About the KSO
Members of the Orchestra
Crystal Ye, Concertmaster
Arpad Josephson, Associate Concermaster
Marie-Andrée Gray, Principal Violins II
Agoston Tamas, Violin
Heather Dudzinski, Violin
Jane Wan, Violin
Matthew Eeuwes, Violin
Salome Legemaate, Violin
Sheng-Ben Liang, Violin
Vivienne Yi Guo, Violin
Sibo Dong, Violin*
Eric Sun, Violin*
Edward Cui, Violin*
Yiyang Gao, Violin*
Carole Wei, Violin*
(available position), Violin
Vesna Vukusic, Principal Viola
(available position), Associate Pricnipal Viola
William Wong, Viola
Christopher Wong, Viola*
(available position), Viola
JunKyu Park, Principal Cello
(available position), Associate Principal Cello
Tapio Rukkila, Cello
Jui-Ying Hong, Cello
Merle Oddson, Cello
(available position), Cello
Brass and Percussion
Crystal Ye has performed numerous recitals and concerts in Canada, the USA, China, Singapore, and Indonesia. In 2002 she made her debut at New York’s Carnegie/Weill Hall. Ms. Ye has appeared as soloist with the China Film Orchestra, China National Ballet Orchestra, Tianjin Symphony Orchestra, among many others. As an orchestral musician, Jing Ye was appointed the Principal of the Second Violins of the China National Ballet Orchestra at the age of 22, the youngest principal ever in the history of the orchestra. She was also a concertmaster of the Philharmonia Orchestra of the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and of the China Youth Symphony Orchestra; she was also a member of the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. Jing Ye has won the 2nd prize at the Tianjin Violin Competition, and she has also been a prize winner at the China National Violin Competition. Ms. Ye has earned a Master of Music degree in Violin Performance from the University of Cincinnati and a Bachelor of Music degree from Central Conservatory of Music.
Principal Violins II
Marie-Andrée Gray was born and raised in Montreal where she started her musical training playing the piano at the age of 5 and taking up the violin at the age of 10. She has received a bachelor degree in violin performance from the McGill University and she spent her summers in Kingston as a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada serving as Concert Master under Maestro Akiyama. Marie-Andrée has worked as a violinist with several of Canada’s major orchestras including L’Orchestre Metropolitain, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra London Canada, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Windsor Symphony, Victoria Symphony, Vancouver Island Symphony, and the Regina Symphony. She now resides in Newmarket with her husband and three children while mainainting a private violin studio and freelancing as a chamber musician.
Arpad Josephson has earned a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from the University of Western Ontario (London) and a Diploma in Orchestral training from the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto). He has over 20 years of experience performing with Symphony Hamilton, Windsor Symphony, Niagara Symphony, Oshawa Symphony, Oakville Chamber Orchestra, Hamilton Camerata, Ensemble Unterweg, and Royal Conservatory of Music Symphony Orchestra. He has also taught violin, piano, and music theory at Hamilton School of Music.
