Leah Roseman

Violinist Leah Roseman has been a member of the National Arts Centre Orchestra since 1997. In fact, she grew up in Ottawa, and was inspired by many concerts growing up. She studied for several years with NACO retired member Keiko Hutchenreuther, and then travelled to Montreal for lessons with the well-known violin pedagogue Mauricio Fuks. She completed her B.Mus. at McGill University in Violin Performance with High Distinction, and went on to Indiana University to complete her M.Mus. where she studied with Paul Biss, and baroque violin with Stanley Ritchie. She broadened her studies at many summer music festivals: Orford, Sarasota Music Festival, Encore, Tanglewood, Schleswig-Holstein, and the Soundfest Institute of String Quartets. She was a member of the Carmel Bach Festival Orchestra, the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, and Les Violons du Roy before joining NACO. She’s always been active as a chamber music player, and teaching is one of the great joys of her life. In 2020 she started her YouTube channel  ViolinLessonOnline as a way of posting videos for her students, and it’s now grown to over 1,000 videos organized into 60 playlists, for players of all levels (and their teachers). She regularly hosts free international violin masterclasses over Zoom to particpants all over the world, and also does presentations on teaching  and practicing music.

In 2021 she began a new creative chapter as the producer and host of the podcast and video series “Conversations with Musicians with Leah Roseman”, which features in-depth conversations with a wide range of musicians talking about their lives and careers, with perspectives on overcoming challenges, and finding inspiration and connection through a life so enriched by music. Guests have included James Ehnes, Kerson Leong, Lynn Kuo, Carissa Klopoushak, Yosuke Kawasaki, Kirsty Money, Patty Chan, Alexis Chartrand, Aaron Schwebel, Roddy Ellias, Ellen Waterman, Subhadra Vijaykumar, Alicia Svigals, Veronica Thomas, Arna Einarsdóttir, Theo Marks, Eva Slongo, Sophie Lukacs, Kellylee Evans, Megan Jerome, Rachel Mercer, Gina Burgess, Jack Everly, Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, and Hooshyar Khayam.

Leah is sponsored by the National Arts Centre Orchestra.

Anna Ronai

Anna is a Coach-Accompanist, Voice; Instructor, Accompaniment and Keyboard Skills at Wilfrid Laurier University.  She am a graduate of the Music University of the Arts Vienna, and hold two masters degrees, one in Piano Performance and the other in Collaborative Piano.  Anna has held vocal and instrumental coaching and accompanying positions at the Vienna and Innsbruck Conservatories, and the Institute for European Studies, also in Vienna, and have played for masterclasses with esteemed artists including Brigitte Fassbaender, Christa Ludwig, Thomas Hampson and Linda Watson.\

Anna has collaborated with distinguished singers Michelle Breedt, Bernarda Fink and Robert Holl, and instrumentalists Ulrike Anton and Brooks de Wetter-Smith.  She has performed in venues across Europe, North America and China, including the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall in New York, Gläserner Saal, Musikverein and Schubert Saal, Konzerthaus in Vienna.

Anna is sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University.


Kevin Turcotte

Kevin Turcotte is universally recognized as one of Canada’s major trumpet talents with an impressive list of recording and touring credentials as a prominent player with the elite of many Canadian jazz ensembles.

Kevin Turcotte has been regarded as one of Canada’s most proficient performers for nearly two decades. He studied music at the prestigious Banff School of Fine Arts and later, at the University of Toronto, where he joined the faculty in the 1990s. He has performed on over 75 recordings and in countless club and concert appearances. He has toured extensively throughout North America as well as with the Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra on the band’s 1991 Russian tour, in South America with Time Warp, with Don Byron in Italy.

Kevin is sponsored by York University

James McGowan

James McGowan is an educator, music theorist, pianist, and composer. In addition to teaching music theory, musicianship, composition, Dr. McGowan serves as Carleton University Chair in Teaching Innovation, in which he administers the PLACE project supporting pedagogical connections between Music and the Sprott School of Business, research in Global Music Ensembles, and arts on campus by administering a Songwriting and Poetry Competition. He has also served as Assistant Director of the Carleton Jazz Camp, Supervisor of Performance Studies, Supervisor of Ensembles, Masterclasses and Practica, and Undergraduate Supervisor. He was the recipient of a Carleton Teaching Achievement Award (2013), as well as multiple “Favourite Facultyresidence awards, Carleton New Faculty Excellence in University Teaching Award, “Raving Raven Teaching Excellence” award, a Carleton University Student Association Teaching Excellence Award, and MSU Teaching Award for Humanities (2007, McMaster University). He has been a clinician and adjudicator for different arts organizations (Junos, Kiwanis, Lions, Canadian Music Showcase, City of Ottawa Arts Grants, etc.), and given workshops on topics including introductory improvisation, choral singing, jazz piano approaches, jazz music theory, and managing performance anxiety.

As a pianist, he specializes in improvised musics, and has performed in Canada, the United States, and Europe. In recent years, he has released four albums as co-leader: 4K (2020) and Two Intents (2017) with Modasaurus (a jazz-fusion quartet that performs Dr. McGowans compositions), Songs from the Bridge (2018) with EvenSong (a jazz-gospel quintet, funded by a grant from the United Church of Canada), and Over the Mountain(2017) with percussionist Dong-Won Kim, (who performs with Yo-yo Mas Silk Road Ensemble). His compositions and arrangements have been performed (or selected for performance) by the Rocky Mountain Symphony Orchestra, Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, Coro Vivo, Atlantic Voices of Ottawa, Carleton University Choir, Alexander Singers and Players (Toronto), and others. 

James is sponsored by Carleton University Music.

Marjolaine Fournier

Born in Toronto, Marjolaine Fournier was raised in Chicoutimi after her family moved to the Saguenay in 1974. Long-standing principal double bass with the Orchestre Symphonique du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, she was a founding member of its Orchestre de Chambre in 1986. A bass student at the Conservatoire de musique de Chicoutimi and Trois-Rivières, she graduated with a Premier Prix in double bass and a Premier Prix in chamber music in 1989.

In 1991, after having been solo-double bass with the Jeunes Virtuoses of Montreal and the New York Chamber Soloists, she won a position with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Marjolaine was appointed Assistant Principal Bass with NACO in 1997. In addition to playing in Ottawa, she enjoys teaching double bass at the Conservatoire de musique à Gatineau and is a member of the Kikyo Ensemble. The quartet, composed of friends from the NAC Orchestra, performs works written or arranged for its unusual formation: violin, viola, cello and bass, in a wide diversity of repertoire, combinations and styles.  Marjolaine is a very proud recipient of the National Arts Centre’s “Good Ambassador Award”.

Marjolaine is sponsored by the National Arts Centre Orchestra.

Jerzy Kaplanek

Jerzy is an Associate Professor, Violin, Strings and Chamber Music, and the String Coordinator at Wilfred Laurier University.  He a member of the Penderecki String Quartet, artist in residence.  Jerzy was born in Poland and began his musical training at the age of six on piano and transitioned to the violin at age ten. He received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Conservatory in Bytom and a Master’s Degree in Arts from the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice.

