Violin/SECE, Scotia Suzuki School Director/ Founder, Creator of the Suzuki Practicing Academy digital course Christy has her Bachelor of Music Education from Acadia University where she studied violin from Edmund Agopian. Christy has received Suzuki training from Ronda Cole, Pat D’Ercole, Sherry Cadow, Dorthy Jones, Charles Krigbaum, and Martha Shackford. She is the Founder and Director of the Scotia Suzuki School of Music, the Nova Scotia Youth Ambassadors (performance group), and the Suzuki Practicing Academy. With three recordings and 8 years as the lead in the Celtic conference band Lochaber, She is experienced in performing. Christy has built with a wonderful team of Suzuki instructors an incredible Suzuki community of high-level musicians and has brought music into families' homes and children's lives in Halifax....even extending from Bridgewater to Windsor and to New Glasgow. Christy, also known as "the Practicing Pro", created the Suzuki Practicing Academy, a digital course, to help and support parents and teachers all over the world to have effective, positive and FUN home music practices!
Musical Theatre/Dance/SECE Born and raised in Mesa, Arizona, Caleb is currently finishing his last year at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He will be graduating with his BA in Latin American Studies with a minor in Global Business and Literacy. He has been training as a performer and has performed in various musicals in the states for the past 14 years. He is a singer/dancer and served as the Student Director of the BYU Young Ambassadors and just his finished international tour with them of “Welcome Home” performing across the United States and Brazil. He served as an LDS performing mission in Nauvoo, Illinois in 2010. He toured with the cast of the Young Ambassadors to Northern California and Nauvoo, IL in 2015. He has been a Swing Dance and Hip-Hop instructor in various studios in Arizona and Utah since 2012 and has also worked as a collegiate choreographer for various musical productions.
Elsa (Hodder) Allred
Musical Theatre/Dance/SECE From Halifax, Nova Scotia, Elsa has been training and performing in music, dance, and theatre since a very young age. She is a Trained Vocal Instructor from New York Vocal Coaching under Justin Stoney in New York City. She is a Suzuki Early Childhood Education teacher trained in both level one and two by the program creators, Sharon Jones and Dorothy Jones. Elsa has a Professional Dance Diploma from the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts. She performed as a lead dancer and singer with the Brigham Young University’s Young Ambassadors on their international tour of “Welcome Home” performing across the United States and Brazil. Winning a Repy Award for her role as Louise in Carousel with Utah Repertory Theatre and performing lead roles in over a dozen musicals, Elsa is very passionate about performing and helping her students to experience the joy that can come from lifting and inspiring others through their performances. Elsa has studied Shakespeare and Contemporary theatre in London, England and acting from numerous instructors and professors including Tim Threlfall and Amy Jenson. She has competed in countless dance and musical theater competitions over the years. In 2015, she represented Nova Scotia at CANdance Competition at the International championship level, ranking her as an overall title soloist winner. Elsa has training at schools such as The National Ballet of Canada, Boston Ballet School and Ballet West. Elsa’s passion and experience in the arts is not limited to performing. With this experience and training, Elsa has taught music, dance and theatre classes for years as well as choreographed for many productions. She is passionate about bringing current, healthy and technical voice education to her students in Nova Scotia so they can sing and master any style and have vocal strength and longevity!
Flute Amelia began playing the flute at age six in Dartmouth, where she studied privately with Sandra Britten. From a young age, Amelia competed yearly in the Nova Scotia Kiwanis Music Festival, and later became a member of the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra. Amelia holds a Bachelor's degree in Flute Performance from Brigham Young University where she studied with Dr. April Clayton, and she began her Masters degree at Mcgill University in September 2019. Amelia is currently finishing up her degree online, studying with Albert Brouwer, associate principal of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Amelia has received several music awards and distinctions for her playing and has won many concerto competitions, including the Brigham Young University and Utah Music Teachers Association Competitions. She was recently named one of four finalists for the International San Diego Flute Guild Competition, which unfortunately could not move forward due to Covid 19 restrictions. Amelia’s repertoire spans from solo, chamber and orchestral works. She has been a member of the BYU Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestras as well as the McGill Symphony Orchestra, and she has worked with notable flutists around Canada, the USA and Europe. Amelia is currently residing in Cole Harbour, while completing her Masters. Amelia is excited to work with young flutists in Nova Scotia at the Suzuki School!
