Prep Studies Instructors

Barbara Anhang’s teaching experience lies within and beyond the world of music. She began her career in 1968 teaching English Literature and Composition at Kelvin High School in the Winnipeg School Division No. 1 for several years. After she and her husband raised a family, Barbara returned to her childhood love of music in 1992 - 93, earning both ARCT Piano Performance and Teachers’ Diplomas from the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto. She has been teaching privately ever since and is competent at all levels.

Barbara has performed and participated in numerous workshops and masterclasses, notably with the late Leonard Isaacs, Kendall Taylor, John Melnyk, Dr. Lorne Watson, Jean Broadfoot, Professor Charles Reiner (McGill), and Peter Vinograde. In addition, Barbara has led masterclasses for the Department of Preparatory Studies, encompassing Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Contemporary (20th and 21st Century) music.

Barbara has also served on the AMAF Syllabus Selection Committee for Piano, has been an active member of the Manitoba Piano Club, and has contributed articles to “Take Note”, the MRMTA newsletter. Barbara holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Certificate in Education from the University of Manitoba. She teaches students of all ages, with a particular interest in advanced students.

Instructs: Piano

Samantha Audet

Samantha Audet graduated from the Desautels Faculty of Music in 2012. She has been a private instructor for 10 years, and a sectional band clinician for 5 years. Besides teaching saxophone at Prep Studies, she maintains a studio of 25+ students on piano, clarinet, flute, and rudimentary theory. Her studio is split between Winnipeg, Lorette and Landmark, Manitoba.


Samantha lives with her husband, 5 cats and 4 horses in Linden, Manitoba.

Instructs: Saxophone & Clarinet


Tadeusz Biernacki was born in Czestochowa, Poland where he began his music education at the early age of four. He won the Karol Szymanowski competition in Warsaw in 1976 and earned his Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the Conservatory of Music in Katowice in 1978. He has performed as a soloist in many European countries. Biernacki settled in Canada in 1978 and continued his piano studies with Marek Jablonski at the University of Manitoba and Banff School of Fine Arts and conducting with Stanislaw Skrowaczewski in Minneapolis. 

As a winner of the 1980 Young Artist’s Competition, Biernacki has toured Canada extensively in solo and chamber music recitals. In 1983 he began his association with the Manitoba Opera and in 1988 with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. He made his conducting debut with Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in 1992 and has since conducted  orchestra in Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon, Toronto, Windsor, Montreal, National Arts Center Orchestra in Ottawa, Cleveland Orchestra, St Paul Chamber Orchestra, Grand Forks Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Virginia Symphony Orchestra (USA), Tessaloniki State Orchestra (Greece), Kaohsiung City Symphony Orchestra (Taiwan), and Hong Kong Sinfonietta. He also conducted world premieres of RWB’s Nutcracker, Moulin Rouge, Wonderland, Svengali, Princess and the Goblin, The Handmaid’s Tale, Going Home Star and Vespers.

His last CD recording, the soundtrack to “Going Home Star” with Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra has been awarded a 2017 Juno Award as the Best Classical Album of the Year – Large Ensemble. Biernacki has branched out into composition with his one act opera “Happy Campers” composed for the Manitoba Opera School Tour, “Charlies Kreuzfahrt”, ballet commissioned for Stadtische Theater Chemnitz in Germany as well as numerous symphonic arrangements and orchestrations for WSO, NAC, SSO, Memphis Ballet, Memphis Opera, Pittsburg Ballet Theatre and Atlanta Ballet. In addition to his position with the RWB, Biernacki is an Assistant Music Director, Assistant Conductor and Chorus Master of Manitoba Opera.

Instructs: Piano & Theory

Domanie Billinghurst-Schadek has been a violin and voice teacher at the Division of Preparatory Studies since 2006. She started studying the violin at the age of eight after becoming exposed to the string orchestra program in school. As a child and teenager, she studied privately at the Manitoba of Conservatory of Music and Arts, and performed with the Winnipeg Youth Orchestras. After completing a Bachelor of Science in 2000, she went on to work for Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre, designing and delivering school programs to school groups and the public. She went on to a 6 year career in Biotechnology, developing training programs and using her teaching skills to train staff in a laboratory and drug manufacturing setting.

Wishing to return to the world of music, Domanie decided to use her teaching skills as a private violin teacher. She then successfully auditioned for and completed her initial training as a registered Suzuki Violin teacher with the Suzuki Association of America. She continues to study Suzuki pedagogy and most recently completed Book 4 training in 2014. She teaches private lessons and is the current Beginner Class teacher with Suzuki Music Winnipeg.

Domanie began studying voice as an adult, and has successfully completed her grade 10 RCM examination. She has sung with the Manitoba Opera Chorus, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and her church’s choir. She was a Rose Bowl finalist in 2013 at the Winnipeg Music Festival. She continues to perform as a freelance musician while maintaining a full studio of violin and voice students. When she’s not teaching, she is busy running after her two young children and likes to spend time fishing and boating at the cottage. 

Instructs: Violin & Voice

Bennet Charter graduated in 2011 with his Master of Music degree from the University of Manitoba, where he studied with Dr. David Moroz. In 2009, he received his ARCT in piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music. He has been teaching piano in Winnipeg for over 10 years, including the past 7 years with the University of Manitoba Division of Preparatory Studies.

