Currently principal horn of the Central Band of the Royal Canadian Airforce, Natalie Alcorn has called Ottawa home for the past two years. Prior to this appointment, she held the same position for the Stadacona Band of the Royal Canadian Navy in Halifax. As a military member, she has performed for many heads of state including our own Prime Minister on many occasions. Internationally she has toured Scotland, France, and most recently Belgium to play for the head of NATO.
Among other ensembles throughout North America, Natalie has performed with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia and was a founding member of educational outreach ensembles - Discovery Ensemble Chamber Orchestra and Nova Brass Quintet while living in Boston. She has worked as a teacher, clinician and adjudicator throughout eastern Canada and has been a featured soloist at such festivals as Pontiac Enchanté.
Natalie holds a Bachelor of Music from McGill University where she studied with Denys Derome and John Zirbel, and was in the studio of James Sommerville at the New England Conservatory, where she completed a Masters in Music Performance.
Janet Anderson is a member of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra. As an active freelance horn player she has performed with the National Ballet of Canada, the Esprit Orchestra, the Hannaford Street Silver Band and the Juno Award-winning Rex Hotel Jazz Orchestra. Janet maintains a private teaching studio and is on the faculty of the National Music Camp of Canada. She earned her Bachelor of Music at McGill University.
Michelle Ash is a trumpet player currently calling Ottawa, Ontario home. Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Michelle grew up playing in Salvation Army Brass Bands. In 2003, Michelle left the East Coast to study at the University of Western Ontario, where she completed a Bachelor of Music, as well as an Artist Diploma in Trumpet Performance. Since moving to Ottawa in 2009, Michelle has been a member of The Central Band of the Canadian Armed Forces, a professional military wind ensemble.
Stationed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Emily became a full-time musician with the Stadacona Band of the Royal Canadian Navy in 2017. A member of the Canadian Armed Forces since 2011, she has had many opportunities both in Canada and overseas such as The Changing of The Guard ceremony on Parliament Hill, The Bermuda Tattoo, and The Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, Belgium as the first female Canadian to participate in the Last Post Ceremony. Emily has performed with various orchestras such as the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, the National Academy Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Emily‘s formal training includes a Bachelor of Music with honours in Music Education from the University of Western Ontario and a Masters of Music in performance at the University of Ottawa.
A native of Toronto, Jessie completed her undergraduate degree at McGill University in 1999, while studying with James Sommerville. She went on to complete her Master of Music degree at the University of Illinois. She held the position of Third Horn in the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra from 2011-2017 and prior to that, she held the position of Principal Horn with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra 2003-2009. Jessie was thrilled to join the National Ballet of Canada as well as the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra as Principal Horn in 2016. She lives with her husband Philip and their three kids in Toronto.
Recently named 4th Horn with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (OSM), Nadia Côté first studied with Michel Gingras at the Conservatoire in Chicoutimi and John Zirbel at McGill University in Montreal. She also took part in masterclasses in Germany with Johannes Ritkowsky and Wolfgang Wipfler. As a freelancer, she was active for nearly 25 years with various orchestras including OSM, Orchestre Métropolitain and Les Violons du Roy. She also performed as soloist with I Musici de Montréal. Nadia Côté has previously held the 4th Horn position with Orchestre Métropolitain and the Windsor Symphony, as well as Principal Horn with the Shanghai Symphony in China. She is currently a teacher at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal and Schulich School of Music at McGill University.
Marie-Sonja Cotineau joins the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony after performing and teaching for several years in Fort Worth, Texas. Formerly 4th horn of the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra, she has performed regularly with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and the Dallas Opera among many other orchestras across Canada and the United States.
A native of Montreal, Marie-Sonja holds a Master’s degree in horn performance from McGill University where she was a student of John Zirbel. Prior to that, she studied at Conservatoire de Musique de Québec with Julie-Anne Drolet, and Guy Carmichael. She has been a fellow of the Aspen Music Festival, the Spoleto USA Music Festival, the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and the Youth Orchestra of the Americas. She has also studied with David Cooper, principal horn of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
Vanessa Fralick joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as Associate Principal Trombone in 2013. Prior to her current position, Ms. Fralick played three seasons as Acting Associate Principal Trombone of the St. Louis Symphony. She won her first orchestral position with the San Antonio Symphony in 2009, while pursuing her Master’s degree at Juilliard. Ms. Fralick completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, studying with Jeffrey Hall and Gordon Wolfe, and also spent one year at McGill University. She has performed with major orchestras in the Netherlands, San Francisco, Montreal, Boston, Malaysia, Utah, and Jacksonville. She played two summers in the prestigious Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland. An active educator, Vanessa is on faculty at the University of Toronto, the National Music Camp of Canada, and is the brass coach of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Trumpeter Luise Heyerhoff is an active presence in the music scene in Toronto and southern Ontario. She regularly performs with groups such as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, and Hamilton Philharmonic. In the fall of 2016, Luise performed as part of Adele's North American tour in Montreal and Toronto. She has also performed with the Hamilton-based band The Arkells at the Juno Awards. Luise attended The Boston Conservatory receiving a Graduate Performance Diploma and a Performance Certificate in Orchestral Studies. She completed a Performance Diploma at the Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music.