Step dance / Adult Ensembles
Raquel was born in Brazil and began her musical studies when she was 8 years old. Her father was always very fond of classical music and had the dream that his children would love music and learn to play a musical instrument. At age 11 she enrolled at the music college (Music School of Brasilia) and began studying the cello. That allowed her to continue with private lessons for piano and, at the same time, have greater musical experience participating in choirs, youth orchestras, and chamber music. At the age of 18, she attended Brasilia’s University and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in music. After graduation, she taught piano and theory at several music schools in Brazil and organized choirs in churches and schools as a conductor or pianist. She moved to Halifax in 2019. Ms. Raquel has loved her Suzuki Piano training and is excited to join the Scotia Suzuki School.
Cello Having pursued the study of cello since his early childhood, Thomas Gadd's aim is to make cello education accessible to anyone who wants it. Thomas received his teacher training up to level 5 from Susan Gagnon, Barbara Wampner, and Annette Costanzi. He graduated with his Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Ministries from Millar College of the Bible in Southwest Saskatchewan, where he kindled his passion for exploring the use of cello in various alternative genres, including rock, folk, and jazz. Thomas most recently studied with Simon Fryer, and has also received instruction in the form of master classes and private lessons from various cellists, including Arnold Choi, Paul Widner, Thomas Wiebe, Paul Marleyn, Mark Summer, and Gerard Le Feuvre.
Violin/Senior Repertoire Class Karen Langille has been a full-time member of Symphony Nova Scotia since 1985 and is currently concertmaster of the Charlottetown Summer Festival Orchestra in Prince Edward Island. A graduate of McGill University, Karen pursued studies in both modern and baroque violin. She is a founding member of both Réjouissance and Tempest, two Nova Scotian ensembles specializing in early music performance on period instruments, and has recorded for CBC Radio 2 both locally and nationally. Karen has more than 30 years of teaching experience and has taught all levels of students – from beginning students through to adult. She is a member of the NSRMTA and has Suzuki training from institutes in Montreal and Ithaca, NY.
Piano / Cello Priscilla sent January 21 at 7:16 PM Originally from Brampton, Ontario, Priscilla Lee began playing piano at age five. At twelve years old, she reached RCM level 10 and was actively performing in various competitions and festivals in Ontario and Manitoba. Her musical talent soon caught the eye of many including Klara Bookbinder who became a notable influence as her mentor and piano teacher. During her studies with Bookbinder, Priscilla developed a passion for music composition. She collaborated with Patrick Wu in creating a composition for Nocturne Festival. Priscilla Lee is in her fourth year of Bachelors at Dalhousie Fountain School of Performing Arts, studying cello. She has completed Royal Conservatory of Music and Suzuki Education certifi cations for cello and piano. As a soloist, she has performed with the Dalhousie Symphony Orchestra and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Priscilla is the recent and youngest winner of the Symphony Nova Scotia Apprenticeship position and currently the principal cellist of Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra and Dalhousie Symphony Orchestra. She is enthusiastic about teaching music and early childhood education. As a teacher, her passion lies not only in helping people develop beautiful tone but beautiful hearts.
Violin Born in Guelph, Ontario, Lydia Lee is part of a musical family of nine. She began learning piano at age three and picked up violin at age seven in Brandon, Manitoba. Lydia also started exploring other musical instruments such as the viola, ukulele and Chinese erhu, but fell in love with the violin the most due to the rich and elegant sound. On violin, she has participated in numerous music festivals, Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra, and chamber groups including Trillium Duo. Lydia is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce at Saint Mary’s University. As a former Suzuki graduate, Lydia believes that music should be part of every person’s life as she has experienced the joy it brought her and her family growing up. She has completed Suzuki violin training book 1 and 2 giving her the thrill to be able to share the art of music with others!
Violin/Viola Elizabeth was the violist for the Center for New Music Ensemble and performed with multiple symphony orchestras in the Midwest region, including the Quad City Symphony Orchestra and the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra. She completed her Suzuki teacher training under Joanne Bath at East Carolina University, and has taught at the Fairview Elementary School Violin Project in Bloomington, IN, the Preucil School of Music in Iowa City, IA and the Center for Young Musicians in Pittsburgh, PA. Elizabeth is currently working towards her Doctor of Musical Arts in Viola Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Iowa (ABD). She completed her Master of Music in Viola Performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she performed as Principal and Co-Principal of the IU Chamber and University Orchestras and received her Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from East Carolina University.
Violin/Viola Leonardo Perez has taught violin and viola at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) and was the Orchestra Director of the IUP Symphony Orchestra. He will be joining the faculty at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia as Lecturer of Violin/Viola and Head of Strings beginning in the fall of 2018. Leonardo has performed with orchestras throughout the United States such as the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra, Quad City Symphony Orchestra and Evansville Philharmonic. An active and dedicated teacher, he is certified in Suzuki books 1-10 and taught for three years in the public-school system in Snow Hill, North Carolina through the Greene County Suzuki Association. Leonardo received his Bachelor of Music degree from East Carolina University. He holds a Master of Music degree in Violin Performance from the University of Southern California, and a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting from East Carolina University with doctoral studies at the University of Iowa.