Agoston Tamas holds a Master of Music Degree from Yale University (New Haven, USA) and a Certificate of Advanced Studies from Guildhall School of Music & Drama (London, UK). Mr. Tamas studied violin performance with Mr. György Pauk at Guildhall School of Music & Drama and Ms. Syoko Aki at Yale University, as well as string quartet performance with the Tokyo String Quartet. Ms. Tamas is a recipient of the Frances G. Wickes Award conferred by Yale University. He participated in the International Bartok Seminar in Hungary, and the Vienna International Summer Festival in Austria, studying with Mr. Andre Gertler of the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, Belgium. Mr. Tamas also took part in the Académie International d’Été in Nice, France, where he studied with Mr. Leonid Kogan of the Moscow Conservatory of Music (then USSR). In addition, Mr. Tamas was Performance Assistant of the Waterloo Festival of Music in New Jersey, and a violinist with the Waterloo Festival Symphony Orchestra led by Mr. Gerard Schwarz. At Yale University, he taught the violin to undergraduate students, subsequently teaching violin classes at the Music Conservatorium of Malmö in Sweden. Mr. Tamas held the position of Associate Co‐Principal Violin of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. He also performed as Concertmaster with the Connecticut Chamber Orchestra, Leader of the Norwegian String Quartet MIN, and Concertmaster of the Norwegian Opera. Mr. Tamas worked with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and the Sydney Symphony in Australia, and he served as first violinist with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, the Gothenburg Symphony in Sweden, the Bergen Philharmonic in Norway, as well as the Danish National Symphony Orchestra in Copenhagen. Mr. Tamas has prepared students for music examinations, concert performances, auditions, music festivals, and violin competitions and is a registered teacher with the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Matthew Eeuwes began studying the violin at the age of seven with Leo Wigdorchik (professor at the University of Toronto - Faculty of music). In 2011, Matthew graduated from the Unionville High School with an Arts York diploma. In 2012, he founded Sensational Strings, a chamber music ensemble that provides customized music entertainment for various functions and events, for which he has won a grant from the Government of Canada. Matthew Eeuwes also teaches violin in his own private studio in Stouffville.
Heather Dudzinski has had over thirty-five years' experience performing with various orchestras throughout the Greater Toronto Area, among them, Orchestra Toronto, Cathedral Bluffs Symphony, Scarborough Philharmonic, and Mississauga Symphony, in addition to playing in several string quartets. Ms. Dudzinski has studied violin with Erhard Liedtke and Isidor Desser. She is currently a member of NYCO Symphony Orchestra.
Jane Wan has earned a Bachelor in Music Performance (Violin) degree from the University of Western Ontario and an ARCT in Violin Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music. She has studied with Mayumi Seiler, Annette Barbara Vogel, Virginia Barton, Jin-Shan Dai, as well as with Cornelius Rodert. Ms. Wan has performed with the University of Western Ontario orchestra, Philharmonic Music Orchestra, Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as in various TV productions, corporate functions, and private events. In addition, Ms. Wan holds currently the position of Music Director and Conductor at St. Justin Martyrs Catholic Church in Markham. She was the recipient of Bruce and Helen Mills Instrument Award, Arts Richmond Hill Music Festival Award, and Pickering Rotary Music Festival.
Salome Legemaate was born and raised in Switzerland and started studying the violin at the age of 12 at the Music School of St. Gallen in the class of Beatrix Sieber and Hermann Ostendarp and, in Canada, with Yiuman Chang and Dan David Arnovich. Ms. Legemaate has performed at the Hueberli Orchestra in Wattwil under the baton of Peter Roth and has performed at the Conservatory of Music in Zuerich. She lives in Stouffville with her husband and four children and maintains a private violin studio.
Sheng-Ben Liang has performed as a violinist with the Korean Community Symphony Orchestra in China, the Symphony Orchestra of Kochi Medical School in Japan and the Toronto Chinese Orchestra. Sheng-Ben is also an avid Erhu (Chinese violin) performer as well as soloist with the Modern Beijing Opera. Outside music, Mr. Liang is a recognized scientist in the field of the biomedical research.
Sibo Dong was born in Beijing China and immigrated to Canada when he was 8 months old. He started learning violin with Ms. Crystal Ye and is currently pursuing his studies at Richmond Green Secondary School. He has passed the examinations for grade 8 violin of the Royal Conservatory of Music and is now preparing for grade 9 examinations. He enjoys playing badminton and drawing.
Vivienne Yi Guo
Vivienne Yi Guo has completed the examinations of grade 10 of the China Musicians Association and has since played in several symphony orchestras. She has won first prize in the category of piano trio at the China Arts Festival. Vivienne went to pursue a career in business administration and earned a degree from the York University in Toronto as a well as a diploma in tourism management from the Centennial College in Scarborough.
Edward Cui started playing the violin when he was eight years old, under the tutelage of Ms. Jing Ye. He also plays the piano and is currently preparing for the Royal Conservatory of Music ARCT examination. Edward graduated from elementary school in 2013 and has received the Award of Excellence as well as the Visual Arts Award.
