DIRECTOR, Trombone, Trumpet, Tuba, Horn, Euphonium, Violin, Advanced RCM Harmony Theory & History
Doctor of Musical Arts - University of British Columbia
Premier Prix - Conservatoire de Musique du Quebec
Bachelor of Music - University of British Columbia
Dr. Neal Bennett is director of the Northern Conservatory of Music, Professor of Music at Conservatoire de Musique du Quebec (Val d'Or) and co-founder of iTromboni “The Team Canada of Trombones”. Neal studied at the University of British Columbia and the Conservatoire de Musique du Quebec earning the degree Doctor of Musical Arts and a unanimous Premiere Prix with the highest mark for all instruments in his year. He has also played lead trombone for Jens Lindemann’s Brassfire and various other commercial projects. Neal has participated in numerous workshops and including residencies at the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts and The Alessi Seminar. Neal is the recipient of the Canada Council 'A' Grant to artists as well as project grants from the Canada Council, the City of Vancouver and the Ontario Arts Council. Neal's solo recording of Canadian compositions for trombones for the RedShift label has been well reviewed in Glissando Magazine, The Journal of the International Trombone Association, Wholenote Magazine and other periodicals. This summer Neal is trying his hand at being the composer for the project Val d'Or vous recontre son histoire in collaboration with Productions du Raccoursis. Neal also works with his ensemble Abidixie which is dedicated to promoting and loving the music of New Orleans. To learn more about Neal you can visit his website at Dr. Bennett offers weekend after school lessons at NCM studio.
Dr. Bennett is also an organizer of the 355 Polaris Air Cadet Band Program in Engelhart. Through this program we offer musical instruction for free. If you are worried about not being able to afford private instruction but want to learn an instrument this is the place you want to be. Our cadets play music, learn valuable outdoor skills, fly planes and get paid to go to summer camp. The entire program is zero cost in dollars. We'll even find you a ride. In return we ask only for 100% commitment to fun and the work we do together. To learn more about this visit our Facebook page here. 355 Polaris Squadron
Meet Our Teachers
DIRECTOR, PIANO, DOUBLE BASS
Master of Music - University of British Columbia
Bachelor of Music - University of British Columbia
Peggy Bennett earned her Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees at the University of British Columbia in the class of Ken Friedman (Vancouver Symphony Orchestra) and the world acclaimed bass soloist Gary Karr. As a pianist Peggy studied with Steve Ballard and participated in master-classes with Oxana Yablonskaya of the Julliard School in New York.
Before moving to the Temiskaming Shores in 2010, Peggy performed regularly with various orchestras in the Greater Vancouver area. Currently Peggy performs regularly with the Orchestre Symphonique Abitibi-Temiscamingue, the North Bay Symphony Orchestra (Double Bass) and with her husband (Piano).
Peggy offers after school lessons on the weekends.
Master of Music - University of the Sorbonne
Originally from Ohio, USA, where he started his musical training, Marc-Fred is an organist and biologist specialised in peatlands. His musical training was completed at the French conservatories in Boulogne-Billancourt and in Paris, with first prizes in analysis, organ, musical style writing. He also holds a Master’s degree in musicology from the University of the Sorbonne analysing musical narrativity. His principal teachers include Mrs. Marie-Louise Langlais and Mr. Naji Hakim (organ), Mr. Seymour Fink and Mr. Robert Vandall (piano) and Mrs. Édith Canat de Chizy (composition). As an organist, he has performed internationally from France to Alaska, as well as has served has organist and music director for various churches, most notably ten years at the Catholic Mission of Saint Joseph in Paris. Aside from teaching private piano, he also worked as accompagnateur and music director for the staged productions at the Municipal Conservatory of Maurepas (Fr) and as choir director for Voices Chœur International. His experience as a singer and composer led him to collaborate for several years with the Ensemble Vox in Rama. Currently, he is organist in residence at Val d’Or and participates in musical activities across the region while pursuing a doctorate on peatland flora in Eeyou Istchee James Bay.
