Cheryl has a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano from the University of Toronto. As well she studied accompaniment and coaching in Vienna.
Cheryl’s busy schedule includes teaching privately as well as at our School, rehearsing and performing with musical theatre groups, performing as a church musician, and as well as maintaining her own studio in Vancouver
SUZANNE KLUKAS – piano
Suzanne Klukas holds an MA in piano chamber music from the Hochschule fuer Musik und darstellende Kunst in Graz, Austria and a BMus in piano performance from the University of British Columbia. Strongly shaping her nuanced artistry have been numerous study stints in Gutenstein, Austria; Vienna, Austria; Schleswig Holstein, Germany and Prague, Czech Republic with Charles Spencer in the field of vocal accompanying and the interpretation of art song. In 2005 she was the recipient of a prestigious six month Canada Council for the Arts grant for professional musicians for studies in Vienna with Charles Spencer. Suzanne is a faculty member in the music department of Trinity Western University in Langley where she teaches piano, coaches and accompanies students in recital, has created a collaborative piano course and accompanies the choirs. She has also worked at Kwantlen Polytechnical University in Langley and the Summer Voice Institute at the University of British Columbia. Suzanne is an active performer and has appeared in recital in Austria, Germany, Poland, Italy and Slovenia. Locally she has appeared in recital series venues such as the West Vancouver Silk Purse, Vancouver Jewish Cultural Centre, St. Andrew’s Wesley (Erato Ensemble), Christ Church Cathedral, and in faculty-and-guest-artist recitals at Kwantlen Polytechnical University, Trinity Western University and the University of British Columbia. Suzanne immensely enjoys ending her week with the smiley sunshines in her class in Ladner!
KAREN NAKAJIMA – piano, trumpet, music theory
Karen Nakajima studied music at the University of British Columbia, Capilano University, Universität Wien and Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Wien in Vienna, Austria. She has her Master of Arts in Music Theory but she is also an active pianist, trumpeter, and music educator. Karen has performed with the UBC Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Posaunenchor Harburg in Germany, and many other chamber groups and bands. Karen has also been a featured pianist with the Capilano Wind Ensemble and has put on piano recitals in the Lower Mainland and Point Roberts. She has accompanied singers, instrumentalists, and choirs locally and in Hamburg, Germany. She has also led brass chamber groups, teaches elementary band, conducts the Junior Wind Ensemble of the Richmond Delta Youth Orchestra.
GARTH PRESTON – piano
Garth has a Bachelor of Music from Brandon University and a Master of Music degree in music theory from UBC. He has performed in various groups and as a solo performer (guitar, piano, voice) in a variety of genres – classical, jazz, folk and country rock. As well as the traditional Conservatory repertoire, Garth teaches pop and jazz using lead sheets, whereby students learn about harmony, improvisation
Julia Lattimer studied with John Ferrell (Stradivari String Quartet) at the University of Arizona, and William Magers, a protégé of Joseph Gingold, at Arizona State University. She was assistant to violinist, Mary Crowder Hess, at the Meadowmount School. Julia grew up in the United States and was introduced to music in public school. Her enthusiasm was ignited when she enrolled in an experimental string technique program run by the supervisor for music in the Oklahoma City Public Schools, T. Burns Westman. He mentored her through private study, chamber ensemble coaching, orchestral and solo experience. Post training, Julia has worked as a professional freelance violinist with a variety of orchestras, chamber orchestras and small ensembles in the United States and Canada. Appreciating the influence of wonderful teachers, Julia has always enjoyed teaching students of all ages and abilities throughout her career.
JOHN LITTLEJOHN – violin
John “Adidam” Littlejohn is a violinist and hip-hop artist. He is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory where he completed a Master of Music degree and a Graduate Performance Diploma in violin performance with Herbert Greenberg, after completing a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Michigan. He has served as the concertmaster of the Newark Symphony and has been a member of numerous orchestras and ensembles including the Baltimore Opera Orchestra. As a soloist he has performed with orchestras and given recitals throughout North America and Europe.