As the first Canadian euphoniumist to study at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), Carina Lam attained her Master’s degree in Euphonium Performance under the tutelage of world-renowned soloist, Steven Mead. Carina completed her Honours Bachelor degree in Music Education at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, after which she received a Bachelor in Education at the University of Toronto and became a certified teacher. She has been a member in the Band of the Ceremonial Guard and the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, where she performed for notable figures such as Her Majesty the Queen, the Emperor of Japan, and the Prime Minister of Canada.
While deciding to specialize in music education, performance remained a major priority for Carina and she decided to pursue a Masters at the RNCM to explore the diversity of music that the brass band world has to offer in the United Kingdom. Carina strives to continue to develop as a musician and to share her passion for music with others. During the course of her time in Manchester, Carina has performed in several ensembles including the Fairey Brass Band, Pemberton Old Wigan Brass Band, and the Lancashire Artillery Brass Quintet and Wind Band. While at the RNCM, Carina won the Terence Nagle Prize in the RNCM Solo Competition performing a piece that she commissioned, which was published shortly after it was premiered. She presented at the International Women’s Brass Conference (IWBC) in 2017 and has been featured as a soloist in the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (RHLI) Band, the Hamilton Wind Orchestra, the Wilfrid Laurier University Wind Orchestra, Pemberton Old Wigan Brass Band, and Weston Silver Brass Band. Currently, Carina performs throughout the Greater Toronto Area, as a member of the Euba Quartet, the RHLI Band, and the Hannaford Street Silver Band. Carina is a Buffet Crampon/Besson Artist as well as a LeFreQue Artist.
Isabelle Lavoie is an active freelance bass trombonist and educator based in Toronto, Canada. She has performed with many orchestras including those of the Canadian Opera Company, Winnipeg Symphony, Toronto Symphony, National Ballet of Canada, and the Macao Orchestra in Asia. She is also a member of the Monarch Brass, an all-female brass ensemble based in the US.
Isabelle was appointed Principal Trombone with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra for the 2016-2017 season and held a contract lecturer position at Lakehead University teaching trombone for the year. She was also featured as a guest soloist and clinician at the 2017 International Trombone Festival in Redlands, CA.
Ms. Lavoie recently graduated from The Global Leaders Program, an initiative of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas. This nine-month professional development course for musicians granted her a certificate in Civic Leadership, Teaching Artistry, Cultural Agency and Social Entrepreneurship.
After receiving a Bachelor of Music from the University of Montreal, where she studied with Albert Devito, Isabelle completed an Artist Diploma at The Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, under the tutelage of Jeffrey Hall and Gordon Wolfe.
Canadian percussionist and educator Nicola Loghrin is a member of the H.M.C.S. YORK Naval Reserve band and is an active freelance musician in the Greater Toronto Area. As a freelance musician, Nicola has played with a number of ensembles across Toronto including the Greater Toronto Philharmonic, The Harmonic Orchestra of Canada and the Toronto Artillery Foundation Band. Her career as a musician in the Armed Forces has taken her across Canada with performances in Halifax, Victoria, Montreal, Calgary and Quebec City.
Nicola is a graduate of the University of Toronto’s Percussion Performance Program where she studied under John Rudolph of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Canadian Marimba Soloist Beverly Johnston and Percussion Soloist Aiyun Huang.
As an educator, Nicola runs her own private percussion studio and has worked as a music instructor at the Canadian Forces School of Music in Borden Ontario.
Originally from Brandon, Manitoba, Laurie is currently Assistant Principal/Third Horn with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. She began her professional career in 1978 as second horn of the Atlantic Symphony, and has been a member of the CPO since 1983.
Laurie received a Bachelor of Music Degree with Distinction in Performance at Brandon University, and later continued her studies in Chicago, Banff, and Arizona. Some of her teachers have included, William Gordon, Dale Clevenger, and Thomas Bacon.
In addition to her orchestral duties, Laurie is a passionate teacher and believes that all can achieve their goals and dreams with proper guidance, inspiration, and support. She conducts workshops and clinics and is teacher of horn at the University of Calgary, and Mount Royal University Conservatory, where she is also Artistic Director of the Academy and Advanced Performance Program - a program specifically designed for students who wish to work on their Performance skills and self-confidence.
In her downtime, Laurie enjoys camping, cooking, gardening, and spending quality time with family.