Born and raised in rural Northern Ontario, Steve began his musical journey at a very young age singing Elvis and hearing his grandfather sing country and bluegrass at family gatherings. He started playing in a band in high school and continued on through college playing bass in a punk outfit eventually taking over on vocals. After college Steve moved to California where he began writing and performing his own material. He lived and played around Sonoma County with his band The Box Elders while soaking up the ocean air and wild San Francisco nights. He was able to see a lot of his musical heroes perform at the legendary Fillmore Auditorium. There he stayed for 4 years before moving to Nashville, Tn in 1998.
Steve released his first full-length recording in 2001 entitled Where I Belong, which is an acoustic album filled with songs of love, family and search for identity. In 2003 he recorded the EP Sketches of a Small Town live in the studio with minimal instrumentation. Steve captured a rootsier sound with acoustic guitars, dobro and mandolin. His influences come from a long line of Canadian singer-songwriters steeped in roots music and everything else he’s ever heard throughout his life. His love of rock n roll, soul, folk, and even a little R&B can be heard in his music. His record 'Whatever Happened to the Drive ins?' is a collage of sounds complete with Horns, Pedal steel, Slide Guitar and Soul sisters. This record took almost two years to the day to complete. From the first day of recording the bed tracks were cut live in the studio with just Steve and Kenny Griffin on Drums and his wife Ruth on Bass. He wanted to go for the feel of the performance rather than opt for the safe click track method. The songs cover a wide range of sounds and themes from the opening R&B of ’64 Plymouth, a song about a car his dad had when he was a kid, to the politically driven rock of Que Sera, Sera. The extra added sound clips give the recording the feeling of experiencing something as a whole. The title gives the record a sort of a concept feel to it with each song as a mini movie. Steve fell into his first Theater gig in the National Tour with a leading role in the Musical CASH 'Ring of Fire', which was a tribute to the life and music of Johnny Cash. It took him all across the country from Oct 07 to May 08 and had him performing more than 150 shows in over 90 cities. In the fall of 2010, Steve then landed a role as the understudy for the roles of both Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash in the Broadway musical sensation ‘Million Dollar Quartet’. This tells the story of Sun Records and the memorable day that Elvis, Johnny, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins jammed in 1956. He returned in the fall of 2011 again to fill in as understudy and will be a part of the tour in January 2012.
In the summer of 2013 Steve released 'Life is Music'. He wrote and recorded most of it on the road while touring 'The Million Dollar Quartet'. He traveled with a portable recorder and used available instruments and rehearsal rooms in the theatres. With the days spent in his hotel room, he wrote and experimented with his recorder. In the spring of 2017, Steve got to perform at the legendary Ryman Auditorium for two sold out nights. He was part of an ensemble in a show presented by Studio Tenn called The Cash Legacy. It was a show like no other, a tribute to Johnny Cash and his music with different arrangements of the songs. It was what Steve calls "the most incredible musical experience of my life!"
In the fall of 2017 Steve moved back to his hometown in Northern Ontario, it was a move he had hoped to make for some time. Since settling in he has been in demand as a performer and continues to write and play in and around the area.
Rob van Dine
CLARINET, CELLO, ALL BAND INSTRUMENTS,
Bachelor of Music Education - University of Toronto
Rob Van Dine was born in Ottawa in 1944 and received his degree in Music Education from the University of Toronto in 1970. He came to New Liskeard to teach instrumental music in the high school (then NLSS, now TDSS).
He is qualified to teach all band instruments but specializes in the clarinet.
Rob also directed the local string ensemble while playing the cello. For fifteen years, he conducted the Temiskaming Community Choir, and since retiring from that, has continued to sing in the bass section. Rob retired from teaching in 2000, but has remained active in music in the area.
His other passions include curling, cross-country skiing, golf, and baseball.