Aline Homzy

Aline Homzy is an award-winning jazz violinist and composer. Originally from Montreal, born to a Québécois mom and an American dad with Eastern-European roots, Aline’s original music reflects her culturally-diverse background. Beyond composing music,  She is also the leader of the string section for SymphRONica (2019 Juno-nominated), Maurizio Guarini’s “A Goblin’s Chamber Music”, De Bouche à oreille – série de spectacles francophone. Aline has also performed and/ or recorded with international artists such as Munir Hossn (Brazil), Emma Smith (Edinburgh), Jake Sherman (USA), Leah Michelle (USA), Ed Sheeran (Great Britain), Danilo Perez (Panama), Cho Yongwon (South Korea), Mikko Hildèn (Sweden), amongst others. Aline has performed in halls and venues such as Koerner Hall, Massey Hall, The Glenn Gould Studio, the Burdock, the Great Hall, various stages for the TD International Toronto Jazz Festival, Festival international de jazz de Montréal, Stockholm International jazz festival and many chamber-music and jazz-related concert series.

Learn more about Aline at Aline Homzy

Yuhan Zhou

Yuhan is a Chinese-born composer and pianist based in Toronto. She recently won the Ann H Atkinson Prize in 2023 and currently serves as the composer-in-residence at the University of Toronto Wind Symphony and Chamber Choir. Her winning composition, performed with the Bedford piano trio, titled “The Not-yet,” premiered at the 2023 UofT New Music Festival. Yuhan’s work has been showcased across East Asia and North America, including soundtracks for visual media like Hulu’s 2021 id Artists showcase advertisement, as well as award-winning films such as “Oop” and “Gamble”. Yuhan is presently pursuing a composition doctorate at the University of Toronto.”

Renata Cardoso

Renata Cardoso was born and raised in Coimbra, Portugal. In 2023, Renata became the newest member of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s trumpet section. Renata received her bachelor’s degree from the Escola Superior de Música in Lisbon, Portugal and completed a year of master’s studies with Barbara Butler and Charlie Geyer at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. While in Houston, Renata was soloist for Wynton Marsalis’ “A Fiddler’s Tale.”  Renata has twice won auditions for the prestigious European Union Youth Orchestra. In 2021, she won first prize in the World Trumpet Society’s, “Daniel Patrylak Memorial Solo Competition.”

Learn more about Renata at Renata Cardoso

Meijun Chen

Meijun Chen is the Assistant Conductor of the Edmonton Opera and a fourth-year Doctor of Music student in Wind Band Conducting at the University of Alberta. Meijun is an active guest conductor of the University of Alberta Bands and Orchestra, as well as community bands, orchestras, choirs, and a sought-after clarinet clinician of public schools across Alberta. Meijun is the recipient of the 2024 CBDNA Mike Moss Diversity Conducting Study Grant, the 2023 Johann Strauss Foundation Music Award, and the Absolute First Prize winner in Conducting (Professional Category) at the 2023 UK International Music Competition. She has also been
selected as a Conducting Fellow for prestigious conductor workshops at the 2024 International Conductors Guild Conference; 2023 United States “Pershing’s Own” Army Band; and the 2023 University of Cincinnati College-CCM International Wind Festival in conjunction with “The President’sOwn” United States Marine Band. Meijun is also an award-winning clarinetist with 18 years of international performance and competition experience in over 13 countries across Europe, Asia, and North America. She is a frequent guest clarinetist with the Royal Canadian Artillery Band.  Meijun holds double Master of Music degrees in Wind Band Conducting and Clarinet Performance, and a Bachelor of Art degree with a major in Music and a minor in Economics, with Distinction, from the University of Alberta.

Learn more about Meijun at Meijun Chan

Tanya Charles

Tanya holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Toronto and an Artist Diploma in Orchestral Performance from the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music.  Tanya serves as the concertmaster of Montreal-based, Ensemble Obiora, a role she has embraced since its inception in 2021. Noteworthy is her performance as soloist, marking the Canadian premiere of Florence Price’s Violin Concerto #1 with this ensemble, under the baton of Samy Rachid, Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in October 2023.  For over two decades, Tanya has been instrumental in aiding with the implementation of string-education training in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. She is actively involved in various educational initiatives, including the Education Outreach Team for Ensemble du Monde in Guadeloupe and the All Caribbean Youth Orchestra program in St. Martin/Sint Maarten. Tanya has also shared her expertise as a guest instructor at the Centro Regional de Estudios Musicales in Mexico. Tanya is based in Toronto, where she shares her passion and expertise as a faculty member at both the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music and the Oscar Peterson Program at the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Learn more about Tanya at Tanya Charles

Bryan Holt

Bryan has appeared with many of the leading ensembles in the Greater Toronto Area including Continuum Contemporary Music, Art of Time Ensemble, Against the Grain Theatre, Soundstreams, Thin Edge New Music Collective, Tapestry Opera, and more.  He has also appeared in the cello sections of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Esprit Orchestra, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra and many other professional orchestras and ensembles.  Bryan holds a Doctorate of Music in Cello Performance from the University of Toronto where his thesis focused on the efficacy of online cello lessons.  He holds a masters degree from the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Solo Cello Performance and completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, where he was a two-time recipient of the Felix Galimir Award in Chamber Music Performance. Bryan is a Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) Certified Teacher and is also a member of the RCM College of Examiners.

