Youth Orchestra Conductors Biographies

Bijan Sepanji – Junior Orchestra

Bijan Sepanji is a Canadian-Iranian violinist and educator based in Toronto. As a member of the Ton Beau String Quartet, he regularly performs new compositions by living composers as well as well-known classical works. He has performed across Canada, as well as in China, Turkey, Iran, Italy, and USA.

Bijan has played concerts and given masterclasses with Ton Beau at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, University of Toronto, Vanderbilt University in Nashville, and in Chicago. Bijan also performed a violin recital and offered workshops in his hometown, at the University of Tehran as part of a composition competition for students of the university. 2016BijanSepanji-walking

He studied violin at Indiana and McGill universities, as well as at The Glenn Gould School in Toronto. While at Indiana University, Bijan’s interest in string teaching led him to study with Mimi Zweig and Brenda Brenner, two very well-respected string pedagogues in North America. Bijan’s teaching principles are based on the teachings he received at Indiana University Bloomington, as well as the Suzuki teaching philosophy. He is a certified Suzuki teacher and a member of both the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA) and the Suzuki Association of Ontario (SAO).

In his role as conductor with Mooredale Youth Orchestras, he leads the junior strings division preparing them for three diversely-programmed concerts per season, assists both the Intermediate and Senior orchestras, and since 2020 has established a summer chamber music program for Mooredale string players. For more details, see www.bijansepanji.com 


Deborah Pady – Intermediate Orchestra

Deborah Pady is currently Head of the Music Department at Earl Haig Secondary School and Claude Watson Arts Program. Deborah received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto and went on to complete her Post-Graduate Certificate in Education at the University of Cambridge, England.

Deborah has performed as soloist, a chamber musician and with various ensembles including Mississauga Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Toronto.  She has conducted 2016DebbiePady-conductensembles at various summer music camps and is currently engaged with the Interprovincial Music Camp as the String Orchestra conductor for ages 10–18. Deborah is a founding director of the Ontario Strings Association which coordinates annual educational clinics, festivals and a provincial youth orchestra.  As a clinician, Deborah has presented workshops on repertoire, performance and rehearsal techniques at the invitation of the Faculties of Music at both the University of Toronto and Laurier University, the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, the Ontario Music Educators Association provincial conferences as well as for various Toronto District School Board events.

Earl Haig’s Symphony Orchestra and String Orchestras have consistently won top awards at Toronto’s Kiwanis Music Festival and Ontario Strings Association Festival over the years, in large part to Deborah’s commitment, and involvement to providing young players with opportunity to develop musical skills while enjoying the experience of being part of an enthusiastic team of performers.  She should know – Deborah is an alumna of the Mooredale Youth Orchestra program – welcome back!


Larry Beckwith – Senior Orchestra

Larry Bec2016-LarryBeckwith-withviolinkwith is a creative contributor to Canada’s musical life as a conductor, violinist, singer, writer, educator, and programmer. In 2003, he founded Toronto Masque Theatre, which under his tireless and imaginative artistic leadership from 2003 to 2018 – presented over 75 innovative programs of interdisciplinary performing art. Larry is currently the Artistic Producer of Confluence Concerts, now entering its second season.

In recent years, Larry has conducted five Toronto Operetta Theatre productions and two for Opera in Concert, and in the summer of 2018, he conducted the successful Festival of the Sound world premiere and subsequent Ontario tour of SOUNDING THUNDER: THE SONG OF FRANCIS PEGAHMAGABOW by Timothy Corlis and Armand Garnet Ruffo.

Larry is a committed educator, and runs the celebrated voice and strings program at the arts-intensive Unionville High School.



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