Southwestern Ontario Suzuki Institute Inc.

Student Institute Aug. 7–12 | Teacher Development Aug. 6–14, 2022 | In Person at WLU & Online

About Our Faculty

NORMAN ABBOTT, collaborative pianist (London, ON), is a freelance keyboardist, cellist, choral/orchestral director and music arranger. Educated in Victoria BC, Toronto and London ON, he holds his ARCT in piano and MM in cello (UWO). Norm is currently music director of Dundas Centre United Church (London), and on faculty of Young Artists Pre-college Academy (YAPCA, London), which together with Forest City Violins have showcased many of his arrangements for 3 or 4-part violin ensemble and piano.

His arranging renown extends to the UK and USA for choral, orchestral and chamber music genres. Recently he garnered acclaim for choral/orchestral settings of Canadian World War I songs showcased in Victoria BC April 2018. For 21 years, he co-operated with Edward Avey the Lake Huron Chamber Music Camp which had its origin in Muskoka. Norm is also an experienced string/keyboard festival adjudicator.

, piano (Waterloo, ON). Born in Moscow into a family of concert pianists, Anya Alexeyev started studying at the Gnessin Music School at the age of five, and in 1989 entered the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory to become a student of the renowned professor Dmitri Bashkirov. The following year she was awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London. While studying there, Anya Alexeyev won numerous prizes including Elizabeth, The Queen Mother's Award for “the most outstanding contribution to the Royal College of Music”, the First prize at the Newport International Piano Competition, Young Concert Artists Trust, and The Capital Radio/Anna Instone Memorial Prize.

Alexeyev has performed extensively in many countries across Europe (Britain, France, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Russia, Finland, Ireland, Greece, Germany and Macedonia), as well as in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Malaysia and South Africa.

She has performed many times in all of London’s major concert halls. Throughout her career she has also appeared as soloist in major international venues. She has performed concertos with numerous distinguished orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Moscow State Symphony, Vienna Chamber, The Philharmonia, Royal Scottish National, Deutschland Radio, City of Birmingham Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony and Sinfonietta, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, London Mozart Players, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, English Chamber, Belgian National Symphony and Quebec Symphony, collaborating with such conductors as Temirkanov, Simonov, Oramo, Bakels, Judd.
Alexeyev has an extensive solo repertoire, ranging from baroque to cutting edge contemporary music. As well, she has been a participant in many chamber music festivals in Europe and North America. She has recorded for EMI, Dutton Epoch, Toccata Classics, and Marquis Classics labels. Her performances have been broadcast by BBC Radio 3 (UK), GMTV (UK), CBC (Canada), Deutschland Radio, and numerous other radio stations around the world. In 1995, she premiered Paul McCartney’s first solo piano piece, A Leaf, which was later released on CD for EMI Classics.
Anya Alexeyev is currently a member of faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada.

MARY-MARGARET ANNAB, operetta assistant director (Toronto, ON), is a multi-disciplinary artist and youth arts educator. She holds a BFA in Theatre Production and English Literature from York University and a Masters in Arts Leadership from Queen's University. She has worked across the GTA and the UK as a performer, director, and youth arts educator, and has fond memories of her time as a SOSI camper. She's thrilled to be back as the Associate Director for the operetta this year! Select credits include: Arts Instructor with Innovative Arts, Ambition! PAC, Ovation! PAC, and J with a K Music; Director for Into the Woods (Leeds, UK); Associate Director for Pinnochio and Space Pirates (SOSI), Production Coordinator for Harbourfront Centre (Toronto), and Awesome Arts Coordinator for MASC (Ottawa).