Learn more about Jerzy at Jerzy Kaplanek

Jerzy is sponsored by Laurier University

Katie Schlaikjer

Katie is Artist-in-Residence (Penderecki String Quartet), Cello, Strings and Chamber Music Instructor at Wilfred Laurier University.  She received her Doctoral and Master’s degrees from Stony Brook University and Bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory. Katie taught cello at the University of Connecticut from 2010-2013 while maintaining a private teaching studio in Stony Brook, NY for seven years.

Learn more about Katie at Katie Schlaikjer

Katie is sponsored by Laurier University.

Ian Whitman

Ian has been a Double Bass instructor the Faculty of Music at Wilfred Laurier University since September 2012 and has been involved with the KWS Youth Orchestra program as a coach since 2010.  He earned a Bachelor of Music degree at McGill University and a Master of Music is from Yale University School of Music. Ian made his debut at Carnegie Hall in New York and Symphony Hall in Boston, and has appeared as a soloist with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Orchestra, performed with the Penderecki String Quartet, the NUMUS Ensemble.  He has performed with l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Calgary Philharmonic. Recently, he has been invited to play as guest principal bass with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Hamilton Philharmonic, and the Niagara Symphony.

Learn more about Ian at Ian Whitman

Ian is sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University.

Dr. Daniel Cabena

Canadian countertenor Daniel Cabena is highly regarded in both Canada and Europe for prize-winning performances ranging from baroque to contemporary repertoire. He began his studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, earning an Honours BMus in 2004. He continued my studies at l’Université de Montréal (DMus, 2010) and then at the Schola Cantorum in Basel, Switzerland (Specialized Master in Early Music Performance, 2012).

Daniel’s european engagements include performances with Musica Fiorita, Ensemble Diapsalma, Le Concert Spirituel, and the Schlossmediale Festival. He has performed baroque repertoire with many of Canada’s most prestigious ensembles, including Bach’s Mass in G Minor at National Arts Centre with Bernard Labadie, Conductor.As a recipient of the Virginia Parker Award from the Canada Council for the Arts, Daniel toured Atlantic and Central Canada with pianist Stephen Runge in a concert entitled “Sanctuary in Song”, featuring works by Finzi, Britten, Butterworth and Vaughan Williams. Daniel and Stephen recently recorded their elegant recital, now available on CD through Amazon and Spotify.

Daneiel is sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University.




Guy Few

Guy Few is a Trumpet Instructor at Wilfred Laurier University.  He has presented clinics and masterclasses worldwide for festivals including Scotiafest, Takefu International Music Festival, Orford Arts Centre and the Banff Centre for the Arts, as well as postsecondary institutions such as the Montreal Conservatory, University of Toronto, Memorial University of Newfoundland, University of Saskatchewan, State University of New York at Fredonia and Sonoma State University.

It has been my great pleasure to be a guest at many summer festivals including The Festival of the Sound, The Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, Tanglewood, Takefu International Music Festival, Oregon Bach Festival, Scotiafest and the Elora Festival.  Through the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Canada Council, Factor and the Ontario Arts Council, he has debuted new works by Canadian composers including Glen Buhr, Peter Hatch, Alain Trudel, Melissa Hui, Mathieu Lussier, Linda Bouchard, Boyd McDonald, Jacques Hétu, John Estacio and many others.  Guy’s awards include Best Classical Recording (Bacchanale/Just Plain Folks Music Awards/MSR), a Grammy (Penderecki CREDO/Hanssler Classics), and a Juno nomination (Canadian Concerto Project/MSR).

Guy has been a keynote speaker for brain injury associations in Canada and the USA. The presentations concern his two brain surgeries for Cavernous Hemangioma, the resulting memory loss and complications. Guy has been invited to speak on this topic for CBC TV and Radio (Peter Gzowski, Shelagh Rogers, This is my Music), Global TV affiliates, CTV, NPR, as well as symposia such as Bach and the Brain, Surgery Grand Rounds and OMEA. His speech, “Mokuso”, features meditations for pain and stage fright.

Guy is sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University.

Julia MacLaine

Assistant principal cello of the National Arts Centre Orchestra since 2014, Julia MacLaine performs worldwide as a soloist, chamber, and orchestral musician in music ranging from classical to contemporary and from “world” to her own arrangements and compositions. Originally from Prince Edward Island, Julia studied with Antonio Lysy at McGill University, with Timothy Eddy at the Mannes College of Music, and at The Juilliard School.  She performs on a 1840 Nicolas Vuillaume cello, generously made available to her by the National Arts Centre Foundation.

When not onstage with NACO, she performs regularly with her string quartet, Ironwood. Their programs combine classical warhorses (Beethoven, Ravel, Debussy) with very new music (works by Ana Sokolovic, Nicole Lizée, Bryce Dessner, Philip Glass, Esa‐Pekka Salonen) and occasionally veer off into their own arrangements of original songs and folk music.  Julia has performed at the Mecklenberg‐Vorpommern Festival in Germany, in Abu Dhabi, at Suntory Hall in Tokyo, and across the United States. She has also appeared at the Lanaudière, Bic, Mostly Mozart, Tanglewood, and Ravinia Festivals. Julia has performed with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and Les Violons du Roy.

Julia is sponsored by the National Arts Centre Orchestra.


Brandon Leis

Brandon is an Instructor, Voice, Voice Techniques and Class Voice at Wilfred Laurier University.  He has served as a church musician, choral scholar and church music director for over 15 years, and as an adjudicator and workshop facilitator for amateur musicians.  He performs regularly in southwestern Ontario and Michigan as an opera, oratorio and concert soloist, as well as a recitalist. He has been a featured soloist with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, the Renaissance Singers, the Spiritus Ensemble, the Georgetown Choral Society, the Mennonite Mass Choir, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, the International Symphony Orchestra, the Stratford Summer Music Festival, the Scaramella ensemble, the Canadian Chamber Ensemble, the Bach-Elgar Choir and the Guelph Chamber Choir.

Brandon has taught at Eastwood Collegiate Institute, Rockway Mennonite Collegiate, Heritage College and Seminary (Cambridge) and the Kanata Centre for Worship and Global Song at Martin Luther University College. As a choral conductor, he have served the Menno Youth singers, the Rockway Mennonite Collegiate Senior choir and the Rockway Concert Combo.

Brandon is sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University.

Naomi Woo

Naomi Woo is Music Director of the University of Manitoba Symphony Orchestra and the Assistant Conductor and Community Ambassador of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.  She is the first-ever music director of Sistema Winnipeg, a programme that uses music as a tool for social change.  Naomi holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge, where she was a Gates Cambridge Scholar. She has also studied mathematics, philosophy, and music at Yale College, the Yale School of Music, and Université de Montréal. In 2021-2022, she will make debut appearances with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, Regina Symphony Orchestra and Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, and will also conduct rehearsals of the Orchestre Métropolitain, having been chosen by Yannick Nezet-Seguin for the orchestra’s inaugural conducting academy.

