrew Vocal Music. They bring a fresh approach to traditional Jewish liturgy, taking style cues from Jazz/Pop a cappella and modern World Music. Their music can be found at Beth Sholom Synagogue Shabbat Services, Bar And Bat Mitzvahs, weddings and music festivals worldwide.

All three of their groups are featured annually at SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival, now in its 7th season. J-M is Chair and Founder of that festival.