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College of Extended Learning

About the instructors

Vasana Abeysekera
Christian Bérubé
Jason Flores
Nadia Francavilla
Julie Grant
Richard Hornsby
Christine Jones
Veronica Kallos
Emily Kennedy
Yvonne Kershaw
Ron MacDonald
Charles MacKinnon
Maksim Osipau
Björn Runefors

Hamidreza Sharifi
Aida Tisler
Jeff Zaat

Portrait of Vasana AbeysekeraVasana Abeysekera

Clarinet: All levels
Saxophone: Beginners

Vasana grew up in Nova Scotia before moving to Ontario to pursue her education. She holds a Masters of Music Performance from the University of Toronto and a Masters of English Literature from Dalhousie University. She is fascinated by the overlap between Music and Literature. In particular, her Master's recital explored the representation of birdsong in Canadian clarinet repertoire, and her thesis at Dalhousie drew upon musicology, acoustic ecology and ecocriticism to examine birdsong in the poetry of Don McKay. Vasana has performed in numerous orchestras, bands, chamber ensembles, theatre productions and recitals.

Vasana has over 10 years of experience as a clarinet instructor. She has taught private lessons to a range of students from children learning their first instrument to advanced adult clarinetists as well as groups of students at band camps and sectionals. Vasana thoroughly enjoys teaching and sharing her love of the clarinet with students of all ages and skill levels.

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Portrait of Christian Berube

Christian Bérubé

Piano (classical, pop and jazz) & composition: All levels

Born in Edmonton in 1979, Christian David Bérubé graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Music from the University of Alberta, where he studied piano, voice, and composition. In 2008, he completed a Master in Music in instrumental composition under the supervision of Denis Gougeon at the Université de Montréal. He has composed the music for several plays, and has performed professionally as a choral singer and rock pianist. In 2009, his large-scale choral work Goats on the Left won a SOCAN Award for Young Composers. His film scores have won two awards for Excellence in Music Composition (2014 and 2017) at the Silver Wave Film Festival. He lives in Fredericton, where in addition to composing he teaches piano, composition, and theory.

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Portrait of Jason FloresJason Flores

Upright/Electric Bass: All levels

Jason Flores graduated from the University of Idaho where he attended the Lionel Hampton School of Music as a Hampton Scholar. He has toured the world playing bass onboard cruise ships for Celebrity Cruise Lines and Crystal Cruise Lines. There he had the opportunity to play with musical greats like Shoshana Bean and Debbie Gibson. He has also opened for Kenny Baron at the Boise State University Jazz Festival.

Born and raised in the state of Idaho Jason has played and recorded with many bands in the capital region of Boise. He currently resides in Fredericton, NB where he holds an arts degree in psychology from the University of New Brunswick. Along with his degree in orchestral performance on the double bass he hoped to someday work in the field of music therapy.

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Portrait of Nadia Francavilla Nadia Francavilla

Violin and Viola: All levels

Nadia Francavilla, a Montreal-born violinist and music educator, brings a collaborative spirit, a passion for new music, and a distinctly European sensibility to her performing and teaching work. A McGill University graduate, she trained under Mauricio Fuks, Raphael Druian and Joseph Silverstein. Her orchestral background includes l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and Les Violons du Roy, and she spent several years with Quatuor Arthur-LeBlanc and Quatuor Bozzini, producing recordings and touring in North America, Europe and Japan. At present, she performs most often with Motion2, Atlantica and Moineaux D’Entendre, exploring classical and contemporary works in mixed chamber music settings.

Ms. Francavilla’s driving interest in new music has led her to commission and premiere new works from both Canadian and international composers. She particularly enjoys working with young composers, sharing in their creative process and nurturing their innovative spark. Meanwhile, explorations of improvised works and frequent collaborations with visual and multimedia artists have shaped her study of music as performance art.

