Patricia Valenteyn is an arts and learning specialist with more than fifteen years of experience managing national and international initiatives. She has been involved in a wide range of roles including accounting, artist certification coordination, national program management, project development, fundraising and stewardship. Patricia comes to the Coalition at a time where her broad range of experience will ensure she, along with the Coalition staff and Board of Directors meet the objectives of Vision 25 and the Coalition’s new strategic plan.
Reflecting on her appointment, Patricia said, “I am very excited at the prospect of leading the Coalition for Music Education as it continues to grow, and I look forward to expanding engagement with key stakeholders in every province and territory in Canada and with the music industry.”
Sharon Tikiryan is an educator, musician, and arts administrator based in Toronto. She has held the position of Youth4Music Program Manager since 2019 and brings to the role a passion for music education cultivated through her 20+ years of experience working with children and youth. Sharon believes that all children and youth deserve equitable access to artistic education and creative experiences, and is committed to empowering youth through inclusive and accessible resources and programming.
In addition to her work with the Coalition, Sharon is an active voice and piano instructor and an aspiring writer. She holds a Bachelor of Music from Queen’s University, a Master of Music (Performance & Pedagogy) from Memorial University of Newfoundland, and a Master of Education (Educational Leadership & Policy) from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. In her spare time Sharon enjoys reading, biking, baking, cheering on the Toronto Raptors, and playing the guitar and ukulele.
Kirsten MacLaine enjoys teaching Elementary Music (K-Gr. 5) and Instrumental Music (Gr. 6-9) at Gulf Shore Consolidated School in North Rustico on the beautiful north shore of Prince Edward Island. Raised in Toronto, Ontario, Kirsten packed up her trumpet and travelled east to the University of Prince Edward Island where she earned her Bachelor of Music, with a specialization in Education in 1998. She returned to Ontario to complete a Bachelor of Education at Nipissing University in 1999, and her Masters in Education from the University of New Brunswick in 2012.
A passionate music educator, Kirsten has taught music in Toronto and PEI, from pre-school to Grade 13, and has worked in various positions of responsibility and on many different professional committees. In addition to her current teaching assignment, she is also the Music Area Coordinator for the Public Schools Branch of Prince Edward Island. A member of the Board of the Coalition for Music Education of Canada in various roles over the past 6 years, Kirsten is also a past President of both the Canadian Music Educators’ Association and The PEI Music Educators’ Association.
Kirsten lives in scenic New Glasgow, PEI with her husband Matt and their four children: Emma, Charlotte, Flora and Callum.
Ms. Elster, one of Canada’s preeminent Arts & Learning executives, is currently the newly recruited President and CEO , Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music. Following three decades of leadership, most recently as Senior Vice President of The Royal Conservatory where she launched ‘Learning Through the Arts’ in addition to many other successful initiatives. She now leads several Canadian creative projects. She holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto, an MA from OISE and the Certificate of Leadership in Expressive Arts from the European Graduate School where she is in the process of completing her PhD. She brings to organizations demonstrated expertise in teaching, research, curriculum development, government relations, fundraising and strategic planning. Angela was awarded one of Canada’s highest honors – the Meritorious Service Medal from the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada recognizing outstanding accomplishments that set an example and bring benefit to our country.
David Peretz-Larochelle is a 2015 graduate of the Music Education Concurrent Program at McGill University. He was granted the Quebec’s Lieutenant Governor’s Youth Medal for his academic and community involvement.
David is an active music educator in high school and community settings. He is an instrumental music teacher at Collège Jean‐Eudes, a private school in Montreal. He is the Principal conductor at the Montreal New Horizons Band (nhmontreal.ca). The Montreal New Horizons Band is a non‐profit organization that operates in the format of a bilingual and intergenerational community concert band. The organization strives to provide quality musical education to everyone, with a focus on the senior population.
David Peretz-Larochelle has been an active advocate for music education since 2014. David’s advocacy work with the Coalition for Music Education in Canada began with the organization and hosting of Montreal’s 2014 Music Monday event. Since then, David has joined the board of directors and is now Vice-Chair, Francophone.
While committing to full-time teaching and involvement with various organizations, David has remained an active performer. As a classical percussionist, he has performed with various ensembles including Stu&Jess opera productions, l’harmonie St-Bruno, and symphonic orchestras. In addition to being an active music educator, David has taught alpine skiing for eight years.
