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Emily Martin

Music Teacher & Owner

From the colourful city of St. John’s, Newfoundland, singer/songwriter and music teacher Emily Martin has been on the stage for as long as she can remember. With vocal and RCM training since the age of five, her genuine dedication and passion for music has helped her earn numerous awards and opportunities throughout her years of training. At the age of 13, Emily won first place in all of Newfoundland for an RCM Vocal Exam. Emily has since graduated from Memorial University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting, where respected professors Ken Livingstone and Todd Hennessy presented her as the proud recipient of the Andre Noble Scholarship.

As a private voice, piano, guitar, and ukulele instructor for close to ten years, Emily has had the privilege of teaching in numerous music studios in Toronto (Michael Johnston Music Studio/Bloor West Music/Red House Music Academy) and Newfoundland, where she has since proudly opened her own music studio called Shine (which was actually her nickname growing up.) With her training and certification in Applied Behavioural Therapy, Emily welcomes all ages and abilities into her studio including, but not limited to, people diagnosed with autism, ADHD, and OCD.

For the past five years Emily has taken on the role of lead facilitator of the Creative Expressions Music Program at Easter Seals and has currently begun teaching group music classes at live-in residences for people with disabilities, such as Andrews Place.

Releasing her first album at the age of 12, and then another at the age of 26, Emily has toured and recorded all types of tracks for herself, her students, and other artists. Emily strives to be a constant teacher, role model, and safe space for her students. Her studio is a place where she encourages an open mind and celebrates each and every student for exactly who they are.

Christina Acton

Music Teacher

Christina Acton (they/them) is a Masters of Choral Conducting student at Memorial University of Newfoundland, where they are studying under Dr. Jakub Martinec. Christina completed their Bmus in Voice Performance at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, where they studied voice under Monette Gould, and choral conducting under Dr. Kiera Galway and Dr. Gayle h. Martin. 

Christina has a passion for contemporary classical music and diversified repertoire, and has performed solo and/or choral works by Katerina Gimon, Ily Matthew Maniano, John Cage, H. Leslie Adams, and Hope Salmonson. Christina is also passionate about accessible and inclusive music education! In 2022 they were the ArtsNB Arts Matters Undergraduate Conference winner for Best Research Presentation, for their research on transgender inclusive vocal pedagogy, research which they updated and presented again at the 2023 Newfound Music Festival Symposium.

Christina grew up in North Vancouver, BC, where they sang with the Vancouver Bach Children’s Choir for 11 years. Christina also participated in the BC Youth Choir and BC Music Educators Association Honours Choir for many years, and through these ensembles was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with Carrie Tennant, Kathleen Allan, Scott Leithead, Graeme Langager, and Jake Runestad.

Genevieve Cunningham

Music Teacher

Genevieve Cunningham (she/her), originally from Nova Scotia, is currently in her second year of pursuing a masters in music performance/pedagogy. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Voice Performance from MUN with Honours and is classically trained in opera singing.

Genevieve is also RCM Certified in both voice and piano. She has a diverse background in various different styles of music including musical theatre, pop, and celtic music. She has played several notable roles during her career, such as that of Prince Charming in MUN Opera Workshop’s Cinderella production, which toured with Opera Roadshow across Newfoundland and Labrador. Her extensive experience in musical theatre includes her portrayal of characters such as “Marian” in The Music Man, “Annie” in Annie, “Tzeitel” in Fiddler on the Roof, and many more. 

Genevieve’s vast choral involvement includes participation in MUN Chamber and Festival choirs, as well as the Nova Scotia Youth Choir, Xara Choral Theatre, Soundtrax, and many others. 

Genevieve is a bilingual artist in French and English, proficient in both languages since childhood. She enjoys writing her own music for voice and piano, and is very passionate about allowing students to explore and express their own musicality. 

During her leisure time, she enjoys drawing, painting, experimenting with intricate makeup looks, and playing with her cat Butterscotch. With Genevieve as their teacher, students can expect to learn in a supportive and enriching environment led by a dedicated musician who is passionate about nurturing the next generation of musical talent.

Nicholas Leblanc

Music Teacher

Nick Leblanc (he/him) is currently in his fourth year of a Bachelor of Music degree, pursuing Voice Performance as a major under Dr. Caroline Schiller. Upon completion of his Bachelor’s Degree, Nick plans on applying for a joint Masters in Choral Conducting and Voice Performance and continuing the work that he loves to do!
 
