Red Leaf Composers
Martha Hill Duncan

Martha Hill Duncan is an award-winning composer, piano teacher and conductor of the Kingston women's choir, She Sings!. A transplanted Texan, now residing in Canada, many of her piano, vocal and choral compositions celebrate Canadian themes and texts. Several of her piano and vocal compositions appear in the Royal Conservatory of Music, Canada Conservatory and Canadian National Conservatory of Music publications and syllabi. She has choral and vocal works published with Cypress, Graphite and Abundant Silence music publishers. Her opera, Searching the Painted Sky, with Waterloo librettist Janet Windeler Ryan was premiered by The El Paso Youth Opera in New York City in 2014 and in Toronto in 2015. She is a founding member of Red Leaf Pianoworks and is a piano examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music. A frequent clinician and adjudicator, Martha enjoys sharing her musical experience with students, teachers and colleagues. She is married to Queen's University astronomy professor Martin Duncan and has two grown children - Alex, a math professor, and Claire, an actress and voice over artist.

Susan Griesdale

Susan Griesdale Susan Griesdale is an award winning Composer, Piano Teacher, Clinician, and Adjudicator. She earned her ARCT from the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto and studied Composition and Theory with Composers Michael J. Rudman and Julian Miran. An Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre (CMC), Susan has published collections for piano, violin, flute, chamber music for toy pianos and choral works. You will find her violin music in the 2013 RCM Violin Series and her piano music in the 2015 RCM Piano Syllabus and Celebration Series as well as the ACNMP Contemporary Showcase Syllabus. She also has many pieces published in the Canadian National Conservatory Northern Lights Publications. Her piano music has been chosen as required repertoire for Music Festival Composer Classes and is also included in the MusIQ Club software program - an after school program developed for schools across the USA and Canada. Susan is a founding member of Red Leaf Pianoworks - a composer collective that provides a web source to access new piano repertoire. Susan has been teaching piano for over 30 years and has worked as a clinician, performing and presenting piano repertoire at both National and Provincial Conventions. She also runs Composition Masterclasses for local teachers and their students.

Beverly Porter

Beverly Porter was born in Calgary, Alberta and grew up in Vancouver. By age 19, she had completed the requirements for both the ARCT and LTCL pedagogy diplomas. She studied at the Banff School, and with Soulima Stravinsky at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California. This was followed by studies with Albert and Clifford Poole in Toronto. Beverly and her family moved to Kingston Ontario, where she obtained a Bachelor of Music at Queen's University. Her composition teachers were Clifford Crawley and David Keene. She continues to compose and teach piano in Kingston.

Janet Gieck

Janet Gieck Janet Gieck grew up surrounded by rural Saskatchewan culture and landscape, a fact which has profoundly affected her musical output. After completing music degrees from Prairie Bible College (Three Hills, AB) and the Royal Conservatory of Music, she has had her compositions performed at many concerts, new music festivals, and on CBC radio. Her pedagogical compositions are now listed on many different syllabi across the country. Passionate about Canadian music, Janet was the centre coordinator for the Saskatoon branch of Contemporary Showcase until 2015. She is a member of the Alliance for Canadian New Music Projects, the Saskatchewan Registered Music Teachers Association, and the composer's collective Red Leaf Pianoworks. Currently, Janet works as a member of the fine arts department at Millar College of the Bible in Pambrun, SK where she lives with her husband and three children. She is also in demand as a piano teacher, adjudicator and clinician.

Rebekah Maxner

Rebekah Maxner lives and teaches piano in Hantsport, NS, Canada. The house is full of music and kids, so she can't help but compose piano music that appeals to young students. She attended Acadia University ('95) where she studied piano with John Hansen, and completed her music degree with a major in composition under Owen Stephens. Rebekah is a member of the NSRMTA, and has given workshops at Maritime conventions and lectured for university pedagogy classes. In summer 2007 she contributed to the Keyboard Companion magazine. Rebekah has created the Notekidds line of piano teaching aids, and her materials are being taught on three continents.

