Our Program Instructors

 

Steven Conway

Steven’s teaching philosophy is that effectively communicating enthusiasm is the best way to inspire it in others. He is thrilled to have the chance to share his love of music with Rainbow Songs Foundation students.steven-conway

Trained for 10 years in piano and theory at the Royal Conservatory of Music, with a background in choir, musical theatre, and improv, Steven is also self-taught in a variety of instruments, and is constantly seeking new ways to expand his musical vocabulary.

After completing his Master’s degree in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Toronto in 2015, Steven has performed in musical ensembles across the city, and continues to work as a musical director, accompanist, and composer within Toronto’s independent theatre scene.

As a member of the Rainbow Songs team, Steven is eager to facilitate learning, community, and joy through the love of music.

Click here to read some of Steven’s blogs!

Brian Reid

Brian was born into a rich musical heritage; his mother is a professional concert singer and his uncle was a world renowned vocalist.  Brian’s own musical journey started with piano lessons at age 7.  He joined the choir at St. George the Martyr Anglican Church the next year.  Shortly thereafter, he began to fill in for the organist on an occasional basis.

His teaching career began in his teens, leading children at Moorelands camp in sing-songs, and instructing campers in the basics of canoeing.  That led earning a degree in a Bachelor of Education and a teaching career that was highlighted by popular music classes and choirs.  At the same time, he was honing his own singing skills as a tenor and bass in the All Saints Anglican Church choir in Whitby.

Currently, Brian is the organist and choir director at Christ The King Lutheran Church in Whitby.  There, he brings his gift of music and love of singing to the congregation. When conducing the adult and children’s choirs at the Church, he enjoys using a variety of musical styles.  Now, after years of singing with young children and adults in different capacities, Brian is thrilled to be bringing his voice and energy to Rainbow Songs.

Click here to read some of Brian’s blogs!

Alana Kurtis

Alana received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Vocal Performance from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Upon graduating, Alana began teaching music to children and opening their minds to the joys of music. Alana is currently the Music Teacher and Choir Director at Mildenhall Montessori in Etobicoke. Alana’s other teaching credits include: Children’s Garden School (CGS), Rainbow Songs, Arts Express and the Ottawa School of Speech and Drama. Alana is also the founder of Starling Music, a company which offers private lessons (guitar, piano & voice) and Rock Star summer camps for children ages 5 – 10.

Click here to read some of Alana’s blogs!

 

Rebecca Jess

Rebecca Jess has a strong background in music performance, theatre and community arts. She holds a BA in Drama and English from Queen’s University, Kingston. Rebecca went on to earn her Bachelor of Education from Queen’s through their Artist in the Community Education (ACE) program
Rebecca has a deep understanding of working with children through her experience with community theatre as well as summer camps. Her work with Rainbow Songs is a natural extension of this lifelong journey.

 

Click here to read some of Rebecca’s blogs!

Daiva Paskauskas

Daiva is a singer, budding music therapist, music educator, and multi-instrumentalist. Her love of music began at a young age while learning Lithuanian folk songs at summer camps and singing with the Toronto Lithuanian community.

Daiva holds a Bachelor of Music from Humber College, as well as, a Bachelor of Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Most recently, Daiva completed a Certificate in Music Therapy at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, and is pursuing a music therapy internship in Toronto.

Daiva has always had a personal connection to music. She loves singing and plays a variety of instruments including piano, guitar, accordion, and hand drums. Having worked with individuals from many walks of life, Daiva has witnessed how music has the capacity to elicit joy and a sense of empowerment for everyone involved. She believes that being exposed to music at a young age is one of the most important and beneficial experiences a child can have.

Daiva has a passion for working with groups, and always enjoys sharing songs, smiles, laughs, and silly moments with Rainbow Songs families. Daiva is delighted to be a part of the wonderful Rainbow Songs team and can’t wait to sing with you!

Click here to read some of Daiva’s blogs!

Joshua Engel

Joshua Engel began his musical training at the age of three, studying piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music. His foray into children’s entertainment began when he sang back-up on John Sebastian’s Nobody Cares Like A Bear from the soundtrack to The Care Bears Movie at the 1986 Genie Awards. Earning a Bachelor of Arts with a focus in music from McGill University, Joshua went on to become a six time scholarship recipient from KlezKanada, where he studied guitar and mandolin techniques.