Carole Wei started learning the violin at the age of 7 with Crystal Ye. Music gives her a pair of wings to soar and to be free in the spirit of her mind. She is thrilled and honoured to be a member of Kindred Spirits Orchestra. Miss Wei loves both classic and pop music as well as painting. Music refines her life while painting decorates her dreams.
Eric Sun was born in Zhuhai (China). he is currently studying at Stonebridge Public School in Markham. He began studying the violin at the age of six and within 5 years has passed the Royal Conservatory of Music grade 9 violin performance examinations with first class honours. Besides classic music, Eric also enjoy computer programming.
Effy Gao ( Yiyang ) was born in China in 1998 and began learning the violin with the prominent Chinese violinist Fang Wei Guang at the age of 5. Effy moved with her family to Canada at the age of 14 and continued her studies with violinist Crystal Ye (concertmaster of the Kindred Spirits Orchestra). Effy has always wanted to play with a symphony orchestra and the Youth Program of the Kindred Spirits Orchestra is a great experience for her. On the side, Effy also enjoy swimming.
Vesna Vukusic has earned a Master's of Music in Viola Performance. She has performed with the Orchestra Nationale Santo Domingo, the Canadian Academic Orchestra, Oshawa Symphony Orchestra, North York Symphony Orchestra, Etobicoke Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Sinfonieta, Toronto Chamber Orchestra, National Opera and Ballet Orchestras in Belgrade, the Symphony Orchestra of Belgrade, and many others. Mrs. Vukusic has also taught viola, violin, cello, and chamber music ensembles, at the University Settlement House, as well as violin, flute, and guitar at McHugh Public School in Brampton, Port Credit High School, Sheridan Park Public School in Mississauga, Woodland Senior and Intermediate High School, and Hawthorn Public School in Mississauga.
William Wong has earned a Bachelor degree in Music Education from Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo). He has performed with the St. Catharines Symphony Orchestra, the Niagara Symphony Orchestra, and the Ukrainian Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Wong also has over twenty years of experience teaching violin and viola in various schools throughout the Greater Toronto Area, as well as privately.
Christopher Wong has earned an ARCT Diploma in viola performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music. He is currently pursuing a degree in viola performance at the University of Toronto where he is studying with Teng Li (Principal Violist of Toronto Symphony Orchestra). Mr. Wong has also studied privately with Alexander Matus and has graduated from the acclaimed Arts York music programme. Christopher Wong has performed with the University of Toronto Concert Orchestra, York Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Cultural Youth Orchestra, Petaling Jaya Youth Chamber Orchestra, Scarborough Choral Society, among others. He has received the Mamie May Scholarship, the Kiwanis Foundation Award for Strings, and has toured with various orchestras in mainland China.
Praised for his “deep and in depth sound” by Kukmin daily newspaper of Korea, Jun Kyu Park is a Korean-born cellist who has immigrated to Canada and expanded his musical training. Inspired by his family’s musical and artistic background, Park began his musical studies at the age of seven. Park has earned the Artist Diploma while receiving full scholarship at Hartt School as a member of prestigious 20/20 ensemble program. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in Cello Performance from the University of McGill with Major Entrance Scholarship. Formerly, he was accepted into world-renowned Yewon arts school and Seoul arts high school in Korea. He served as a principal and a section leader in a number of orchestras such as Banff summer music festival, Hartt symphony orchestra, Tongyoung music festival, and Bucheon youth orchestra. Park’s notable awards include first prizes in Canadian Music Competition, Sookmyung Women’s University Music Competition, Nanpa Music Competition, Kukminilbo & Hansei University Music Competition, Seoul Student Chamber Music Competition, Hanyang University Music Competition, Seoul Symphony Orchestra Music Competition, CBS National Music Competition, Kyeongin Ilbo Music Competition, Catholic University Music Competition, and Bucheon-Si National Music Competition.
