Musicians

Violin I

Bénédicte Lauzière, Concertmaster
Chair Sponsor: Bob & Judy Astley

Bénédicte Lauzière, Concertmaster
Chair Sponsor: Bob & Judy Astley

Described as “beautiful to watch and breathtaking to hear” by the Guelph Mercury, Ms Lauzière began learning the violin at the age of five and then attended Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal from 2001 to 2009 with Helmut Lipsky. Ms Lauzière completed her Bachelor of Music degree with Jonathan Crow at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University in 2012, with the aid of the Lloyd Carr-Harris scholarship. Ms Lauzière holds a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School where she studied with Masao Kawasaki, with the support of the Karl H. Kraeuter and the H. & E. Kivekas Scholarships. Miss Lauziere has also been a recipient of the Grants to Professional Musicians – Individuals from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Ms Lauzière is the winner of the 2014 Prix d’Europe, a prestigious prize which supports her continuing development as a violinist. Newly arrived in the US, Ms Lauzière was delighted to play in New York’s legendary Carnegie Hall for the first time as a member of the Juilliard Orchestra under the baton of Alan Gilbert in October 2013. Bénédicte is equally committed to her performances as soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and orchestra player. She performed Mendelssohn’s Concerto No. 1 in D minor in October 2012 as guest soloist of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony series Baroque and Beyond. During her studies at McGill, Ms Lauzière had the opportunity of performing Tchaikovsky Concerto op. 35 in D major in February 2012 and Mendelssohn Concerto No. 2 op. 64 in E minor in February 2011 with the McGill Sinfonietta. In the summer of 2011, Ms Lauzière was announced the first winner of the Michael Measures Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts. In February 2010, Ms. Lauzière won the silver medal of the Stulberg International String Competition, which gave her the chance to perform as a soloist in the Korngold Concerto op. 35 in D major with the Western Michigan University Orchestra. Also in 2010, she won the Peter Mendell award, which is given every year to the most promising musician attending a Montreal university. Bénédicte was awarded first prize in her age category at the Canadian Music Competition in 2006, 2007 and 2008. In 2008, she was played as soloist in Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 1 in A minor with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra and maestro Yoav Talmi. In addition to the solo repertoire, Ms Lauzière also cherishes the chamber music repertoire, collaborating with Jonathan Crow, Mark Fewer, and Andrés Dìas, to only name a few. Smitten with the orchestral repertoire, she is delighted to have been appointed concertmaster of the KW Symphony in January 2015.

Lance Ouellette, Associate Concertmaster
Chair Sponsor: Anonymous Member of the Conductor's Circle

Lance Ouellette, Associate Concertmaster
Chair Sponsor: Anonymous Member of the Conductor’s Circle

Lance Ouellette began his musical training in Saint John, N.B. learning the violin, piano, and voice. While studying at the University of Toronto and Laurier University, Lance received the top awards in the Canadian Music Competition and the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals.

Lance joined the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony as the 2nd Associate Concertmaster in 2003 and has been the Interim Associate Concertmaster since 2015. He is also the Associate Concertmaster of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and performs with the TSO and other orchestras throughout Canada. Orchestral highlights include tours of Canada, Japan, Carnegie Hall, Europe, and an upcoming tour to Israel.

Lance has been featured as a soloist and chamber musician on stages ranging from northern Canada to southern Mexico. An upcoming performance of the Mendelssohn Double Concerto for violin and piano will be performed in April, 2017 with his wife, Justyna Szajna, on piano along with the Waterloo Chamber Players.

As an educator, Lance shares his passion for music with students across the nation adjudicating for the CMC and FCMF. He maintains a private violin studio, coaches for the KWSYO program, and is a faculty member of the University of Waterloo.

As a perpetual hobbyist, Lance’s other interests include golfing, fly fishing, table tennis, darts, cycling, canoeing, backpacking, and traveling.

Jung Tsai, 2nd Associate Concertmaster
Chair Sponsored in Memory of Fabienne D. Duval

Jung Tsai, 2nd Associate Concertmaster
Chair Sponsored in Memory of Fabienne D. Duval

A native of Taipei, Taiwan, violinist Jung Tsai gave her first solo performance in National Concert Hall in Taipei in 1994. She has won 3rd prize in Taiwan Chamber Orchestra Competition and was chosen by the school to give performances in the “Young Concert Artists Concert Series” while she attended High School division affiliated Tainan National University of Arts. She made her debut playing Brahms Violin Concerto with Mannes Community Orchestra and New York Doctor Orchestra in 2011 for the winner of Mannes Community Orchestra Solo Competition. In addition to solo performances, Ms. Tsai is also an intensive orchestral and chamber musician. Ms. Tsai had joined Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra in 2013-2015 and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago in 2012-2014 and served as assistant concertmaster during the year of 2012-2013. She was invited to Schleswig-Holstein and Britten-Pears Music Festival. In the year of 2015, her string quartet (Pavo) was invited to Festival de Música de Santa Catarina in Brazil for the string quartet program under the guidance of Arianna String Quartet and has won the honorable mention in Plowman Chamber Music competition. She has recently won the Lumiarts Fellowship of string category for year 2015. In the past years, she has attended several festivals and had masterclasses with Mikhail Kopelman, James Buswell, Helmut Zehetmair, Josef Silverstein, Ivry Gitlis, Martin Beavor, Vadim Gluzman, Chee-Yun, and Gerardo Ribeiro.

Ms. Tsai received Bachelor of Music Performance at Mannes College where she studied with Prof. Nina Beilina and Master Degree in Music Performance in DePaul School of music with Prof. Ilya Kaler.  She recently graduated with an Artist Diploma at McGill Schulich School of Music with Prof. Axel Strauss.

Peter Carter
Chair Sponsor: Gerry & Margaret Hooper

Peter Carter
Chair Sponsor: Gerry & Margaret Hooper

Peter has been with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony since 1987. A native of Sarnia, Ontario he began his studies at the age of seven under Richard Lawrence. Peter obtained his degree in Violin Performance from The University of Western Ontario in 1986 studying with Lorand Fenyves. He attended the Royal Conservatory of Toronto’s Orchestral Training Program in 1987 under the tutelage of Steven Staryk and in the same year won the audition for the KWS.

Peter maintains a full time private studio in Kitchener and has coached the Kitchener-Waterloo Youth Orchestra for nine years. This summer will be his sixth year teaching at The Kincardine Festival of Music. Peter and his wife are members of the Amarone String Quartet.

Allene Chomyn
Chair Sponsor: Cliff & Mary Bauman

Photo by: Ben Lariviere Photography

Allene Chomyn
Chair Sponsor: Cliff & Mary Bauman

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, and their dog, Spike.

Angela Cox-Daly
Chair Sponsor: Willy & Laura Heffner

Angela Cox-Daly
Chair Sponsor: Willy & Laura Heffner

Angela Cox-Daly has been a member of the KW symphony since 1988 as second associate concertmaster until 2003. After a playing related injury and almost three years off, Angela gratefully returned as a section first violinist. She is an active chamber music performer in Canada and the United States and has appeared as soloist with various chamber and symphony orchestras including the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony, KW Community Orchestra, Scarborough Philharmonic and the North York Symphony. Angela was on scholarship on both violin and piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto) in the Course for gifted students for seven years and was a recipient of over one hundred awards and scholarships in both piano and violin prior to graduating from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Music in Performance degree.

Angela enjoys a versatile career including teaching, coaching, adjudicating, summer music festivals etc. In partnership with her musician-husband, Ross, they manage Daly Live Music & Entertainment which provides live music for all types of engagements. Their three children have been members of all levels of the wonderful Kitchener-Waterloo Youth Orchestra programme. Angela is also an avid trick water-skier!

