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past conductors

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These are the former Music Directors of the Mississauga Pops including special guest conductors with a month or more of service. The images and biographies are included for historical interest and may not be current.

Special Guest Conductors/Auditionees 2015-2017

These individuals each took the podium for a period of several months as part of the audition process for our sixth conductor.

Fall 2016, Summer 2017

Pratik Gandhi

Pratik Gandhi Pratik Gandhi is a conductor, freelance percussionist, and clinician based in Toronto. He currently serves as music director of Soup Can Theatre and of the Rouge River Winds, and recently completed a five-year tenure as assistant conductor of Symphony on the Bay. He served on faculty as conductor of the string orchestra, symphony orchestra, and faculty string orchestra at the International Music Camp in 2012, and is the newly-named resident conductor of TPC Ensemble. He is thrilled to be serving as guest conductor for the Mississauga Pops Concert Band in the fall of 2016.

Pratik is in frequent demand as a clinician and as a percussionist as well. He has been called upon for guest conducting and giving workshops on repertoire, percussion pedagogy, and technology. He serves as an adjudicator for the concert band division of the MusicFest Canada national competition and is the syllabus coordinator for both MusicFest Canada's concert band division and the OBA Concert Band Festival. Additionally, Pratik freelances as a featured performer and ensemble percussionist with various Ontario-based orchestras, wind bands, chamber ensembles, and pit orchestras.

Pratik received a B.Mus. in music education and an M.Mus. in conducting from the University of Western Ontario, where he studied conducting with Dr. Colleen Richardson, Jerome Summers and James McKay, and percussion with Dr. Jill Ball. He received numerous entrance and in-course scholarships and awards, including the Western Scholarship of Excellence, the London Music Scholarship Foundation Endowment Award, and the Silver Medal for Excellence in Leadership.

Early 2017

Andrew Chung

Andrew Chung Appointed Music Director of Silverthorn Symphonic Winds in November 2007, Andrew Chung has guest conducted the North York Concert Orchestra, the Toronto Philharmonia, Korean Canadian Symphony Orchestra, Counterpoint Community Orchestra, Northdale Concert Band, the Toronto Sinfonietta Youth Orchestra, the Mississauga Youth Orchestra and the Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra.

Mr. Chung attended the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, the University of Hong Kong, the University of Toronto and the University of Freiburg, Germany. His trumpet teachers include Stephen Chenette, Robert Nagel, Henry Nowak, Jeffrey Reynolds and Larry Weeks. He also studied privately with Arnold Jacobs and Murray Crewe. A scholarship from the Centre d'Arts Orford allowed him to study conducting with Raffi Armenian and Agnes Grossman. He has also participated in the Conductors Apprentice Program with the Huntsville Festival of the Arts Orchestra. His other conducting teachers include Dwight Bennett and Kerry Stratton.

Late Spring 2016

Joeseph Resendes

Joe Resendes Toronto-native Joseph Resendes has extensive professional credits as an active conductor, composer, performer, educator, adjudicator, and clinician. His diversity through conducting, composing, and performance has allowed Joseph the privilege of working with many music professionals including recording opportunities with The Canadian Tenors, working with multi-Grammy-award-winning producer Steve Thompson, international tours with the Musica em Viagem (Azores Musical Journey) ensemble, and conducting the highly-acclaimed University of North Texas Wind Symphony.

Joseph completed his music degrees (MA–Composition, and BFA–Conducting, Classical Saxophone and Woodwind Performance) at York University where he is currently completing his PhD in the field of Musicology/Ethnomusicology focusing on Wind Studies, conducting, and the development of community music in Canada. As a conductor, Joseph has studied with Eugene Migliaro Corporon, Dennis Fisher, Colleen Richardson, and attended many symposia featuring clinicians Mark Scatterday, Gillian MacKay, Richard Blatti, Paula Holcomb, Craig Kirchhoff, Tim Reynish, and Jack Stamp.

He has composed and arranged music for various ensembles—his work has been featured in premiere performances across Canada, the USA, and Europe. As a sought-after clinician, guest conductor, and adjudicator, Joseph is often called upon to adjudicate at Kiwanis, Golden Horseshoe, and other large music festivals across Canada. Currently, he works as a sessional instructor at McMaster University and is the music director of the Northdale Concert Band, and East York Concert Band.

Early Fall 2015 and Summer 2016

Nick Arrigo

Nick Arrigo Nick Arrigo received his Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education from the University of Western Ontario and his Honours Specialist from the University of Toronto. He has been a loyal, trusted and dynamic member of The Country Day School Faculty for 23 years.

He has also been a proud member of the Canadian Forces 7th Toronto Regiment, Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery for the past 26 years. He carries the rank of Lieutenant and occupies the role of Director of Music.

Nick has been conducting in the Toronto area for 8 years. He directs the Malta Band in Mississauga and will be occupying the post of music director for the Richmond Hill Concert Band commencing at the end of September 2015.

