MEET OUR RIVERSONGS FACULTY
At Riversongs, we believe in a strong correlation between the creative process and musical excellence. Our faculty is dedicated to making sure your experience is vibrant, educational and most importantly, fun!
VIOLIN & VIOLA
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.
David McFadden studied violin at the Royal Conservatory of Music receiving his ARCT diploma with First Class Honours. He continued his studies at the University of Toronto and the Utrechts Conservatorium in Holland. He performed regularly with the Toronto Symphony for 16 seasons as well as being active in the recording studio and freelance music scene of Toronto. The long list of affiliations includes the Canadian Opera Company, National Ballet, Kitchener Symphony, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Symphony Nova Scotia. His varied career has taken him from chamber music to musical theatre where he was Concertmaster for shows like Ragtime, ShowBoat and Sunset Blvd. Other shows include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Phantom of the Opera and Beauty and the Beast. Other ventures have included recordings and concerts with a wide range of musical styles and performers such as Ray Charles, Liza Minelli, Bobby Vinton, Peter Gabriel, Donny Osmond, Andrea Bocelli, Blue Rodeo, and Josh Grobin to name a few.
Mr. McFadden is actively involved in music ministry with his wife Julie in the local church and beyond. He is the Concertmaster of the Huronia Symphony and teaches Strings privately out of his Music Studio in Midhurst. Mr. McFadden also runs Bravura House, maker of all levels of stringed instruments and accessories, providing sales and rentals to string players across North America.
Native of Taiwan, Emily Sun is a versatile violinist, certified Alexander Technique teacher and chef. She holds a Bachelors and master of Music in Performance from McGill University, chef diploma from Liaison College and AT teacher from Toronto school of AT. While studying in Montreal, she performs with Orchestre Métropolitain and Montreal Symphony. Her teachers include Yehonaton Berick, Mark Gothoni, and Denise Lupien.
Emily moved to Toronto the year of 2008, and has performed with Cathedral Bluff Symphony Orchestra and Georgian Bay Symphony as second principal, Kitchener Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, Ontario Philharmonic Orchestra, Toronto Philharmonia Orchestra, Esprit Orchestra, Canadian Sinfonietta, Sinfonia Toronto and Mendelssohn Choir. The people she performed with include Chantal Kreviatzuk, Diana Krall, Canadian Tenors and Sarah Brightman. Along with performing, teaching violin, and Alexander technique, you can see her performing festivals and functions with her mariachi band around Ontario.
Katja Mathys has studied the violin under renowned teachers in both Switzerland and Canada. A member of the Ontario College of Teachers she is known to Parry Sounders as a ski coach, an Arctic adventurer as well as a musician. She brings a wealth of teaching and coaching experiences as well as musical expertise to the team at Whispering River Music. She is co-concert master of our local orchestra.
Brenda Margaret 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.
MUSIC MOPPETS, PERCUSSION, & BASS
A passionate musician raised in Parry Sound, Zach studied music and its relationship with cognitive capacity and biological development at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. During his time completing his undergraduate degree he also enrolled in the private performance program and studied under percussionist John Brownell. His studies focused largely in the area of pitched percussion, while also allowing room for development of skills on the timpani, snare drum, and a variety of auxiliary percussion instruments.
Having graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Music (Music Cognition) and a Diploma in Music Performance (Percussion) Zach is now working with Parry Sound’s Whispering River Orchestra and the Ardeleana Chamber Music Society, regularly performing as the orchestra's percussionist-in-residence and doubling as the orchestra's double bassist. Also an accredited Orff Instructor, Zach has recently started teaching his own course for young children, "Music Moppets," which helps children learn about fundamental concepts such as beat, rhythm, and pitch. He can regularly be seen performing around Parry Sound with various musical ensembles, such as the Georgian Bay Winds, the Riversongs Festival Choir, and as part of The Usual Suspects, a violin, cello and marimba trio.
Patricia Morehead , oboist/composer, B.M. New England Conservatory, PhD Composition University of Chicago, has diplomas from the Toronto Royal Conservatory, Paris National Conservatory, and the Siena Accademia Chigiana. She studied oboe with Myrtil Morel, Etienne Baudo, Ralph Gomberg, John Mack and Lothar Faber and composition with John Eaton, Ralph Shapey, Shulamit Ran and Dr. Samuel Dolin. In 1984 in Toronto, Canada, she was the founder of the Canadian Contemporary Music Workshop with Dr. Samuel Dolin, which continues
today as the Canadian Contemporary Orchestra Workshop. Patricia is an Associate Composer member of the Canadian Music Centre and Council Member for Northern Ontario, and regularly performs with the North Bay Symphony, the Sudbury Symphony, and Whispering River Orchestra.
Dr. Morehead taught composition, theory and Twentieth Century Music at the undergraduate and graduate level at Chicago Musical College, Roosevelt University in Chicago for 10 years. She was professor of composition, theory, oboe and World Music history at Dominican University and music history and composition at Columbia College. Patricia created the Composers Forum at Merit Music School for music students from ages eight to eighteen and was founder of CUBE Contemporary Chamber Ensemble in Chicago for twenty years. Patricia has taught composition online in Vermont (VTMIDI.org/Comp-USA.org). Her music is published by Jeanné and recorded by Parma Recordings on the Navona Label.