Instructs: Piano

Since the age of seven, pianist Albert Chen has achieved numerous successes in regional, provincial, national, and international competitions. Albert has been a national finalist at the Canadian Music Competition from 2012 to 2014. In 2013, he represented Manitoba at the FCMF National Music Festival in Waterloo while being the youngest pianist in the competition. He was awarded 1st prize in the 2013 University of Manitoba Preparatory Studies Piano Concerto Competition in the same year. In 2014, Albert won the MRMTA Scholarship Competition and was recommended to nationals for the CFMTA National Piano Competition in Halifax where he was awarded the Willard Schultz prize for being the “most promising artist”. In the Winnipeg Music Festival, he has won the John Melnyk Trophy for the best concerto performance, Jean Broadfoot Trophy for the best sonata performance, RCM of Music Alumni Chapter Trophy for the best piano performance, and the Lieutenant Governor’s Trophy for being the best performer in the entire festival. He was awarded 1st place at AMAF provincials and represented Manitoba at the FCMF National Finals for three consecutive years from 2013 to 2015. In addition, he was runner up to the top instrumental trophy, the Aikins Trophy. From 2012 to 2016, Albert was selected as one of six pianists across Canada to participate in the prestigious Morningside Music Bridge program, where he studied and played in masterclasses conducted by many professors from the top music schools around the world, including Andre Laplante, Kum Sing Lee, John Perry, Krzysztof Jablonsky, and Meng-Chieh Liu. His recordings have been included in two of the Morningside Music Bridge Highlight Collection CD’s, showcasing the top performances in the program each year. Albert was a 1st place winner in the 2015 American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition, in which he performed at Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall in New York City. In the summer of 2016, Albert’s chamber group was selected to perform in the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing China as part of the Highlights Concert of the 20th anniversary of Morningside Music Bridge. Furthermore, Albert was among the winners of the 2017 U of M Concerto Competition and will be performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no. 5 "Emperor" with the University of Manitoba Symphony Orchestra in the 2018-2019 season as a featured soloist. He won the biannual 2018 Western Young Artist Series Competition and will be going on tour across Manitoba and Saskatchewan in September/October of 2018. Albert was awarded 1st prize at the 2018 Lawrence Genser Scholarship Competition for the highest level of solo performance at the University of Manitoba. In addition, he was selected to be a Virtuosi Young Artist for the 2018/2019 Virtuosi Concerts Series and was awarded a Virtuosi Audience Prize for being among the top 3 performers. At the 2018 AMAF Provincials, Albert was awarded 1st prize in the provincial senior piano category and will be representing Manitoba at the 2018 FCMF National Music Festival. Albert is going into his 3rd year at the Desautels Faculty of Music under the tutelage of Dr. David Moroz and is the recipient of the prestigious Katherine May Quilliam Scholarship, which is awarded once every four years for the top undergraduate pianist. He is recognized as a President’s Scholar at the U of M and has been placed on the Dean’s Honour List for outstanding academic and musical achievements.

Instructs: Piano

CourtneyAlanna Courtney started teaching piano more than fifteen years ago, and has been an instructor of piano and theory with the Preparatory Studies Division of the Desautels Faculty of Music, University of Manitoba since 2007. She runs a busy studio of more than 40 students at her home in Crescentwood/River Heights and on campus at the U of M, teaching students aged 5 through adults, at all levels.

Alanna strives to nurture a love of music in her students, and as such, teaches with warmth, encouragement, and promotes creativity. As a proponent of life-long learning, Alanna continues to expand her piano repertoire through lessons with Professor Charles Horton at the U of M.

Instructs: Piano

Natalie Dawe began playing cello at the age of 7. In 2007, she travelled to Beijing, China with the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra to perform and record a CD that won an East Coast Music Award for Best Classical Recording. After moving to Winnipeg in 2007, Natalie studied with Yuri Hooker, principal cellist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. In 2011, she toured Sweden and Finland in collaboration with the University of Manitoba Singers. She was the winner of the the Holtby Scholarship and the Madeline Gauvin Scholarship through the Women’s Musical Club Annual Scholarship Competition. During her time at the University of Manitoba’s Desautels Faculty of Music, she was a prize winner in the Genser Competition, as well as a winner of the Concerto Competition. In 2013, she graduated with a B. Music degree in cello performance from the University of Manitoba’s Desautels Faculty of Music where she studied with Dr. Minna Rose Chung. In the summer of 2014, she performed with Rod Stewart at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg. She also performed at the Government House of Manitoba during the Royal Tour for The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. Natalie has attained a M. Music degree in cello performance at the University of Western Ontario's Don Wright Faculty of Music where she was studying with Thomas Wiebe. She currently enjoys collaborating with other local artists of various genres and teaching young aspiring cellists.

Instructs: Cello

lindaLinda De Pauw, Mezzo-Soprano, received her B. Mus. Degree from the University of Manitoba and completed her Graduate Studies in Vocal Performance at the Guildhall School of Music, London, England. She has sung with New Sadlers’ Wells Opera, Buxton Opera, World of Gilbert & Sullivan, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Linda was a member of London Voices and The Stephen Hill Singers. This enabled her to perform and record with most of London’s leading orchestras and with top international conductors. Linda played Miss Philips in the London West End production of Call Me Madam, sang in the BBC series of musicals for Radio 2 and on the DG recording of Bernstein’s On the Town with Michael Tilson Thomas. In Winnipeg, Linda has perfomed as a soloist with Manitoba Opera Association, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, MusikBarock Ensemble and the Little Opera Company.

Linda began teaching voice in 1986. She established a busy studio in Winnipeg when she returned to the city in 1997. She is a member of MRMTA and NATS. In addition to private voice lessons, Linda teaches theory, lyric diction courses for singers, a popular Summer Singing course and often adjudicates and facilitates workshops.

Instructs: Voice

Ruth Douglas has dedicated her entire life to educating her students. After completing her ARCT Performer, and then BSc, and BEd at the University of Manitoba, Ruth educated high school students in Math and Chemistry for five years until she became a full time mother.

It was during this time she taught piano and theory part time to contribute to the family income, turning it into a full time career in 1977. Since then, Ruth has completed ARCT Teacher, and has taken music courses at the University of Manitoba in 16thc counterpoint and topics in harmony, 18thc counterpoint, orchestration, modern topics, composition, Keyboard Harmony and Choral. She is a longstanding member of MRMTA and CFMTA, and has taught for the Preparatory Division, both piano and theory, for 20 plus years.

