Youth Orchestra Conductors Biographies

Bijan Sepanji – Junior Orchestra

Bijan Sepanji is a multi-faceted violinist, performer and educator. As a member of the Ton Beau String Quartet, he regularly performs new compositions by up-and-coming composers as well as standards from the classical repertoire. This past season,  he performed a number of concerts with TBSQ in Alberta,  performing a brand new work by Canadian composer William Rowson as well as the celebrated Ravel String Quartet.

Having trained at Indiana and McGill universities, Bijan’s orchestral experiences include performances with Indianapolis and Kitchener-Waterloo symphonies, as well as with Orchestra London, Hamilton Philharmonic and the Toronto Concert Orchestra. He is also an active member of Sistema Toronto, a social program aimed at bringing at-risk youth into a positive community of orchestral music2016BijanSepanji-walking, choir and Pachanga (Cuban drumming).

While at Indiana University, Bijan’s interest in string pedagogy led him to study with Mimi Zweig and Dr. Brenner, two of the most respected string pedagogues in North America. Bijan’s teaching principles are based on the wealth of knowledge acquired during his studies in Indiana.  A decade of practical experience within the GTA,  has further allowed Bijan to become a very effective and highly sought-after teacher and conductor for young people.  Bijan participated with the Mooredale junior orchestra last season holding sectionals, and now takes on the full reins.
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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 has been called a “musical polymath” for his wide-ranging professional experience and interests. He holds undergraduate and graduate music degrees from the University of Toronto, and has been a radio producer, sound designer, singer, baroque violinist, journalist, university sessional instructor, teacher and festival programmer.

As an accomplished baroque violinist, he studied with Jeanne Lamon and was a founding member of the Aradia Baroque Ensemble. As a professional singer, he has appeared regularly with the Elora Festival Singers, Tafelmusik Chamber Choir and Opera Atelier. He has also conducted two mainstage productions for Toronto Operetta Theatre – John Beckwith’s Taptoo! and La Vie Parisienne by Jacques Offenbach. As a teacher, he runs the highly celebrated strings program at the arts-intensive Unionville High School.

In 2003, he founded Toronto Masque Theatre, which – under his artistic leadership – has presented more than 25 critically-acclaimed programs of interdisciplinary performing art, including a cycle of the five major music theatre works by Henry Purcell and stage works by Molière, Stravinsky, John Blow, John Beckwith, Monteverdi, Handel, Charpentier and others. In 2017, that commitment morphed into a new age series called Confluence, which Larry leads with his great talent for unique programming.   

He has been a strong supporter of the Mooredale Youth Orchestras having enjoyed watching his daughter participate and grow through our program over the past few years and we welcome him back to our fold.

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