KWS Youth Orchestra Program Conductor Bios
Matthew Jones: Youth Orchestra
Recorder virtuoso, cellist, and music director Matthew Jones is proud that his career has spanned the length of Ontario as the current artistic director to the Kitchener/Waterloo Chamber Orchestra and Kitchener-Waterloo Senior Youth Orchestra in Southern Ontario and as conductor laureate with Timmins Symphony Orchestra in the North East of Ontario.
Matthew graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University where he studied Cello performance. His conducting studies include the Conductor’s Institute at The Hartt School, University of Connecticut, and the Oregon Bach Festival Conductor’s Workshop under the guidance of Helmuth Rilling.
Under Maestro Jones’ direction, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra and Chorus’s performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 took to the airwaves as part of a TV Ontario’s Studio Two broadcast. Under his leadership, the TSO was awarded the Prestigious Betty Webster Award for its contribution to Orchestral Music in Canada.
Mr. Jones enthusiastically advocates for the Arts in the community and beyond. Matthew produced Heart of Gold; a locally authored and locally composed full-length musical celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the community of Timmins.
Matthew has enjoyed recent concerts as guest conductor with the Kitchener/Waterloo Symphony, Sault Saint Marie Symphony, Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, Georgian Bay Symphony in addition to the North Bay Symphony.
Matthew delights in performing as a Recorder soloist. He is particularly proud of his CD, Just Pipes in partnership with Organist, Jan Overduin.
Matthew is honored to serve as a board member for Orchestra’s Canada, Canada’s national voice of the Canadian orchestral community. It has been Matthew’s great pleasure to serve all Canadian Orchestras by advocating for the continued support of symphonic music at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels of government.
Allene Chomyn: Youth Sinfonia
A native of Western Canada, violinist Allene Chomyn holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Toronto (2007), and a Bachelor of Music with Distinction from the University of Victoria (2005). In addition to the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, of which she has been a member since 2007, Allene maintains a busy freelance career with various ensembles in Southern Ontario, and is the conductor of the KWS Youth Sinfonia, the Youth Orchestra Program's senior string ensemble. Allene is also passionate about historical performance practice. She has studied privately with Jeanne Lamon, attended Tafelmusik Summer and Winter Institutes (2011, 2013 and 2013, 2014 respectively), has performed and recorded with Tafelmusik and Aradia Ensemble in Toronto, and has performed locally with Nota Bene Baroque Players and Musica Viva Orchestra.
Allene has been a featured soloist with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (2011, 2015) and the Kitchener-Waterloo Community Orchestra (2012) and performs chamber music recitals frequently on both Baroque and modern violin. In addition to her music career, Allene is also a bridal/special event hair stylist with a mobile styling business. She lives in Kitchener with her husband, principal bassist Ian Whitman, their daughter, Chelsea, and their dog, Spike.
David Wadley: Youth Strings
Shortly after graduating the University of Toronto with a degree in Music Performance, David Wadley joined the KWS as a violist in 1984. He has played as an extra with the Toronto Symphony and Symphony Nova Scotia, and frequently performs chamber music, most often as a member of the Emperor Quartet. Beginning in 2000, David pursued studies in Music Composition at Wilfrid Laurier and the University of Calgary and has had works performed by the KWS and the KWS Youth Strings. From 1983 until 2013 David served in various orchestra management roles with the National Youth Orchestra, KWS, Banff Festival Orchestra and the Glenn Gould School. Currently he is focussing on teaching and coaching young players.
Ella Weber: Preludium Strings
Ella has lived in Kitchener-Waterloo all her life and has completed her Bachelor of Music degree with a specialization in Music Education, and a Bachelor of Education degree at Wilfrid Laurier University. She began violin lessons at the age of 5 and piano lessons shortly after and has performed many times in Kiwanis festivals at the local and provincial level winning numerous awards and scholarships. Ella spent nine years in the K-W Youth Orchestra Program working her way up from the beginner group to the full Youth Orchestra. One of her favourite moments from her time in the YOP was playing a solo with the orchestra in 2005. Ella has been teaching privately in her own violin studio for over six years and has recently started teaching violin at the Beckett School. Volunteering in local elementary and secondary schools is an important part of Ella’s educational career and over the past few years she has assisted and performed in numerous music classrooms. Most recently, she has accepted a position teaching music with the Waterloo Region District School Board. Ella is thrilled to return to the YO Program and is especially excited to be conducting the Preludium Strings.
Youth Orchestra Program Coordinator
Phone: 519.745.4711, x 390