During her career, Ruth has prepared many students for piano exams and Music Festival from grades 1 to ARCT Performer’s. In the many classes of theory she has taught through the years, she has had many students receive top marks in the advanced theory courses, including all 3 levels of Harmony, Counterpoint, Analysis and 3 levels of Keyboard Harmony. 

Instructs: Piano & Theory

DufratPianist Megan Dufrat is currently studying under the tutelage of Dr. David Moroz at the Desautels Faculty of Music where she is the recipient of the prestigious Katherine May Quilliam Scholarship, an award reserved for a top undergraduate piano student. A frequent performer, Megan has been invited to perform as part of the Musical Offering and Music and Mavens Concert Series, and as part of the Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg Concert Series. She has performed in master classes for Jon Kimura Parker, Dr. Thomas Green, Rei Hotoda, and the Gryphon Trio and was recently awarded a Holtby scholarship from the Manitoba Registered Music Teachers Association. In 2014, Megan was a prizewinner in the Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg scholarship auditions.

With a passion for chamber music, Megan has been a guest artist in the Tuckamore Chamber Music Festival in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and has worked with the Manitoba Underground Opera Company as an répétiteur. Megan is currently the accompanist for the Women of Note Choirs and frequently performs with instrumentalists and vocalists.
Megan currently maintains a teaching studio within the Division of Preparatory Studies working with pianists of all ages and abilities. She also instructs the Theory Entrance Exam Course.

Instructs: Piano & Theory 

Bernadette Geras is an active piano, theory and composition teacher maintaining a studio in Winnipeg. Her students participate in festivals, exams and perform regularly in recitals and master classes. As a composer, Bernadette has enjoyed hearing her pieces played by her students at recitals and at the Winnipeg Music Festival. A couple of her compositions are published on Both Bernadette and her students have participated in recording CDs over the years.
Bernadette has adjudicated for the Turtle River Festival of the Arts, Mountain Music Festival, Kenora District Festival of the Arts, Rockwood Festival of the Arts, Evergreen Festival of the Arts, and Selkirk & District Piano Festival.

In addition to her private studio, Bernadette also teaches through the University of Manitoba, Preparatory Studies Division where she has also served as a clinician for master classes. She collaborates regularly with singers and instrumentalists for recitals, competitions, and auditions and has performed in this capacity over 110 times since 2010. Bernadette was the musical director for a special project at St. John Brebeuf School called “The Compassion Project,” where students were guided through the making of their own musical and she is one of the regular pianists at St. Bernadette Parish. Previously, she was an accompanist for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Professional Division.

Bernadette holds a Bachelor of Music degree and is an examiner for the Royal Conservatory. She has been examining throughout Canada since 2007 and has heard some very amazing talent in this country!

Instructs: Piano & Rudiments

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Canada, Lorilee Glenat has her ARCT Teacher’s certificate as well as Bachelor of Music from the University of Manitoba.  She has been blessed to study with several pedagogues including Charles Horton, Anne Lugsdin , Sydney McInnes, and Francis Sanderson to name a few.

She is a contracted instructor with the Prep Studies division at the Marcel Desautels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba, where she teaches piano and all theoretical subjects including harmony and history.  She has given masterclasses and workshops at the university and in 2017 was the piano adjudicator at the Meridian Music Festival.

Along with her musical interests, she enjoys gardening,  hiking, studying, and cooking.She and her husband both enjoy scuba diving and have traveled to and enjoyed the undersea life in places such as Fiji, Cozumel, South Africa, Western Australia and the Galapagos Islands.

Instructs: Piano & Theory

Dr. Ian Hodges is one of Canada’s most versatile musicians, performing professionally on classical and jazz guitar and in commercial music settings. His professional career began in the 1980’s as an electric guitarist with jazz, fusion, rock, blues and country bands.  Ian has performed all over Canada and the US, and is still an active performer.  His academic credentials are of the highest order, a rare combination that offers students the best of real world experience and extensive musical training.

Ian holds multiple degrees in guitar performance, including a Doctor of Musical Arts (University of Minnesota), Master's (Florida State University), Bachelor of Music (University of Manitoba), and is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, America's National Honorary Musical Society.

Performances as a classical guitar soloist, chamber musician and guest soloist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and other top professional ensembles led the Winnipeg Free Press to hail Ian as “Manitoba’s Premiere Classical Guitarist” (November 2001). CBC Radio featured many of his live performances in national broadcasts, and the CD “Canciones” (with soprano Charlene Pauls) received airplay across North America.

Dr. Hodges composes music for the concert stage, film and theatre, including National Film Board documentaries (the Peabody award-winning "Fat Chance" in 1994; "and so to Bed" in 1999), independent films ("Haunts of the Black Masseur - the Swimmer as Hero" in 2004), and shows for the Prairie Theatre Exchange ("The Birds & The Bees" 2017, "Butcher" 2015, "The Valley" 2014, "December Man" 2011).

A highly successful teacher for over 35 years, Dr. Hodges has taught at the University of Minnesota and the Canadian Mennonite University, and currently teaches for the Preparatory Division of the Faculty of Music, University of Manitoba. His students have won a great number of scholarships, medals and trophies in competitions and exams, and have been accepted at music schools across Canada and the US. Many have gone on to professional careers in music.

