Faculty & Staff

Michael Newnham, Music Director

Michael NewnhamMichael Newnham is best known for his intense and inspiring conducting style, based on a deep knowledge of the score and informed by a strong interest in languages, cultures and history. A born communicator, his open and direct contact with musicians and audiences creates performances full of expression and energy. Michael has conducted many orchestras and opera companies throughout Europe and Asia, as well as his native Canada.

The mentoring of young musicians has always played a very important role in Michael’s life. In 2002, he became the Founding Conductor of the Kawartha Youth Orchestra.

Along with his duties with the KYO, Michael is the Music Director of the Peterborough Symphony Orchestra and Symphony New Brunswick.

Marilyn Chalk, Junior Orchestra Conductor

Marilyn studied Piano Performance at the University of Alberta and has taught piano for many years in both Toronto and Peterborough. Marilyn has been music director at Bethany Hills School, and led the Starfire Band, a local community concert band comprising of students from grades 7–12. She is a core teacher for the Peterborough Suzuki School of Music and is also the director of the community group “Friends in Music”.

Marilyn brings a dynamic and enthusiastic approach to music education.  Her passion for both music and the youth of this community come together with this new and exciting ensemble.

Witold Swoboda, String Coach

Witold Swoboda holds a Masters Degree in Violin Performance from the Cracow Academy of Music in Poland. Formerly a member of the Polish Radio and Television Orchestra and the Cracow Philharmonic Orchestra, Swoboda also taught at Algoma University, Mohawk College and prestigious international music camps. Swoboda is the founder and artistic director of the International Chamber Music Workshop in Pulawy, Poland and Peterborough’s Accademia Musica.

Jane Cook, Wind Coach

Jane Cook studied French Horn at the University of Toronto, and now travels around Ontario to freelance and teach. When she isn’t teaching music to the region’s aspiring youth, she can be seen on stage with the Peterborough Symphony, Northumberland Orchestra and Choir and other groups.

Zuzanna Chomicka-Newnham, Cello Coach

Zuzanna holds a Master’s Degree in Cello Performance from the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, Poland. She was a member of the Polish Radio Orchestra, and taught cello at the Taegu-Hyosung University in South Korea. She currently enjoys a successful career as the principal cellist of the Peterborough Symphony Orchestra, as an ensemble performer, and as a private cello teacher on staff at Peterborough’s Accademia Musica.

Ann Millen, Recruitment Facilitator

Ann is the Recruitment Facilitator for the Kawartha Youth Orchestra as well as handling all Continuing Education and Outreach. She is one of the Founders of the Junior Kawartha Youth Orchestra. Ann holds an Honours Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Toronto. As a 24-year member of the Peterborough Symphony on horn, Ann runs her own music studio, as well as Mainly Music Camp for children. She is well-equipped to share her love of music with today’s youth.