Music Director Paul Haas is a truly dynamic and innovative musician, composer, and conductor. He is currently serving as Music Director of the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas and the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. He is also the Artistic Director of Sympho, a New York Based ensemble creating radically engaging live orchestral experiences for the 21st century.
Mr. Haas was at the start of a promising conducting career when he devised and produced a concert project called REWIND in 2006, featuring composer and musician colleagues and violin soloist Anne Akiko Meyers. REWIND was a reaction against the staid nature of the standard classical music performance: audience members surrounded the performers, then left and started playing behind the audience on all sides. REWIND had great success, prompting Haas to found Sympho, an organization devoted to the creation and performance of symphonic experiences in unusual venues. One critic, writing in Time Out NY, even called Haas ‘visionary.’ One result of Haas’ immersion in this creative process is his emergence as a composer: over the last decade, fifteen commissions have come in from a wide variety of iconic venues, including the Park Avenue Armory and Rubin Museum of Art in New York, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, the Anchorage Museum of Art in Alaska, and the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design in Arkansas. Haas is the first artist ever to receive two separate commissions from the Oliver Ranch Foundation in Sonoma County, California, creating installations for Ann Hamilton’s groundbreaking Tower, an 80-foot-tall concrete tower with interior double-helix staircases.
The inspiration for Haas’ work comes from a wide array of spiritual and ecological sources, including a longstanding meditation practice and a deep connection to the earth that finds Haas, along with his wife Suzette and two young girls, in the process of beginning an organic homestead that aims eventually to be self-sustaining. His deep concern for the land, for the Earth, and for all its inhabitants, have led him to create art where, as Haas says, “beauty is the only artistic choice: not saccharine, sometimes painful, but always immediate and always real. I’m always striving to connect deep within to that place in each of us that craves beauty, that craves love.”
Thomas Cosbey grew up in a musical family from Regina, Saskatchewan. He began his professional career as a teenager, playing in the violin section of the Regina Symphony Orchestra. Thomas went on to obtain a Performance Diploma from the Glenn Gould School in Toronto, studying with Mark Fewer and Erika Raum. Following his studies, Thomas held the position of Principal Second violin in Sinfonia Toronto. Also an avid chamber musician, Thomas has performed along-side distinguished artists such as Min-Jeong Koh, Steven Dann, Gwen Hoebig and Benjamin Bowman among others. Thomas has appeared as a soloist with noted Canadian ensembles such as the Regina Symphony Orchestra, the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, and Sinfonia Toronto. In January 2007, Thomas joined the TBSO as Concertmaster. Since then he has fostered a vibrant music scene in Thunder Bay through performance and education. Thomas is the Music Director of the Thunder Bay Symphony Youth Orchestra, and Director of the Community Orchestra. In addition to maintaining an active violin studio, Thomas and his wife Michelle helped to found the Thunder Bay Conservatory of Music in 2018. Outside of performing and teaching violin, Thomas enjoys renovating old houses.
Violinist Kathlyn Stevens, a native of Almonte, ON, joined the TBSO violin section in 2011, before winning the position of Assistant Concertmaster in 2012. During her career, Katie has performed with major Canadian orchestras such as the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and Thirteen Strings, among others. She holds degrees from the University of Ottawa, the Mount Royal Conservatory, and the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music. Her mentors have included David Stewart, William Van der Sloot, Lorand Fenyves and Erika Raum. Outside of the TBSO, Katie enjoys playing unique chamber music with the Martin Blanchet Jazz Quintet and Consortium Aurora Borealis.
Christopher Stork originates from Plainfield, Vermont, and joined the TBSO as Principal Second Violin in 2021. An avid and talented chamber musician, Chris was the second violinist in the Iceberg String Quartet from 2018-2020. The quartet was the resident string quartet at notable festivals including at the Banff Center, the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar, Toronto Summer Music Festival, and the Bowdoin Music Festival. They were the winners of the McGill Chamber Music Competition (2018), finalists at the Chesapeake International Chamber Music Festival (2020), and semi-finalists at the Young Concert Artists Competition (2019). He was also a member of the resident piano trio at the Zodiac Music Festival in France, and has toured with ensembles such as the Vermont Mozart Chamber Players. As an orchestral violinist, Chris has served as Concertmaster of the McGill Orchestra, and Assistant Principal Second of the Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra.