PAULE BARSALOU, violin (Guelph, ON), holds a BM in performance from Laval University and an MM in performance and Suzuki pedagogy from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Paule has been teaching at the Suzuki String School of Guelph since 1989 and was artistic director of the school from 2004 to 2021. She is the coordinator of the SSSG long-term teacher training program. She has been a sanctioned Suzuki teacher trainer since 2003 and trained musicians in the Suzuki approach at institutes and workshops throughout Canada. She is also the co-founder, with Christie Zimmer, of Practice Notes, a reflective note-taking system for fostering independent learning in young musicians. She trains teachers across Canada and adjudicates at festivals throughout Ontario. She is the principal second violin of the Guelph Symphony Orchestra. Paule is a former director of the Southwestern Ontario Suzuki Institute, which she led from 1996 to 2009. She is highly committed to Dr. Suzuki's vision that every child can learn a musical instrument and should be taught in a way that nurtures the whole child and allows them to reach their full potential while acquiring healthy playing habits.

JULIA BOWDRING, violin (NS), is originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland, and moved to Nova Scotia in 2017. She is a violinist, fiddler, pianist, and accompanist and has performed in many locations worldwide including Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, New York City, Ireland, and London (UK). Julia holds a Bachelor of Music degree (classical piano) from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Masters degree from the University of Limerick, where she specialized in Irish Traditional Music Performance. As a music teacher, Julia worked with Suzuki Talent Education Program and King’s Bridge Montessori School in St. John's for many years as well as the Scotia Suzuki School of Music. She has taught in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Limerick, Ireland. Currently, Julia teaches in her home in the Annapolis Valley where she also has a small farm!

JUDY BOSSUAT-GALLIC, violin (CA), received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the Crane School of Music, State University College, Potsdam, New York, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1975. Bossuat-Gallic’s personal contact with Dr. Suzuki began in 1974 and continued through 1990, years after her graduation from the Matsumoto Talent Education Institute in 1978 and return to Japan in 1982 to do post-graduate work. She participated in 14 European conferences where Dr. Suzuki spent one week training teachers and a second week working with students from throughout Europe including the Lyon, France European Conference in 1983 that she organized.

Bossuat-Gallic’s teaching experience includes over 400 International Conferences, Institutes and Workshops all over the world. She was selected to lead over 3,000 students at the Suzuki World Conference final concerts in Turin, Italy (2006) and Matsumoto, Japan (2013).

Bossuat-Gallic has been teaching strings, conducting orchestras, and training teachers for 50 years, 16 of them at the “Ecole de Musique Suzuki” in Lyon, France. Many of her former students have attended prominent conservatories and are pursuing successful professional careers soloing as members of leading orchestras worldwide and teaching. She is especially known for her work training music teachers both for public school positions and private studio teaching.

JOSÉE DESJARDINS, piano (Ste Julie, WC) was raised in Kapuskasing, Ontario. She started piano lessons with Mrs. Rita Séguin at the age of 10. In 1986, Josée obtained an Honours Bachelor of Music with Distinction from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, where she studied piano with Marjorie and Garth Beckett. While finishing her Bachelor’s degree, Josée was initiated to the Suzuki Philosophy of music teaching and became engaged in a long-term Suzuki Teacher Training Apprenticeship with Gail Lange of Guelph, Ontario.

She has been teaching piano with the Suzuki Philosophy ever since. After moving to the Montreal area in 1991, Josée became actively involved in the local Suzuki music community. She now directs Institut Suzuki Montreal (ISM), which offers Suzuki piano and string students an exciting music-filled workshop every month of July. Josée currently resides in Ste-Julie, Québec. In 2011 she obtained a Diploma in Advanced Music Performance Studies from Concordia University in Montreal, where she studied piano with Gregory Chaverdian. She continues to study with Mr. Chaverdian.

DRAGAN DJERKIC, violin (Montreal, QC), is a graduate of McGill University, where he studied with Mauricio Fuks; he has taught at the McGill Conservatory of Music since 1980. In 1984, he established his own studio “Institute Suzuki”, and is a past co-director of the Summer Institute in Montreal. He has been teaching in various Institutes and workshops in North America and Europe. Presently, he is also teaching at Vanier College in Montreal.

SUSAN GAGNON, cello (Oakville, ON), is a registered teacher trainer with the Suzuki Association of the Americas, giving courses in Canada and the USA. She is also a core member of the Phil and Eli Taylor Academy for Young Artists at The Royal Conservatory of Music, teaching cellists and coaching string quartets. Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree with Honours in Performance from the University of Western Ontario. She studied with Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi and attended master classes at the Banff School of Fine Arts with Janos Starker and Aldo Parisot.