Julia Dixon
Chair Sponsored in Memory of David Buehlow

Julia Dixon
Chair Sponsored in Memory of David Buehlow

Julia Dixon joined the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in 1988 after graduating from the University of Western Ontario. Her principal teachers were Steven Staryk and Lorand Fenyves. Julia also teaches violin privately and performs chamber music regularly in the Kitchener area.

Anna Luhowy
Chair Sponsor: John & Elisabeth Honek

Anna Luhowy
Chair Sponsor: John & Elisabeth Honek

A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Anna’s violin studies began at the age of 8 in the elementary school system. Having won a major local competition at the age of 14, she began seriously to consider a future in music. Being chosen to participate in the National Youth Orchestra of Canada in 1972 proved to be a turning point in her profession.

A position in the Winnipeg Symphony was offered to her in her final year of university as part of a scholarship development programme. Upon graduating from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Music degree in 1973, she moved east and soon discovered Raffi Armenian and the KWS the following year.

One of her proudest accomplishments has been the creation and production of the infamous KWS calendars for the years ’95 and ’96. Highlights of her career would have to be performing the inaugural performance of Mahler’s 2nd Symphony at the opening of the Centre in the Square, and the exciting tour with the CCE to South America.

In her spare time Anna enjoys fitness training, and has a passion for movies.

Violin II

Anita Walsh, Principal
Chair Sponsor: David & Judy Horman

Anita Walsh, Principal
Chair Sponsor: David & Judy Horman

Currently Principal Second Violinist with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Anita enjoys a varied career, displaying versatility in a wide range of musical styles. As an orchestral player, she has performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Thirteen Strings Ensemble, and as guest Principal with the Winnipeg and London (Ont.) Symphony Orchestras.

Equally at home as a chamber musician, Anita is a founding member of the Bremen String Quartet, and has appeared in concert with distinguished colleagues at the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, MusicFest Vancouver, the Glenn Gould Studio, Colorado Springs Summer Music Festival, Le Domaine Forget, Festival of the Sound, Scotia Festival of Music, Banff Centre for the Performing Arts, Perimeter Institute, Blackcreek Festival, and the Westben Arts Festival. She has recorded for CBC records, and has been broadcasted on CBC Radio’s “Take Five” and “In Performance”.

Originally from Ottawa, Anita studied formatively with David Zafer, Lorand Fenyves, and David Stewart, earning her M.Mus. She received additional training from Pinchas Zukerman, Midori, Kyoko Takezawa, Cho-Liang Lin, and members of the St. Lawrence, Orford, Ying, and Tokyo string quartets.

Aside from her affinity for performing, Anita is deeply committed to volunteerism in the Waterloo Region. She enjoys working with various groups, including the National Service Dogs of Canada who train Labrador and Golden Retrievers for families living with autism and post traumatic stress disorder.

www.bremenstringquartet.com

Roxolana Toews, Associate Principal
Chair Sponsor: Dr. David & Barbara Barr

Roxolana Toews, Associate Principal
Chair Sponsor: Dr. David & Barbara Barr

Roxolana has been with the KWS since 1989. She has also played with the Thunder Bay and Windsor Symphony as Principal Second Violin. Roxolana has performed solo recitals in Montreal and New York. In her spare time, you may find her playing bridge.

Elspeth Durward, Assistant Principal
Chair Sponsor: Robin & Maureen Ollerhead

Elspeth Durward, Assistant Principal
Chair Sponsor: Robin & Maureen Ollerhead

A native of Ottawa, Elspeth Durward holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto and a Masters of Music from the Hartt School of Music. Prior to joining the KW Symphony, Elspeth spent three years performing with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. Highlights of her time with the NWS include residencies with MTT at Rome’s National Academy of Saint Cecilia and New York’s Carnegie Hall.

As an orchestral performer, Elspeth has appeared with the Pacific Music Festival in Japan, Spoleto Festival USA, the Britt Festival Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Toronto Symphony. She has been featured in concert with the Emerson String Quartet, participated in masterclasses and chamber music at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France, and attended the Pinchas Zukerman Young Artists Program in Ottawa.

Elspeth is a faculty member of the Suzuki String School of Guelph. Prior to pursuing a musical career, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Queen’s University in 1997.

Sophie Drouin
Chair Sponsor: Jim & Mary Guy

Sophie Drouin
Chair Sponsor: Jim & Mary Guy

After graduating from the Quebec Conservatoire with a coveted Premier Prix in 1989, Sophie Drouin completed her studies in Toronto and Banff with, among others Liliane Garnier-LeSage and Lorand Fenyves. She has been a member of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (1991-97), the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and the Musick Barok Ensemble (Winnipeg). She is currently a violinist in the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony.

Michael Steinberg
Chair Sponsored in Memory of Barbara Van De Kamer

Michael Steinberg
Chair Sponsored in Memory of Barbara Van De Kamer

Michael has been playing with the KWS since 1983. Michael grew up in Montreal, QC and studied at McGill University.

Vicky Dvorak
Chair Sponsor: Lewis & Urve Abbott

Vicky Dvorak
Chair Sponsor: Lewis & Urve Abbott

Vicky, a native of Toronto, completed her Bachelor of Music degree in Performance at the University of Toronto under Lorand Fenyves. She continued her violin studies at McGill University with Mauricio Fuks and joined the KWS as a member of the 2nd violin section in 1992. Vicky also enjoys playing chamber music and teaching violin.

Sheilanne Lindsay
Chair Sponsor: Ian McIlraith

Sheilanne Lindsay
Chair Sponsor: Ian McIlraith

A native of Sudbury, Ontario, Sheilanne began her violin studies under the guidance of Dr. Metro Kozak.  She continued her studies at the University of Toronto in the studio of David Zafer, receiving both a Bachelor of Music in Performance as well as a Bachelor of Education.  She continued in her studies at U of T to earn a Masters in Music Performance.

Sheilanne became a member of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in 2004.  She is also a member of London Symphonia and was a member of Orchestra London and the Windsor Symphony.  Sheilanne enjoys spending time outdoors, chasing after her two sons, and cuddling with her two cats.

Viola

Natasha Sharko, Principal
Chair Sponsor: Mary Reynolds & David Paleczny

Natasha Sharko, Principal
Chair Sponsor: Mary Reynolds & David Paleczny

A long-time member of the Gould String Quartet, the quartet-in-residence at the Niagara International Chamber Music Festival, Natasha has delighted audiences with her talent, charm and dedication to her music. Born in Sudbury, Natasha began her violin lessons at the age of four. First-place winner of numerous Kiwanis Competitions, she was concertmistress of the Sudbury Youth Orchestra, played in the Sudbury Symphony from the age of 12, and soon after joined the National Youth Orchestra. Initially studying science at McGill University, Natasha missed having music as a part of her life and ended up graduating with a triple major – Violin Performance, Viola Performance, and Music History. It was at McGill where she was first invited to try the viola and she felt an immediate personal connection to its deeper voice. Natasha went on to earn a Master of Music degree from the University of Toronto. Her career has included performances with Opera Hamilton, the Festival dei due mondi in Spoleto, Italy, three seasons with the Boris Brott National Academy Orchestra, freelancing with orchestras across Southern Ontario, and teacher and chamber music coach on faculty at the Toronto School for Strings. 2011/12 marks Natasha’s first season as Principal Viola for the KWS.

Judith Davenport, Associate Principal
Chair Sponsor: Joseph & Xiaopu Fung

Judith Davenport, Associate Principal
Chair Sponsor: Joseph & Xiaopu Fung

Judith Davenport, a native of St.John’s NF, began her studies on the violin when she was five years old. In a desperate attempt to get into the Newfoundland Symphony Youth Orchestra at the age of ten, she decided to switch to viola and has never looked back.

