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.
2019 Stingray Rising Star Award recipient and 2020 International Clarinetist Corona Competition first prize winner Virginia MacDonald has established herself as a respected and sought after musician in the Canadian jazz scene. Virginia has worked extensively as a leader and side woman at several venues across Toronto including Koerner Hall, The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, The Jazz Bistro, and The Rex Hotel. She has performed in Canadian and International jazz festivals including The Cambridge Jazz Festival, the Jaipur Jazz & Blues Festival, the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, the TD Markham Jazz Festival and the Cape Breton Jazz Festival.
Virginia has had the opportunity to work internationally in the United States, India, and Europe. Recently, Virginia appeared on Juno Award-winning saxophonist Kirk MacDonald's album "Generations" alongside the great Harold Mabern. Known for her lyrical and soulful clarinet playing, Virginia has been described as a "powerful new voice in the Canadian scene" by Juno Award-winning bassist Mike Downes. Virginia is a proud Rovner products ambassador.
In addition to her busy performance schedule, Virginia is an in-demand educator and has given masterclasses at McGill University, the Global Music Institute, and the True School of Music. Virginia is a faculty member at the Bob Mover Academy of Music. Virginia is so happy to be part of the CMC team, where she teaches clarinet and saxophone!
Canadian flutist Sarah Pollard is an active performer and teacher based in Toronto. As an orchestral musician, she held the position of second flute and piccolo with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra during their 2021/2022 season. Sarah is an alumna of the 2021 Orchestra of the Americas, the 2021 National Repertory Orchestra, Colorado (unable to attend in-person due to COVID-19) and the 2021 National Academy Orchestra of Canada. Previous orchestral memberships include the Royal Conservatory Orchestra, the McGill Symphony Orchestra, the Pronto Musica Orchestra, the National Academy Orchestra of Canada, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestral Institute at Whistler and the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
As a chamber musician Sarah has performed with numerous ensembles, a highlight of which was performing Boulez’s infamous Le marteau sans maître in the 2018 Ottawa Chamberfest’s New Music Now Festival. Sarah has had the honour of being invited to participate in several other chamber music festivals across Canada as well, including Banff’s Evolution: Classical festival directed by the Gryphon Trio, and the Bathurst Chamberfest in New Brunswick.
A passionate and well-respected teacher, Sarah teaches flute and piano students across Canada. She has been invited to coach the flutists of the Durham Youth Orchestra as well as the Québec Youth Wind Ensemble.
Sarah is a recent graduate of The Glenn Gould School’s Artist Diploma program, where she studied with full scholarship under the direction of Susan Hoeppner. Sarah previously studied with Carolyn Christie (McGill University, MMus Performance), Nora Shulman and Peg Albrecht (University of Toronto, BMus Performance). In masterclasses and music academies, Sarah has most recently had the opportunity to study with renowned flutists Emmanuel Pahud, Leone Buyse, Jeanne Baxtresser, William Bennett, Stefán Ragnar Höskuldsson, Demarre McGill, Kelly Zimba, Joanna G’froerer, Henrik Heide, Agata Igras, Robert Langevin, Gwen Klassen (piccolo) and Claire Guimond (Baroque flute).
Sarah is excited to part of the CMC faculty!
A driven flutist from Ottawa, Ontario Michael Zappavigna has had the chance to study privately with some of Canada’s greatest orchestral flutists and pedagogues over the course of his education. Privately, he has worked predominantly with Carolyn Christie (Retired Montreal Symphony), Nora Shulman (Retired Toronto Symphony), Camille Churchfield (Retired Vancouver symphony), and Pascale Margely (Ottawa Symphony/Gatineau Symphony).
In his studies at University of Ottawa, McGill University (BMus) and The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music (ADP) Michael has had the opportunity of playing in high-level student orchestras and chamber ensembles. He has had the privilege to play in masterclass for some of the most influential flutists of our day including Jeanne Baxtresser (former principal flutist of the New York Philharmonic), Robert Langevin (current principal flutist of the New York Philharmonic) and, William Bennett (Former principal flutist of the London Symphony Orchestra and international soloist). He has also worked with other notable flutists at summer music programs including Orford Academy, Domaine Forget, and The Pender Island Flute Retreat.
He aims to help students learn at their own pace and to impart the skills of healthy and consistent practice, quiet focus and determination.