Susan teaches all levels and ages. She is in demand as a cello workshop and master class presenter. She is a member of the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators’ Association and has adjudicated festivals across Canada.

She has been played with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra from 1983-2019. She enjoys performing chamber music and has been a member of String Quartet Panache, the Toronto Arts Trio, and the Chrysalis Piano Quartet.

Several of the quartets that Susan has coached have won Provincial Finals, and Canadian Music Competition finals and been awarded the SOCMI scholarship to participate in events at the Banff String Quartet competition. Susan has been a regular faculty member at Music at Port Milford, an international summer music camp that teaches chamber music to teens, since 1995.

KEN GEE, collaborative pianist (Guelph, ON), is a classical pianist, born in Hamilton but happily living now in Guelph. He studied music at McMaster University, where he was awarded the McMaster Medal for the Creative and Performing Arts, and piano in Toronto with Boris Berlin. Ken was music critic for the Hamilton Spectator, manager for chamber music series and Ensemble Sir Ernest MacMillan, co-director of the Hamilton Kiwanis Music Festival, and a teacher at McMaster University, Sheridan College and Mohawk College. He developed classical piano music software for PG Music Inc., Victoria, and makes music and music text books for Frederick Harris Music Ltd. and the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

Ken has performed an impressive amount of string and piano chamber music, especially repertoire for violin & piano, cello & piano, and piano trio, quartet and quintet. He has also given many concerto performances with various orchestras, as well as solo piano recitals.

He is the pianist for Guelph Youth Singers, Suzuki String School of Guelph, and Suzuki summer Institutes in Waterloo and Montreal, and has also been a piano adjudicator, private teacher and chamber music coach. Until recently, he was chair of the Guelph Youth Music Centre where, among other initiatives, among other initiatives, he led the creation of the Guelph Youth Symphony Orchestra and (after an absence) is part of the Steering Committee. In 2008, he was the recipient of a City of Guelph Mayor’s Award. Ken is married to violinist wife, Paule Barsalou (former director of the Suzuki String School of Guelph).

Ken created and continues to be the sole organizer of Guelph Musicfest, which recently celebrated its 16th season.

AMBER GHENT, cello (Hamilton, ON). A versatile chamber and orchestral musician, Ms. Ghent has performed throughout North America with a wide range of ensembles including Tapestry New Opera, NUMUS contemporary music, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Orchestra London, and the Erie Philharmonic where she was assistant principal for two seasons. Amber has recorded for Eclectra and Artifact labels, and numerous CBC broadcasts. A member of the Madawaska Quartet since 2007, Amber has been privileged to perform both with the quartet and other esteemed colleagues at Koerner Hall, Perimeter Institute, Banff Centre, Wilfrid Laurier University, Kitchener Waterloo Chamber Music Society, and the Festival of the Sound in Parry Sound. Currently Amber is training to become a licensed Andover Educator, helping musicians to avoid injury and to play with ease. She is also a dedicated educator in demand as a clinician, adjudicator, and education consultant collaborating with composers in the development of new works for young cellists. Amber enjoys teaching at numerous summer festivals including Suzuki Institutes in Waterloo and Valhalla, as well as the Kincardine Summer Music Festival and Lakefield Music. Amber is on faculty at the Wilfrid Laurier String Academy and the Suzuki String School of Guelph.

ANNA HUGHES, violin (Guelph, ON), started out as a Suzuki student at the age of three in the Suzuki String School of Guelph. Tom Wermuth was her teacher throughout the majority of her years in the program. During these years she was a member of the Guelph and KW Youth Orchestras, and the Concorde String Ensemble of the Suzuki String School of Guelph. In her first year out of High school, Anna went on to the Orchestral Training Program at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto where she studied with Moshe Hammer. Anna’s orchestral training was enhanced by attending the National Youth Orchestra of Canada for two summers. The year following the Orchestral Training Program she started her Bachelor of Music Performance Degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She completed this degree having studied with David Updegraff, David Cerone and completing a year of Suzuki Pedagogy with Michele George. Anna has taught and done freelance work in Winnipeg, England, and throughout Southern Ontario, including being a tenured member of Niagara Symphony from 1996-2006, touring with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra in their 2008 season and being second violinist of the Walker String Quartet from 2016- 2019. She has also taught at Suzuki Institutes and Camps in Newfoundland, Alberta , British Columbia, Quebec, in the Yukon and Ontario. Currently, she teaches privately and at various Institutes and continues her freelance playing throughout Southern Ontario.