John has been a string pedagogue for over 20 years. While in graduate school he received specialized training in violin pedagogy and curriculum development from Rebecca Henry, co-chair of the Peabody Preparatory String Department. John aims to inspire, engage, and equip each student through a unique curriculum that combines the methodology of Shinichi Suzuki and Paul Roland, with teachings of Joseph Gingold, Ivan Galamian, Demetrius Dounis, Otakar Sevcik, Henry Schradiek, Jazz Improvisation, and some original tools developed through experience. His students have won competitions and have gone on study music in University.
“Adidam”, which is an acronym for “All Day I Dream About Music,” has released three full-length albums, “Violinistik”, “All Day I Dream About Music,” and his latest release, “Caterpillar Chronicles.” Tim Smith, music critic of the Baltimore Sun, called his music “distinctive” with “tightly rhymed lyrics,” and a VH1 entertainment journalist called his compositions “extremely original and magnificently arranged and played.”
He is a currently a member of Infinitus, a genre-bending, beatboxing string trio, performing education and community performances throughout North America and Asia. Infinitus recently completed a successful string of over 10 performances at the Lincoln Center in New York, NY. As an active proponent of music outreach, John teaches violin at the St. James Music Academy, a music school in the downtown eastside of Vancouver that provides free instruction to low-income music students. He is the director of the Thrive City String Boot Camp, a tuition-free intensive retreat for intermediate to advanced string players.
Sarah Westwick began studying the violin at age three at the Vancouver Academy of Music. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Music in performance from U.B.C. She has also studied music in London England, at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and at the Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in Prague. She is a member of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, is a freelance violinist and enjoys playing chamber music.
She has teacher training qualifications and experience in both the Suzuki and Colourstrings methods, and now also has experience as a parent of children in Colourstrings and Suzuki lessons.
NATASHA D’AGOSTINO – voice
A creative composer and improviser, Natasha
Natasha D’Agostino is a Vancouver based vocalist, with an undergraduate degree in Jazz Voice from Capilano University. Throughout her time at Capilano University, she has participated in the renowned vocal ensemble, Nitecap. Regarded widely on a national and international scale, this ensemble performs extremely versatile and challenging material written by acclaimed visiting artists such as Randy Brecker, Kurt Elling, and Donny McCaslin, as well as originals and arrangements by accomplished director Réjean Marois. Natasha has been involved in collaborations with both students and faculty, allowing her to explore and develop her own music and arrangements.
TRACY NEFF – Music Theatre class, voice
Tracy is a graduate of the Boston Conservatory of Music with a BFA in Musical Theatre and is the only theatre student in the schools’ history to have
Tracy is continually keeping busy with recital work and loves collaborating with artists from Canada and around the world. She has performed concerts in California, Boston, New York and Mexico and hopes to add many more destinations to the list. She relishes in performing new works such as her role of Nanami in the workshop of “Tom Pinkerton, Butterfly’s Son” (Rumble Productions) and dreams of originating a role in the future. Tracy is also gifted in her ability to breath new life into well known and popular
Other favorite performances include: Joanna in “Godspell” (Boston Conservatory), Abigail in “
CAROLE DAVIS – voice, Alexander Technique
Carole Davis is a professional singer and voice teacher. She is an Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto in Voice. She has toured as a soloist in Europe, Turkey
Ms. Davis is also a certified Alexander Technique teacher, having completed an intensive three-year teacher-training program at the Vancouver School of the Alexander Technique. She is a member of the Canadian Society of the Alexander Technique (CANSTAT). She has taught Alexander Technique and Voice to students in the Acting for Stage and Screen Programme at Capilano University.