Park has appeared as a soloist with renowned orchestras in Bucheon Philharmonic Orchestra and Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra where he was praised for his vibrant and charismatic performances. To name a few, he spent his summers at Banff summer music festival in Canada, Nice music festival in France, Tongyoung music festival in South Korea, and Great Mountain Music festival in South Korea. Park appeared in master classes of Lynn Harrell, Colin Carr, Carter Brey, Michael Reynolds, Raphael Wallfisch, Lluis Claret, Aldo Parisot, Jian Wang, Ralph Kirschbaum, Myung Hwa Jung. Park was taught under acclaimed cellists such as Sung Eun Hong, Mihal Tetel, and Matt Haimovitz. Currently, Park is continuing his master’s degree at the University of Toronto as a full scholarship acceptance in 2013 fall session. Pursuing his ambition and vision towards classical and contemporary music, Park continues to emerge as a prominent soloist with different orchestras and ensemble in Asia and America.
Tapio Rukkila studied cello, piano, trumpet, and conducting in his native Finland. He studied cello performance at the prestigious Sibelius Academy in Helsinki with master cellist Seppo Laamanen. He has also studied orchestration with the well-known Estonian cellist and composer Kaljo Raid. Since immigrating to Canada, Mr. Rukkila has been a long time music director and conductor of a Finnish congregation choir and brass band, where he has also been involved as organist and composer-arranger in residence. Mr. Rukkila has performed with the Sibelius Academy Orchestra, Lauttasaari Symphony, and North York Symphony Orchestra for several seasons and has toured in Europe and the Caribbean as cellist and occasional guest conductor with Jubilance Singers and Orchestra. Together with his violinist daughter, he is a founding member of Selah Strings.
Merle Oddson studied cello and piano in Winnipeg and played the cello in the Manitoba Youth Orchestra. After University graduation in Dietetics she took a break from music and only re-kindled her interest in the cello about 12 years ago. She is currently studying with Barbara Pepper. Merle is a current member of the Rose Orchestra of Brampton and is a past member of the NYCO Symphony Orchestra and the York Symphony Orchestra. Merle and her husband have lived in Thornhill for many years where they raised their two sons.
Jui-Ying Hong’s interest in music developed while she was in high school by learning to play the viola and the cello. University studies took precedence as she pursued a B. Sc. degree in physics and math and then did post-graduate studies in radiography. Wanting to resume her passion for the cello and fulfil her childhood dream to “run away and join an orchestra”, she began taking lessons about ten years ago with Donald Green. For the past four years she has played with the NYCO Symphony Orchestra.
Toronto bassist Jesse Dietschi holds Masters degrees in both Performance and Composition from the University of Toronto and Brandon University, respectively. He has been featured as a performer and composer in concert halls and clubs throughout North America, playing music ranging from classical to contemporary jazz to blues and funk. He has served as the resident bassist for both the Northern Lights (Mexico) and Clear Lake (Manitoba) Chamber Music festivals. A former sessional faculty member at Brandon University, Jesse has performed across North American with internationally-renown musicians from all styles, including Richard Underhill, Andrew Downing, Mark Skazinetsky, Dave Restivo, Nick “Brownman” Ali, and many others. Jesse is also an Artistic Advisor with Toronto’s Spectrum Music, a collective that strives to create and present concerts that blend elements of modern classical and contemporary jazz together.
Associate Principal Contrabass
Sara Lukjanovs earned her Bachelor of Music in Double Bass Performance from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York where she played in various orchestras, the Syracuse Symphony, and was an original member of Ossia, a new music ensemble. While a member of Ossia, she took part in a new recording of Steve Reich's Tehillim, released in 2002. After moving from the U.S. to Germany, and then back to the U.S., Mrs. Lukjanovs played in the Raleigh Chamber Orchestra in Raleigh, North Carolina. She and her husband have recently moved to Markham, where they are raising their three children.
William Kwan has performed with National Youth Orchestra of Canada, Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, Toronto District School Board Youth Orchestra, Toronto Chinese Orchestra, and Claude Watson School for the Arts orchestra. He has graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science degree with honours in Nanotechnology Engineering from the University of Waterloo.
