Paul Haas is a truly dynamic and innovative musician, composer, and conductor. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of Sympho, a New York-based contemporary music ensemble dedicated to the creation and performance of radically engaging musical experiences in unusual venues and unexpected contexts.
Mr. Haas is former Music Director of the acclaimed New York Youth Symphony and since 2010 has also been the Music Director of the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SoNA), which has more than tripled its yearly budget since he began his tenure.
An acclaimed composer and commissioned by iconic venues like the Park Avenue Armory and Rubin Museum in New York, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, and the Anchorage Museum of Art in Alaska. Mr. Haas is a graduate of Yale University and The Juilliard School, where he studied orchestral conducting.
Canadian conductor and musician Maria Fuller is from a farm near Earl Grey in southern Saskatchewan. Her musical training began at the age of four, on trumpet and piano. Today she is an internationally active performer on the podium, at the piano, and on trumpet, as well as a sought-after vocal coach, composer and arranger. As a conductor, Ms. Fuller has a wide range of repertoire and interests, from J.S. Bach to Steve Reich, from Richard Strauss to renowned Canadian composer, Elizabeth Raum. Equally adept in the opera pit and on the concert stage, she shows a winning charisma and infectious joy in her music-making.
Fuller holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano from McGill University in Montréal and is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) under Maestro Mark Gibson, where she also received a Master of Music in Piano with Prof. Michael Chertock and an Artist Diploma in Opera Coaching with Prof. Marie-France Lefebvre.
Thomas Cosbey holds a Performance Diploma from the Glenn Gould School. He began his career at the Regina Symphony, moving to Principal Second Violin of Sinfonia Toronto. He is Music Director of the Thunder Bay Symphony Youth Orchestra and he maintains a busy violin studio.
Kathlyn Stevens holds a Performance Diploma from Mount Royal Conservatory, a B.Mus. and Artist Diploma from the Glenn Gould School, and a M.Mus. from the University of Ottawa. She performs regularly with the Martin Blanchet Jazz Quintet.
Stéphanie Caplette holds a Master’s degree in Violin Performance from the Conservatory of Montreal. Stéphanie has toured across Europe as a member of the YOA Orchestra of the Americas “Nordic-Baltic tour.” She studied on scholarship at the Banff Centre for the Arts and the Orford Arts Centre.
Madonna Lee holds a B.Mus. in Performance from Wilfrid Laurier University/University of Toronto, a Licentiate Performance Diploma from the Royal Conservatory and a B.Ed. from Lakehead
University. Madonna has enjoyed fiddling with two local bands, the Knackers and Accordion with Strings Attached.
Sarah Ng, from Singapore, has established a worldwide career encompassing solo chamber and orchestral performance. Career highlights include performing at the Vermont Mozart Festival, Round Top Festival, Madeline Island String Quartet Fellowship, and Young EuroClassic in Berlin. She recently graduated from the McGill School of Music in the Masters program for Violin Performance.
Michelle Zapf-Bélanger is a graduate of the Etobicoke School of the Arts and the Young Artist’s Performance Academy at the Royal Conservatory of Music. She holds a Performance Diploma from the Glenn Gould School in Toronto. Locally, she conducts the Junior Strings and leads the Stringlings.
Marlena Pellegrino completed her Bachelors degree studying violin with Yehonatan Berick, and her Masters studying viola with Michael Van der Sloot. Her mentors have included Axel Strauss, Yosuke Kawasaki, Ashley Vandiver, Joan Barrett, and David Zafer. She is the grateful recipient of many scholarships and awards including the Nalini Perera Little Lotus Scholarship which brought her to Berlin to study with violist and pedagogue Julia Gartemann. She is a founding member of the Kalaya String Quartet, and has been featured as a chamber musician in festivals such as NAC Fourth Stage, Music and Beyond and Chamberfest among others. Marlena is a passionate advocate for the study and performance of new music by living composers, as well as interdisciplinary collaboration between the art forms. She is an alumni of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and the National Academy Orchestra. Most recently, she has performed as soloist with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, as well as held positions in both the violin and viola sections.
Patrick Horn holds a B.Mus. from Rice University, and a M.Music from Northwestern University. He is a member of the Britt Festival Orchestra in Oregon. His compositions have been performed throughout North America including with the San Francisco Symphony.
Geena Salway holds both an M.Mus and a Performance Diploma from the University of Ottawa. Previously, she obtained a B.Mus from the University of Manitoba, where she was a recipient of the University Gold Medal upon graduation. Geena has been a member of the Ottawa and Regina symphonies, as well as NYO Canada and L’Orchestre de la francophonie. In 2018, Geena was featured as a soloist on a 3D-Printed bass viola in the Ottawa Symphony’s 3D String Theory Concert.
Martin Blanchet was born in Québec City. He has held the chair of Assistant Principal Bass in Orquestra do Algarve in Portugal, performed with La Orquesta de Extremadura de Badajoz in Spain, L’Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. He is the creator of the Martin Blanchet Jazz Quintet – Café Paris and Sharp Ninth #9.
Penelope Clarke has been a member of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra and other orchestras in the Toronto area. She has performed with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hamilton Opera. Penelope is a Sessional Lecturer of flute and theory at Lakehead University.
Doris Dungan received B.Mus. and M.Mus. degrees from the University of Michigan before taking a position as Assistant Professor at the University of Southern Mississippi. Since joining the TBSO, Doris has appeared as soloist with the orchestra on both flute and piccolo and was featured nationally on CBC Radio.
Colleen Kennedy studied music at the University of Western Ontario and Juilliard. In Thunder Bay, Colleen has been active in the arts community as a teacher (Lakehead University),
performer, and reed maker. She was a founding member of the Thunder Bay Chamber Players.