BRAD MUIRHEAD – band, trombone, jazz studies
Brad is well known to audiences across Canada and Europe for his powerful sound and inventive improvising and has been actively contributing to the Vancouver music scene since 1980. He has recorded and toured extensively with his own groups Primal Orbit and Brass Roots as well as Vancouver’s three most important large jazz ensembles: the NOW Orchestra, Hugh Fraser’s VEJI, and the Hard Rubber Orchestra. He has been heavily involved with the Vancouver improvised music scene, composing for, recording and performing with numerous small and large ensembles, both as a leader and sideman. In addition to organizing Koan, he has recently been working on composing for and co-leading the East Van Jazz Orchestra with Jared Burrows. He is an active music educator teaching individual and class brass lessons and band clinics, as well as being involved with many workshop situations in capacities ranging from clinician & adjudicator to producer and musical/artistic director, including the Banff Jazz Workshop, the Vancouver & Victoria International Jazz Orchestra Workshops and more recently, the successful, and continuing, Renfrew Community Performance Project.
BO PENG – cello
Bo Peng received his Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from the University of North Texas, a Master of Music from the Eastman School of Music, as well as a Performer’s Diploma from Indiana University where he studied with distinguished cellist Janos Starker. His teachers also included renowned cellists Steven Doane, Carter Enyeart and Marc Johnson. Mr. Peng was a two-time winner of the Music Teacher National Association Competitions (Strings Division), he also won 3rd prize in the International Chamber Music Competition held by the Czech Radio “Spring of Prague”. Mr. Peng’s teaching experiences include being a sectional coach for the Dallas Youth
Stephen is an accomplished clarinetist, saxophonist and pianist performing both classical chamber music and jazz idioms, performing the gamut from classical clarinet, chamber and orchestral repertoire to jazz standards, original compositions and free improvisation. His orchestral arrangements have been performed by the Richmond Delta Youth Orchestra, Clyde Mitchell and the Lions Gate Sinfonia (North Vancouver), Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Victoria Symphony, Kamloops Symphony and others. Stephen serves as the Music Director of the Delta Community Music School and the Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Richmond Delta Youth Orchestra and also teaches at the VSO School of Music in Vancouver Stephen is a graduate of Queen’s University (BMus) , McGill University(LMus), and the University of BC (MMUs, BEd). Stephen studied conducting at Queen’s and McGill Universities as well as workshops at the University of Calgary, in the Czech Republic and with Orchestra Canada.
Canadian trumpeter Christopher Robertson (B.Mus, University of Victoria,1977) was born and raised in the lower mainland of British Columbia. He studied with Vincent Cichowicz, Chicago Symphony and with Maurice Murphy, principal trumpet London Symphony. he has recorded extensively for the Vancouver Symphony and CBC. He has also performed with these and many other companies including the Vancouver Opera, Royal Ballet UK, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Joffrey Ballet,
KRIS BOWERMAN – African Hand Drumming Class, trombone
Having found the joy of music at age six on piano, Kris Bowerman begin playing trombone at 10, discovered jazz at fifteen and started teaching at 17. Later he received his Bachelor of Music in Trombone Performance from San Francisco State University. He is a passionate improviser, has played with many kinds of groups, and has toured with Sweet Papa Lowdown as well as Kuimba, playing djembe/conga, recorder/flutes, trombone and vocals with the latter. He has also made several CD’s with Kuimba. As an instructor Kris enjoys passing on the knowledge of the trombone/brass and African djembe (hand drum). Needless to say, seeing students improve really brings out his smile.
LOUISE SOUTHWOOD – classical guitar, music theory
British guitarist Louise Southwood’s career began at an early age with many competitive successes and concerts throughout the UK. Her musical world was opened up under the mentorship of the eminent guitarist Carlos Bonell, described as “one of the great communicators of the guitar world”. Under Carlos’ guidance ,Louise’s playing blossomed leading her to the prestigious Royal College of Music in London from which she graduated with a Bachelor of Music (
While attending the Royal College Louise had the privilege of working with one of the world’s foremost classical guitarists, Gary Ryan, on solo performance and guitar accompaniment as well as master classes with some of the world’s most renowned guitarists. Numerous engagements within the UK were highlighted by appearances at the Trinity Chapel in Cambridge, the National Gallery and St. Martin in the Fields.
