Our Teachers


Trevor Bowman

A man is playing a trumpet.Trevor Bowman is a native of Windsor, Ontario. He is a graduate of Western University and holds a BMus with an Honours Specialization in Music Education. A trumpet student of Shawn Spicer and Aaron Hodgson, Trevor’s performance experience includes WU’s Symphony Orchestra, Brass Quintet, Wind and Jazz Ensembles, as well as The Band of the Ceremonial Guard in Ottawa, ON. Trevor’s teaching experience includes serving as Director of Music for the 2332 Army Cadets, Western University’s Young Winds, Rideau Cadences New Horizons Band, and Ashbury College. Trevor currently performs with the Band of the Governor General’s Foot Guards.


Paul Casey

paul_casey_headshot__portrait_222Paul Casey was born and raised in Ottawa and is an avid orchestral, chamber and solo musician and pedagogue.

Paul is one of the newest additions to the National Arts Centre Orchestra viola section; as a soloist, Paul has performed with NACO as part of FanFair, the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, and has given recitals in Canada and the United States. He was the 2011 recipient of the NACO Bursary Competition’s Harold Crabtree Foundation Award.

Paul obtained a MMus and BMus from Indiana University and the University of Ottawa, respectively, and most recently studied at McGill University.

Paul is on the faculty at OrKidstra and was string coach for the Ottawa Junior Youth Orchestra. He is also a member of the Silflay String Quartet with his wife, cellist Karen Kang, and violinists Leah Roseman and Mark Friedman.


Kathryn Cobbler

Violist, Kathryn Cobbler holds a Bachelor of Music (honours) degree and Master’s degree in Viola Performance from Western University and the University of Ottawa respectively. ‎Performing on the instrument since 2009, she has varied experience as an orchestral, and chamber musician. Performing with Toronto Symphony’s Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, and featured in the University of Ottawa’s Nexus Chamber Music Concert Series, Ms. Cobbler has developed her voice and sense of style on her instrument. Drawn to Dr. Suzuki’s philosophy that Every Child Can‎, Kathryn has pursued Suzuki Teacher Training for Violin and Viola Books 1 and 2 with Karen-Michele Kimmett. This season, Kathryn Cobbler is very excited to be performing with the Ottawa Jazz Orchestra and as an artist apart of the Music at Trinity Anglican Concert Series.

Ms. Cobbler continues to be inspired by all of her mentors and teachers, Joanne Wojtowicz, Nicholas Penny, Annette-Barbara Vogel on violin and Virginia Barron, Kelvin Enns, Kathy Rapoport and Rennie Regehr on viola. As a recipient of the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship through the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Ms. Cobbler has had the opportunity to research the history of the Suzuki Method and the community impact of its Pedagogy and Philosophy.

Through her professional career she continues to explore the connection between performance, music education and social impact. Along with being a chamber musician, Ms. Cobbler has a studio of budding violists and violinists in Old Ottawa South. Kathryn Cobbler currently teaches with the El Sistema Inspired OrKidstra Program in Ottawa, Ontario.


Christina Deaville

Christina Deaville began her musical journey at the age of four, raised in an environment that nurtured and inspired her love for music. Her passion for playing took off when she had her first professional orchestral experience in Ireland with Summer Music on the Shannon performing Mendelsohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The following year she attended McGill University where she received her Bachelor’s in Violin Performance and 5 years later she went on to complete her Master’s at the University of Ottawa.
Over the years she has been so fortunate to study with incredible teachers and mentors including Yehonatan Berick, Elaine Klimasko, Thomas Williams, Axel Strauss and the concertmaster of the NACO, Yosuke Kawasaki. Her music has given her opportunities to travel around the world to places such as Québec, Nova Scotia, Ireland and China.

She enjoys performing with her String Quartet, Quatuor Mousaï, which formed during her time at the University of Ottawa. They have performed in recitals, gigs and concerts and have tackled works such as Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 7 and Janacek’s Kreutzer Sonata.
She joined the OrKidstra family in the fall of 2016 as an ETAP student. After falling in love with the organization and the children, she has decided to continue her time with them this upcoming year as a part-time Teaching Artist.