KATERINA JURASKOVA, cello (London, ON), holds Doctoral and Master’s degrees from McGill University, as well as degrees from Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal, Conservatoire européen de musique de Paris (France), the International Menuhin Music Academy (Switzerland), and the Prague Conservatory (Czech Republic). For 9 years she was the Principal Cellist and Soloist for l’Orchestre Classique de Montréal (formerly the McGill Chamber Orchestra). Other Principal Cello positions and solo appearances include La Pietà, Ensemble contemporain de Montréal, Montgomery (AL) Symphony Orchestra, and Camerata Lysy Gstaad (Switzerland). Her career as a soloist and a chamber musician has taken her to major concert venues on four continents. A certified Suzuki Cello Instructor she is currently on the faculty of Forest City String School in London, ON, and Suzuki Talent Education Program in Birmingham (AL). Dr. Juraskova has taught chamber music at the International Menuhin Music Academy, lectured at the University of Montreal, and served as an adjudicator for the 2010 National Tour of the Canadian Music Competition and for the 2015 Sherbrooke Music Competition in Québec, Canada. The 2021-2022 is her second season as a roster musician for Magisterra Soloists. She lives with her husband and son in London, ON.

JERZY KAPLANEK, violin (Waterloo, ON), was born in Poland and began his musical training at the age of 6 on piano and transitioned to the violin at age 10. He received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Conservatory in Bytom and a Master's Degree in Arts from the prestigious Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice. My teachers included distinguished artists Janusz Skramlik, Stanislaw Lewandowski and Aureli Blaszczok. Other teachers include Sylvia Rosenberg (NYC), Daniel Heifetz, Arnold Steinhardt, John Dalley, the Guarneri Quartet (University of Maryland), as well as the Fine Arts Quartet (Chamber Music Institute, Milwaukee).

Since joining the Penderecki Quartet in 1987, Jerzy has been actively performing with his colleagues throughout Canada, Europe, Asia and North and South America. Recent solo performances include recitals and appearances with the K-W and Peterborough Symphony Orchestras.

His solo recording, Music of Karol Szymanowski, was described by the Strad magazine as “an outstanding release”. Jerzy has also released over 2 dozen CDs (Marquis, Eclectra, CBC, CMC, EMI labels), including an acclaimed recording of the complete string quartets of Béla Bartók with the PSQ and Arnold Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire with the Blue Rider Ensemble.

Jerzy’s chamber music partners have included pianists Janina Fialkowska, Francine Kay, Vladimir Feltsman, Lev Natochenny, Jamie Parker, Stéphan Sylvestre, cellist Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, clarinetist James Campbell and others.

KAREN-MICHELE KIMMETT, violin (Roblin, ON), is a graduate of the University of Toronto , the Royal Conservatory of Music, and Ithaca College (Master of Music). She has taught at Seneca College, the Royal Conservatory of Music and in 1985 joined the faculty of the Institut Suzuki in Lyon, France.

From 1990-2001 she co-founded and directed the Institut Musical Suzuki Paris in Paris, France. In 1986, Ms. Kimmett studied with Dr. Suzuki in Matsumoto, Japan. A teacher trainer for both the SAA and the ESA, Ms Kimmett has taught workshops in numerous European countries as well as in Morocco, Canada, the United States, and St. Barthélemy in addition to long term teacher training courses in France, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

An Honorary Member of the European Suzuki Association and former Artistic Director of Canta Arya School for Strings in Kingston, ON, Ms. Kimmett is currently a member of the SAA Violin Committee and a founding member of Suzuki Music/Musique Canada.

