Sonia Poon - Piano
Sonia began playing the piano at age five with Constance Kline with who she completed her RCM examinations. During her years of study, she received five Silver Medals for top provincial marks as well as numerous honors at the Kiwanis Music Festival. She competed in the Canadian Music Competition, where she was a semifinalist. Following that, Sonia studied with Marek Jablonski for three years at the University of Alberta, as well as with Alexander Sandler and Jean-Paul Sevilla. After completing her Bachelor of Music, she went to Paris to continue her studies at Schola Cantorum L’Ecole des Beaux Arts. She studied piano solo, chamber music and analysis with Narcis Bonet and Prof. Sevilla. She has been teaching full time since, starting Forte Music in 2001, and is a standing member of the Alberta Piano Teacher’s Association. She has three wonderful and demanding children- Sascha, Luka and Camila.. and when possible, loves to play tennis, read and sleep in.
Rosalyn Harms - Theory & History
Rosalyn was born in Calgary and began her career as a musician in her junior high band, playing flute. She continued playing in high school, joining the Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, and Choir. Her marks and participation resulted in many awards, including the Heitman Music Award, awarded to the student most likely to succeed in a career in music. She continued on, entering into the music program at the University of Calgary after beginning intensive music lessons in both flute and theory. She completed her Bachelor of Music specializing in Secondary Education with a minor European History in 2006. She began taking exams through the Royal Conservatory of Music in 2000 and has almost completed her ARCT in Flute Performance and Education. She is currently working towards an ARCT in Theory and Composition. Rosalyn has been teaching for 6 years and many of her students achieve honors marks, some winning prestigious awards.
Jessica Eckstadt - Voice
Jessica began her musical journey at the age of 4 with the Youth Singers of Calgary. As she progressed through the program she excelled in singing, dancing, and acting, and performed across Europe, South America, and the United States. Jessica then continued on to Mount Royal University, where she earned her performance diploma in classical voice and was awarded numerous scholarships. Jessica was then accepted to Concordia University in Montreal where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts specializing in Music Performance, with great distinction. Here, Jessica was also awarded the Music Prize, to the most outstanding music student of the graduating class. She is an active performer and choreographer, and also maintains a vibrant roster of students. Jessica believes that sharing music with others, through teaching or performing, is one of the best experiences in life.
Gus Moberg - Guitar
Gus Moberg first picked up the guitar at twelve years old after having been introduced by a classmate to the music of Queen. He successfully completed the music program at Hvitfeltska Gymnasiet in Gothenburg (high school level studies), and was then accepted to the pre- university Jazz program at Sommenbygdens FHSK in Tranas, Sweden. Gus then went into the recording studio and spent a few years on the road, playing with Swedish Reggae band “Dubadown”. Gus decided to further his music studies and chose to apply across the planet. He selected to attend Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated from the Jazz studies program in 2015. Gustaf then met his future wife, a Calgarian, and has since been living here, both teaching and performing music.
Shirley Nham - Piano
Shirley Nham began her classical training at the age of 6 years old under Dan Morin and then Sonia Poon for the majority of her years. During this time, she completed the requirements in the Royal Conservatory of Music examinations up to level 10 Piano and the ARCT in Elementary Piano Pedagogy. She has also performed in local competitions and piano festivals. Shirley continues to develop herself as a pianist and teacher as she pursues an ARCT in Intermediate Piano Pedagogy and Piano Performance under the tutelage of Derek Chiu. She is also working towards a BA in Music from the University of Calgary. Shirley's teaching philosophy is to distill passion in musicians of all ages and levels while helping them effectively develop proficiency and musicality at their instrument. With her student’s goals in mind, she is currently helping her students prepare for RCM examinations as well as students who like to learn for the pure enjoyment of music.
Brendan Catalano - Voice, Piano & Woodwinds
Brendan Catalano joins us as a very multi-talented musician. He will be teaching piano, voice, musical theatre, music theory and of course, saxophone. He holds a B. Mus with Honors from the University of Saskatchewan as well as his Masters of Music degree from the University of Florida, where he attended on scholarship. Highlights from Brendan's long list of accomplishments would be his performance at Carnegie Hall as the first place winner of the 2017 American Protégé International Woodwind Competition. Brendan also won the 49th University of Florida Concerto Competition, and was the grand award winner of the 2015 Saskatchewan Music Festival Competition. He has performed as both soloist and chamber musician in cities across North America. As a teacher, Brendan enjoys teaching students of all ages and personalities! He comes to us with experience from The Saskatoon Academy of Music as well as teaching lessons at the University of Florida Saxophone Studio during his university studies.
Sammie Tran - Piano
Coming from a musical family, it has always been a part of Sammie's life. She began taking piano lessons at the age of 4, and eventually started formal instruction with Sonia Poon. Under her tutelage, she has performed numerous classes in the Calgary Performing Arts Festival and the Alberta Piano Teacher’s Association Festival, winning red and gold certificates, as well as a scholarship for her Baroque performance. Sammie has also successfully completed her advanced grades of the Royal Conservatory Exam stream. She began teaching piano in 2017, and has a very sensitive and thoughtful approach. Sammie is currently attending University of Calgary where she working towards her Bachelor of Science in Psychology.
Dean Lauderdale is a Calgary-based musician, who specializes in teaching and performing. Dean has been teaching private voice/guitar/piano lessons of all ages for over 8 years and absolutely loves it. He is highly involved in the Calgary music scene, performing with his a cappella group, ONCUE, and as a one-man-band at venues all around Calgary. Dean holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance (Honours) at Humber College as well as a Music Diploma in Classical Vocal Performance from Mount Royal University. Apart from teaching and performing, Dean is a songwriter, producer, and arranger and looks forward to being apart of the Forte Music team!
Dean Lauderdale - Piano, Voice & Guitar
Matt Bryce - Piano
Matt Bryce began playing piano at the ripe age of four. Throughout his ten years of lessons with Kate Semyonova in British Columbia, he not only learned how to play, but also showed a keen interest in composition. At the young age of thirteen, he and his twin sister were both prestigiously accepted into Alberta Ballet School's Professional Division, bringing him and his family to Calgary. He is an active student council member and was named the Ambassador of the Alberta Ballet School for showing great leadership.
Matt is very passionate about composing and when he graduates in 2021, he hopes to pursue that further, as well as a future career in ballet. His compositions currently range from classical to contemporary. He has also developed a talent for music improvisation, and has used that gift to help accompany classes in the Alberta Ballet open division.
Matt has been teaching privately for four years and he is very excited to start working with us at Forte Music Studio. He enjoys all kinds of music; from classical to Disney to rock, newer pop music, and also blues and jazz. he loves to teach all ages, and has developed his own way of teaching composition and/or improvisation if you're interested!
Alexia Lee - Piano
Alexia Lee began her classical piano training at the age of six years old under Johanna Kwan. During this time, she studied with the Yamaha curriculum as well as the Royal Conservatory of Music. She earned an Associate Diploma of Piano Performance under the tutelage of Peter Rudzik, and also an Associate Diploma in theory. She is currently working towards Bachelor of Science at the University of Calgary. Alexia believes in helping students learn skills that go beyond the piano, while discovering their musicality, and achieving a sound technical base. Alexia is excellent with communication, she is confident, and dedicated. Her teaching philosophy is to have students’ progress to the best of their ability while instilling a lifelong appreciation of music.