Forest City Talent Education

Delight must be the basis and aim of this art.

Faculty & Staff

Violin & Viola

Patrick Burroughs - Founding Music Director

Patrick Burroughs

Patrick Burroughs began his study of the violin at the age of nine in Victoria, BC, and later continued his musical studies at the Banff Centre School of Fine Arts under Clayton Hare, Harmon Haakman and Thomas Rolston. He holds an Honour BA (Music) and a Master’s Degree (Music Education) from the University of Toronto, and attended special classes in the United States with Helen Bacchus de la Fuente, Joseph Gingold and John Kendall, and in France with Alfred Loewenguth.

In 1970, in conjunction with his private teaching studio, he founded the Bach Youth Ensemble for gifted string students in Toronto and, with that orchestra, toured Canada and France. Through his pedagogical and administrative pursuits at the University of Western Ontario, the Banff Centre, the Canadian Festival of Youth Orchestras as well as through numerous other musical events and professional organizations, he has become well known in the fields of music education, orchestral development, and is a strong proponent of the Suzuki Talent Education approach to teaching and learning.

During his twenty year tenure with the Woodstock Strings (1977-1997), he conducted concerts with many of Canada’s leading artists including Shauna Rolston, Marueen Forrester, James Campbell, Mark Dubois, Martin Beaver, Scott St. John, Corey Cerovsek, the Yanchus & Hibbaard Piano Duo, the Toronto Children’s Chorus and the Amabile Youth Singers (London).

In 1979, he was presented with the Woodstock Medallion for his cultural contribution to the Woodstock community, and, in 1982, he was awarded a Citation by the American String Teachers’ Association “in recognition of distinguished leadership and service.” In 1987, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Rabin International Consortium on String and Orchestra Education. In 2012, Patrick was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Canada Council.

He is the founding President and Music Director of the Forest City School for Talent Education (since 1987), a private music performance school (violin, viola, cello, harp and guitar) based on the Suzuki pedagogical approach to teaching and learning. Students from this program have distinguished themselves at many levels in Conservatory examination, music festivals, and the Canadian Music Competition.

Professor Emeritus, University of Western Ontario, Patrick Burroughs is well known among teachers for his work in education, in the private studio, as a festival adjudicator, examiner, and for his workshop presentations. Professor Burroughs resides in London, Ontario, with Bonnie, his wife, with family nearby.

Irene Tandberg - Co-Director

Irene Tandberg

Violinist, Irene Tandberg's career as performer and pedagogue spans over three decades. She has established a vibrant private studio where students have been honoured with many prestigious scholarships and awards, obtained positions at notable international & domestic schools & orchestras, and pursued distinguished solo careers.

In 1991, together with her two youngest children, Irene was drawn to the vitality of music making within Forest City School for Talent Education and its Founder/Director, Patrick Burroughs.

Currently, Irene is the Co-Director of FCTE and, in collaboration with Prof. Burroughs, she has developed the school’s artistic direction, the administration of the program and cultivated many initiatives and projects enriching the student experience. In addition to these roles, she is devotedly immersed in teaching master/group classes, coaching chamber groups and conducting ensembles. She also oversees FCTE’s partnering with Western in Community Engaged learning, Pedagogy Course mentorship and Western 360.

Irene was born in Denmark. Her first teacher was her grandfather, Wolf Notkin (a member of the Royal Danish National Symphony Orchestra), who is to be credited with nurturing her deep love of music and the sound of her violin. In later years her principal teachers were Gwen Thompson and Dana Mazurkevich at the University of Western Ontario. Irene then went on to follow her passion and vocation for performance and teaching, with pedagogues Richard Lawrence, John Kendall, Elaine Klimasko, Tom Wermuth and pursued Suzuki teacher training.

Past recordings and performances reflect an eclectic range of engagements on Modern and Baroque violin. She has had the privilege to perform in core, principal and solo positions with many fine orchestras and chamber groups including L’Harmonie Universelle, Nota Bene and Arcady. She is the founder of the quartet, Octo Mani.

