Our Staff

Tina Fedeski (Executive & Artistic Director)

Tina Fedeski - photo

After a life-transforming experience in UK’s Bedfordshire Youth Orchestra, Tina went on to study at the world-renowned Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England, and then played principal flute in the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra for four seasons.  After spending a six-month sabbatical on full scholarship at the Banff Centre for the Arts, she moved to Ottawa, where she played with all the established orchestras and festivals in Ottawa including the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the
Ottawa Chamber Music Festival.

In 1999, in partnership with her husband Gary McMillen, she opened The Leading Note, now recognized as one of Canada`s leading classical print music stores – and a hub of the classical music scene in Ottawa.

In 2007, motivated by her belief in the transformative power of youth music, Tina visited Venezuela to research El Sistema. Soon afterward, she and co-founders Gary McMillen and Margaret Tobolowska founded OrKidstra (previously known as The Leading Note Foundation.)

As Executive Director, Tina proudly accepted a Peace Award from the Mayor of Ottawa in 2011 in recognition of OrKidstra’s impact on the community of Ottawa.  In spring 2012, Yasir Naqvi, MPP Ottawa Centre, presented Tina with the Leading Women/Leading Girls, Building Communities Award.  She is also recognized as a Kickass Canadian, and late in 2012, she received, with immense gratitude, the Canadian Institute for Child Health Leadership Award. In 2017, the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, awarded Tina Fedeski the Meritorious Service Medal for creating the OrKidstra program.


Carrie Olivo (General Manager) 

Carrie joined the OrKidstra team as our Manager in summer 2014.  She has worked in the not-for-profit sector as an administrator for 15 years, including the United Way and YMCA-YWCA.  Carrie is an alumna of the Wexford School for Performing Arts in Toronto, where she performed and recorded with various stage, jazz and concert bands on the alto and baritone saxophones.  She holds a Music Degree in Classical Vocal Performance from York University. When she’s not in the studio, Carrie enjoys the great outdoors and volunteering to support local children’s charities with the 501st Legion.

“Living in Ottawa, I see firsthand the difference the OrKidstra program makes.  It’s amazing what can happen when you give kids the chance to shine, the opportunity to communicate and express themselves in a positive way together.  They find their voice, and it is beautiful.” – Carrie Olivo


Andrew Gesing (Program Coordinator)

Andrew is a 2017 graduate of the Bachelor of Education program at the University of Ottawa, specializing in teaching music and English, and a 2015 graduate of the Bachelor of Music program at the University of Toronto, specializing in music education and classical saxophone performance. Andrew became involved with OrKidstra as a student teacher for his University of Ottawa Teacher Education program in April 2017, and officially became part of the team in May 2017.

Outside of OrKidstra, Andrew is an avid sailor and is an active part of the Ottawa music scene as a member of the funk band Cloud City.


Katherine Neale (Program Coordinator)

As an experienced arts administrator, brass educator, and performer, Katie has been sharing her love of music with young musicians since 2009. She has worked as Associate Director of the UBC Summer Music Institute, Program Coordinator of the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra, Shop Manager for Wedge Mouthpieces, and as the UBC Bands Teaching Assistant, while maintaining a freelance performance career and private teaching studio. Katie holds a Bachelor of Music and a Masters of Music in Tuba Performance from the University of Lethbridge and the University of British Columbia, respectively. She has performed with the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver New Music Society, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra “Tiny Tots” series, the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra, and many brass chamber ensembles, including the Touch of Brass Quintet and Pacific Spirit Brass. Katie joined the OrKidstra team in October 2017.


Rebecca Russell (Development & Communications Officer) 

Rebecca is an experienced communications and Rebecca Russell - photodevelopment professional and a Dora Award-winning multidisciplinary performing artist. Rebecca holds a BA Combined Honours in Music and Theatre from Dalhousie University, a post-graduate certificate from Centennial College in Corporate Communications and Public Relations (Honours) and the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Certification in the Fundamentals of Fundraising.

Rebecca has performed professionally as a singer and performing artist with companies such as Against the Grain Theatre, Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, Neptune Theatre, Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland, Essential Opera and many more. Rebecca has worked in communications and development with organizations such as the Classical Theatre Project, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and, most recently, Rebecca spent three years with The AFC – the lifeline for Canada’s entertainment industry managing all aspects of fundraising, event planning, communications, marketing, and development. Rebecca joined the OrKidstra team in September 2016.