Learn more about Bryan at Bryan Holt

Trish Howells

Trish Howells is a violinist and music educator in Toronto. Beginning at the age of 11, Trish studied violin privately with Professor Ivan Kowaliw, the director of the Mykola Lysenko Ukrainian Music Institute, in Toronto. She continued her studies with both David Zafer and Andrew Dawes at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto.  Trish has enjoyed many years performing in a variety of ensembles including the Lysenko Music Institute String Orchestra, the Trinity Chamber Ensemble, and the Trinity String Quartet. As well, she sang with the Bell’Arte Singers for many years.  Trish was a music educator for 38 years, teaching string classes from grades 4 to 12. Most of her career has been focussed on teaching strings and choral music at the middle school level.

Learn more about Trish at Trish Howells


Patricia Wait

Professor Patricia Wait is a clarinetist with extensive performance credits as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician. She has appeared with many leading Canadian artists and ensembles, including pianist Anton Kuerti and clarinetist James Campbell; the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Prague String Quartet and Purcell String Quartet; and the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra. She has earned a BMus (Toronto), MMus (Western Ontario), DMA (ABD) (Cincinnati).

Learn more about Patricia at Patricia Wait.

Patricia is sponsored by York University.



Dr. Denis Jiron

Dr. Denis Jiron is currently principal trombone of the Jackson Symphony and Midland Symphony orchestras.  He has also held positions with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Riverside Philharmonic and the Hofer Symfoniker, and has been guest trombonist with the LA Opera, Sapporo Symphony, Philharmonie Luxembourg, Pacific Symphony, and Detroit Symphony orchestras. He has also appeared with many artists, including: Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Queen Latifah, Kanye West, Andrea Bocelli, Sting, Gladys Night, Al McKay-Earth Wind and Fire Experience and many others. In 2004 he founded and directed the Afro-Cuban orchestra, Rumbankete, which released its first album in 2011. He has held adjunct trombone professor positions at California State University Los Angeles and California State University San Bernardino. Denis earned his BM degree from California State University Northridge and his MFA degree from California Institute of the Arts, as well as studying at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Trossingen and later the Hochschule für Musik und Datsellende Kunst Mannheim. Dr. Jiron earned his DMA degree from Michigan State University as a University Distinguished Fellow. Denis Jiron is a Conn-Selmer (Vincent Bach) Performing Artist.

Denis is sponsored by Western University

Shelley Heron

Shelley Heron was a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s oboe section for almost 30 years. She participated in more than forty recordings with the DSO and the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings on the Chandos, Naxos and DSO Live labels and has toured the United States, Europe and Japan on numerous occasions. Shelley has extensive experience working with students of all ages and abilities in private lessons, master classes and sectionals. She has conducted classes at The Glenn Gould School of Music, Interlochen Arts Camp, Western Michigan University, Michigan State University, University of Michigan, Detroit Symphony Civic Youth Ensembles and the Banff International Festival of Youth Orchestras and Wind Ensembles. In addition, Shelley co-founded and organized AVANTI Summer MusicFest, a week-long workshop for Metro Detroit students (13-18 yrs old) coached by Detroit Symphony musicians. For more than a decade she also collaborated with Sarnia high school music teachers resulting in over 400 students attending summer music camp.  Shelley received a Bachelor of Music in Performance degree from the University of Toronto and Master of Music from Western University.

Shelley is sponsored by Western University

Maria Conkey

A native of Newfoundland and Labrador, Maria Conkey is an inspiring and innovative conductor, clinician, and pedagogue. In addition to beginning her Doctorate of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) at the University of Toronto, she is the Artistic Director of the Oakville Choir for Children & Youth and the Outreach Co-ordinator at St. Michael’s Choir School. Maria is also the 2023-24 recipient of the Elmer Iseler National Graduate Fellowship in Choral Conducting, and a nominee for the 2023 Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting. She has also received the Beryl Barnes Memorial Graduate Award and the Andreas Barban Memorial Scholarship. Past engagements include the Artistic Director of Young Voices Toronto, the Conductor of the award-winning senior choirs at St. Bonaventure’s College (NL), and the Choral Director at the Basilica of St. John the Baptist (NL). She has also worked with Shallaway – Newfoundland Youth in Chorus and several children’s, youth, and adult choirs, including the Alberta Youth Choir and the University of Alberta Madrigal Singers.

Learn more about Maria at Maria Conkey

Heather Bambrick

Heather Bambrick is a JUNO-nominated vocalist who has collaborated with Phil Nimmons, Fred Hirsch, Gene DiNovi, Guido Basso, Lea Delaria, Rob McConnell, Peter Appleyard, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, and others. She has released three solo recordings, including You’ll Never Know, which was nominated for Vocal Jazz Recording of the Year at the 2017 JUNO Awards and Jazz Recording of the Year at the
2018 East Coast Music Awards. Heather hasbeen a featured guest on numerous projects, and has been awarded Canada’s National Jazz Award for Vocalist of the Year. Beyond singing, Heather is an award-winning broadcaster on JAZZ.FM91 (Canada’s only all-Jazz radio station), and a highly regarded adjudicator and clinician, working at schools and festivals across Canada.