In the classroom, Ms. Francavilla acts as a guide, working with students to help them develop their own knowledge and skills. She has taught at the University of New Brunswick since 2011 when she designed the course Women in Music. She also teaches Music and Cinema, drawing on her personal interest in film to lead students to a broader understanding and appreciation of film sound and scores.

She has taught private violin lessons and conducted string ensembles at the Université de Moncton since 2010. She recently began teaching violin at Mount Allison University and coaching string sectionals for their university orchestra. She is an experienced string and violin festival adjudicator for both anglophone and francophone events and has served as the Director of the week-long Academy affiliated with the New Brunswick Summer Music Festival since its inception in 2014. In the same year, she created the violin syllabus for grades 1 to University for L’École Préparatoire de Musique associated with Université de Moncton.

Ms. Francavilla has held the position of Musician in Residence at UNB since 2009. For a second year, she has been tasked with curating the New Music Series, a set of three concerts bringing contemporary compositions to New Brunswick audiences. The resulting concert series includes a rare glimpse at Pierre Boulez's Anthème 2 for solo violin and live electronics and the premiere of Luciano Berio's virtuosic Sequenzas with long-time collaborators Karin Aurell, Richard Hornsby and Andrew Miller.

A project is currently underway to submit recordings of each of her performances as Musician in Residence to the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick. The project is being undertaken by recording engineer Kevin Herring with the support of a Documentation grant from the New Brunswick Arts Board.

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Julie Grant

Flute: All levels

Julie Grant is originally from Fredericton, where she began playing flute in middle school. Julie was a member of the NBYO and played with them at Carnegie Hall, NY. She earned a Bachelor of Music in Performance at the University of Western Ontario, where she was a member of the UWO Symphony and studied with Anne Thompson. She has played with Fredericton Symphony Orchestra as a member and soloist and has also played with Symphony New Brunswick. She returned to Fredericton in 2010, where she currently resides with her family. She enjoys performing in solo or chamber recitals around the area and is very happy to be teaching at the UNB Conservatory.

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Portrait of Richard HornsbyRichard Hornsby

Clarinet & Saxophone: All levels

Richard Hornsby is an active performer, educator, arts administrator and arts advocate. His varied activities have had a positive effect on the development of the arts in New Brunswick and throughout Canada. His professional life and his volunteer work have enriched the lives of the people of New Brunswick and he continues to work for the betterment of the arts and the artist.

Professionally, he has performed with the Toronto Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, and New Music Concerts of Canada as well as frequently recording for C.B.C. Radio of Canada. He continues performing as a recitalist, soloist and chamber musician. He is a member of New Brunswick’s new music ensemble, Motion which has recently toured throughout much of Canada and performed in New York City.

He has also served on the faculties of the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto), the University of Toronto, and St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada. Currently, he is Director of Music at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton.

Since coming to New Brunswick he has been the founder and Director of the UNB Music Camp, founder and President of Musical Ventures Inc, and Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the New Brunswick Summer Music Festival. He also started the UNB Music Conservatory, a community music program at UNB.

Richard is currently president of the Cultural Human Resources Council of Canada and was a founding member of the Fredericton Arts Alliance. Recently he was voted onto the board of MusicNB, the New Brunswick music industry association.

He is passionate about the role of the arts in our society and works on issues of arts education, the status of the artist, access to the arts and training for cultural workers through a variety of organizations.

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Christine Jones

Voice: All levels

Christine Jones graduated in 1995 with First Class Honours in Music from the University of Nottingham, UK. After a variety of academic and practical teaching posts in schools and post-secondary education, Christine was invited to train with The Voices Foundation, a leading provider of Professional Development Programmes for Local Education Authority Advisors, teachers and whole school staff development throughout the UK.

Subsequently, Christine was invited to become a tutor for the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development through the nationwide Training Company DPG, for whom she delivered their Certificate in Training Practise with a wide client base from a variety of public and private organizations.