Violoniste professionnelle, Cendrine Despax a eu pour maîtres Calvin Sieb et Anne Robert. Elle est diplômée du Conservatoire de musique de Montréal où elle obtient en 2008 le « Prix à l’unanimité » en violon, en 2009 le « Prix à l’unanimité » en musique de chambre ainsi que le «Certificat de stage de perfectionnement en musique » et en 2010 la « maîtrise en musique, profil interprétation, spécialité violon ».

Elle est le premier violon du Quatuor Despax. Elle fait également partie de l’Orchestre Symphonique de Gatineau (OSG) dès la fondation de celui-ci, soit en 2007. Elle donne régulièrement des concerts dans la capitale nationale, en Outaouais ainsi qu’en Europe. En plus d’être professeur à «OrKidstra », elle enseigne le violon à l’École Élémentaire Publique Trille des Bois, l’École Secondaire Publique De La Salle et en privé. Cendrine Despax est la fondatrice du festival « L’Art de la Musique | The Art of Music” » qui se déroule à Gatineau pendant l’été en juillet.


Professional violinist, Cendrine Despax had as masters Calvin Sieb and Anne Robert. She is a graduate of the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal where she obtains in 2008 the “Prix à l’unanimité” in violin, in 2009 the “Prix à l’unanimité” in chamber music and the “Certificat de stage de perfectionnement en musique” and in 2010 the “maîtrise en musique, profil interprétation, spécialité violon.”

She is the first violinist of the Quatuor Despax. She is also part of the Orchestre Symphonique de Gatineau (OSG) from the foundation thereof, in 2007. She performs regularly in the national capital, Outaouais, Ottawa and in Europe. 

In addition to being a teacher at OrKidstra, she teaches violin at the École Élémentaire Publique Trille des Bois, the École Secondaire Publique De La Salle and in private. Cendrine Despax is the founder of the festival “L’Art de la Musique | The Art of Music” which takes place in Gatineau during the summer in July.

Tina Fedeski

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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 (NACO) 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 – which is also a popular hub of the classical music scene in Ottawa.

Since then she has continued playing musicals and chamber music and has been featured soloist with local community orchestras.  She has been a passionate teacher since she was fifteen years old and her wide pedagogical experience includes teaching privately, coaching the Junior Youth Orchestra wind section at the Ottawa Youth Orchestra Academy and conducting the Waverley Winds Flute Choir (since early 1990’s). She held the position of Associate Professor of flute at Carleton University and is presently the Supervising Professor for the Experiential Teaching Artists’ Program at the University of Ottawa.

In 2007, in pursuit of her belief in the transformative power of youth music, Tina visited Venezuela to research El Sistema and soon afterward The Leading Note Foundation, now OrKidstra, was created with co-founders Gary McMillen and Margaret Tobolowska.  Almost 10 years into the adventure, OrKidstra is a proud community building program through music – and very Canadian – with 42 languages spoken amongst 500 children!


Roxanne Goodman

Roxanne Goodman is many things—teacher, musical coach, composer, singer, motivational speaker, and author. She graduated with a B.A. in Music Studies from Concordia University and has performed in countless concerts from the Montreal Jazz Festival to intimate wedding ceremonies in Canada and internationally.

Roxanne is a well-known figure in the Ottawa musical community and was awarded the Community Engagement Award in 2012 for her contribution to creating healthy communities through song.
Roxanne is a passionate and dedicated facilitator who is committed to empowering people of all ages while allowing their true voices to emerge and develop.