Megan (Bain) Singer
Violin/Viola Megan is from Halifax, Nova Scotia. She began studying the violin in the Suzuki Method at the age four with Yvonne DeRoller. She continued her violin studies with George Maxman, Anne Rapson and Philippe Djokic. She spent two years of violin study at the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Linda Cerone and David Updegraff. Megan then returned to Halifax, where she graduated from Dalhousie University in 2003 with combined BSC honours in Neuroscience and Music, studying the viola with Professor Philippe Djokic. Megan then traveled west to continue her viola studies with David Harding at the University of British Columbia, where she graduated with a Masters in Music in 2007. She then went to Calgary to play in the viola section of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. Megan returned to Halifax in 2019. She enjoys being outside, loves biking, running, swimming, gardening and spending time with her family; husband Jarvis and two kids Samantha and Jack.
Violin Born in Ottawa, Ontario, Shanti Sivarulrasa began studying violin through the Suzuki Method at the age of four. She is in her second year of the Bachelor of Music program at Dalhousie University on a four-year Fountain Performing Arts Scholarship. Currently, Shanti studies violin with Leonardo Perez and serves as the Assistant Concertmaster of the Dalhousie Symphony Orchestra. Her previous violin teachers have included Sara Mastrangelo, Karoly Sziladi Sr. and Christopher Barham. In 2022, Dalhousie University awarded Shanti the Halifax Ladies Musical Club Scholarship, awarded to a First-Year student who displays the highest potential as a performer. In 2021, she was awarded the Honourable L.D. Curie Memorial Scholarship in Music by Dalhousie University and the Gilles Paquet Memorial Scholarship by the Ottawa Youth Orchestra. In 2020, she performed with the Ottawa Youth Orchestra at the Ottawa Youth Orchestra Academy and served as Concertmaster. Shanti was also a member of Stellae Boreales, the premier violin ensemble of Ottawa Suzuki Strings, in which she performed for four years. During her time with Stellae Boreales, the ensemble toured to Boston and New York City. Shanti has a strong interest in music composition and intends to pursue a specialization in composition in the Dalhousie music program.
Violin / Theory / Orchestra / Piano Nova Scotian violinist Amy Spurr-Caveney has found her way onto multiple stages across Canada and Mexico. Recently, Amy performed on the 2021 Juno winning album “Heart Parade” by the children’s group, Splash’N Boots. Amy has over ten years of experience teaching violin, viola, and piano. She has prepared students for exams, competitions, and solo performances. In addition to teaching private and group lessons, Amy has given masterclasses in Mexico at the Festival Internacional de Musica (Guadalajara) and Fesitval de Febrero (Ajijic). While freelancing as a violinist in Toronto, Amy performed with international stars such as Michael Bublé and 2Cellos. In 2019, Amy premiered Jordon O’Connor’s Violin Concerto. Also an avid orchestral musician, Amy has performed with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphonia, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, the Kingston Symphony Orchestra, and the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. Amy participated as an artist at multiple summer orchestral and chamber music festivals including the National Academy Orchestra of Canada, Youth Orchestra of the Americas, Orchestre de la Francophonie, Domaine Forget, Orford Academy, and Tuckamore Chamber Music Festival. Amy studied violin with Annalee Patipatanakoon of the Gryphon Trio and Nancy Dahn of Duo Concertante, as well as performing in masterclasses for renowned violinists such as James Ehnes and Jonathan Crow. Amy holds degrees from Memorial University of Newfoundland and the University of Toronto.
Piano / Accompaniment / Theory Raquel Wasson began her love of music when she started taking piano lessons at the age of six. She studied under Ian Bent for thirteen years until she started her music degree at Dalhousie University in 2017/18 as a Fountain Scholar. During her time at Dalhousie, she has studied piano with Peter Allen and Betty Ro. Raquel has also studied percussion since starting band classes in grade six, up until her third year of university where she studied with D’Arcy Gray. She has participated in numerous Kiwanis Music Festivals and was a member of the Nova Scotia Youth Wind Ensemble for three years. Raquel was the principal percussionist in the Dalhousie Symphony Orchestra for three years as well. During her time at Dalhousie she has made the Dean’s List every year and has been the president of the Society of Dalhousie Music Students (SDMS) for two years. She absolutely loves to work with children as she has spent many years volunteering with an after school childcare program and at Son Rise Bible Camp in Fall River. She also created a Music Therapy program in the Learning Centre at Lockview High School and loves sharing her music with people of all ages and abilities. When she isn’t playing the piano she can be found hiking, painting, or in church. Raquel can’t wait to share her love of music with you!