In 2016, her Canta Arya students participated in the Performance Ensemble of Canada five city tour of China. As well, many past students have continued their violin performance studies at Canadian universities and abroad. As part of her life long interest in building community through music outreach programs, Ms.
Kimmett is the Project Lead of the innovative Providence Manor/ Canta Arya intergenerational music program

which was featured in the 2020 documentary: 'Resonance:Music Across the Ages’.
Karen-Michele Kimmett was a key note speaker at the 2015 Universality of Music Forum in Basel, Switzerland and was featured in the Ask the Expert column of the magazine ‘The Strad.’ An avid gardener, hiker and winter sports enthusiast, Ms. Kimmett has been a volunteer at the Kingston Humane Society and the Town of Greater Napanee Cultural Committee.

KATHLEEN KING MARTIN. piano & organ (Kitchener, ON), is originally from Indiana, where she received a B. A. in Music with emphasis in Piano Pedagogy from Goshen College, Indiana. Currently, she is the Director of Music and Organist at First United Church, Waterloo, and teaches piano at The Beckett School at Laurier, Waterloo, and at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate, Kitchener. She has had a wide and varied music career including teaching piano, organ, theory and voice privately; Director of Music at several churches in Waterloo, Goderich and Port Elgin; director of several community choirs such as the MacKay Choristers of Goderich, Goderich Area Youth Chorus, and the Saugeen Children's Choir; director of several handbell choirs and guest mass conductor at the Ontario Guild of English Handbell Ringers convention in 2001; teacher at Institut Biblique Lumière in Les Cayes, Haiti (MCC 1986-89). In 2007, Kathleen received the Associate degree from the Royal Canadian College of Organists and was awarded the Charles Peaker Prize for the second highest mark overall, and the Barker prize for the highest mark in the playing test portion of the exam. Kathleen lives in Kitchener and is delighted to participate in SOSI.

GAIL LANGE, piano (Guelph, ON). Canadian Suzuki piano teacher trainer, Gail Lange, has been training teachers in her Studio and at institutes/workshops since 1984. Gail studied in Japan with Dr. Suzuki and Haruko Kataoka and has observed lessons in the studios of the late Doris Koppelman and Bruce Anderson as well as master classes given by Menachem Pressler, Claude Franck and Leon Fleisher among others. Gail had an active Studio in Guelph until June 2017 and now focuses on working with Suzuki teachers. She has twice served on the Board of SAA, was Piano Coordinator for the 2008 Conference, Chair of Suzuki Association of Ontario and producer of the SAA Suzuki piano video Excellence from the Start (2018). At present, Gail co-coordinates monthly online sessions with SAA Piano Trainers, and is active on the Canadian e-Newsletter. In 2002, she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee Medal for her contributions to music education in Canada.

APRIL LOSEY, viola (CA) is a registered SAA Viola Teacher Trainer and maintains an active private studio in Redlands, California. April grew up as a Suzuki student in Alberta, Canada and has been an active Suzuki teacher for over twenty years. She has taken extensive teacher training in both violin and viola, continuing to be passionate about finding ways to inspire children to learn.

Ms. Losey holds a M.M. in Viola Performance from Arizona State University, a B.A. in Music and a B.S. in Communications (Public Relations) from Washington Adventist University and has studied privately with Donald McInnes. In addition to freelancing throughout the Los Angeles area, April is a member of the Redlands Symphony Orchestra and San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra. April directed the Los Angeles Suzuki Institute from 2015-2022.

In her spare time April makes handmade artisan jewelry and works on her historic house (which was built the same year Dr. Suzuki was born).

STEPHANIE MARA, collaborative pianist (Waterloo, ON), received an Associate Diploma in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor Degree in Piano Performance from Wilfrid Laurier University where she studied with Garth Beckett.

As a collaborative pianist and coach for Wilfrid Laurier University, Stephanie works with students majoring in brass, bassoon, clarinet and cello and has assisted in master classes with Alain Trudel, Dennis Najoom and James Campbell.

Her festival and series appearances include the Elora Festival, the Festival of the Sound, the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Barrie Colours of Music and Quad City Arts (USA).