Rodney A. Gray
Rodney Gray received a Bachelor of Music and a Masters of Music degree in performance flute from the University of Western Ontario. He supplemented his learning at the Banff School of Fine Arts, and during several months studying in Paris France with Pierre-Yves Artaud. Rodney attributes his main learning experience to a two year period of study in the international master class of renowned British flutist Geoffrey Gilbert, former teacher of William Bennett, Trevor Wye, James Galway, and Susan Milan. Rodney has performed with Orchestra London, London Concert Players Orchestra, and the Vancouver Island Symphony, and has appeared as a recitalist across Canada. He is an avid supporter of physical fitness and enjoys running and cycling.
Associate Principal Flute
Alexa Ball holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Toronto, where she majored in flute, studying with Peg Albrecht. She has performed in master classes with many renowned flutists, including William Bennett, Peter Lloyd and Denis Bouriakov. She has also performed with the Heliconian Choir and Orchestra, the Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra, the University of Toronto Flute Choir and the University of Toronto Wind Ensemble, and as a soloist with the Cantabile Chorale of York Region, and Performing Arts of York Region. She has experience on flutes of all shapes and sizes, including piccolo, alto flute, bass flute and even the contrabass flute. She has also played in the orchestras for musical theatre productions, including Markham Youth Theatre and City Youth Players. Alexa teaches flute in both a private studio in Thornhill and at the Ware Academy of Music in Markham, and is the director of the Ware Academy of Music Flute Choir.
Shauna Furois is currently completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts Music degree at York University while pursuing both her interests in music performance and education. She is studying flute under Barbara Ackerman and Linda Morana and is a member of the York University Wind Symphony and the York University Orchestra. In addition to giving various flute recitals in the GTA, Ms. Furois also volunteers as a teaching assistant at Markville Secondary School in Markham rehearsing and conducting both large and small ensembles and sectionals.
Claire Kobayakawa has earned a Bachelor of Music Performance in Oboe degree from the University of Western Ontario and studied orchestral performance at the Glen Gould Professional School of the Royal Conservatory of Music. She was Associate Principal Oboe with the Woodstock Strings and with the National Academy Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Boris Brott. Ms. Kobayakawa performed with The Greater Toronto Philharmonic and the Corktown Chamber Orchestra as well as in over thirty pit orchestras.
Giovanni Alonzi plays the oboe as well as the clarine and the flute. When he was 25 years old he began studying clarinet with a pupil of Benny Goodman. At age of 35 he started studying oboe with Cynthia Steljes (Quartetto Gelato). Giovanni has played in various orchestras and bands, including Brampton Symphony Orchestra, Italian Philharmonic, Huronia Symphony Orchestra, and the Caledon Concert Band. Giovanni left his native Italy some 45 years ago to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering in Canada. Later he founded his own company for mechanical tools and built it to a highly successful business.
Carmen Gassi has earned a Master of Music in Clarinet performance degree, a Bachelor of Music in Theory and Composition, and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Western Ontario. He has studied with Jerome Summers, Robert Riseling, and Imre Roszanyi. Mr. Gassi has performed with the Brampton Symphony Orchestra, Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, Oakville Symphony Orchestra, Brampton Lyric Opera, Opera Kitchener, Meadowvale Theatre, and others. An accomplished composer, Mr. Gassi wrote Diversions for Woodwind Quintet and The Last Tournament for a Brass Quintet (both published by Eighth Note). He has also been conductor of the Halton Senior Winds Honour Band, assistant conductor of Brampton Symphony Orchestra and Brampton Youth Orchestra, and Head of Arts & Moderns at the Halton District School Board.
Associate Principal Clarinet
Daniel Paquin began his clarinet study at the age of 12 with Bruce Dinkins. During high school he performed with the Sewanee Symphony Orchestra at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival under conductors from all over the world. Upon graduating high school, he has earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina where he studied with Doug Graham. After completing his degree, Mr. Paquin spent three years in Okinawa (Japan) teaching English and music. Upon returning to North America in 2006, he moved to Toronto with his wife. Currently, Mr. Paquin is a clarinetist with the Brampton Symphony Orchestra and teaches music with the both the Toronto District School Board and York Region District School Board. He is also on the faculty of the Music of By the Lake Summer Music Festival.