Judith studied with members of the Atlantic String Quartet and moved to Kitchener in 1992 to continue her education at Wilfrid Laurier University with members of the Penderecki String Quartet. During her studies, Judith won the Wilfrid Laurier Concerto Competition as well as the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra’s Concerto Competition. She has been a member of the National Youth Orchestra, continuing her summer studies in Banff, at the Orford Arts Centre and has participated in a number of QuartetFests at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Judith’s primary teachers have been Laura Wilcox, Yariv Aloni and Dov Scheindlin.
She has performed in masterclasses with many of today’s most prominent musicians including Karen Tuttle, Paul Coletti, and Lorand Fenyves.

She is an active freelance musician playing with such orchestras as the Elora Festival Orchestra, Festival of the Sound Orchestra, Grand River Baroque Festival, the Aradia Ensemble and the Westben Festival Orchestra.

Judith is an avid chamber musician and a founding member of the Bremen String Quartet, a dynamic new quartet in the region which is in high demand to perform at venues such as PI Bistro series, KWMS, First United, WLU and Conrad Grebel. She has been featured with the 4tet on the KWS’s Baroque and Beyond series, will be performing at the Leith Summer Festival in July 2011, and will present a chamber music seminar and a series of masterclasses at the National Academy Orchestra’s chamber music festival. a solo concerto with the KW Community Orchestra and the Oakville Chamber Orchestra.

As an educator, Judith is very active in the Kitchener-Waterloo community. She has taught at University of Waterloo (Conrad Grebel), University of Toronto, Eastwood Collegiate as well as maintaining a small private studio and giving masterclasses at Wilfrid Laurier. She is regularly called upon to coach the string sections of the KWS Youth Orchestra and the WLU orchestra. She is also in high demand as a clinician across southern Ontario. In 2008 the Bremen String Quartet established a highly successful chamber music program for young musicians under the auspices of the KWS.

Judith has held the position of Associate Principal Viola with the KWS since October, 2002.

Ethan Filner, Assistant Principal
Chair Sponsor: Betsey Ryan

Ethan Filner, Assistant Principal
Chair Sponsor: Betsey Ryan

Ethan Filner’s viola playing has been described as “gorgeous” (gramophone and san francisco classical voice), and “beautifully expressive” (honolulu advertiser). Recently appointed Assistant Principal Viola of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Ethan teaches viola at the University of Toronto and enjoys an active freelance chamber music career throughout the GTA and southern Ontario. He has also performed periodically as an extra in the viola sections of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company, the National Ballet of Canada, the National Arts Center Orchestra, and the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. From 2001-2016 he was the violist of the internationally renowned, San Francisco-based Cypress String Quartet (CSQ).

In his fifteen years with the CSQ, Mr. Filner toured extensively, performing in concert and on the radio throughout North America and Europe, including engagements at respected American venues like the Kennedy Center, Library of Congress, Ravinia Festival, and Cal Performances. The CSQ recorded more than sixteen critically acclaimed albums together, including the complete String Quartets of Beethoven, the great Schubert Cello Quintet with cellist Gary Hoffman, and most recently, the two Brahms String Sextets in a live recording collaboration with violist Barry Shiffman and cellist Zuill Bailey; these and other CSQ recordings arel available on the Avie Records label. Tireless advocates of chamber music within the context of contemporary society, the CSQ was proud to have reached over 150,000 students of all ages through innovative educational outreach programs. The ensemble was also celebrated for having commissioned or premiered dozens of new works from some of the most interesting and exciting composers working today, including George Tsontakis, Kevin Puts, Jennifer Higdon, Elena Ruehr, and Philippe Hersant. Learn more about the CSQ at www.cypressquartet.com.

Ethan studied viola with Atar Arad at Indiana University-Bloomington, with Roger Chase at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, and with James Dunham at New England Conservatory in Boston. He has worked with a wide variety of musicians as both chamber music collaborators and coaches, including Rostislav Dubinsky, Menahem Pressler, Edward Auer, Janos Starker, David Baker, James Campbell, Walter Ponce, Awadagin Pratt, Miriam Fried, Paul Biss, Jonathan Vinocour, Paul Coletti, Leon Fleisher, Sirs Simon Rattle and Colin Davis, Christoph Eschenbach, and members of the Gryphon Trio as well as the Takacs, Endellion, Borromeo, Alexander, and Penderecki String Quartets.

Martha Kalyniak
Chair Sponsor: Jane G. Hill

Martha Kalyniak
Chair Sponsor: Jane G. Hill

Violist Martha Kalyniak is a long time member of the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony.She began her musical studies at the tender age of six.She first started playing with the orchestra as an extra player in 1977, and became a full time member of the viola section in 1982.

Martha is currently on faculty of the Kitchener Waterloo Community String School, and has enjoyed teaching both violin and viola to children and adults for over thirty years.
Martha is also a member of the Leith Quartet and enjoys performing concerts, and weddings in Southern Ontario throughout the year.

During her spare time, Martha likes to work in her garden, and enjoys looking after her two cats, Max and Jack, and her two dogs, Oliver and Bailey Quarters Malleck.

David Wadley
Chair Sponsor: John & Joanne Bender

David Wadley
Chair Sponsor: John & Joanne Bender

David Wadley joined the viola section of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in 1984. His chair is generously sponsored by Joanne and John Bender. In addition to teaching and coaching violin and viola students, he arranges and composes. David has been spending his summers at the Banff Centre as Orchestra Manager since 2007.

Brenna Hardy-Kavanagh
Chair Sponsor: Heather & Glen Carruthers

Brenna Hardy-Kavanagh
Chair Sponsor: Heather & Glen Carruthers

Appointed to the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in 2017, violinist-violist Brenna Hardy-Kavanagh’s passion for chamber and orchestral music has taken her all over the world, with performances in Canada, the United States, Brazil, Ireland, England, Wales, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Romania.

Violist of the Toronto-based performance project Bach from the Heart, she also appears frequently with Against the Grain Theatre, Pocket Concerts, Tapestry Opera, and the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra.

Brenna made her Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival debut in July 2016, when her piano trio Amarok Ensemble was invited to complete the festival’s inaugural Career Development Residency. She has also participated in the prestigious Britten-Pears Orchestra, the St. Lawrence String Quartet Chamber Music Seminar, the Domaine Forget Summer Chamber Music Institute, and the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra Academy.

Interim principal second violin of the Regina Symphony Orchestra for part of the 2017-2018 season, Brenna served as principal second violin of l’Orchestre de la Francophonie for four seasons between 2007 and 2013. She is a former concertmaster of the University of Montreal Orchestra and Bard College’s The Orchestra Now, and a former assistant concertmaster of the Royal Conservatory Orchestra.

Two-time prizewinner in the Glenn Gould School Chamber Music Competition, Brenna completed the Artist Diploma Program at the Royal Conservatory of Music in 2015, under the direction of Erika Raum. She also holds a Bachelor of Music degree and an artist diploma from the University of Montreal, where she studied with Vladimir Landsman.

Brenna plays on a 2005 viola by Toronto luthier John Newton.

Cello

John Helmers, Principal
Chair Sponsor: Mike & Bev Marshman

John Helmers, Principal
Chair Sponsor: Mike & Bev Marshman

John Helmers joined the KWS in 1986. He studied at Queen’s and Indiana University. John has played with the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, and the Calgary Philharmonic. He appears regularly as a chamber musician at various summer festivals, including the Elora Festival, and the Sharon Festival.

