Ian Bent (Piano, Music Theory)
Sought after for his versatility, sensitivity and taste, Ian Bent is in high demand as a pianist/keyboardist and arranger in nearly every corner of Halifax’s kaleidoscopic music scene.
Since returning to Halifax after completing his Masters of Music at the University of Montreal in 2008, Ian has performed with dozens of projects, in a tremendous range of styles, from Klezmer (with Oy Gevalt, and the Halifax Klezmorim) to Tango (Libertango), Chamber music, 16th-century sacred polyphony, Jazz, Indie Rock, Contemporary Folk and Blues.
With his band, Caledonia, Ian has performed across Canada and in the United States, packing venues in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. The band’s latest album, We Are America was nominated for 5 ECMA awards in 2010.
In addition to his work as a collaborative musician, performing alongside artists such as songwriter and poet Tanya Davis, and recording and performing with the band Acres and Acres, and songwriters Keith Mullins, Steve Gates, Zac Crouse, Alana Yorke and Morgan MacDonald, Ian has been hard at work developing his career as a solo artist. He has taught students ages four to adult of all levels adding composition and theory if the student desires.
Kimberley Holmes (Fiddle, Piano Accompaniment, Accordion, Banjo and Ukelele)
Kimberley, a native of Nova Scotia, is one of Canada’s premier piano accompanists in the traditional style of fiddling and has won many awards for her fiddle playing as a solo performer. She has also captured first place at the Maritime Fiddle Festival in the group category with Dave Bagnell, Jocelyne Bourque, Samantha Robichaud and most recently with Sherryl Fitzpatrick on July 9, 2011. She is also the house accompanist and past artistic director of the Maritime Fiddle Festival.
Kimberley has toured with such artists as Graham and Eleanor Townsend, Richard Wood, Calvin Vollrath and April Verch among others, and has recorded with a long list of musicians including Richard Wood, Jocelyne Bourque, Ray Legere, J.P. Cormier, Tara Lynne Touesnard, Calvin Vollrath, Gordon Stobbe, Peter Dawson, Sherryl Fitzpatrick and Kelli Trottier.
Kimberley has been a member of the FRSPA staff since 2005 teaching both piano and fiddle to ages 4 to adult. She is a guest instructor at camps across Canada, most notably the Tobique Fiddle Camp in New Brunswick, Canadian Grand Masters Camp, Calvin Vollrath Camp as well as at the Gaelic College in Cape Breton.
Vanessa Buhr-Rountree (Voice, Piano)
Vanessa Buhr-Rountree has been teaching voice and piano at FRSPA since 2005. She has had the privilege of performing as a principal soprano soloist and actor in numerous operettas, musical theatre productions and concerts with such groups as the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of N.S.; Theatre Arts Guild (N.S.); Maritime Concert Opera ; Savoy Society Ottawa; N.S. Drama League; and Rhapsody Quintet. She has also been music director for productions such as Do The Right Thing (an antibullying project ), G&S’s Trial By Jury ; and the Canadian premier of Sheridan Morley’s musical Noel and Gertie, (taking it to two International Theatre Festivals).She has also worked in film, TV, radio and is a full member of The Alliance of Canadian Cinema , Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA).
Vanessa has degrees in Psychology and Recreation from Dalhousie University, with a minor in Theatre. She studied voice and piano through the Royal Conservatory of Music. She loves witnessing the “light-bulb” moments from her students as the musical experiences transform them to another level and believes in finding the music that best helps a student express themselves. Vanessa’s students have done very well in RCM exams and Kiwanis Music Festival Competitions.
Rachael Delano - Voice - Piano - Choir (Glee Club)
Rachael brings a wealth of experience and compassion to her work as a musician. She is a graduate of Dalhousie University with first class honours in both Music (voice) and Sustainability and prior to that studied voice in the Regional Arts Program at Cawthra Park. Rachael has been engaged in high-level singing opportunities for many years, most notably singing as back-up for The Rolling Stones with the Cawthra Park Chamber Choir, professionally recording full-length albums in Toronto, and touring professionally with Xara Choral Theatre across Ontario in both 2017 and 2018. As a teacher, Rachael has experience giving one-on-one lessons as a vocal instructor,piano instructor, theory, technique, vocal health, and lyric/song analysis. Specializing in pop, Jazz, and classical training (voice). She has been part of the artistic staff at Perform Nova Scotia directing five school choirs for the past two school years. She is the lead arranger of Halifax's The Big Sing. Rachael also has experience working with the Nova Scotia Choral Federation’s Youth Choir Camp for two summers. Rachael is excited to be joining the roster with the Fall River School of Performing Arts, and can’t wait to share her love of song, with our students.
Savanna MacLennan - Fiddle (Traditional style)
Savanna began learning to play classical violin while growing up in Edmonton, Alberta, but after moving to Nova Scotia at the age of 10, she was captured by Maritime folk and Cape-Breton fiddle music. She has been playing fiddle music ever since then; and took lessons for over 9 years from our very own Kimberley Holmes! Savanna loves sharing her music with others, and even had the opportunity to bring her fiddle music and Maritime culture across the globe to Lithuania, where she lived for 1 ½ years. She is so excited for every chance to play and to help others develop their musical talents! Welcome, Savanna to FRSPA!
Ryan Cox (Bass, Guitar, Rock Ensembles, Campfire Guitar)
A native of Windsor Junction, Ryan has been teaching at FRSPA for ten years. Originally born a bass player, Ryan has grown into a talented multi-instrumentalist. Equally at home on either guitar and bass, Ryan has also developed a reputation as a uniquely stylized and prolific song writer. His current musical project, SecondBand, has released several singles to critical acclaim and has performed throughout Nova Scotia to growing audiences. Ryan teaches several of the Rock Ensembles, The Campfire Guitar Classes, and has run the popular FRSPA Rock Camps for many years.
Stephen Fewer - Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, Rock Ensemble, Rock Camps
An avid fan of all things with strings, Stephen is a guitarist from Middle Musquodoboit, Nova Scotia. Playing piano at the age of 6 and guitar by age 11, Stephen caught the practice bug at an early age and quickly became obsessed with all aspects of the guitar. Although he is just emerging from his deep dive into the world of classical guitar to receive his Bachelor of Music at Dalhousie University (2018), Stephen still has a love of wailing electric guitars and creative singer-songwriting. Regularly gigging as a solo performer and as an addition to larger ensembles, Stephen has developed a reputation as a ‘musical chameleon’ that can adapt his style to nearly any musical context. Specializing in guitar performance, structured practice, and technical development, Stephen can be found teaching almost every day of the week either at Dalhousie University or at FRSPA!