As an accomplished producer, Josh has worked on over 15 CDs to date. He has produced several recordings and has worked on a number of original soundtracks for film and video. An extensive traveller, Joshua has performed live in over fifteen different countries on five different continents with many return engagements. For the kids, Joshua worked with Starshine Productions, an ambitious theatre company dedicated to producing high quality, thought provoking, original entertainment for children. In addition to playing the title role in Uncle Jeb’s Farm (a play for children ages 2 and up), and performing the show internationally, Josh acted as the Musical Director and producer of an original soundtrack recording for the musical. He has also spent several summers leading music and theatre programs at Camp Micah in Bridgeton, Maine for children ages 6 – 16. Josh has been teaching music privately to students in Toronto for over ten years. He is thrilled to be a part of the Rainbow Songs team.

Click here to read some of Josh’s blogs!

Joel Corriveau

Joel Corriveau loves deeply of life, sound, story, music, motion, and emotion. Music lessons began at a young age for Joel, learning in the Kodaly tradition. The wonderful memories of those group classes have stayed with him, and he is thrilled to share the magic of music through Rainbow Songs. Joel completed a Bachelor of Arts in Drama from Queen’s University, Kingston. He then leapt at the chance to tour across Canada performing as an actor with Touring Players Theatre, delighting young audiences in “A World of Fairy Tales”. He completed a Bachelor of Fine Art at Concordia University, Montreal, in the discipline of Electroacoustics – a program that jointly teaches audio engineering and avant composition techniques. His sound designs frequently focus on digital sculpting of the human voice, and organic, natural sounds.

Joel is confident that teaching children creative expression through music and movement with Rainbow Songs is one of the most important things he could be doing with his time. Music has been such an integral part of his life: it is an honour to share the gift of music with little ones, parents, grandparents and nannies.

Click here to read some of Joel’s blogs!

Jessica Blake

Jessica Blake is Rainbow Songs’ longest standing instructor, having been teaching with us for over a decade. A born performer, Jessica was singing, playing the piano, and putting on impromptu dance recitals for anyone whose attention she could capture, from as early as she can remember. After studying Education at McGill University, Jessica decided to mix her pleasure for performing with travel and travelled throughout South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand for 18 months, doing solo performances in many venues throughout those countries.

Following 10 years of composing and recording her own songs, Jessica finally released her first full length album entitled ‘So Close’. ‘So Close’ has gotten radio play throughout Canada, US, and Europe, and received notable awards, like being chosen as “Album of the Month” at a Zurich (Switzerland) radio station. Jessica has been a featured vocalist on every Rainbow Songs CD to date, and has written and co-written songs such as “Bath Time”, “We’re All Here”, “Let’s Dance Today”, and “My Bellybutton”.

Jessica thoroughly enjoys the diversity of working with preschool children and their caregivers at Rainbow Songs, performing as Lady Red in Rock’n’Rainbow, and touring and performing with her own adult contemporary, acoustic/pop band. She looks forward to having you in her class or seeing you at an upcoming show!

Click here to read some of Jessica’s blogs!

Linda Gallant

Born into a large musical family, Linda spent her childhood in New Brunswick involved with choirs and a ukulele ensemble, and assumed the position of double-bass section lead of the district string orchestra. She also grew to love participating in plays, musicals, and the Hampton Summer Stock Theatre troop.lgb__70

At Acadia University, Linda achieved a Bachelor of Music with double concentrations in Vocal Performance and Musical Theatre. Wanting more hands-on training, she relocated to Toronto to complete a Diploma in Performing Arts (singing, acting, and dancing) at the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts. She has since performed with several companies in southern Ontario, most notably Toronto Operetta Theatre, Voicebox: Opera in Concert, and the Drayton Theatre Festival – including their North American tour of Camelot.

Linda’s enthusiasm extends well past opera and musical theatre! She has also sung with jazz ensembles, a Motown cover-band, a Dolly Parton chorale, and provided backing vocals for a hip-hop artist.

Music of all origins enthralls her, which is why Linda is beyond thrilled to be sharing her love of it with the Rainbow Songs community!

Click here to read some of Linda’s blogs!

Rena Ashton

Rena discovered a love for singing at an early age, enrolling in the Toronto Children’s Chorus and never looking back! As a member of the chorus, Rena was given the opportunity to sing with many gifted musicians and perform at venues like the Sydney Opera House and the Royal Albert Hall. After graduating from the choir, Rena stayed on to work as a conductor’s assistant and theory teacher, helping young children learn to sight-read music and understand the basics of music theory.

She graduated fromrena Ryerson University in 2010 with a degree in Radio and Television Arts, focusing primarily on children’s television production. In her spare time, Rena also serves as the conductor and musical director of the Varsity Jews A Cappella, Toronto’s premiere Jewish a cappella ensemble, and has helped the choir raise money for various charities in Toronto and internationally.

Rena is thrilled to be a part of Rainbow Songs Foundation, spreading the joy of singing that was imprinted upon her as a child. She believes music is something to be shared, and indeed the more we sing together the happier we’ll be!

Click here to read some of Rena’s blogs!