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About Us

The Orchestra

The Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra brings to life the power, emotion and dynamism of the classical symphonic repertoire for an engaged audience of supportive listeners. Its members are drawn from the local community and it champions the performance of some of the greatest music ever written to inspire new and existing audiences. Cathedral Bluffs is proud of its long-standing role in the development of young artists and furthering the musical growth of its members. Founded in 1985, Cathedral Bluffs is one of Toronto’s leading community orchestras. Cathedral Bluffs is known for its musicianship, diverse repertoire, and engaging programs. Cathedral Bluffs presents a dynamic six-concert subscription series, along with a variety of additional performances in the community.

The Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra is a registered charitable organization that rehearses and performs in a fully accessible venue. Cathedral Bluffs is committed to upholding the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion. In pursuit of our values, we seek members who will work respectfully and constructively with differences and across levels of power. We actively encourage participation from members of groups experiencing barriers to equity.

Martin MacDonald, Music Director

Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra is very pleased to announce the appointment of Martin MacDonald as its new Music Director as of January 2022. This appointment concludes an extensive multi-round search process that included participation and input from the community, patrons, members of the orchestra and other stakeholders. The process began in 2019 and was expected to be completed in 2020 before being delayed by the onset of the global pandemic. With this appointment, Martin MacDonald becomes only the fourth music director of the Cathedral Bluffs Symphony Orchestra (“Cathedral Bluffs”) in its more than 35-year history.

Martin MacDonald is one of Canada’s most dynamic and outstanding young conductors and has been awarded both the Heinz Unger Award and the Jean-Marie Beaudet Award for orchestral conducting. Martin has guest conducted extensively across Canada having worked with the orchestras of Toronto, National Arts Centre, Vancouver, Victoria, Kamloops, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, London, Niagara, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Windsor, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland. He has served as a Cover and Guest Conductor for the National Ballet of Canada for several productions and has worked with the Minnesota Ballet, Atlantic Ballet, and Halifax Dance. Martin has recorded extensively for the CBC and for several commercial recordings. Most notably, Martin has served as Resident Conductor, Associate Conductor, and a regular guest conductor of Symphony Nova Scotia since 2008 with over 200 performances in a diverse range of programs and artists. Previously, Martin served as Associate Conductor of the National Academy Orchestra of Canada and has participated in several international conducting workshops and competitions.

Martin has a Master’s in Orchestral Conducting from McGill, a Bachelor’s in Cello from Memorial, and has studied conducting with Alexis Hauser, Bernhard Gueller, Boris Brott, Michael Jinbo, Kenneth Kiesler, Gustav Meier, Jorma Panula, and Johannes Schlaefli. Martin’s conducting activities have been generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts. Cape Breton born, Martin is the youngest of twelve children and has a diverse musical background with a strong Celtic music tradition including extensive touring and performing with members of his family throughout Europe and North America.



Alexander Gangurean, Concertmaster
Laura Brownell
David Colpitts
Andrea Dickinson
Pamella Fell
Wendy Frey
Kirsten Hambleton
Frank Song

Clare Pellerin, Principal
Lucas Choi
Marc Gadoury
Raphaëlle Gauriau
Alex Puotinen
Annie Song
Susan Ross
Nicole Yoshimura

Valentina Ceaicovscaia, Principal
Carol Burton
Clive Davis
Anna Heath
Kunihiro Ito
Leise Warner
Eve Wyatt

Oleg Volkov, Principal
Ivan Chu
Rohan Garg
Shonagh Mcvean
Robert Morris
Michael Remenyi
David Rodrigo
David Sharpe
Mary Kay Winter
Barbara Dickson


Stephen Haynes, Principal
David Harvey
Michael Penafiel
Kerry Johnston


Christine Fong, Principal
Rana Mireskandari

Murray Finkelstein, Principal
Andre Manivong

Elizabeth Day, Principal
Kathy Liddle

Tom Kelimbet
Marybeth Garofalo
Dorothy Ward


Samir Abd-Elmessih, Principal
Theresa Harding
Robert Henderson
Joan Weir

Tim Hendrickson, Principal
Margaret Wolf

David King, Principal
Tony Ellis

Robert Ketchen

Joel Gorlick


Paul Mouradian


Mary Thomson


Joel Toews, Orchestra Manager
Wendy Limbertie, Director of Marketing and Outreach
Talar Balouzian, Bookkeeper
Cristina Sewerin, Librarian


Tim Hendrickson, President
Murray Finkelstein, Past President
Christine Fong, Vice President
David King, Treasurer
Shonagh McVean, Secretary
Pamella Fell
Elizabeth Day