ELEN MEYER, collaborative pianist (Toronto, ON), is one of Ontario’s most in-demand collaborative pianists. Possessing a large and varied repertoire, she has performed as a soloist and chamber musician across Canada and the USA (including Carnegie Hall), multiple times in Germany and most recently, Italy. Ellen has presented recitals with such notable musicians as Ricardo Morales, principal clarinettist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Julian Bliss, and was the official pianist for master classes conducted by Sabine Meyer and Karl Leister, amongst others. Ellen has been heard on upward of 15 CDs including Foliage and Twelve by the Moon-dial with Riverdale Ensemble, several with Cantores Celestes Women’s Choir and Mit Ausdruck with Ossia on historical keyboard . Ellen has been broadcast on CBC, CTV, MuchMusic, Bravo, TVO and WNED, and hopes one day to perform in Antarctica.

DOUG MURPHY, double bass, orchestra assistant (Ottawa, ON), lives in Ottawa, Ontario, and is a bassist and father of three Suzuki trained musicians (violin, viola and cello). His wife Marie Kusters has been a Suzuki violin teacher since 1986. He has led the bass sections of many orchestras for over 40 years, and also directs choirs. He has recently retired from a career as a civil engineer, and he is a promoter of the life-long benefits that music education can have in all facets of mental and physical development.
Doug’s has played with Suzuki ensembles since 1986 with his wife’s violin studio, and since 1990 in Suzuki Association of Ontario ensembles and at summer Institutes. He has been orchestral assistant and bassist for SOSI since 2002. His formal teacher training in the Suzuki Bass Method began in the fall of 2013 and he has been teaching since 2014. He is fully fluent in French and English.
Doug teaches private lessons and holds group classes from his home studio in Ottawa.

LAURA NERENBERG, violin (Ottawa, ON), is a Suzuki Violin, improvisation teacher and improvisation pedagogy coach for music students and teachers. Laura wants to make the world of classical music more imaginative by being a catalyst for students and teachers to develop their own unique creative voice.

Laura has worked with students and teachers from all over the world, including Canada, the US, the UK, Switzerland, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, India and Hong Kong. She traveled to Canada's North early in 2022 to teach improvisation to students and teachers in Whitehorse, Yukon.

Laura earned Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Violin Performance from the University of Ottawa and the Hartt School respectively. While at the Hartt School, she completed Suzuki Violin pedagogy training with Teri Einfeldt. Laura has continued to deepen her pedagogical studies through studies with many Suzuki, violin and creativity luminaries. As a Baroque violinist, Laura trained with members of the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and has performed in numerous Baroque chamber music and orchestral concerts.

Laura has also trained in Body Mapping and Alexander Technique to help her students develop and maintain a healthy physical and psychological relationship with their instrument.

Laura's improvisation pedagogy mentors are Alice K. Kanack and Dr. Sera Smolen. As an improviser, her studies with the late David Darling and at Ottawa JazzWorks were most influential. Additionally, Laura studied Jazz Piano and composition with Steve Boudreau.

A native of Montreal, Laura now lives in Ottawa where she performs chamber music, improvised music and jazz on her modern and Baroque violins. She is concertmaster of the Ottawa Jazz Orchestra and a founding member of Gatineau, Quebec's Ensemble Prisme. She forms a recital duo with a pianist/harpsichordist and founded the Triptych Piano Trio.

During the pandemic, she performed streamed solo, duo and jazz concerts and recorded several chamber works.

Laura's students play classical repertoire, as well as their own imaginative creations, world music, jazz, Blues and fiddle repertoire.