“I believe that every human being on this earth is here to share their gifts and talents with others. We are here to make this world a better place by fully developing who we are and making our contribution.” – Roxanne Goodman


Jeannie Hunter

A classically trained trumpet player, Jeannie Hunter teaches instrumental and vocal music at Hillcrest High School in Ottawa. She has been a teacher with the Ottawa Carleton District School Board for 23 years and was the founding director of The World Voices Choir. She has been recognized by the school board with several Arts Advisory Committee awards of distinction and in 2013 was the recipient of the OCDSB Director’s award for her contributions. Jeannie has presented to music educators locally, nationally and on an international level with topics ranging from incorporating global perspectives, world music, and social justice into the music classroom, to building the capacity for creativity in young musicians. Her work has been published in the OMEA’s Journal “The Recorder” and she created a number of provincial resources to support the Ministry of Education’s revised Music Curriculum. Jeannie believes strongly in the use of music as a tool for cross-cultural understanding and awareness and has studied traditions from West and South Africa, the Middle East, Brazil, Latin America, Indonesia, and Jamaica. She happily joined the OrKidstra family in 2012 and is currently our Band and KidSingers Director.


Venessa Lachance

 Venessa Lachance hails from a small French community in Northern Ontario and launched her musical career in Ottawa.  Since her arrival in the capital, the young composer worked as the music director for several theatre productions.

Among these are Turcaret, the financier (Odyssey Theatre, 2014), Prosodie in Le promenoir (NAC’s Théâtre français, 2014), Le long de la principale (Théâtre la Catapulte, 2016), and On verra (Théâtre du Trillium, 2016).  Venessa is currently completing her sixth year’s residency in composing for Théâtre Tremplin with 72 mirroirs cassés.  She was nominated for a Rideau Award in 2015 in the Emerging artist of the year category.

In 2014, she released her first album consisting of solo piano compositions.  Venessa’s classical background and her interest in using music as a story-telling device can be heard throughout the narrative-like short pieces on the album. It’s to this recording that Venessa owes her Trille Or Award nomination in the Discovery of the Year category (2015).

Venessa had the opportunity to share her skills starting at a very young age and is passionate about music pedagogy. She’s walking in her mother’s footsteps, having taught piano tutorials starting at age 12.  Bringing change in the world through music is Venessa’s passion.  


Ed Lister 

Ed Lister is a professional trumpeter/composer/arranger and educator from London, England and has been based out of Ottawa, Canada for the past 6 years. Ed runs five bands of his own and performs in a further 17 as a session musician/recording Artist. The bands that Ed runs range from an 11-piece Big Band to a 4-piece funk fusion band. For the last three years, Ed has been successfully running his own independent record label London Gentleman Records. The label has booked several across Canada tours for a few of its Artists and currently manages six bands ranging in style. Before moving to Canada, Ed worked aboard Carnival Cruise Lines as a Showband musician for two and a half years. Ed has a BA Hons degree in Jazz studies and was classically trained in trumpet from the age of 10 to 19 and obtained Grades 1 – 8 in Classical trumpet from the Guildhall School of Music in London, England.


Louise Mortimer

!cid_imageE6AA5F32-D55A-418D-9626-A56A82138D5FLouise is a native of Ottawa. She studied cello with Joyce Sands and André Migneault in Ottawa Gatineau Region, with Marcel Bardon in France and with Derek Aviss in the UK.

She has played with the University of Sussex Chamber orchestra under Laszlo Heltay, New Sussex Opera, and the Cambridge Philharmonic Society with whom she had the pleasure of playing many times in King’s College Chapel. A highlight of her time in the Cambridge Philharmonic was playing the Berlioz Grande Messe des Morts in Ely Cathedral where she thought the roof was going to cave in during the Dies Irae! She plays in the Ottawa Chamber Orchestra and Parkdale Orchestra where she leads the cello section and played in the Ottawa Symphony between 1993 and 2015. 

She holds a post-graduate certificate of education from The University of Sussex, UK and a master’s degree in linguistics and applied language studies from Carleton University.  She has retired from teaching ESL at Carleton but enjoys teaching cello both privately and for OrKidstra.

She is the proud mother of three sons, is becoming obsessed with her garden and plays a 215-year-old English cello called Groucho.