Instructs: Guitar, Electric Bass, Composition, Songwriting & Music Theory

 Kirsten Koch is going into her seventh year of being a violin instructor, and has been playing the instrument for 18 years. From a young age, Kirsten enjoyed singing and experimenting on many different instruments. After starting violin at the age of four, she began playing piano at the age of ten, followed by French horn at the age of 12. Kirsten pursued pre-university violin studies with Marcha Murphy, Anna Bond, and Karl Stobbe, attending masterclasses and lessons with individuals such as Elation Pauls and Gwen Hoebig. In 2010 and 2011, Kirsten attended the renowned Valhalla Summer Institute in Slocan, BC. In 2011, Kirsten also participated in masterclasses held at the Rosamunde Summer Music Academy, as well as at the Orford Arts Academy in Orford, QC. At Orford, Kirsten attended an intensive two week masterclass and lesson session(s) with violinist Claude Richard of Universite de Montreal. After graduating from high school, Kirsten began her music studies at Mount Royal University in Calgary under the tutelage of William Van der Sloot. After one year at this institution, Kirsten returned to Winnipeg and is now pursuing a degree in Biomedical Engineering. 

Instructs: Violin 

Allison Kroeker is a recent graduate of the Desautels Faculty of Music. Studying classical piano under the instruction of Dr. Darryl Friesen, Allison received numerous academic scholarships throughout her degree and graduated with the General Studies Medal for the highest academic standing. She also graduated with a minor in French and a focus on Early Childhood Music. 

Allison Kroeker is a recent graduate of the Desautels Faculty of Music. Studying classical piano under the instruction of Dr. Darryl Friesen, Allison received numerous academic scholarships throughout her degree and graduated with the General Studies Medal for the highest academic standing. She also graduated with a minor in French and a focus on Early Childhood Music. 

With extensive experience in ensemble playing, Allison draws on her varied and diverse background to create a rich and engaging atmosphere in the studio and classroom. Past ensembles include many Provincial Honor Bands, jazz bands and combos, church music and the University of Manitoba Women’s choir. 

 Her love of teaching began at an early age and she has run her private piano studio since the age of thirteen. She completed her Orff Level 1 certification in 2017 and plans on completing her ARCT in Piano Performance in 2019. 

 She loves working with students of all ages and skill levels, specifically enjoying introducing beginners to the creative and personal world of music. She is enthusiastic about setting students up for a lifelong pursuit of music appreciation and learning.

David Letkemann has a Master’s Degree in Music (classical guitar performance) from the University of Western Ontario. He has studied in master classes with Oscar Ghiglia, David Russell, Alice Artzt, Sergio Abreu, the Amsterdam Guitar Trio and many other world class performers.

He taught at Brandon University for almost 30 years, and is currently teaching at the Community School of Music & the Arts and at his own studio. Together with flutist Stuart McVey he released a recording of flute and guitar music. He is also a composer and arranger who has produced music for himself, his students and the guitar ensemble in Brandon. His own compositions, arrangements and transcriptions have been published by Productions d’oz and Mel Bay.


Instructs: Guitar

Elena Levina completed her BA in Piano at the Rostov College of Arts and went on to obtain her MA in Piano from the Rostov State Rachmaninoff Conservatory (Russia). An active teacher and accompanist with more than 30 years’ experience, Ms Levina has worked as a collaborative pianist with the Rostov Olympic Gymnastics team (Russia), the Rostov College of Art (Russia), the Winnipeg Youth Chorus, and John Black Memorial United Church (Winnipeg). Her piano students regularly participate in the Winnipeg Music Festival, and in both provincial and national competitions.

In addition to her work teaching and accompanying, Ms Levina is also an experienced theory instructor, teaching all levels of theory and harmony. She has been an instructor with Prep Studies for over 15 years.

Languages: English and Russian

Instructs: Piano & Theory

LiuXueyan (Laura) Liu graduated from Shenyang Conservatory of Music (China) with her Master’s Degree in Piano Performance. A certified piano teacher and examiner with over 20 years of experience, Laura has dedicated her professional life to spreading her passion for piano to her students, student’s parents and friends.

Laura enjoys working with students of all ages and levels, tailoring lessons to meet the individual goals of each student. Laura encourages her students to participate in piano exams and competitions to advance their piano skills and performance abilities. Many of her students have achieved excellent rankings in provincial and national piano contests in China, and more recently, in the Winnipeg Music Festival.

Languages: English and Mandarin

Instructs: Piano

Faith Loewen graduated the University of Manitoba in 1997 with a B. Mus. (piano) & B.Ed. (choral music). She has completed level III Orff certification.

Faith has been teaching through Preparatory Studies since 1993. Her piano students have ranged from beginner to grade ten level. She has over a decade experience teaching elementary music in the DSFM and Louis Riel School Division, including preparing several groups to perform at student concerts with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, festivals, and at a national Orff conference. She performs as a violinist and pianist with a number of ensembles & currently directs a Brass ensemble as well. She studies the violin with Mikhail Pokhanovski.

Faith is accepting piano students at any level who are committed to regular practise. She teaches private theory lessons up to the Advanced Rudiments level with top level exam results. She is also accepting beginner level violin students.

Faith offers instruction in French, English, and German.

Instructs: Piano, Violin & Theory

rodRod Machovec studied Classical Guitar Performance with Canadian classical guitarist Norbert Kraft at the University of Toronto and later at the Aspen International Music Festival (Juilliard school of music’s summer program) with Sharon Isbin. Ms. Isbin in the founder and head of the guitar department at the Juilliard school.  There Rod was chosen by Ms. Isbin to perform in front of an international audience in the “Distinguished Artist Masterclass  Series” in the historic “Wheeler Opera House.”

Rod later furthered his study of musical interpretation with violinist Dr. Konstantin Krechler who mentored him for an intense period of time.

Rod holds an A.R.C.T. in guitar performance from the Royal Conservatory in Toronto and studied music pedagogy (the art of teaching guitar) there as well.  He has been a member of the Manitoba Registered Music Teachers Association since 1996. "Outside of his teaching commitments, Rod currently is sought after as a performer, composer and arranger and an adjudicator throughout Manitoba."

Since his years as a student Rod has performed for two decades in Recitals, on Radio and TV and has recorded three CD’s of solo classical guitar music. Rod’s most recent release is an album of Christmas music arranged for solo classical guitar over a  25 year span.