Rob has been involved with music all his life both personally and professionally. He began a successful career in the music business with Yamaha Canada Music Ltd. in 1971, and retired as Corporate Vice President in 2014, and Secretary of the Board of Directors in 2020.
Rob has a passion for the value of music in people’s lives, which has driven him to give back to the community and society in many ways. This includes, especially advocating for quality music education for children and youth in our schools, in particular as Treasurer and Executive Member of the Coalition Canada (Coalition for Music Education in Canada).
Rob and wife Rose have found their retirement home in Lindsay, Ontario, where he also serves as Treasurer of the Board of Directors of The Academy Theatre Foundation.
His extensive experience in all facets of the music industry, have led to a high level volunteer leadership in these not for profit organizations.
Rob’s love of love of entertaining has led him back to sharing his love of music with others. A distinguished singer, guitarist, and songwriter, he performs in a multitude of styles, and genres appealing to many varied music tastes.
Helen is looking forward to serving as Secretary on the Coalition for Music Education in Canada board of directors. Previously, she was the President of the Canadian Music Educators’ Association (2017 – 2019) and was the CMEA representative on the Coalition board. Helen is a long-time member of the Ontario Music Educators’ Association, serving in several roles including being president from 2010 – 2012 and chairing conferences in 2006, 2010 and 2014. She is recently retired from teaching strings and instrumental music at Woodstock Collegiate Institute after recently holding the position of Learning Coordinator for the Arts for the Thames Valley District School Board. Helen’s interests include spending time with family, travelling and all things Disney.
Dr. Eric Favaro is a passionate education advocate who has devoted his entire career to helping teachers gain a better understanding of the importance of an education in and through the arts. Trained as a music educator, he is respected nationally and internationally as an innovator for effective programs in Arts Education, and is considered to be a leader in his field.
Eric taught elementary music for several years, served as Coordinator for Arts Education with the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board, and spent the last six years of his career as Arts Education Consultant for the Nova Scotia Department of Education. He has taught undergraduate and graduate education courses at several Canadian universities, and is a University Advisor for pre-service teachers at Mount St. Vincent University and Acadia University. In 2011 he was appointed as Visiting Fellow to the Ministry of Education in Singapore, and in that capacity he is an advisor for teacher development in music education.
Eric has served on several provincial, national and international boards, and currently serves as Chair of the Coalition for Music Education, a director on the CMEA Board, and a member of the Advisory Board for the Canadian Network for Arts and Learning. He actively participates in research projects on current educational issues with colleagues around the world.
Now retired from public education, Eric operates his consulting firm, Artscape Consulting Ltd. and for the past ten years he has built a vibrant business that focuses on training, research, and development.
As a musician, community leader, and researcher, Christina has taken an interdisciplinary approach to music. She is particularly interested in the ability of music to strengthen and empower communities, as well as its ability to improve mental health. She graduated with her degree in psychology from the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), and later went on to complete a Masters of Health Science in Translational Research. While studying, she also worked with Lynn Tucker at the University of Toronto Scarborough, and was the co-chair of the Youth4Music Toronto hub. From these experiences, she has seen the ways in which music intersects with community and mental health, and is interested in researching these connections further.
Rebecca resides in Winnipeg, where she teaches choir, dance, drama, and musical theatre to students in grades 6-8. A graduate of Brandon University, she is the current president of the Canadian Music Educators’ Association, past president of the Manitoba Music Educators’ Association, and a founding member of the Manitoba Dance Educators’ Association. A passionate advocate for Music Education, she is currently a student at the University of Manitoba working towards her master’s in education with a focus on SEL and arts education. When not trying to save the world through music, Rebecca enjoys spending time with her daughter Emerson-Rose.
A dynamic event professional, Zora Kriz is as passionate about music as she is in developing award winning corporate events for Fortune 500 companies.
As co-founder of Event Spectrum in1997, Zora was responsible for the overall management of operations, finance and HR. Over the 18 years in operation, Event Spectrum was on the top list of 100 Female business owners by Chatelaine magazine for 7 consecutive years.
While ESI grew to a highly successful agency, Zora pursued her personal passion for music by joining Toronto Singing Studio’s Vivace Vox choir and Musical Theatre Ensemble and performing over the last 11 years in a number of concerts and productions.
