Our Teachers

Teaching Artist & Co-Founder, OrKidstraMargaret Maria Tobolowska

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.

Junior KidStringers DirectorLouise “Loulou” 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.

Senior KidStringers DirectorCendrine Despax

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.

KiddlyWinks DirectorVenessa 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.

Guest ConductorDonnie Deacon

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Donnie Deacon studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music. He continued his studies at the Yehudi Menuhin School in London under the tutelage of Natasha Boyarskaya and Lord Menuhin. He finished his schooling at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia with Jaime Laredo and Ida Kavafian.
Mr. Deacon has performed all over the world with such distinguished orchestras as the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, BT Scottish Ensemble, London Soloists, Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, Pablo de Sarasate Orchestra, and the Orchestra of the Curtis Institute of Music. He became principal second violin with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in 2001, the youngest player to do so in the history of the Orchestra. He has also been guest Concertmaster of both the Vancouver Symphony and The National Arts Centre Orchestra.
As an advocate for Canadian music, he has given the world premiere of Gary Kulesha’s 2nd violin concerto and William Rowson’s violin concerto. Mr. Deacon was named Resident Artist in the Community for the National Arts Centre in 2016, which sees him teaching and conducting all over Ottawa.
Mr. Deacon is currently the Music Director of the Ottawa Chamber Orchestra, the Conductor of the Ottawa Youth Orchestra and a Guest Conductor with OrKidstra.

CEO & Artistic Director, Teaching Artist and Co-Founder of OrKidstraTina Fedeski, MSM

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.

Teaching ArtistWendy Berkelaar

Originally form Nova Scotia, Wendy came to Ottawa in 1995 to pursue her master’s degree in fortepiano performance under the mentorship of the late Cynthia Floyd. Little did she know then that she was actually destined for the musical theatre world. Wendy got her theatrical start at Orpheus Musical Theatre Society as a rehearsal accompanist and pit orchestra musician. She went on to apprentice several musical directors there and conducted her first show (Guys and Dolls) in 2006. Since then, Wendy has worked nationally and internationally as a musical director and keyboardist.
Here at home in Ottawa, Wendy is a still familiar face around Orpheus, and has also worked with Ottawa Little Theatre, Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet Productions, Indie Women Productions, and recently made her debut with the Great Canadian Theatre Company. She’s also has the privilege of being the local sub for Broadway Across Canada and has performed in the orchestra with the tours of Wicked, The Book of Mormon and Les Misérables. Wendy has been the accompanist for the KidSingers program since 2013, and is thrilled to be a part of the OrKidstra family.

Teaching ArtistKathryn Patricia Cobbler

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Kathryn Patricia Cobbler is a violist, performing artist and educator living in the Ottawa region. Having a varied experience as an orchestral musician, she has performed with the Toronto Symphony’s Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, and the Ottawa Jazz Orchestra. As a chamber and solo musician, she has been featured in the Music & Beyond, Southminster United Church, Glebe St. James, Church of the Ascension, and Trinity Anglican Concert Series. Through her work she creates improvisational soundscapes for performances, residencies, weddings and events. As a seasoned workshop facilitator and educator, her concert programs are centred around engagement, allowing her audiences to make connections to the music being performed to their life stories in tangible ways

Starting her journey as a visual artist first before becoming a musician, Kathryn sees the world through shape and line. Her work as an artist has laid the groundwork for many of her musical creative projects. Being celebrated for her unique and beautiful tone from her instrument, Kathryn’s music spans a vast emotional palette.

Ms. Cobbler’s projects currently centre around works for solo viola and the Boss RC-30 loop pedal. Kathryn is very excited to premiere a piece for this instrument combination in the fall of 2019 by Raphael Weinroth-Browne, Canadian cellist and composer. Kathryn holds a Honours Bachelor and Masters degree in viola performance from Western University and the University of Ottawa respectively. Through Kathryn Patricia ‘s work in this area, she continues to develop the repertoire for this instrumentation and expand the identity of the solo viola.

Teaching ArtistDeclan Kinghorn

Declan Kinghorn began playing music at the age of 10 after receiving a bursary to learn French horn from the Ottawa Youth Orchestra Academy. From there, he joined OrKidstra the year after to continue playing music. Declan attended Lisgar Collegiate Institute where he learned to play the electric and upright bass, euphonium, and tuba, going on to play with the OrKidstra string quintet, the Ottawa Youth Orchestra, the Strings of St. John’s, and all of Lisgar’s musical ensembles.

