The music instructors at Orillia Music Centre have more than 100 years of combined teaching experience. They know all the tips and tricks for helping students nurture a love for learning music. And that’s what makes OMC students so successful!
Sherry McKinnonMusic for Young Children, Music Pups, Sunrise, Ukulele, Private Piano
Since 1999 I have had the privilege of teaching over 1,700 MYC students and their families! Sharing my love of music and helping them to build a strong musical foundation in a fun way is why I chose to teach the MYC program.
Gayle WellsMusic for Young Children, Voice, Ukulele, Private Piano
Since grade school Gayle has been actively involved in learning, teaching, and performing music. Her specialty is voice, but she also enjoys piano and ukulele. Gayle loves instilling the joy of music in children and encourages them to perform often—it helps build confidence and shares the gift of music with others.
Suzanne OakleyMusic for Young Children, Private Piano
My formal music education began at age six with my first piano teacher, Miss Allan, and music has been a part of my life ever since. When my son was young I accompanied him through the Music For Young Children program, and grew to appreciate the step by step skill building that the structure of MYC offers. For the past 15 years I have had the great joy of sharing my love of music with both children and adults using this refined approach. Guiding parents and students together through the early years of music learning is both fun and rewarding for all of us.
Andrew WoodillPrivate Piano and Guitar
Andrew grew up playing a variety of different instruments, and was performing on piano, electric bass, trumpet and saxophone by the end of high school. After university Andrew spent 5 years treeplanting in British Columbia, traveling far and wide with a guitar as a constant companion.
Marta SolekPrivate Piano and Private Cello
Marta Solek is a multi-instrumentalist, teacher and composer from Poland and graduate of Krakow Academy of Music. A specialist in classical cello, she is a multi-grant and award recipient including 2015 and 2016 best album with Nikola Kolodziejczyk Orchestra (Polish Juno Awards). In addition to recording 10 albums and music for various television shows, movies, and computer games, she also travels extensively. Her passion for music takes her all over the world as she participates in concert tours and musical workshops internationally.
Alex AndrewsPrivate Viola, Violin, and Double Bass
Alex completed her Bachelor of Music degree at McGill University in 2015. While in Montréal she was a member of many ensembles, including: Orchestre symphonique des jeunes de Montréal, McGill Baroque Orchestra, McGill Symphony Orchestra, and the orchestra for Stu&Jess. Alex currently plays as a section violist in Orchestra Toronto. She has a long-standing relationship with St. Paul’s United Church, having grown up and sung in the choirs under musical director Blair Bailey from a very young age. Since she was four, Alex has played the violin, and along with being a violist, she is also leaning to play the double bass.
Mark Sturrup & Vonque SturrupPrivate Drums & Group Percussion
Mark Sturrup is a professional drummer and percussionist with over 40 years experience. He chose to study at the Ontario College of Percussion to hone in on the art of his craft. He has drummed for many bands all over the world. Over the last few years Mark and his son Vonque have worked together as a teaching team helping to bring the joy of drumming to families and youth throughout the Muskoka area.
Olivia DuckGuitar, Ukulele, Voice Coaching
Olivia is an Orillia based musician and singer/songwriter who holds a degree in fine arts – Film- from Ryerson University. In addition to having studied image arts, Olivia has dedicated her life to studying music. She plays guitar, piano, and bass and is most excited about her newest instrumental love, the drums. Olivia has played many venues in the Orillia and Toronto area both as a solo, duo and part of the local band “Hobo Jam” She is currently in her first year of a Bachelor of Education at Lakehead University in Orillia. She considers herself a lifelong learner and is eager to share her gifts and excitement for learning with her future students–both in the classroom and private lessons.
Julia JohnstonVocals, Orillia Children's Community Children's Choir
Julia loves to share her passion for singing, drama and dance with all ages in the Orillia area. She is a performance and music theatre loving, individual. Trained at Randolph College for the Performing Arts she is known as a “triple threat performer”, she enjoys passing on her knowledge to children who strive to improve their confidence levels onstage and offstage. Julia is a professional singer and has acted for years in communities all over Eastern Ontario. Julia has acted under the talented direction of Bea Quarrie and Rosanna Saracino. She has sung under the baton of many great directors including Dr. Canon Giles Bryant, Syd Birrell, Christine Slevan, Jeffrey Huard, Jeannie Wyse, Mitchell Pady, Blair Bailey, Renee Cingolani and Scott Hurst. Julia is excited to continue bringing choirs for women to Simcoe County and a children’s choir called O.C.C.C. (Orillia Community Children’s Choir). She has taught children for over 12 years. She was the Kempenfelt Community Players music director for their Junior shows for 2018-2020. She finished (April 2019) fulfilling a life-long dream of playing the role of Narrator for a production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Tom ScheppGuitar, Bass Guitar, Piano
Tom grew up in a very musical household including both parents trained in jazz and classical piano, brothers on bass and drums and although piano was his first instrument, Tom began focusing on guitar at the age of 15. Tom has been playing, singing and teaching professionally for over 20 years and has performed throughout Southern Ontario with his blues/rock band and as a solo guitarist/vocalist. Guitar is his main focus of instruction, however Tom also provides sessions for students interested in piano, bass, drums and vocals.
Blair Bailey is well-known throughout Orillia and surrounding area as a concert organist/pianist,
choral conductor, music theatre music director, church organist and music teacher.
A native Orillian, Blair attained the Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Music diploma in Piano Performance upon graduating from secondary school and subsequently completed the Bachelor of Music in Performance and Masters of Music degrees from the University of Toronto. Throughout his lengthy tenure
as organist and choir director of St. Paul’s United Church, Orillia, Blair has shared the joy of music with generations of children, youth and the ‘young-at-heart.’ Many of his students have gone on to successful careers as musicians. Blair is very much looking forward to sharing his love of music with ‘the next generation’ of music students, ‘team teaching’ here at OMC with one of his most recent ‘proteges’, Grace Liu.
Grace has been playing piano for almost 10 years and is working towards getting her ARCT piano teacher’s diploma. She loves playing piano and wants to share that love with others, all the while fostering their creativity and allowing them to discover the beauty of music.
Hearts & Crafts Studio Teachers
Sabrina Dodgson-Sturrup & Shanya Sturrup Hearts and Crafts Studio Teachers
This Mother – daughter team are working together to provide drop in art, fashion design, and jewelry making classes to children. Sabrina is not only a special needs teacher but also a fashion and jewelry designer whose work has been featured internationally in fashion shows, magazines and digital media. Together her and her daughter work side by side to bring the love of creative arts, design and fashion to others.
Lauren Lewis-PoliusHearts and Crafts Studio--Supply Teacher
Lauren Lewis-Polius studied Early Childhood Education at Humber Collage, and has been an active educator for seven years, with experience with children ages 5 months – 12 years of age. She believes that nurturing a child’s creativity fosters the growth of their learning, and while art is a natural activity to support creative play, the freedom to manipulate different materials in an organic and unstructured way allows for exploration, experimentation, and sets the vibes for some amazing learning opportunities.