Learn more about Heather at Heather Bambrick

Amy Horvey

Amy holds a Doctorate of Music in Trumpet Performance from McGill University, completed under the guidance of Edward Carroll with the support of the Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). She completed her 2nd phase diploma at the Rotterdams Conservatory and Dance Academy in the Netherlands, and the first year of the Artist Diploma in Orchestral Studies from the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Trumpet Performance from the University of Victoria. Amy has appeared as a soloist with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. She has toured and performed for over a decade with the OSM and has been Acting Principal Trumpet of the Canadian Opera Company for numerous productions. She has worked with many groups including the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Victoria Symphony Orchestra, l’Orchestre Métropolitan, and the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. She has taught trumpet performance at numerous institutions, including McGill, Concordia, and Lakehead Universities.

Learn more about Amy at Amy Horvey

Amy is sponsored by Yamaha Canada Music and Denis Wick (London) 

Rich Brown

Along with being one of the most called upon electric bass players in Canada, Rich Brown is a composer, producer, bandleader, educator and clinician, broadcaster, and voiceover artist. He has recorded three albums as a leader, including his critically acclaimed album of solo bass compositions ‘Between Heaviness & Here.’ Rich appears on a plethora of recordings ranging from Jazz to traditional Arabic and Asian music. Rich leads two groups—rinsethealgorithm and The Abeng —and was nominated for a Juno Award in 2016 for his latest album, ‘Abeng.’ As an educator, Rich Brown is well-known for his work as a faculty member with the popular online bass education website Scott’s Bass Lessons. He teaches at the University of Toronto. You can also hear Rich every Saturday as the host of his own show ‘New Origins’ on

Learn more about Rich at Rich Brown

Rich is sponsored by the University of Toronto

Karl Silveira

Karl Silveira is a Juno Nominated (Lemon Bucket Orkestra 2013) Trombonist from Toronto. He completed a Master of Music in Jazz Performance and Composition from the University of Toronto in 2019. Aside from his work as a freelance trombonist, Karl is a composer, educator and bandleader as well. Karl composes for and leads The Karl Silveira Quintet featuring Allison Au, Matt Newton, Dan Fortin and Nico Dann. He recently released his Debut album “A Porta Aperta” in April 2022. Karl is a devout educator and is an applied teacher in the Jazz Program at The University of Toronto where he has been teaching since 2019.

Learn more about Karl at Karl Silveira

Karl is sponsored by the University of Toronto

Rebecca Hennessy

Rebecca Hennessy is an award-winning Canadian trumpeter, vocalist, composer and bandleader. She has jazz performance degrees from University of Toronto and Vancouver Island University. As a leader and co-leader, Rebecca has released eight albums to date and has toured Mexico, Panama, Sri Lanka, Europe, USA and extensively in Canada.  In June 2018, Rebecca was presented with the Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Jazz Artist Award. In July 2016, Rebecca Hennessy’s FOG Brass Band was nominated for both the Montreal Jazz Festival’s Grand Prix de Jazz and the Galaxie Rising Star Award at the Halifax Jazz Festival. Rebecca co-leads Way North, which features herself on trumpet, Petr Cancura on tenor saxophone, Michael Herring on bass and Richie Barshay on drums. In 2016, Way North was invited to perform and teach workshops at Danilo Perez’s Jazz Festival in Panama. Rebecca is also a co-leader and composer of Toronto’s chamber-jazz quartet, Hobson’s Choice. Hobson’s Choice has been performing and recording since 2008 and has since released three independently funded EP’s and a full length album “Of The Waves” released on Barnyard Records with the support of the OAC. “Of The Waves” was rated 4/4 by Toronto’s Now Magazine.

Learn more about Rebecca at Rebecca Hennessy

Rebecca is sponsored by the University of Toronto

Cynthia Peyson Wahl

Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Cynthia Peyson Wahl holds a Bachelor of Music Education (University of Regina), a diploma in Contemporary Music, Jazz Voice (Grant MacEwan University), and a Master of Music Education (University of Toronto). For fourteen years she taught choir, vocal jazz, and musical theatre at Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and directed the jazz choir at Canadian Mennonite University. She currently teaches choir, orchestra, vocal jazz and musical theatre at Campbell Collegiate in Regina, Saskatchewan.  She teaches piano and voice at the Conservatory of Performing Arts at the University of Regina.  Cynthia is the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards for choral excellence, and is published in two books – The Palgrave Handbook on Race and the Arts in Education, and Teaching Music Through Performance in Choir, vol. 5. She is also on faculty with the School for Music Vocations Jazz Choir camps and International Music Camp summer faculty. Cynthia enjoys a busy schedule as a clinician/workshop.

Learn more about Cynthia at Cynthia Peyson Wahl

Joe Sullivan

Joe is an associate professor at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University, where he teaches jazz composition, arranging and trumpet. Part of a musical family, Joe played the piano as a child and took up the trumpet in high school, going on to study classical trumpet at the University of Ottawa. His interest in jazz led him to Boston where he first studied at the Berklee School of Music, and then at the New England Conservatory of Music with George Russell and Jimmy Giuffre, receiving a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies. Since then, he has lived in the Montreal area, where he is an active performer, composer, arranger and bandleader. A prolific composer, Sullivan directs a jazz sextet and The Joe Sullivan Big Band, and has eight albums to his name as a leader, the most recent being Whiskey Jack Waltz with his small group, and Unfamiliar Surroundings with his big band.

