Forest City Talent Education

Delight must be the basis and aim of this art.

Faculty & Staff

Violin & Viola

Patrick Burroughs - Director

Patrick Burroughs

Patrick Burroughs has enjoyed a long and productive career as a violinist, conductor and educator.

In 1970, in conjunction with his private teaching studio, he founded the Bach Youth Ensemble for gifted students in Toronto and, with that orchestra, toured western Canada and France. Through his pedagogical and administrative pursuits and the University of Western Ontario, the Banff Centre, the Canadian Festival of Youth Orchestras, he has become well known in the field of music education, and is a strong proponent of the Suzuki Talent Education method.

During his twenty year tenure with the Woodstock Strings (1977 - 1997), he conducted concerts with many of Canada's leading artists including Shauna Rolston, Maureen Forrester, James Campbell, Mark Bubois, Martin Beaver, Scott St. John, Corey Cervsek, and the Yanchus & Hibbard Piano Duo. He was presented with the Woodstock Medallion in 1980 for his cultural contribution to the community, and in 1982 he was awarded a Citation by the American String Teachers' Association "in recognition of distinguished leadership and service."

Last year, Patrick was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Canada Council.

Irene Tandberg - Co-director

Irene Tandberg

Violinist, Irene Tandberg's career as performer and pedagogue spans over three decades. She has established a large private studio whose students have been the recipients of many prestigious scholarships and awards, and positions in international schools and orchestras.

In 1991, Irene was drawn to the vitality of music making within Forest City School for Talent Education and its visionary Founder/Director, Patrick Burroughs.

She is currently the Co-Director of FCTE, and in collaboration with Prof. Burroughs  she oversees the artistic direction and administration of the program in addition to teaching master/group classes, coaching chamber groups and conducting ensembles.

Irene was born in Denmark where her first teacher was Wolf Notkin, a member of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. In later years her principal teachers were Gwen Thompson and Dana Mazurkevich at the University of Western Ontario. Irene went on to develop her passion and vocation for teaching and performance with pedagogues including John Kendall, Elaine Klimasko, Richard Lawrence, Tom Wermuth and Teri Einfeldt.

Tandberg's recordings and performances reflect an eclectic range of engagements on Modern and Baroque violin. She has performed in core, principal and solo positions with many orchestras, chamber groups and quartets.

Irene Tandberg is an experienced and committed pedagogue who has both written and given invited talks on performance, teaching and practice strategies. She is also a very active and sought after master class teacher, clinician in workshops and adjudicator in festivals, music programs and teaching institutions across Canada.  Currently, in addition to running her private studio and co directing FCTE, she is on faculty, teaching in the Don Wright Faculty of Music Performance Department at Western University, where she is the recipient of the "Excellence in Teaching Award".

Mary-Lou Hunter - Twinkle Coordinator

Mary-Lou Hunter

Mary Lou Hunter, the leader of our Twinkle program, is a Suzuki Mom extraordinaire!! Early on she made herself familiar with the Suzuki philosophy and its approach to teaching and learning, and when each of her three children reached the age of 3 she enrolled them in Suzuki violin programs.

After moving back to London from Windsor she brought the family into our FCTE program, saw the need to occupy younger siblings of children who were already registered in our classes, and started teaching them with foot charts, rhythms, violin and bow holds, and by listening to and singing the early Suzuki tunes. She took her own children to summer institutes for many years and ultimately registered herself as a participant in the early teacher training courses.

Blessed with the patience of Job, Mary Lou has taken strong hold of our Twinkle program and each year organizes and trains our youngest children in her two half hour classes and puts them on the stage to perform in recitals and concerts.

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.

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 Grandmont has been playing the violin since the age of three. He was a student of Prof. Patrick Burroughs for 14 years during his elementary and high school years. He is a graduate of the Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University in London Ontario where he studied violin performance with renowned German violinist Annette-Barbara Vogel. He has been with the Forest City Talent Education program for 18 years, first as a student and now as a faculty member teaching violin class. He is also a violin section coach with the London Youth Symphony and teaches violin students privately. Jesse is known for his ability to perform in many styles from classical to fiddle and jazz.

In December 2011, Jesse toured China for two weeks, performing in eight cities with the Ontario Festival Symphony Orchestra as guests of the Chinese government. Following that tour, he joined the Canadian Fiddle group “Barrage” for a number of concerts and a performance on Beijing TV’s Spring Festival Global Gala which was broadcast to millions of people from around the world. Jesse is a regular soloist and cast member at the Victoria Playhouse Petrolia (VPP) where he has played fiddle, banjo, danced and sang in “Country Sunshine”, “Love Letters” (2012); and “Country Christmas Jamboree” (2012). In May 2013 he was featured in his own show “Fiddler on the Loose” at the VPP. He is also a cast member of Starbright Productions and has performed in “The Starbright Christmas” (Petrolia 2012), (Stratford Festival Theatre 2012), “Let the Sunshine In” and “The Power and Passion of Broadway” (Imperial Theatre, Sarnia 2011). In August 2012, Jesse joined the Jaydee Bixbee band at the first annual “Boots and Hearts Festival” in Bowmanville, Ontario which featured many of North America’s top country stars.

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