Elizabeth Loewen Andrews is a Toronto based violinist who specializes in both baroque and contemporary music. Elizabeth has been performing professionally for over 15 years, including as a core member of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra since 2007 and as a regular extra with Tafelmusik since 2008. Elizabeth has been teaching violin and viola to students of all ages and all levels for over 20 years. She draws on her own education (Grade 10 RCM, Bachelor of Music in Performance from University of Toronto, Master of Music in Performance University of Toronto) and excellent teaching to help her students reach their goals and potential. Elizabeth is a proud teacher of an RCM Grade 8 Silver medallist, and multiple successful university music degree applicants. Elizabeth is an enthusiastic musician and teacher who firmly believes that music has the ability to transform. It is her desire to share and develop that passion for music and life with students and audiences alike. Elizabeth started teaching at CMC back in 2006, and then took some time off having and raising her two awesome boys. We are excited that she is rejoining our CMC faculty now in our online format.
RCM ARCT Performance in Piano and Violin, and Piano Licentiate of London (England) College of Music; B.Mus. and MMus in Trumpet Performance, Boston University.
During high school, Dr. Neal Andrews earned ARCT diplomas in both piano and violin from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto as well as the Piano Licentiate of the London (England) College of Music. These achievements combined with his trumpet skills led his piano teacher (the renowned Edward Parker) to dub him the future “one-man conservatory.”
While earning both the master and doctoral degrees at Boston University, Neal performed on numerous occasions at Boston’s Symphony Hall as 1st trumpet with the BU Symphony Orchestra. At that venue, a reviewer noted Neal’s performance to “merit special commendation.” Also during his time in Boston, Neal served as teaching assistant at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.
Dr. Andrews’ abilities on trumpet have received national recognition in both Canada and the United States. In Canada, these were recognized early with a CBC Galaxie Rising Star award (2003) as “Best Classical Musician Under 16.” In addition, Neal twice represented his home province of BC at the National Music Festival (FCMF).
In the United States, Neal’s university ensembles were repeatedly selected to participate in the U.S. National Trumpet Competition, most notably in 2009 when his trumpet ensemble placed 3rd nationally. More recently, Terry Everson, professor of trumpet at BU, recommended Neal to perform a series of concerts with the Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass.Neal was a founding member of the Andromeda Quintet, a professional brass quintet in Boston. He also played soprano cornet for 5 years with the New England Brass Band under the direction of the composer/arranger Stephen Bulla whose recommendation led Neal to join Toronto’s Weston Silver Band.
Neal has been teaching piano, violin and trumpet for many years and is very excited to be a part of our team of teachers at CMC.
Mus (U of T) cello performance, M. Mus (U of T)
Known for his ingenuity in merging classical music with pop-culture, cellist Brenton Chan has performed in numerous concert halls and alternative venues at home and abroad. He shares his skill and passion with the University of Toronto as a Cello Ensemble Coordinator, and with Concerts in Care Ontario as Music Coordinator.
As a featured artist and arranger at Music in the Morning, Brenton performed alongside Shauna Rolston, Barry Shiffman, and Joseph Elworthy at the Vancouver Academy of Music and at CBC Studio 1 in Vancouver. He has also appeared on multiple occasions at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, most notably for John McDermott’s fundraiser Music in the Key of Giving. In his continued pursuit of artistic excellence, Brenton has attended many international music festivals including the International Festival of the Duchi d’Acquaviva (Italy), where he received a scholarship to study with acclaimed German cellist Maria Kliegel, and the Orford Music Festival (Québec), where he was invited by the Gryphon Trio to participate in their pilot project.
In the realm of jazz, Brenton has collaborated with Juno Award winner Molly Johnson as well as Laila Baili. Recent tours in Québec saw him performing with folk legend, Richard Desjardins. In alternative pop/folk music, he has performed, arranged for, and recorded with Calla Kinglit. Furthermore, Brenton has released an independent trio recording of Beatles ballads with Martin Gladstone and Frank Caruso.