Christine ran many Voices Foundation 'Find Your Voice' Workshops for the general public across the UK. Consequently, she was invited to create Choral Staff L&D Programmes for business managers, looking to incorporate Arts-Based Intervention within the workplace as a highly effective and enjoyable staff development tool.

Alongside her responsibility for delivering professional development training for both the education and corporate sectors, Christine maintained a private studio, with many of her voice students gaining places in the National Youth Choir of Great Britain and on Eton Choral Courses.

Christine was also very active as a choral conductor, working with various youth and adult and choirs whilst receiving musicianship and conducting methodology professional development through the annual British Kodály Academy courses and the Voices Foundation Conducting Symposia.

As a student, Christine sang with the internationally acclaimed girls choir 'Cantamus' throughout the 1980s. Following Eton Choral Courses, Christine was invited to sing with the renowned Rodolfus Choir through the early-mid 90s. Her commitment to choral development and the transformational role that high calibre choral experience offers is rooted in the incredible opportunities she had with these world-class ensembles under the direction of inspiring leaders.

Christine is dedicated to the development of Interdisciplinary Choral Arts, seeking opportunities for combining choral performance with illuminating connections across art forms and fields of learning. She moved from the UK to New Brunswick with her husband and 4 children at the end of 2015. Christine is currently directing the UNB Chorale.

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Portrait of Veronica KallosVeronica Kallos

Piano (Classical and Jazz): All levels

Veronica Kallos is a Cum Laude graduate of University of the Philippines, Bachelor of Music, Major in Piano Performance under the Marianne Gancayco Scholarship.

She is a no stranger to the stage as she has been performing and has fared well in various national competitions from age 7 and started accompanying choirs at the age of 14 as well. She was a sought-after accompanist and had collaborated with soloists, choirs, and has performed with professional musicians in the Philippines, Indonesia, Hongkong, and Singapore.

Veronica and her family just arrived in Fredericton last year with a vast experience as a performer and a teacher. She has been teaching for 20 years now and would continue what she has started in the Philippines- make children, teens, and adults love playing the piano with high standards and be an inspiration to her students and fellow musicians.

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Portrait of Emily KennedyEmily Kennedy

Cello: All levels

Emily Kennedy is an artist based in Fredericton, New Brunswick. She is a recent graduate of the Performance program at the University of Ottawa, where she completed her masters in cello under the guidance of pedagogue Paul Marleyn. Emily completed her undergraduate degree at Wilfrid Laurier University, where she had the pleasure of studying with Paul Pulford and members of the prestigious Penderecki String Quartet. A New Brunswick native, she has performed on concert stages across Eastern Canada, and has taken part and performed in festivals such as the Scotia Festival of Music in Halifax, Tuckamore Music Festival in St. John’s, the Orford Arts Centre and Domaine Forget in Quebec, WLU’s Quartetfest, and the ACE Workshop in Ottawa, Ontario. She has performed for some of the leading cellists in today’s music world, including Lynn Harrell, Steven Doane, Paul Watkins, Michel Strauss, Philippe Muller, Richard Aaron, Matt Haimovitz, Denise Djokic, Blair Lofgren, and Elinor Frey, along with members of the Cecilia, Lafayette, and JACK Quartets.

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Portrait of Yvonne KershawYvonne Kershaw

Flute, Oboe, & Bassoon: All levels

American-born bassoonist Yvonne Kershaw has a wide range of performance experience in both Canada and the U.S. She played with the Cascade Symphony in Washington and has participated in the Sandpoint, Idaho, and Bayview, Michigan music festivals. Her extensive teaching experience includes instructing instrumental music in Seattle area music schools and working as a graduate instructor of bassoon at Indiana University. Yvonne now resides in Fredericton, where she adjudicates music festivals and teaches bassoon, flute and oboe at the UNB Centre for Musical Arts. She teaches courses in music theory and music appreciation at UNB as well. She is a regular faculty member of UNB’s Summer Music Camp. She performs regularly with Symphony New Brunswick. She recently released a CD of bassoon and guitar music with guitarist Stephen Peacock which was nominated for ECMA Classical Recording of the Year in 2005. Yvonne performed at the International Double Reed Society’s 2006 Convention in Muncie, Indiana. She annually attends the Glickman Popkin Bassoon Camp in North Carolina. Yvonne lives with her husband John and children Hannah and Jacob.