Chris has appeared as a soloist with the Vermont Philharmonic, as well as at the Bathurst Chamber Music Festival, and the Hinesburg Artist series. He was a pre-college Honors student at Mannes in New York City, and holds Bachelor and Masters of Music degrees from the Schulich School of Music at McGill University. His mentors include Andrew Wan, Alexander Read, Mark Fewer, Sally Thomas and Elizabeth Reid. When not performing, Chris is passionate about passing on his musical knowledge through teaching violin. During the summer months Chris enjoys fishing, hiking and camping. When winter strikes, he can be found playing Nintendo and Xbox with Kimberly Durflinger and their four guinea pigs.
Kimberly Durflinger was born and raised in sunny San Diego, California, and joined the TBSO violin section in 2021. Kimberly has substituted with major North American orchestras like the San Diego Symphony, the Canadian Opera Company, I Musici Orchestre de Chambre de Montréal and the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony. She received her Master’s Degree from the Schulich School of Music at McGill University and her Bachelor’s Degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Kimberly is a loving pet parent to four chunky guinea pigs. She loves dancing the Argentine tango and playing with her Toronto-based rock band Vaerisa.
Lindsey Herle hails from Fort McMurray, Alberta, and joined the TBSO violin section in 2019. She received her Master of Music degree from the University of Ottawa, Bachelor of Music from the University of Victoria, and a Performance Certificate from Mount Royal Conservatory. She was previously a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and the National Academy Orchestra. She has also participated in Quartetfest West, Orford Music Academy and the Meadowmount School of Music. When not playing the violin, Lindsey loves practicing yoga and reading!
Michelle Zapf-Bélanger was born in Montreal, before moving to Toronto with her family. She holds a Performance Diploma from the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music. In 2008, Michelle joined the TBSO violin section. An active educator, Michelle is a member of the College of Examiners with the Royal Conservatory of Music, and maintains an active violin studio in Thunder Bay. She is the Co-director of the Thunder Bay Symphony Youth Orchestra with her husband Thomas Cosbey. Michelle is passionate about music history and giving pre-concert talks, including her popular pre-Masterworks series.
Allison Lee was born in Edmonton, Alberta, and joined the TBSO violin section in 2022. Allison is a recent graduate of the University of Alberta, obtaining her Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance with distinction. Her mentors include Robert Uchida, Laura Veeze, and Frank Ho. Allison is a current member of the Chamber Orchestra of Edmonton, playing in the first violin section as a part of their emerging professional musician program. She has also played in the National Academy Orchestra of Canada, and has served as Concertmaster of the University of Alberta Symphony Orchestra. When not playing the violin, Allison enjoys baking and travelling with family and friends.
William Sirois was born in Mont Saint-Aignan in France, and joined the TBSO violin section in 2022. He currently performs with the ensemble Volte, the Quebec contemporary society, the Estuaire and the Saguenay orchestra. He received his master’s degree from the conservatoire of Montreal and his musical diploma from Boulogne Billancourt and Rouen conservatoire. William participated at the Vatelot Rampal Competition in Paris and won the first place at the age of ten and twelve. His mentors include Johanne Arel, Jean-Sébastien Roy, Raymond Dessaints, Marcelle Mallette, Anne Robert, Marianne Dugal, Claire Bernard, Christophe Poiget, Paul Zafer and David Stewart. In his spare time, William loves hiking, running, driving his motorcycle and taking care of his cats.