Her passion for new work and artistic creation has also led to trainings and residencies at the Darmstädter Ferienkurse, the International Ensemble Modern Academy at Klangspuren Schwaz, Nida Art Colony (Vilnius Academy of the Arts), the Cortona Sessions for New Music, and more. As a pianist, she has been a prizewinner at the Eckhardt-Grammatté Competition for Canadian and Contemporary Music and winner of the Hélène Roberge Prize for Canadian Music. She is an artist with Tangram, an ensemble devoted to celebrating the vitality of Chinese cultures, and creating new music by transnational Chinese creators.

Naomi is sponsored by the National Arts Centre Orchestra.

Dr. Laurel Swinden

Dr. Laurel Swinden currently teaches flute at Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo.  She has a DMA in Flute Performance from the University of Toronto.  Her dissertation focused on eighteenth-century Scottish music for flute. Laurel’s teaching experience includes positions teaching flute, chamber music, flute ensemble, flute techniques, music history and music appreciation at the University of Nebraska Omaha, , Wilfred Laurier University, University of Windsor, University of Guelph, Western University and the University of Mississippi. She has taught and performed at festivals in Peru, China, the United States and across Canada.

Laurel’s performing schedule includes concerts as the Principal Flute of the Stratford Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Principal Flute/Piccolo of the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra and freelance work with orchestras all over Ontario. She has performed with the Memphis Symphony, Kingston Symphony, Windsor Symphony, Musicians of Orchestra London, Oakville Symphony, Mississippi Symphony, and the Tupelo Symphony.  Laurel has released two CDs of flute music: Celebrating Women! and Celebrating Canadian Women! with pianist Stephanie Mara. These were generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Waterloo Regional Arts Council. She also recorded premieres of new Canadian works on the Scarborough Philharmonic’s CD, Canadian Panorama, released in February 2017, funded by FACTOR.

Laurel is sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University.

Leslie Fagan

Leslie Fagan is Assistant Professor and Co-ordinator of Voice at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo. She has given master classes at The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, York University, the American University of Sharjah, UAE, Berkshire Choral Festival and was an adjudicator for the New York Oratorio Competition. Ms. Fagan’s students have gone on to attend such esteemed universities as Royal College of Music, London Eng., Manhattan School of Music, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Prague Conservatory. The Glenn Gould School and the University of Toronto.  She is a graduate of the University of Toronto.

Leslie  has sung under the batons of such noted conductors as Hans Graf, Sir David Willcocks, Jukke Pekke Saraste, Kent Tritle, Heinz Ferlisch, Victor Borge and Elmer Isler and have delighted audiences and critics alike at Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Bordeaux Opera House, Roy Thomson Hall and Massey Hall.  Highlights of her past engagements include: a solo concert of music of Stravinsky and Debussy with the Bordeaux Aquitaine Symphonie Nationale, France; Bach’s Weinachts Oratorium in Stuttgart, Germany; Handel’s Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England; Tafelmusik Orchestra and Choir in Toronto, Ontario; and an engagement as guest soloist at the International Choral Festival in Gouda, Netherlands.  Her Lincoln Center Debut was singing Carmina Burana with Musica Sacra and the world premier of Alessandro Cadario’s Cantata for Revival.  Leslie has been invited by both the Oratorio Society of New York under the direction of Kent Tritle and Music Sacra under the baton of Richard Westenburg to sing their performances of Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie Hall.

Leslie is sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University.

Dr. Armand Hall

Dr. Armand Hall earned his Doctorate of Music Arts in wind conducting at Michigan State University, and Master of Music and Bachelor of Music degree in music education from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  Armand is the educational director and teaching artist for the Archipelago Project, a non-profit organization charged with engaging students in music and their instruments by teaching multiple folk idioms using pedagogical techniques based on the Venezuelan El Sistema model.

Learn more about Armand at Armand Hall

Leah McGray

Dr. McGray earned her Doctor of Musical Arts in conducting at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she studied with Dr. Mallory Thompson. She received the Master of Music degree in conducting from University of Toronto, studying with Dr. Gillian MacKay, and Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education degrees from Acadia University. Dr. McGray has taught band and orchestra for middle and high school music programs in Canada, and is in demand internationally as a conductor and adjudicator.

Learn more about Leah at Leah McGray

John Davis

John Davis is Dean of the College of Music since January 2021. Previously, he served as Senior Associate Dean of the college from 2012-2020.  John joined the University of Colorado Boulder faculty in 1999 as Director of Jazz Studies and has taught courses in jazz history, jazz administration and pedagogy, big band, combo, vocal jazz, jazz techniques and management and leadership. Under his direction, the jazz program was awarded 14 DownBeat magazine Student Music Awards, and was recognized by the university chancellor as one of the university’s “core programs of excellence”.  Prior to his appointment at CU Boulder, Davis served as Assistant Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Northern Colorado.  John has served as guest conductor for honor and all-state vocal and instrumental jazz ensembles in Wyoming, Colorado, Toronto, Indiana, Oklahoma and Kansas, among others.

Professor Davis holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education and Performance from Metropolitan State College; a Master of Arts degree in Trumpet Performance from the University of Denver; a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Colorado State University; and a Doctor of Arts degree in Trumpet Performance and Pedagogy with a secondary emphasis in Jazz Studies from the University of Northern Colorado. The second edition of the Jazz Volume for the Historical Dictionary for Literature and the Arts, written by Davis, was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2020.

Ron Westray

York University professor Ron Westray’s professional contributions encompass a stunning list of achievements in the areas of performance, composition, recording, and publishing. Since the early nineties he has performed as trombonist or lead trombonist with the most prestigious jazz ensembles in the world, including the Mingus Big Band, New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, The Wynton Marsalis Septet, Irving Mayfield, The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, and the Marcus Roberts Ensemble, in hundreds of performances around the globe.  In addition to his schedule with the LCJO, Ron has recorded as a sideman on labels such as Columbia, Sony Classical, and RCA Novus. Ron’s accomplishments in the field have gained him exposure in publications such as Ebony, Essence, Downbeat, JazzTimes, Life Magazine and The New Yorker. Ron has appeared in concert with Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Stevie Wonder, Roy Haynes, Nicholas Payton, and Branford Marsalis.

His compositions for jazz big band, jazz orchestra and smaller jazz ensembles range from original works to arrangements and/or adaptations of pre-existing works, some published by Walrus Music Publishing, some through his own company Wooden Flute Publishing.  Ron Westray continues to expand upon the legacy set before him with his CD releases, “Jimi Jazz”, “Live From Austin” and “Medical Cures For The Chromatic Commands Of The Inner City”.