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Portrait of Ron MacDonaldRon MacDonald

Violin & Viola: All levels

Ron MacDonald was for many years a member of UNB's Philosophy Department specializing in the Aesthetics of Music. His early violin studies were in Halifax with Jean Fraser, a pupil of Leopold Auer. Subsequently, he studied with Kenneth Piper of the Royal College, London and with Joseph Pach, Paul Campbell and most recently, Nadia Francavilla. He has also participated in a Master Class with Joseph Szigeti and has had lessons with Alfredo Campoli and David Yang. He was a member of the viola section of Symphony New Brunswick and has been concertmaster of the Fredericton Chamber Orchestra since its inception. He was the founder of the String Program in the Fredericton Public Schools.

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Portrait of Charles MacKinnonCharles MacKinnon

French Horn & Trumpet: All levels

Charles MacKinnon, trumpet, is a native of Kentville, Nova Scotia. While still a teenager, he toured Europe as a member of Canada’s National Youth Orchestra. Upon receiving a Canada Council grant, he moved to New York to study with Mel Broiles, (Metropolitan Opera Orchestra), Ray Crisara (NBC Symphony), and Vince Penzarella (New York Philharmonic). Also while in New York, Charles played in Broadway shows and toured the American east coast with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra. Charles left New York for Toronto, where he was a founding member of the Canadian Brass Quintet, and played with the National Ballet and Canadian Opera Company Orchestras. He also worked with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Hamilton Philharmonic, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. In the late 1990s, Charles spent several years in Scotland, performing with the Royal Scottish Opera Orchestra.

Here in the Maritimes, Charles has been a member of the Atlantic Symphony and has performed with Symphony Nova Scotia and the Charlottetown Festival Orchestra throughout his professional career.

He has been a regular teacher and performer with the UNB Summer Music Camp since 2008 and is currently on Faculty at the Fredericton Conservatory of Music.

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Portrait of Maksim OsipauMaksim Osipau

Guitar (Classic and Acoustic): All levels

Maksim Osipau graduated from Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts in 2010 with a degree in music under the state-renowned guitar teacher Vladimir Ugolnik. He was then offered to stay on and teach electric guitar. Previously he also taught classical guitar at Minsk State Arts College, where he graduated in 2005, He also taught at a private music school and again as a self-employed guitar teacher. In 2018 he was an Electronic Music Camp Instructor at UNB.

Maksim has had successes with his own bands and projects on both TV and radio. He was the lead guitar player of the pop-band Drazdy, who are popular in Belarus and surrounding European countries. He also worked with artists as a session/touring musician. He is an independent music producer and has also worked with the National Belteleradio Company. While at university, he got the Diploma of Laureate of the State Contest “Young Talents of Belarus” Nomination in Instrumental music with his own composition.

In 2017 he moved with his family to Canada to challenge himself and to discover a new world of music.

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Portrait of Bjorn RuneforsBjörn Runefors

Flute: All levels

Björn Runefors, born in Sweden, is a conductor, flutist and singer. He teaches Flute, Music Theory and Music History at the University of New Brunswick. Björn is also the founder of the Fredericton Youth Orchestra.

Between 2006-2012 Björn was the Music Director of the Fredericton Choral Society and between 2005-2014 he was the Director of the UNB Conservatory of Music.

Björn is a multi-faceted musician. He has performed in professional orchestras and choirs both in Sweden and in Canada. He has written music for and performed as an actor at theatres in Sweden.