Learn more about Joe at Joe Sullivan

Joe is sponsored by McGill University

Kent Sangster

Kent Sangster has been a prominent member of Canada’s jazz scene for over twenty-five years. Kent is a highly respected saxophonist, educator, bandleader, composer-arranger, and producer.  His “Obsessions Octet” has performed at Carnegie Hall, The Rochester International Jazz Festival and completed 2 extensive tours in Europe. The European tours included performances in UK, Hungary, The Czechoslovakia, Greece and Poland. He has released 7 recordings, 4 of which are with the Obsessions Octet. In addition to the Juno nomination, Kent is a Western Canadian Music Award winning artist. Kent holds an Assistant Professorship at MacEwan University, in the areas of Jazz composition, arranging, improvisation and performance. Kent is also the executive and artistic director of the Edmonton International Jazz festival.

Kent is sponsored by Grant MacEwan University


Tara Davidson

Tara Davidson is a JUNO Award-winning alto and soprano saxophonist who has performed around the world at such prestigious venues as New York City’s Carnegie Hall, the acclaimed North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands, the JZ Jazz Club in Shanghai, China, and The Kennedy Center, in Washington, D.C.  As a bandleader, Davidson has produced seven recordings since 2004 and performed on approximately forty recordings as a side musician. Five of her seven recordings as a leader or co-leader (Carn Davidson 9) have been nominated by the JUNO Awards for “Jazz Album of the Year”. In 2020, Davidson won a JUNO Award for Jazz Album of the Year: Group as a member of Ernesto Cervini’s Turboprop. Tara also enjoys a diverse freelance career as a woodwind player (saxophones, clarinet, and flute). She has worked with musical theatre companies such as the Stratford Festival, the Musical Stage Company, and Drayton Entertainment, and with such symphonies as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the National Ballet Orchestra. ​Tara is an active educator on faculty at the University of Toronto and York University.

Learn more about Tara at Tara Davidson

Josh Rager

Josh Rager is a pianist, arranger, composer, and teacher based in Montreal. In 2005, he was nominated for the Prix du Festival at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. In 2007, he played at Carnegie Hall with Nikki Yanofsky, and also appeared on her Juno-nominated release “Ella… Of Thee I Swing”. He also received a commission from the European Broadcasting Union in 2009 to compose a jazz suite for two pianos entitled “Menuet and Duo”, which was recorded by CBC at its premiere at Montreal’s Pollack Hall and broadcast internationally.   Josh is an assistant professor in jazz studies at Concordia University, and his most recent CD, “Dreams and Other Stories” features new original music for his quintet. He has performed and recorded with Ingrid Jensen, Walt Weiskopf, Donny McCaslin, Joe Morello, Pat LaBarbera, Kevin Dean, Ranee Lee, and Dawn Tyler Watson.

Learn more about Josh at Josh Rager

Josh is sponsored by Concordia University

Dr. Dylan Maddix

Originally from Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Dr. Dylan Rook Maddix is Assistant Professor of Instrumental Conducting and Community Engagement at Memorial University in St. John’s, NL, where he conducts the Memorial University Wind Ensemble and teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting. Prior to this appointment, he served as Professor of Music and head of wind and brass studies at Cambrian College in Sudbury, Ontario, where he conducted the wind ensemble, taught music theory, wind/brass methods, and pedagogy courses. He also served on the conducting faculty of Laurentian University. Maddix received his Bachelor of Music from Mount Allison University, a Master of Music in Trumpet Performance from the University of Toronto, and completed his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Conducting at Arizona State University.

Originaire de Summerside à l’Île-du-Prince-Édouard, le Dr Dylan Rook Maddix est professeur adjoint de direction d’orchestre et d’engagement communautaire à l’Université Memorial de St. John’s, Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador. Il y dirige l’orchestre à vents et enseigne la direction d’orchestre au premier cycle et au cycle supérieur.  Avant de gagner ce poste, M. Maddix a été professeur de musique et responsable du département d’instruments à vents, volet cuivres,  au Cambrian College de Sudbury, où il a dirigé l’ensemble à vent, enseigné la théorie, les méthodes de vents et de cuivres en plus de cours de pédagogie. Il a également siégé à la faculté de direction d’orchestre de l’Université Laurentienne.  Maddix détient son baccalauréat en musique de l’Université Mount Allison, une maîtrise en interprétation de la trompette de l’Université de Toronto et a complété son doctorat en arts musicaux, direction d’orchestre, à l’Arizona State University.

Learn more about Dylan at Dr. Dylan Maddix

Dr. Gina Ryan

Dr. Gina Ryan is a professor at the department of music at the University of Quebec in Montreal. As a composer and percussionist, she has performed her works in Canada, the United States, Thailand, Mexico, France, Japan, and China. As an active YouTuber, she has published over 80 videos on her channel, including performances and tutorials. Dr. Ryan is regularly invited to give workshops and masterclasses and to serve as an adjudicator both in Canada and abroad.  She has has been published in a range of journals and magazines, including International Journal of Music Education, Psychology of Music, Research Studies in Music Education, Percussive Notes, and Canadian Music Educator.

Gina Ryan est professeure au département de musique de l’Université du Québec à Montréal. En tant que compositrice et percussionniste, elle a interprété ses œuvres au Canada, aux États-Unis, en Thaïlande, au Mexique, en France, au Japon et en Chine. YouTubeuse active, elle a publié plus de 80 vidéos sur sa chaîne, notamment des performances et des tutoriels. Le Dr Ryan est invitée régulièrement à donner des ateliers et des classes de maître ainsi qu’à siéger à titre de membre du jury au Canada et à l’étranger. Gina a été publiée dans diverses revues et magazines, notamment le International Journal of Music Education, Psychology of Music, Research Studies in Music Education, Percussive Notes, and Canadian Music Educator.