Irene is a vastly experienced and fervent pedagogue who has both written and given invited talks on performance, teaching and practice strategies. She is also a very active and highly sought after master class teacher, clinician in workshops and adjudicator in festivals, music programs and teaching institutions across Canada.

In addition to running her private studio and Co-Directing FCTE, she is a faculty member in the Performance Department at the University of Western Ontario, where she is the recipient of the “Award of Excellence” in teaching.

Heather Braden

Heather Braden

Despite once quitting the violin at the age of 4, Heather Braden has enjoyed a rewarding teaching and performing career that began in Calgary, Alberta over 20 years ago. She picked up the violin again at age 5 and has never looked back. Since then, she has graduated from Mount Royal College with a Diploma in Music Performance and later from the University of Western Ontario with both a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Education.

Heather believes strongly in the Suzuki method and has completed numerous training courses with the Suzuki Association of the Americas. For the past two summers, she was on the faculty for the Southwestern Ontario Suzuki Institute in Waterloo. Heather has taught for the London Suzuki Parents’ Association as well as the Children’s Talent Education Centre and the Montessori School. In 1999 she found her niche teaching for the Forest City School for Talent Education.

Although Heather teaches both violin and viola, she is found most frequently performing on the viola. Over the years, she has played with many groups including Orchestra London Canada, the London Concert Players and her string trio, Festivo Strings.

Currently with a studio of over 30 students, Heather has found her passion in teaching music. In working to develop the whole person beyond her studio, she has become certified in Reiki, Healing Touch and Yoga. In her process of living, loving and learning, you may also find her snuggling with her two black cats, Shadow and Sylvester.

Heather Brandon-De Souza

Heather Brandon-De Souza

Heather Brandon-De Souza grew up in a Suzuki family with a piano teacher mom, fiddling and performing countless Bach Doubles with her siblings. She studied violin at Western with Dr. Robert Skelton and voice with Alvin Reimer. After completing a BMus (Honors Performance, Voice), Heather obtained a BEd in the Artist in the Community Education program at Queen's University, with a focus on arts education opportunities beyond the traditional classroom setting.

She spent two years teaching elementary school music in London, England before relocating to Chicago. In Chicago, Heather appeared onstage with companies such as Haymarket Opera Company, Light Opera Works, and Vox3 Vocal Collective. She taught elementary school music, and ran a full studio of private violin, voice, and piano students. Now back in London, Ontario with her family, she is singing with Chor Amica and musical directing for Original Kids Theatre Company.

Arianna Carlucci

Arianna Carluccis

Arianna Carlucci has a Bachelor of Music with Honors in Music Education from the University of Western Ontario.

Her focus was on the violin, and she performed in the UWO Symphony Orchestra as well as the Early Music Studio Ensemble. She participated in the Teaching the Violin to Children workshop at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, led by notable pedagogues Mimi Zweig and Darcy Drexler, and has both observed and participated in Music Together classes, a music and movement program for young children.

Arianna taught at Forest City Talent Education for the past year, working alongside Mary Lou Hunter in the Pre-Twinkle and Twinkle classes, which was a natural fit considering her own musical upbringing was in the Suzuki Method.

She also teaches private students of various ages and has a passion for teaching young children. Arianna assists with and leads musical activities at the Preschool of the Arts, and has volunteered in the public elementary school system doing the same. She believes that every child is capable of learning music, and loves to see her students reap the vast benefits of doing so.

Nic Carlucci

Nic Carlucci

Nic Carlucci is a Canadian violinist devoted to both music performance and education. Based in London Ontario, Nic is actively involved in the local classical music scene, performing throughout the city and Southwestern Ontario.

Nic has a passion for bringing music into the community, and changing the landscape of how classical music is perceived. Creating a vibrant musical community is at the forefront of Nic's endeavours as a musician. More recently Nic has pursued his interests in Early Music, studying Baroque violin and becoming acquainted with historically-informed performance.

