Faculty Bios

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Ali Anderson

Alisa Anderson

Dip. Mus (Hon)

Guitar

Ali grew up in a very musical family and community, and has been playing and singing as long as she can remember. She formally started with piano lessons and choirs, adding french horn and guitar in high school. She went to Selkirk College where she graduated with honours from their Contemporary Music and Technology program in Guitar Performance. Ali has performed as a guitarist and vocalist in jazz and rock bands, and as a bassist in blues, hip-hop, and country bands. She has recorded for movies and television in Toronto, and worked as a studio musician and recording engineer on several projects. Now settling into Kelowna, Ali regularly sings with the Dreamland Big Band, sings and plays guitar with the Lake Country Big Band, and does occasional solo and duo jazz performances around town. Ali has taught music at schools in Toronto, Montreal and here in BC. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge and love of music, inspiring and encouraging her students to learn not only technical skills, but also theory, ear training and rhythm, so they may practically and expertly create and love their own musical path.
Website: alisaparker.ca

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Lucy Benwell

Lucy Benwell

Clarinet, Saxophone

Lucy has enjoyed a diverse musical career, spanning over 35 years. She studied Clarinet to ABRSM Grade 8 in England, adding saxophone and flute along the way. This has allowed her to work as a soloist and in ensemble with orchestras, concert bands, jazz bands, function bands and many musical theatre production companies.

Lucy has been teaching since 2009 and has prepared students for examinations, both for the ABRSM and the Royal Conservatory of Music. Lucy plays regularly with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, Okanagan Symphony Wind Ensemble, and Kelowna City Band, and also enjoys a variety of other musical projects thanks to the diversity her instruments offer. She has worked with local Kelowna school band teachers as a woodwind clinician, and thoroughly enjoys sharing her love of music with students of all ages and abilities.

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Joe Berarducci

Joe Berarducci

BMus, MA

Piano, Harmony, Theory, Counterpoint

Joe Berarducci frequently presents workshops nationally and internationally and is in constant demand from music educator groups. Berarducci has instructed at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Seattle Pacific University, University of Victoria, University of Lethbridge, Capilano College, Douglas College and School District #44 in North Vancouver, BC. He adjudicates music festivals throughout BC in piano, voice, choral and ensembles.

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Jessica Crawford

Jessica Crawford

ARCT, BA

Piano, Voice, Theory

Jessica Crawford has been teaching at KCMS since 2008. She completed her B.A. in Music (Piano and Voice) at the University of Alberta in 2007, studying under the tutelage of Dr. Milton Schlosser and Joy-Anne Murphy. In 2011 Jessica completed her ARCT (Practical Performers) in Piano. Currently, Jessica is working on completing her ARCT in Voice. She is a member of the B.C. Registered Music Teachers Association and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Jessica has accreditation from the Royal Conservatory of Music as an Advanced Specialist in Piano and an Intermediate Specialist in Theory.
Website: musickelowna.org

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Karmen Doucette

Karmen Doucette

BMus, MMus

Bassoon

Karmen Doucette holds a Bachelor of Music in Bassoon Performance from the University of Calgary and a Masters of Music in Bassoon Performance from Baylor University in Texas. After spending some time as an Artist-in-Residence at the Banff Centre, she also attained an Artist Diploma from the Glenn Gould School at the RCM in Toronto.

Karmen has a wealth of chamber and orchestral experience, and has performed with many professional orchestras, including the Waco Symphony Orchestra, Kamloops Symphony Orchestra, Red Deer Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and Calgary Opera. She is currently principal bassoon with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra.

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Evelyn Gisbrecht

Evelyn Gisbrecht

ARCT

Piano

Evelyn completed the Associate Diploma (ARCT) in Piano Performance with Distinction from the Royal Conservatory of Music. She also holds the Elementary Piano Pedagogy and Intermediate Piano Pedagogy certificates towards the Associate Diploma (ARCT) in Piano Pedagogy. Evelyn is active as a teacher, performer, and accompanist throughout the Okanagan Valley and has competed in competitions locally and provincially receiving many awards. At the BC Performing Arts Provincial Competition in May 2017, Evelyn was the Winner (gold medal) for Senior Canadian Piano. She was presented the Tom Cuff Scholarship for the most outstanding performance in all Canadian Piano Classes. Since 2011, Evelyn has had the privilege to instruct many students who have grown in their passion for music. While guiding each student on their individual musical journey and instructing them to reach their goals, Evelyn’s aspiration as a teacher is to give her students a life-long appreciation for music.