John Sellick is a Canadian violist from Winnipeg, Manitoba. His primary focus is on orchestral and chamber music, and has played with National Youth Orchestra of Canada, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the Canadian Opera Company. John grew up alongside his two older brothers playing baseball, sailing, canoe tripping and making music together. John started out on the violin, after having seen his father play the violin around the house over the Christmas holidays. At fourteen years old, John switched to the viola, and went on to receive his undergraduate degree from the University of Manitoba, studying under Daniel Scholz, and his Artist’s Diploma from the Glenn Gould School, studying with renowned Canadian violist Steven Dann. In 2020, John was named as one of Canada’s top 30 classical musicians under 30 by the CBC. In addition to life as a performer, John is a firm believer in the power of music education. For seven years John has been heavily involved with the El Sistema music education program, both in Winnipeg and Toronto, as a conductor, arranger, and string instructor. Aside from music, John enjoys cooking stir fry, Norval Morrisseau’s art, nighttime walks, motorcycles and cribbage.
Violist and composer Patrick Horn took his first breaths in sunny California. After completing his Bachelor of Music at Rice University in Houston, he marched north to Chicago where he earned a Master of Music from Northwestern University. The weather in Chicago was still too balmy, so in 2001 he landed in Thunder Bay where he joined the TBSO viola section. The TBSO has premiered several of his compositions, some of which have been performed in orchestras across Canada. In 2018, his Tango for Strings was performed by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. Patrick spends most summers in Oregon at the Britt Music Festival where he plays in the outdoor orchestra. Patrick loves the Northwestern Ontario outdoors for hiking and running, and even the food! Those locally foraged morels wash down nicely with a good Niagara Pinot Noir.
Geena Salway hails from Regina, SK, and joined the TBSO viola section in 2019. Geena has previously performed in the viola sections of notable Canadian orchestras such as the Regina Symphony Orchestra, Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. She has also appeared as a soloist with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra in 2018. Geena has toured with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (2014, 2015, 2017), and L’Orchestre de la Francophonie (2018). In addition, she has also performed in Italy and Slovenia with the International Music Festival of the Adriatic. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Manitoba, a Master of Music and Performance Diploma from the University of Ottawa, and a Performer’s A.R.C.T from the Royal Conservatory of Music. Geena loves cycling, hiking, and learning about bicycle repair!
Born and raised in Minnesota, Marc Palmquist has enjoyed an international career. After earning a Master’s of Music degree from the Manhattan and Juilliard Schools of Music in New York City, Marc was hired as the solo cellist for a major Broadway Musical: GiGi. During that time, he toured every major venue in North America. Marc has been broadcast on National Public Radio (NPR), Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), and CBC radio throughout his career. He has performed with renowned orchestras such as St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO), Minnesota Orchestra, Colorado Festival Orchestra (Boulder, CO), Met Opera & La Scala Orchestra (European tour), and the Florida Festival Orchestra (Central American tour).
Marc joined the TBSO as Principal Cello in 1985 and has appeared over a dozen times as a soloist with the orchestra, performing major concerti and important solos in the repertoire. Throughout his tenure, Marc has shared his varied administrative skills within the organization, including serving as Personnel Manager (1995-2005), Production Manager (1987-1989), Union Steward (1991-1994), Player’s Committee Member, Artistic Advisory Committee Member, and Music Director Search Committee Member. Marc enjoys working with his hands by fixing, building, and creating. In 2005, Marc built his own Solar house with his own two hands! This state-of-the-art home is energy net-zero and part of Ontario’s Micro-FIT green electricity production, which helps offset carbon-emitting electricity production. Marc and his partner Deb (Clarinetist) maintain their USA and Canadian residences and have raised four successful dual-citizens.
Brazilian cellist Luis Almeida is the winner of the Olivier Toni Award for exceptional prominence in musical artistry from the Universidade de São Paulo, one of the top universities in Latin America, where he received his B.A. in Cello Performance. Described as a versatile musician, Luis is highly sought after in a variety of contexts, including baroque performance and touring with jazz/alternative rock groups. Luis is the founder of Musical Gym – a project dedicated to helping students achieve a high-level practice, and Cello em Pauta – dedicated to discussing the history and craft of cello performance. He is currently finishing his M.Mus. degree at the University of Manitoba.