Pace Sturdevant

Douglas (Pace) Sturdevant graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy and the University of Michigan and began his professional orchestral career with the Toledo (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra, becoming Principal Trumpet at 22. In 1975, he was appointed Principal Trumpet of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, a position he held for 23 years. He was often featured as soloist with the Orchestra, both in Ottawa and on its national tours, and with noted conductors such as Pinchas Zukerman, Trevor Pinnock, Mario Bernardi, Roger Norrington, Helmut Rilling, Alexander Schneider, Eduoardo Mata and Charles Dutoit. Pace then became Manager of Arts Training and Outreach for NACO.

He has adjudicated at MusicFest for several years, at both the regional and national levels. Pace taught at the Crane School of Music (SUNY Potsdam), McGill University, University of Ottawa, and le Conservatoire de musique de Gatineau.

Pace is sponsored by Carleton University Music.

Daniel Ramjattan

Daniel Ramjattan is a Guitar Instructor at Wilfred Laurier University.  He completes his doctoral dissertation on music performance anxiety (MPA) at the University of Toronto this year, where he received the New College doctoral fellowship in 2021-2022 for his research. On top of his active teaching schedule at Wilfrid Laurier University, where he runs the classical guitar area at the Faculty of Music, Daniel has given guest lectures on MPA at McGill University, University of Toronto, Wilfrid Laurier University, Memorial University, and at the Guild of Carillonneurs of North America. He also has upcoming presentations this year at Mount Royal University and the Guitar Society of Toronto’s Guitar Weekend.

As a performer, Daniel has placed as a finalist in the Montreal and Hamilton International Guitar Competitions, has taken first prize in the OMFA Provincial guitar competition twice, and placed second in the 2016 National Music Competition in Edmonton, Alberta. He has given recitals in Canada, the US, Japan, Austria, and Italy, has premiered dozens of new works for guitar by composers from all over the world. He recently released his debut solo guitar album, Inspirations: New Music for Solo Guitar, in 2022, which was featured on CBC Radio’s album of the week in March of this year on all streaming platforms thanks to a generous recording grant from the Ontario Arts Council.

Daniel is sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University.

Kira Omelchenko

Kira is an Associate Professor of Music at Wilfred Laurier University and the Conductor of the Laurier Symphony Orchestra. Past positions include the Director of the Orchestra and String Studies at Florida Southern College and the Director of Orchestra and Strings at The University of Tampa (United States). She was the winner of the 2016 International Conductors Workshop and Competition and the 2014 recipient of the National American Prize in Music (Prize Winner in Opera Conducting).  Kira holds a doctoral degree in music from the University of Iowa and degrees from the University of New Mexico and Knox College.

As the 2017 winner of the International Institute for Conductors in Bulgaria, Kira conducted the Vidin State Philharmonic Orchestra in a Concerto Festival and was invited back to guest conduct in their 2017-18 season. In the summers of 2019 and 2018, she served as artist in residence and guest conductor at the University of Aveiro (Portugal).  As a recipient of the Sigma Alpha Iota Conducting Scholarship, Kira has presented research at national and state conferences such as NSEE, NAfME, ASTA, and FMEA.  Her research on health and music has been published in Health Education Journal (SAGE publications, UK).

Kira is sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University.

Kimberly Barber

Professor of Voice at Wilfrid Laurier University since 2002, Canadian mezzo-soprano Kimberly Barber is Administrative Coordinator for their Opera Program, and was appointed Associate Dean, External for Laurier’s Faculty of Music in July 2017. She adjudicates widely, and is frequently called upon to serve on advisory panels for the arts. Her research interests are centred on the Art of Practice and effective use of the body in vocal pedagogy. Licensed as an Body Mapping Educator®, she teaches Body Mapping for Musicians in workshop settings, privately, and as a cornerstone of her pedagogical model in the voice studio.

With performances at Opéra de Paris, Opéra de Marseille, Frankfurt Opera, English National Opera, New York City Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Seattle Opera, L’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Wigmore, Barbican, Avery Fisher and Weill Concert Halls, and every major opera company and orchestra in Canada, Kimberly’s operatic repertoire encompasses more than 50 roles, many of them from 20th and 21st century or lesser-known works, and her concert repertoire stems from every genre. She is a champion of the music of our time, frequently giving world and Canadian premieres of new music. In May 2022, she will debut with Winnipeg’s Little Opera Company in the Canadian premiere of Jake Heggie’s THREE DECEMBERS in the role of Madeleine Mitchell. She has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon (Concepción in Ravel’s L’HEURE ESPAGNOLE with the LSO under André Previn), CBC Records, Naxos, Teldec and Dutton Classics. Her wide-ranging career in Europe, Asia and North America, with years of experience as an operatic performer, concert, recital and recording artist, and breadth of pedagogical training, qualify her ideally to guide emerging vocal artists who hope to excel at an international level.

Kimberly is sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University.

Isabelle Brassard-Porter

Vice-Chair, Concert Band

Isabelle Brassard-Porter has had a long musical career as a performer, conductor and educator. As a professional flutist and piccoloist, she had the chance to perform orchestral masterworks from the post romantic era for thirty-two seasons with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Brassard-Porter was the head of the instrumental music program at the Béatrice-Desloges High School Specialized Arts Program where she conducted numerous ensembles including the Béatrice-Desloges Senior Wind Orchestra which has won the highest honors at numerous festivals in Canada, the United States and Europe.

In 2012, MusicFest Canada recognized Ms. Brassard-Porter with the Keith Mann Outstanding Director Award of Excellence. Over the course of her career, Isabelle has inspired countless young people to discover the joy and benefits of making music and is happy to continue this mission at MusicFest Canada .

Sal Lozano

Sal is a member of The Tom Kubis Big Band, and can be heard with Gordon Goodwin’s critically acclaimed Grammy-winning Big Phat Band.  A few of the artists Sal has also recorded with include Paul McCartney, Natalie Cole, John Legend, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, Lalo Schifrin, Brian McKnight, Michael Buble, Keely Smith, Barbra Streisand, Joey DeFrancesco, and Maynard Ferguson. He has been a member of the Dancing with the Stars House Band and the Academy Awards Orchestra, performed at the Gala for the President at Ford’s Theater in Washington D.C. and as a soloist with the Pacific Symphony, the San Diego Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Sal is currently a Professor of Saxophone at California State University Long Beach and conducts clinics and master classes across the country. He is also a clinician for Disney’s Performing Arts Workshops at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Ca as well as Disney’s All American College Band at Disneyland.

Sal is sponsored by Conn-Selmer, Inc.

Ranee Lee

As an educator, Ranee has been part of the University of Laval faculty in Quebec City for twelve years, and the Schulich School of Music of McGill University faculty for over twenty years.  For outstanding service to jazz education, at the IAJE conference in 1994, she received the International Association of Jazz Educators Award.