Cathy Anderson, Associate Principal Cello
Chair Sponsor: Dan & Joanne Clements

Cathy Anderson, Associate Principal Cello
Chair Sponsor: Dan & Joanne Clements

A native of Guelph, Ontario, Cathy Anderson holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Wilfrid Laurier University, where she studied cello with Paul Pulford and members of the Penderecki String Quartet. She earned a Master of Music degree at Yale University under the tutelage of Aldo Parisot, where she received regular coachings from members of the Tokyo String Quartet. Cathy has had the opportunity to perform in concert with the St. Lawrence, Penderecki and Borealis String Quartets, and has been heard as a soloist and chamber musician on CBC Radio. Cathy, along with three other members of the KWS, now plays in the Bremen String Quartet which performs frequently in the area and runs the KWS Youth Chamber Program. Before joining the KWS in 2007, Cathy played in the Thunder Bay Symphony and taught the cello studio at Lakehead University. She recently taught a semester at Wilfrid Laurier University, and played for the Drayton Entertainment productions of Evita and Annie.

Sarah Gans, Assistant Principal Cello
Chair Sponsor: H. John Davidson & Cathay Weston

Sarah Gans, Assistant Principal Cello
Chair Sponsor: H. John Davidson & Cathay Weston

Sarah Gans, cellist, was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. In May of 2016 she graduated from The Juilliard School with a Master of Music where she studied with Darrett Adkins. At Juilliard, Sarah was the recipient of the “Irene Diamond Graduate Fellowship” as well as awarded the “Grunin Prize in Cello”. Sarah received her Bachelor of Music from McGill’s Schulich School of Music in May of 2014 where she studied with Matt Haimovitz. There, she was awarded the “Salsinger Tani Gold Medal in Music Performance” as well as recognized for “Outstanding Achievement in Cello Performance”. In addition to Darrett Adkins and Matt Haimovitz, Sarah’s past teachers include Paul Widner, Roberta Janzen and Tricia Balmer.

Rebecca Morton
Chair Sponsor: John & Marcia Shortreed

Rebecca Morton
Chair Sponsor: John & Marcia Shortreed

Cellist Rebecca Morton inspires audiences with her honesty, ease, and love of music making. She began her studies at the age of six in her hometown of Hamilton, Ontario and went on to study as a scholarship student at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto with Vladimir Orloff and David Hetherington where she was awarded the Gold Medal for achieving the highest string mark in Canada. Continuing at the Eastman School of Music, she was the recipient of a six year scholarship and graduated with highest distinction receiving Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees under Paul Katz and Steven Doane. Since graduating, she has won numerous scholarships and awards including semi-finalist in the 2003 Eckhardt-Gramatte String Competition.

Currently living and freelancing in Toronto, Rebecca has played with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Ontario Philharmonic, group of 27, Toronto Masque Theatre, Contact Contemporary Music Ensemble, the Stratford Festival Orchestra and the Niagara Symphony. Sought after as a principal player, she has been guest principal of Symphony on the Bay, Talisker Players and the Kingston Symphony. A gifted soloist and ensemble member, she was a member of the Kamareli String Quartet for many years and has been heard in many solo and chamber music recitals, including performances with ChamberWorks!, Nota Bene, Past Perfect, at the Toronto Music Garden and in recordings with Final Fantasy. Most recently, she has performed with members of the Canadian Opera Company at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Gallery 345, the
McMaster Concert Series, and with the McMaster Trio. In September of 2015, Rebecca joins the cello section of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony.

Voted “favourite music teacher” through the Hamilton spectator, Rebecca also enjoys teaching privately and at McMaster University.

Nancy Wharton
Chair Sponsor: Gary & Lorna Boratto

Nancy Wharton
Chair Sponsor: Gary & Lorna Boratto

A native of Kitchener, Nancy studied in Vancouver, and at the Royal College of Music in London, England. This season marks Nancy’s 41st as a member of the cello section of the KWS. Over the years she has been very active in the Players’ and Negotiating Committees, as well as serving for several years as the KWS representative to the Organization of Canadian Symphonic Musicians. Nancy was also the President of Local 226 of the American Federation of Musicians from 1997 to 2000. In September of 2001, Nancy joined the KWS staff as the Education and Outreach Coordinator and in 2009 she took on the position of Orchestra Personnel Manager. Nancy lives with her husband Dennis in their home on the outskirts of Kitchener.  Nancy’s various activities include making hand thrown pottery, pie baking, quilting, sampling sunshine in various parts of the globe and hosting weekly dinners for the whole family.

Nancy’s chair in the orchestra is generously sponsored by Gary & Lorna Boratto.

Vacancy
Chair Sponsor: Caroline & Arthur Read

Vacancy
Chair Sponsor: Caroline & Arthur Read

Bass

Ian Whitman, Principal
Chair Sponsor: Ron Craigen & Margaret McCreery

Photo by: Ben Lariviere Photography

Ian Whitman, Principal
Chair Sponsor: Ron Craigen & Margaret McCreery

A native of Edmonton, Ian Whitman was introduced to the bass at age 17 and spent 2 years studying jazz at Grant MacEwan College. He went on to receive his Bachelor’s of Music degree at McGill University and completed his Master’s of Music from the Yale University School of Music. After a year at the New England Conservatory in Boston, he joined the KWS in 2008.

Ian’s chair in the orchestra is generously sponsored by Margaret McCreery and Ron Craigen. He lives in Kitchener with his wife, violinist Allene Chomyn, and their young daughter.

George Greer, Associate Principal
Chair Sponsor: Kurt & Sandy Christie

Photo by: Ben Lariviere Photography

George Greer, Associate Principal
Chair Sponsor: Kurt & Sandy Christie

George Greer, Associate Principal Double Bass, joined the KWS in 1978, after playing principal bass with the City of Birmingham Symphony in England for six years. While in England he freelanced with the London Symphony Orchestra, making recordings with Andre Previn and Claudio Abbado.

George was principal bass for the Gilbert and Sullivan productions of the 80’s in Stratford. He did a MusBach Performance degree at University of Toronto, where his principal teacher was the late Thomas Monohan. Later he studied with the late Stuart Knussen.

In addition to serving as principal bass of the KWS from time to time over the years, George teaches at Wilfrid Laurier University, where he has performed often with the Penderecki Quartet. He is principal bass of the Sinfonia Mississauga Chamber Orchestra, and Elora Festival Orchestra. George’s solo bass recitals in Waterloo, Barrie, Orillia and Simcoe have been acclaimed.

Bird watching has been an interest for some 20 years. His son Julian, his wife Heather and cat named Gryffin complete the family.

Milos Petrak, Assistant Principal
Chair Sponsor: Ken & Dianne Morley

Milos Petrak, Assistant Principal
Chair Sponsor: Ken & Dianne Morley

Born in Prague, Czech Republic, Milos Petrak began his musical training at age six, taking violin lessons from his father, a member of Czech Philharmonic. At age fifteen he switched to the double bass and continued his training at the Prague Conservatory of Music, where he studied under Frantisek Posta, principal double bass player of Czech Philharmonic, where, for seven years, he played under the direction of Vaclav Neumann. In 1981, he emigrated via Japan to Canada, settling in Toronto. In 1988 he joined the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. For the last eleven summers, he has participated in the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder.

In his spare time, Milos enjoys cooking and is an avid photographer.

Bruce McGillivray
Chair Sponsor: In Memory of Mary Roe

Bruce McGillivray
Chair Sponsor: In Memory of Mary Roe

Bruce has been playing with the KWS since 1976. He has played with the St. Catherine’s Symphony, and Symphony Canada. Bruce developed a children’s solo show for Double Bass, which he has performed in schools across Canada. When not busy performing, Bruce enjoys photography, gardening, and listening to music.

