B.Mus. (Toronto), M.Mus. (Toronto), LLCM (Thames Valley), FLCM (Thames Valley), ARCT (Piano & Violin Performer, Piano Teacher)
Mark Andrews began studying piano at the age of two with Jesse Morrison, who specialized in the Kelly Kirby method of early childhood music education. Mark was the youngest pianist ever to graduate from this method. Upon Jesse's retirement, Mark began studying with Edward Parker, under whose tutelage he completed his LLCM, FLCM, and ARCT diplomas, winning the gold medal for the Piano Teacher's ARCT. Concurrently, Mark was also studying strings with Roxelyn Ethridge and Erno Kabok, and earned his ARCT on violin and RCM Grade 10 on viola, winning the silver medal for the latter. After finishing high school, Mark entered the University of Toronto, where he completed his Bachelors and Masters in Piano Performance, studying with James Anagnoson and Dr. James Parker.
Besides teaching, Mark also works as an accompanist and a freelance pianist. On the side, Mark improvises, composes, arranges, transcribes, publishes, records, remixes, and spends endless hours planning how to improve his home theatre system so Mahler's 8th symphony will sound just that much better. Most recently, Mark began a new doujinshi circle (artist's group) focusing mainly on traditional and experimental arrangements of anime and video game music for various and sundry instruments, including piano, strings, and the synthesizer chips from the Commodore 64 and the 80s-era Nintendo.
Mark is also a computer and board game enthusiast. He leads board game clubs at Sweet Thrills for kids in our lovely Roncy neighbourhood! Yes, he's a big kid himself!
Mark has been teaching with CMC since 2008.
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.
Max Bornstein has been playing music since 2006. He began studying drums at age 11, and later, began studying guitar at age 13. Max was a student at Rosedale Heights School of the Arts, where he was the recipient of the 2013 Music Award for excellence in Advanced Band, Repertoire, Composition, and Orchestra classes. He went on to Centennial College’s Music Industry Arts & Performance program, graduated in 2017, and received an Advanced Diploma.
Max has toured both Canada and the United States, performed live and recorded with many musical acts, including Goodbye Honolulu, Missy Bauman, and Rebekah Hawker. Max has been teaching private lessons for the past several years. He is excited to join the faculty at CMC and looks forward to working with students there.
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 hasperformed in numerous concert halls and alternative venues across Canada and abroad. He shares his skill and passion with the University of Toronto as a cello ensemble coordinator.
As a featured artist and arranger at Music in the Morning, Brenton performed alongside ShaunaRolston, Barry Shiffman, and Joseph Elworthy at the Vancouver Academy of Music and at CBCStudio 1 in Vancouver. He has also appeared on multiple occasions at the Glenn Gould Studio, 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 asLaila Baili. Recent tours in Québec saw him performing with folk legend, Richard Desjardin. He has also released an independent trio recording of Beatles ballads available through iTunes and cdbaby.
Brenton holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Toronto in Cello Performance. He teaches at the Classical Music Conservatory in Toronto and is highly sought after as a guest coach for various music programs in the Greater Toronto Area. He performs on a beautiful copy of a Brothers Amati cello made by Michèle Ashley.
Canadian saxophonist/composer Jacob Chung is a young, soulful, and swingin’ voice in the Toronto jazz community. He currently studies at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music as a 2018 BMO National Scholar and a two-time Norman and Joan Promane Jazz Scholarship recipient (2019, 2020).
Jacob has garnered several accolades including the 2019 Prince Edward County Jazz Festival Rising Young Star Award and acceptance into the 2018 National Youth Jazz Combo. He is also the recipient of the 2018 Yamaha Passion and Performance Award and the 2017 Rico Golden Reed Award. Jacob has had the honour to share the stage with the likes of Dennis Mackrel, Rich Perry, Robi Botos, Jodi Proznick, Mike Murley, and Carn-Davidson 9. Jacob is featured on Jacob Wutzke’s 2019 EP Stop & Go and Thomas Steele 10tet’s 2020 EP 10tet. He also appears on the University of Toronto Jazz Orchestra’s 2020 album Embargo.
