Members of the 2016 SKYO

at the

Mount Community Centre


Founding Conductor, Michael Newnham

Founding Strings Coach, Witold Swoboda

Cello Coach, Zuzia Chomicka-Newnham


  • KYO welcomes Maziar Heidari as Lead Conductor to grow and develop The Orchestras and UPBEAT! Downtown programs. Maziar Heidari assumes the conductor role of the Senior KYO.
  • Martin Gladman, is appointed to conduct the Jazz Ensemble.
  • Mark Vining, a strong woodwind and brass performer and teacher, is appointed as the Intermediate KYO conductor.
  • New faculty appointments include: KYO Trumpet Instructor Age Smies, KYO Clarinet Instructor Bryce Porter.


  • Saskia Tomkins, extremely experience strings performer and conductor, is appointed as the Junior KYO conductor. 
  • New faculty appointments include: KYO Flute Instructor Sally Wolf (Flute), KYO Percussion Instructor Martin Gladman, Upbeat Instructor Andrew Randall (Cello), Upbeat Instructor Anna Eidt (Choral).


  • KYO welcomes Dr. Alexander Cannon as Artistic Director to guide growth and development of The Orchestras and UPBEAT! Downtown programs. Dr. Cannon assumes the conductor role of the Senior KYO.
  • Jeff Clements, a diverse woodwind performer and educator and composer, is appointed as the Intermediate KYO conductor. 
  • UPBEAT! Downtown, a new social-impact after-school music education program for children 8-9 years old, commences in September.


  • KYO becomes the parent organization of two music education program streams: The Orchestras, a three-tiered orchestra-training program and UPBEAT! Downtown, a social-impact after-school music education program for local youth facing socio-economic and cultural barriers.
  • KYO goes virtual with an e-orchestras training program that matches the challenges of the COVID-19 global pandemic with adaptive program delivery. In June, all ensembles under The Orchestras banner host KYO’s first virtual broadcast recorded concert for an international audience. By November, livestreaming is added to KYO’s performance and outreach events.
  • JKYO Conductor Marilyn Chalk is named Acting Conductor of The Orchestras, assuming responsibilities of founding Music Director/Senior Orchestra Conductor, Michael Newnham, who served 17 years in the position.
  • New faculty appointments include: KYO String Coach – Andrea J. Stewart (cello); KYO Woodwind Coach – Katie Steadman (clarinet; KYO Brass and JKYO Wind Coach – Olivia Esther (French horn); Farm Team Woodwind Coach – Madelaine Crawford (clarinet).
  • Guest faculty, Jazz Bassist Wesley Colett-Taylor, conducts workshop on Jazz improvisation for senior and junior orchestra musicians.
  • Farm Team expands to include Year 1 and Year 2 programming for all orchestral instrument groups.


  • UPBEAT! Downtown runs a successful month-long pilot program with 18 participant youth aged 7-13 years of age.
  • JKYO expands to offer an ensemble program, Farm Team, for absolute beginning musicians. John Fautley, multi-instrumentalist and innovative music educator, and Rose Loranger, String teacher, are hired as core Farm Team instructors.
  • KYO Concerto Challenge is created. Arianna Kloosterman, JKYO Violinist, and Tyler Evans-Knott, KYO Flautist, are inaugural winners.
  • KYO is awarded an Ontario Trillium Foundation GROW Grant to support the first three years of UPBEAT! Downtown operation.


  • KYO is awarded an Ontario Trillium Foundation SEED Grant to support an after-school music program feasibility study and pilot project in Peterborough, Ontario.
  • ‘Soup’er Symphony in partnership with All Saints’ Anglican Church initiates a new KYO outreach activity supporting community service agencies in downtown Peterborough.


  • KYO commissions Canadian composers, Ronald Royer and Sergei Kaufman, to write pieces for the senior and junior orchestras. In May 2018, the KYO and JKYO premiere Land of Shining Waters and Land of Reflection respectively.
  • As a result of growth, KYO moves its rehearsal home to All Saints’ Anglican Church Parish Hall, Peterborough, Ontario.


  • KYO moves its rehearsal home to The Mount Community Centre, Peterborough, Ontario.
  • Ann Millen is hired as Recruitment, Education, and Outreach Coordinator to implement the new musician recruitment plan. Musician numbers increase immediately.
  • Our 2nd ensemble, Junior KYO (JKYO), is created and Marilyn Chalk is hired as its enthusiastic and inspiring Conductor. The JKYO has 11 musicians this year.


  • Facing declining numbers in the senior orchestra, the KYO Board of Directors initiates a review of strategies for improving musician recruitment. Ann Millen, a passionate music educator and orchestral musician, is contracted to prepare a recruitment plan.


  • KYO celebrated its 10th anniversary.


  • KYO is awarded an Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant to facilitate orchestra promotion. Tori Owen is hired as Administrative Coordinator to manage the promotions project.


  • Under the leadership of Maestro Michael Newnham, members of KYO join Niagara Youth Orchestra (NYO) on a summer tour to Europe; NYO returns the favour by joining KYO for a concert cycle in Peterborough.


  • Kawartha Youth Orchestra is incorporated as a Canadian non-profit, charitable organization.


  • Kawartha Youth Orchestra is established, thanks to the vision of local advocates Karen Lander, Music Teacher (RCM), Benson Bell, Peterborough Symphony Orchestra Principal Bassoonist, and Stephen Brown, Master of Champlain College, Trent University.
  • Michael Newnham, Music Director/Conductor of Peterborough Symphony Orchestra is hired as founding conductor and assisted by String coach Witold Swoboda and Wind coach Benson Bell.
  • The first concert orchestra boasts 28 young musicians including String, Woodwind, and Brass. Rehearsals are at Sadlier House and concerts are held in the Wenjack Theatre, Trent University.