Learn more about Gina at Gina Ryan

Dr. William Lake

Dr. Lake earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Instrumental Conducting from The University of North Carolina. As a graduate student, he was the principal and guest conductor of many ensembles. He is presently the newly appointed Director of Concert Bands at the Reva and Sid Dewberry Family School of Music at George Mason University for the upcoming academic year. In this role, he will conduct the George Mason University Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band. He will also teach conducting and wind literature classes. He is a collaborating author for two books on teaching instrumental music and stories of pandemic teaching and transformative change. Dr. William Lake is a passionate advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion and has presented many seminars about inclusive practices in music education and performance.​

Le Dr Lake a obtenu son doctorat en direction instrumentale de l’Université de la Caroline du Nord. En tant qu’étudiant diplômé, il a été chef principal et chef invité de nombreux ensembles. Pour la prochaine  année universitaire, il sera le nouveau directeur des orchestres d’harmonie de la Reva and Sid Dewberry Family School of Music de l’Université George Mason où il y dirigera l’orchestre symphonique à vents et l’orchestre d’harmonie. Il y donnera également des cours de direction et de répertoire pour orchestre à vents. Il est auteur collaborateur de deux livres. Le Dr William Lake est un ardent défenseur de la diversité, de l’équité et de l’inclusion et a présenté de nombreux séminaires sur les pratiques inclusives dans l’éducation et l’interprétation musicales.

Learn more about William at Dr. William Lake

Mark Caswell

Mark Caswell is recently retired after a lifetime career of teaching music at Markham District High School, home to several concert bands, jazz ensembles, choirs and chamber music ensembles, consistently earning Gold awards when attending Nationals at Musicfest Canada. Their senior tour bands travelled to more than twelve countries across North America and Europe. Mark is a founding member of the Ontario Band Association, serving as President as well as continuing his role as Festival coordinator for the Provincial Band Festival for more than 20 years. He has also been an active adjudicator, conductor and clinician across the province for many years.He has published many articles and  led workshops on student leadership at the OMEA conferences. Mark was recently presented with the Canadian Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

Mark Caswell a récemment pris sa retraite après une carrière en enseignement de la musique à la Markham District High School, où évoluent plusieurs orchestres d’harmonie, d’ensembles de jazz, de chorales et d’ensembles de musique de chambre remportant régulièrement le niveau or aux Finales Nationales de Musicfest Canada. Leurs ensembles seniors ont voyagé dans plus de douze pays en Amérique du Nord et en Europe. Mark est un membre fondateur de l’Ontario Band Association où il a servi à titre de président et où il continue son rôle de coordonnateur du festival provincial de musique depuis plus de 20 ans. Il est également un juge, un chef d’orchestre et un clinicien en demande dans toute la province depuis plusieurs années. Mark a publié de nombreux articles et animé des ateliers sur le leadership étudiant lors des conférences de l’OMEA. Il a récemment reçu la Médaille du souverain canadien pour les bénévoles à Rideau Hall, Ottawa.

Learn more about Mark at Mark Caswell.

Michele Jacot

Michele Jacot is a musician with an active schedule. She performs regularly in symphony orchestras and pit orchestras,including Mirvish Productions and the Shaw Festival. She plays in chamber ensembles and as a soloist in addition to conducting, adjudicating and teaching privately.  Besides being in demand for her skills as a clarinettist, Michele is equally at home as a saxophonist and flutist. Michele has been the Artistic Director of Toronto’s Wychwood Clarinet Choir since its inception in 2009.  She is proud to be a Yamaha Canada Spotlight Artist, and an Artist at Vandoren, Paris, France.

Michele Jacot est une musicienne à l’horaire chargé. Elle se produit régulièrement dans des orchestres symphoniques et des orchestres de fosse, notamment pour Mirvish Productions et le Shaw Festival. Elle joue aussi pour des ensembles de musique de chambre et comme soliste en plus de diriger, de siéger au sein de jurys lors de festivals et d’enseigner en privé. En grande demande pour ses compétences de clarinettiste, Michele est également à l’aise comme saxophoniste et flûtiste.  Elle est la directrice artistique du Chœur de clarinettes Wychwood de Toronto depuis sa création en 2009. Elle est fière d’être artiste vedette pour Yamaha Canada, et artiste  chez Vandoren, Paris, France.

Learn more about Michele at Michele Jacot

Marika Galea

Vice Chair, Instrumental Jazz

Marika Galea is an award-winning performer, composer, and professor of jazz and contemporary popular music at Brandon University. Best known as a bassist, she earned a spot as one of CBC Music’s 2017 35 best Canadian jazz artists under 35. Galea’s music explores the space between improvised jazz, narrative songwriting, and hypnotic soundscapes. Her collaborations have garnered nominations and wins for JUNO, Golden Globe, Academy, Polaris, Iris, RIDM and HotDocs Awards. Galea studied at the University of Toronto and Berklee College of Music on full scholarship, completing a degree in performance and composition with a minor in contemporary conducting. She went on to complete her master’s degree at McGill University.  Galea has taught at McGill University, McGill Conservatory, Berklee College of Music, Malta Jazz Festival, Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival, Prince Edward County Jazz Festival, Eckhardt-Gramatté Conservatory, L’école de jazz de Montréal and the University of Manitoba’s Canadian Jazz Summit.


Learn more about Marika at Marika Galea.