Flute

Thomas Kay, Principal
Chair Sponsor: Rachel Smith-Spencer

Thomas Kay, Principal
Chair Sponsor: Rachel Smith-Spencer

Thomas Kay has been the principal flutist with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and Canadian Chamber Ensemble since 1974. Tom grew up on Long Island, New York in a musical family. His father was a jazz guitarist who played with Paul Whiteman and the legendary Dorsey Brothers and for over 20 years was on the staff at ABC television. His mother studied to be an opera singer. Tom studied flute with Jack Fulton (a member of the NBC Symphony under Arturo Toscanini), Gretchen Kander (former piccolo player in the Montreal Symphony), and at Boston University with James Pappoutsakis (who was a member of the Boston Symphony and for 40 seasons principal flutist of the Boston Pops). Upon graduation Tom received a Fulbright Scholarship for study with the principal flutist of the Berlin Philharmonic. In 1971, while attending the Berkshire Music Festival at Tanglewood, Tom was asked by Leonard Bernstein to play the premiere of his MASS for the opening of the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Tom also performed MASS at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, the Metropolitan Opera House in New York and the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.

Tom came to Canada in 1974 to play chamber concerts and operas with the Stratford Festival Ensemble. At the urging of Raffi Armenian, Tom was then asked to join the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. Over these many seasons Tom has played concertos by Mozart, Nielsen, and Vivaldi (including several of his piccolo concertos). He also gave the Canadian premiere of Bernstein’s Halil. One of his most memorable performances was given in the great hall of the Leipzig Gewandhaus where he performed Bach’s Suite in b minor with the Canadian Chamber Ensemble.

Kaili Maimets (on leave)
Chair Sponsor: Gord & Jean Riedlinger

Kaili Maimets (on leave)
Chair Sponsor: Gord & Jean Riedlinger

Flutist Kaili Maimets is in demand as an orchestral performer, chamber musician, and soloist. She was Principal Flute of the former Orchestra London Canada from 2012-2015. She has performed in Canada, USA, South America, and China. Kaili performs regularly with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and has also performed multiple times with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the National Ballet of Canada, and with the Toronto Concert Orchestra. While Principal Flute with Orchestra London, she was a featured soloist a number of times, including performing Mozart’s D Major Concerto K314. This past summer she was featured soloist with Toronto Concert Orchestra’s Symphony in the Gardens.

Kaili’s principal teachers have been Nora Shulman, Denis Bluteau and Camille Watts. She has Master of Music in Orchestral Performance from McGill University, Bachelor of Music from University of Toronto, A.R.C.T. and Gold Medal for Woodwinds from the Royal Conservatory of Music of Canada. Kaili is grateful for her training experiences with National Youth Orchestra of Canada, National Academy Orchestra of Canada, Youth Orchestra of the Americas, Banff Festival Orchestra, Scotia Festival of Music, and Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra.

In addition to performing, Kaili is passionate about teaching flute. Trained as a teacher of the Suzuki method, Kaili teaches children as young as 3 years old. Her students have been accepted to the prestigious Curtis Institute Young Artist Summer Program, and many local youth ensembles. Her students have consistently been winners of the Kiwanis Music Festivals of both Toronto and London, medal winners in the Royal Conservatory examinations.

Kaili was inspired to learn the flute after being taken to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s Children’s Saturday morning cushion concerts. She then began her studies with Professor of Flute, Peg Albrecht, whose creativity and imagination inspired her to pursue music professionally. Kaili enjoys being active at her family cottage and cooking for her friends and family.

Kevin O'Donnell (interim)

Kevin O’Donnell (interim)

A native of Scarborough, Kevin O’Donnell studied at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Orchestral Training Program, and the Banff Centre for the Arts.  He has studied privately with Toronto Symphony flutists Nora Shulman and Virginia Markson, Douglas Stewart of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, and in masterclasses in Canada and abroad with such international artists as Peter Lloyd, Geoffrey Gilbert, William Bennett, Walfrid Kujala, Julius Baker, and Carol Wincenc.

Kevin is pleased to be returning to a full-time position with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony for the 2018/2019 season.  He has worked steadily with the KWS since 1994, and has previously held the position of Second Flute/Piccolo from 1996-2000, and 2003-2004.  He has been featured as a soloist with the Canadian Chamber Ensemble and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, as well as appearing on numerous recordings with both ensembles.

In addition to his work with the KWS, Kevin has also held the position of Principal Flute with Symphony Nova Scotia, and served as Acting Second Flute/Piccolo with the National Ballet of Canada (where he still performs regularly).

As a freelance artist, Kevin has been engaged by the National Ballet of Canada, the Canadian Chamber Ensemble, the Stratford Festival Orchestra, Charlottetown Festival Orchestra, Hamilton Philharmonic, Orchestra London, and has been a member of the Elora Festival Orchestra, Westben Festival Orchestra, and the Banff Festival Opera.

Oboe

James Mason, Principal
Chair Sponsor: Carolyn Arnason & Boyd McDonald

James Mason, Principal
Chair Sponsor: Carolyn Arnason & Boyd McDonald

Highly regarded as one of Canada’s most prominent oboists, James Mason is the Principal Oboe of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. He came to Canada in 1975, accepting the Principal Oboe position with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, moving to Kitchener in 1979. He has appeared as a soloist, chamber musician and teacher in Germany, Holland, Spain, South America and Japan as well as the United States and Canada. He has appeared as a soloist with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Association a total of 73 times, more than any musician in its history.

Throughout his career, Jim has regularly recorded for live broadcast on CBC radio. He has been recorded as a soloist with the KWS a total of 8 times and has recorded most of the standard chamber music and solo oboe repertoire, along with several new works for oboe and orchestra written specifically for him. In January of 2007 the Gallery Players of Niagara released a CD of works for oboe and strings commissioned for and recorded with Jim, entitled Canadian Oboe Quartets.

In the summer months, Jim is active in festivals across North America. He performs regularly in the Elora Festival (Elora, Ontario) and Festival of the Sound (Parry Sound, Ontario). Jim and his wife, violinist Julie Baumgartel, were founding Co-Artistic Directors of the Grand River Baroque Festival. From 2008 until 2012 Jim was on the faculty of the Orford Music Academy as a performer and coach. He has been invited to be on the faculty of Canada’s National Youth Orchestra and the Banff Summer Festival. Jim has appeared as guest Principal Oboe with the Boston Symphony, Toronto Symphony and Montreal Symphony Orchestra, along with the National Arts Centre Orchestra.
Jim is on the faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University. A dedicated teacher, in May of 2008 he was the recipient of the WLU Alumni Association’s Faculty Mentor of the Year Award. Jim’s former students started a scholarship fund at WLU in his honor, the James Mason Oboe Scholarship. His students are active in orchestras and musical organizations across the US and Canada as both performers and administrators.

In 1999 Jim Mason was awarded the Kitchener-Waterloo Arts Award for Music. He performs on a Yamaha oboe and is a Yamaha Artist.

Faith Levene
Chair Sponsor: Jean & Jan Narveson

Faith Levene
Chair Sponsor: Jean & Jan Narveson

Faith joined the KWS in 1974 after studying with Lois Wann at both Sarah Lawrence College and The Juilliard School from where she graduated. One of her interests is teaching grade school students how to create and conduct their own compositions using techniques developed by the London Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Faith has become a practicing homeopath in recent years and studies Tai chi and Qigong. But really, she says, nothing beats camping and whitewater canoeing on Ontario’s rivers.