As an educator, Nic has cultivated a private violin studio. He is also on faculty at Forest City Talent Education and a conductor and string coach with the El Sistema Aeolian program in London.

Nic holds a Bachelor of Music hons. Music Education from Western University. He plays a 2011 Wojech Topa Violin and a Richard Grunke Bow, partially funded by the Western University Mills Instrument Grant. Visit his website at

Jordan Clayton

Jordan Clayton

Jordan Clayton is a young, passionate violinist and violin teacher based in London, ON, whose involvement in music education extends already over 15 years.

Jordan completed his Honors Bachelor of Music Degree in Violin Performance at Western University in 2010 under acclaimed violinist, Prof. Annette-Barbara Vogel. Jordan has enjoyed the opportunity to study chamber music with Prof. Tom Wiebe, Scott St. John, and members of the Quatuor Arthur Leblanc, among others.

As a violin teacher, Jordan finds the work of building students’ musical instincts and technical skills immensely fulfilling. While he employs the Mother Tongue philosophies of Dr. Suzuki, he also finds rich inspiration in the methods of Létourneau, Flesch, Sevcik, Schradiek, Mazas, Wohlfahrt and others.

In 2012, Jordan received his Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Ottawa. In 2015, after working outside of the university walls, Jordan returned to London to study with his mentor as a graduate student. In collaboration with Prof. Vogel, Jordan co-founded the exciting new Canadian string ensemble, Magisterra Soloists, for which he is now a core musician and the Educational Coordinator. Jordan is dedicated to developing and transmitting the art of classical music through both his performing and teaching. Alongside his work as a private teacher, Jordan is on faculty at the Forest City School for Talent Education and with El Sistema South London. Jordan’s enthusiasm for arts and culture goes far beyond the concert hall. He loves to cook and discover new foods, and delights in good meals with good friends. He is bilingual and is actively involved in the French Canadian community. At 6’6’’, Jordan prides himself on being one of Canada’s tallest violinists!

Jesse Grandmont

Jesse Grandmont

Jesse has been playing the violin since the age of 3 and has been fiddling around ever since. After completing his Bachelor’s degree in music at Western University, Jesse has become an avid performer in the London area, bowing his way through many genres from classical to country, and jazz to rock. Jesse has been a faculty member at the Forest City School For Talent Education since 2008 and also leads string workshops, orchestral clinics and improvisation training sessions in schools and studios across Ontario.

Jesse’s performances have taken him across Canada and internationally, playing with artists such as Ben Vereen, Jann Arden, Ben Harper, Barrage, David Rogers and Jaydee Bixby. Jesse is currently an active member of the Stacey Kay Band with whom he performed on the 2015 season of America's Got Talent. Jesse is also a recurring cast member at the Victoria Playhouse Petrolia and has performed in over 25 productions with the theatre company as a violinist, singer, actor and dancer.

Select performance credits include: Let The Sunshine In (Imperial Theatre); Hollywood Sings, Broadway Heroes (Drayton Entertainment/VPP); Starbright Christmas (Stratford Festival Theatre, VPP); Country Sunshine, Country Christmas Jamboree, Fiddler On The Loose, Fiddler On The Loose 2, Canada Sings!, What a Wonderful World, The Fiddler and the Crooner, Scotland Sings, Men of Country, Fiddler on the Moose, Rockabilly Swingtime (VPP); Ring of Fire, Little Shop of Horrors, Mamma Mia! (Rainbow Stage).

Anita Louwerse

Anita Louwerse

Violinist and music teacher Anita Louwerse joined the faculty at Forest City Talent Education in 2009 shortly after her family moved to London. She is a creative and passionate teacher who loves to share her joy of playing the violin.