From a young age Nick exhibited a passion for music, starting piano lessons at the age of 4. All throughout his youth, he sang in choirs including the Halifax Boys Honour Choir, Soundtrax and Jazz Voices. At the same time, Nick played percussion in the Halifax Regional Arts Wind Ensemble and the Halifax Regional Arts Symphony Orchestra, as well as serving as the percussion Section Lead in the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra. In addition, Nick has played a variety of roles in musicals and opera: some of these include Fat Sam (Bugsy Malone), Feldzieg (The Drowsy Chaperone), King Herod (Jesus Christ Superstar) and Alidoro in Memorial University’s production of La Cinderella
 
Nick has spent much of his adult life teaching and leading children, both in and outside a musical environment. He worked as a staff member at the Adventure Earth Centre leading both day camps and overnight camps. At the Junior Choir Camp in Berwick, NS, Nick provides musical support for kids over a week of choral rehearsals and activities. This past summer, Nick worked as a Co-Director and Musical Coordinator for the Prospect Bay Children’s Centre’s production of Oliver!
 
Nick is so excited to be a part of the amazing staff at Shine! With expertise in piano, guitar, ukulele and voice, he is equipped to share his knowledge in a wide number of musical areas. Nick can’t wait to meet new students, and encourage their musical expression to their fullest capacity!

Keira Davis

Music Teacher

Keira Davis (She/her) is currently in her third year of a Bachelor of Music Degree studying Voice. She is currently studying with Dr. Caroline Schiller, and had been previously studying with Dr. Betty Allison at Dalhousie University. Keira has experience in many different styles of voice performance. She started performing in musicals and operas from a young age. She has performed roles such as Willy (Street Scene) with the Halifax Summer Opera Festival, Mary Poppins ( Mary Poppins Musical) with the Broadway Company Players, and Golden (The Cunning Little Vixen) with Dalhousie Opera.

Keira also has an array of choral experience. She has sung in choirs such as the Halifax Girls and Youth Honour choir, Soundtrax, and the Dal Chorus.

Keira has been working with children in music since she was in highschool. She has multiple years of experience mentoring students with the Halifax Broadway Company players. She also has worked as a counsellor for the Junior Choir Camp in Berwick, NS.

Keira is passionate about guiding everyone to find their voices through music. She is excited to meet new students and sing and learn together!

Michael O'Keefe-Daw

Music Teacher

Michael was born and raised in St. John’s. He studied percussion under Rob Power and graduated from Memorial University in October 2023 with a Bachelor of Music. He has spent a number of years playing drum set, mallets (vibraphone, marimba, bells) and timpani. He has been a member of MUN Jazz Orchestra, the MUN Wind Ensemble and Scruncheons Percussion Ensemble. Michael has also played with various groups on the St. John’s music scene. Throughout his music studies, Michael has worked as a summer camp counsellor, at afterschool programs and as one-on-one support worker involving ABA therapy.

Michael has seen firsthand the benefits of music, particularly rhythm and movement when working with neuro-diverse children. Michael’s philosophy is that everyone should be given the opportunity to experience the joy of music!

Carolyn Lethbridge

Music Teacher

Raised in Campbell’s Creek on the Port au Port Peninsula, 2 of 8 (the Star Trek fans will understand that reference), Carolyn feels blessed that her parents value music and she was able to take piano lessons during her childhood. She is also blessed to have had a strong Music Education program at her Elementary School, particularly in the area of choral singing. Singing
in school and church choirs was where her lifelong love of music began. Her earliest music memories are the sound of her Dad’s guitar coming from the bedroom and singing in the kitchen.

Carolyn holds a Bachelor of Music Ed. from Acadia University, a Diploma in Tech. Ed and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Memorial University. She has worked as a Music Specialist and Administrator in Newfoundland Labrador since 1992. She has also worked as a Music For Young Children instructor and private piano teacher. Carolyn has sung with community and church choirs on the Avalon. A proud member of Les Ms. Women’s Choir under the direction of Dr. Valerie Long from 1999 to 2022, she is forever grateful for the many friendships, performances and community connections made throughout this time. Performing at Carnegie Hall in 2019 tops her memories of the many music making events with this amazing group of women. She currently sings with the wonderful women in Bella Nova Choir.

In addition to being a lover of all things music, Carolyn is an avid tea drinker, baker, and reader. A self-diagnosed chocaholic, she loves spending time with family and friends whether around the tea pot, around a camp fire, at the beach or on a hike. Her proudest life accomplishment is being Mom to Nicholas & Abigail.

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