Clarinet

Ross Edwards, Principal
Chair Sponsor: Edward & Susan Moskal

Ross Edwards, Principal
Chair Sponsor: Edward & Susan Moskal

Ross joined the KWS and Canadian Chamber Ensemble in 1994 after spending time as Principal clarinet with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and the Vancouver Symphony, to name a few. In addition to his duties with the Symphony Ross teaches at Wilfrid Laurier University. He enjoys listening to music, spending time at the library, and beer from microbreweries.

Barbara Hankins
Chair Sponsor: Joan Venn

Barbara Hankins
Chair Sponsor: Joan Venn

Barbara Hankins has been a member of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony since 1980 and performs regularly with the Licorice Allsorts Clarinet Quartet, the K-W Woodwind Quintet, and as a freelance performer.
Since 1972 she has taught clarinet, theory, and chamber music privately, in the public school system, and at the University of Toronto, McMaster University, and Wilfrid Laurier University. Barbara regularly coaches the wind sectionals for the KWS Youth Orchestra.

Ms. Hankins holds a Bachelor of Music degree (performance, with Distinction) and a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Calgary, a Master of Music degree (performance) from the University of Toronto, and an Associateship Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto. She is a member of the Board of Examiners of the RCM and the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators’ Association.

Barbara is married to WLU Press computer technician Steve Izma and they have two daughters, Amelia and Gabrielle. She is a volunteer YMCA fitness instructor, sings with the Renaissance Singers and Madrigalia, and enjoys gardening, cycling, cross-country skiing, yoga, and hiking.

Bassoon

Ian Hopkin, Principal
Chair Sponsor: Frank & Helen Tompa

Photo by: Ben Lariviere Photography

Ian Hopkin, Principal
Chair Sponsor: Frank & Helen Tompa

Ian Hopkin joined the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra as principal bassoonist in September 2012 after completing his Masters of Music at the University of Ottawa, where he was a student of Christopher Millard. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience at Dalhousie University in 2009 before making the decision to change career paths. Since that decision, Mr. Hopkin has performed with the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada, the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, has performed and toured with summer festival orchestras including the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, the National Academy Orchestra, L’Orchestre de la Francophonie, and has recorded with CBC on numerous occasions. He has participated in summer festivals including the National Arts Centre Orchestra’s Youth Artist Program, Domaine Forget, Scotiafestival, and has received five awards from the Nova Scotia Talent Trust to support his studies.

Michael Macaulay (on leave)
Chair Sponsor: Linda Ratcliffe & Basil McDonald

Photo by: Ben Lariviere Photography

Michael Macaulay
Chair Sponsor: Linda Ratcliffe & Basil McDonald

Calgary native Michael Macaulay joined the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in 2013, having previously served as principal bassoon of the Niagara Symphony and Red Deer Symphony. Aside from performing with the KWS he is active as a freelance and chamber musician, and has performed with frequently with the Toronto Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic, and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.

Michael’s career as a professional musician began at the age of 18, when he joined the Red Deer Symphony while pursuing his Bachelor of Music at the University of Calgary. During his undergraduate studies he appeared as a soloist in concerti by Mozart and Hindemith with the Calgary Philharmonic, Red Deer Symphony, and University of Calgary orchestras. After graduating with distinction, Michael completed his Master of Music degree with an outside area in arts administration at Indiana University, where he performed with many world-renowned musicians including Leonard Slatkin and Franz Welser-Möst.

Michael is a passionate supporter of new music, and is proud to have taken part in many premiere performances ranging in scale from fully staged opera to works for solo bassoon. He loves exploring new and unfamiliar things. In his spare time Michael most enjoys quiet reflection, a good book, and an excellent cup of coffee.

Horn

Martin Limoges, Principal
Chair Sponsor: Connie Deckert

Martin Limoges, Principal
Chair Sponsor: Connie Deckert

A native of Montréal, Martin attended the Montréal Conservatory and was awarded First Prize in French Horn Performance and in Chamber Music. In 1988, Martin was a finalist in the Reims International Horn Competition, (Reims,France) as well as the American International Horn Competition (Tuscaloosa, Alabama) in 1991, the latter in the Natural Horn Division.

Solo performances have included engagements with Orchestre de Chambre de Toulouse, I Musici de Montréal, Orchestre des Jeunes du Québec, Orchestre Baroque de Montréal, Amati Chamber Orchestra, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra.

Martin has performed all of the Mozart Horn Concerti, the Mozart Symphony Concertante, the first Concerto of Haydn, the Quantz Horn Concerto, the Michael Haydn Concerto for Horn and Alto Trombone and the Joseph Haydn Concerto for two Horns, with renown solists Alain Trudel and Lowell Greer respectively, as well as the Telemann Horn Concerto and Schumann’s Konzertstuck. Martin was also invited to performed on baroque and natural horn at the Festival de Musique Baroque de Lamèque in New-Brunswick, the Smithsonian Chamber Players (Washington, D.C.), the Lyra Chamber Ensemble (St. Paul Minn.), the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston, the Boston Bach Festival and l’Ensemble Arion in Québec.

In Febuary 2001, Martin played the Carl Maria von Weber Concerto in E Major with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, marking his eighth solo performance recorded live by the CBC for national broadcast. In October 1998, the composer Gilles Tremblay chose Martin to perform « Le Signe du Lion » (written for horn and tam-tam) at the prestigious « Governor General`s Arts Awards » broadcast from the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

Martin has been Principal Horn of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra since 1990, and has recently joined the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra and the Canadian Chamber Ensemble, as Principal Horn in September of 2002.

Martin can be heard on CD on the Eclectra label performing the Brahms Trio for Violin, Horn and Piano with violinist Darren Lowe, (Concertmaster of the Quebec Symphony Orchestra) and Suzanne Beaubien on Piano. “Limoges is a splendid horn player, at once solid and lyrical of tone, with consummate breath control, sweet and true intonation…… this is worthy to be ranked among the best modern versions of the work.” Bernard Jacobs, FANFARE Magazine, March 2002.

Katherine Robertson
Chair Sponsor: Bruce Gordon

Katherine Robertson
Chair Sponsor: Bruce Gordon

Katherine Robertson has been a member of the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony since 2005. Previously, she was with the Orchestre Smphonique de Quebec, the Philharmonisches Orchester Freiburg (Germany), the Winnipeg Symphony, and has worked extensively for the National Arts Centre Orchestra.

Katherine received her Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Toronto, studying with Eugene Rittich and a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance from the Hochshule fur Music in Freiburg, studying with Ifor James. Katherine is currently a faculty member at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Marie-Sonja Cotineau (Interim)

Marie-Sonja Cotineau

Marie-Sonja Cotineau joins the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony after performing and teaching for several years in Fort Worth, Texas.  Formerly 4th horn of the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra, she has performed regularly with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and the Dallas Opera among many other orchestras across Canada and the United States, including on natural horn with Ensemble Caprice.

Ms. Cotineau has received several awards for horn performance, including the National Youth Orchestra of Canada Leadership award (twice), the Eugene Rittich Prize at the Domaine Forget International Music and Dance Academy, and the three-year Horizon Fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival.

Marie-Sonja has performed throughout Canada, South America, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, and Asia on tours of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, the McGill brass ensemble, and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra respectively.

A native of Montreal, Marie-Sonja holds a Master’s degree in horn performance from McGill University where she was a student of John Zirbel.  Prior to that, she studied at Conservatoire de Musique de Québec with Julie-Anne Drolet, and Guy Carmichael.  She has been a fellow of the Aspen Music Festival, the Spoleto USA Music Festival, the Domaine Forget International Music and Dance Academy, the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and the Youth Orchestra of the Americas. She has also studied with David Cooper of the Berlin Philharmonic.