Laura is in demand as a guest clinician specializing in violin, chamber music and improvisation for students and improvisation pedagogy for teachers. Learn more at or get in touch

ARUN PAL, percussion (Kitchener, ON), is a multi-instrumentalist performer, composer, producer and recording studio engineer having worked as a professional live and a professional session drummer for dozens of established artists, being an collaborative pianist/ composer for many of the major modern dance companies in Canada (The Toronto Dance Theatre, Dance Theatre David Earle, The Danny Grossman Company, Robert Desrosiers, The Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre, and Coleman/Lemieux Company to mention a few), working on a weekly basis with Order of Canada recipient and modern dance icon David Earle (as well as being privileged to dance in his epic work Miserere) and recording and producing over 30 full-length released albums. As a lead vocalist, guitarist, keyboardist or drummer/ percussionist Arun has performed thousands of shows with the likes of people such as the late Matthew Osborne, snack!, Eccodek, Rebecca Campbell, Pat Skinner, Luke Doucet and Jackie Washington all the while frequenting venues such as CTV’s Canada AM, Ontario Place, Center in the Square, Festival of Friends, Hillside Festival, The River Run Center, Nashville, The Canada Summer Games and performing at the Prime Minister’s National Campaign, to mention a few. He has had the privilege of opening up for acts such as Moist, The Skydiggers, The Bourbon Tabernacle Choir, The Mahones and Fred Eaglesmith.

MARGARET PARKIN, violin (Oxford, UK), Canada native Margaret Parkin began her musical studies as a Suzuki violin student with Richard Lawrence at the age of 4. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance from Queen's University (Canada) and a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from McGill University where she studied under the direction of Iwan Edwards. She is a graduate of the British Suzuki Music Association holding an ESA Diploma of Suzuki Teaching for violin and has taken further teacher training for viola. In 2020 Margaret was appointed an ESA Violin Teacher Trainer, and she is the director of BSMA Violin Teacher Training in London (UK).

Margaret is the director of the Oxford Suzuki String Group where she maintains a private studio of violin and viola students. She has previously served as director of the Exeter Suzuki String Group, as a member of faculty at the Suzuki String School of Guelph, and director of the Guelph Youth Music Centre String Orchestras. She serves as chair of the BSMA Events Committee and is a regular guest clinician, speaker, and conductor at workshops and institutes in Canada, the UK, and Europe. Her most rewarding and challenging role is that of Suzuki parent to her inquisitive teenage son.

ROBERT RICHARDSON, JR., violin (Brandon, MB), a sessional faculty member at Brandon University, teaches and conducts at Suzuki workshops, Institutes and music festivals on a regular basis throughout North America and beyond. He has presented at the Suzuki Association of the Americas Teachers’ conference, leadership retreats and most recently at the European Suzuki Conference. Along with maintaining an extensive violin and viola studio in the Suzuki Talent Education Program at Brandon University’s Eckhardt-Grammatté Conservatory of Music, he also conducts string orchestras and coaches chamber music. Robert is a member of the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra and performs regularly on both violin and viola as well as in numerous chamber ensembles, including the Brandon Chamber Players of which he is a founding member. Mr. Richardson also teaches in the Community Schools Partnership Initiative (CSPI) Suzuki Strings Program, which is comprised of over 40 students. He has served on the board and on committees for the Manitoba Registered Music Teachers Association and the Festival of the Arts both locally and provincially and is happy to serve as assistant violin coordinator for SAA conference 2018.

MARION SAMUEL-STEVENS, operetta director (Rockwood, ON), has been described as an engaging, direct performer and actress. Her performances range from the intimacy of recital performance to the grandeur of opera. Equally comfortable on the operatic and concert stage, Marion is sought after for her subtle interpretations of text and character, as much as for her warm, supple and luminous voice. She is also a wonderful teacher, choir director, and is a conductor for Guelph Youth Singers.

KATIE SCHLAIKJER, cello (Waterloo, ON), received her Doctoral and Master’s degrees from Stony Brook University and Bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory with teachers Timothy Eddy and Laurence Lesser. She joined the Penderecki String Quartet and the faculty of WLU in 2013. She has performed throughout the United States, Canada, England, Australia and Israel and am a former member of the Colorado String Quartet (2009-2013). Performance venues with the Colorado Quartet included Symphony Space (NY) and The Kennedy Center along with cycles of the complete Beethoven and Bartok Quartets.