Amely Zhou

Amely Zhou is an erhu performer, a Chinese music specialist, an adjudicator and a conductor. In 2014, Amely graduated from York University with a Specialized Honours B.A. in music. Amely’s music has been featured on TVO, Fairchild TV and CNTV. Amely is currently the music director of the Canadian Chinese Orchestra. Under her direction, the orchestra has toured in China and performed at the Markham Flato Theatre, the Sony Centre, and the Mississauga Living Art Centre. In 2020, she led a group of multi-ethnic ensemble Estro-genesis and performed a series of Canadian works for the Toronto Music Garden’s summer music program.


Learn more about Amely at Amely Zhou

Dr. LaToya Webb

Dr. LaToya Webb is an assistant professor of Music and Director of the Laurier Wind Orchestra. Before joining the Laurier Faculty of Music, she served as an assistant professor of Practice in Conducting, assistant director of Bands at the University of Texas at Austin, and instructor of Wind Conducting at Auburn and Grambling State University.  She holds degrees from Norfolk State University, George Mason University, and Auburn University.  As a passionate advocate for improving educational opportunities through diversity, equity, inclusion, and access, LaToya serves on the Composer Project Advisory Board and as the Special Projects Manager for United Sound, Inc. This organization strives to remove barriers and foster social change through music. She is also the Co-founder of I See You: Affirming Representation in Music, an organization aimed to affirm Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) in all fields of music.

Learn more about LaToya at LaToya Webb

Heather Macdonald

Heather Macdonald is a sought-after orchestral and chamber musician in the Toronto area. She currently acts as a coach to the Contemporary Music Ensemble at the University of Toronto (U of T), and as part of the ensemble-in-residence for U of T’s composition seminar. She has performed with orchestras across North America, including the Colorado Symphony, Boulder Philharmonic, Cheyenne Symphony, and numerous orchestras across Ontario. She is on faculty at McMaster University’s School of the Arts, where she teaches oboe lessons. She also leads studio classes and teaches lessons as a teaching assistant in the oboe studio at U of T.  She holds a Master of Music from the University of Colorado, an Artist Diploma from the Glenn Gould School in Toronto, and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Ottawa. She is currently working towards the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Toronto.

Learn more about Heather at Heather Macdonald

Heather is sponsored by McMaster University

Robert Miller

Robert Miller has established himself as one of Canada’s leading euphonium soloists, and has held positions as Principal Euphonium and soloist with many of Canada’s finest brass ensembles. Currently the Solo Euphonium with Canada’s premier professional brass band, the Hannaford Street Silver Band, Mr. Miller is also Principal Euphonium of the Salvation Army Mississauga Temple Band, and the Weston Silver Band, of which he is Associate Conductor. He has maintained a busy private euphonium studio for many years, and is honoured to have been a member of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music as Euphonium Instructor since 2007.

Learn more about Robert at Robert Miller

Robert is sponsored by Yamaha Canada

Zoltan Kalman

Zoltan Kalman was born in Hungary. He received his training at the prestigious Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest and obtained his Masters in Clarinet Performance and Chamber Music. Before his arrival to Canada, he served as principal clarinet with the Hungarian Opera House in Budapest.
Mr. Kalman is principal clarinetist with both, the Niagara Symphony and  Burlington Symphony, and appears regularly with the Southern Ontario Lyric Opera Company. He is currently the clarinet, saxophone and chamber music instructor at McMaster University in Hamilton, and conductor of the University Wind Ensemble at Brock University in St. Catharines, where he teaches clarinet, saxophone, and Woodwind Techniques.

Learn more about Zoltan at Zoltan Kalman

Zoltan is sponsored by McMaster University

Alba Chen

Alba Chen graduated from Shanghai Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Music Education and received a Master Degree in Choral Conducting from Memorial University. She was recently accepted into University of Toronto’s Doctorate of Musical Arts program. She is the musical director at Nomad Stages in Stephenville, Newfoundland, where she won Best Choir at the Stephenville Rotary Music Festival and is a guest conductor for The Atlantic Boy Choir.  In addition to her extensive choir conducting experiences, she has worked as an improvisation actress, film producer and director for 5 years. She was one of the first members in the professional Chinese improv team under KaiXin MaHua.

Cathrie Yuen

Cathrie Yuen is a Vancouver based choral conductor who serves as the the Associate Conductor of the Vancouver Bach Symphonic Choir and the Cantabile Choir, and is a Sessional Instructor at the Trinity Western University music department, and the Artistic Director of the MGV Lyra men’s choir. She was selected as a Conducting Fellow for the Vancouver Chamber Choir’s Conducting Symposium and was also among the finalists at the 2019 World Choral Conducting Competition. Cathrie holds a Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting from the University of British Columbia and obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Trinity Western University.

Learn more about Cathrie at Cathrie Yuen

Dr. Pingyi Song

Dr. Pingyi Song serves as Associate Director of Choral Activities at Stetson University, FL. and previously served as the Director of Choral Activities at Coker University, S.C. Her most recent research study “Gender Issues and Introduction to Choral Literature by Eastern Asian Female Composers” was invited to present at National and International Conferences such as 2024 SRCS (Symposium on Research in Choral Singing), 2023 ACDA (American Choral Directors Association), 2023 NCCO (National Collegiate Choral Organization), and the 2023 ACMI (Asian Classical Music Initiative) Conferences. Dr. Song also serves as a National Board Member and International Student and Faculty Affinity Group Leader for NCCO, Chair of World Music & Cultures and a Board member of South Carolina ACDA. Pingyi holds a Choral Summer School Certificate from Oxford University, U.K., a D.M.A. Degree in Choral Conducting and a Post-Bachelorette Certificate in Music Education from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and Master and Bachelor degrees from West Virginia University, Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, and Guangzhou University, China.