Early 2016

Rita P. Arendz

Rita Ardenz In the course of her musical career, Rita has been a free-lance horn player, a private teacher, clinician as well as a conductor. Having earned a Masters in Music (Conducting) from the University of Toronto with Dr. Gillian Mackay, she continued to study conducting through workshops and seminars with Mark Scatterday, Dale Lonis, Craig Kirchoff, Tim Reynish, Richard Blatti, Paula Holcombe, and others.

Rita’s engagements have included the Oshawa Civic Band, Intrada Brass of Oakville, The Metropolitan Silver Band, The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, the Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra, the Oakland Brass Band, the Silverthorn Silver Band, the Pickering Philharmonic, and other concert band and ensembles within the Greater Toronto Area. In the fall of 2011, Rita founded "A Little Wind Music", a chamber-sized ensemble devoted to the music of the light classical genre mixed in with the contemporary styles while engaging the audience through its presentations and interactions. As a clinician, Rita has worked with both high school bands and cadet bands. Her private teachings focus on conducting and French horn.

As well, Rita is a member of the Canadian Forces Primary Reserve where she conducted over 20 years and taught Basic Conducting to Reserve Musicians. She currently holds the rank of Captain and is working at the 32nd Canadian Brigade Group Headquarters.

Rita is honoured and privileged to be guest conductor of the Mississauga Pops Concert Band.

Fall 2015

Graziano Brescacin

Graz Brescacin Graz Brescacin completed a B.Mus (honours) degree in performance at the University of Ottawa and later continued his studies at Humber College. He has been a freelance woodwind specialist since 1970 playing in various theatres in Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, and for the Stratford and Shaw Festivals.

He has played in orchestras backing star performers including Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Rich Little, Jack Jones, Shirley MacLaine, Petula Clark, and others.

Captain Brescacin retired from the Canadian Forces in 2014 having completed a 42-year career as a military musician playing flute, clarinet, and saxophone and for the last 19 years was the Director of Music for the 7th Toronto Regiment Artillery Band. From 2004 to 2014 he was also the Staff Officer of Army Bands for the Ontario Area. He has taught conducting, flute, and clarinet classes at Canadian Forces Base Borden.

In civilian life, Graz Brescacin taught band, strings, choir, and keyboard classes for the Toronto Catholic District School Board from 1981 to 2005. From 2005 to 2015 he was the school board’s Instrumental Music Resource Teacher where he was responsible for all instrumental music programs in the 200 Elementary and Secondary schools and coordinated many special music projects. He has been the Pit Orchestra Conductor for the TCDSB Staff Arts Musical Productions since 2010.

Graz continues to be in demand as a guest conductor, performer, clinician, and adjudicator.

Fifth Conductor

Sept. 2012-Aug. 2015

Amy McLennan

Amy Mississauga Pops is pleased to welcome Amy McLennan to the podium as our Director of Music effective September 2012.

With a Bachelor of Music from the University of Calgary and a Bachelor of Education from Queen's University, Amy McLennan has taught music at the elementary and senior levels nation-wide for the past several years in both English and French.

Amy has earned awards from the Alberta International Band Festival for her 'Most Outstanding' beginner and junior high bands, as well as numerous gold awards in both concert and jazz band idioms. In 2008, the Alberta Band Association nominated Amy for the 'Keith Mann Young Band Director Award' and she has since been invited twice to perform at MusicFest Canada, the national music performance competition. Here, she directed her secondary level bands earning Silver Awards for their outstanding musicianship, technical merit, and overall musicality.

Amy has always been involved in ensemble direction in the community. She has been a co-director of the All-City Wind Orchestra, as well as the musical director of Voix des Rocheuses (Calgary's Francophone choir) for a number of years while living out west.

With an obvious passion for conducting, Amy attended the Canadian Wind Conductor's Development Program for two years, working alongside Dr. Dale Lonis and Swiss conductor, Felix Hauswirth. She has also spent time at The Juilliard School in New York City to further her conducting artistry, studying alongside prominent conductors such as David Effron, Virginia Allen, and George Stelluto.

Having grown up in the east end of Mississauga, Amy is very happy to have returned to her roots after many years of musical training and gained experience. She is excited to be involved in the arts community in her hometown and anticipates what will come of her contribution to such a fine organization as the Mississauga Pops.

Guest Conductors

Summer of 2012

Dave Davidson and Sheena Nykolaiszyn took turns at the podium as guest conductors from the end of May until our next conductor started in September of 2012.

Dave Davidson

Dave Mississauga Pops is pleased to welcome Dave Davidson to the podium as a guest conductor for the summer 2012 season.

Since graduating from the University of Western Ontario Dave has pursued an active freelance career. Currently, he conducts the Kitchener Musical Society Band and the New Horizons band of Guelph and has also performed in or conducted many local musicals. A long time music educator, he is in demand as a guest conductor and clinician. When not performing and/or recording with Brassroots, Windjammers, and the Slide by Slide Trombone Quartet, Dave freelances, teaches, and pursues the solo repertoire for trombone.

Sheena Nykolaiszyn

Sheena Mississauga Pops is pleased to welcome Sheena Nykolaiszyn to the podium as a guest conductor for the summer 2012 season.