Additionally, Jacob served as an assistant faculty member at Interprovincial Music Camp in 2019, directed the 2019/20 U of T Hart House Jazz Combo under the supervision of Ernesto Cervini, and teaches saxophone and clarinet at CMC.
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!
BMus, University of Toronto
Pianist Michele Comrie is an experienced music teacher originally from the Kitchener-Waterloo area. An accomplished musician as well, she completed her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Toronto in 2013. Prior to her university degree, she competed in many music festivals across Ontario, receiving multiple scholarships and first place awards for her performances.
In addition to piano, Michele is a self-taught guitarist and trained alto saxophonist, with prior experience in bands and ensembles. Along with her teaching career, Michele is the Music Director at Mount Carmel Zion United Church and enjoys developing and coaching the choir there.
Accustomed to teaching a wide-range of students in age and ability, Michele enjoys finding new ways to teach each student that fits their unique style. She has coached students towards First Class Honours in RCM exams, festival competitions, learning new styles of Rock and Pop, and even beginner jazz improvisation.
Michele is excited to have joined the faculty at CMC!
With 10 years experience teaching individuals and groups of all ages and backgrounds, Brendan possesses a genuine passion for music. He enjoys helping students develop their innate talent and achieve their musical goals by emphasizing the fundamentals, reinforcing the principles of focus, repetition and discipline while at the same time, encouraging creativity, humour, a sense of discovery and of course, fun! (above all else, music should be fun, right?) A graduate of the Wilfrid Laurier University, he employs a fun, enthusiastic, yet patient approach to teaching, one that seeks to recognize and develop each student's unique abilities/weaknesses while remaining mindful of their personal musical ambitions, tastes and motivations.
A creative thinker who maintains a flexible and adaptive approach to teaching, Brendan aims to develop lesson plans that inspire and relate to each individual student's unique skill-set and personality. Brendan's versatility/range as an educator/musician is reflected in his background teaching acoustic folk and finger-style guitar, electric guitar, ukelele, electric bass guitar, drums, and piano. He is comfortable teaching a wide variety of genres/styles such as pop, modern/classic/psychedelic rock, country, jazz/fusion, blues, funk, R'n'B/soul as well as other contemporary styles (hip-hop, latin, reggae/ska etc.). This versatility and musical open-mindedness greatly assists Brendan in accomodating each student's unique musical tastes and goals. Besides the obvious goal of helping develop and refine a student's instrumental prowess, he also aims to inspire and enhance a student's overall appreciation and understanding of their particular instrument, its place in history as well as music in general.
Brendan truly believes in the positive power and potential of music and is always seeking out new ways to learn, grow and refine his skills as a musician/educator. Throughout the years he has absorbed and learned much from his peers and students and continues to work on developing his skills in the fields of education, composition and music therapy.
Matt Elwood is CMC's first banjo teacher. Matt has years of teaching experience, and is part of the Toronto banjo scene having taught and performed the instrument all over the city and continent for years. You will be hard pressed to find another teacher that has as much real world experience playing the Banjo.
Matt is also a well-versed teacher for our guitar, ukulele, mandolin and bass students, and taught rock band classes at CMC for several years as well.
Matt has always been passionate about music, but it wasn’t until his senior year in high school that he heard the banjo and truly found his calling. He devoted his time to understanding the subtleties of bluegrass and became well versed in this illusive genre. His combination of the smoother sounds of the modern banjo with the raw energy of the first generation masters quickly caught the ear of many well respected Ontario bluegrass bands.
In the summer of 2010, Matt toured with Hard Ryde, one of Canada’s top bluegrass bands, across North America. They were one of only a few Canadian bands to play the world renowned "Bill Monroe Bean Blossom Bluegrass Festival". Since then Matt has played banjo, mandolin, and guitar in many of Toronto’s bluegrass bands including: The Unseen Strangers, The Sudden Valley Boys, Houndstooth, Crazy Strings, and the Hamstrung String Band. He performs regularly at the Dakota Tavern, the Gladstone Hotel, Fionn McCool’s, the Local, and the Silver Dollar Room.
