Sam Kerr is a Calgary-born percussion, piano, and composition enthusiast. He began studying music locally with Dr. Rod Squance and Derek Stoll, allowing him to perform with groups such as the Calgary Stampede Showband, the Calgary Youth Orchestra, and AIBF honour bands. After completing his RCM exams in piano, Sam has turned to arranging and composition as a passion project, completing works both for smaller groups and full orchestra/ wind ensemble.
For secondary, Sam attended Western Canada High School, and was able to push his musicianship to the next level under the artistic leadership of Brendan Hagan with a variety of group, solo, and chamber appearances. For post-secondary, Sam is enrolled in the Bachelor of Music in Performance program at the University of Toronto and currently studies with Dr. Aiyun Huang and John Rudolph.
At the moment, Sam is a member of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, University of Toronto Wind Ensemble, and UofT Percussion Ensemble, in addition to serving as a student ambassador at the Faculty of Music. In his free time, Sam can be found skiing, hiking, exploring the mountains, or trying to fit very large percussion instruments in very small cars.
Julia Araiche began pursuing music when she was five years old, learning to sing and play piano. Since then, she has been a member of multiple ensembles and groups in pursuit of her musical goals, including coaching drumline in high school. Julia has toured multiple times with the world-renowned Hamilton Children’s Choir to China, South Korea, France and more, singing in the choir and accompanying them on percussion. She is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto. Prior to that, she studied with Jamie Drake, member of TorQ percussion quartet. She currently studies with Aiyun Huang and Beverley Johnston. This year, Julia was a member of the University of Toronto Wind Symphony and University of Toronto Percussion Ensemble.
Born and raised in Gainesville, Florida, Britton Rene began her percussion studies at the age of 8 at the Gainesville Academy of Music and Art. Britton participated in numerous festivals and competitions and her involvement with the Florida Bandmasters Association resulted in consecutive superior ratings at the state level.
Britton had the privilege of studying with Doctor Kenneth Broadway at the University of Florida School of Music and was a member of the Buchholz Band program. Britton also participated in the front ensemble of the award-winning Golden Regiment Marching Band and was a 5-year veteran in the Alachua County Youth Orchestra under the direction of Professor Robert Gary Langford.
In addition to percussion, Britton is also an accomplished pianist and received many awards from the Florida Federation of Music Clubs during her studies with Doctor Kevin Robert Orr. Britton is currently an undergraduate percussion performance major at the University of Toronto.
Lian MacMillan is an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto. Her love for dance and music intertwined as she grew up, making rhythm essential to her life. Drumming entered her life when she was 12 when she started playing drumkit with Andrew Mcmullen. She then went on to gain an interest in percussion and completed grade 8 RCM, receiving first class honours and Ontario Regional Gold Medal under the guidance of Michelle Colton. Lian has participated in shows such as Apocalypsis, Anything Goes and Arrollando’s Cuban Dance weekend. She previously attended Rosedale Heights School of the Arts, and completed classes such as concert band, composition, and repertoire. She is currently a member of the University of Toronto Wind Symphony, Percussion Ensemble, and Steel Pan Ensemble; as well as school clubs VicDance and VicRecords. Outside of school Lian plays drumkit in a alternative rock band and continues to dance.
Shaked Danieli is a student in his second year of the undergraduate Music Education program at the University of Toronto. He has studied with Beverley Johnston, Aiyun Huang, John Rudolph and Michelle Colton. He has worked and volunteered in schools and camps across York Region with students from the ages of two to sixteen. Although his teaching focus is music, he strives to provide a holistic view of music to students and focuses on interdisciplinary education, specifically on how music relates to mathematics, physics and physical education. In his free time he enjoys learning new instruments and composing music for percussion ensemble, piano and strings.
Jacob Valcheff is a Toronto based percussionist and music educator entering his third year of study in music education at the University of Toronto. He began studying percussion formally in 2015 as a student of Jacob Mannion, and has since gone on to perform in venues across Canada and the US – Notably, New York’s Carnegie Hall in 2016. From June to August 2018, he will be performing with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada for their 57th season, including shows in Germany and Scotland. Jacob is an active freelancer, having performed with numerous ensembles across the Greater Toronto Area. As an educator, Jacob has given clinics and has appeared on staff at both the National Music Camp of Canada and the York Music camp.
Outside of his professional life, he enjoys listening to rock music, playing guitar, reading, and cooking.
Jacob is a graduate of Pierre Elliott Trudeau High School and an alumna of the Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra, the Ontario Provincial Honour Band, the National Youth Band, the Dennis Wick Canadian Wind Orchestra, and the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra. his current teachers are John Rudolph, Beverley Johnston, and Aiyun Huang.
Keshav Sharma-Jaitly is currently in his 4th year of the comprehensive program at The University of Toronto, and has studied with Russell Hartenberger, Aiyun Huang, John Rudolph, Beverley Johnston, and Michelle Colton. He has performed with the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Toronto, TYWO, Hannaford Youth Brass Band, as well as various groups throughout the GTA. He enjoys playing in musicals, and has been contributing to campus productions throughout his university career. Additionally, Keshav performed in the 2015 Luminato Festival production of R. Murray Schafer’s Apocalypsis. The university has given him the opportunity to study world music, and he has experience playing Taiko, Klezmer, Samba, steel pan, and various styles from Western Africa, Cuba, and Spain. Keshav also plays drum set fairly extensively, and is currently performing with electronic rock group Bicyclops. In his spare time, he writes music reviews for U of T’s Demo magazine, as well as his personal blog, and has been learning how to produce music. He looks forward to exploring more of these genres and opportunities as he approaches his fourth year.
Adam Kaleta is a Toronto-based percussionist currently studying at the University of Toronto, where he has honed his skills under Russell Hartenberger, John Rudolph, Aiyun Huang, and Beverley Johnston. He has performed with Orchestra Toronto, the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, Escola de Samba de Toronto, as well as numerous other pit bands, orchestras, marching bands, and jazz/rock bands. Adam performed in the 2015 performance of R. Murray Schafer’s epic work, Apocalypsis, during Toronto’s Luminato Festival. He is also fluent on variety of hand drums/world percussion, and has studied congas, udu, daf, darbuka, tombak, taiko, West African styles/instruments, and Brazilian styles/instruments. Adam is also experienced in audio recording, often combining percussion and electronics to explore the possibilities of electro-acoustic performance.