Rod also enjoys playing Jazz and world music on the side using various types of guitars.

His parents were both professional musicians who also taught their respective instruments (piano and clarinet and sax) and they guided Rod early on in the art of instruction.

Rod has been teaching guitar full time since 1989, and serves on the faculty at the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts and the University of Manitoba School of music’s preparatory division teaching all styles of guitar. Rod also currently has a busy guitar studio in River Heights, Winnipeg.

Instructs: Guitar

mehmelColin Mehmel is a Guild Certified Feldenrkais practitioner and professional clarinettist. Colin currently teaches clarinet and Feldenkrais at the University of Manitoba, Marcel A. Desautels Faculty of Music Division of Preparatory Studies, the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Art, the, and teaches weekly Awareness Through Movement class at the Rady JCC.

Colin first became interested in the Feldenkrais Method after sustaining a shoulder injury which, in addition to being very painful, caused many difficulties in his clarinet playing. Once he found how much and how fast he could learn and change from Feldenkrais lessons, Colin enrolled in a Feldenkrais teacher training, and now uses his knowledge of the Feldenkrais Method and music to help his students learn quickly and discover how movement can be a foundation for learning and achievement.

Colin graduated from the Feldenkrais teacher training program at the Institute for the Study of Somatic Education, in Chicago Illinois, and holds music degrees from Michigan State University (M.M.) and the University of Manitoba (B.Mus).

Instructs: Feldenkrais & Clarinet

PhilippePhilippe Meunier is a Winnipeg-based guitar player who brings expertise in various styles including Latin Jazz, Classical Guitar and Flamenco. Philippe holds a teaching certificate and for the last 20 years he has worked with many students of all ages and levels.

Philippe has performed at major events across Canada including: the Canadian Francophone Games (MB), Folklorama (MB), the Winnipeg Fringe Festival (MB), the Stream of Dance Festival (SK), the Saskatchewan International Jazz Festival (SK), Prairie Music Week (MB), the Regina Folk Festival (SK), the Flatland Music Festival (SK), the Saskatoon Guitar Festival and a series of concerts at the Quebec Civilization Museum (QUE). He has made several recordings (nation-wide) for CBC TV & Radio in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Québec.

Through the years Philippe has received numerous scholarships:  2017 - Louis Riel Teacher;s Association:  Teaching Guitar Workshops in San Diego; 2016 - Canada Council for the Arts/Winnipeg Arts Council/Louis Riel Teacher's Assoc - Masterclasses at Taller Flamenco in Seville, Spain; 2015 - Manitoba Arts Council:  Masterclasses at Taller Flamenco in Seville, Spain; 2014 he received a grant from the Louis Riel Teachers' Association in Winnipeg to attend a symposium on music at McGill University (Qué) and in 2011 to study guitar at Le Domaine Forget International Music Academy (Qué).

Languages: French and English

Instructs: Guitar

Marcha Murphy taught violin and viola for the Suzuki Talent Education Institute first at Linwood School and later at the University of Manitoba Prep Studies. She took a retirement break in 2005. She is a graduate of Western Illinois University, Northwestern University, and the University of Manitoba. She received Suzuki teacher training from Tanya Carey and Almita Vamos in Illinois and Joanne Martin in Winnipeg and attended many SAA summer institutes in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

In 1983 Marcha enjoyed three weeks in Matsumoto, Japan at the International Suzuki Conference. 

Instructs: Violin 

NovytskaTetyana Novytska graduated from the National University of Music and Arts (Ukraine) with a Master’s degree in Piano Performance and Education. Tetyana has over 25 years’ experience teaching in National Academy of Culture in Ukraine. There she performed with orchestras and was a highly sought-after accompanist.

After moving to Canada in 2006, Tetyana established her practice as music teacher and accompanist. She teaches students from beginners to university advanced levels. Tetyana’s students had won various awards for provincial and national competitions. Her personal piano performances are also warmly received in various Winnipeg community events.

Languages: English, Ukrainian and Russian

Instructs: Piano

justinTenor Justin Odwak is an emerging artist in Canada's classical music scene. Mr. Odwak has performed as soloist with organizations such as Winnipeg's premier choir, the Winnipeg Singers, Canzona, and with the Winnipeg Philharmonic choir for the 2013 Tchaikovsky Festival, presented by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Odwak has appeared as soloist with the University of Manitoba singers for Soundstreams at Toronto's Koerner Hall along with the Latvian Radio Choir and has performed as soloist with the group for the Rocky Mountain Music Festival at the Banff Centre. Mr. Odwak has also performed with the Sarah Sommer Chai Folk Ensemble, appearing at Edmonton's Jubilee Auditorium, and in Winnipeg at the Centennial Concert Hall, as well as performing at the International Karmiel Festival in Israel. He recently made his solo debut with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in A Prairie Christmas Celebration in 2013, and has recently appeared as soloist in Messiah with Orchestra London and with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, both under the baton of Ivars Taurins.

Mr. Odwak placed runner-up in the 2015 Zita Bernstein German Lieder Competition and is currently studying his Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education at the Desautels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba, under the direction of Mel Braun.

Instructs: Voice

Jane Petroni is a graduate of the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Music. She was awarded many scholarships including the Mrs. James Richardson scholarship and many Western Board of Music scholarships. These scholarships encouraged her to continue her studies in Aspen Colorado, and at the Banff School of the Arts, and in the Classical musical Program in Vienna, Austria.

Jane has studied under Thelma Wilson, Garth Beckett, John Melnyk and Ken Adams, and continued in master classes with Marek Jablonski, Leonard Isaacs, Paul Badura-Skoda, Hans Kann, Williard Schultz, and Boris Roubakine.