Her music has been performed in Australia, Canada, China, Korea, England, France, Italy, Poland and the United States. She has taught oboe and chamber music in Brazil for three international music festivals. She has received many commissions and grants from individual performers and larger organizations for vocal chamber works, orchestra and chorus. Most recently she was commissioned to write a choral work for Canada 150, which was premiered by massed choirs of 150 singers in Haliburton, ON by choral director Melissa Stevens. Her newest commission is for a string quartet for the Inaugural Chamber Music.
ART & POETRY
Gwyneth Storr, has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto, where she studied art, music and theatre history as well as Shakespeare and American literature. She completed a poetry workshop from Stanford University and has read at poetry reading groups.
She believes everyone has an inner poet. Over the past twelve years, she has been teaching English and public speaking to students from age 14 to 70 at a private language academy in Toronto. She has enjoyed guiding many students in academic and creative writing.
With a deep passion for the arts and education, Emily is a self-taught artist of the traditional fine arts which includes sketching, painting, and photography. Having completed a degree in Early Childhood Studies at Ryerson University, Emily has worked mainly with children with special needs in preschool and kindergarten classrooms in modifying lessons and activities to individual developmental needs.
Emily started studying viola in high school with Brenda Muller as her music teacher. Immersed in the culture of art and music festivals, Emily has played in the Bluebridge Festival led by Brenda and has recently joined the Whispering River Orchestra performing in Riversongs Session III.
In most recent events, Emily has completed a diploma in Contemporary Web Design at Durham College and now does a combination of web design and development, event and product photography while periodically performing with Whispering River Orchestra as a violist.
Cynthia Lê currently attends Western University. Her interest in music In the Viola formed at age 12 following an introduction to it by a friend and it has been in her hands ever since.
Always looking for a chance to perform, Cynthia has played in the Thomastick - Infeld Canadian String Orchestra, the Durham Chamber Orchestra, UTSC String Orchestra, and is currently in Western Symphony Orchestra and Whispering River Orchestra.
She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music and hopes to focus in the field of music education. This goal has led her to opportunities such as teaching at Joseph Howe Senior P. S. or being a staff assistant at Music By the Lake and the National Music Camp of Canada. She performs at various festivals, and other events throughout the year. She is currently under the instruction of Sharon Wei.
Lucas Salathiel is a violinist from Barrie, Ontario, who has been playing since he was eight years old, being taught by David McFadden.
He played with his local community orchestra, the Huronia Symphony Orchestra during his high school years, and has played with the Whispering River Orchestra for three years.
He is currently studying biology at the University of Western Ontario.
Allison Liang is a second year student at McMaster University pursuing a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) with a minor in music.
She has been playing the violin for 8 years and the piano for 15 years, having received her ARCT Diploma in Piano Performance in 2018. Allison served as the concertmaster of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau High School String Orchestra in her senior year, has been playing in the McMaster Chamber Orchestra for two years, and served as the youth principal second violinist for the Whispering River Orchestra in the summer of 2020.
She hopes to pursue a career in the field of veterinary medicine while keeping music a prominent aspect of her life.
Jesse is currently studying music in his third year at Cambrian College. He serves as Principal Clarinetist/Section Leader for the Cambrian Wind ensemble.
In addition to Clarinet, Jesse also plays Flute, Saxophone and Piano. He has also played in multiple Pit orchestras for High School and Community Theatre productions most recently Bye Bye Birdie.
Jesse is hoping to continue his Musical education at the University of Toronto with a major in Music Education.
Robert Morris is a cellist, composer and freelance musician from Toronto, Ontario. He began cello at age 12 and later took an interest in composition at age 16. He has studied with Prof. Mark Chambers of York University, currently studies with cellist Oleg Volkov and studies with cellist, Brenda Muller on phrasing and sensitivity in preforming music. Mr. Morris graduated from York University and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honors in Music.
He has performed with a number of orchestras in the GTA including Orchestra Toronto, The Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra, Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra, Hart House Orchestra, The Toronto Chinese Orchestra, The Scarborough Philharmonic, the Etobicoke Philharmonic and has performed with the Whispering River Orchestra in Parry Sound for the past two years as youth principal cellist.
He has also performed in pit orchestras for music theatre productions with some of the most recent being St. Michaels C.S.S' production of Beauty and the Beast (May 2019) and The Whitby Courthouse Theatre production of Little Women (February 2020).
Robert hopes to continue his career and studies as a musician by pursuing a Masters degree in Music Performance and aspires to play in the TSO or to play in multiple pit orchestras for musicals.
A recent voice major graduate from the Music performance program at Cambrian College, Margaret Kamerman has worked with the Whispering River Orchestra as a summer student for the past three years and is also part of the Riversongs Festival Choir.
She has decided to continue her academic & musical journey and is currently studying to receive her Bachelors' Degree in Music at Wilfred Laurier University.