Marie-Sonja lives with her husband Daniel Black and her cat Zelda. Besides practicing, performing and teaching, she also enjoys a variety of hobbies, including drawing, gardening, cooking and reading.

Jessie Brooks (on leave)
Chair Sponsor: Di & John Spearn

Jessie Brooks (on leave)
Chair Sponsor: Di & John Spearn

Jessie joined the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in 2011 as third French Horn after an eight month run of the Mirvish production of “Billy Elliot” the musical, in Toronto.

Originally from Toronto, Jessie completed a Bachelor of Music degree from McGill University where she studied with James Sommerville. She went on to receive a Master of Music degree from the University of Illinois.

Previously, Jessie held the position of Principal Horn with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra from 2003 to 2009 and was a featured soloist with the orchestra on several occasions.
As a freelance musician, Jessie has performed with numerous orchestras across Canada, including The Toronto Symphony Orchestra, The National Ballet of Canada, The Winnipeg Symphony among others. She has also played in many popular musicals in Toronto including Monthy Python’s “Spamalot”, “Little House on the Prairie” and “Cats”. As a substitute, she has played in “Sound of Music”, “Wizard of Oz”, and “Les Miserables”.

Jessie completed her first full run of the 2014 Stratford Production of “Man of La Mancha”. Other Stratford Festival Productions she has played as a substitute musician include “Jesus Christ Super Star”, “Tommy” and “Crazy for You”. Currently, Jessie lives in Toronto with her husband Philip and their three children Evan, Kate and Andrew.

Deborah Stroh
Chair Sponsor: Jeff Ford & Susan Janke

Deborah Stroh
Chair Sponsor: Jeff Ford & Susan Janke

Born and raised in Kitchener-Waterloo, Debbie comes from a very musical family. Music lessons started early and by age 11 she was playing the piano, violin, accordion and guitar. However, none of these instruments were available in her high school music program so almost by default she ended up learning to play the French Horn at age 15.

After high school she went on to earn her Honours Bachelor of Music in Performance from Wilfrid Laurier University with a double major in Violin and French horn. Summers during her undergrad years were spent focusing on the French Horn at both the Banff Centre of Fine Arts and as a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada where she received training from several well renowned teachers from both North America and Europe. Debbie went on to do a year of post grad work at McGill University and ended up staying in Montreal for the next 3 years after winning the position of Principal Horn with L’Orchestre des Jeunes du Quebec. She returned in the summer of 1989 to work at the Stratford Festival then in the fall of that year, moved to Toronto to play in the orchestra for The Phantom of the Opera where she met her husband Ernest Pattison, a Bass Trombone player.

During the (ten year!) run of Phantom, Debbie continued a very active freelance career playing with many different groups including The Toronto Symphony, The National Arts Centre Orchestra, The Canadian Opera Company, The National Ballet of Canada, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Toronto’s Esprit Orchestra, Orchestra London, The Hamilton Philharmonic and The K-W Symphony. Also during this time Debbie was busy in the studio scene playing on soundtracks for numerous movies, TV shows and jingles as well as playing for the shows of popular artists as they toured through the Toronto area. She was also a regular member of Rob McConnell’s Boss Brass from 1999 onwards.

After The Phantom closed in 1999 Debbie won a position in the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra and stayed there for 3 more years until she came to join the K-W Symphony. Glad to be home, Debbie now lives here in Kitchener with her husband Ernest Pattison and their two wonderful children Russell and Joelle. Debbie likes to keep up on her violin by playing occasionally in church where she also shares the job of Organist. Summers are spent up in the Bancroft Area where she and Ernest own a 150-acre farm and run The Old Schoolhouse Tea Room in their restored early 1900’s one-room-schoolhouse, complete with a bell tower, antique woodstove, vintage oil lamps and a delicious menu!

Trumpet

Larry Larson, Principal
Chair Sponsor: Mrs. Carol Ewart Class & Mrs. Marilyn Henderson

Larry Larson, Principal
Chair Sponsor: Mrs. Carol Ewart Class & Mrs. Marilyn Henderson

Larry Larson has been Principal Trumpet of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony since 1993. He is a graduate of DePaul University of Chicago and was a student of Adolph Herseth, legendary Principal Trumpet of the Chicago Symphony. As a soloist, Larry has been featured with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Orchestra London, and the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, and has been featured on CBC Radio in performances of trumpet concertos by Malcolm Forsyth, Johnny Cowell and R. Murray Schafer. In May, 2009, Larry performed the world premiere of Scott Good’s “between the rooms: Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra” with the KWS. In 2010, he released his first solo CD of music for trumpet and harp, “Divertissement,” with harpist Lori Gemmell.

In addition to performances of the classical repertoire, Larry has developed nine critically-acclaimed Pops programmes for orchestra with conductor/trombonist David Martin. Larry is in much demand by Toronto recording studios for his work on motion picture soundtracks and commercial jingles. You can hear him every night fanfaring Lisa LaFlamme onto the CTV National News. He has had the great pleasure to work in back-up orchestras for Herbie Hancock, Diana Krall, Brian Wilson, Jann Arden, Holly Cole, Anne Murray, Dennis DeYoung, Roger Hodgson, and Yes.

After a dormancy of about 20 years, and with great encouragement from pianist and composer Glenn Buhr, Larry has enjoyed re-awakening the sleeping giant that was his jazz playing with his own combo, “Larry’s Jazz Guys.” LJG has headlined the series “Jazz At The Registry” for the past 7 years at the Registry Theatre (Kitchener), has opened the first two seasons at The JAZZ ROOM in the Huether Hotel (Waterloo, ON), and performs on the Night Music series for the Stratford Festival.

Larry has been the trumpet and brass ensemble coach of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada for the past 7 years, sharing his knowledge and experiences with the next generation of orchestral trumpet players. He has also recently joined Guy Few on the trumpet faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. Performances at the Stratford Festival and the Elora Festival round out his summer playing.

Daniel Warren
Chair Sponsor: Dr. Desta Leavine

Daniel Warren
Chair Sponsor: Dr. Desta Leavine

Mr. Warren started his musical career as a trumpet player, joining the trumpet section of The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in 1983. During his tenure with the KWS, he has been featured soloist on tour, performing the Phil Nimmons Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra, a work written especially for him. This was subsequently recorded on a CBC SM5000 compact disc. Daniel was also the soloist for a national television broadcast performance of Johnny Cowell’s Concerto for Trumpet with the KWS.

Daniel Warren has toured extensively with the Canadian Chamber Ensemble and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra throughout North, Central and South America, Spain, Holland, Switzerland, Germany and Great Britain. He has competed in solo trumpet competitions in Paris, Geneva and Munich, and was a finalist at the International Trumpet Guild’s “Ellsworth-Smith Trumpet Competition”. He resides in his owner-built home in a rural setting with his wife and two children.

Trombone

Jay Castello, Principal
Chair Sponsor: Glen & Joan Dyrda

Jay Castello, Principal
Chair Sponsor: Glen & Joan Dyrda

Joseph Castello was appointed principal trombonist with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and Canadian Chamber Ensemble in 1983, after playing eight seasons as principal trombonist with Orchestra London. He has performed with the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra, Hamilton Philharmonic, Civic Orchestra of Chicago and was trombonist with the United States Military Academy Band at West Point for three years. Mr. Castello has taught at the University of Western Ontario, National Music Camp of Canada, and the New Mexico Music Festival of Taos. He is currently a faculty member at Wilfrid Laurier University. Mr. Castello holds degrees from Hartt School of Music (University of Hartford) and Northwestern University School of Music.