Originally from Windsor, Ontario, cellist Bryce Penny began playing cello at the age of 8. He studied with Andrew McIntosh and Haden McKay before joining the class of Brian Manker at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University, where he completed his Bachelor of Music degree. He has been a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (2015, ‘16, ‘17), and most recently served as principal cellist in the Berlin Opera Academy (2022). Bryce joined the TBSO cello section in 2022. Outside of orchestra, he enjoys rock climbing and playing squash.
Born in Québec City, Martin Blanchet began his musical training on the violin and the piano before pursuing the double bass as his main instrument. During his studies at Conservatoire de Musique de Québec, he completed the Technique en Jazz et Pop degree, a Master’s degree in Classical Interpretation, and a second Master’s degree in Chamber Music. Martin joined the TBSO as Section Bass in 2007 before winning the Principal Bass position in 2009. Martin previously held the chair of Assistant Principal Bass in Orquestra do Algarve in Portugal. He also served as Principal Bass with the World Orchestra of the Jeunesses Musicales. He toured Europe three times, playing in amazing concert venues such as the Berliner Philharmonie, Royal Concertgebouw, and Saalbau Essen.
Martin has performed with notable ensembles such as La Orquesta de Extremadura de Badajoz in Spain, L’Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, l’Opéra de Québec, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. In summer 2009, he was invited to perform the Dittersdorf Double Bass Concerto in Pommersfelden, Germany. Martin has taught double bass at the Campus Notre-Dame-de-Foy in Québec City and is presently Contract Lecturer at Lakehead University. Jazz music has also been a big part of Martin’s career, leading him to form the Martin Blanchet Jazz Quintet. Martin is the vocalist, bassist, and musical arranger for the quintet, creating and performing various shows, including Café Paris, Sharp Ninth, Manouche, and Mini-Café. Most recently, Martin has begun conducting and arranging music for an all-french choir with the association of Le Club Culturel Francophone de Thunder Bay.
A native of Sunderland, Ontario, Sarah Pollard is thrilled to join the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra for their 2022-2023 season. Previously, she held the position of second flute and piccolo with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra during their 2021-2022 season. Sarah is an alumna of the National Academy Orchestra of Canada, the Orchestra of the Americas, the National Repertory Orchestra in Colorado, and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestral Institute. She has also performed with the Pronto Musica Orchestra, and is a substitute musician with the Niagara Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Sarah has enjoyed performing with classical and contemporary ensembles across Canada; a highlight of which was performing Boulez’s infamous Le marteau sans maître in Ottawa Chamberfest’s New Music Now Festival.
Sarah is a recent graduate of The Glenn Gould School’s Artist Diploma program where she studied with full scholarship under the direction of Susan Hoeppner. Sarah previously studied with Carolyn Christie (McGill University, MMus Performance), and Nora Shulman and Peg Albrecht (University of Toronto, BMus Performance). In masterclasses she has had the opportunity to work with many eminent flutists including Emmanuel Pahud, Leone Buyse, Robert Langevin, and Jeanne Baxtresser. Sarah also has a passion for teaching the flute and piano. She currently teaches students across Canada, and has been invited to coach the flutists of the Québec Youth Wind Ensemble and the Durham Youth Orchestra. Outside of music, Sarah enjoys practicing yoga and pilates.
Heather Kilborn hails from Nipigon, Ontario, and joined the TBSO in 2019 when her dear teacher Doris Dungan took a sabbatical from playing. She holds a Master of Music from Northwestern University in Illinois, and a Bachelor of Music from Wilfred Laurier University. Heather had her solo debut with the TBSO in 1995, and is grateful to be sitting in the chair that her teacher held for so many years. Heather loves running, painting, creating just about anything, renovating, drinking coffee, her newly acquired motorcycle, her three cats, and spending time with her wonderful bass-playing life partner!
