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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. With the generous assistance of the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind all classes take place on the McMaster University campus in Hamilton, Ontario.

David Gerry, Director

Flutist David Gerry maintains a busy schedule as a teacher, performer and clinician. David holds his Ph.D. in music cognition from the School of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour at McMaster University where he works with Dr. Laurel Trainor, McMaster University. He also holds 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 is also a graduate of the Talent Education Institute in Japan, where he studied with Shinichi Suzuki and Toshio Takahashi. 

Dr. Gerry has 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 is currently Assistant Professor of Music Education at the School of the Arts, McMaster University. David also directs the Great Lakes Flute Centre. 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 is married to Jonathan Royce. They live in Hamilton with Gigi, a Coton de Tulear and Gonzo, a green cheek conure.

 

Kelly Williamson, Assistant Director

Kelly Williamson began her flute studies at the Academy of Music program at Mount Royal College in Calgary. She earned a BMus in performance with Distinction from McGill University, having studied with Timothy Hutchins and Heather Howes, and a MMus from l'Universite de Montreal, working with denis Bluteau. Throughout her studies she regularly played in master classes for such master pedagogues as Geoffrey Gilbert, Michel Debost, and Peter Lloyd, and she has studied privately in Japan with Toshio Takahashi, founder of the Suzuki Flute School. She has been a dedicated private teacher for over twenty-five years, first in Montreal and now in Cambridge, Ontario, where she has lived since 2010. She offers private lessons, chamber coaching, and group classes, with instruction available in English, French, and Spanish.

A registered teacher trainer with the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA) since 2006, Kelly is invited to teach at workshops all over the world, most lately in Peru, Argentina, the USA, and Switzerland. She serves on the SAA's Teacher Development Advisory Committee, she is the SAA's flute representative to the International Suzuki Assoication, and she is also the current flute columnist for the American Suzuki Journal. Forty of her articles have been published in the ASJ, to date.

An active freelance musician, she has appeared locally in the Cambridge Arts Festival, a Day and a Night in Hespeler, Culture Days, and the Mayor's Celebration of the Arts, and she substitutes with various area orchestra in the Greater Toronto area, including the Stratford Symphony Orchestra. With guitarist Mariette Stephenson, she performs as Duo Calixa. The duo's first CD, "Caminos", is due to be released in the winter of 2015. In her spare time, Kelly enjoys gardening, reading, and practicing hot yoga.

Elise Bédard, Opera Workshop for teachers

Elise Bédard, described by the critics as “a marvellous singer-performer with a glorious, powerful and pristine voice”, has sung across Canada, in France, Spain and the Netherlands, a wide repertoire ranging from the Baroque to New-Jazz. She has given numerous solo recitals, live, on CBC and Radio-Canada and on Spanish Radio, has appeared with major orchestras and choirs including the Montreal Symphony, with opera groups in varied roles from Purcell to Puccini, has performed at international festivals as well as in theatrical productions, especially experimental (where she wrote incidental scores) and music-theatre.  An active chamber musician, she has given dozens of world premieres, many of those works composed especially for her. She can be heard on McGill Records and J+W Recordings. She has worked with such great composers as Luciano Berio and Murray Adaskin and promoted Canadian music in performances and festivals.

Ms Bédard has won top prizes in international competitions in Barcelona, ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Montreal, and awards from Canada Council, Jeunesses Musicales, Phonogram International, the Quebec Government and the Institut International du Théâtre. She holds Master’s, Bachelor’s and Licentiate degrees from McGill University. She has taught at McGill, Dawson College, Marianopolis College, Brock University and McMaster University. She is a sought-after adjudicator, clinician and master teacher and belongs to the College of Examiners of the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto. Her students have gone on to careers in opera, film, television and recording.

Noelle Perrin, Faculty

Noelle Perrin's extensive teaching experience includes training in Suzuki, Dalcroze, and Montessori. She is the head of the Suzuki Flute Program at the JCC Thurnauer School of Music and founder of the FluteStars® Summer Camp now in its 19th year of success. Noelle also teaches at the Greenwich Suzuki Academy.  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. In August of 2011, Noelle attained “Teacher Trainer” status with the Suzuki Association of the Americas.  Her Registered Suzuki Training includes “Every Child Can”, Flute Books 1-11 and the Flute Practicum.  In addition to maintaining her large teaching studio, Noelle enjoys performing solo and chamber music.

 

Meret Bitticks, Faculty

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 and DePaul University. Ms. Bitticks has joined Trio Chicago and Friends for international concert tours, including the United Arab Emirates and Australia. She is a registered Suzuki Flute Teacher Trainer and in 2013 became the first flutist to receive a Certificate of Achievement for excellence in Suzuki instruction from the Suzuki Association of the Americas. 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.

 

Susan Friedlander, Faculty

Susan Friedlander is a Suzuki Flute Instructor. Her flute studies have included work with Samuel Baron, Thomas Nyfenger, Karl Kraber and Toshio Takahashi. She holds Orff and Kodaly certifications. Her published works include musical arrangements for Tomie DePaola’s Book of Christmas Carols, Nursery Songs and Lullabies, illustrated by Bessie Pease, andAll Things Bright and Beautiful, published by Platt & Munk. Ms. Friedlander is on the faculties of the Third Street Musical School Settlement, Lucy Moses School for Music and Dance and the JCC on the Palisades. She is co-director of the Great Lakes Suzuki Flute Institute.