Teresa Richert

Teresa Richert grew up in the Vancouver area. She began piano lessons at age four and has since earned Associate Diplomas in Piano Performance, Piano Teaching, Theory and Composition from the Royal Conservatory of Music. She also holds Bachelor of Science and Applied Science degrees from Simon Fraser University. She studied composition with Stephen Brown at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. An award-winning composer of piano and vocal music, she has also written for orchestra, chamber ensembles and other solo instruments. Teresa retired from teaching in June 2016 but continues to compose and present workshops for teachers and students.

Joanne Bender

Joanne Bender Joanne (Elligsen) Bender was born in 1950 and grew up on a farm near Stratford, Ontario. She received her ARCT in Piano Performance, B. Mus.from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo and M. Mus. in composition from University of Toronto. Joanne is an active piano teacher, adjudicator, ensemble and church musician in Waterloo, Ontario. Her students have won many awards both locally and provincially. Her piano pieces have been published by CFMTA, Royal Conservatory of Music, and Canadian National Conservatory of Music. Joanne is passionate about music and its importance in the community. She received the Laurier Centre for Community Music award in 2011.

Irene Voros

Irene Voros holds Diplomas in Piano Performance and Piano Teacher from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Ontario; and an Associate in Music Theory Diploma from the London College of Music. She studied under Ira Swartz and Nan Curzon, and has been a member of the British Columbia Music Teacher Association since 1982. She has been actively involved in church music as a print music transcriber, teacher, choir conductor, and music director. She has maintained a private piano and theory studio since 1981. She has composed numerous songs and piano pieces. Born and raised in Vancouver, she resides in Surrey, B.C.

John Burge

John Burge grew up in Calgary studying the piano with Dorothy Hare and received his RCM Associate Diploma in Piano Performance before finishing high school. He holds three degrees in Composition and Theory from the Universities of Toronto and British Columbia and since 1987 has been teaching at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, where he is a full professor. One of his most popular works is Flanders Fields Reflections, a five-movement piece for string orchestra that received the 2009 Juno Award for the Best Canadian Classical Composition. In 2014, for his success as a composer and a general supporter of the Arts in Canada, he was inducted as a Fellow into the Royal Society of Canada. Burge loves working with young musicians and is in high demand as a music festival adjudicator and clinician. In recent years he has been performing solo piano recitals of his own compositions often in a lecture/demonstration format.

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Peter Rudzik

Peter Rudzik , a Master of Music in piano performance from the Academy of Music in Gdansk, has won many awards in Poland, where he was born. In 1984 a scholarship from the Chopin Society in Warsaw led to numerous recitals and appearances on national television and radio. Of special acclaim was a performance at the National Piano Festival in 1987. In 1989 Peter received a scholarship for post graduate studies at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music in Copenhagen, Denmark. His love of teaching soon led to a position teaching piano at the Mount Royal University Conservatory in Calgary, and his own private studio. Many of his students, which cover all levels from beginners to the licentiate, have achieved top levels of excellence both provincially and nationally. His collection for children Truly Astounding Animals was very well received internationally with excellent reviews in International Piano, The Canadian Music Teacher, Tempo and The American Music Teacher. The International Piano magazine published Hot Springs which is part of the Wild Rose Suite, in its 2015 January/February issue. It was the subject of a piano competition for a best recording organized by the magazine. International Piano also featured two pieces from The Book of Piano Magic in its 2017 January-February issue, "A Troll's Rag" and "An Ogre and a Mermaid". Peter Rudzik joined the Red Leaf Pianoworks collective in 2016.

June Armstrong

June Armstrong studied music at Queen's University Belfast, graduating with a BMus and an MA in composition and twentieth century analysis. After working as a peripatetic violin tutor with the City of Belfast School of Music, she moved with her husband to the Albany region of New York State, where she lived for six years, during which time both her sons were born. On returning to live permanently in Belfast in 1984, she began teaching both her sons to play the piano and discovered a previously unsuspected passion for the piano and for piano teaching. This quickly led to a diploma in piano teaching and a full-time teaching career. She is actively involved with the European Piano Teachers' Association (EPTA), both as an organiser and speaker. Her pupils are regular high achievers at the national EPTA (UK) Piano Competition, music festivals and at examination level. She also organises an annual Piano Festival in Belfast. A desire to compose piano music focussing on atmospheric playing, developing both a tonal palette and pedalling technique led to the creation of Strangford Sketchbook, which was published in 2011. Her piano compositions range from beginner to advanced level.