MEET OUR RIVERSONGS FACULTY
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.
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.
Self Portrait of Alan Torok
ART & POETRY
2020 Riversongs Commission Award Winner and composer of Suspended Doorways.
Click below for more information about composer Saman Shahi.
Janet Danielson is a composer and music theorist who has taught at Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts and at Regent College in Vancouver. She holds degrees in music composition from the University of Victoria and California Institute of the Arts, and pursued additional studies with Cornelius Cardew in London. Former chair and present treasurer of the Association of Canadian Women Composers, Danielson has also served on the executive council of the Canadian League of Composers and was Composer-in-Residence of Vancouver’s 2010 Sonic Boom Festival.
Her commissions include an opera, The Marvelous History of Mariken of Nimmigen; In the Very Highest Place for choir and the Orchid Ensemble, which has toured multiple times throughout the US; several chamber works for the Cambridge Music Conference; and Six Pieces of a Reverberant Cosmos, a 40-minute work for piano trio plus two percussionists commissioned by the Oak Ridge Civic Music Association in Tennessee, and performed in Tennessee, New York, and Vancouver. Her most recent première was the newly-commissioned Of Kindred Minds (piano quartet plus oboe d’amore) on 10 February, 2020.
Danielson has lectured at numerous conferences from Slovenia to the Philippines. Her publications include a music fundamentals textbook, Basic Organization of Music, and a number of articles on women in music. Drawing on the perspectives of Herman Dooyeweerd, Bruno Latour, and Giorgio Agamben, she has also published articles on music, philosophy, and the history of technology.
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.