Faculty - 2015

Rochelle Drudge

Program Director; Violin, Piano

Rochelle Drudge has loved making music since age four when she first plucked guitar strings with a popsicle stick. After years of hoping to learn to play every instrument (especially saxophone), she became slightly more realistic and focused on two favourites: violin and piano. Rochelle’s musical involvements have included teaching, leading string groups and orchestras, choral directing, piano accompanying and playing in string ensembles. She spends most of her day either homeschooling her girls or teaching music, but other interests include gardening, making up healthy cooking/baking recipes, and experimentations with various fermentation projects (with more or less positive success).

This year, we were excited to welcome Christine Donkin to Winkler for the 2015 Cadenza week.  She is a composer, teacher and performer from Ottawa, ON (and for the Cadenza 2014 participatants, you will remember we highlighted her as the Canadian Composer of the week!) Students had the priviledge of learning from her in composition classes and hearing new works she composed for our week.

Christine Donkin


Christine Donkin composes award-winning, critically acclaimed music that appeals to a broad range of listeners and performers. Described as “stunning”, “poignant”, and “astonishingly beautiful”, her work is promoted by several publishers and is performed all over the continent and beyond.


Christine composes music for musicians of all kinds. High calibre concerts at venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Moscow Conservatory are interspersed among frequent performances featuring young soloists, community orchestras, and church choirs. Symphony New Brunswick, Symphony Nova Scotia, Thirteen Strings, Elektra Women’s Choir, DaCapo Chamber Choir, and the Canadian Guitar Quartet are just a few of the ensembles that have performed her music.


As one of Canada’s leading pedagogical composers, Christine is frequently called upon to work with music students and teachers as a guest speaker, clinician, and adjudicator. Over one hundred of her compositions, arrangements, and figured bass realizations appear in the Royal Conservatory of Music graded repertoire and studies books, and ten albums of music for piano, violin, and double bass students are available from two publishers. With additional compositions included in the publications of Trinity College London and the Australian Music Examinations Board, Christine’s pedagogical music is quickly gaining international prominence.

Leanne Zacharias


Leanne Zacharias is a dynamic cellist, educator and interdisciplinary artist known for innovative collaborations with artists of all stripes. Her project Music for Spaces re-imagines concerts, public and natural space with sound, and recent work includes CityWide: simultaneous recitals by 50 cellists presented by the International Cello Festival of Canada,  Sonus Loci: a sound installation on ice, selected by Winnipeg's 2013 Warming Huts Art & Architecture competition, release of Rand Steiger's Elusive Peace for drumset and cello on New World Records, recordings with John K. Samson and The Mountain Goats. She has performed and recorded extensively with longtime ally, songwriter Christine Fellows, including an appearance at the 2013 Venice Biennale in support of artist Shary Boyle, presented by the National Gallery of Canada. She received a ‘Best Performer’ nomination from the Austin Critics’ Circle for Concerto Laguna, in which she played from a rowboat in Travis Weller’s site-specific work presented by the Austin Museum of Art. She was also a featured artist in the 2012 Fast Forward Austin new music festival. Based in Manitoba, she performs and teaches widely across Canada, including at the Prairie Cello Institute and Cadenza Music Festival. She has served as guest adjudicator and clinician with the Con Brio Music Festival in Whistler, Regina Music Festival, Saskatoon Strings, Pembina Valley Strings and Winnipeg Youth Symphony Orchestra. She leads the Correction Line Ensemble and appears with an array of ensembles and venues: the Boundary Ensemble, Groundswell, Emerado, SaskPower, Toca Loca, Global Cabaret Festival, X-Avant New Music Festival, Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Agassiz Chamber Music Festival to name a few. She participated in the inaugural Banff Research in Culture workshop (Bric) at the Banff Centre for Arts; On-The-Commons, and presented her work at conferences internationally including Timeforms at McGill University,  Project Anywhere at Parsons New School for Art and Design (NYC), and the IIAS Art & Science Conference (Baden-Baden, Germany). She contributes to several ongoing interdisciplinary collaborative projects including Odyssey Works  and Channel Surf (with the Department of Biological Flow).

On faculty at the Brandon University School of Music since 2008, she teaches across a range of areas including cello, contemporary performance practice, chamber music, ear training and orchestral performance. She is an artistic co-director of the Brandon Chamber Players, co-founder of the Works In Progress Cabaret, and sits on the Board of Directors of the Brandon Folk, Music and Arts Festival.