Learn more about Pingyi at Dr. Pingyi Song

Megan Collings

Megan Collings teaches music at Central Peel Secondary School in Brampton, Ontario where she is the head of the Arts Department and responsible for the Regional Strings program. She is the Executive Director of the Ontario Vocal Festival and a Regional Coordinator for the Concert and Chamber Festival West.  Megan believes that music can create an equitable, inclusive and diverse community where student ownership can lead to student empowerment.

Gordon Cleland

Principal cellist of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra, Gordon Cleland has performed across North America. He teaches cello at Brock University and is an instructor with Suzuki Niagara and the Niagara Youth Orchestra.  Gordon has adjudicated music festivals across Canada and runs a private studio in the Niagara region. Gordon earned a Master of Music degree from Boston University.

Learn more about Gordon at Gordon Cleland

Darryl Ferguson

Co-Director, Canadian Honour Band Project

Darryl Ferguson received a Bachelor of Music (Applied Trumpet) from Brandon University, a Master’s of Music (Trumpet Performance) from the University of South Florida, and a Bachelor of Education (After Degree) from the University of Manitoba. He currently teaches at Acadia Junior High School in Winnipeg, MB, where he directs four concert bands and a jazz ensemble.  In 2021, Darryl was awarded the Manitoba Band Association’s Award of Distinction in recognition of his outstanding contribution to music education in Manitoba. In 2018, Darryl was awarded the Fort Richmond MLA Community Hero Certificate for his service in the community. Darryl is involved in many Manitoba Band Association  initiatives, including serving as the MBA representative for the Tempo Music Conference, chairperson for the Manitoba provincial Junior and Intermediate Honour Bands, chairperson for the MBA Jazz Festival, and co-chair of the MBA’s Solo Challenge.

​Learn more about Darryl at Darryl Ferguson

Cheryl Ferguson

Co-Director, Canadian Honour Band Project

Cheryl Ferguson received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance (French horn) and a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Mary (Bismarck, ND).  She has also done graduate work at Southern Oregon University, and has earned a Master in Curriculum Studies (Music Education) at Acadia University (Nova Scotia).  Cheryl has taught music at every level, including K-6 general music classes, ten years running junior high band programs, and has been in her current position as Director of Bands at Fort Richmond Collegiate since 2006.  Cheryl is also the Director of Concert Band at Canadian Mennonite University.  In 2013, Cheryl received the Manitoba Band Association Award of Distinction recognizing an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to music education in Manitoba.  In 2014, she received the I. Keith Mann Outstanding Band Director Award. Cheryl was also awarded the Community Hero Award from the Manitoba Legislative Assembly in 2018.

Learn more about Cheryl at Cheryl Ferguson

Waleed Abdulhamid

Waleed Abdulhamid is a Canadian multi-instrumentalist, composer, vocalist, music and film producer, and is known for his striking vocals, innovative bass technique, and his speed and precision on percussion. He has been an active member of the Toronto music scene since his arrival from Sudan in 1992, and is the recipient of the Canadian New Pioneer Award, African Tama Award, Reel World Film Festival Award, Canadian Film Board of Excellence Award, and twice the DORA Award. He demonstrates his versatility playing 20 instruments: guitar; bass; drums; flute; harmonica; kirin; bass kirin; darabhuka; marimba; balimbo; congas; bongos; djembe; dumbek; aghera; tambour; cajun; denger; ekaa; tama. Waleed is currently a faculty member in
the music department of the University of Toronto. Formerly, he worked for twenty years as a professor in the Music Degree Program at Humber College.

Learn more about Waleed at Waleed Abudulhamid

Rosalind Zhang

Toronto-native Rosalind Zhang is a multi-instrumentalist, educator, and performer who credits her colourful experiences to her artistic upbringing. She spent her formative years immersed in a fast-paced curriculum that strived for both artistic and academic excellence at the Claude Watson School for the Arts, where she received additional training in acting, improvisation, movement, visual arts, creativity, and dance.  She obtained certification as an Associate of the Royal Conservatory in Toronto in Piano Performance before she officially accepted her admission to the University of Toronto Faculty of Music, majoring in cello alone. After receiving her Bachelor degree and an Advanced Certificate in Performance, she moved to New York and continued her cello studies at the Manhattan School of Music.

Learn more about Rosalind at Rosalind Zhang

Andrew Harris

Andrew Harris is Principal Timpani & Percussion with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and has performed regularly with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. He has performed with ensembles including Ottawa Choral Society, Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra, Touring Broadway Productions, and the Central Band of the Canadian Armed Forces. Andrew is Coordinator of the Percussion Sector at the University of Ottawa where he gives lessons and directs the percussion ensemble. He has been the percussion coach for the Ottawa Youth and Junior Youth Orchestras and frequently runs high school masterclasses and coaching sessions.

Learn more about Andrew at Andrew Harris

Andrew is sponsored by the University of Ottawa

Chris Lee

A native of Toronto, Chris began playing tuba at the age of twelve at Winona Drive Senior Public School and instantly discovered a passion for performing.  After graduating from the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, Chris’ formal education included studies at McGill, the Montreal Conservatoire and Indiana University. Chris’ professional orchestral tuba career began overseas in Spain, performing as Principal Tuba with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia for 2 seasons from 2001 to 2003 before returning to Canada to take up the same position with the Winnipeg Symphony in 2003.  Chris served as Principal Tuba with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for 15 seasons from 2003 until 2018, when he started as Principal Tuba with the National Arts Centre Orchestra.