Since graduating from high school and the OrKidstra program in 2015, Declan has been working towards obtaining a Bachelor of Music, majoring in euphonium. For two years he studied at the University of Ottawa and now attends Carleton University. Declan is a member of the Canadian Armed Forces and plays euphonium in the Governor General’s Footguards Band.

“Playing and singing with OrKidstra builds important life skills like teamwork and leadership, skills that are applicable to all areas of life. And the kids have a really fun time which a bonus. I find teaching at OrKidstra really rewarding because I love seeing the kids accomplish their goals. OrKidstra has really given my life meaning: I feel like I’m really giving back in a positive way.” – Declan Kinghorn, OrKidstra Graduate and Teaching Artist

Teaching ArtistEd 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. insert

Teaching ArtistMika Posen

Mika started her Violin studies at the age of 9 and enjoyed her first ensemble experiences as a member of the Ottawa Junior Youth Orchestra and the Lisgar Collegiate Orchestras. She went on to study music at the University of Guelph, completed a Masters at York University, and received her Suzuki Violin teacher training at the Southwestern Ontario Suzuki Institute in Waterloo for Levels 1, 2, and 3.
After completing her studies, Mika spent 10 years working in the popular music industry as a studio violinist/violist, string arranger, and live performer. She has toured to nearly every corner of Canada, the US, Europe and Australia, and has had the pleasure of working with artists such as Timber Timbre, Agnes Obel, Basia Bulat, Feist, and the Weather Station.
After retiring from touring life, Mika returned to teaching; she was a faculty member of the Toronto Suzuki Studio, the Strings teacher for grades 1-8 at Fieldstone Day School, and a regular substitute at Sistema Toronto. She happily returned to Ottawa in 2016 and is thrilled to be a part of the OrKidstra family.

Teaching ArtistDeborah Reid

Deborah Reid was born in Ottawa, but was raised in Amman, Jordan and Wittlingen, Germany. Her cross-cultural childhood fostered in her a great curiosity and appreciation for the experiences and perspectives of others. Deborah has always enjoyed singing, but she truly fell in love with music while attending Black Forest Academy in rural Germany and has had her heart set on performing, creating, and teaching music ever since. Deborah received her Bachelor of Arts with a Specialization in Music at the University of Ottawa in 2014. There she was introduced to OrKidstra through the Experiential Teaching Artist Program and had the opportunity to put her education to practical use. During university, Deborah’s love of conducting, theory, and ear training blossomed, and she received the University of Ottawa Choir Choral Direction Scholarship in her final year. Since then, she has continued to work with OrKidstra and now has the pleasure of directing the KidSingers program and teaching several KiddlyWinks classes on the side. Deborah strives to share with her students the beauty of
singing in harmony (literally and figuratively) and has the special joy of raising her own to musicians at home.

Teaching ArtistJo Ann Simpson

Bassoonist Jo Ann Simpson received her Bachelor of Music Performance degree from the The University of Ottawa, where she studied with Gerald Corey. A year of post graduate studies with William Waterhouse in London England, where she also worked with the BBC Symphony, was followed by a stint as principal bassoon of the Municipal Symphony Orchestra of Caracas, Venezuela from 1979-1986. Since returning to Ottawa, Jo Ann has worked as a free-lance player with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony, the Quebec Symphony and the Orchestra of Northern New York. She is principal bassoon of l’Orchestre Symphonique de Gatineau. Jo Ann Simpson has appeared as soloist with orchestras in Venezuela, Uruguay and Canada. She performs recital and chamber music regularly.
Jo Ann Simpson is professor of bassoon at the Conservatoire de Musique de Gatineau, Québec and Carleton University in Ottawa. She teaches the bassoonists at Canterbury High School and Centre d’Excellence Artistique De Lasalle and runs the Beginner Bassoon Program for The Ottawa Youth Orchestra Academy. She has taught bassoon at The Crane School of Music, SUNY in Potsdam New York. Jo Ann Simpson is the founder and director of the only residential bassoon camp in Canada – Brooke Valley Bassoon Days.
Jo Ann Simpson is one of the few bassoonists in North America who plays both the German and the French system bassoon. She is a member of The North American French Bassoon Quartet and is frequently invited to perform at conferences of the International Double Reed Society.