Simon MacDonald


Simon MacDonald began playing the violin at age seven in Victoria, British Columbia. He did his musical studies in Victoria, Boston, and Montreal; receiving a Bachelor of Music from New England Conservatory and Master of Music from McGill.  As a student Simon spent summers performing and studying at several music festivals around Europe and North America.  After playing the 1999 season with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans, Simon returned to Canada where he now calls Winnipeg home. On the prairies Simon is active as a teacher, orchestral musician, chamber musician, and soloist.  Along with his regular duties in the first violin section of the WSO, he was Principal Second violin of the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra (2003-12), guest Concert Master of the Regina Symphony Orchestra (2013, 14), and he is a member of the Rembrandt String Quartet.  In October of 2013, his wife Jennifer gave birth to their first baby, a beautiful boy named Oliver.

Greg Hay


Brandon, Manitoba native Greg Hay completed his Bachelor of Music at Brandon University in 1999 and his Master of Music at McGill University in 2001. 


He has performed and toured with several Quebec-based ensembles including Les Violons du Roy, Ensemble contemporain de Montréal, Orchestre symphonique de Quebec and Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. In 2006 Greg and his wife, pianist Donna Laube, moved to Winnipeg where he currently plays in the WSO and maintains a private teaching studio. Greg recently joined the faculty of music at Brandon University as a sessional instructor. When he’s not performing on the viola, Greg enjoys spending his time cross-country skiing and playing bluegrass music. 

Janna Olson


Originally from Three Hills Alberta, Janna Olson holds degrees in church music and piano performance and a Masters in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Alberta where she studied with Janet Scott-Hoyt. She is also certified in Piano and Early Childhood Music with the Gordon Institute for Music Learning. 


Performing, adjudicating, and giving workshops have provided diverse opportunities for her to share her music in Canada, the United States and Europe.  Janna currently resides in Edmonton teaching privately and as a sessional instructor at The King’s University College.  She plays with the Bonnie Doon Piano Trio and in her “off hours” enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, skiing and running.


Crystal Tait

Double Bass, Cello

Crystal Tait grew up in a household where there was always music playing.  Her mother and father were from the hippy generation so there were often sounds of The Beatles or Led Zeppelin streaming through the house.  Her love of classical music came from her maternal grandfather Don Scott, as she would often sit on his organ bench listening to him play and she could never get through a piano practice session without an impromptu lesson from him.  Crystal’s great-grandmother Dorothy Bach was a concert pianist, her great-grandfather Victor Scott was an opera singer, and there were a string of cellists in the family.  Crystal attributes much of her musical instincts to the influence of her family.

Crystal’s musical interests are diverse, as she loves to pick up a banjo or play some Irish fiddle just as much as she enjoys playing bass in an orchestra.  After performing on flute, saxophone, piano, trumpet, trombone and euphonium in her early years she was ultimately led to the double bass after hearing a symphony orchestra for the first time.

Crystal has a Bachelor of Music degree in Euphonium and Double Bass from Brandon University and a Masters of Music degree in Double Bass Performance from the University of Minnesota.  She has had the privilege of studying under Eric Hansen, Rolf Erdahl, Peter Lloyd, Matthew Frischman, and Meredith Johnson.  Crystal is currently the bassist for the Brandon Chamber Players and has performed in the bass sections of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra, Minot Symphony Orchestra and the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra.  Crystal also performs at the Clear Lake Chamber Music Festival and has served as classical bass teacher at the International Music Camp.  In addition to her University training, Crystal has studied baroque double bass with David Sinclair at the Tafelmusik Summer Institute and has attended the International Double Bass Convention.

Crystal currently teaches classical double bass at the Brandon University School of Music, and also enjoys the daily adventures of motherhood with her three children Bella, Chloe and Sarah.


Marla Winters


Marla Winters has a Bachelor of Music degree from Brandon University, where she studied with Francis Chaplin. She has completed Suzuki Teacher Training from Guelph, Ontario, Steven's Point, WI, Snowmass Village, CO and the Brandon Suzuki Summer Institute. Marla is currently teaching 30 students in the Brandon Suzuki Talent Education Program as well as the Suzuki Satellite Program in MacGregor, Manitoba. She is also the Music Coordinator at First Baptist Church, Brandon. Marla is studying violin with Prof. Kerry DuWors at Brandon University.