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Juanita Gomes

Juanita Gomes

Oboe

Juanita has been teaching oboe for over 10 years, and has been a regular musician of the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra for 11 years. She studied for 10 years under prior principle oboist, Walt Burton, of the OSO, where she worked through the RCM program and had the opportunity of working with several local professional groups during that time. Juanita has been a featured soloist on many occasions, and has also performed with the OSO, Prince George Symphony, Aura Chamber Choir, Okanagan Festival Singers baroque orchestra, wind ensembles, and many other local groups. She has also volunteered with the OSYO in the past, as well as the Kelowna Pops Orchestra, and KSS Night Owl Orchestra to work alongside students.

Juanita also went on to study and obtain her CPA, CGA designation. When she is not teaching and performing, she works as a Financial Controller in the local technology industry. Her diverse background in accounting and passion for numbers and organizational success led her to being past Treasurer of the Okanagan Symphony and past board member of the OSYO prior to its amalgamation with the OSO. Juanita is passionate in supporting the arts in every aspect and bringing that passion to her students.

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Jocelyn Hamm

Jocelyn Hamm

ARCT Piano, Theory

Piano, Theory

Jocelyn Hamm loves teaching Music! Starting at the age of 15 with a few piano students, her career has been flourishing ever since. After achieving her A.R.C.T. in Piano Performance, she completed her BA in Music/Education at Trinity Western University, in addition to several Suzuki training classes. Prior to moving to the Okanagan, she taught piano at the Chilliwack Academy of Music, as well as the Langley Community Music School, where she also taught a variety of group classes and Summer workshops. Since 2004, Jocelyn has continued teaching piano and an array of Music classes around Kelowna. She is passionate about Music Theory and is excited to teach at the Kelowna Community Music School.

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Gil Kafka

Gilbert Kafka

BMus, BEd

Guitar

Gil holds a B.Mus from the University of Toronto and B.Ed in Music from McGill University. He moved to the Okanagan in 2012 and is an on-call band teacher with SD23. Growing up in Montreal, Gil wrote and sang his own music and performed as a guitarist in a variety of groups playing Jazz, Rock, Country, Soul, aR&B, Reggae and more. Gil is proud to be a member of the KCMS faculty.

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Eeva-Maria Kopp

Eeva-Maria Kopp

Diploma in Opera singing, Bachelor of Voice Pedagogy,
MMus Music Ed.

Voice, Artistic Director

Eeva-Maria Kopp has been teaching voice and piano to both children and adults in a wide range of musical styles for over 20 years. She studied in her country of origin, Finland, and graduated with a Master's degree in Music Education, a Bachelor's degree in Voice Pedagogy, and a Diploma in Opera Singing. She is a prizewinner of several Finnish singing competitions. Eeva-Maria has worked as an opera soloist/recitalist at the most important Finnish opera companies and festivals, including the Finnish National Opera and Helsinki Festival, and after relocating to Canada in 2013, she has cooperated with such organizations as the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and Opera Kelowna. In addition to her work as a voice teacher and Artistic Director of the Kelowna Community Music School, Eeva-Maria is also the Artistic Director of Chamber Music Kelowna.

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Martin Krátký

Martin Krátký

BMus, MMus

Cello

Cellist Martin Krátký is a graduate of the University of Toronto and the Oberlin Conservatory, where he earned a Master’s Degree in historical performance. Immediately winning the principal position with the Saskatoon Symphony, he also completed two residencies at the Banff Centre and participated in numerous chamber music festivals across the continent. In 2009 he joined the Kamloops Symphony as principal cellist; two years later he won the assistant principal seat in the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra. Alongside performing, Martin’s teaching career has been incredibly rewarding; he is currently on faculty at the Kamloops Symphony Music School and the Kelowna Community Music School. In his spare time he tends his 60-acre property, as well as running competitively, often medalling in his age category in regional long-distance races.