Teaching ArtistZac Pulak

Hailing from Winnipeg; Ottawa based percussionist Zac Pulak studied at the University of Ottawa under the tutelage of Jonathan Wade and Kenneth Simpson, receiving an undergraduate degree in 2014.

Since then, Zac has worked with world-class organizations such as the National Arts Centre, Music and Beyond, Ottawa International Chamberfest, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Scotia Festival of Music, and many others. Zac has completed artist residencies at the Banff Centre, SMU (Dallas, TX) and Destelheide Training Centre (Dworp, Belgium). Recently, Zac was recognized as one of CBC’s “Hot 30 Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30.”

In his work as a freelance orchestral musician, Zac has performed with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra, and the symphony orchestra’s of Ottawa, Thunder Bay, and Winnipeg.

As an emerging artist, Zac is the recipient of numerous awards including the City of Ottawa’s Youth in Culture Pilot Program (2016, 2017, 2018) and Ontario Arts Council’s Chalmers Professional Development Grant (2018) which will see him spend the 2018-2019 season working closely with Canadian virtuoso Beverley Johnston.

Zac performs in his own chamber projects SHHH!! Ensemble, trio [no]relation, and Percussion A to Z at festivals internationally. He is the founder/curator of #NSFWcc (not safe for work contemporary cabaret), an interdisciplinary concert series dedicated to showcasing the national capital region’s emerging talent.

Zac is an artist/endorser of Mike Balter Mallets, Grover Pro Percussion, and Sabian Cymbals.

Teaching ArtistEmily Marks

Flutist Emily Marks joined the National Arts Centre Orchestra as second flute and piccolo in September 2002 at the age of 23.

Born and raised in North Vancouver, she studied with Camille Churchfield, principal flute of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. She completed her Bachelor of Music degree with distinction at McGill University, where her
teachers were Carolyn Christie and Timothy Hutchins of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. While pursuing a Masters degree at Indiana University studying with Thomas Robertello, she won the job with NACO.

Emily was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada in 2001 and 2002, and toured internationally with the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra for three sessions. Additional studies were at the Banff Centre, Orford Arts Centre, and performing with the National Academy Orchestra in Hamilton, Ont.

Emily has been on the faculty of the University of Ottawa, and has performed educational concerts in schools throughout the Ottawa area with the Ayorama Wind Quintet. She has been a regular performer at the Ottawa
Chamber Music Festival and with Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra.

Teaching ArtistYolande Laroche

Yolande Laroche is a clarinetist, keyboardist, singer and composer. Since graduating from the University of Ottawa with a Bachelor in Music and Minor in Arts Administration, she has performed locally and has been on several tours across Canada with her main musical projects Pony Girl and mal/aimé. As a freelance player, she has shared the stage with Pallice, Marie-Clo, Her Harbour, John Aaron Cockburn, Claude Munson, Old Cabin, Isaac Vallentin, Cedric Noel, Luka and others. Yolande is also a member of the Governor General’s Foot Guards band and has performed for a number of dignitaries and special events in the NCR.

Teaching ArtistFanny Marks

French/British cellist Fanny Marks entered the local music school at age 9, going on to earn her Bachelor of Music from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London), her postgraduate degree in music from the Royal Academy of Music (London) and her postgraduate Performance Diploma from the University of Indiana (USA) in the studio of Janos Starker.

Trained as a performing artist, most of her career has consisted in touring with orchestras (such as the Nederlands Kamerorkest and the Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest) and chamber music groups in concert halls and theatres across Europe and the Americas.

Throughout her music life she has developed a passion for working with kids – music theatre, children’s operas, workshops for disabled kids or kids with special needs /low income families and youth music summer camps.
Fanny moved to Wakefield, Quebec in September 2014 and started her own cello teaching studio in Wakefield alongside teaching in the Chelsea music school. Since summer 2015, she has been a regular substitute at the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa.

Teaching ArtistDesiree Abbey

Desiree is a freelance cellist who performs, records and tours regularly with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra as Principal Cellist and more recently as an extra musician with the National Arts Centre Orchestra.

Desiree received a Bachelor of Music with Honours at the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied with Desmond Hoebig, performed as a soloist with the CIM Orchestra as a winner of the CIM Concerto Competition and received teacher training for Suzuki Books 1-4 with Dr. Melissa Kraut. Following her undergraduate work, Desiree moved to New York City to study with Timothy Eddy, earning both Master of Music and Professional Studies Diploma from Mannes The New School for Music. While in NYC, she taught at Brooklyn College Preparatory Music School, subbed at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and received Music Mind Games Unit 1 training (Theory) with Michiko Yurko and Suzuki Book 5 training with Carol Tarr at the Chicago Suzuki Institute.

