Dr. Michelle Colton (MMus 2009, DMA 2013 from U of T) is a versatile musician who plays and teaches all of the standard percussion instruments as well as steel pan. Her debut album, Unpredictable Nature was produced by Ray Dillard. She received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in percussion from the University of Toronto. Dr. Colton has performed throughout North America, Asia, and Central America as a guest artist. She was a percussion instructor for the Iowa Ambassadors of Music tours in Europe. She often plays with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company, and has performed with NEXUS and Dame Evelyn Glennie. In 2015 and 2017, she directed the University of Toronto Steel Pan Ensemble. She currently teaches in the Percussion Preparatory Department at the University of Toronto. She is also a Steel Pan Instructor in the Toronto District School Board, and a Percussion and Steel Pan Instructor at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Dr. Colton is an artist/endorser of Adams/Pearl Percussion, Dream Cymbals, and the Steelpan Store.
Leading Canadian percussionist Dr. Ryan Scott (BMus 1995, MMus 1997, DMA 2015 from U of T) has been hailed as “Fierce and delicate…a chameleon-like virtuoso who triumphs over the varied colouristic demands and technical challenges” (Gramophone).
As a marimba and multi-percussion soloist he has performed extensively in contemporary music festivals in Europe, Japan, China, Indonesia, South Africa, the UK and The Netherlands. He has also performed as guest soloist with the Esprit Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, The Hyogo Performing Arts Centre Orchestra, The Austin Symphony and numerous other orchestras and chamber ensembles across North America.
Ryan is a stalwart figure in the Toronto contemporary music community and has performed in over 375 world premieres. In addition to his work as a regular guest artist with NEXUS, Principal Percussionist of the Esprit Orchestra and Percussionist in the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra since 1996, he is also a sought-after chamber musician and teacher. A core member of Continuum Contemporary Music (founded 1985), he also serves the organization as Artistic Director.
His live recording of three Maki Ishii percussion concertos with the Esprit Orchestra (Innova 809) elevated Ryan to international acclaim in 2011. He studied with Russell Hartenberger and Robin Engelman at the University of Toronto and serves on the faculty at the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. Ryan is married to harpist Sanya Eng, and lives in Toronto with their three children.