Her students have been honoured in Royal Conservatory examinations and many have won gold medals both provincially and nationally. In the Winnipeg Music Festival, some have received first place, have been trophy winners, or have placed in the top of their class with several continuing to the provincial competition on recommendation from the Festival. Having auditioned for and won scholarships for their age and grade level in both solo repertoire and concerto competitions, many of her students have been selected to be in the preparatory department enrichment program of the University on Manitoba. Several students have played with the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra. Jane has had many finalists in the Canadian Music Competition which is a national music competition and one in Virtuose, a Canadian Competition based in Montreal. Several students have been finalists in the American Competition: Young Keyboard Artists Associations. One of her students placed second in her age group worldwide in the international online piano competition Great Composers Competition.

Instructs: Piano

Mikhail Pokhanovski is a violin, viola and chamber music teacher with over 20 years of teaching experience. A graduate of the legendary Moscow Conservatory, he was member of the McGill Chamber orchestra, Virtuosi de Montreal and Joachim Quartet, performing all over Canada, the United States, and Europe. He is often asked to adjudicate music festivals and competitions in Canada. Mikhail's students have achieved the highest honors in competitions and provincial festivals. His students have been recipients of Gold medals in RCM examinations and many have been awarded full scholarships to study at major universities all over Canada.

Instructs: Violin & Viola

Oleg Pokhanovski began his career as a violinist at the age of 6, giving his first performance with the Kuybyshev Symphony in Russia.  At 10, he was accepted into renowned Special Music School for Gifted Children in Moscow and later studied at the  Moscow State Conservatory with Professor Valery Klimov.  Pokhanovski cites his most influential teachers to be his uncle violinist Lev Zaides, and pianist Svetlana Vorobyova.  Invited to move to the  United States, he received full scholarships at The Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music studying with Dorothy DeLay, Pinchas Zukerman and Ani Kavafian,  and took part in the “Solisti dal Mondo” program under  Taras Gabora. Pokhanovski was also awarded a Doctor of Music degree at the University of Montreal.

Oleg Pokhanovski is a top prizewinner of eight prestigious international violin competitions including the Paganini in Genova, Sarasate in Pamplona and CIEM in Geneva among others, and was First Prize Winner of the 1990 Scheveningen International Violin Competition. He is also a twice recipient of the prestigious Canada Council National Career Development Grant, as well as a multiple recipient of Conceil des Arts du Quebec and Manitoba Arts Council Grants.

Pokhanovski has performed in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Israel and Russia, giving over 1000 concerts in total. He has been presented in the Carnegie Recital Hall, the Grand Hall in Moscow, the Concertgebouw, Knight Hall in Prague, Place des Arts in Montréal and others. His solo appearances with orchestra included the Moscow Philharmonic, Moscow Virtuosi, The Hague Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Montréal Symphony and Winnipeg Symphony orchestras. His concerts brought rave reviews claiming him “Russian Paganini” and describing his playing as “brilliant”, “phenomenal”, “outstanding”, and “extraordinary”. He has also been invited to perform on national television and radio in Russia, Serbia, Poland, Canada and the Netherlands. Mr. Pokhanovski is active as a chamber musician and has appeared in the International Virtuosi Series in Germany, Domaine Forget in Quebec, Centara New Music, Agassiz Summer Chamber Music, Orford and Pender Harbour Music festivals in Canada. He is a Founder and Artistic Director of the “Oleg and Friends” concert series in Winnipeg.

Pokhanovski is also in much demand as a pedagogue and presently holds the position of Associate Professor of Violin at the Marcel A Desautels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba, having previously held the same position at the Lake State Superior University in Michigan. Mr. Pokhanovski can be heard on three released CDs, entitled Solo Violin, The Mirror Image, and La Valse.

Pokhanovski’s deep admiration for the great musicians of the past, Heifetz, Menuhin, Milstein, Kreisler and others is evident in his sensitive, passionate style of playing. “Pokhanovski’s high-energy performances are characterized by an unmistakeably  genuine passion for the music. Urgent, serious and heartfelt – all words that aptly describe Oleg Pokhanovski’s playing” (Gwenda Nemerofsky, Winnipeg Free Press.)

Instructs: Violin

RaynerShirley Rayner has been teaching piano for nearly 15 years. She has completed her Royal Conservatory A.R.C.T. Piano Teacher's Diploma and is a member of the Manitoba Registered Teacher's Association.

Ms Rayner teaches all ages, from young children to adults; from the beginner level to early advanced levels, and can prepare students for either RCM or Conservatory Canada exams.

In addition to the piano, Ms Rayner enjoys studying both the ukulele and the 5 string banjo. 

Instructs: Piano

Laurel Ridd is active as a freelance flutist, performing with the Winnipeg Symphony and many other ensembles. As a soloist she has appeared with MusikBarock in works by Bach, Vivaldi, Devienne, Cimarosa and others. Playing the Baroque flute, she participates regularly on the Musical Offering series, while her interest in contemporary music has led to numerous performances on the Groundswell series. A founder of the Syrinx Flute Festival, she teaches privately and at the International Music Camp, as well as at the University of Manitoba.

Instructs: Flute

Amjad Sabir is a versatile artist on the Tabla, Harmonim, Sittar and Indian Banjo, however, he is best known on the Winnipeg scene as a vocalist. Amjad has studied classical and semi-classical styles, as well as folk music. He has received a collection of awards for his rendition of Geet, Gazal and Raga throughout his musical career.

Amjad has been a music teacher at the India School of Dance, Music and Theatre Inc. since 1994, and with Prep Studies at the University of Manitoba since 1996. He began teaching at Seven Oaks School Division in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 2013. He has produced two DVDs "Learn Tabla and Harmonium at Home" which are a designed to help to those who have no access to a teacher.

Amjad has performed for many communities in Winnipeg. He also had the opportunity to perform with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in 2009. Now-a-days he is experimenting to create a new sound by blending East Indian and Western music.