B.Mus., New England Conservatory of Music, M.Mus, University of Toronto
Mezzo-soprano Alida Doornberg has recently completed her Master of Music degree at the University of Toronto where she studied with celebrated soprano Monica Whicher. While at U of T Alida completed a teaching practicum under the guidance of Lorna MacDonald, head of Vocal Pedagogy. Alida has since enjoyed growing and learning as a teacher through offering private lessons to singers of all ages.
From 2017-2019 Alida performed with Voicebox: Opera in Concert and was featured as a soloist in their “Chorus Fire” concert with Russell Braun and and Isabel Bayrakdarian, and “Comedy Unbound;” a tribute concert for Stuart Hamilton. Opera roles include Ino in Semele with the Toronto Lyric Opera Centre, Dorabella in Cosi fan Tutte and Cornelia in Julius Caesar, both with the Summer Opera Lyric Theatre of Toronto (SOLT). Additional chorus credits include La bohème with Against the Grain Theatre and Candide with Toronto Operetta Theatre.
Alida is a proud member of Echo Women’s Choir where she serves as the alto section lead and has assisted in directing and arranging songs for the choir. Alida has participated in many prestigious summer festivals and Young Artist training programs including the Vancouver International Song Institute's French Melodie Immersion program, the Cowtown Opera Summer Academy in Calgary, the Taos Opera Institute in New Mexico, and "Si parla, si canta" Italian language and opera program in Urbania, Italy. Alida is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston where she earned her Bachelor's of Music degree with Honours.
BMus, Music Education, Ithaca College, MMus, U of T
Sonya Harper Nyby is currently working towards a doctorate at the University of Toronto, studying Voice Performance and Vocal Pedagogy. She recently completed her MMus at UofT, and holds a BMus in Music Education from Ithaca College in her hometown of Ithaca, NY.
Her undergraduate coursework involved teaching general music classes to preschool and elementary school students, conducting, teaching music theory, and teaching private voice lessons to middle school and high school students, and leading creative arts lessons with older adults in a senior living facility.
In the years between her undergraduate and graduate work, she led the music program for a community of Montessori schools in Vancouver, BC, which included group and private music lessons for children in preschool and elementary school. These lessons involved singing, listening to recorded music and live performances, learning to read music, and playing classroom instruments such as recorders, pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments, and piano.
Her vocal pedagogy coursework and supervised applied teaching with Lorna MacDonald along with her voice lessons and coursework with Dr. Darryl Edwards at UofT have honed her skills as a voice teacher. Since moving to Toronto in 2011, she has continued to teach voice lessons to students of all ages, focusing on strong musicianship, efficient vocal function, and self-efficacy. Sonya is a member of The National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and a proud alumn of the NATS Intern Program (2017).
In addition to teaching, Sonya loves to perform. Her opera credits include Pamina and Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte (Mozart), Susanna in Il segreto di Susanna (Wolf-Ferrari), La suora zelatrice in Suor Angelica (Puccini), and Gianetta in L’elisir d’amore (Donizetti), and she has performed as the soprano soloist in Gounod's St. Cecilia Mass, Mozart's Mass in c minor, Vivaldi's Gloria, and Durante's Magnificat. She sings in several community choirs, including Incontra Vocal Ensemble, The Hedgerow Singers, and VOCA Chorus of Toronto.
Sonya is delighted to be a member of the faculty at the Classical Music Conservatory, and enjoys working with students of all ages!
B.Mus. in Performance, UVic; MMus in Piano Performance and Pedagogy, UofT
Raised in Victoria BC, Aimi's music making journey began when she was three years old in group piano lessons, accompanied by her mother. From that point onwards, she has continued her music education through the years, winning numerous competitions and awards in local and provincial festivals. She has also been a recipient for various scholarships and awards through the Victoria Conservatory of Music and the University of Victoria.