Krishna Veerappan starting learning the clarinet at the age of 10 and graduated from both programs the Baythorn Public School’s Arts Program and Arts York at Unionville High School. He is currently enrolled at York University in a Honours Double Major programme in Urban Studies and in Music Performance. Mr. Veerappan currently holds Principal Clarinet and Eb Clarinet positions with various groups across Ontario, including the York University Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra, Ontario Cross-Cultural Music Society Orchestra, York Wind Ensemble, Richmond Hill Concert Band, and formerly The TenToes Ballet Company, Unionville Symphony Orchestra, Unionville Wind Ensemble and York University Wind Quintet. He has also performed with chamber groups and orchestras across Canada and abroad, including China, France, South Africa and Italy.
Associate Principal Bassoon
Doris Feitler discovered her passion for the bassoon at the age of 13, playing in school and community bands and orchestras. Although she took a hiatus from the bassoon to raise a family and develop her career as a veterinarian, she returned to her musical training, taking lessons from bassoonist Leslie Magowan. Over the past few years she played bassoon with the Markham Concert Band, Newmarket Citizen’s Band, Toronto Community Orchestra and the Blue Bridge Festival Orchestra. Doris has varied musical interests and plays baritone and trombone with a jazz band, sings with the classically based Blue Bridge choir, plays djembe, djunn djunns and native flutes with an African drumming group and plays in a recorder ensemble.
Principal French Horn
Connie So earned a Bachelor of Music Education and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto. She studied French Horn with Joan Watson (Canadian Opera Company), James Sommerville (Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and Boston Symphony Orchestra) and Harcus Hennigar (Toronto Symphony Orchestra). She also finished her studies at Royal Conservatory of Music with an A.R.C.T. diploma in French Horn performance. Connie is a winner of a silver medal from the Royal Conservatory of Music with the highest standing in the province of Ontario. She has also a second award from the Kiwanis Music Festivals. Upon graduation, she took time off to pursue a career in education and also earned a Master of Music Education from the University of Toronto. Currently, she is a teacher-librarian at two elementary schools in York Region. Connie performed with the University of Toronto Wind Ensemble, University of Toronto Orchestra and the University of Toronto Opera Orchestra, North Toronto Concert Band, the Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra and brass and woodwind ensembles.
Associate Principal French Horn
Rebecca Whiteside has been playing the French Horn for over 25 years in various ensembles in Canada and the United Kingdom. At age 5, she was introduced to music through piano lessons that continued through to her successful completion of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Grade 9 piano and theory examinations. She began playing the French Horn at age 11 and a few years later, was accepted into the prestigious Ottawa Youth Orchestra. She performed with the OYO from 1989 to 1993 during which time she also studied with Dan Gress. Despite choosing to pursue a degree in Electrical Engineering at Queen’s University, Rebecca was thrilled to accept a part-time opportunity to perform professionally with the Kingston Symphony Orchestra from 1994 to 2003. She left the KSO in 2003 when her engineering career took her to England but it wasn’t long before she was performing with an amateur brass ensemble in Derby, the Nottingham Symphonic Winds and the Nottingham Philharmonic Orchestra. Since returning to Canada in 2005, Rebecca has also performed with the Brampton Symphony Orchestra and Brampton’s Rose Orchestra.