Gwendolyn Buttemer was Principal Oboe of the Stratford Symphony Orchestra before moving to Thunder Bay. Gwendolyn holds a Bachelor of Music in Oboe Performance from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a Master of Music in Oboe Performance from the New England Conservatory.
Marc Palmquist (Principal Cello) studied at the Manhattan and Juilliard Schools of Music in New York City. He has performed with the orchestra’s of St. Paul (Chamber), Minnesota, Colorado Festival, Met Opera, La Scala, and Florida Festival, as well as in a Broadway Musical. He has been broadcast on CBC, NPR, and MPR. Marc enjoys working with his hands by fixing, building, or creating!
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.
One of E-Chen’s favourite things has been collaborating with principal clarinetist Peter Shackleton. She earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Western University Canada, and Master of Music degree from Northwestern University. E-Chen is a member of the Tamarack Wind Quintet in Thunder Bay.
Peter Cosbey is a sought-after chamber musician, orchestral musician, composer, and educator. He is a graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Glenn Gould School and a founding member of the dynamic The Annex Quartet, which made its debut in Carnagie Hall. He performs regularly with the TSO.
Harold Wevers holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto and did post graduate work at McGill University and the University of Western Ontario in composition. Prior to joining the TBSO, Wevers spent a year in Israel on a kibbutz, and playing principal bassoon in the Orchestra of the Kibbutzim.
Joshua Marshall holds a Bachelor of Music in Bassoon Performance from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Master of Music in Bassoon Performance from the University of Toronto. Joshua has been Principal Bassoon of the Oakville Symphony since 2005 and he has also performed with the Niagara Symphony and Guelph Symphony. He has performed as a soloist with the Oakville symphony and in 2014 and 2016 he won the Laurier University Concerto competition.
Janelle Wiebe completed an Artist Diploma at the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory, freelanced with regional orchestras in the Greater Toronto area. In 2010, Janelle graduated with a Master’s in Orchestral Performance at the Schulich School of Music at McGill, where she was a Schulich Scholar.
Damian Rivers-Moore graduated from the University of Western Ontario, Glenn Gould Professional School, and La Conservatoire de Musique de Montreal. In 2001, Damian accepted a professional orchestral engagement in Guangzhou, Peoples Republic of China, where he held the position of First Horn.
Erik Hongisto has been with the TBSO since 2003. He studied at the University of Calgary and at McGill University and has performed with various orchestras across Canada. His non-musical interests are varied and range from trail-running to scotch-tasting.
Sam Hughes earned his B. Mus. at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, studying with Joe Burgstaller and Phil Snedecor. He has attended international music festivals such as Domaine Forget and VSO’s Orchestral Institute at Whistler.
Graham Steeds earned a B.A. from Bemidji State University, a M.Mus. from Florida State, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Minnesota. He has taught at Bemidji State, Luther College, Lakehead University, and the International Music Camp, and enjoys playing everything from classical to jazz and pop.
Adora Wong holds a Master of Music in Violin Performance from the University of Ottawa, and a Bachelor of Music from McGill University. She has toured with the Orchestra of the Americas, the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and completed apprenticeships with the National Academy Orchestra and the Institute for Orchestral Studies with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. She enjoys teaching, and was a Teaching Artist with Sistema New Brunswick for three years.
Lindsey Herle received her Master of Music degree from the University of Ottawa, and her Bachelor of Music from the University of Victoria, as well as a Performance Certificate from Mount Royal Conservatory. She was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada in 2012 and 2013, and a member of the National Academy Orchestra in 2018. She has also attended Orford Music Academy and Meadowmount School of Music. In 2013 Lindsey was selected along with several other NYOC alumni to participate in the Canada-India National Youth Orchestra.
Kevin Brohman holds a Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance from Wilfrid Laurier University, and has done post-graduate study in the Artist Diploma Program of the Glenn Gould School. Kevin was Timpanist of the Stratford Symphony Orchestra from 2016-2018, and has toured across Canada and to parts of Europe performing as a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. His primary teachers have been Dave Campion, Brennan Connolly and Charles Settle.
Christina is an accomplished pianist making her home in Toronto. Originally from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Christina discovered her love for the collaborative arts at the age of nine when she began playing for a local children’s chorus. In 2007 she earned a Bachelor of Music from Brandon University, and graduated from the Eastman School of Music with a Master of Music in 2009. Christina has held collaborative pianist positions at several major summer music programs, including Opera Nuova, the Rocky Mountain Summer Conservatory in Colorado, Canadian Operatic Arts Academy and the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy.
She is the music director and organist at Donway Covenant United as well as being an in demand collaborative and solo pianist. Christina works with a number of choirs and opera/theatre organizations, currently including the Pax Christi Chorale, Canadian Children’s Opera Company, Nathaniel Dett Chorale, and for the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s ‘Singsation’ series. Christina also performs frequently with instrumentalists, small ensembles and as a soloist, she has toured across North America and Great Britain and is featured in the Juno nominated sound track for Studio MDHR’s new video game, ‘Cuphead’. She and soprano Kyra Millan continue to tour their hit opera comedy show ‘Millan & Faye Present: The Opera!’ across Canada.
Education is also a vital part of Christina’s life, and she maintains a small studio of private students, coaches professional and amateur singers and has adjudicated for ORMTA. For several years, Christina has been on staff for the Candian Opera Company’s summer youth programing, and for TDSB music events.
When not at the piano, Christina is most likely to be found riding her horse, Rain, or experimenting with vegan baking!