As a teacher, Björn has been on faculty at music colleges in Sweden and in Stockholm, he was the founder and director of a youth orchestra that toured extensively across Europe. Björn completed his undergraduate studies at Lund University in Sweden and went on to earn a Master of Music degree from McGill in Flute Performance and Voice.

During the late 80's and the 90's in Stockholm, Sweden and London, England, Björn also had a career as localizer of computer programs, subtitler of movies and manager of translation projects.


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Hamidreza Sharifi

Percussion: All levels

Hamidreza Sharifi is an Iranian traditional percussion player. He graduated from the Art University of Shiraz. Since he was very interested in old Iranian traditional music, he started learning it eagerly in 1998. Hamidreza took several courses to be trained in Percussion Instruments of Persian Music such as Tonbak, a Persian Hand Drum, and Daf, Middle East Frame Drum, under the supervisions of some esteemed grandmasters such as Navid Afghah and Reza Kavari. He also has benefited from the guidance of grandmasters like Farhad Fakhreddini, an Iranian composer, conductor and founder of Iran’s National Orchestra, Hossein Alizadeh, Mohammadali Kianinejad and Hamidreza Norbakhsh in their master classes. Due to his interest in rhythm, he began studying knowledge of technique and rhythm under the supervision of Navid Afghah, master of Tonbak. He has joined in professional concerts within Iran and abroad. Hamidreza composed and performed music for theatres and plays. Besides, he was an active member of some music bands which were performing and recording music for Radio and Television and different TV series. He had been teaching Tonbak and Daf to music students in different ages for twelve years and teaching Knowledge of Technique and Rhythm for three years at music institutes in Shiraz. He taught at the University of Sistan & Baluchestan as an instructor for one year.

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Portrait of Aida TislerAida Tisler

Violin: All levels

Aida Tisler obtained her bachelor degree in violin teaching and performance with distinction from Music Academy of the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1980. She accepted a violin teaching position at “Mladen Posaic” elementary music school in 1978 and held it until 1983 when she took a position of a violinist with the Sarajevo’s Symphony Orchestra. In addition to performing and recording music with the Symphony Orchestra, Aida performed regularly with the Sarajevo’s Philharmonic Orchestra and Sarajevo’s Chamber Orchestra until her departure for Canada in 1994.

After 18 months of language schools, violin teaching and one university course in Toronto, Aida arrived in Fredericton with her husband Hrvoje and 2-year old daughter Sabina. Since then, Aida has obtained B.Ed with distinction from UNB, has taught violin to close to one hundred private students and has coached chamber groups and student orchestras at UNB Music Camp, New Brunswick Conservatory and several elementary schools. Since becoming a member in 1997, Aida performed over 150 concerts with the Symphony New Brunswick. In addition, Aida performs regularly with Fredericton Chamber Players and Atlantic Sinfonia.

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Portrait of Aida TislerJeff Zaat

Percussion: All levels

Jeff Zaat lives in the quiet community of Keswick Ridge, New Brunswick with his wife and six kids. He has been teaching Music in the public-school system for over ten years and is a gifted entertainer for young people and the young at heart offering a variety of music for a variety of events. Performances can be custom-designed for your event and can include interactive components, storytelling partnered with music, sing-alongs, and much more.

Jeff received a Bachelor of Music in 1997 from the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), focusing on percussion performance. In 2001 he received a Bachelor of Education from UPEI and has been combining education and performance ever since. Jeff is a skilled player of guitar, piano, drums and percussion and enjoys combining the use of these instruments to make his performances dynamic and interactive. He is a sought-after private teacher of percussion, guitar, piano and voice and his students have achieved gold-medal standing in local music festivals as well as the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Jeff also consistently demonstrates talents as a songwriter and arranger. His original material is thoughtful, and his vision encapsulates, among other themes, the rights of children, diversity, the environment and unity.

Jeff enjoys connecting with his audiences and generating an environment where everyone feels at home, can relax, sing along and move to the music. Please see the contact page for information on booking.

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More information

Tel.: 506 458-7259

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