Her hobbies include scrapbooking and cooking.

Tatiana Friesen


After an initial immersion in piano and choral singing, a teenaged Tatiana picked up a viola and became friends with it. She earned a Bachelor of Music (Performance) from Canadian Mennonite University and a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Performance from the University of Manitoba, both under the instruction of Daniel Scholz. She plays principal viola in the Mennonite Community Orchestra and the Manitoba Underground Opera Orchestra and is active as a freelance violist, but gets most of her joy from chamber music. She dreams of becoming proficient on the strange animal that is the Baroque viola and to that end has traveled (three times) to Toronto to study with members of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. Tatiana is on faculty at CMU’s Community School of Music and the Arts, the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and the Arts, and Sistema Winnipeg, besides teaching out of her home; as a teacher she enjoys giving legs to her conviction that music is an act that belongs to every human being. The best way to get her goat is to suggest that you are unmusical, and the best way to calm her down after is to give her some bread dough or yarn to mess around with.

Rachel Regehr


Rachel Regehr, B.Ed., B.Mus., grew up in Southern Manitoba playing string music.  She was immersed in the Suzuki method (violin) from a young age, and attained her bachelors of music and education from the University of Manitoba in 2003.  Rachel has been a private violin teacher since 1998 and currently teaches out of her home studio near St. Adolphe. Rachel also has experience as an elementary school music teacher, Adjunct Faculty member at Providence College, violin teacher with the  Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts, and a teacher with Cadenza music camp.She has been a member of the Manitoba Registered Music Teachers Association since 2009.  Other musical interests include conducting and singing choral music, playing in ensembles, and leading church music.

Wes Hamm


The wake from Wes Hamm’s canoe has left splash marks on a few rocks, a sand bar and the occasional lily pad. Which is to say, Wes has never been comfortable fitting music into neat little compartments. Violin studies shape songs; old folk songs provide inspiration for new melody. Rhythms shape the text and bleed back into the melody which sometimes finds its way back to the violin. It’s amazing what a couple of leaves of fresh basil will do to perk up the spaghetti sauce. It’s astonishing how long it took Wes Hamm to figure out that there is life after “shmount fatt”. Fortunately, it didn’t take him that long to embrace the diverse influences that have shaped his musical palette. Wes’s current musical tastes include recordings by Yo Yo Ma, Paul Simon, Jars of Clay, James Ehnes and Eva Cassidy. His musicianship has been shaped by studying violin with Rebecca Hunter at Eastern Mennonite University, by working together with many other teachers in the Suzuki tradition, by jamming with friends classical and friends folk, by listening to his students, and by sharing rehearsal and stage with many wonderful musicians. As a teacher, Wes owes a great deal to his three children, (currently) his three grandchildren, and the patience of the Child Care community in Manitoba, a wonderful place to share twelve years of his professional life. Wes and his wife Karen share 59.97 acres of bush covered hills south of Morden, MB, a significant space to walk with dogs, collect wood ticks, cut wood and nurture fruit trees. We have a house, too...and you are welcome.

Dorothy Plett


My name is Dorothy Plett.  I have been a piano teacher for the last 30 years or so.  My credentials are not what I consider to be my greatest asset, but I will list them below for your information.

The personal interest I take in trying to connect with each student's learning style is what qualifies my ability to teach music.  I love to have fun, but a balance with disciplined learning is important!

I encourage performing and love to perform myself...mostly through church events.  I currently am part of a Praise and Worship team, where I sing and play piano.  This is a very important part of my identity as a musician!  


Credentials...  (as promised) 


· I took lessons as a child from several local piano teachers (a very valid credential/influence)

· Church Music Diploma, Winkler Bible Institute (2 years)

· Brandon University, School of Music (2 years), vocal and piano (I didn't graduate.  I got married, studied a bit more, and decided to be a stay at home Mom)

· Grade 10 piano exam - Royal Conservatory of Music

· I took an extra year of voice lessons in Winnipeg, as an adult

· performed at MANY church functions, community concerts and festivals over the years

· directed many choirs (church, Hutterite, school)

Garth Lee


From an early age, Garth has been involved in music and woodworking, but his passion lies in the creative process of making instruments from the violin family.