Learn more about Chris at Chris Lee

Chris is sponsored by the University of Ottawa

Doug Burden

Douglas Burden has been the Bass Trombonist of the National Arts Centre Orchestra since 1972. He has taught at the University of Ottawa since 1975. He was the bass trombone instructor at the McGill Faculty of Music in Montréal for six years from 2001 to 2007. For a period of five years from 1987 to 1992, he travelled weekly to Kingston and taught at Queen’s University. He was also a member of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra for seventeen years from 1975 to1992.

Learn more about Douglas at Douglas Burden

Douglas is sponsored by the University of Ottawa

Steven van Gulik

Ottawa trumpeter Steven van Gulik joined the National Arts Centre Orchestra in 2009. He began learning the cornet at age eight with his uncle Kenneth Moore and performed in the local Salvation Army church. An active chamber musician, he performs annually at the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival and regularly joins Ottawa’s Capital BrassWorks brass ensemble. Steven van Gulik has been principal trumpet of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra. He has performed as a soloist with this orchestra, as well as with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and the National Arts Centre Orchestra.

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Steven is sponsored by the University of Ottawa

Lawrence Vine

Principal Horn with the National Arts Centre Orchestra since 2002, Lawrence Vine has also served as Principal Horn with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. He regularly performs at home and on tour with the National Arts Centre Wind Quintet, a highly acclaimed ensemble that has recorded for the Naxos label. As a soloist, he has appeared with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and Ottawa’s Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra.

Learn more about Lawrence at Lawrence Vine

Lawrence is sponsored by the University of Ottawa

Victor Herbiet

Victor Herbiet studied saxophone with Peter Smith and Noël Samyn and composition with Steven Gellman at the University of Ottawa where he obtained a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in saxophone performance. His most recent compositions for solo saxophone and clarinet were featured as compulsory works for the 2019 Saxiana International Competition in France, to which he was invited as adjudicator. Victor is currently adjunct professor at the University of Ottawa’s School of Music. He publishes his compositions through Gérard Billaudot, Dorn Publications and the Canadian Music Centre. Victor has been playing principal saxophone with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra since 2007.

Learn more about Victor at Victor Herbiet

Victor is sponsored by the University of Ottawa

Richard Hoenich

Montreal-born Richard Hoenich enjoys a distinguished career as a performer, conductor, and educator. He has conducted professional orchestras on four continents and at such prestigious venues as the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, the Zarzuela Theatre in Madrid, and the Salle Pleyel in Paris. In Canada, he has conducted the Toronto Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, among others. During his tenure as principal bassoon with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra from 1979 to 1991 he was appointed associate conductor of the MSO by music director Charles Dutoit.

Learn more about Richard at Richard Hoenich

Richard is sponsored by the University of Ottawa

Kimball Sykes

Kimball Sykes joined the National Arts Centre Orchestra as principal clarinet in 1985. Born in Vancouver, he received a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of British Columbia.  He has performed and toured with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and was a member of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra. While in Vancouver, he was a founding member of the Vancouver Wind Trio. From 1983 to 1985 he was principal clarinet of the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra.

Learn more about Kimball at Kimball Sykes

Kimball is sponsored by the University of Ottawa

Chip Hamann

Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, Charles “Chip” Hamann earned a Bachelor of Music and the prestigious Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music in 1993. He was appointed to the principal oboe chair of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra in 1993 at the age of 22. Mr. Hamann has also served as guest principal oboe with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and Quebec’s Les Violons du Roy.  Mr. Hamann is Adjunct Professor of oboe at the University of Ottawa School of Music and was on the faculty of the NAC Summer Music Institute for twenty years.

Learn more about Chip at Chip Hamann

Chip is sponsored by the University of Ottawa

Carolyn Christie

Carolyn Christie won the Second Flute Chair of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (OSM) in 1978, after beginning her orchestral career with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. With the OSM she toured 40 times, performing in Europe, Asia, South America and North America. Ms. Christie performed in Carnegie Hall on many occasions and has appeared on about 100 recordings.  Ms. Christie taught on the faculties of the University of Alberta, Concordia University, and the Conservatoire de Quebec à Montréal, as well as Domaine Forget and The National Youth Orchestra of Canada.

Learn more about Carolyn at Carolyn Christie

Carolyn is sponsored by the University of Ottawa

Shawn Spicer

Shawn Spicer has been a professional trumpet player and educator since 1990. He has played in orchestras across Canada and was principal trumpet of Orchestra London Canada from 1999 to 2014. Shawn is the principal trumpet of the London Symphonia and is in demand as a freelance player across Ontario Canada.

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Shawn is sponsored by Western University

Christine Vlajk

Violist Christine Vlajk has performed extensively in North and South America, Europe, much of China, Hong Kong and New Zealand. Originally from Denver, Colorado, Vlajk has Bachelor degrees in Viola Performance (B.M.) and Music Education (B.M.E.) from the University of Colorado in Boulder and a Masters degree in Viola Performance (M.M.) from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.  She has been guest soloist with the West Virginia Symphony, Hamilton Philharmonic, Peterborough Symphony and the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony Orchestra.

Learn more about Christine at Christine Vlajk

Christine is sponsored by Laurier University