Ranee has had a legendary career as a vocalist.  She toured with her own group throughout North America, performing at many prestigious jazz festivals, most recently the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the Canada Capital festival in Sao Paulo. Ranee has toured throughout all Spain, France, England and Scandinavian countries. Both in 1994 and 1995, she received Jazz Report magazine’s Top Canadian Female Jazz Vocalist Award. Her album “I Thought About You” was the first nominated recording for a Juno Award in the Best Mainstream Jazz category in 1995. In 2003, Ranee received her third JUNO nomination for “Maple Groove: Songs From The Great Canadian Songbook,” featuring selections from some of Canada’s greatest songwriters.  In April 2010, she won the Juno Vocal Jazz Album of the Year for “Ranee Lee Lives UPSTAIRS”.

Kathy Armstrong

Kathy received her Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Percussion and Music Education from the University of Toronto, and recently completed a second MA in Music and Culture at Carleton University, where she received a Senate Medal for her thesis about the links between drumming, health and wellbeing for adolescents. Her research interests include participatory music-making, music and wellbeing, social justice in music education and applied ethnomusicology.

At Carleton University, Kathy has taught for many years in the School for Studies in Art and Culture: Music as well as the Institute for African Studies.  She has developed innovative courses in Applied Rhythm using western and non-western techniques. Kathy also teaches courses in African Music, Popular Musics of the World, Music of the World’s Peoples, and Global Music and Wellbeing. She is the founding director of Carleton University’s West African Rhythm Ensemble (WARE).  Through the Institute For Advanced Study (IAS), Kathy took students to Ghana to study Urban and Rural Music. In 1995, Kathy founded Baobab Tree Drum Dance Community, bringing Ghanaian music and artists to students of all ages. She regularly travels and hosts programs in Ghana where she has a nearly thirty-year association with the village of Dagbamete.  For her contributions, Kathy received a Community Appreciation Award from the Ghanaian Association of Ottawa.

Kathy is sponsored by Carleton University Music.

Tania Miller

Canadian Conductor Tania Miller was Music Director of Canada’s Victoria Symphony for 14 years, and gained national acclaim for her commitment to the orchestra and community during that time.  She has a Doctorate in orchestral conducting from the University of Michigan, and a Masters in conducting from the University of Michigan. She worked as assistant conductor at the Carmel Bach Festival for four seasons, and as Assistant and Associate conductor of the Vancouver Symphony from 2000-2004.  Tania conducted numerous productions as Artistic Director of Michigan Opera Works in Ann Arbor, Michigan and as guest conductor for Opera McGill in Montréal.  She received the 2017 Friends of Canadian Music award from the Canadian League of Composers and Canadian Music Centre for her acclaimed commitment to contemporary music in Canada. She was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Royal Roads University, and an Honorary Fellowship Diploma from Canada’s Royal Conservatory of Music.

Tania has appeared as a guest conductor in Canada, the United States and Europe with such orchestras as the Bern Symphony Orchestra, NFM Wroclåw Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, Orchestra Métropolitain de Montreal, Vancouver Symphony, Naples Philharmonic, Hartford Symphony, Madison Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Winnipeg Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, New West Symphony, and the Louisiana Philharmonic.

Antonio Llaca-Buznego

Cuban born, Antonio Llaca is an active choral conductor, teacher, and clinician.  In 2013, he finished his Master’s in Choral Conducting from Université de Sherbrooke (Montreal).  Since 2009, Antonio has conducted Coro Vivo Ottawa (CVO) and currently teaches choral, as well as instrumental conducting at the University of Carleton in Ottawa. He is conducts the choirs and orchestra at the Conservatoire de Musique de Gatineau, and is also a conductor with the Canadian Chinese Children’s choir of Canada (C5).  From 2007-2011, he was Choral Assistant to the Ottawa Festival Chorus at the National Arts Centre.

Antonio is an advocate for Canadian choral music, incorporating prominent Canadian content in his programming, as well as commissioning choral pieces for his concerts from local composers. Under his baton, in 2010, CVO premiered “Meditatus”, in North America, a work by Jan Gunnar Hoff, and in 2015, marking the 30th anniversary of this ensemble, CVO premiered the Canadian work “Gold and Glory” commissioned from John Armstrong. Antonio has also brought to the Ottawa music scene the works of composers such as Esteban Salas (Cuba), José Angel Lamas (Venezuela), and Manuel de Zumaya (Mexico), among others.

Antonio is sponsored by Carleton University Music.


Jennifer Jolley

Jennifer Jolley is a West Texas-based composer of vocal, orchestral, wind ensemble, chamber, and electronic works. She joined the composition faculty of the Texas Tech School of Music in 2018 and has been a member of the composition faculty at Interlochen Arts Camp since 2015.  She has been composer-in-residence at Brevard College, University of Toledo, the Vermont Symphony, the Central Michigan University School of Music, and the Alba Music Festival in Italy. Most recently she was the Composer-in-Residence of the Women Composers Festival of Hartford in 2019.  She promotes composer advocacy and the performance of new works through her work on the Executive Council of the Institute for Composer Diversity.

Jennifer’s work draws toward subjects that are political and even provocative.  Her partnership with writer Scott Woods, You Are Not Alone, evokes the fallout of the #MeToo Movement.  Her collaboration with librettist Kendall A, Prisoner of Conscience, has been described as “the ideal soundtrack and perhaps balm for our current ‘toxic’…times” by Frank J. Oteri of NewMusicBox. Her piece Blue Glacier Decoy, written as a musical response to the Olympic National Park, depicts the melting glaciers of the Pacific Northwest.  Jennifer’s works have been performed by ensembles worldwide, including the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Wind Symphony, Dulciana (Dublin, Ireland), Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra (New York, NY), and the SOLI Chamber Ensemble (Alba, Italy residency). 

Sarah Jeffrey

Sarah Jeffrey is Principal Oboe of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. A regular soloist with the TSO, Sarah has also appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras across Canada, performing works by Bach, Mozart, Vaughan Williams, Marcello and Haydn. She is also an active recitalist and chamber musician, making frequent guest appearances with the Amici Chamber Ensemble, the ARC Ensemble, and Trio Arkel.  A devoted performer of new music, Ms. Jeffrey has commissioned several chamber works, including Chaconne for Oboe, Horn, and Piano by Erik Ross, and Rhapsody by Ronald Royer.

Sarah is on faculty at The Glenn Gould School at The Royal Conservatory and the University of Toronto, and spends her summers at the Orford Arts Centre and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Sarah was a recipient of the Ontario Arts Council’s Chalmers Award for Creativity and Excellence in the Arts, and can be heard discussing the finer points of the oboe on CBC radio, both as a performer and as a guest on several podcasts.


