Cutting the cake at the annual Great Lakes Suzuki BBQ

Cutting the cake at the annual Great Lakes Suzuki BBQ

Great Lakes Suzuki Institute

The Great Lakes Suzuki Institute is the only Institute of its kind for flute and recorder students and teachers in Ontario, where we have been based for over 20 years. All classes take place at the Guelph Youth Music Centre in Guelph, Ontario.


David Gerry, Founder and Director Emeritus

Flutist David Gerry maintained a busy schedule as a teacher, performer and clinician. David earned his Ph.D. in music cognition from the School of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour at McMaster University where he worked with Dr. Laurel Trainor, McMaster University. He also held a M.Mus and B.Mus.Perf. from the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto and an ARCT diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music, which also awarded him the gold medal in flute. Dr. Gerry was also a graduate of the Talent Education Institute in Japan, where he studied with Shinichi Suzuki and Toshio Takahashi. 

Dr. Gerry performed and taught all over the world. For many years he was the music specialist at Trail Ridge Montessori School in Grimsby, Ontario. A registered Teacher Trainer for the Suzuki Association of the Americas and the European Suzuki Association, David was also Assistant Professor of Music Education at the School of the Arts, McMaster University. With Dr. Laurel Trainor, David is the recipient of a 2008 award from the Grammy Foundation for excellence in the scientific study of music. He was the recipient of the 2014 “Excellence in Teaching” Award for the Humanities from the McMaster University Students’ Union.

David was married to Jonathan Royce. They lived in Hamilton with Gigi, a Coton de Tulear and Gonzo, a green cheek conure. He passed away unexpectedly in December 2017.

David touched the hearts and souls of all the children he taught and the teachers he mentored. In his honor, the Suzuki Association of the Americas has created the David Gerry Memorial Scholarship to foster his ideals, generosity, and brilliance. 

Kelly Williamson, Director

Kelly Williamson earned a BMus in performance with Distinction from McGill University, and a MMus from l’Universite de Montreal. She has studied privately in Matsumoto with Toshio Takahashi, founder of the Suzuki Flute School. A registered teacher trainer with the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Kelly is invited to teach at workshops all over the world, most lately in Peru, Argentina, England, and Mexico.  She serves on several committees for the SAA, is the SAA representative to the ISA flute committee, and has contributed many articles to the American Suzuki Journal. An active freelance musician in her current home of Cambridge, Ontario, she has appeared in numerous local arts events and plays with several area orchestras.  With guitarist Mariette Stephenson, she performs regularly as Duo Calixa. She also reserves time for daily practice of hot yoga.

Meret Bitticks, Director

Altus Artist Meret Bitticks maintains an active schedule as a soloist, chamber musician, and clinician in the U.S. and abroad while on faculty at the Music Institute of Chicago, Lake Forest College, and DePaul University. Ms. Bitticks has joined Trio Chicago and Friends for international concert tours, including the United Arab Emirates and Australia, and is a regular member of the Chicago-based woodwind quintet, the Edgewater Ensemble. In 2013 she became the first flutist to receive a Certificate of Achievement for excellence in Suzuki instruction from the Suzuki Association of the Americas and is now one of only a handful of registered Suzuki Flute Teacher Trainers. Ms. Bitticks studied under Mary Stolper at DePaul University and Katherine Borst Jones at the Ohio State University to earn her Master's and Bachelor's degrees, respectively. She has also traveled to Matsumoto, Japan, to work with Suzuki Flute School founder Toshio Takahashi. A frequent volunteer at music camps in Haiti, Ms. Bitticks serves on the board of BLUME Haiti, an organization that promotes leadership through music education.

Noelle Perrin, faculty

Noelle Perrin is head of the Suzuki Flute Programs at the JCC Thurnauer School of Music, the Greenwich Suzuki Academy and founder of the FluteStars® Summer Camp now in its 19th year of success. She holds a Master’s Degree from Manhattan School of Music and did her undergraduate work at University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the Nice Conservatoire. Noelle performed her New York City debut concert in 1994 at Weille Recital Hall as winner of Artists International. Her extensive teaching experience includes training in Suzuki, Dalcroze, and Montessori. Noelle lives in Fort Lee, NJ where she maintains a large teaching studio and enjoys performing solo and chamber music. 

Wendy Stern, faculty

Flutist Wendy Stern is a registered teacher trainer and an adjunct professor of flute at Montclair State University. She received her Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School and started her training in Suzuki pedagogy in 1996 with Rebecca Paluzzi. Since then, she has worked with most of the other North American teacher trainers and studied with Suzuki Flute School founder Toshio Takahashi in Matsumoto, Japan. Wendy is an active clinician and has taught at numerous institutes and workshops throughout Canada, the United States and in England, Australia, and New Zealand. She has also performed and given workshops at National Flute Association Conventions in New York, New Mexico, North Carolina, Georgia, California, Illinois , Washington, DC., and Minnesota.

An avid proponent of newly composed chamber music, she has recently premiered and recorded works by Lei Liang and John Deak with The Cicada Chamber Ensemble (with members of the New York Philharmonic) and Cynthia Folio with Ensemble Triolet. As a long-time member of the dynamic and innovative chamber ensemble Flute Force, Wendy has premiered and recorded chamber music works for Joseph Schwantner, Robert Dick, Elizabeth Brown, Katherine Hoover, and Amanda Harberg. She is an in-demand freelance musician, playing regularly with the most prestigious ensembles in the New York/ New Jersey area and has recorded CDs for CRI, VAl, lnnova, MPR, and Windham Hill.