In 2004, Garth decided to advance his skills and began his education as a violin maker and repairer at the prestigious Newark School of Violin Making and Repair in England.  During this time, he had the opportunity to study violins, violas, and cellos from the workshops of Stradivari, Guarneri, Amati, and others.  These occasions inspired Garth in his own work and he went on to graduate with Distinction and Highest Honours.

After graduating, Garth worked together with luthiers Susanna Collins and Seisuke Kawamura.  Additional guidance from master luthier Glen A. Collins was invaluable in achieving the sound, look, and feel of professional quality instruments.

Garth now works out of his shop in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Rachel Huebner

Art Teacher, Registered Nurse

Rachel K Huebner enjoys all kinds of visual creative arts - fibre arts, stained glass, and painting, to name a few. Her musical experience includes much piano playing and singing. She has been involved in many choirs, most notably CMYC, CMBC Ensemble, Durham Choral Society, and St. Margaret Anglican Vesper Choir. Rachel also writes worship materials for children. Some of her work includes Advent (Charleswood Mennonite Church) and VBS (MennoMedia). A registered nurse, Rachel has served as a School Health Nurse and now works at Klinic Community Health Centre in Winnipeg. Rachel's most important role in life is "Mom" to 3 exuberant children, Miriam, Jonah, and Marcus.

Allison Banman


Having started playing piano at the age of 6, and then violin at 8, and finally cello at 12, Allison Banman as always enjoyed interacting with music. She has been part of orchestra for many years, has made many solo performances at festivals and music camps, and has been a part of the band “Urban Elephant”. Along with classical compositions, Allison also enjoys listening to many folk, rock, and indie musicians. Music is a fundamental part of Allison’s life, and if she’s not playing music, she’s listening to it while she reads, sketches, or talks to her 13 cats while they ignore her. 

Sarah Bergen


Hannah Drudge

Violin, Piano



Hannah Drudge grew up in a home filled with music. Her musical tastes are diverse, encompassing everything from Bach and Debussy to Chris Thile and Damien Rice. She has played the violin since age four and now plays at a grade ten level under the instruction of Elation Pauls. An enthusiastic orchestral musician, Hannah has served as the concertmaster of the Post Road String Ensemble for two years, and currently plays in the Winnipeg Youth Symphony Orchestra. Equally interested in the pedagogical aspect of music, she recently began teaching private violin lessons, and has taught at Cadenza for the past two years. She was also the accompanist for the Allegro Strings this past year, and spent several years as an assistant dance teacher. Although her primary interest is classical music, she enjoys dabbling in folk music, and is one half the the sister duo Mockingbird.  Hannah also plays piano at a grade nine level, studying with Loren Hiebert, and has completed her Grade 7 piano exam. Hannah's other interests include photography, history, and reading classics.

Kayla Drudge

Program Administrative Assistant; Violin, Piano

Kayla Drudge is heading into her second year of study Canadian Mennonite University, where she plans to pursue a degree in music composition. She currently studies violin with Daniel Scholz. Most of her musical training has been of the classical genre - she has studied violin with Rochelle Drudge, Wes Hamm, and Oleg Pohkanovski, and piano with Rochelle Drudge and Loren Hiebert, and has performed many times with the Pembina Hills Senior String Ensemble, the Post Road String Quartet, in the Morden Festival of the Arts. After taking some space from classical music as a teenager, Kayla has come to appreciate the way the technical proficiency demanded by classical instruction aids her creativite exploration of folk and experimental genres. Some musical highlights of her life thus far include playing at the Back 40 Folk Festival on two seperate occassions with her folk bands Urban Elephant and Mockingbird, having a one-on-one fiddle lesson with Sara Watkins at Winnipeg Folk Camp, and writing and recording violin parts for the Other Brothers' album "Everything Can Change".  Kayla's spare moments (and some other ones too) are spent playing her mandolin, voluntarily studying philosophy, and simply being with the people she loves.