Vanessa Fralick

Vanessa Fralick joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as Associate Principal Trombone in 2013. Prior to her current position, she played three seasons as Acting Associate Principal Trombone of the St. Louis Symphony. . She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, and won her first orchestral position with the San Antonio Symphony in 2009, while pursuing her master’s degree at The Juilliard School. She has performed with major orchestras in San Francisco, Montreal, Boston, Jacksonville, Utah, Malaysia, and played two summers in the prestigious Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland.  Vanessa is on faculty at the University of Toronto, the National Music Camp of Canada, National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and is the brass coach of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Vanessa also performs frequently as a soloist, most recently as a guest artist at Trombonanza 2017 in Argentina, at the 2016 International Trombone Festival in New York City and at the 2015 American Trombone Workshop in Washington, D.C. She won first prize in several major competitions, including the 2012 Elora Festival Competition, the 2011 Montreal Symphony Concerto Competition and the 2010 Susan Slaughter International Solo Brass Competition, where she also performed as a guest artist at the International Women’s Brass Conference. In 2009, she won concerto competitions both at Juilliard and at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California.


Mark Adam

Mark Adam is a drummer/percussionist, educator, composer and producer from Wolfville, Nova Scotia. He is an Associate Professor of Improvisation, Percussion and Contemporary Music at Acadia University where he has taught since 2004.  He is the recipient of an Acadia Students’ Union Award for teaching excellence and was granted a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award for his work in the community as an educator and contributor to the arts.  Mark has performed with Canadian jazz icons Phil Dwyer, Mike Murley, Dave Restivo, Heather Bambrick and Dave Restivo. He has played on award-winning recordings of country artists George Canyon and Dave Gunning and, as a classical musician, performed with the Calgary Philharmonic, New Works Calgary, Symphony Nova Scotia, and the Toronto Wind Orchestra.

Mark’s score for Two Planks and a Passion’s production, Beowulf, was nominated for a 2012 Merritt Award and he won the 2015 ECMA for Classical Album of the Year with Juno award winning composer/flutist Derek Charke for their duet recording, Kitchen Party.  He produced the freshman releases of Laurenn Marchand (2016 Music Nova Scotia nominations for Solo Recording of the Year, Folk Recording of the Year and New Artist Recording of the Year), Carmen Braden (2020 ECMA nominee for classical recording of the year, 2017 WCMA nominee for Classical Composition of the Year), and multiple WCMA and Juno nominated artist Kim Barlow (Indie Folk/Pop).  Recently, Mark was a finalist for Producer of the Year for the 2020 East Coast Music Awards.


Camille Watts

Camille Watts has been flutist and solo piccoloist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since 1990, positions she held previously with the Atlanta and Denver Symphony Orchestras. In Toronto, Camille has performed as piccolo soloist with the TSO, and has also performed with the Canadian Opera Company, Soulpepper Theatre, Music Niagara, in many collaborations with HearHere Productions, and on many pop and classical recordings, film and TV soundtracks.

Camille is Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music, where she teaches flute and piccolo, coaches chamber music, and leads seminars in the graduate program. She has also served as flute and piccolo faculty at the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. As a massage therapist working with musicians, she joined a group of Toronto artists in creating the Artists’ Health Centre at Toronto Western Hospital, and served on the Foundation Board of Directors.


Jake Hanlon

Jake Hanlon is an Assistant Professor of Music at Saint Francis Xavier University in Antigonish (Nova Scotia), and has been a member of the Faculty of Music since 2008. As a member of the Faculty, Hanlon teaches Jazz Guitar, Improvisation and Composition. He has performed with Canadian artists Paul Tynan, Mike Murley, Kirk MacDonald, Ethan Ardelli, Mike Rud, Dianne Nilani and David Braid, and international artists Dave Liebman, Chad Wackerman, Tim Haggans and Peter Erskine.

Jake graduated in 2003 from Saint Francis Xavier University (B.Mus w/Honours) and in 2008 from the University of North Texas (M.M Jazz Studies), where he was Graduate Teaching Fellow for Jazz Guitar. He is an alumnus of the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead composition residency in Washington DC (2007).  Jake earned two ECMA nominations for Jazz Recording of the Year for the albums Follow in 2012 and Autumn Song in 2015. Jake endorses Thomastik-Infeld Strings.

Jake is sponsored by St. Francis Xavier University

Drew Zaremba

Selmer artist Drew Zaremba has a worldwide reputation as an award-winning writer, a passionate conductor, and fiery performer. In 2018, at the age of 27, Drew joined the faculty of the award-winning University of Northern Colorado (UNC) Jazz Studies Department to teach jazz composition and arranging. Drew’s honours include the $10,000 first prize in the 2015 Sherman/Barsanti Inspiration Award at the University of North Texas (UNT) and the 2018 Sammy Nestico Award for his original composition “Kangaroo Bruise Blues”.  He is a three-time Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer winner.

He has given clinics and guest artist performances in Melbourne, Brussels, Tokyo, London, Hannover, The Netherlands, at the Contemporary Music Institute in Zhuhai, China, and has taught at the UNC and UNT summer jazz camps.  He has released albums “Two Sides of the Same Coin” and “Hologram”, and recently, short, home-made multi-tracked videos in the style of Jacob Collier.

Christopher Bill

Christopher is best known as the most subscribed brass musician on YouTube. He’s a trombonist, arranger, and marketing consultant based outside of New York. He has been playing piano since he was 6 years old, trombone since he was 10, and he has been composing/arranging since he was 12. He has a Bachelor of Music for classical trombone performance from the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music in New York.  He is a Denis Wick (London) concert artist.  He is the Youth Workshop Director of the International Trombone Festival and a marketing consultant for the International Trombone Association.

Christopher is best known for his all-trombone arrangements of popular songs. His YouTube Channel has been gaining popularity since the spring of 2014 when, using a looping station to compose the song on the spot, his cover of Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” went viral. His videos have amassed over 24 million views and a following of over 140,000 subscribers. In 2018, his collaboration with the International Trombone Festival of Bohemian Rhapsody went viral.  In April of 2014, Christopher independently released his first cover album, “Breakthrough”, which was followed by his Christmas album “Smiling’s My Favorite”. More recently, his original pop album “Half Man, Half Machine” mixes acoustic sounds with electronic instruments.

Christopher is sponsored by Denis Wick (London).


Dr. Noam Lemish

Dr. Noam Lemish holds a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in Jazz Performance and a Masters degree in Composition from the University of Toronto. He joined York University as Assistant Professor of Jazz Instruction and Pedagogy in 2020.  He has appeared in numerous performances and conducted workshops across Canada, the US, Europe, Israel, and in Bhutan and has released multiple albums, including most recently Pardes (2018) and Sonic Truffles (2018). His teaching interests cover a wide variety of areas within jazz studies, composition, Jewish music, polyidiomatic improvisation and the practice of Deep Listening.

Learn more about Noam at Noam Lemish

Noam is sponsored by York University


Anthony Michelli

Anthony is a graduate of Mohawk College, has studied at the Banff Centre and the Lake Placid Center for the Arts, has a Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto specializing in Jazz Performance, has a Masters Degree in Ethnomusicology from York University and is currently completing his Ph.D. He is on staff at York University and Mohawk College Jazz Studies Programs.

