Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra

Sabatino Vacca, Music Director

EPO Student Scholarship

Each season the Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra offers youth scholarships for up to four talented orchestral musicians currently studying at the secondary school or college/university level. Students studying music privately with intent for a career in music should apply.

The goal of this scholarship is to provide young musicians with orchestral experience, professional mentorship and some financial assistance to support their music studies.

Auditions are held each spring for the following orchestral season. The scholarship term will last from September to June. Successful candidates will be expected to attend all EPO rehearsals and to perform at the five EPO season concerts.

Scholarship Sponsors

Long & McQuade LogoLong and McQuade Musical Instruments

2015-2016 Winners

Adam Choles

Adam Choles is a Grade 11 student attending Martingrove Collegiate Institute. He began playing the violin when he was 5 years old, starting at the Etobicoke Suzuki School of Music, studying under Mary Kowaliw. Son of two music teachers, his parents gave him a strong music background to work with as he progressed as a student violinist. He is currently a student under the leadership of Kelly Parkins-Lindstrom. In addition to being a part of EPO, Adam is involved in many music groups at Martingrove Collegiate, as well as a part of their Reach for the Top team. He is delighted to be a part of EPO this season.

Leon He

Leon He first began playing cello at the age of 11 as a student of John G. Althouse's instrumental music program. He quickly developed a passion for the instrument and has since pursued many opportunities to improve his musicianship. He was appointed various principal positions in school orchestras and received the Bernie Reuben Music Award in his graduating year. In 2012, he was principal cellist for the TDSB All-City Orchestra. Currently a grade 11 student, Leon is an avid member of numerous music ensembles at Martingrove Collegiate Institute. He has played with the Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra since 2014. He is currently studying cello privately.

Andrew Kerr

Andrew Kerr is a fourteen-year old musician who lives in Etobicoke. He began playing percussion in Grade 6 at John G. Althouse Middle School. At the time, he had already taken piano and guitar lessons, but percussion soon became his central focus. Since then, he has become involved in many community ensembles such as the Etobicoke Youth Band and Toronto Concert Band. In 2015, he was accepted into the Ontario Provincial Honour Band, and hopes to become a member of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra later this year. Andrew currently attends Martingrove CI, where he is involved in the Music Program. In his spare time, he enjoys (begrudgingly) writing about himself in the third person.

Harry Rollo

Harry Rollo began studying the trumpet while attending Sacred Heart Catholic High School. In 2012, the Sacred Heart Concert Band competed in Boston, where he was awarded the "Best Soloist" award. Harry continued studying the Trumpet at York University and later transferred to study Trumpet Classical Performance at the University of Toronto. He currently studies with James Spragg. Harry keeps busy and is very involved holding leadership roles in various groups and extra-curricular at school. While playing with the Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra, Harry will be very active performing and can be found playing with various groups and artists across the GTHA. This is Harry's second season playing with the EPO and has been awarded the "EPO Student Scholarship" this year. Harry is looking forward to be playing with the EPO in their 2015-2016 concert season.

Russell Stouffer

Russell Stouffer was born into a musical family and began his musical development by taking early childhood music classes. This led him to begin playing the violin at the age of 5 with the Etobicoke Suzuki School of Music. Under the supervision and guidance of Margot Jewell, his private teacher, Russell made his way through several Suzuki books and has completed his grade 8 RCM exam, and hopes to finish his grade 10 by the end of high school. He is in grade 11 at Richview C.I. where he participates in several music ensembles playing the tenor saxophone, violin, and percussion. These ensembles expose Russell to many genres of music such as Jazz, classical, and Broadway musicals. Russell is very excited to participate in his first year with the orchestra.

Charlotte Thorpe

Charlotte Thorpe began playing the viola at age 10 at John G. Althouse Middle School and took to it immediately. Throughout high school, she played with the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra and went on a tour of British Columbia with them in 2012. For 4 summers, she attended Music at Port Milford. She also formed her own string quartet called The Sesame String Quartet with friends and has played at many venues including The Old Mill.

Charlotte currently attends York University and is completing an Honours Bachelor of Science in Biology. She hopes to one day attend medical school. She studies viola privately with Susan Lipchak.

Emily Whittaker

Emily Whittaker has been very active in music from a young age and always had an interest in learning something new. She picked up the French Horn in high school and grew a love for the instrument and making music. Emily attended York University for two years under the instruction of James MacDonald, and will be continuing her education at University of Toronto. There she will be in the Performance program under the instruction of Gabriel Radford. Emily has been very active in the community playing with several other community orchestra's including; Oakville Symphony Orchestra, Kindred Spirits Orchestra, Huronia Symphony Orchestra, Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra, and of course the Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra. Emily is thrilled to be playing with the EPO for this 2015/2016 concert season!

Steven Wolwyn

Steven Wolwyn began playing double bass in 2009 when he was 13 years of age. In February 2012, he began to study music more seriously and started playing double bass outside of school. He joined the Etobicoke Youth Strings a month later, eventually joining the Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra that same year. Once becoming a member of the orchestra, he greatly increased his amount of practising time and began taking private lessons with Ian Medley. In his past three years with the orchestra, his abilities had greatly improved and he was honoured to be one of the students chosen to receive the EPO Student Scholarship. This will be his third consecutive year receiving the scholarship.

In addition to being a classical musician, Steven is an active musician in Toronto's jazz scene. He is currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Music program at Humber College where in his first year, he studied with renowned jazz bassist, Neil Swainson. Steven is also an electric bassist and plays in two bands that play in small venues throughout the GTA.

Steven's future plans in music include attending Berklee College of Music for his Master's degree. He also aims to one day play in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra or any other professional orchestra in North America.

2014-2015 Winners

  • Katie Chen, Cello
  • Blaise Gratton, Tuba
  • Harry Rollo, Trumpet
  • Hannah Teminsky, Horn
  • Steven Wolwyn, Bass

2013-2014 Winners

  • Dayoung Seo, Cello
  • Petros Giannopoulos, Bass
  • Max Gargaro, Trumpet
  • Steven Wolwyn, Bass

2012-2013 Winners

  • Anthony Reyes, Trumpet
  • Dayoung Seo, Cello
  • Kevin Sleno, Bassoon
  • Peter Bye, Trombone

2011-2012 Winners

  • Dayoung Seo, Cello
  • Angel Ji, Cello
  • Satoko Kaneko, Violin

2009-2010 Winners

  • Rachel O'Connor, Trumpet
  • Dayoung Seo, Cello

2008-2009 Winners

  • Rachel Kim, Violin

2006-2007 Winners

  • Matthew Perkins, Violin

2004-2005 Winners

  • Maia Broido, Violin
  • James Woomert, Viola
  • Steven Lundy, Trombone
  • Suzanne Ruttan, Cello