Desiree has appeared as soloist with the Guelph Symphony and the National Repertory Orchestra, has played in Carnegie Hall and toured Europe as part of prestigious festival orchestras and attended various summer festivals such as The Music Academy of the West, Bowdoin and Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival.

She served as Assistant Principal Cello with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in their 2011-2012 season and taught for WSO’s Sistema Winnipeg from 2012-2017. During her time in Manitoba, she also taught as a sessional instructor at Brandon University and University of Manitoba.

Teaching is a passion of hers and her students have been recognized as Gold Medalists in RCM examinations and class winners at the Winnipeg Music Festival. She has served as adjudicator for the Manitoba Registered Music Teacher’s Association, Provincial Music Festival and Winnipeg Music Festival. Having recently relocated to Ottawa, Desiree is thrilled to be joining the OrKidstra team!

Teaching ArtistStephen Rouble

Stephen is a dedicated and passionate music teacher, violinist, and pianist in the Ottawa region. He is passionate about the musical journey and growth of each student he teaches. Stephen holds a Bachelor of Music from Carleton University with a minor in German and has performed in Canada and Europe with various ensembles. In his final year of study, he completed a practicum placement where he coached High school students in the Strings department at Lisgar Collegiate Institute. In the Spring 2019 semester, he was awarded the Chamber Music Award at Carleton University in recognition of his collaborative and mentorship skills.

Teaching ArtistMarlene Cruz Lozano

Born in Mexico City, Marlene Cruz Lozano began her professional musical education at the Escuela Superior de Música, Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, where she pursued a performance degree in piano and violin. In 2001, she moved to Canada to continue her studies and obtained a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Music from Bishop’s University. During her degree, she studied composition with Canadian composers Andrew Paul MacDonald and Stewart Grant.

Her musical interests are wide-ranging and she enjoys exploring different genres, such as world music, jazz, classical and contemporary through composition, improvisation and performance.
With more than 20 years of teaching experience, Marlene shares her passion for music by creating a fun and motivating environment in which students can improve both their musical and personal skills. Marlene’s approach to music education is based on creativity – including composition as an imaginative tool – particularly when working with youth. Through this method, Marlene teaches the fundamentals of music theory, along with the exploration of diverse musical styles and improvisation. As a teacher, it is her objective to help students find their own musical voice, as well as to guide those who are interested in composing their own music. Marlene has also had the privilege of working closely with special needs students, using music as a valuable tool for growth.

Being a curious, creative and innovative musician, she is constantly continuing her personal development through diverse masterclasses and online education from Universities such as Berklee (Improvisation Certificate) and Northwestern University (Teaching Violin and Viola: A Healthy Foundation). As a new OrKidstra Teaching Artist, she is excited to contribute and grow as a teacher.

Teaching ArtistJill Kirwan

Jill Kirwan, a native Montrealer, is a retired member of the National Arts Centre Orchestra French Horn section where she played the position of third horn for over 33 years. She was a student at Quebec Conservatoire in Montreal, and at 17 years of age, won the Montreal Symphony Orchestra’s competition for young musicians. In Montreal, she had a very busy career playing as a regular substitute with the Montreal Symphony, was a founding member of L’Orchestre Métropolitain, McGill Chamber Orchestra, Grand Ballet Orchestra, CBC Orchestra, and played and recorded with many well-known international and French Canadian stars.

In 1984, Jill began her journey with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. She thoroughly enjoyed performing in Ottawa and making her home here and even though she is now retired is so very proud of her orchestra and continues to go to concerts. She also was principal horn with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra for many years, and has performed with the Ottawa Choral Society, Thirteen Strings, Ottawa Chamberfest and Music and Beyond. As a teacher, Jill has had many students over the years who have benefited from her expert advice. A few have gone on to study horn at the university level winning bursaries, scholarships and becoming professional. She is thrilled to be a Teaching Artist in the OrKidstra program.

Teaching ArtistRichard Page

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Ottawa-based woodwind artist Richard Page has become a sought-after performer and educator for all levels. His unique sound and approach to the baritone saxophone has been featured on many recordings and he is an in-demand sideman in the Ottawa-area.

