Board of Governors


Kurt MacLeod


Kurt works as a financial consultant with Deloitte’s Financial Advisory practice in Halifax, Nova Scotia and specializes in debt advisory, corporate restructuring and corporate insolvency.

Growing up on Prince Edward Island next door to his grandmother, a retired high school music and piano teacher, music was always a significant part of Kurt’s life. Since picking up his first violin at the age of six, Kurt has performed extensively in Ca nada and abroad. His professional music career began in 2007 when he joined the Prince Edward Island Symphony Orchestra, a position he still holds today. Since moving to Halifax in 2009, Kurt has continued to seek opportunities to participate in, and grow the local music community, including performing with Nova Sinfonia and other various local group. Kurt’s connection to the Maritime Conservatory for the Performing Arts began in the early 2000’s as a participant in the Kiwanis Music Festival and continues today in his current role as Treasure

Robert Gilbert

Vice Chair

Rob Gilbert holds a PhD in Pharmacology and Neurosciences and is an associate professor in the Faculty of Health at Dalhousie University. For many years his research and advocacy has focused on the effects of mental disorders on individuals and their loved ones. Rob joined the MCPA Board of Governors in 2017, contributing expertise in non-profit fundraising and community development.  Lacking artistic ability, Rob lives vicariously within the arts community by contributing his time and fundraising talents.  He has been a lifetime supporter of various artistic communities and holds a fondness for musical and dance performance art. In his spare time Rob owns and operates the Indian Harbour General Store, one of Canada’s oldest mercantile.

D. Mark Laing


D. Mark Laing has been a designer and art director in film & television since 1990, and from 2006 – 2018 taught film at NSCC and NSCAD, and taught communications at Dalhousie University in the Faculty of Computer Science. His credits in television include numerous dramas, comedies and children’s series. Before going into film, Mark practiced architecture in Halifax and Toronto. Two of his children studied music (violin and piano) at the MCPA and he is strongly committed to performance and visual-arts education in the Maritimes. 

Mark Buckrell

MCPA Representative

After 20 years at sea becoming a navigation officer, Mark came ashore in the late 1990’s to get his bachelor of computer science at Dalhousie University. He then worked until his retirement in the research and development department of a local original equipment manufacturer with global reach.

Although growing up hearing his mother playing piano, often accompanied by his father’s rich bass vocals, he came to his own appreciation of the performing arts through friends in the last decade or so, often at events and concerts at Lilian Piercey Hall.Piercey Hall.

Lynn Loder

Retired Chartered Professional Accountant who worked in public practice, primarily in audit, accounting, taxation and business advisory services for a variety of businesses and non-profit organizations. All three of her children participated in Kiwanis Festivals and piano exams at MCPA.

Christine McCulloch

Recently retired after a 37 year public service career in the provincial public service, her most recent position was as Chief Electoral Officer for the Province of Nova Scotia. She held that position for 7 years during which time she headed up the rewriting of the new Provincial Elections Act and established the first independent provincial elections office in Nova Scotia. Her other government experience included extensive work in governance, regulatory and corporate affairs and legislative drafting. She has three grown & successful children, is a lifelong fiber artist and devoted gardener. She continues to work in the field of legal and legal editorial writing.

Sibylle Marquardt

Dean of Music (Ex-Officio)

A native of Germany, Sibylle Marquardt moved to Canada in 1997. In August 2018 she moved to Halifax where she is now the Dean of Music at the Maritime Conservatory, where she is teaching flute and Baroque flute. An active chamber and orchestral player in Canada and Europe, she is also recognized for her teaching. Her students are consistent award winners at the provincial level of Kiwanis and other festivals and many of her students were accepted into various music programs such as the University of Toronto, McGill University, University of Ottawa as well as the University of Western Ontario.

Andre Pretzel

Music Faculty

Andre Pretzel was born and raised in Sao Paulo, the largest urban centre in Brazil, where he built most of his education and professional background, having worked for over 10 years as a professional musician and music teacher. Andre has a Bachelor of Music with a major in Viola from Sao Paulo University, the most prominent educational institution in Brazil, and a Graduate Certificate in Music Education from Faculdade Cantareira.

Andre became a certified Suzuki Violin and Viola instructor in 2007 when searching for a teaching method that resonated with personally held beliefs: that anyone can learn with practice and intent, that music is not reserved for special people with special talents. It is for anyone with a love and interest to learn.

John Murray


Born in New Brunswick but lived in Nova Scotia for over 50 years. John worked for the Department of Lands and Forestry for 32 years as a Forester. Retired in 2017 and moved over to the Conservatory. His long-standing love of music reflects the fact that during his formative years his mom sang as a guest soloist at numerous churches in Metro and Cape Breton. He studied piano for several years plus learned how to play bagpipes in his younger years