Following a number of years teaching at several prominent private schools and performing in London, Louise accepted a position at the Bermuda School of Music where she spent seven years teaching, performing solo and as part of the ‘Southwood-France Duo’ with acclaimed violinist and educator David France. Together they performed regularly at The Bermuda International Guitar Festival and opened The Kodaikanal International Guitar Festival 2009 in India.
Louise’s most recent recordings, ‘Emergence’ and ‘Chrysalis’ illustrate her varied instrumental techniques and musical interests, with a selection of favourite pieces, ancient and modern, which have enchanted audiences around the world.
Louise is now settled in the Vancouver area where she teaches privately, at the Delta Community Music School, Douglas College Community Music School and the VSO School of Music while maintaining a full performing schedule.
RICK KLEMM – drum set
Rick has a Bachelor of Music in Orchestral Percussion and a Bachelor of Education from the University of British Columbia. He has taught for the Vancouver School Board for over 25 years. Rick is very active in the music scene where he performs with his own group, Rhythm Rush and sits in with various community big bands and concert bands. He is the promoter and organizer of the South Delta Drum Festival where musicians come together to observe and learn from various clinicians. Rick is well versed in the genres of rock, jazz, funk and latin and believes that music should be accessible to people of all ages. There is no time like the present to start playing a musical instrument.
STAN TAYLOR – drums / percussion
Long time resident Vancouver veteran jazz drummer Stan Taylor has played with several local and out of town players over a span of 25 years in the city he calls home. Stan has played with a wide mix of jazz performers both local to international players from leading edge free style music to collaborating with many artist in modern jazz settings involving several Vancouver based ensembles over many years including the Bill Clark Sextet finalist in the Alcan Jazz Competition at the Montreal International Jazz Festival in 1988. Here’s a very musically diverse list of the international jazz artist I’ve performed with: Kenny Wheeler, PJ Perry, Vinny Golia, Pat LaBarbara, Ray Anderson, Rob Blakeslee, Fraser MacPherson, Mike Stern, Glen Spearman, Peter Brotzman, Hugh Fraser, Paul Plimley. Stan has done extensive touring right across Canada with the Bill Clark Sextet, Brass Roots, Chief Feature, Primal Orbit, Jared Burrows Trio and touring in the States with Vinny Golia as well as many others since moving to Vancouver in 1987. Stan has also performed for many years at the IMMI festival of improvised music to silent film in Eugene, Oregon as a key member of an ensemble of musicians brought in from all across the States and Canada every year for this event.
Current projects and collaborations involve the Jared Burrows Trio and Jared Burrows Quartet, Kane/Taylor Explosion featuring Noelle Pion, Lorne Kellett Trio, Norm Quinn’s Q5, Ian Coleman Trio and many others. Stan is actively involved in recording and concert situations in 2013 as well as teaching. Stan has been an instructor at the South Delta Jazz Workshop since its inception in 2004.
JOHN WALSH – electric guitar/ bass, double bass
John has been performing, writing, and teaching music on guitar and bass across Canada for over 20 years! He started his music career at Vancouver Community College in 1999 where he earned a diploma and then finished his education at McGill University in 2005 where he received a BMus in jazz performance. Since 2008 John has been the bassist in the award-winning groups Brasstronaut, and Dan Mangan and have
John has been a private guitar/bass instructor since 2006 and also teaches at the Resound Music School in Vancouver. John is also an instructor at Vancouver Community College where he teaches electric bass.
“I remember that rush of excitement when I first learned “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and was able to play along with the recording. That was where it all started for me and I haven’t stopped looking for that next thrill since! Bring your playlist and your passion because I want my students to get that same feeling.” – John Walsh
Sinead White is a graduate of McGill University with a Bachelors and Masters Degree in voice and Opera Performance. She has performed with Opera McGill with leading roles in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Handel’s Rinaldo. She has also performed with the Montreal Consort Ensemble and Vancouver’s Musica Intima. She was first place in the Choeur de la Montagne Competition in 2014 and a prize winner in