Fall Colours Concert – October 28, 2023

Lauren Yeomans is a conductor, flautist and arranger from Toronto, Canada providing bold and robust interpretations to the worlds of solo, chamber and orchestral music. She just completed two years as Assistant Conductor of Summerhill Orchestra and recently founded the Toronto Alternative Chamber Orchestra as Music Director which is dedicated to bringing classical music to the next generation fo concertgoers. This summer Lauren was a Fellow of the Pacific Northwest Conducting Institute (having previously participated as an Associate) conducting the Saratoga Orchestra of Whidbey Island under the guidance of Diane Wittry and Anna Edwards. Last fall Lauren completed a Conducting Apprenticeship at Orchestra Toronto under the guidance of Michael Newnham and participated in the Girls Who Conduct Early Career Program with Chaowen Ting. She has cover conducted the Etobicoke Philharmonic where she is also Principal Flute and performed the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto last season as part of the concertino. Lauren is also co-founder and flautist of Quintagious!, a wind quintet specializing in thoughtfully-curated concert programming, where she has arranged a number of works for the ensemble including Ravel’s Ma Mere L’Oye, Raymond Scott’s Powerhouse and Steinman’s Total Eclipse of the Heart. Lauren earned her Master of Music in Flute Performance from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey studying with Bart Feller, and her Bachelor of Music from the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory where she took conducting with Uri Mayer.



Winterlude X Concert – December 16, 2023

Felipe Luzuriaga is a musician with an excelling trajectory. He has conducted orchestras and ensembles internationally and written and arranged music in different genres for studio recordings films, theatre, and dance. Having toured extensively throughout the world, he has performed as soloist, concertmaster, and orchestral member. During 2022, he served as Music Director of the National Theatre in Quito-Ecuador and is currently Music Director of the Durham Chamber Orchestra.

Recently the CBC featured Mr. Luzuriaga in their Front-Line Heroes series for his Balcony Concerts during Toronto’s partial lockdowns. Among festivals in which he has participated are Aspen, the Juilliard-Delay, Philadelphia International Music Festival, and Orchestra of the Americas. He holds degrees from the University of Toronto, Boston Conservatory, and University San Francisco de Quito. A recipient of the Marilyn Cook Graduate Fellowship, he is currently a candidate for a doctorate in Orchestral Conducting at the U of T.



Winters Tale Concert – February 29, 2024

George Cleland has been the conductor of the Niagara Youth Concert Orchestra since 2022, Brock University String Orchestra since 2017 and the Peninsula Orchestra since 2009.  He was a finalist in the Timmins Symphony Orchestra Conductor Search, conducting a concert in May 2016.  George plays regularly as a violinist with the Niagara Symphony, the Brantford Symphony Orchestra, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, the Southern Ontario Lyric Opera, and the World Rock Symphony Orchestra.  He was a member of the World Rock Symphony Bangkok tour of Return to Grace in 2015 and played in Toronto for the Bolshoi Ballet’s tour of North America in a production of Swan Lake in 2012.  He is the violinist for Garden City Productions, playing in Fiddler on the Roof, Spamalot, The Addams Family Musical, Beauty and the Beast, and Oliver, and in Rural Stages Productions, playing The Last Five Years.  George was hired as a skilled extra in the Murdoch Mysteries tv show Murder in F Major.

George has been an upper strings instructor and assistant conductor for Niagara Youth Orchestra, an instructor for Suzuki Niagara, and on staff at Brock University since 2003.  George is also the orchestral strings instructor and conductor for the Niagara Symphony Summer Music Camp. He holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Ottawa and a Master of Music from the University of Akron.



Renewal Concert – May 11, 2024

Pratik Gandhi (he/him/his) is a conductor, percussionist, clinician, and researcher based in Toronto. He currently serves as music director of the Rouge River Winds and sessional instructor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music, where he directs the Wind Symphony. He was the founding music director of Soup Can Theatre and previously served as resident conductor for the Toy Piano Composers. Pratik has recently been selected as a finalist for music director positions with the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra, the Milton Philharmonic Orchestra, Oakville Symphony, the Northdale Concert Band, and the Wellington Wind Symphony. He also served as assistant conductor of Symphony on the Bay (now the Burlington Symphony Orchestra) for five years, and as associate conductor with the Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra for three years.

Pratik’s conducting experience covers a wide variety of genres and repertoire. He has led orchestras in performances of symphonies, concertos, and overtures; he has served as music director for stage works including operas, musicals, and cabarets; and he has conducted chamber ensembles, wind bands, choirs, and many different collaborative projects. Pratik is also a champion of new music, and has conducted the premiere of numerous works, including Jodi Vander Woude’s Quiet you with my love: lullaby, for soprano solo, female chorus, and large orchestra, and Kristie Hunter’s Stronger Than, for orchestra. Pratik is credited as conductor on three albums of contemporary music: Bekah Simms’ impurity chains (conducting two tracks, including the Juno-nominated “Granitic”); the Toy Piano Composers’ self-titled debut album; and the recent premiere recording of Benjamin Sajo’s “The Great War Sextet”.

Pratik received a B.Mus. in music education and an M.Mus. in conducting from the University of Western Ontario, where he studied conducting with Dr. Colleen Richardson, Jerome Summers and James McKay, and percussion with Dr. Jill Ball. He is currently a doctoral student at York University, where his research, supported by an Ontario Graduate Scholarship, investigates issues of equity and representation among wind band composers in Canada.