Colleen Kennedy is originally from Comox, BC but grew up in Scarborough, ON. She has held the position of Principal Oboe of the TBSO since 1981. Colleen studied oboe performance with Harry Sargous at the University of Western Ontario and later with Robert Bloom at the Juilliard School in New York City. As an educator, Colleen works as a Sessional Lecturer at Lakehead University, teaching oboe and Woodwind Techniques. In addition to oboe reed making, Colleen loves running, sailing, hiking and making tasty macarons.
Gwendolyn Buttemer was born in Comox, British Columbia and joined the TBSO as Section Oboe in 2014. Before the TBSO, Gwen was a freelance musician appearing as Principal Oboe in the Stratford Symphony Orchestra and performing regularly with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra and the Jeans n’ Classics Rock Symphony. She was a member of the National Academy Orchestra in 2013 and 2014 and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada in 2009. In February 2020, Gwen appeared as a soloist with the TBSO performing Antonio Vivaldi’s Oboe Concerto in D minor.
Gwen holds a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree from Wilfred Laurier University. In the summer months, Gwen works for the Thunder Bay Centennial Botanical Conservatory, planting and maintaining the gardens in all the city parks and green spaces. She is also an avid cross-country skier, mountain biker, and rock climber.
Peter Shackleton is principal clarinetist of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and a member of Music in Common and INNERchamber. He has served as principal clarinetist of Orchestra London Canada, and has performed with Tafelmusik (on historical clarinet) and Les Violons du Roy, as well as with the Milwaukee Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and Stratford Festival Orchestras. Peter is currently on the faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University and in the past has held teaching positions at Western University and Lakehead University. Awarded First Prize at the 27th CBC Radio Competition, he has performed as a soloist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, CBC Radio Orchestra (Vancouver), Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra and Tafelmusik. Peter received his Honours Bachelor of Music from Northwestern University and a certificate in Chamber Music Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
E-Chen Hsu originates from Mississauga, Ontario, and joined the TBSO as Section Clarinet in 1999. She has appeared as a featured soloist with the TBSO on multiple occasions including, performing Il Convegno for two Clarinets by A. Poncielli with Peter Shackleton (2010 & 2017). An eager chamber musician, E-Chen has enjoyed playing unique chamber music with the Tamarack Woodwind Quintet and the Martin Blanchet Jazz Quintet for their show Café Paris “La vie en Rose.”
Since 2006, E-Chen has spent the summer months playing with the Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra in Des Moines, Iowa. She has also played with ensembles such as the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Britt Festival Orchestra. She holds a Hon. B. Mus. from Western University (UWO), and a Master of Music from Northwestern University. E-Chen is a faculty member at Lakehead University, where she teaches clarinet. E-Chen is passionate about supporting music education in the Thunder Bay school system, serving the TBSO’s Education Coordinator since 2017. When not playing music, E-Chen enjoys exploring the great outdoors and travelling the world with her husband Pat and son Kalen.
Hailing from wintery Winnipeg, Kristy Tucker is a passionate orchestral and chamber musician. She has performed with a variety of ensembles including the New World Symphony, Orchestre Classique de Montréal, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Her summer festival appearances include the Young Artists Program at the National Arts Centre, the National Academy Orchestra, and the Norfolk Chamber Festival. Kristy has performed nationally and abroad, including at Carnegie Hall as a part of the Yale in New York Chamber Series, on tour to South Korea with the Orford Festival Orchestra, and three Canadian tours with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. In 2018, Kristy was named by CBC as one of the “Hot 30 Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30”.
Kristy was a teaching artist with the Waterbury Symphony in Connecticut, as well as an undergraduate lessons instructor at Yale University School of Music, where she completed her Master of Musical Arts degree. Since 2020, Kristy has been the Principal Bassoon with the TBSO, while spending her summers serving as Principal Bassoon of the Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra. When not playing music, Kristy enjoys the New York Times crossword puzzle (her longest solve streak is 308 days!), and making and consuming her favourite food, chocolate mousse!