Anthony has been nominated twice for the Toronto Independent Music Award (TIMA) in the Best Jazz Category (Steve Koven Trio) and the Best Live Category (Paisley Jura).  He has been nominated for numerous JUNO Awards over the years as a member of several jazz, world and popular music categories. He received the 2004 Mohawk College Alumni of Distinction Award, the 2003 Grand Prix de Jazz General Motors-Festival International de Jazz de Montreal Award (Nancy Walker Quartet), and the 1995 Jazz Report Award for National Post Secondary School Musician of the Year. He has performed around the world, including Japan, Australia, China, Hong Kong, the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Bahamas, Barbados, Trinidad, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Luxembourg.

Anthony is sponsored by York University

Artie Roth

Jazz bassist Artie Roth graduated from York University in 1992 with the Oscar Peterson Scholarship.  As a leader of his own group, Artie released “Parallels” in 2005, “Currently Experiencing” in 2013, and most recently “Discern” in 2015. Several of his compositions have been incorporated into the post-secondary educational repertoire/curriculum of numerous student Jazz Ensembles and composition courses at York University, The University of Toronto and Humber College.  Artie currently holds the position of Bass Instructor and Course director at York University, where he is presently pursuing his Master’s Degree in Musical Composition.

Artie has been recorded on over 50 CDs, including Rich Underhill’s 2003 JUNO award-winning Tales from the Blue Lounge and 2007 JUNO-nominated Kensington Suite, Sophie Milman’s JUNO-nominated debut CD, and Rockit 88’s 2004 JUNO-nominated Too Much Fun. Artie has toured extensively across Canada and the U.S., and his overseas engagements have included performances with The Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band in Germany (1996), The Steve Koven Trio in Mexico (2003) and Columbia (2005), The Shuffle Demons tour of Europe and Scandinavia (2007), Kollage in Barbados (2011) and Antigua (2013), and the Richard Underhill Quintet in Mexico (2012).

Artie is sponsored by York University

Mark Eisenman

Mark Eisenman is one among a handful of the top ‘in-demand’ jazz pianists in Toronto. Born in New York City, he earned his degree in Fine Arts at York University.  Currently, he conducts jazz workshops at York as a part-time faculty member. His teaching has expanded to include “The Jazz Camp” and classes at Mohawk College in Hamilton.  Mark has performed in many different venues with numerous eminent Canadian and U.S. jazz artists including Art Farmer, Barney Kessel, Ed Bickert, Rob McConnell, Sam Noto, and Pat LaBarbera.

He has also had numerous radio appearances and is well represented on recordings, the latest of which is Mark’s debut recording as a leader, “The Chant”. He has toured Canada extensively with various groups. Mark received The Jazz Report’s 1999 Acoustic Pianist of the Year Award for musical excellence.

Mark is sponsored by York University

Kelly Jefferson

Kelly Jefferson has a Bachelor of Music degree from McGill University in Montreal and a Masters degree from Manhattan School of Music in New York City.  He is a faculty member at York University in Toronto.  Kelly has toured extensively in Canada, the United States, Japan, Thailand, Europe, South Korea and China, including a nine-month tour with legendary trumpeter Maynard Ferguson.  Mr. Jefferson has also adjudicated at music festivals across Canada and has given numerous workshops throughout Canada, the United States and China.

Learn more about Kelly at Kelly Jefferson


Tony Flynt

Tony Flynt is Principal Bass of the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto.  He has appeared as guest Principal with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Bard Music Festival, American Symphony Orchestra, and as a guest with the bass sections of the San Diego, Houston, and Boston Symphony Orchestras. Tony is a former member of the Grammy-nominated chamber orchestra, A Far Cry, and was a winner of the New England Conservatory’s Concerto Competition.

Tony was a fellow of Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect (formerly Ensemble ACJW/The Academy) where he taught and performed in New York City public schools, community centers, hospitals, and prisons, in addition to a chamber music residency at Carnegie Hall.  He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto, and served as Co-Director of the esteemed Boston University Tanglewood Institute’s Double Bass Workshop.  He attended Rice University, graduating with degrees in Music and Hispanic and Classical Studies, cum laude.  Tony attended the New England Conservatory as an Edward Hyde Cox Presidential Scholar, where he received a Master’s degree with honors, and the Borromeo Quartet Guest Artist’s award.

Brent Adams

Brent Adams has held the Principal Tuba position for the Niagara Symphony for many years and performs regularly with several orchestras throughout Ontario, including the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra London Canada, Windsor Symphony Orchestra and the Hannaford Street Silver Band.  As a member of the Niagara Brass Ensemble, Brent has recorded for Analekta and Echiquier recording companies as well as CBC radio. As a member of Brass Rings, he has toured extensively through Canada and the United States.  Currently, Brent is a faculty member (Tuba & Euphonium) at Western University, Don Wright Faculty of Music.

Learn more about Brent at Brent Adams

Brent is sponsored by Western University

Megan Hodge

Megan Hodge is an active freelancer on tenor and bass trombone, and has made Toronto her home for the past twelve years. She is on staff at the University of Toronto.  Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Megan studied at the Glenn Gould School (Artist Diploma), McGill University (MMus) and the University of Alberta (BMus). She performs regularly with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company, The National Ballet Orchestra of Canada, the Hamilton Philharmonic, Hannaford Street Silver Band and is a founding member of the Toronto Brass Quintet.

She has held positions as Principal Trombone with the Kingston Symphony Orchestra and the Victoria Symphony (1 year position), trombonist in The Royal Canadian Artillery Band with the Canadian Armed Forces, and as the Director of Music for the regimental band of The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. Megan is a member of the Toronto Brass Quintet, whose recent collaboration with cellist Cris Derksen’s Orchestral Pow Wow CD was nominated for a Juno.

David Pell

David Pell, B.Mus., M.Mus. DMA (ABD) has been Principal Trombonist of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra since 2002 and Bass Trombonist of the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra since 2006. He has also been a member of the Winnipeg Symphony, the Victoria Symphony and the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Touring Orchestra.  He is a member of Toronto’s Esprit Orchestra and performs regularly on trombone, bass trumpet and euphonium with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company and New Music Concerts. He has also performed with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Brass, and the Stockholm Chamber Brass.  David is Artistic Director of the renowned Hannaford Street Silver Band and is member of the True North Brass Quintet and the Canadian National Brass Project.

He is also on faculty at the University of Toronto, and at the Glenn Gould Professional School of the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Jehanbakhsh (John) Jasavala

Jehanbakhsh (John) Jasavala holds music degrees from University of Michigan, (M.M.), York University (B.FA), a Diploma in Jazz Studies from Humber College, and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Windsor.  Jehanbakhsh is currently an award winning lecturer, chamber ensembles coach and instructor of trombone at Western, Don Wright Faculty of Music. Jehanbakhsh was the recipient of the University of Western Ontario Student Society Teaching Award in 2002 and in 2003, the recipient of the Meritorious Service Award for Part–time Faculty at the University of Windsor.  Jehanbakhsh has twice been nominated for teaching awards at the University of Toronto, 2014 and 2015.  He has held the position of Principal Trombone with both the Windsor and Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestras, and has performed as a freelance musician with several orchestras in Ontario and Michigan, including Orchestra London, and The Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Jehanbakhsh has also been active as an instructor at Eastern Music Camp in Newfoundland and Interprovincial Music Camp in Ontario as well as MusiCamp Alberta.  Jehanbakhsh is an active adjudicator and clinician in both jazz and classical music, including several appearances at  festivals including the Brandon Jazz Festival, Vancouver Jazz Festival, Corner Brook Music Festival, Windsor/Grand Falls, St. John’s NL, London Music Festival and Grey County Music Festival.

