Classes, Ensembles & Orchestras

School of Music

Classes | Ensembles | Orchestras 2021

    Click on any of the below programs to learn more. We hope to see you this fall at the Maritime Conservatory!

The Adult Orchestra provides an opportunity for recreational musicians with variable playing experience and skill levels to make music together in a relaxed and enjoyable environment. Under the leadership of Susannë Brown, the members of the Adult Orchestra will meet weekly to play a range of approachable repertoire drawn from various genres and styles. Each term culminates in a final concert. Most importantly, the goal is always to have fun with your instrument!

Faculty: Susannë Brown

Time: Tuesday 7:00 – 8:30 pm

The Adult Violin Group is teaching participants according to the Suzuki principles, learning by ear following the steps of the highly successful mother-tongue approach Sinichi Suzuki developed. Learning is based on a supportive environment with constructive and positive instruction, focusing on posture and musical expression.

Faculty: André Pretzel
Time: Saturdays, 12:00-1:00pm
Fee: $180/term

Want to try out the instrument that fascinates humans all over the world for over 60,000 years? This introductory flute class gives newcomers to the flute a structured approach with expert coaching. Participants will learn about proper breathing techniques, tone production and posture. Together we will explore the fingerings for the flute and move on to learning simple solo and chamber music pieces. 

This fun filled class is running weekly for 2-6 participants, 18 classes per term.

Faculty: Sibylle Marquardt

Time: Wednesdays 6:15-7:00pm

Cost: $435/term

The Conservatory Chamber Orchestra is a string ensemble for advanced students playing challenging repertoire at the RCM Grade 5 level and up. There will be several performances throughout the year of repertoire from the Baroque period through to the Modern era. Entrance is by audition, and members are expected to attend regularly. This pre-professional ensemble experience will hone the musicianship skills of participants within a supportive and encouraging learning environment.

Faculty: Celeste Jankowski

Time: Monday 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Ever wonder what performing with a guitar orchestra would be like? Join the Guitar Orchestra and experience an incredible performance, sonic and social experience unlike any other! Whether you play by ear, read tab or read notation, there is a place for everyone! Guitarists will develop strong ensemble skills and repertoire ranges from classical (all periods) to jazz, many “world” styles, popular, blues, improvised music and more. The orchestra welcomes all types of guitars: acoustic, classical, electric, bass, steel guitar. Every term culminates with a concert performance.

Faculty: Daniel MacNeil
Time: Tuesdays 6:00-7:30pm
Fee: $220/term

Harp players of all levels and ages are welcome to attend these informal 45 min drop-in sessions. The sessions will include group technique work and casual ensemble playing as well as learning about different harpists through listening to and discussing recordings together. The final 15 minutes will be open for people to sign up to play for the group – whether it’s a work in progress, an improvisation, or a polished performance piece. All are welcome to stay and chat afterwards with some light refreshments. The aim of these sessions is to create a space where harpists can practice performing, be inspired by each other’s work, share ideas and resources, and get to know the harp community in Halifax.

Three harps will be available in the building for those who would prefer not to bring their own instrument. Please contact Ellen ( if you’d like to reserve an instrument or sign up to perform.

Faculty: Ellen Gibling
Time: Saturdays 2:00-2:45pm

The Jazz Ensemble class will invite participants to explore the History of Jazz through playing music from each decade of the evolution of this incredible and influential art form . We will learn standard songs and jazz classics. Modes, arpeggios, chords and scales will be introduced as we move through each era. The final classes and Recital will employ a professional rhythm section.

Faculty: Geordie Haley
Time: Tuesdays, 7-9pm
Fee: $200/term

Klezmer is a style of traditional Jewish music that is known for its highly embellished melodies, moving rhythms and intricate improvisations. This ensemble will work with rhythmic forms particular to Klezmer such as Bulgars, Horas, Freylachs, and Doinas. Exploration with Klezmer scales including; Mishaberach, Freygish, and Lydian b7 will be used as a foundation for improvisation.

In addition to learning traditional pieces, the ensemble will experiment with and create new sounds using the modes and forms mentioned above. Developing originality will be a focus of this group. Players of all ages and instruments are welcome. Woodwinds, brass, percussion, keyboard, vocals and strings all have a place in this music. Participants must have at least a level four on their instrument, the ability to read music at a basic level, and the desire to be creative and free. The Klezmer ensemble will provide an environment for students to develop their ensemble-playing and improvisation skills while learning about cultural differences and similarities.

Faculty: Gina Burgess

The Maritime Music Experiment is an all-ages, mixed instrumental ensemble open to students of any instrument. The MME strives to push the boundaries of what students know as making music, with a particular focus on exploration, improvisation, and indeterminacy. Open to anyone, 12 to adult, who isn’t afraid to try something new. Prerequisites: minimum three years of lessons on your instrument.

Faculty: Matt Richard
Time: Sundays, 2-3:30pm

Fee: $234/term

The MCPA Brass ensemble provides a unique opportunity for all students to experience a traditional brass ensemble in a fun, inclusive, educational, and supportive environment. The ensemble is open for beginning to advanced students and will consist of weekly rehearsals, masterclasses, and public performances throughout the year covering a wide variety of traditional and contemporary music for brass ensemble.

Faculty: Rod MacGillivray
Time: Saturdays 2-4pm

Fee: $260/term

Open to the following Instruments: trumpet, horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba, percussion

Passionate about musical theatre? Looking to enhance your upcoming audition? Wanting to expand and finesse your musical theatre repertoire? Join Musical Theatre Practitioners Patrick Maubert and Rachel O’Brien as they guide you in creating tailor-made musical theatre audition and performance material through The Maritime Conservatory’s bi-weekly drop-in musical theatre master class series.


  • Acting Through Song
  • Repertoire Building
  • Audition Preparation
  • Song and Monologue Selection
  • Musical Theatre Vocal Technique
  • Confidence Building

There will be a final Showcase Performance at the end of term.

Faculty: Patrick Maubert Rachel O’Brien

New to the Conservatory, the Seton Conservatory Choir is a community choir focusing on classic works by well-known choral composers such as Rutter, Britten, and Brahms. Led by instructor Garth MacPhee and accompanied by Dean Bradshaw.

Conductor: Garth MacPhee

Time: Wednesdays 7:00-9:00pm

The World Music Ensemble performs music from various cultures throughout the world. Anyone (and instrument) is welcome! All music explored is authentic to the tradition and since everyone is welcome with their own instrument of choice (and this is encouraged!), a natural and true cross-cultural approach to music takes place in this ensemble. Whether you are advanced or are a beginner, whether you play classical, folk, jazz, or any style from anywhere, there is always a spot for you and it is always stimulating! Students have the opportunity to explore and perform music from areas of the world such as the Middle East, India, Africa, Eastern Europe, South America and more; culminating with an end of term concert. Students even have the opportunity to learn some new instruments from different cultures if they wish. Classical, folk, popular, and even dance music of various cultural traditions are explored.

If students would like to join who aren’t sure if their level or ability fits the ensemble, please contact the director.

Faculty: Daniel MacNeil

Time: Tuesdays 7:30-9:00pm

Fee: $220/term

Children's Programs

We have kids programs too - From String Orchestra to Music and Movement!
fun for kids