Teachers Assistant Indi Tisoy Morales was born in Colombia in 2004. Her family came to Nova Scotia as refugees in 2005, and since then, she has been eternally grateful for the abundance of opportunities in Canada. Indi started playing violin when she was 4 years old. She started taking violin lessons with Christy Hodder at age 8, after joining the Jr String Orchestra, an experience that evoked her raging passion for music. Currently, Indi is studying violin with Karen Langille at the SSSM. When performing solo, she often plays classical music from the RCM Syllabus. However, she also loves to play in other styles and genres. She is a member of the Halifax Institute of Traditional and Early Music, Los Primos Satellite Band Project, and the Nova Scotia Youth Jazz Orchestra. She is also a current member of the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra violin section. Indi has been studying music theory through Dr. Lorna Wanzel for the past couple of years. She has completed the RCM rudiments, as well as all 3 levels, including ARCT of RCM harmony, counterpoint and analysis, and 2 levels of RCM history. She is working towards completing her ARCT Music History exam in the upcoming year. These years of music theory study have definitely encouraged her to further explore the realms of arranging and composing music. Indi entered her first “real” composition - a trio for flute, clarinet and bassoon into the NSRTMA’s 2020 Student Composer Competition last spring and placed 3rd in the 19 and under category. Most recently, Indi has been working on a latin inspired arrangement of Fly me to the moon for her jazz ensemble. Since music is one of her biggest enjoyments in life, Indi is definitely planning to go into music professionally. She is very excited to be joining the staff at the Scotia Suzuki School of Music!
Accompaniment / Advanced Theory Dean Bradshaw did his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees at the University of Toronto where his teachers included Jane Coop (piano) and Oscar Moravetz (composition). Shortly after graduation, he worked as a rehearsal pianist for the National Ballet of Canada. He arrived in Halifax in 1988 and for many years taught piano and all levels of theory at the Maritime Conservatory of Music. In 1999 he became a part time faculty member at Dalhousie University, teaching classes in keyboard harmony, and accompanying singers and instrumentalists. Dean is the organist and choir director at St. James United Church in Dartmouth, and accompanies the choirs Encor East and Seton Cantata Choir. As for the violin, he has accompanied Suzuki violin for more than 20 years in various Halifax studios, and for a few seasons in the 1990s he played in the Chebucto Symphony Orchestra. In his spare time, he spends too much time cooking, going to the gym, and surfing the net.
Piano Chording Kimberley, a native of Nova Scotia, is one of Canada’s premier piano accompanists in the traditional style of fiddling and has won many awards for her fiddle playing as a solo performer. She has also captured first place at the Maritime Fiddle Festival in the group category with Dave Bagnell, Jocelyne Bourque, Samantha Robichaud and most recently with Sherryl Fitzpatrick on July 9, 2011. She is also the house accompanist and past artistic director of the Maritime Fiddle Festival. Kimberley has toured with such artists as Graham and Eleanor Townsend, Richard Wood, Calvin Vollrath and April Verch among others, and has recorded with a long list of musicians including Richard Wood, Jocelyne Bourque, Ray Legere, J.P. Cormier, Tara Lynne Touesnard, Calvin Vollrath, Gordon Stobbe, Peter Dawson, Sherryl Fitzpatrick and Kelli Trottier. Kimberley has been a member of the FRSPA staff since 2005 teaching both piano and fiddle to ages 4 to adult. She is a guest instructor at camps across Canada, most notably the Tobique Fiddle Camp in New Brunswick, Canadian Grand Masters Camp, Calvin Vollrath Camp as well as at the Gaelic College in Cape Breton.
Assistant Chloé has been assisting at the Scotia Suzuki School since it’s inception. She is a Bachelor of Music student at Dalhousie University. She moved to Halifax with her family from Quebec city. Chloé plays the piano, trombone, and cello. She is majoring in school in opera.
School Assistant/Building Maintenance Mark is from Cape Breton. He spent 2 years in England as a missionary. He met Christy in 1989 after he returned from England. They married and lived in Wolfville for 20 years where they raised their 3 kids. While in Wolfville, Mark owned and maintained several apartments providing him experience in building maintenance and cleaning. He has also been a paramedic for the past 18 years. Mark works at the school doing cleaning and maintenance plus any building projects. He enjoys working with wood and building anything needed for the school.