Hailing from Kingston, Ontario, Aviner Hartwick began playing music at a young age. Encouraged by his family, he first dabbled in recorder, piano, and even accordion before settling on the bassoon. His first teacher, Katie Legere of the Kingston Symphony Orchestra, urged Aviner to pursue music. Upon his finishing high school, she sent him to Montreal where he studied at both McGill University and the Conservatoire de Musique with Martin Mangrum, Stéphane Lévesque, and Michael Sundell of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. An alumnus of the National Academy Orchestra and National Youth Orchestra of Canada, Aviner completed his studies in 2020 and set his sights on the world of professional music. Before accepting his position at the TBSO, he substituted with orchestras throughout Eastern Canada including his hometown Kingston Symphony Orchestra. Away from the bassoon, Aviner likes to spend his time enjoying movies, learning Japanese, and playing ping pong (he served as president of the McGill Table Tennis Club). Come say hello if you see him on the courts!
Janelle Wiebe was born in Winnipeg, MB, and joined the TBSO as Principal Horn in 2010. She received a Schulich scholarship at McGill University during her studies, where she obtained her Master of Music degree. She went on to earn an Artist Diploma at the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music. In 2002, Janelle won first place in the brass category at the Canadian National Music Festival. A self-proclaimed foodie, Janelle enjoys cooking and can’t seem to learn enough about food, recipes, and culture.
Damian Rivers-Moore hails from Scarborough, Ontario, and joined the TBSO as Section Horn in 2002. In 2001, prior to coming to Thunder Bay, Damian served as First Horn in the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra in Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China. Damian has performed with major Canadian orchestras such as the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Niagara Symphony Orchestra, National Academy Orchestra, and the String and Wind virtuosos of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. In 2005, he was a featured soloist playing Richard Strauss’ Horn Concerto no. 1 with the Cathedral Bluffs Orchestra.
Damian holds a Performance Diploma from the Glenn Gould Professional School in Toronto, where he studied with Christopher Gongos. Prior to this, he studied with Derek Conrod and John Milner at the University of Western Ontario and La Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal respectively. When not playing the horn, Damian loves getting lost in the woods around Thunder Bay, installing art at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, and playing music with his mom (on piano).
Daniel Lehmann was born and raised in Winnipeg and is excited to join the TBSO as acting principal trumpet for the 2022-23 season. Daniel is completing his Doctor of Music degree at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he served as Associate Instructor of Trumpet. Daniel’s primary teachers at IU include John Rommel and Kris Kwapis. He also holds a Master of Music in trumpet performance from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Music in trumpet performance from the University of Manitoba, where he studied with Paul Jeffrey and Richard Gillis. In 2020, he was an academy intern at the Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava, in the Czech Republic, where he performed with the orchestra in Ostrava and on tour in Italy and Switzerland. In 2022, he performed with the National Arts Centre Orchestra as part of their inaugural mentorship program. In addition to modern trumpet, Daniel has performed on baroque trumpet with Bourbon Baroque and the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra. He has attended summer programs including Domaine Forget, PRISMA, and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestral Institute at Whistler. Daniel also was a member of the National Academy Orchestra of Canada in 2019 and 2021. Outside of music, Daniel enjoys cycling and reading.
Matheus Moraes hails from Niterói, a city on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. He signed his first contract with the TBSO as Section trumpet in October 2021. Matheus is currently a Doctoral Fellow enrolled in the Doctor of Musical Arts program at the University of British Columbia. He received his Bachelor of Music from Rio de Janeiro Federal University under the tutelage of David Alves, and his Master of Music degree from the University of British Columbia under his current teacher, Larry Knopp. Matheus has participated in notable festivals including the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Institute at Whistler, UBC BrassFest (performing as lead trumpet for Bobby Shew), and the National Academy Orchestra of Canada. He has been a guest soloist for multiple performances including at the Cantando festival (2019), the premiere concert of the Vancouver Brass Orchestra (2019), and on the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s recording of Mussorgsky’s Pictures of an Exhibition brass arrangement in 2020.