Harley Dyck

Piano, Composer

Jessi Gilchrist


Jessi Gilchrist has just completed her first year of university enrolled in the bachelor of music program at Brandon University. She has been a part of the Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Concert Choir, and chamber music. She has taken private lessons in flute, cello, piano, voice, saxophone, viola, harmony, music history, and piano pedagogy. In addition, she had been a cellist in the Saskatoon Phil Harmonic, as well as Molto Cellisimo, a cello choir in Saskatoon. In 2014 she was accepted to perform in the International Cello Festival of Canada Cello Orchestra. Jessi had been principle flutist in the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra, Saskatoon Youth Chamber Orchestra, Saskatoon Youth Wind Orchestra, and Saskatchewan Provincial Honour Band. She was also selected as the principle second flute in the 2015 National Youth Band of Canada. In 2014, she completed an ATCL diploma with flute from the Trinity College of London. She has competed in district and provincial music festivals with cello, flute, and piano. In 2013, Jessi had a composition win the provincial level of the SMRTA Composition Competition. It was then sent to the national level of the competition. She has received Royal Conservatory of Music gold medals for cello and flute exams. Jessi has a great love and passion for music.

Elyse Loewen

Violin, Piano

Elyse first started violin lessons at the tender age of five, and she had absolutely no idea what she was getting into. She completed her Grade 10 exam in 2012 with First Class Honors. Elyse studies mainly classical violin, but enjoys fiddle music and has attended several fiddle workshops and camps. She has played at the provincial level several times and has won numerous scholarships and awards for her performances, including first place in the Youth Orchestra Scholarship competition with an opportunity to play as a soloist at the Winnipeg Centennial Concert Hall. Her most recent award is the 2013 Loreena McKennit award from the Morden Festival given each year to a dedicated and promising musician. This is her third year playing first violin with the Winnipeg Youth Sympthony Orchestra and she currently plays at an ARCT level. Elyse started piano at age nine and is currently plays in Grade 9 RCM. She has been to the provincials three times for piano and has many awards for her playing at the Winkler Festival of the Arts including the Tina Fehr Scholarship for the most deserving advanced student.

Add Mail here

Nanau Loewen


Alaina Majewski


Alaina began playing cello at the age of four in the University of Regina’s Child Parent String Program. Currently, Alaina is the Principal Cellist of the South Saskatchewan Youth Orchestra, a Utility Cellist for
the Regina Symphony and a member of the University of Regina Orchestra and Concert Band.  She has recently become a teacher assistant in the Child Parent Strings Program and the Conservatory Orchestra. Alaina has obtained a grade 10 in cello and a grade 9 in flute from the RCM; she is presently working toward her B. Mus. in cello performance. Through the band program in her school, Alaina learned to play the Flute, Piccolo, Alto Saxophone, Timpani and various forms of the Bass. She also has an interest in composition and arranging which was sparked at the age of ten by an attempt to arrange The Pink Panther Theme for her former string trio. Currently, Alaina enjoys playing in a string quartet with her friends and, at their request, is composing a piece for them.

Amelia Pahl


Music has been a huge part of Amelia's life since before she can remember. She started singing as a baby waking up from her naps and can often be heard humming a tune under her breath as she walks by. Amelia started taking piano when she was five years old and continued on and off for about ten years, performing in numerous festivals, recitals, and church offertories. She also participated in several youth choirs during elementary and middle school and has been in a school choir every year of high school. This past year she was a member of Mennonite Collegiate Institute's chamber choir and vocal jazz ensemble, Resonate. Amelia has also accumulated many years of ballet and modern danse experience, and has enjoyed roles in school plays, community drama, and MCI musicals. She loves the performing arts, especially ones involving music. Amelia believes that success in performance should be measured by a connection with the audience and the art, not the level of perfection achieved, and always strives to live up to this maxim.

Bariah Penner


Bariah Penner has been training in violin for five years with Albert Bergen. She is currently finishing her grade 9 exam and her first year teaching beginner violin. She enjoys performing at festival and school concerts. Her favorite composers are Bach and Brahms. Bariah loves classical music and you can often find her playing and writing songs on the violin or piano. She also loves to sing and has been taking lessons with Michelle Koop and has performed in the vocal festival. In Bariah’s free time she enjoys to write stories and read. She is looking forward to many more opportunities as she continues to advance musically.

Kate Rieder


Jason Vanwynsberghe


Jason began learning the violin at age seven in his home town Crystal City, MB. He found that he enjoyed it so much that he is continuing his studies at Brandon University, where he studies violin performance under Kerry DuWors. Jason is also a registered Suzuki teacher, and has completed levels one and two of his teacher training.

Please reload

Student Teachers