Instructs: East Indian Music

Skender Sefa teaches classical and electric guitar performance and music theory at the University of Manitoba Faculty of Music through the Preparatory Division. He has recorded four classical guitar CD’s on the GFI Masterworks, Uncontrollable Records and Marquis Classics labels. As a student, he completed the Bachelor of Music (Performance) and Master of Music (Performance) degree programs at the University of Manitoba Faculty of Music under Ryszard Tyborowski. He also completed a Bachelor of Arts (Advanced) degree and was a scholarship student at the prestigious Domaine Forget Music and Dance Academy in Quebec, where he studied under renowned classical guitar pedagogues Bruce Holzman (USA), Jean Vallieres (Quebec) and Patrick Roux (Ottawa). In addition to performing, teaching and recording, Skender is an active adjudicator.

Instructs: Guitar, ukulele, mandolin

Yaroslava Shevchenko was born in Kyiv, Ukraine, where at the age of six she started her musical training in both violin and piano. Through 25 years of her music education background she learned from numerous internationally recognized musicians from all over the world including Z. Bron, S. Fatkulin, I. Oistakh, V. Spivakov, A. Lisy etc. She holds a Master's Degree with Honors in Music from the Tchaikovsky Music National Academy of Ukraine, Postgraduate Diplomas from Menuhin International Music Academy in Switzerland, Queen Sofia High Music School, Royal Music Conservatory and Fatkulin International Music Academy in Madrid, Pain. Yaroslava has an extensive career as a soloist. She is also a prize winner at national and international competitions.

After moving to Canada, since 2015 she maintains a busy private music studio at her residence in Charleswood, Winnipeg. Yaroslava believes that her broad musical education allows her to find the best teaching approach for each individual student. She enjoys working with students of all ages. Yaroslava believes that in addition to a teacher's professionalism and experience it is essential to nurture confidence in a student. Yaroslava uses an individual training approach to each student to make the process easy and create a beautiful connection with the music they love. " I am very happy to see my students progressing while keeping their interest and love for music." Fluent in four languages, she teaches in English, Spanish, Russian, and Ukrainian.

Instructs: Violin & Piano

Brendan Thompson graduated with his Bachelor of Music (Percussion Performance) degree from the University of Manitoba, and earned his Master of Music (Percussion Performance) degree from Butler University in Indianapolis, IN. He frequently performs with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, including his role as the Acting Principal Timpanist for the 2014/15 season. In addition, Brendan is the current Musician-in-Residence at Charleswood United Church. Also an avid sports fan, he performs on game days with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Drumline. Brendan regularly plays for musical theatre productions and with choral groups throughout the city. In one of his more recent projects, Brendan was the pit percussionist for Rainbow Stage’s 2015 production of Les Misérables.

With a strong interest in music education, Brendan is active as a clinician and educator throughout Manitoba. He currently teaches as a sessional instructor at both the University of Manitoba and the Canadian Mennonite University. When he is not performing or teaching in the city, Brendan enjoys getting away and spending time at the lake.

Instructs: Percussion


Ecuadorian pianist David Troya began his musical training with his mother. He continued his studies with Armenian pianist Angela Artugnan; Bulgarian pianist Toshko Stoyanov; and Ecuadorian pianist Celia Zaldumbide. David went on to obtain a B.A. in Business at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito. While completing his business degree, David continued his piano instruction with Ecuadorian pedagogue Bertha Brito.

In 2002, David moved to Pamplona (Spain) where he studied for three years at the Pablo Sarasate Conservatory under the instruction of Francesca Croccolino and Maite Ascunce. He also collaborated with the Pablo Sarasate Symphony Orchestra, and performed at Palacio Euskalduna, one of the largest venues in Spain. In 2003, he won second prize at Santander’s Chamber Music Competition (Spain).

David moved to Italy in 2005, where he continued his musical studies with American pianist Steven Kramer in Rome, and with Italian pianist and composer Luca Garbini in Terni. In 2007, David was awarded a fellowship by Memorial University of Newfoundland, where he studied with maestro Timothy Steeves. David has given a few recitals in St. John’s, and in June 2011 he performed as a young artist at ScotiaFest in Halifax, one of the largest festivals in Atlantic Canada.

David is a very enthusiastic piano teacher, and many of his students have succeeded in festivals, exams, recitals, and competitions. He completed a Post- Baccalaureate Diploma in Performance at the University of Manitoba in May 2014 under the instruction of David Moroz and Charles Horton.

Languages: English, Spanish, and Italian

Instructs: Piano

Ryszard Tyborowski completed his Master Degree of Music Performance at the Faculty of Music at the State University of Music in Wroclaw, Poland in 1981. His advisor was Tadeusz Wybraniec. After graduation, Ryszard studied with many highly recognized guitarists in Europe including Costas Cotsiolis. Ryszard was awarded with grants and scholarships from different Canadian Arts Councils.

Ryszard Tyborowski is very well known across Canada for his music video "Hora" by Stepan Rak recorded by Bravo TV. His first compact disc, entitled "Romantico" has been praised by music critics in Canada and overseas. It was also singled out for its excellence on the CBC program "Sound Advice". Ryszard's second CD "Homage a Chopin" has been described as a "magnificent recording." Recently released CD "Pearls and Yarn" (April 2005) has been awarded five stars over five by the Winnipeg Free Press. Ryszard has performed numersou recitals in Canada and in Europe. Ryszard is frequently heard on national CBC radio in Canada, and various classical music stations in the USA. One of the most recognized Canadian composers Sid Robinovitch, dedicated his new concerto "Ports of Call" to him and clarinetist Milan Milosevic (premiered in May 2005 in Belgrade). In 1996 Ryszard became a faculty member at the Facultyof Music of the University of Manitoba, where he teaches classical guitar. He is also President of the Winnipeg Classical Guitar Society.