Anita McAlister received a BMUS in Performance from the University of Toronto and a MMus in Solo Performance and Literature from the University of Western Ontario. An active freelancer in the Toronto area, Anita has an interesting and varied career performing with the Toronto Symphony, the National Ballet Orchestra and the Canadian Opera Company. Anita is a member of the Esprit Orchestra, the ARRAYMUSIC Ensemble and the Hannaford Street Silver Band, and has been a contracted member of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and the Stratford Festival. She has toured as Principal Trumpet of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Orchestra, and performed with a number of theatre productions such as Phantom of the Opera. As a student, Anita studied with the Canadian Brass in Banff and went on to be a member of the Great Lakes Brass Quintet, the Composers Brass, and for many years performed with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Brass Quintet. As a soloist, Anita won the National Competitive Festival of Music at age 18, and has since performed as a soloist with a number of orchestras and in recital. Anita has taught at Interprovincial Music Camp, the Scarborough Board of Education Music Camp, the Mount Allison Summer Music Program, and is on faculty at the National Music Camp of Canada. Anita is an active adjudicator and clinician, has taught for the Royal Conservatory, was on trumpet faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University for 11 years, and is presently on Faculty at the University of Toronto, teaching trumpet, coaching chamber music and teaching music education classes. Dedicated to the development of brass education, Anita is the Director of the Hannaford Youth Program and conducts the Junior, Community and Youth Bands.
Lucy Nesbitt is a third year Horn Performance major at the University of Toronto. She has been playing the horn since she was 11 years old and has been in orchestras, theatre and wind bands ever since. She is a current member of the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, an alum of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra and regularly performs with community orchestras and various musical projects in the GTA. In her free time, she teaches horn and piano to students in Toronto as well as in her hometown, Orono.
Trombonist Jan Owens has performed extensively as a freelance orchestral and chamber musician both in Canada and the United States. She has appeared with the Hamilton Philharmonic, Canadian Opera Company, National Ballet, and many others. She is a member of the Stratford Festival Orchestra, and has played in several musical theatre productions both at Stratford and in Toronto. Prior to moving to Toronto, Jan travelled throughout the United States as a member of the Monumental Brass Quintet, performing on 13 tours for the Columbia Artists’ Community Concerts Series. She served as Chair of the Wind and Brass Department at the Levine School of Music in Washington DC, as well as teaching low brass and coaching brass chamber music at the Peabody Conservatory, Preparatory Division. She can be heard on the cast recordings for Evangeline (Charlottetown Festival) and Carousel (Stratford Festival).
Originally from Yellowknife, NT, Jennifer Stephen pursued her studies in Tuba Performance at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Bowling Green State University, and is a graduate of the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Jennifer currently resides in Toronto where she maintains a busy freelance and teaching career. As an active orchestral and chamber musician, Jennifer can be seen performing with groups such as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, The Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, The National Ballet Orchestra, The Hannaford Street Silver Band, Esprit Orchestra and the Hamilton Philharmonic, among others. She is on faculty at the National Music Camp of Canada and the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Cathy Stone is a freelance trombonist who has performed with a wide range of music ensembles in southwestern Ontario, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the National Ballet Orchestra, Hamilton Philharmonic, Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Hannaford Street Silver Band and the Stratford Festival Orchestra, as well as the GTA Swing Band and Pricilla Wright’s All-Girl Big Band. Cathy was previously a tenured member of the Albany Symphony Orchestra in New York State. She is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Toronto, and lives in Toronto with her two teen boys.
Raised in a musical family, Toronto-born Rachel Thomas graduated from the University of Toronto as a student of Gordon Sweeney. After being awarded a Canada Council grant to study with Joseph Alessi in New York City, she joined the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony as second trombone, where she just celebrated her 25 th season. Rachel was a regular extra with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for over twenty years, including two tours to Europe, several to Carnegie Hall, and two Finlandia recordings. Rachel has also performed with the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra as Acting Principal Trombone and has enjoyed a busy freelance career. She brings energy and enthusiasm to her teaching studio at Wilfrid Laurier University where she’s been on faculty since 2002.
Michelle Wylie is originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, and moved to Toronto to complete her Trumpet Performance degree at the University of Toronto, and Artist Diploma at The Glenn Gould Studio of the Royal Conservatory of Music. Along with teaching an enthusiastic studio of trumpet and piano students, Michelle plays regularly with the Hannaford Street Silver Band, Canadian Opera Company, Esprit Orchestra, and Weston Silver Band
Euba is a rarity in the Canadian chamber music world. As one of the only tuba quartets in the country, they offer something completely different from more standard ensembles. Euba plays a wide variety of repertoire including contemporary compositions and classical favourites adapted to fit their instrumentation. Their engaging performances include interesting and informative dialogue about their unique instruments and some of the music they play.
The musicians at the back of the orchestra provide the foundation for the ensemble, playing a supporting role that usually doesn’t attract much notice. Euba brings these talented musicians out from the back of the ensemble and into the spotlight. Audiences who have never heard low brass out of the normal setting are often surprised by just how melodic tubas can be. Their musicality and rich full sound truly make these instruments sing.