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Caroline Mackay

Caroline Mackay

Celtic Harp, Harp Choir

Caroline is the Director of High Spirits Music Harps, and has performed in Europe, the US and New Zealand as well as across Canada. With six recordings featuring harp and voice, she has also published new curriculum for lever harp. She has been instructing Celtic Harp on Vancouver Island and in the Okanagan Valley for 15 years. Caroline teaches all ages of students, and directs the Okanagan Harp Orchestra. Her company provides harps of outstanding quality for rental and purchase.
Website: www.highspiritsmusic.com

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Laura R. Mireau

Laura R. Mireau

BSc (Music Minor), MSc, BEd

Youth Choir Conductor/Instructor

Singer, songwriter, teacher, actress Laura Mireau brings to the Okanagan a passion for all music, but especially choral music. She relocated to the Okanagan valley in 2006 after completing her Education degree at UBC in Vancouver focussed on Fine arts and Media. Since arriving, Laura has spent two years teaching music at Casorso Elementary. She grew up in Edmonton where she studied voice privately with Maurice Mireau and Kim Matice Wonat. During her tenure at the University of Alberta, either as academic staff, graduate or undergraduate student, Laura studied music theory, harmony, composition, singer's diction, choral conducting, advanced aural skills, and Orff and Kodaly methods. She also sang with Dr. Robert De Frece and the Greenwood Singers, the U of A Mixed Chorus, and with Dr. Leonard Ratzlaff and the Madrigal Singers. Laura has performed as a soloist and an ensemble singer with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Alberta Baroque Ensemble, the Alberta Ballet Company, and Beulah Alliance Church.
Website: Kelowna Youth Choir (KCMS)

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Christine Moore

Christine Moore

BA

Flute, Flute Choir Leader

Christine Moore performs in Penticton, Kelowna and Vernon as the Principal Flutist in the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra. Christine began studying flute performance in North Vancouver at the age of 12. Throughout her teens, she studied with Kathleen Rudolph of the Vancouver Symphony and CBC Radio Orchestras. As a young adult, Christine performed with Vancouver Youth Orchestra and Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra. She went on to study flute performance, psychology and history at Vancouver Community College and the University of Victoria, where she received her Bachelor of Arts. She also studied Orff-Schulwerk Music for Children at the University of British Columbia and apprenticed in Early Childhood Music at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. She continues to explore flute technique through masterclasses with world renowned flutists such as William Bennett and Lorna McGhee. In addition to her orchestral flute career, Christine enjoys working as a chamber musician and soloist. She feels passionate about the positive effects of music in the lives of people of all ages and abilities. She has been teaching all levels of flute to adults, teens and children for 20 years. Christine lives with her husband and two daughters in Kelowna and visits her parents in Penticton often. Her favourite hobbies include hiking with her dog, cycling and yoga.

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Sharon Pfenning

Sharon Pfenning

ARCT, Voice Teacher; LMus (Western Board); Early and Intermediate Piano Pedagogy Studies

Piano

Sharon has a rich musical background in voice, piano , choir and theory. Before moving to Kelowna, Sharon sang in Pro Coro Canada for eight years which is an internationally known professional chamber choir in Edmonton. There she began her teaching career as a voice instructor and maintained a successful teaching studio for ten years. Sharon has been teaching piano since 2009, specializing in elementary through intermediate levels. She continues her professional development in piano and advanced pedagogy studies with Joe Berarducci, having completed both elementary and intermediate qualifications.

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Ursula Pidgeon

Ursula Pidgeon

BMus, BCRMTA

Piano, Accompanying, Composition

Ursula Pidgeon received her Bachelor of Music degree from Queen's University, majoring in piano performance and oboe, and spent a summer at the Banff Centre, studying with Dr. Robin Wood. Other teachers have included Sophie Bristow, Kendall Taylor, Leslie Kinton, and Ireneus Zuk, through private lessons and masterclasses. After an extensive teaching, accompanying and chamber music career in Kingston and Ottawa, Ontario, Ursula and her family moved to West Kelowna in 2010. She throughly enjoys participating in the rich musical life here in the Okanagan. She teaches piano and composition at the Kelowna Community Music School, is accompanist for the Okanagan Festival Singers, Kelowna Community Chorus and the KCMS Youth Choir. Ursula is also a composer/singer/songwriter, nominated for a 2017 and 2019 GMA Canada Covenant Award. Many of her students have had success in KCMS Canada Music Week Composition competitions, including winner of the KCMS Lorna Paterson Award for best original composition of 2016. She enjoys mentoring students of all ages as they explore and develop their musical creativity!

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John Suderman

John Suderman

Violin, Suzuki Violin Talent Education, Viola, Cello, Bass, Chamber Music

John Suderman has wide experience as a music teacher, an artistic director, and as a professional performer. He teaches at the Penticton Academy of Music, and taught at the Prince George Music School (1984-2001). Suderman plays with the Okanagan Symphony, and was principal second violin/concertmaster with the Prince George Symphony Orchestra. He joined the Kelowna Community Music School Faculty in the summer of 2004.

