top of page

Meet Our Faculty

Whispering River Music strives to teach the whole  person using a creative,
inspired approach to learning that leads to a life-long love of music. 
All of our core teachers are professional musicians, trained teachers and hold an advanced university degree in music.

Brenda Muller

       From her roots as a classically trained cellist, Brenda Margaret Muller has gone on to create conceptual events that weave together poetry, music and song. Working as a Musician, Poet, and Songwriter, as well as Artistic Director for the past 30 years, Brenda has created inter-arts events across the province, founded and directed the Ardeleana Chamber Music Society, and released 6 recordings with her trio, Ardeleana, including a CD of original cabaret songs, Wolf At My Door, and the first CD to feature only music by Canadian Women – Spinners of Starlight (1997).  


       She holds an Honours degree in Music Performance from the University of Western Ontario, a Mus. Ed and Honours Specialist in Music from O.I.S.E. University of Toronto.  She is currently the founder and director of Whispering River Orchestra, and Riversongs, a 10 day Community Celebration of Music, Poetry and Art in Parry Sound, Ontario.

Shannon Lai

Shannon Lai studied cello at Wilfrid Laurier University receiving Bachelors of Music and Chamber Music Diploma. She was solo cellist for Opera Laurier’s world premiere of The Llandovery Castle, and performed for festivals such as QuartetFest and OpenEars Festival of Music and Sound. As a teacher, she completed her Long-Term Suzuki Cello Teacher Certification with David Evenchick along with her Creative Ability Development Training with Laura Narenburg.


Currently at Whispering River Music, she enjoys building a vibrant strings curriculum integrating classical repertoire and improvisatory skills. Shannon only began learning cello at 16 years old, before which she had received her Gr. 10 RCM Piano Certificate with First Class Honors.

Alex Andrews

Alex Andrews (B.Mus McGill) is a performing artist and full-time teacher at the Orillia Music Centre. In recent years she has been featured at the Roots North Music Festival and events such as the Leacock Medal for Humour while specializing on the viola, violin, and electric five-string viola. In 2021 Alex was nominated for the ODAC Awards, and in 2022 she was voted Orillia's Favourite Music Instructor in the Reader's Choice survey.

Veda Hingert-McDonald

Drawn to story just as much as sound, Canadian violinist Veda Hingert-McDonald (she/her) aims to balance personal connection with tradition in her performance of both new and standard repertoire. She completed her masters of music at University of Colorado (CU) Boulder where she studied with Takács Quartet violinists Harumi Rhodes and Ed Dusinberre. There she was generously supported by the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation, and received honorable mentions in the Bruce Ekstrand Graduate Student Performance Competition and the Honors Concerto Competition. She also holds a bachelor of music degree from Wilfrid Laurier University, and has additional training from Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Icicle Creek Chamber Music, Music at Port Milford, and Summer Music Vancouver. She has taught at Sistema Toronto, Anchorage Chamber Music Festival, University of Colorado, and privately for nine years.

Sonia Klimasko

       Sonia Klimasko began her study of the violin at the age of 4. She has devoted the past 40 years of her life to performing, teaching and sharing her love and knowledge of music with audiences, children and aspiring violinists across Canada, the United States, Europe and Mexico.

       For the past 40 years, she has played first violin with the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra.

Sonia Klimasko has held the positions of string instructor at Bishop Strachan School, Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts, University of Toronto Schools and as string consultant with the York Region Board of Education. 

       Ms Klimasko is a graduate of the University of Toronto, holding a degree in Performance. 

bottom of page