Aimi is an active performer in solo and chamber music, and recently enjoyed performing with the Victoria Conservatory of Music Chamber Orchestra as a winner of their concerto competition.
Under the tutelage of professor May Ling Kwok, Aimi graduated with distinction from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance in 2018. Currently, she is pursuing a Master of Music in Piano Performance and Pedagogy under the instruction of Dr. Midori Koga.
Aimi has been teaching piano, theory and history since 2010. In her teaching, Aimi hopes to create an environment where students have fun making music and can develop physical facility in their piano playing. She looks forward to helping students at the CMC find their own individual sound and voice at the piano.
B.Mus. in Performance, UVic; MMus in Piano Performance and Pedagogy, UofT
Iris Hung began playing the piano at the age of five, after learning “Hot Cross Buns” (for two fingers). Since then, she has learned to use all of her fingers and has performed across Canada and in Austria and the United States as a soloist and chamber musician. At the age of six, she won her first BC Provincial Medal of Excellence from Conservatory Canada for her grade one exam, and in 2010 and 2012, won the National Medal of Excellence for the highest exam mark in Canada for grades 9 and 10 piano. A winner of many local and provincial festival classes and competitions, Iris recently performed with the University of Victoria Orchestra as the winner of the annual concerto competition. She has also studied at the Universität Mozarteum’s Internationale Sommerakademie in Salzburg, as the winner of the Johann Strauss Scholarship Competition.
Iris believes that music is a powerful tool for self-discovery and expression, and strives to instill a high level of integrity and a deep love for music in her students. She began teaching piano in 2011, working with beginners as young as four years old. Since then, she has also coached university students and tutored music theory, history, and musicianship. With five years of pedagogy and student-teacher training, Iris is familiar with working with students of all skill levels and preparing students for recitals and festivals.
Iris graduated with distinction from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Music in piano performance while also having studied at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. Both under the tutelage of May Ling Kwok. She recently complete the Master of Music in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Toronto, under the instruction of Dr. Midori Koga.
Iris is excited to be a part of the CMC teaching faculty!
B.Mus. in Performance, UVic; MMus in Piano Performance and Pedagogy, UofT; ACP in Harpsichord Performance, UofT; ACCM, Conservatory Canada (Associate Performer)
Louise Hung’s first introduction to Classical music was hearing a rendition of Für Elise playing through the speakers of garbage trucks in Taiwan as an awe-struck baby. Now, she works to share the curiosity and wonder of music through her teaching and performing. Growing up in Coquitlam, BC and now studying in Toronto, she has won numerous scholarships and awards from festivals, solo and concerto competitions, and summer institutes. She completed her undergraduate degree in Piano Performance with Distinction at the University of Victoria under the tutelage of May Ling Kwok. Currently, she is completing her MMus in Piano Performance and Pedagogy program at the University of Toronto; studying performance with Professor Marietta Orlov and pedagogy with Professor Midori Koga. Her areas of pedagogical research are the application of mental imagery and Baroque dance in piano education.
Louise has been awarded Conservatory Canada Medals of Excellence for piano studies, theory studies, history studies, and the Conservatory Canada Lynda Rehder Kennedy Medal of Excellence for the top exam marks in Canada. She has also worked with top pedagogues in both North America and Europe, including Robert Levin, Andrea Lucchesini, Jimmy Briere, Enrico Elisi, James Parker, Corey Hamm, Marc Pierre Toth, Ken Broadwood, and Ralph Markham, in masterclasses and summer institutes.
Louise performs as a soloist and collaborative musician in recitals, competitions, and festivals across Canada. She is a performer comfortable on both piano and harpsichord. A passionate advocate for “hip” (historically informed performance), she has studied with Colin Tilney on harpsichord and is now studying with Tafelmusik’s Charlotte Nediger. Recent early music engagements include Tafelmusik Winter Institute, Opera Q, Cor Unum, Theatre of Early Music, and the Gallery Players of Niagara.