With Event Spectrum being acquired by MCI Global in 2015, Zora has been able to continue her musical pursuits while actively consulting for the event management industry.
2016 to Present: Operational Consultant 2015 – 2016: Director of Operations, MCI Group Canada 1997 – 2015: Co-Owner, Vice President, Event Spectrum Inc.
Inderjit Mudhar is a graduate of the University of Toronto, with over 20 years of experience in the music industry. Since joining Yamaha in 2006, his role has evolved to Communications Specialist and Customer Experience, in which he works tirelessly to ensure that all Canadians can make and enjoy music. As a musician, writer and educator, Inderjit passionately advocates for strong music programs in every part of Canada, and believes in the importance of life-long music-making.
Christin Reardon MacLellan is the Director of Education and Community Programs for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, where she develops, implements, and oversees a wide variety of educational programming for individuals of all ages, including the Vancouver Symphony Orchestral Institute. She is also director of the University of British Columbia Concert Winds, a sessional lecturer in the UBC School of Music, and Associate Conductor of the Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble.
Christin is dedicated to supporting and advocating for quality music education in schools. She maintains an active schedule as an in-demand clinician, guest conductor, adjudicator, and guest speaker. Christin has presented workshops and her research at numerous conferences and symposia in Canada and the United States. As a board member of the Coalition for Music Education in BC, she works closely with teachers, community members, and arts organizations to protect, promote, and advance music education in BC schools.
Christin has taught band, choir, and general music in the public schools of Manitoba. She earned her masters degree in music education from Indiana University, where she taught undergraduate courses in music education and was a university supervisor for student teachers. Christin’s research is published in the Journal of Research in Music Education and Music Educators’ Journal. She is the recipient of the 2020 Canadian Music Educators Association Builders Award and 2020 British Columbia Music Educators Association Distinguished Service Award.
Lynn Tucker is Associate Dean Experiential and Global Learning, and Associate Professor, Teaching Stream at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) in the Department of Arts, Culture and Media, Music and Culture program. She has proudly conducted the UTSC Concert Band since 2004, and teaches courses in community music, musicianship, and small ensembles. Lynn founded and facilitates This Uke’s for U-TSC, a weekly ukulele session open to all members of the campus community. Engaging people in lifelong music-making is at the forefront of her work with research interests in learner-centered pedagogy, facilitation, community music, avocational music-making, and leadership. Lynn is President of the Ontario Band Association, Co-Editor of the Canadian Winds/Vents canadiens, professional journal of the Canadian Band Association, and serves on the board of the Coalition for Music Education in Canada. Her dedication to fostering accessible music-making opportunities for students regardless of career path was recognized with a Canadian Music Educators’ Association Excellence in Leadership Award.
Sarah Veber serves as principal harpist with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, where she has been featured as a soloist. She has performed with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, Orchestra of the Americas, and Ottawa Chamber Orchestra. She appeared as a finalist in the Canadian Music Competition and the National Arts Centre Bursary Competition. A believer in empowering youth through music, Sarah sits on the board of The Coalition for Music Education in Canada. She has completed a Master of Music degree at the University of Cincinnati, a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Ottawa and an ARCT performance diploma from The Royal Conservatory of Music. Sarah currently resides in her home province of Newfoundland where she maintains a freelance career as a performing artist and music teacher.
Kirk teaches at Didsbury High School in Didsbury, Alberta, a rural community north of Calgary where more than half of the school population is involved in the school’s Band program. Prior to Didsbury he taught at G.P. Vanier Secondary School in Courtenay, BC and at Revelstoke Secondary School.
Kirk received his undergraduate degree from the University of Saskatchewan, and he has a Master of Music in Wind Conducting from the University of Missouri – Columbia. During the summer Kirk serves as the Band Department Head for the Kamloops Interior Summer School of Music. In 2008, he was honoured to be recognized as a semi-finalist in Alberta Education’s Excellence in Teaching Awards. In 2017 Kirk received the David Peterkin Award in recognition of exemplary and consistent contribution to bands and band education from the Mu Alpha chapter of Phi Beta Mu. In 2019 he was presented with the Elkhorn Band Director of the Year award by the Alberta Band Association.
Kirk currently serves as Chair of the Alberta Music Advocacy Alliance, and is also the Past-President of the Alberta Band Association.