As a former member of the Avalon Quartet, Katie received top prizes from the Concert Artist Guild (NY), the 1999 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition and the 1998 Banff International String Quartet Competition. Recent solo engagements have included a premiere of J Mark Scearce’s cello concerto Aracana and Haydn’s D major cello concerto with the Wuhan Symphony Orchestra in China. She has performed at the Ravinia, Tanglewood, Aspen and Caramoor festivals, collaborated with Claude Frank, Roger Tapping and Peter Wiley and recorded for Albany Records.

Katie taught cello at the University of Connecticut from 2010-2013 while maintaining a private teaching studio in Stony Brook, NY for 7 years. She also taught cello at the Hartt Music School, Bard Conservatory's Preparatory music program, coached chamber music at New England Conservatory's Extension Division, Stony Brook University’s pre-college program, and at the Colorado Quartet’s intensive summer quartet institute, Soundfest. For recorded live performances and more information, visit

GENEVIÈVE SCHIRM-JOYCE, cello (Waterloo, ON), began her Suzuki journey at the age of 2 with Suzuki cello teacher Jo-Anne Goyder in Waterloo, Ontario. After her formative years of study, including summers at SOSI, Geneviève attended Wilfrid Laurier University, where she studied with renowned cellist Paul Pulford, and obtained an Honours Bachelor of Music, a Bachelor of Arts in French, and a Diploma in Chamber Music. Geneviève went on to study with Carol Tarr at the University of Denver where she received her Master of Music Degree in Suzuki Pedagogy in June 2009.
Geneviève currently performs as principal cellist for the Cambridge Symphony and Waterloo Chamber Players, as well as cellist for the Quinten Quartet. She is a founding teacher and director at Suzuki Talent Education of Waterloo.
Geneviève lives in Waterloo, Ontario, where she enjoys instructing aquacise at the YMCA when she isn’t teaching or running, and is a co-Suzuki parent with her husband Marc to her two sons and

cello (ON). With her masterful skills as an extraordinary cellist merging with the intuition of a gifted creator, Margaret Maria is a unique and exciting new voice in the world of music. Her talents have been described by her colleagues as, ‘an unstoppable force of nature - seamless in its complete unification of technical and subconscious realms’, making Margaret Maria’s music one of a kind and mystifying in its process and creation. The majority of her music has burst forth with full force since 2015, making her ascent as a composer even more remarkable.

‘With a kind of synesthesia, I take in the energy waves of a moment in time, an event, poem, or concept, expand its emotions within me and then coat it in musical notes that are imbued with that emotion and send it back out into the world as music. It is my voice making a statement on what it means to be a spirit in a human form living in this world today; from our darkest instincts to our lightest facets, reflected through my music.’ - Margaret Maria

A graduate of the prestigious Curtis Institute if Music, Margaret Maria’s career has seen her play on many stages as a seasoned solo and chamber musical performer and in professional orchestras across Canada. Her later in life transition into composition has seen her music placed in film and tv and performed on the concert stage (including the SOSI Cello Ensemble!!).

During her entire career, Margaret Maria has been passionate about teaching and sharing her voice with youth. She is a Suzuki Cello teacher with a studio in Ottawa and Toronto and is the co-founder of OrKidstra in Ottawa where she conducts the kids and also spearheads their KidComposers and Improv Explorer programs.

To learn more please visit: and you can find Margaret Maria’s music on all streaming services worldwide.

MYRA YEUNG violin/viola (Toronto, ON), is on faculty at Etobicoke Suzuki Music (Co-Director). She is a past faculty member of programs in Canada and the USA and has served as adjudicator and guest clinician for many years. Achievements by her students include top awards. She currently sits on the Suzuki Association of Ontario Board of Directors. Myra earned her DMA in Viola Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she won the Viola Concerto Competition. She presented her doctoral project at the 45th International Viola Congress in the Netherlands in 2018. Myra is a proponent of lifelong learning and has extensive experience in volunteer and leadership roles within local community children's and youth programs. Her hometown is Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she grew up as a "Suzuki kid" learning viola from Joanne Martin. Myra won numerous competitions and awards for viola, piano, and chamber music during her formative years. She credits her music teachers for instilling in her a wholehearted joy of teaching with excellence.