Lisa Nazarenko

Lisa Nazarenko recently moved to Ottawa from the Prairies where she was a cello teacher with Sistema Winnipeg, the Douglas Kuhl School of Music, and the University of Manitoba Prep Studies Division. A certified Suzuki Instructor, Lisa is passionate about the transformative power of music and is thrilled to be joining the OrKidstra family.

As an avid chamber and orchestral musician, Lisa holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Manitoba and has furthered her studies through summer programs including the National Arts Centre Young Artist Program and the Banff Centre Masterclass Program. Lisa has performed with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Winnipeg New Music Festival Ensemble and the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra. As soloist Lisa has been featured on Classic 107 Radio and has performed the Dvorak Cello Concerto with the University of Manitoba Orchestra. Lisa’s main passion lies in collaborating with other musicians through chamber music, with a particular focus on sharing music in unconventional settings. Lisa completed her Masters in Cello Performance through the University of Ottawa in 2017 and is happy to be part of the thriving Arts community here in Ottawa.


Chris Neale

A picture of teacher Chris Neale with his familyChris Neale is thrilled to be the KiddlyWinks teacher with the OrKidstra program at the Bronson Centre. After numerous years as a volunteer, supply band, and KiddlyWinks teacher in the OrKidstra program, Chris has moved into this teaching role. Chris is a primary, junior and intermediate music teacher within the Ottawa Carleton District School Board, has a background in classical, jazz, blues and folk music, and is a multi-instrumentalist. It has been an absolute pleasure working with the enthusiastic and high energy KiddlyWinks and their supportive parents, grandparents and the community that makes it possible for these young musicians to make it every week to the OrKidstra program and the many opportunities it provides.


Louise Paquette


Louise Paquette began violin studies at the age of 7 in Montreal and furthered her performance studies with teachers from the University of Montreal and the Conservatory of Quebec.  Ms. Paquette graduated from Laval University in Violin Pedagogy.  Louise also studied violin pedagogy with Claude Létourneau for two years in Quebec City, in Orford (Quebec) and Kingston (Ontario) with internationally renowned teacher trainers of the Suzuki Association of Americas from the United States, Europe, and Canada. Ms. Paquette has her Certification in the Violin Suzuki Method and is a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas.

Louise has run private studios in Montreal, Quebec City and Gatineau (Quebec) and Paris (France) providing lessons to hundreds of children over her thirty years of teaching experience.  Ms. Paquette joined the OrKidstra family in 2012 where she is known as Ms. LouLou providing love as well as violin experience to her students. 


Melanie Reeks 

Growing up in the Ottawa area, Melanie graduated from the Arts Canterbury Music Program at Canterbury High School on flute. She obtained her Bachelor of Music from Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, followed by her Bachelor of Education from Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

While in the Maritimes, Melanie was a member of the New Brunswick Winds, as well as the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra performing in Parma, Italy, and was involved in many recordings, recitals, and performances.

As a high school music teacher with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, Melanie shares her enthusiasm and love of music with all her students. She currently teaches band and strings at Hillcrest High School and plays principal flute with The National Capital Concert Band. Melanie joined the OrKidstra staff in 2015 and is excited to continue teaching the program’s flute studio.


Deborah Reid

Deborah Reid is originally from Ottawa, but spent her childhood and teenage years in Jordan and Germany before returning to Canada for university. In her time overseas, she studied at international schools and had the opportunity to travel and interact with people of many different cultural backgrounds. She also participated in a number of choirs and learned to love singing in a variety of languages and musical genres. She began studying classical voice as a teenager, which grew her interest not only in performance and singing but in classical music in general.

Deborah returned to Canada to study her Bachelor of Arts with a Specialization in Music at the University of Ottawa. She most appreciated her classes in music education and choral conducting and received the University of Ottawa Choir Choral Direction Scholarship in her final year. She now enjoys teaching choir with OrKidstra and directing music at her church.