Brenton holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Toronto in Cello Performance. He has been a proud member of the CMC faculty since 2013 and is highly sought after as a guest coach for various music programs in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. He performs on a beautiful copy of a Brothers Amati cello made by Michèle Ashley.
When not musicking, Brenton loves going to different restaurants, epic bike rides, bonfire gatherings, and as a proud Torontonian, cheering for all the teams in The Six.
B. Mus. U of Toronto (2020)
Thea Coburn is a third year undergraduate student in violin performance at the University of Toronto, studying with Professor Timothy Ying. She is a recipient of the Kathleen Parlow Scholarship, the Victor Feldbrill String Scholarship, and the David and Marcia Beach Summer Study Award. Thea is a platinum award winner at the Toronto Kiwanis Music Festival, and this past spring her string trio was named runner-up for the Felix Galimir Chamber Music Award.
Thea actively performs with the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, University of Toronto Opera Orchestra, and the Toronto Lyric Opera Center Orchestra. She has attended the Orford Music Academy as a scholarship student for the past two summers, and has previously attended the Aaron Rosand intensive violin program at the Summit Music Festival in New York.
Thea has thoroughly enjoyed being assistant violin faculty at the Interprovincial Music Camp, as well as teaching privately for the past few years.
Thea grew up taking piano and violin lessons at CMC, and is now excited to now be on the teaching faculty!
B. Mus in violin performance, McGill, M. Mus in violin performance, U of Toronto
A native of Newmarket, Ontario, Charna Matsushige began studying the violin with Sonia Klimasko at age 6 and by her late teens continued her studies with David Zafer in Toronto. Charna has won numerous awards and scholarships in festivals and competitions across the province. In 2012, she was featured in V-PAN’s Young Artists Showcase at the Newmarket Theatre. Charna has been a member of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, the McGill Symphony Orchestra and the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
An avid chamber musician, Charna has participated in string quartet programs at the Scotia Festival of Music in Halifax and the NYU Steinhardt Intensive String Quartet Workshop in New York City. Charna received her Bachelor of Music in Performance at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music under the tutelage of Mark Fewer. In 2014, she received her Masters of Music from the University of Toronto, studying with Yehonatan Berick. She currently freelances in the Toronto and surrounding areas. Charna has been teaching since 2007 in Newmarket and Bradford, Ontario. She is very excited to be joining our CMC faculty of teachers.
B. Mus, M. Mus. in Violin Performance, U of T
An active freelance musician in the Toronto area, violinist Kenin McKay completed her Masters degree in Performance at the University of Toronto, where she studied with Annalee Patipatanakoon and Scott St. John. In 2006, upon receiving her Bachelor of Music Degree with honours standing from the University, she was awarded the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto graduating scholarship, and in 2007 she also received the Frank M Waddell scholarship for outstanding academic achievement.
Kenin is a certified Suzuki teacher and enjoys teaching both private students and the Suzuki Group Class here at CMC. After recently completing her Suzuki Early Childhood Education Training with Dorothy and Sharon Jones, Kenin also teaches CMC's Suzuki Baby & Toddler Class.
Kenin has been teaching violin at CMC since 2005.
B. Mus. Violin Performance, Diploma in Operatic Performance, U of Toronto
Michael Sproule is an Ottawa-born violinist and operatic baritone. He has built a unique career that has taken him from the Orchestra of the Canadian Opera Company to the stage.
Michael is currently a member of the Canadian Opera Company Chorus. On the violin side, he received a Bachelor of Music Degree in Performance from the University of Toronto, studying with Lorand Fenyves. Michael furthered his violin studies with Rodney Friend in London, England, and in the Winter Programme at the Banff Centre for the Arts. He has won several awards including First Prize in the Remenyi Violin Competition, a grant from the Floyd S. Chalmers Foundation, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra Bursary.