Louise has been teaching piano, theory, and history since 2010. As a teacher, she works to nurture a student’s musicality, imagination, musical understanding, and physical comfort at the piano. She loves melding history, theory, performance practice and imagination into her lessons. She believes in tailoring her teaching style to suit each student’s search for their own unique way of musical expression.
B.Mus. Classical Piano Performance (McGill), M.Mus. with Distinction, Dalcroze Teaching License (Longy School of Music, Boston, USA), Diplôme Supérieur (L’Institut Jaques-Dalcroze / La Haute École de Musique de Genève, Switzerland).
For more than a decade, Cheng-Feng has been working with families and students here at CMC. Seeing the students grow musically and as human being has been a great source of joy and curiosity for him.
Locally he has been invited to present workshops for the Early Childhood Music Association of Ontario, the Etobicoke Suzuki School, the Royal Diploma program of RCM, and teachers of the TDSB, and early childhood music teachers at RCM, University of Ottawa and Wilfrid Laurier University. He also presented topics related to piano pedagogy and Dalcroze Eurhythmics at conferences in Quebec, Switzerland, and Yukon Registered Music Teachers’ Association. He has also been invited as a guest teacher internationally in USA, Mexico and France.
Cheng-Feng also serves as the co-director of studies for Dalcroze Canada, where he mentors and supervises the teacher training candidates. Prior moving to Toronto from Boston in 2006, he was on the faculties of the New England Conservatory of Music, Powers Music School, and the Winchester Community Music School.
Cheng-Feng continues to share his gift and joy for music in Toronto through teaching and performing. He finds his passion and inspiration in developing the musical artists within the hearts of his students and helps them to find their self-expression through musical embodiment.
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.
ARCT Performance & Pedagogy with Honours, B.Mus & M. Mus Composition, U of Toronto
As a third generation teacher, Lusiana has been teaching piano in Canada since 1991. Her mastery and love for teaching music inspired her to start the Classical Music Conservatory (CMC) in Toronto in 1997. As a teacher, Lusiana holds both ARCTs with honours in Piano Performance and Pedagogy, a Bachelor of Music, and a Master of Music in Composition. She has been teaching for over 30 years now, and each year, her passion for musical education grows.
Lusiana teaches all ages and levels. She prepares students for all RCM levels of piano, theory and harmony as well as for music festivals with First Class Honours with distinction achievements. She believes in nurturing her students with long term concrete goals, a good foundation in technique and a lot of performance practice with much emphasis on FUN. She encourages her students to be open to other sources of learning from her community team of amazing teachers at CMC.
Being the Executive Founding Director of CMC, Lusiana's time is extremely limited to a very select few students who are accepted by a personal interview/audition process.
BMus, University of Western Ontario, BEd, Queen's University
Sarah-Jane earned her Honors Bachelor of Music Education with a focus in voice studying under Gloria Gassi at Western University Canada in 2011, and her Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University in 2014. She is a classically trained soprano with an interest in expanding her versatility and knowledge of the voice through further training in contemporary vocal technique under Anna Mastin.
An Ontario Certified Teacher, Sarah-Jane has a keen interest in developing musicality and creativity in students young and young-at- heart both inside and outside of the classroom. Sarah-Jane has had the opportunity to work within a variety of music education initiatives. Her experience spans classical performance, musical theatre performance and production, choral and instrumental conducting, ensemble performance, one-on- one lessons, and in-school classroom teaching.
For the past three Summers, she has been the program director for vocal and musical theatre programs at Centauri Summer Arts Camp and most recently she has joined the creative team of Annex Children's Theatre in Education as vocal instructor and music director.
Her enthusiasm for music and genuine interest in her students causes her toapproach music education with an open and flexible attitude. Sarah-Jane prefersto understand what the students’ goals are and to help them achieve theirpersonal level of musical success. With humour and positive energy, she creates a stimulating and safe space for students to express themselves and learn through music.
In addition to teaching, Sarah-Jane has recently renewed her passion for performance, taking on music theatre concerts, cover band gigs, and guest appearances in community concerts.
She is excited to be a part of the teaching faculty at CMC!