In 2012, Margaret Maria was awarded the Leading Women Building Communities Award by the Government of Ontario for her work in the Ottawa community with OrKidstra (an El Sistema inspired program) she co-founded in 2007 along with two of her musical colleagues, Tina Fedeski and Gary McMillen. OrKidstra is a thriving charity that brings musical opportunities to children who would otherwise be unable to participate. Margaret Maria is also an Honorary Board Member and the conductor of OrKidstra. You can find her sharing her love of music with the kids every Thursday at the Bronson Centre in Ottawa. Her passion for social justice and music continues to hold strong and true even though she is focused on composing and creating music. In 2012, Margaret and Tina were recognized as Kickass Canadians (www.kickasscanadians.ca).

Margaret Maria is very passionate about teaching and has given master classes in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. She has taught at the University of Ottawa, Carleton University, the National Arts Centre’s Summer Music Institute, the Southern Ontario Suzuki Institute and currently teaches at the National Capital Suzuki School of Music and OrKidstra.

In 2011, Margaret Maria decided to change her career from her professional post as cellist with the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada to follow her dream of composing and producing her own music and Enchanten Productions was born . Working in the contemporary Classical, Electro Acoustic, New Age, Instrumental, Cinematic, and Steampunk genres, Margaret Maria creates stunning new music with her phenomenal cello playing at the heart of it. Her two children’s albums, A Cello for Chelsea (2005) and Zara the Maggini (2006) were her first creative musical stories that incorporate her narration, musical compositions, and arrangements, into delightful performances that sparks the imagination of children and adults alike. Her 8th album, Carried By An Angel, a love story told through music was just released October 2017.


Sheila Vaselenak

Born and raised in Southern Alberta I attended the University of Lethbridge where I earned my Bachelor of Music (Clarinet Performance) and Bachelor of Music Education degrees. Peggy Mezei was my primary teacher during this period. Before pursuing my Masters, I studied at Mount Royal University with Jocelyn Colquhoun, Assistant Principal Clarinetist at the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

After graduation, I moved to Kalamazoo Michigan to study with Mr. Bradley Wong at Western Michigan University where I obtained my Master of Clarinet Performance. While in Michigan I had the opportunity to study and learn from important teachers which included Richard Hawkins (when he was on Faculty at Interlochen Centre for the Arts), Phyllis Rappaport, and orchestra conductor Eric Shumsky. While in Michigan I was actively involved with mentoring and assisting with local band programs. It was while in Michigan I made the conscious decision to place an importance of giving back to our communities while fostering an awareness of the importance of Music and the Fine Arts in our schools.

Since moving to Ottawa I have been actively involved with working with the clarinet band students at Glebe Collegiate Institute, as well a running a private clarinet studio. I am humbled and thrilled in equal measure to be part of OrKidstra


Raphael Weinroth-Browne

Cellist, multi-instrumentalist, and composer, Raphael Weinroth-Browne is rapidly making a name for himself as an exceptionally versatile musician both in Canada and internationally. With his groundbreaking duo, The Visit, Raphael has toured through France, Belgium, Germany, and the Czech Republic performing all original compositions. In 2015, Raphael was commissioned by the Royal Conservatory of Music to compose and perform a new work for solo cello in their esteemed 21C Festival for contemporary music. He made a return appearance at the festival in 2016 with The Visit, performing in the RCM’s prestigious Koerner Hall.

Raphael has played on over 70 full-length albums (including the Juno Award-winning ‘Woods 5: Grey Skies and Electric Light’) and has appeared in music videos with acclaimed artists such as two-time Juno Award-winner Gowan. In January 2017, he traveled to Sweden to record the string arrangements for Norwegian progressive metal band Leprous’ latest album ‘Malina.’ He will join the band for their European headliner tour in fall 2017.

Raphael graduated Summa cum laude from the University of Ottawa’s School of Music and holds an Artist’s Diploma from Toronto’s Glenn Gould School. He is also a former artist-in-residence at The Banff Centre.