The HPYO is proud to have a faculty of dedicated, professionals coaches from the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra provide professional instruction and mentorship for our musicians. Coaches work on a regular basis with individual instrument sections to provide a top-level musical education for our members.
Originally born in Seoul, Korea, Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra violinist Cecilia Chang is thrilled with her role as coach and mentor with the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Cecilia earned her Honours Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from the University of Toronto and graduated from the studio of David Zafer. As an orchestral player, she has worked with orchestras throughout Canada and Europe including the Barcelona Sinfonietta, Orchestra London, Thunder Bay Symphony, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Stratford Festival Orchestra, Talisker Players, Korean Canadian Symphony, Symphony on the Bay, and the National Academy Orchestra.
An alumnus of the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Cecilia has been a sectional coach for the Thunder Bay Youth Symphony orchestra, Mississauga Youth Orchestra, and taught privately.
Elspeth Thomson has played the viola with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra for over ten years. She is also a busy freelancer in Southern Ontario, and has performed with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Orchestra London, and the Talisker Players. She has played with the Canadian Tenors, Sarah McLachlan, Diana Krall, and Led Zeppelin.
Elspeth did her undergraduate degree at the University of Western Ontario and has also studied at the Banff Centre and Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. She received her Masters of Music at the Mannes College of Music in New York City where she studied with Karen Ritscher and has also played with the Secord String Quartet and the Trius String Quartet.
Cellist Marsha Moffitt has been a member of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra for over twenty-five years. In addition, she has worked as a freelance musician with numerous orchestras throughout Southern Ontario and performs regularly in chamber music ensembles. Marsha was a member of the quartet in residence at the Shaw Festival for two seasons and has performed with chamberWORKS! and the Talisker Players (Toronto), among others. Currently she is a member of the piano trio Amis Musicaux, in resident at Redeemer University College.
Marsha is a passionate educator and keeps busy teaching at Redeemer University college, conducting an adult amateur string orchestra, coaches chamber music groups, and maintains a busy private cello studio in Hamilton. Marsha is delighted to be working with the members of the Hamilton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. In 2011, Marsha was honoured to receive the Betty Webster Award from Orchestras Canada in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the Canadian orchestral community.
Leslie completed her Bachelor of Music degree at the university of Toronto. Following graduate studies at Yale University and Julliard she settled in England where, in the space of a few short years, she presented live solo BBC Radio broadcasts from almost every major centre including the world-famous Wigmore Hall. Leslie’s performances have been broadcast by radio and television stations in Europe and North America. Her debut CD, Beyond the Iron Curtain, released by CALA/United, was described by Gramaphone Magazine as an “…immensely worthwhile contribution to the vatalogue.” Her second solo CD, Opera Fantaisie, was describes as “…faultless, perhaps even definitive readings of repertoire from the ‘golden age of the flute’” (Wholenote Magazine).
Leslie holds the position of Principal Flute with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and teaches at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music and the Glenn Gould Professional School. Leslie also holds a Juris Doctor (Law) degree from the University of Toronto.