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Stephanie Tritchew

Stephanie Tritchew

MMus, Diploma in Operatic Studies

Voice

Stephanie is a highly skilled soloist with an extensive performance career. She holds her Master of Music degree from University of Toronto and a Diploma in Operatic Studies. In addition, she is a certified voice teacher through the Ontario Music Teachers' Guild. Stephanie has a wonderful and caring personality and has taught both voice and piano for years at the Niagara Conservatory of Music and Plumb Pianos and Music School in London, Ontario.

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Graham Vink

Graham Vink

BMus, MMus, Piano Performance

Piano

Graham has a BMus with Distinction, Piano Performance and a MMus, Piano Performance from the University of Toronto. He has sat on the local board of the Kelowna Kiwanis Music Festival and Registered Music Teachers Association, and was Host Chairperson of the 2014 National Music Festival held in Kelowna. Graham is a concert reviewer for the Kelowna Daily Courier and The Capital News. He is an accomplished pianist who performs throughout the Okanagan as a soloist and collaborator.

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Olivia Walsh

Olivia Walsh

BMus

Cello, String Ensemble Instructor

Olivia Walsh has a Bachelor of Music in performance from the University of Alberta. She continued her studies in pedagogy and conducting internationally while working as a freelance chamber musician, conducting, and cello teacher in Edmonton. Olivia moved to Kelowna with her family in the spring of 2006, and has enjoyed being part of the musical community ever since. In addition to offering private cello lessons, Olvia co-directs the KCMS Junior and Senior String Ensembles.

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Tim Watson

Tim Watson

BMus

Trumpet

Tim Watson received a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance (Trumpet) from the University of Toronto. Following this he spent several years freelancing in Ontario, and two years as Musician in Residence with Sudbury Symphony, Laurentian University and Cambrian College in Sudbury as a performer/teacher/coach.

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Meaghan Williams

Meaghan Williams

BMus

Double Bass

Meaghan completed her undergraduate degree in performance at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto studying with virtuoso bassist Joel Quarrington. She went on to earn her Konzertexamen with Michael Wolf at the Universität der Künste in Berlin. Meaghan also attended the Carl-Flesch Akademie in Baden-Baden, Germany where she studied with double bass phenomenon Janne Saksala, Principal Bass of Berlin Philharmonic.

Following her studies, Meaghan performed with the Neue Lausitzer Philharmonie in Goerlitz, Germany and she was founding member of the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Symphony Orchestra in Japan. Since returning to Canada, Meaghan has performed with ensembles from coast to coast including the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Victoria Symphony, Turning Point Ensemble and the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra. Meaghan is the Principal Bass of the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra.

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Sandra Wilmot

Sandra Wilmot

Violin, String Ensemble Instructor

Kelowna violinist Sandra Wilmot is much in demand as a teacher, performer, and clinician. She has been teaching group and private violin classes since 2002 and many of her students play regularly with the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra (OSYO), and participate in the Kelowna Kiwanis Music Festival. She was an elementary school music teacher from 2006-2010, and currently coaches violin sectionals for the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra (OSYO) and co-directs the KCMS Junior and Senior String Ensembles. She is also a string faculty member at KISSM (Kamloops Interior Summer School of Music). Sandra works with various ensembles throughout the Okanagan as a professional freelance musician, and has been playing regularly with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra and Kamloops Symphony since 2001. She has performed with various other orchestras across Canada and has attended many prominent orchestral and early music training programs in Vancouver and Toronto. Sandra is also a pianist, arranger, and award winning composer.
Website: www.instantencore.com/sandrawilmot

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Elizabeth Wocks

Elizabeth Wocks

ARCT (Practical), Teachers College Certificate, Primary Specialist Certificate, Suzuki Certificate

Piano, Chamber Music

Elizabeth Wocks studied piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music and at Western Waterloo, where she received her ARCT (Practical). She is a graduate of Lakehead Teachers College and the Hamilton Teachers College. Elizabeth studied Suzuki piano pedagogy with Mme Haruko Kataoka. Elizabeth is accompanist for the Okanagan Festival Singers and the Kelowna Community Choir. She plays French Horn and piano with the Okanagan Symphony.

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