Meet The Teaching Artists

Our teaching artists are the heart and soul of Project Grace. They create welcoming spaces where children can experience making music while also growing as young people. Classes at Project Grace are small, which gives our teaching artists the chance to devote specialized attention to every student.

Naomi Brown, Violin

Naomi Brown is a multi-instrumentalist from St. John’s. She is studying violin with Nancy Dahn at Memorial University’s School of Music. Naomi has over 15 years experience participating in group music classes, starting with Suzuki when she was 4 years old. She believes that making music in a group is one of the best ways to build life-long friendships and inspire life-long learners. Naomi has been a Teaching Artist with Project Grace since 2014.

Annie Corrigan, Program Coordinator

Annie Corrigan is an oboe player, a radio producer, and a dog lover. She’s played in orchestras all over the Midwestern United States. When the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra needs an English horn player, they call her. She works with MUN’s Chamber Music For Youth Program, and she teaches private oboe lessons. She moved to Newfoundland in 2018 with her dog Clyde.

Cleary Maddigan, Cello

Cleary Maddigan received his Bachelors of Music degree in cello and composition from Memorial University’s School of Music. He studied with Vernon Regehr. Cleary has been a Teaching Artist with Project Grace since 2015.

Susannah McKenzie-Sutter, Violin

Susannah McKenzie-Sutter is a violinist based in St. John’s Newfoundland. She has a particular interest in music pedagogy that is accessible for neurodiverse students. She published the online course “Teaching Dyslexic Music Learners” as a free, universal tool for music teachers. She is a current graduate student in the Master of Violin Performance and Pedagogy program at Memorial University.
She has been a Teaching Artist with Project Grace since 2015.

James Paluk, Flute

James is a flutist who has performed and taught in several provinces: Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, BC, and now Newfoundland. He is completing his Master’s of Flute Performance at Memorial University’s School of Music. Aside from teaching at PG, he also works with the CBS Community Bands and he teaches private flute lessons. He has two cats named Oliver and Lincoln who just love it when he practices, especially piccolo.

Gillian Sheppard, Executive Director

Born and raised in St. John’s Newfoundland, Gillian Sheppard is a piccoloist and flutist who specializes in contemporary and orchestral playing. She has played second flute in the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, and Opera on the Avalon Chamber Orchestra. She is also the Educational Support Coordinator of the new Master of Business Administration in Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Memorial University. In 2019, Gillian earned her Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Toronto.

Ms. Sheppard is passionate about music education and social justice, and is the Founder and Executive Director of Project Grace.

Alexandra Stuart, Piano

Alix Stuart has a Masters of Music in Performance and Pedagogy from Memorial University’s School of Music. She was a student of Timothy Steeves. Alix has been a Teaching Artist with Project Grace since 2015.

Holly Winter, Clarinet

Holly Winter is a clarinetist, improviser, vocalist and educator from Halifax, Nova Scotia. She studied musical theatre and acting at Neptune Theatre School and with DaPoPo Youth Theatre company. After completing her Bachelor’s degree in philosophy at Dalhousie University, she began working with the Halifax Music Co-op as a voice and clarinet teacher and music librarian. It was there she discovered her passion for music education and providing musical experiences to people of all ages, levels, and economic backgrounds. She is currently studying music at Memorial University with Dr. Christine Carter. Holly is excited to be a new member of the Project Grace team this year.

Emily Finch, Trumpet

Emily Finch is a trumpet player and teacher from St. John’s. She complteed her Bachelor of Music with Honours in Trumpet from Memorial University under the direction of Dr. Alan Klaus. She is currently enrolled in MUN’s Bachelor of Music Education program. Emily is an active community musician, performing with the Jazz East Big Band, Quintessential Vocal Ensemble and Better Breathing Choir. In 2018 she co-created the contemporary music group Nova Collective – an ensemble dedicated to the performance of contemporary music outside the concert hall. She currently teaches trumpet both privately and with Project Grace.