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What our Music graduates are doing now

Melissa | Matthew  | Nadia | Amanda | Megan | Mary-Catherine | Kathryn | Alicia  | Vasana |

Inviting alumni back to perform, teach, and share their talents with the community and current students enriches the program. Music grads who have gone on to succeed in various fields in music not only demonstrate the value and 'real-world' viability of a degree in Music from Waterloo, but they can also offer current students advice and encouragement

Laura Gray, Music Chair

Melissa Pettau

(Honours Music, 2014)

After UWaterloo, Melissa completed a master's degree in Musicology at University of Toronto and is embarking on a doctoral degree in Musicology there as well. During her time at Grebel Melissa enjoyed partaking in the ensembles, she particularly enjoyed participating in the Gamelan ensemble during her last year.

Melissa recently visited Grebel Music again to give a guest lecture at the end of October 2016, On " Music and Science in the Middle Ages: Mathematics, Astronomy and Medicine".  She reflected on her favourite aspects of the program,

My favourite part about Grebel’s Music program was how flexible it is- every student undertakes their own unique program, joining different activities, taking the courses that interest them most, and pursuing a variety of double majors, minors, and electives to pair with their music studies.

Matthew Attard

(Honours Music & Business, Co-op, 2013)

Matthew AttardAfter graduating from Waterloo, Matthew went to the University of Toronto for a Bachelor of Education in Music and Business at the high school level. He is currently a teacher with the Peel District School Board working towards a permanent position. Matthew also teaches private drum, guitar, and piano lessons at the Arcadia Academy of Music, as well as playing drums full time in his band Dan Daly. Dan Daly has been featured on 102.1 The Edge for the past two years in "The Edge: Next Big Thing" and were invited back again to play the Canadian Music Week festival in Toronto in May 2016.

See the Spotlight bio for more information.


Nadia Mazzarollo

nadia mazarolo pic(Honours Music, 2012)

Nadia continued her education by obtaining a Masters in Music Education from Western University. She is now a multi-talented Canadian artist-educator who specializes in vocal music improvisation. Intuitively blending her classical music training with her natural voice, Nadia Mazzarolo captures the energy of the moment and transmits it to others through her unique musical arrangements. Nadia has also developed a highly successful career as a vocal coach, with several of her students winning prestigious awards and performance opportunities such as singing in the 2015 Pam Am game celebrations and winning a spot in Talent Nation. Recently, Nadia was thrilled to accept a position as an instructor at Metalworks Institute, where she is able to continue to inspire and educate new, aspiring artists. In addition, she is working on various musical projects of her own, including collaborating on jazz/electronic/fusion music projects in New York City and recording her own compositions in Toronto, Ontario.  

Visit Nadia's website.

Amanda Kind

(Honours Music, 2006)

amanda kindAmanda Kind is the Artistic Director for KW Glee. The youth pop choir of 112 combined local teenagers who just won the title of Show Choir Canada. Amanda manages the artistic development of the show, which includes casting, choosing songs, soloists, and coming up with artistic concepts for each number. Everything she does is in consult with the Producer & Music Director, and our choreographers to ensure we can actually accomplish the vision. It’s a team effort and we work together to balance all elements of the show. They are constantly trying to do more interesting work, think outside the box and challenge our performers – it’s exhausting, but so creatively fulfilling.

It was scary for us to compete against other groups in the competition because they are all so talented. We do feel unique in the mix though, and I think that uniqueness is what made us stand out.

See full article.

Visit Amanda's website.

Megan McCracken

(Honours Music, 2014)

Meaghan McCracken photoSince Meaghan's last year of studies at Waterloo, she's been volunteering for the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony library, making a difference to her community with her love of music.  Meaghan is featured on the University of Waterloo's National Volunteer Week profile. 

One of the biggest reasons I volunteer is gaining experience and contacts in the field I’m passionate about, but it’s also about just getting the sense of helping and feel like you’re making a difference in the arts community.

Mary-Catherine McNinch-Pazzano

Mary-Catherine(Joint Honours Music & Drama, 2010)

Mary-Catherine is living her dream.  After graduating at UWaterloo, she received her Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto. She then realized that she missed the strong sense of community that Kitchener-Waterloo has, and also wanted to reignite her passion for singing and performance.

Singing jazz music to current UWaterloo students, staff and community members was a true full-circle moment! It was a wonderful opportunity to reflect on where I come from, and the journey to get to where I am now. I have no regrets, and am so excited for what is yet to come!

See the full article in the UW Alumni News.

Visit Mary-Catherine's website.

Kathryn Ladano

photo of Kathryn Ladano(Honours Music, 1999)

Kathryn is an award-winning Canadian bass clarinetist, specializing in contemporary music and free improvisation in solo and chamber settings. Kathryn looks back at her time as a student in the music program fondly, 

UWaterloo’s music program is very open and flexible; it allows students to pursue anything they want as directed study courses. It was in these courses I designed myself that I learned some of the most crucial information that later contributed to my development as an artist.

Since  her graduation Kathryn has completed a Master’s degree in Bass Clarinet performance at the University of Calgary, and is currently working on her PhD at York University. Kathryn has since released a solo CD and continues to perform often. Additionally Kathryn teaches two improvisation courses at Wilfred Laurier University and is the Artistic Director of new music presenter/producer, NUMUS.

Visit Kathryn's website.

Alicia Turman (Christie)

(Joint Honours Music and German, 2007)

AliciaAfter finishing her degree and while attending teacher's college at the University of Western Ontario for Intermediate Senior Vocal and German, she was offered a teaching position before she even graduated from teachers college. The position was at one of Sweden's top 20 schools - Internationella Engelska Skolan i Eskilstuna. There she was the music teacher and taught guitar, keyboards and voice to 574 students. Currently Alicia is teaching music at the secondary level with the Waterloo Catholic District School Board. She teaches vocal, instrumental, guitar and integrated arts courses. She also helps facilitate extra curricular activities such as choir, band, and music productions. She is also a member of Soul Sauce. A close harmony vocal jazz ensemble that performs locally at various events with in the local Tri-cities area.

Vasana Abeysekera

(Honours Music and English Literature, 2008)Vasana

In her first year of MMus Performance in clarinet at University of Toronto, studying with Stephen Pierre and her first year recital included works by Poulenc, Violet Archer, Mozart and Brahms.

Vasana has completed her Masters in Music Performance and now teaches at The Conservatory of Music in Nova Scotia.



 Melissa | Matthew  | Nadia | Amanda | Megan | Mary-Catherine | Kathryn | Alicia  | Vasana