Jehanbakhsh is sponsored by the Don Wright Faculty of Music, Western University


Steve Woomert

Steven Woomert joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as Associate Principal Trumpet in 2014. He has appeared as the Acting Principal Trumpet of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra and has performed with the Barbados Classical Pops All Star Orchestra, New World Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

Born in Toronto, Steven began his musical studies at age five on violin and added trumpet studies at age 11. He completed his Bachelor of Music degree at Northwestern University, where he was a member of the school’s entry that won First Prize in the Ensemble Division at the 2012 National Trumpet Competition. Steven continued his studies at The Glenn Gould School at The Royal Conservatory in Toronto. In 2013, he was the winner of the International Trumpet Guild Orchestral Excerpts Competition. Steven has participated in many summer festivals, including the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, National Academy Orchestra, Banff Festival Orchestra, National Orchestral Institute, National Repertory Orchestra, and Spoleto Festival USA.  Steven and his father Barton have commissioned and recorded a CD of brand new music for two trumpets and piano, entitled Tandem.

Ron George

Ronald George is a musician in a variety of roles: teacher, soloist, chamber and orchestral player. He has been principal horn with Orchestra London (Canada) since 1979 and appeared as soloist with the orchestra numerous times.  Born in San Francisco, Ron’s studies began with Earl Saxton and Robert Creech through high school in Vancouver. At the University of Toronto, he studied with Eugene Rittich. In Germany he worked with Hermann Baumann.  He is a Lecturer at Western University in London, ON

Learn more about Ron at Ron George

Ron is sponsored by Western University



Aaron Hodgson

Trumpeter Aaron Hodgson has been praised for his “exquisite musicianship and assured composure” (International Trumpet Guild) and his “outstanding lyrical trumpet playing” (Hartford Courant). A prize-winner in the Ellsworth Smith and OSM Standard Life competitions, Aaron has been broadcast nationally as a soloist by CBC Radio and featured as a concerto soloist with l’Orchestre de la Francophonie at Canada’s National Arts Centre. His orchestral performances include appearances with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and the Calgary Philharmonic. He can be heard on Naxos and Analekta records as principal trumpet for recordings of Bach’s Magnificat, Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique and the complete symphonies of Beethoven and Brahms.

Committed to expanding the trumpet’s capabilities and audiences, Aaron is a founding member of the Reveille Trumpet Collective (reveilletrumpet.org). Reveille has presented engaging, multimedia performances at the Banff Centre and the Sound Symposium Festival, and contributed to the commissioning of many new solo and chamber works for trumpet. Aaron is also a member of Reverb Brass, a quintet dedicated to exciting performances of contemporary works. After several years at Memorial University of Newfoundland, in 2012 Aaron joined the faculty of the Don Wright School of Music, Western University. Aaron holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from Yale University.

Aaron is sponsored by the Don Wright Faculty of Music, Western University

Kitbielle Pasagui

Kitbielle Pasagui is a Filipino soprano who moved to Canada in early 2012. She joined Kokopelli at the end of 2011-2012 season and is now a member of Òran and Nuf Sed (from the TIME Association), but she continues to work with Kokopelli in the capacity of assistant conductor. Kitbielle was a vocal performance major from the University of the Philippines, College of Music, and has been singing in choirs since she was six years old. Kitbielle is an alumna of and soloist with the world renowned Philippine Madrigal Singers.

James MacDonald

James MacDonald earned his BA from Queen’s University and his M. Mus from Western University, where he completed his master’s thesis ‘Virtuosi and the horn repertoire.’ His teachers included Eugene Rittich in Toronto (1970-1), Frantisek Solc at the Janáček Academy of Music, Brno, Czechoslovakia, and Barry Tuckwell in London. He also studied in 1978 with Wilhelm Lansky-Otto in Stockholm, Sweden.

In 1974, James began teaching part-time at York University.  He joined the Boss Brass in 1972. He has been a member of the CJRT Orchestra, the Kingston Symphony, the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonia, the National Ballet of Canada orchestra, the Niagara Symphony Orchestra, and the Windsor Symphony Orchestra. He also has played in the Hannaford Street Silver Band and the Brigham Phillips Big Band, and since 2001 has been a member of the Rex Hotel Jazz Orchestra.

James is sponsored by York University



Keith Hartshorn-Walton

Multi-instrumentalist Keith Hartshorn-Walton relocated to Ottawa in 2015 and has established himself in the City’s Jazz scene, specializing in Tuba, Sousaphone, Electric and Acoustic Bass. Originally from Winnipeg, Keith toured extensively with the Foothills Brass Quintet.  He has performed with Clark Terry, Louis Bellson, Quinsin Nachoff, as well as orchestras in Edmonton, Calgary, Oshawa and Kingston.  He is a Tuba (classical & jazz) Performance Instructor at Carleton University.

Keith is also part of two monthly jazz series with Tariq Amery and Garrett Warner at Ottawa’s Art House Café and also has hosted the monthly Jazz in Barrhaven series at Anabia Cupcakery.   In addition, Keith is music director and organist at Wall Street United Church in Brockville. He received his Doctorate of Music from McGill University in 2010, and has studied with Dennis Miller (McGill) and Mark Tetreault (University of Toronto).

Keith is sponsored by Carleton University Music.

Shauna Barker

Shauna Barker started playing the clarinet at the age of 11 and immediately fell in love with the instrument. As a youth, she played in the Delta Youth Orchestra, the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from McGill University and a Masters degree from DePaul University in Chicago.  She has performed with several ensembles such as the Thirteen Strings, Les Violons Du Roy, L’Ensemble Prisme, L’Orchestre Symphonique de Gatineau, and has appeared as a soloist with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, the Deep River Symphony Orchestra, the Pembroke Orchestra and the Parkdale Orchestra. For over 12 years, Ms. Barker has served as Principal Clarinet in the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and as regular extra musician with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. She performs with many chamber ensembles, namely the Ayorama Quintet, the Bel Canto Quintet (both ensembles also belonging to the National Arts Centre Orchestra’s Music in the Schools program), and the Harmonious Pigs Trio.

Shauna is on faculty at Carleton University as Performance Instructor and is clarinetist in the Carleton-OSO ensemble in residence, and is also Coordinator of the Winds Sector. A sought after educator, Ms. Barker is also the Senior Winds Coach and Conductor at the Ottawa Youth Orchestra Academy.

Shauna is sponsored by Carleton University Music.