A long-time member of our own flute section, no conductor knows the Mississauga Pops like Sheena knows the Mississauga Pops! She is equally at home on percussion instruments, at a keyboard, and on the conductor's podium, and is always ready to pitch in when and where we need her the most. A graduate of the University of Toronto with an honours Bachelor of Music degree, she studied piano with Boris Berlin and conducting with Victor Feldbrill of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO). She currently performs with various wind ensembles in the Greater Toronto Area and studies flute with Leonie Wall of the TSO. Now a semi-retired secondary school music educator, she also takes an active leadership role in the community music arena as a board member/special-event conductor with the Canadian Band Association and is Assistant Musical Director of Milton Concert Band. Milton Concert Band has recently honoured Sheena with a promotion to Acting Musical Director for the full 2012-2013 fall/winter season.

Fourth Conductor

Sept. 2006-May 2012

Colin R. Clarke

Colin Mississauga Pops Concert Band is pleased to be under the direction of COLIN R. CLARKE, who debuted as the band's Director of Music in the fall of 2006.

Colin's popularity as a conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and educator has captured the attention of instrumental and choral ensembles, schools, and music festivals across Canada. Colin is best known as the founder and Artistic Director of the multi-award-winning Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra, an organization he established while still in high school. The group has developed a reputation nationwide as one of the leading performance wind bands in Ontario, and Colin continues to oversee the growth of TYWO.

A recipient of the Clifford Evans Award for Conducting, Colin's credits include collaboration with groups such as the United States Air Force Band of Liberty in Boston, Massachusetts, the University of Western Ontario Symphony Orchestra, UWOpera, the Woodstock Strings, and rehearsals with the International Symphony Orchestra in Port Huron, Michigan. In 2004, he traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria, to conduct the symphonies of Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky as part of the International Conducting Workshop with the highly-celebrated New Symphony Orchestra of Sofia, and studied with noted pedagogues Gustav Meier and Rossen Milanov. Colin made his conducting debut at Carnegie Hall in the spring of 2006. In 2007, he returned to Bulgaria to guest conduct the New Symphony Orchestra at their annual summer festival.

Colin was commissioned by the Coalition for Music Education in Canada to create two settings for wind band to commemorate the Coalition's first annual "Music Monday", a celebration which unites schools across the nation through the performance of the same music at the same moment in time. He has conducted several all-city and honour bands and orchestras across Southern Ontario and had the distinct honour of being selected to conduct the National Youth Band of Canada in 2008.

Colin continues to establish himself as a prominent voice in music education and maintains a very active schedule as a conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and composer/arranger.

Third Conductor

~Fall 1989-Aug. 2006

Denny Ringler

Denny In 2003, Denny Ringler retired from his position as Director of Music at Toronto's prestigious Crescent School for Boys. Together with his team of permanent staff and part-time private instrumental instructors, he served a population of over 300 young musicians. In addition to the more traditional topics, Denny's department offered instruction in such areas as keyboards, MIDI, multi-track recording, video production, and jazz studies.

Denny was raised in Mississauga where he attended Streetsville High School. Upon graduation, he joined the Canadian Armed Forces (regular) as a trombonist. He studied trombone with Harry Stevenson, Jerry Kuhl, and Ted Griffith. While in the regular forces, he completed his Bachelor of Music at McGill University with a major concentration in education, trombone, and conducting.

Denny completed his Bachelor of Education and Master of Education degrees at the University of Saskatchewan, where he also conducted the concert band and the university's jazz ensemble. Returning to Toronto in 1980, he worked for the North York Board of Education prior to accepting his position with Crescent School for Boys.

In 1982, he rejoined the Canadian Armed Forces (reserve) where he conducted the 411th Squadron Band at Downsview, and in 1987, he was appointed Director of Music for the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada.

Denny has adjudicated concert band, wind, and jazz ensembles at the Kiwanis, Rotary, Musicfest, and ORMT festivals. He has served as President of the Canadian Band Association (Ontario), was director of Oakville Wind Orchestra for eight years, and is currently the musical director of Mississauga Pops Concert Band.

Second Conductor

Fall 1981-~Fall 1989

John McGuigan

John From an article by Maribeth Curry published in The Meadowvale World Vol. 9 No. 8 May 1982:

"John McGuigan has devoted a large part of his life to spreading the word that music is fun. In Meadowvale, he is helping to make music fun for those who participate in the Meadowvale Concert Band, which he conducts.

As a student at Riverdale High School, Toronto, John got turned on to music. He began playing trombone and singing and discovered what fun it was.

He attended Toronto Normal School the year before it became Toronto Teachers College. After twelve years of night and summer courses, he received a B.A. from U. of T. At the same time, he took various courses, private lessons and attended clinics in order to teach music.

He achieved supervisor certificates in choral music and instrumental music with the Ministry of Education. He then taught those courses to high school teachers for several years. He taught six years of public school and then moved into teaching music in jr. high schools in North York.

McGuigan loves to teach kids. He feels he has something to give them for keeps — a love of music. This year, he has been teaching music at Claude Watson Shool for the Arts, a school in Willowdale, developed for children with special talents and interests in one or more of the arts. "

First Conductor

Fall 1979-Fall 1981

Dennis Chreptyk

Dennis Biography not available

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