Instructs: Guitar

Shannon Melody Unger, DMA, M.Mus., B.Mus. Shannon's passion is the human voice and the amazing array of colors and possibility it presents. Every voice is distinctive and every singer is unique. Fascination drew her further into the world of vocal pedagogy and vocal physiology. After completing the prestigious internship offered through the National Association of Teachers of Singing, Shannon went on to study at the Summer Vocology Institute - an intensive program which combines speech science, vocal physiology, and medicine at the National Center for Voice and Speech. She then certified in contemporary commercial vocal pedagogy (pop vocals) through Shenandoah University where she completed her Level III teacher training in Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. At the core of Shannon's teaching is her commitment to honor the authenticity in each unique voice. Set your song free!

Instructs: Voice

VaillancourtJosée Vaillancourt has been teaching piano and musical theory for over 30 years. Ms Vaillancourt began her studies with the Ecole de musique Vincent d'Indy, in Montréal (Québec) and went on to finish her third cycle (troisième cycle) advance theory course at the Conservatoire de musique de Hull (Québec). She graduated from the université de Montréal with a B. Mus. in Musicology and Ethnomusicology (histoire et langue musicale) and from the University of Manitoba with a B. Ed. Degree (Music and French). Ms Vaillancourt is a trained Suzuki piano teacher, up to book 4 included, with 10 years experience using the method. She has also obtained her Level II Orff training.

Ms Vaillancourt was on the Board of Directors of the Manitoba Registered Music Teachers' Association-Winnipeg Branch for 7 years and she is a registered adjudicator with the Associated Manitoba Arts Festival.

Languages: English and French

Instructs: Piano & Theory


Tianhao Wang began his musical journey at the age of 6. Under the direction of the renowned pianist Dr. Darryl Friesen and violinist Dr. Oleg Pokhanovski, he received his ARCT piano performance diploma at age 15 and ARCT violin performance diploma at age 16. Tianhao has been teaching piano and violin privately since 2013 and is a member of the Manitoba Registered Music Teachers’ Association (MRMTA). Upon entering the Desautels Faculty of Music, he received the Val Simanavicius Memorial Scholarship which is given to the most deserving undergraduate violin major. Tianhao is currently an active accompanist, member of the University of Manitoba Symphony Orchestra, and enjoys teaching private music lessons at his home studio and at the University of Manitoba Preparatory Studies program.

 Instructs: Piano & Violin

Allison Warrian earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Manitoba and a Master of Music in Literature and Performance from the University of Western Ontario.   A native of Winnipeg, her teachers have included Paul Marleyn and Thomas Wiebe. She performs as a freelance cellist in Winnipeg and throughout Southern Manitoba.  Allison is a dedicated teacher and enthusiastically maintains a large private teaching studio.

Instructs: Cello

Caron Whitlaw Hiebert has been teaching for Prep Studies at the Desautels Faculty of Music for over 20 years. She holds both an ARCT Teachers Diploma as well as an ARCT Performers Diploma, and is a current member of the Manitoba Registered Music Teachers’ Association (MRMTA). In addition to being an examiner for Conservatory Canada, Caron is in demand as a clinician for Prep Studies, the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts, MRMTA, music festivals, Music for Young Children® workshops, and teaching studios throughout Canada.

Caron enjoys teaching talented students from young beginners to the University level. Her students excel in both the Winnipeg Music Festival and the Provincial Music Festival, regularly winning classes, trophies and scholarships. Every year Caron has students participate in the prestigious Canadian Music Competition, with students frequently advancing to the national level.

One of Caron's greatest passions is teaching pedagogy. She teaches a large class in her home studio and at the University of Manitoba for Prep Studies. Caron’s pedagogy students have frequently earned the highest marks in the province for their Royal Conservatory of Music pedagogy exams. Many of her students have gone on to become respected teachers in Manitoba and across Canada. 

Instructs: Piano & Piano Pedagogy

Tiffany A. Wilson (B. Music, A.M.M., R.M.T.) is a successful singer, pianist, accompanist and adjudicator. She earned her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and Theatre at the University of Manitoba, Faculty of Music and acquired an A.M.M. in piano from the Western Board of Music.  Further vocal studies brought her to New York and then abroad to England, France and Italy where she studied with this century’s vocal masters: Gianni Raimondi, Mary Thomas and Jean Giraudeau. In Europe, she performed, studied, and perfected those (Italian, French) languages in which she is fluent and loves to teach. 

 Known affectionately as “Miss Tiffany” to her many voice and piano students, she has her own successful home-based music studio in Winnipeg, Canada. She teaches for the Preparatory Studies programme at the University of Manitoba - Faculty of Music and at St. John’s Ravenscourt private school, music programme in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Ms. Wilson is constantly at the piano accompanying and encouraging her students, at their private lessons, for festivals, concerts and exams. Students graduating from her studio are acclaimed artists across Europe and North America, starring on the stages of Broadway, the West End and European Television. 

Ms. Wilson is President elect of the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers Association and the Past President of the MRMTA. She is very dedicated to her volunteer work on both executives and excels in this role.  Her knowledge and expertise in music lead her to also be heavily involved with adjudicating and giving workshops or master classes around Manitoba and Ontario.

Acknowledged as an excellent disciplinary and exacting educator, Miss Tiffany inspires both young and old to follow their passion for music; sharing her vast knowledge and experience to lead them to become accomplished artists. 

Instructs: Voice & Piano

Additional Instructors:

Diane Berger (Voice)

Lynne Braun (Voice)

Victor Csordas (Piano)

Michael Daher (Guitar,Theory)

Bery Filsaime (Cello)

Alice Fuller (Trumpet)

Denis Gaudry (Trombone)

Diane Knute (Piano)

Paul Levasseur (Composition, Cello, Guitar)

Guy Michaud (Guitar)

Layla Roberts (Flute)

Tuesday Royko (Voice)

Eamon Sheil (Jazz Saxophone)

Tianhao Wang (Violin, Piano)

Instructor Bios