Students’ Stories

A gallery of some of our students and their stories.

Started at the age of 7, Tabi Savic studies under the tutelage of Andrew Chan when she has won an impressive list of competitions, awards and scholarships. They include Rotary Music Festival, Stirling Music Festival, Ontario Music Festival, Rose Bowl Competition, Silver Strings Competition, Silver Tray Competition, Joe Demeza Prize for Best Performance, Rotary Strings/Instrumental Award, Smith Award, Royal Canadian Legion Award, and Stirling Music Festival Scholarship.Tabi Savic received "Best performance overall for the Joe Demeza Prize". She was then promoted to the provincial-level Ontario Music Festival 2012 where she won First Prize in Pedal Harp. She also received 89% First Class Honours for her Grade 6 RCM Pedal Harp Exam.The Savic siblings (Tabi, Jelena, Philip (flute), and Thea) having a coaching session with their teacher before a concert (2009).Having only studied the harp for barely two years under the tutelage of Andrew Chan, 16 year old Sunshine Quan quickly established herself as an accomplished harpist by auditioning successfully for Halton Mississauga Youth Orchestra (HMYO) and becoming a 1st Prize winner at Toronto Harp Society's Scholarship Audition 2015.Sunshine was featured as a soloist by the  Halton Mississauga Youth Orchestra and by the orchestras of her school Appleby College. She has been a regular member of the Harp Sinfonia and has collaborated with Philomusica Symphony Orchestra and OCMS Youth Symphony Orchestra.Susan Vinovich captured 2nd Prize at Toronto Harp Society Scholarship Audition 2009. She recorded harp solo soundtrack to web series "Out with Dad" composed by Adrian Ellis in 2011, which was subsequently awarded "Outstanding Use of Music" by I Love Soap. She has performed with Harp Sinfonia on many occasions.Susan Vinovich's first harp performance in duet with her teacher in 2008.Sebastian Gobbels, scored 90% First Class Honours with Distinction for his Grade 4 RCM Exam on Lever harp. He has also performed successfully for weddings and local senior home.Sebastian Gobbels received First Class Honours for his Grade 6 RCM Exam. Now progressed to the Pedal Harp, he advances his studies by joining the Harp Sinfonia and working towards his Grade 8 Exam.Sebastian Gobbels in duet with his teacher in Annual Concert 2016 where he also performed a solo and took part in the Harp Orchestra.Sebastian performed "Tomorrow Shall be My Dancing Day" by Rutter with his school choir.Sebastian performs with his school orchestra.Allison Brealey was featured by TVOntario in the television series Jay Jay's Jam on TVOkids introducing the harp to an audience of her junior from ages 3 to 6. (Watch: Video) She has performed with Harp Sinfonia as one of the youngest members.Motivated by being awarded of attractive  stickers (of puffy elephants and  shinny musical notes etc), Luc Hung started his harp studies a year ago under the tutelage of Andrew Chan at age 3.5. WATCH video of Luc trying out a duet with his teacher:   First Duet PractiseLuc Hung gave his debut at the Annual Concert 2016 performing two of his favourite solos, as well as taking part in the Twinkle Twinkle Ensemble.India Frost loves her harp lessons and makes steady progress from week to week. She participated again in the students' Annual Concert this year and enjoyed being part of the Twinkle Twinkle Ensemble.Amelia King was awarded 1st Prizes for Stirling Festival of Sacred Praise and Ontario Music Festival 2012. Previously, she was awarded 1st prize (93%) in Quinte Rotary Music Festival 2010. She was featured as special guest by the Hastings & Prince Edward Regional Chorus and received 86% First Class Honours Grade 6 RCM 2012 Exam.Amelia, in Harp Sinfonia rehearsal for "Harp to the World" with its composer Constantine Caravassilis, a composition dedicated to and premiered by the ensemble in 2009.Amelia has performed with the Harp Sinfonia frequently and has progressed to Pedal Harp working towards RCM Grade 8 Pedal Harp Exam. She won 1st Prize in Quinte Rotary Music Festival 2014, received a $1500 scholarship and subsequently won 2nd Prize in Ontario Music Festival 2014.Emma George received First Class Honours for her Grade 2, 4 and 6 RCM Exams. She has performed with the Harp Sinfonia, as well as with the Havergal College Symphony Orchestra and Senior Choir. Emma is working towards her Grade 8 Exam.Whether it's staying at her primary home in Toronto or at her secondary one in Hawaii, Sage Stanton always has a harp by her side. She enjoys her personal journey to study the harp. After intensive training with her teacher Andrew Chan on music-reading, rhythm and tone production, Sage has recently joined the Harp Sinfonia where she is thrilled to learn about ensemble and performance skills.Kathleen Miao earned a list of achievement since she began her studies at age 11 under Andrew Chan. A two-time winner of the prestigious RCM Gold Medal Awards (2013: Grade 10; 2011: Grade 8; scored highest mark in Ontario & Quebec), she captured 1st Prize Toronto Harp Society Scholarship Audition 2011. She performed with Toronto Youth Symphony Orchestra in a successful "side by side" concert with the TSO, and has performed with Harp Sinfonia frequently.Kathleen Miao was featured as a special guest with her school's orchestra.Maithiri Ravin started her harp studies over 1 year ago with Andrew Chan at the age of 3.5. Despite of living a far distance from her teacher, she maintains weekly lesson throughout the year and has shown significant progress in her music-reading, rhythm, hand position and coordination. In the Annual concert 2016, her second harp concert, she performed her favourite solo and participated in the Twinkle Twinkle Ensemble again.4 year old Ajooni Singh, inspired by her playmate Maithiri