Lynne Smythe is a musician, teacher and clinician. Before graduating with a Bachelor of Music (Honours) in French Horn Performance from the University of Western Ontario, she was a member of the world renowned Amabile Youth Singers for twelve years. Ms. Smythe has been principal French Horn for the North Bay Symphony since 2002 and is a contracted musician for Sudbury Symphony. Lynne has performed as a soloist with the North Bay Symphony and has played with the Concert Players Orchestra, Clarion Symphony, International Symphony and Orchestra London. She has also been a featured vocalist for various events and ensembles including the 22 Wing Band, Dreamcoat Theatre, guest soloist with the Choral Society and has sung both the Canadian and American National Anthems for many events, including for the Prime Minister of Canada. Lynne auditioned for and won a placement in the Band of the Ceremonial Guard (Ottawa) where she completed her Basic Training (Canadian Military) and was a musician on Parliament Hill. After two hot summers on ‘The Hill’, she moved to North Bay, ON and transferred to the Air Force (reserve) where she completed 2.5 more years of service as an Image Technician. On the QL3 Image Technician Course, she received the award of ‘Top Candidate’. Lynne was hired at the focused arts school in North Bay (Widdifield Secondary School) where she taught instrumental, vocal music and musical theatre. She has been the vocal/musical director for the Near North District School Board’s summer musical theatre program ‘TOROS’ since 2006 and is a clinician for MusicFest Canada (NOMFest All Star Band). She can also be found onstage in local musical theatre productions.
Kristine S. Louis
Kristine Louis has played the French Horn for over 10 years as a Principal with the Ontario Cross-Cultural Music Society Youth Symphony Orchestra, as well as with the Hart House Orchestra at the University of Toronto, Scarborough Society of Musicians, University of Toronto at Scarborough (UTSC) Wind Ensemble, Dr. Norman Bethune Collegiate Institute Junior and Senior Concert Bands and Milliken Public School Junior and Senior Bands. in several school and community concert bands over the years. She has graduated with a Master of Science degree in Molecular Genetics and a Honours Bachelor of Science degree with distinction at the University of Toronto. Kristine is currently working in the medical research field and enjoys participating in various sport activities.
James LeBlanc has earned a Master of Music in Trumpet Performance from the University of Ottawa, and a Bachelor of Music in Trumpet Performance from the McGill University (Montreal). Mr. LeBlanc has studied with Karen Donnelly, Ed Carroll and Frank Ridgeway and has performed with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra as well as with the Capital Brass Works. James has also been a musician in the Canadian Army Reserve since 2005.
Ujjawal Madan began studying the trumpet at the age of 12 at the Earl Haig Secondary School as part of the renowned Claude Watson Arts Program. His primary teachers include Bob Gray, Andrew McCandless and Anita McAlister. Ujjawal has played with the Toronto All Star Big Band, the Hannaford Youth Band, the TDSB band, the TDSB orchestra as well as in the Earl Haig school's orchestra, band and brass quintet. Ujjawal has won a second place in the Federal Music Festival Association and was invited to atten the Vale International Trumpet Seminar and study with Mark Gould, Thomas Stevens, Stephen Burns, Gabriel Cassone, John Wallace, and Edward Carroll.
Michael Brooker is a Toronto-based Trombonist, Composer, Bandleader, Arranger, and Teacher with a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance from the University of Toronto. Having worked and performed with such musical luminaries as Allen Vizzutti, Alastair Kay, Gordon Wolfe, Chase Sanborn, Terry Promane, Mike Murley, David Liebman, Jim Lewis, Donny McCaslin, and Kirk MacDonald, Michael is quickly proving himself as one of Canada’s emerging young artists. Beginning private studies at the age of 16, Michael has developed a reputation around the Toronto community as a “jack of all trades” musician. In addition to performing in dozens of classical, jazz, pop, salsa, indie, and ska ensembles at such storied venues as Roy Thomson Hall, Massey Hall, The Rogers Centre, The Rex Hotel, the Jane Mallett Theatre, Lula Lounge, the Horseshoe Tavern, the Opera House, and many more, Michael is beginning to make his mark as a composer and arranger as well. Having written for dozens of different musical configurations in the jazz and classical idioms, including a ten-piece all-brass medley of the music of Michael Jackson for solo Tuba, Michael values composition and arranging as much as his playing. On the eve of releasing a new album in fall 2013 entitled Reflections, playing the music of saxophonist Mike Murley in the University of Toronto Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Gordon Foote with Murley as featured soloist, Michael shows no signs of slowing down.