Richard has performed with with many world-renowned artists. Most recently, he performed at the 2019 Ottawa Jazz Festival with the = Jazz Orchestra, led by Christine Jensen (who’s saxophone section included – Tara Davidson, Allison Au, Anna Webber and Claire Devlin). At the 2018 Ottawa Jazz Festival, Richard performed with the Jerry Granelli Group, which featured guitar legends Robben Ford and Bob Lanzetti. He also performed with Hilario Duran (as the baritone saxophonist/bass clarinetist with the Ottawa Latin Jazz Big Band) that year. Richard has shared the stage with Mike Rud (Juno Award Winner), Adrean Farrugia, Phil Nimmons and many other jazz greats.

In addition to his own projects, Richard performs regularly with the Prime Rib Big Band, Sly High – A Tribute To Sly & The Family Stone, ERU-ERA, Renée Landry, The Commotions and The Rock Steadies. Richard’s woodwinds have been featured on television on commercials, TV shows and movies, and can be heard on the Kidscreen award winning (Emmy and Canadian Screen Award nominated) Sesame Workshop/Nelvana cartoon, Esme and Roy.

Richard’s musical education was developed through a combination of his studies at Mohawk College (2005-2007) and many performing opportunities in his early career. He was a member of the Hamilton All-Star Jazz Band (2004-2008) and in 2007 travelled to Europe, performing at the Montreux and Vienne jazz festivals. Through his involvement in the HASJB and he was awarded the Noreen and Phil Nimmons Scholarship from the Steeltown Friends of Mohawk Jazz (2005 and 2007). Richard has studied with many renowned Canadian musicians, such as Kirk MacDonald, Petr Cancura, and spent several years studying with world-renowned woodwind artist, Tim Price.

Richard is a proud endorser of Gonzalez Reeds, Key Leaves, and DeQuelery Windinstruments woodwind products.

Teaching ArtistSamuel Cousineau

Samuel Cousineau graduated McGill University in Montreal with an undergraduate degree in jazz performance. During his time at McGill, Cousineau studied with some of Canada’s great jazz musicians including Remi Bolduc, Donny Kennedy, Andre White and many others. Cousineau has also studied with Dave Liebman, Donny McCaslin, Ted Nash, Dick Oatts, and many other great jazz musicians. Samuel Cousineau recently completed his master’s degree in jazz performance at the University of North Texas where he also worked as a teaching fellow. Cousineau is now an active teacher, performer, recording artist in and around the Ottawa area.

Become a Teaching ArtistA life-changing experience

OrKidstra’s Teaching Artists are extraordinarily talented musicians and music educators who are passionate about OrKidstra’s social mission of success through music. Are you passionate about music education and social change? Do you live in the Ottawa area? OrKidstra invites all experienced musicians and music educators to learn more about becoming a Teaching Artist with OrKidstra.

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Teaching Artist Development WorkshopsLearn valuable skills in a hands-on environment

Are you a musician or music educator who is interested in learning more about social development through music? Do you want to add valuable skills to your resume? OrKidstra offers Sistema-inspired Teaching Artist Development Workshops that allow participants to develop their understanding of social development through music in an experiential, creative environment. 

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Experiential Teaching Artists Practicum (ETAP)Gain real, practical experience

In partnership with University of Ottawa Music Department and Community Service Learning Department, OrKidstra offers a 3-credit course to undergraduate and masters level students at the University of Ottawa. Since 2008, the Experiential Teaching Artists Practicum (ETAP) has offered valuable teaching experience through hands-on teaching assistant placements within the OrKidstra program.

This unique partnership also covers a broad overview of music teaching philosophies, the philosophy and history of El Sistema as it applies to OrKidstra’s uniquely Canadian Model, and its implications for society and social justice.

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I was able to gain real practical experience at OrKidstra: it was a great opportunity for me to take the skills I was learning in my university pedagogy and conducting classes, and apply them in real-life situations.

Kaley Duff

ETAP

There is a very caring and welcoming atmosphere at OrKidstra, and no matter how I felt coming in each week, I always left with a very positive attitude, and I expect the same can be said for the students.

Heather Bourne

ETAP

I look forward to every session that I teach, from the kids to the staff to the atmosphere, it’s so full of love and community. The whole entire OrKidstra organization is just amazing.

Arthurine Duhaney

ETAP