Ravin, started the harp half a year ago. She is excited to go to her harp lesson and learns about new things about the harp each week.Ajooni Singh enjoyed her first harp concert where she participated enthusiastically in the Twinkle Twinkle Ensemble.Twinkle Twinkle Ensemble members: Valencia Lam, Maithiri Ravin, Ajooni Singh and Luc Hung performs with their teacher.Twinkle Twinkle Ensemble 2016: Brittany Tam, Valencia Lam, Maithiri Ravin, Ajooni Singh, Luc Hung, India Frost, Gryphon Geisel and Leanor Harrington.Ashtin Hennessy, 6, gave her successful debut with her teacher.Now 9, Ashtin Hennessy has recently completed her RCM Grade 2 Exam with First Class Honours. She enjoys performing in the Annual Concert every year.Ashtin performs at the Hartman Gallery.Known as "The Nicole's", Nicole Young and Nicole Zheng met and often found being together at the Annual Concerts. They were excited to perform in duet this year and plan to do more projects together for future concerts.Just before the annual concert, 4 year old Leanor Harrington suffered a broken arm but not a broken spirit! She performed beautifully in the Twinkle Twinkle Ensemble and is excited for another "big harp project" for next year.7 year old Chloe Yip impressed her audience despite she started her studies under the tutelage of Andrew Chan only 9 months ago. She scored 92% First Class Honours with Distinction for her RCM Grade 4 Examination recently. She was a winner of the prestigious RCM Gold Medal Award.After completing her Grade 6 RCM Exam with First Class Honours only after started one year and three months ago, Chloe Yip has now progressed to the pedal harp, advancing her studies by joining the Harp Sinfonia and working towards the RCM Grade 8 Level.Chloe Yip poses with her teacher after performance of her two solos and with the Harp Orchestra at the Annual Concert 2016.Erica Pulling received Honours for her RCM Grade 6 Pedal Harp Exam. She further studied throughout many summers at Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts in Cape Breton. Performances include church services, private weddings and events, and those with Harp Sinfonia.Aimee Harris and Leah Faibisoff appeared as harpists for a Roman Empire scene in Hollywood movie Pompeii.Jelena Savic won Miss Canada Teen Global Pageant charming the judges with her dazzling harp performance. She performed with Harp Sinfonia and performs for various functions.Steven Chuo captured First Prize Grade 10 in 2013 Toronto Harp Society Scholarship. Previously, he received "Honourable Mention" and First Prize Grade 8 in the same audition in 2011. He has performed frequently with  the Harp Sinfonia.Steven Chuo, assisted his teacher as Second Harp, in performance of Das Lied Von Der Erde by Mahler with Kindred Spirits Orchestra.Sophie Andrade was featured as a special guest by the Guelph Celtic Orchestra, performing her own arrangement of "Muriel's Waltz".Hannah de Almeida captured 1st Prize (Grade 6) in 2013 Toronto Harp Society Scholarship Audition. She scored 84% First Class Honours for her Grade 6 RCM Exam. Hannah has performed with the Harp Sinfonia.A native of Japan, 13 year old Rin Tanaka has been studying the harp under the tutelage of Andrew Chan since her arrival in Toronto in 2011. She is a two-time winner of the RCM Ontario Gold Medal Award in 2013 and 2014. She completed her Grade 8 RCM Exam with First Class Honours in January 2015 and is preparing for her Grade 10 Exam. She has been a regular member of the Harp Sinfonia and was excited to make her orchestral debut with the OCMS Youth Symphony Orchestra in performance of Tchaikovsky Swan Lake. Rin is passionate about music and plans to become a professional harpist.Rin Tanaka paid tribute to her native country with a performance for "March 11th Japan Earthquake Relief", a fund-raising event held by Rotary Club in 2011. Her performance of "Sakura" with her teacher was warmly received. Rin scored 88% First Class Honours for her Grade 2 Lever Harp RCM exam before she progressed to the pedal harp. Subsequently, she received First Class Honours with Distinction for her Grade 4 and Grade 6 RCM Exams. Rin is a recipient of the RCM Gold Medal Award Ontario of both 2013 and 2014.Sunshine and Rin in orchestral rehearsal with the OCMS Youth Symphony Orchestra.Neal Miner enjoys busking with a friend! He has also performed for the Bellevue House, and the Firehall Theatre's Celtic Festival.Lia Walsh performs frequently at Alan Howard Waldorf School for its various events including graduation ceremony, school play, and concerts. She has also performed with Harp Sinfonia on many occasions.Caralynn Chan, 12, received 88% First Class Honours for her Grade 6 RCM Exam and 90% First Class Honors with Distinction for Grade 4. She is a recipient of the RCM 2013 Gold Medal Award in Ontario.Caralynn has performed with the Harp Sinfonia and she frequently performs at churches and senior homes. She has now advanced to pedal harp to further her studies and has been preparing for her Grade 8 RCM Exam.Rin and Caralynn in duet in Summer Gathering Concert 2013.Susan Vinovich performed on Cobra Harp as part of Harp Sinfonia performance for  "Two Lives in Art" Exhibition by artists Hoi Kwon Choi and his wife Kook Kang Choi. Along with the Cobra Harp was a set of unique harps designed by the artist in collaboration with harpist Andrew Chan.Valerie Kuk was featured as special guest for Georgia Dance & Arts Cultural Centre Showcase 2011 at City Playhouse in Vaughan, and won much applause from the audience. She is a member of the Harp Sinfonia Junior.Sydney Wilson captured 2nd Prize (Grade 8) in 2013 Toronto Harp Society Scholarship Audition. She has performed with Harp Sinfonia on several occasions.Harp Sinfonia in performanceHannah in duet with his father on recorder in an Annual Concert