Jacky Siu has earned a Bachelor of Music education and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto. He studied with Sal Fratia and Chris Lee (Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra), Mark Tetreaul (Toronto Symphony Orchestra) and Raffi Armenian (Canadian Symphonietta). Jacky is a music teacher at the Toronto District School Board, as well as an active lower brass clinician at various schools across the GTA. Jacky Siu has performed with the North York Concert Orchestra, Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra, Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra. He was a principal Tubist with the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, University of Toronto Wind Ensemble, University of Toronto Wind Symphony, and Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra.
Bruce Reid has performed for over 25 years with various community orchestras as timpanist and percussionist, such as East York Symphony Orchestra, Etobicoke Symphony Orchestra, Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, Brampton Symphony Orchestra, Brampton Lyric Opera, NYCO Symphony Orchestra, Brampton Festival Singers, and Counterpoint Community Orchestra.
Shyuan Lai was born in Malaysia, studied piano in her early childhood before she went to Taiwan to study percussion performance in National Taiwan Academy School of Arts. She has graduated with a Master degree in Percussion Performance from the Taipei National University of the Arts. Shyuan Lai worked as a Percussionist with Taipei Percussion Group for over ten years and performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra, Taipei Chinese Orchestra, and Taipei Chinese Youth Orchestra, among others.
Antonia de Wolfe
Antonia de Wolfe has graduated with a degree in piano performance from the George Enescu Institute of Music in Bucharest, Romania and, later, with another degree from the Central School of Music affiliated with the P. I. Tchaikovsky State Conservatory in Moscow. She has also graduated from the Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, where she studied with Sergio Perticaroli, and has earned a Master in Music (piano performance) degree from the University of Toronto. In addition, Ms. de Wolfe has studied with Maestro S. Petricaroli at Mozarteum Hochschule für Musik in Salzburg (Austria). Ms. de Wolfe has given several recitals and concerts in some of the finest concert halls in Bucharest, Moscow, Rome, Paris, Salzburg, and Toronto. She has also taught piano at the Columbus Centre, Cosmo school of Music, and Koffler Music School. As a collaborative pianist and accompanist, she has been in great demand for several productions of the Centuries Opera Association, Toronto Opera Repertoire, Palestrina Choir, Ethobicoke Centennial Choir, and others.
Elida Cota has earned a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance degree from the Fine Arts Academy in Tirana, as well as a Certificate in Piano Pedagogy from the Onufri Profesisonal Music School in Elbasan (Albania). She has given numerous solo recitals and has performed with various chamber ensembles, as well as with the Sheraton Cadwell Orchestras (Toronto). Mrs. Cota has taught piano performance both privately and at music schools across the GTA. She is the winner of Second Award of Chopin Piano Competition.
Applauded by the National Post as having “a rare charisma”, his audience have included the Canadian Senate on Parliament Hill and Princess Thi-Nga of Vietnam. A frequent soloist, highlights include "a thunderous standing ovation" for his Vancouver performance of the Michael Conway Baker Harp Concerto, with which he toured Ontario with various orchestras to equal success. He will perform the concerto again with the Greater Toronto Philharmonic in March 2013, as well as the Reinecke Harp Concerto with Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra in May 2013. December 2012 marks Andrew's debut in Asia when he will give a solo concert in China. Andrew is the founder and Artistic Director of the Harps on the Hill Festival, where he advocates the appreciation of the harp in its performance and education. Andrew is also a founding member of the CCC Music Festival Canada, and the CCC Toronto International Piano Competition. As an orchestral harpist, Andrew has performed with Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Ontario Philharmonic, and the Toronto Concert Orchestra & Chorus. Andrew continues to be demanded by orchestras across Ontario with whom he has performed extensively with and been featured as their soloists. A dedicated teacher, he founded Harp Sinfonia, a multiple harp ensemble featuring ten of his prize-winning students. His students come from around Canada and visiting students have come from England, France, Japan and Singapore.
*denotes a member of the Youth Strings Mentorship Programme