He has appeared as soloist with the Cathedral Bluffs Orchestra and the Huronia Symphony and was concertmaster of the Les Miserables Orchestra . Michael was a member of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra from 1990 to 2007 and has performed with many orchestras including the Esprit Orchestra, the National Ballet Orchestra, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Brantford Symphony, and the orchestras of Miss Saigon, Beauty and the Beast, Crazy For You, Ragtime, Jane Eyre, and The Lion King.
On the singing side, Michael studied voice with Mary Morrison and Patricia Kern, receiving a Diploma in Operatic Performance from the University of Toronto. He also studied at the Britten-Pears School in England with Russian baritone Sergei Leiferkus. Michael sang the role of the French Abbé in the Canadian Opera Company's production of War and Peace by Prokofiev. He created the role of John Wilson in the world premiere of The Last Duel by Gary Kulesha, and his operatic roles performed include Guglielmo in Mozart's Così Fan Tutte, Faninal in Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss, The Clock in Ravel's L'Enfant et les Sortilèges, Ford in Verdi's Falstaff, Rambaldo in La Rondine by Puccini, and The Ferryman in Benjamin Britten's Curlew River, a role he performed in Aldeburgh, England. Michael has appeared as soloist with the Talisker Players, the Georgetown Bach Choral, the Valley Festival, and the Brampton Festival Singers, and has performed in recital with pianist Roger Vignoles in Nagaoka, Japan.
Michael loves teaching and, in addition to teaching at the Classical Music Conservatory of Canada, he leads the Lower/Middle School and Upper School String Ensembles at the Crescent School in Toronto.
B. Mus. Cello Performance (U of T), M. Mus. (McGill)
A native of Strathmore, Alberta, cellist Sarah Steeves has performed around the world in countries such as Brazil, China, New Zealand, Spain, and the United Kingdom. She currently resides in Toronto where she is a member of Sinfonia Toronto and a doctoral student at the University of Toronto. Highlights from her 2009-2010 included a performance in Carnegie Hall with the Youth Orchestra of the Americas and the World Orchestra’s tour of China.
Sarah holds a Bachelor of Music with Honours in Performance from the University of Toronto (2007) and a Master of Music in Performance from McGill University (2009). Sarah earned Royal Conservatory of Music Diplomas in Cello and Piano Performance in 2003 and 2004 respectively. Sarah is currently working on her Doctorate of Music at U of T.
As a certified Suzuki teacher, Sarah has taught at the Classical Music Conservatory since 2009. She recently spent six weeks coaching cello students in Neojibá, a project located in Salvador, Brazil which provides musical education to underprivileged young adults.
Sarah is one of the founding members of the Ton Beau String Quartet.
B. Mus., M. Mus. in Violin Performance, U of T
Saba Yousefi is a Violinist and pedagogue based in Toronto - Canada. Ms. Yousefi graduated from the University of Toronto, receiving her Master of Violin Performance and Bachelor of Violin Performance with a minor in Philosophy. Ms. Yousefi started playing violin at the age of seven in Tehran, Iran. She has participated in several competitions and received the first prize in Iran’s classical music competition for solo and chamber performances. Ms. Yousefi is also a member of the University of Toronto Pedagogy School. Over the last few years, she has researched new methods for professional musicians to overcome physical injuries and develop innovative mental health methods. Ms. Yousefi is also a Co-founder of LyreIran, a collaborative focusing on promoting strings-related performance and education content. Ms. Yousefi is the recipient of the University of Toronto Graduate Scholarship for Academic Excellence. Ms. Yousefi is an active performer and teaching artist, her recent collaboration with Music Master Class Iran was a workshop for Iranian composers in Iran, the virtual performance of Iranian Women Composers of Iran. Ms. Yousefi is an Ontario Philharmonic member and has performed as a solo and chamber musician around Canada, the middle east, and China.