As an aspiring teacher, Matheus has been actively involved with the UBC Concert Winds program, having served as the brass coach for the band from 2017 to 2020. He has also taught classes and tutoring sessions for Class Brass and Brass Pedagogy classes, and was a guest panelist in the 2020 UBC Music Connects masterclass series. Matheus is currently the Vice-Chair of the Vancouver Brass Collective, founding member of the Vancouver Brass Orchestra, and a substitute/extra performer with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Since moving to Canada, he has also performed with the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra, the Surrey City Orchestra, and the Vancouver Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra. When not playing the trumpet, Matheus enjoys long walks, learning about medieval history, and playing video games.
Originally from Calgary, Erik Hongisto began studying the violin at the age of three. Realizing this was a huge mistake, he switched to piano two years later. However, it would not be until age 12 that Erik would discover the majesty of the trombone. Erik holds a Bachelor of Music with Distinction from the University of Calgary and a Master of Music in Orchestral Performance from McGill University. His mentors have included James Scott, Peter Sullivan, and Peter Beaudry. While living in Montreal, Erik enjoyed performing with notable Canadian orchestras such as l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, L’Orchestre symphonique de Québec, and the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, among others. Erik was a member of “Brass Theatre”—a brass and percussion group based in Bloomington, Indiana—and toured the United States, performing alongside the Canadian Brass. In addition to orchestral performances, Erik has explored other musical styles, performing aboard the ships of the Princess Cruises Line and sailing right around the world.
Erik has served as Principal Trombone in the TBSO since 2003, though he continues to perform periodically with other orchestras, from Calgary to Kuala Lumpur. For the 2016-2017 season, Erik took a leave of absence from the TBSO to accept a one-year appointment as Principal Trombone of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. He is a founding member of Brass Northwest (est. 2011), a brass chamber music group that performs in and around Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario. In addition to his position as Principal Trombone, Erik has been the TBSO’s Orchestra Personnel Manager since 2017. His non-musical interests range from scotch tasting to hiking scenic trails around Thunder Bay with his kids.
Ayano Hodouchi Dempsey is a graduate of the Moscow State Conservatoire where she studied piano under Yury Martynov and chamber music under Tigran Alikhanov. At the conservatoire, she also studied harpsichord, hammerklavier and other period instruments to deepen her understanding of Baroque and classical music. Other teachers include Sergei Babayan and Mikhail Voskresensky. She has performed in Russia, Europe, North America and Japan, and is a prize winner of the International Russian Music Piano Competition in San Jose, California, in 2005. As a harpsichordist, she has performed solo works by J.S. Bach at Consortium Aurora Borealis’ concert in 2020. For the past 15 years she has been working as a journalist in Russia, Japan, and North America. She holds a Master of Arts from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and has been a contributing music critic for Forbes, the Huffington Post, and many other publications. In Thunder Bay, she has written for the Walleye and Dougall Media. Having lived in Russia for 11 years, she has a deep love of Russian music. In her spare time, she can be found in the garden, growing exotic Japanese vegetables.
Hailing from Beamsville, Ontario, Kevin Brohman joined the TBSO as Principal Timpanist in the Fall of 2019. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance from Wilfrid Laurier University and has studied in the Artist Diploma Program of the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Kevin is an alumnus of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, the National Academy Orchestra, and the Colorado College Summer Music Festival. He was previously Principal Timpanist of the Stratford Symphony Orchestra and has performed with the Niagara Symphony and Kingston Symphony. As a drum set player he performs regularly as a member of the Martin Blanchet Jazz Quintet. Kevin teaches percussion at Lakehead University and has also taught at the Niagara Symphony’s Summer Music Camp. In his spare time he is an avid home cook and enjoys going for walks and hikes with his wife Jess and their dog Winston.