 

Rachel Thomas
Chair Sponsor: Steve Hornett & Laura Robertson

Rachel Thomas
Chair Sponsor: Steve Hornett & Laura Robertson

Raised in a musical family, Toronto-born Rachel Thomas has been playing trombone since the early age of nine. At thirteen, she studied and attended master classes with the renowned Canadian Brass. During high school, Rachel earned a position with the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra. She then began her studies at the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto, studying with Gordon Sweeney, Principal Trombone of the Toronto Symphony. Her summers were spent either with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada or at the Banff Centre for the Arts where she was exposed to top international brass teachers and coaches.

Upon graduation from UofT in 1988, Rachel was immediately immersed into a busy freelance career. She joined the Great lakes Brass Quintet, a highly acclaimed, full time touring ensemble and performed as principal trombone with Orchestra London, Hamilton Philharmonic, Symphony Nova Scotia and toured with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

In 1992, she was awarded a Canada Council grant to study with Joseph Alessi, Principal Trombone of the New York Philharmonic. Shortly after her return, Rachel won her position with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony as second trombone.

During her tenure with the KW Symphony, Rachel continues to be a highly sought after freelancer. She was a regular extra with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for over twenty years, joining them on two European Tours, one of which she had the privilege of performing as Acting Principal. In addition, Rachel joined the TS on two trips to Carnegie Hall and can be heard on two Finlandia recordings. More recently, Rachel performed with the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra as Acting Principal and participated in the International Women’s Brass Conference performing with the Monarch Brass Ensemble.

Also a member of the Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Music since 2002, Rachel brings energy, enthusiasm and many years of experience to her teaching studio. She lives in Toronto with her partner and 2 daughters.

Bass Trombone

Doug Lavell
Chair Sponsor: Peter & Dorothea Sprung

Doug Lavell
Chair Sponsor: Peter & Dorothea Sprung

Doug joined the KWS in 1979 while completing his Bachelor of Music at the University of Toronto having arrived from the West Coast two years earlier.

Raised in Caulfeild he began at 10 to play euphonium with the West Vancouver Band, adding trombone in his teens then devoting himself to the bass trombone, inspired by backgrounds in a Neil Diamond song. Formative dues paying years followed with two ARCT diplomas and a year of college with Roy Cornick (a Salvation Army euphonium/trombone virtuoso) and Doug’s first professional job, a strip club band.

Serious orchestral study followed with Douglas Sparkes of the VSO, American soloist Donald Knaub and later in the east with Donald Miller, Frank Harmantas and Murray Crewe. A resident of Toronto, Doug has an active freelance career working with the opera and ballet orchestras, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, and various musicals.

While recently on leave from the KWS he studied with trombone jazz great Ian McDougall attaining a Master of Music from the University of Victoria.

Tuba

Jane Maness, Principal
Chair Sponsor: Linda Fabi

Jane Maness, Principal
Chair Sponsor: Linda Fabi

Jane Maness received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Toronto, where she studied tuba with Charles Daellenbach of the Canadian Brass. She has been a member of the National Youth Orchestra and the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra.

Jane joined the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony in 1975 and the Canadian Chamber Ensemble in 1978. She is the tuba and euphonium instructor at Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Waterloo and the University of Guelph.

Every year Jane organizes a Tuba Christmas ensemble consisting of high school, university and local tuba, euphonium and trombone players. This fun group performs in the CITS lobby before the KWS Yuletide Spectacular Pops concerts in December. All low brass players of all ages are welcome to join!

Harp

Lori Gemmell
Chair Sponsored in memory of Elton and Phyllis Papple

Lori Gemmell
Chair Sponsored in memory of Elton and Phyllis Papple

Lori Gemmell has been a musician all her life. Growing up in Montreal, as the child of a Presbyterian minister and a musically passionate mother, singing, and playing music were her natural state of being. She taught herself the flute in high school, played trumpet in the band, and spent her weekend mornings at harp lessons at L’ecole Vincent D’Indy.

University studies in Toronto with the renowned teacher and harpist Judy Loman were the obvious next step. Between an undergraduate and Masters’ degree from the University of Toronto, Lori played summers with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, studying with the octogenarian Alice Chalifoux, and a year in Paris, studying with Catherine Michel.
When she returned to Canada, Lori played on the only stage that was immediately available: the street corner. Busking in Toronto and Montreal, Lori gradually began building a career that took her to harp positions with Orchestra London, The Calgary Philharmonic, a chamber music residency at the Banff International Festival, on the frontlines of new music at the Darmstadt Festival in Germany and touring Europe and Japan with Montreal’s Nouvelle Ensemble Moderne.

In 1999, Lori won the position of Principal Harpist with the KWS, where she still plays today. One year later she was a prize-winner at the Canadian Concerto Competition. She also has been a teacher for many years, both with a private studio and a faculty position at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Lori has earned a strong reputation among Canadian Composers for her passion and dedication to their music. Over the years she has worked closely with R. Murray Schafer, Srul Irving Glick, John Weinzweig, Alexina Louie, Glenn Buhr, Marjan Mozetich, Jeff Ryan and many others.

In addition to all of that, Lori also makes time for playing and creating with others in small groups. In recent years she has made chamber music with Yo-Yo Ma, Joseph Silverstein, Sara Sant’Ambrogio, Jamie Parker, Joe Macerollo, Oliver Schroer, Mark Fewer, Robert Cram, Etsuko Kimura, Camille Watts, with singers Patricia O’Callaghan, Monica Wicher and Julie Nesrallah and Feist. She also plays in the Four Seasons Harp Quartet, and in her duo with Jennifer Swartz.

Lori has one solo recording, Prelude, and a harp duo recording, The Garden of Peacocks. She is married and lives in Toronto.

Timpani

Ron Brown, Principal
Chair Sponsor: Roger & Laura Carlson

Ron Brown, Principal
Chair Sponsor: Roger & Laura Carlson

Born in New York City in 1950, Ron Brown moved to Canada in 1975 to begin his present tenure as timpanist of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra and principal percussionist of the Canadian Chamber Ensemble (at that time known as The Stratford Festival Ensemble).

Ron’s early education included percussion lessons with Ronald Gould of The New York City Ballet Orchestra. In 1972, Ron received his Bachelor of Music degree in Applied Percussion from The New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Vic Firth, timpanist of The Boston Symphony.

Ron received a Fellowship to attend the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, Massachusetts in 1971 and 1972 where he performed under such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, Colin Davis, Michael Tilson Thomas and James Levine.

Ron was director of percussion studies at Wilfrid Laurier University from 1975-1984. His musical compositions include Membrana for percussion quintet, published by Shirmer Music.

In addition to performing many recordings and broadcasts locally with the KWS and the CCE, Ron has performed throughout the US, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan, Spain, Mexico, Panama, Venezuela, Columbia, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Puerto Rico.

Ron is also the publisher and author of The Body Fat Guide, distributed in bookstores throughout North America. He has a background as a Registered Massage Therapist.

Ron has received an MBA and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Wilfred Laurier University, a Computer Science diploma from the University of Waterloo, a Ph.D in nutrition, management, and organizational behavior from Northcentral University, Arizona, and a Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics from Kansas State University in 2014.

Percussion

Lori West, Associate Principal
Chair Sponsor: Jack & Alveretta Henderson

Lori West, Associate Principal
Chair Sponsor: Jack & Alveretta Henderson

Lori has been a member of the orchestra for 24 years and in addition to playing percussion, also does property management part-time, for her own properties as well as for a small investment company. She plans to begin courses this fall in order to become accredited in this field.

Lori also enjoys gardening and has a certificate in gardening and landscaping. Her husband, Peter, is now the Vice-Principal at Chalmers Public School in Cambridge and is also the music director for the Cambridge Girls Choir, and is organist for St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Guelph.