As a child Mrs. Louwerse began her violin studies in the Suzuki Method and progressed into a more traditional approach as she prepared for University. In 2001 she graduated from Sir Wilfred Laurier University with a BA in Honours Performance. She was a student of Dr. Jeremy Bell and the Pendereki String Quartet. She also studied with Jamie Parker of the Gryphon Trio, the Cavani String Quartet and the Ying String Quartet. Mrs. Louwerse is also a trained soprano and studied voice with Patricia Pascoe while at Laurier.

While living in Vancouver, she played with the Burnaby Symphony Orchestra as well as the Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra. In Montreal, she played with the Musicians of the World symphony Orchestra and co-founded the Arco con Alito ensemble. Here in London, Mrs. Louwerse enjoys being a community musician, a private teacher and a stay at home Mom.

Kelvin Enns

Kelvin Enns

Kelvin began his studies in music at the young age of four on the violin. As a teenager his interests grew to include a strong focus on viola. Over the years as he has grown as a musician his endeavours have included, teaching, jazz guitar, music composition and arranging as well as recording. Kelvin has enjoyed studying under some of the finest teachers in North America, including William Preucil. Sr. (University of Iowa), Dr Francis Chaplin (Brandon University ), Karen Tuttle and Loren Fenuvich(Banff School of Fine Arts), Rennie Regehr (Royal Conservatory) and Andre Roy (McGill University).

Kelvin has become well established as both a performer and teacher of national reputation. As a teacher he has taught at a wide variety of institutions in the public and private school systems as well as Suzuki programs. He has even held a temporary position of violin and viola instruction at the University of Western Ontario for two years. He has also relished the opportunity to give back by using his skills to start a non for profit arts school which provided music instruction at no cost for low income families in Halifax.

As a performer Kelvin has enjoyed a wide variety of styles of music with many of Canada's finest musicians. As a soloist he has played concertos with such orchestras as the Toronto Philharmonia, Orchestra Da Camera and Orchestra London as well as playing recitals all over Canada. As an orchestral musician he has played with many of the best orchestras in Canada, including the National arts Centre Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company, the Winnipeg Symphony, Symphony Nova Scotia and Orchestra London where he held the position of principal viola. He has also enjoyed playing with such popular artists as Josh Groban, The Tenors, Anne Murray, Michael Bolton, the Barenaked Ladies and many more. Kelvin, as well, has performed as a jazz guitarist in many venues, from small jazz clubs to concert hall stages.

Kelvin is passionate about what he does and is always looking for a positive way to share music with

Katie McBean

Katie McBean

Katie McBean began studying the viola at age 14 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. In her decade as a violist, she has performed across the country excelling in both music festivals and competitions, including the NAC Young Artists program, Scotiafest, Northern Lights Bluegrass Festival, London Kiwanis Rosebowl, LMSF, Saskatchewan Provincial Music Festival, and the National CMFC Festival.

In addition to her solo career, Katie is passionate about chamber and orchestral performance. She attended the National Youth Orchestra for three consecutive summers, and has been employed as a violist for the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra London, and WePlayOn. She also performs with the new Rebel Heart Collective and subs with the Magisterra Soloists, both chamber ensembles based in London Ontario.

Katie is finishing her fourth and final year of a concurrent degree at the University of Western Ontario in French Literature and Music Education with Sharon Wei. She hopes to attend teachers college next year to continue her passion of teaching.

Mikela Witjes

Mikela Witjes

Emerging Canadian violinist Mikela Witjes hails from Kingston, Ontario. She holds a Bachelor of Music and Masters Degree in Violin Performance from Western University where she studied with Prof. Annette-Barbara Vogel. A freelance violinist and teacher, Mikela has performed in a variety of orchestral and chamber ensembles across Southwestern Ontario on both modern and baroque violin. She has twice toured the country with the National Youth Orchestra and has attended summer music festivals including Orford Arts Academy, Scotia Music Festival and Domaine Forget.

She is a founding member of local chamber ensemble Magisterra Soloists both as a violinist and administrative coordinator. Mikela is passionate about teaching and keeps an active private studio while continuing to perform regularly.

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Suzuki Association of Ontario