Susan Butler is a professional oboist, pianist, and recorder player, and is the director of the Summermusic day-camp for young musicians aged 3 to 18 in Deep River.  She is principal oboist of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, oboist with the Harmonious Pigs Reed Trio, and has an active career as a freelance musician.  She performs frequently with many different ensembles and choirs in the Ottawa area, including the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Thirteen Strings, l’Ensemble Prisme, and the Ottawa Choral Society, in addition to various regional orchestras and choirs throughout the Ottawa Valley.  As a pianist, Susan is in demand as an accompanist for students and choirs.Susan is a dedicated teacher, working with music students of all levels and ages in her private studio in Deep River, Ontario. She is conductor of the Deep River Youth Orchestra and teaches recorder ensembles and small chamber groups. Susan also enjoys working with adult amateur musicians in community orchestras and with CAMMAC, and she is choir director for the Deep River Community Church.  As director of Summermusic, Susan is responsible for planning, programming, hiring, and scheduling for all operations of the music camp; she also teaches woodwinds of all levels and conducts an orchestra at the camp. Susan obtained her Bachelor of Music in Oboe Performance from the University of Ottawa in 1980, followed by post-graduate studies in the Orchestral Training Program at the RCM in Toronto.  Her studies at UOttawa included piano pedagogy and early music.  When she is not busy with musical activities, Susan enjoys cooking and outdoor pursuits such as gardening, camping and snowshoeing.

Susan Butler


April Morris is a violinist and musicologist originally from Deep River. She holds a Bachelor of Music (2013) from the University of Ottawa, where she studied violin with David Thies-Thompson of the National Arts Centre Orchestra. In 2021, she earned a PhD in Musicology from Western University, studying the involvement of U.S. composers in Vietnam War protest. She also completed a Master of Arts degree in Musicology from Western in 2015. Born into a musical family, April began playing the violin at age seven, studying initially with her father Peter Morris and later with Elaine Klimasko in Ottawa. Currently based in London, Ontario, she teaches violin lessons to students of all ages at the School of Music Arts (SMArts). April particularly enjoys orchestral playing and often performs with ensembles in the London area and in Deep River. April was a camper at Deep River Summermusic for eight years and has been on faculty since 2008.

April Morris

April 2023

Natasha MacDonald is a violinist and educator. She studied under David Thies-Thompson of the NAC Orchestra while completing her Bachelor of Music at the University of Ottawa, before pursuing her Bachelor of Education. She is also a trained Suzuki teacher, who learned violin from the Suzuki method as a child herself. Natasha has always had a passion for group performances, perhaps stemming from her Suzuki background. Before leaving Ottawa, Natasha led the Parkdale Orchestra as concertmaster for 2 years, working closely with their conductor Angus Armstrong. During that time, she had the privilege of working with Jethro Marks and Louis Schryer, who each starred as a soloist in two of their concerts. Natasha also recorded the violin parts for Lora Bidner’s Album “To The North” which was released in 2015. For the past two years, Natasha has been teaching and running a music program at a school in London, England. Now returning to her hometown, Ottawa, she is eager to spend another summer at Deep River Summermusic!

Natasha MacDonald

Laura Vokey holds a Bachelor of Music in Violin and a Bachelor of Music Education from Memorial University. With Orff and Suzuki qualifications, she has taught choirs, strings programs, early childhood and K-12 classroom music. Laura is an executive member of the Pembroke Symphony Orchestra and teacher at Pine Arts Collective in Petawawa. She especially loves working with young children and their families through her creative music and movement programs.

Laura Vokey

Laura photo

Steven Janisse is a musician and scholar based in Windsor, ON. Steven graduated with distinction from the University of Windsor’s B.Mus. program with concentrations in guitar performance and music research. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Music Theory from Western University, where he also holds an M.A. in Music Theory. His dissertation focuses on the intersections between popular music production and film scoring practices in twenty-first-century cinema. For the past fifteen years Steven has developed his passion for music through a variety of experiences as a performer and an educator. He has taught guitar, ukulele, music theory, and musical skills to students of all ages at private studios, community centres, and universities. His performance background as a guitarist and vocalist includes forays into the classical, rock, folk, sacred, blues, and jazz genres. Steven’s goal is for students to enhance their appreciation of music by studying, practicing, and performing while having a lot of fun along the way!

Steven Janisse


Liz Hart received her Bachelor of Music degree from Queen’s University in Kingston, where she studied flute with Donelda Hunter. Since graduating, Liz has continued to teach flute privately and perform in various community events and ensembles.  Currently, Liz a member and President of the Deep River Symphony Orchestra.  She is also very involved in the administrative side of the Arts which began when she completed the Arts Administration course at the Banff Centre, shortly after graduation.  Liz has been the Administrator for Summermusic since 2008. She is thrilled to be part of the wonderful group of teachers and campers that make up Summermusic.

 Liz Hart

Pianist Dian Wilkie was born and raised in Deep River. In her youth, she studied piano with Laurie Jarbo and Mary Greiner, and later went on to attain a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Ottawa as well as a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Toronto (OISE). Before moving to the Ottawa Valley at the end of August of 2022 she lived in Ottawa for several years. There, she established herself as a teacher, accompanist, and performer in the Ottawa and Ottawa Valley. She had a large number of private piano students and accompanied instrumentalists and vocalists for music competitions, examinations, and recitals. She also accompanied 5 choirs a week: Cantiamo Apprentice Choir, Cantiamo Women’s Choir, Tone Cluster, Hypatia’s Voice, and Chorale Entre-Nous. Dian and her husband, Brandon, recently moved back to Deep River along with their two young children. Here, she has a private piano studio, and accompanies the Deep River Choral Group as well as various instrumentalists and vocalists. She also plays the violin in the Deep River Symphony Orchestra for fun. Dian and Brandon also play together as a piano-cello duo, performing for concerts and events in Ottawa and the Ottawa Valley, Prince Edward County, Toronto, Montreal and many other places throughout Ontario. Dian attended the Summermusic program as a child, and looks forward to now returning as a staff member.

Dian Wilkie


Cellist Brandon Wilkie grew up in Pembroke, Ontario where he began playing cello at the age of 13. His first teacher was Peter Morris. After high school, Brandon had the opportunity to study with several renowned teachers including Matt Haimovitz at McGill University and Shauna Rolston at the University of Toronto. For several years, Brandon was based in Toronto where he was a member of the Arkadas String Quartet. As a member of the group, he performed at major music festivals in Banff and San Francisco.

As a recording artist, Brandon has been featured on the debut recording by the Capital Chamber Choir of Ottawa performing Jocelyn Morlock’s “Exaudi”. He also participated in a debut recording of chamber works by composer Joanna Estelle on the Parma Records label and has collaborated on several film scores.

Brandon currently resides in Deep River, Ontario with his wife and two children. He performs regularly with his wife Dian as a piano and cello duo and is also a trained Suzuki instructor.

Brandon Wilkie


Karen Christian is a graduate from the secondary music education program at the University of Alberta with 20 years of music instruction experience both privately and publicly.  She has directed wind ensembles, concert bands, jazz ensembles, and choirs that have travelled across Western Canada performing at festivals and on tour at schools and community events.  She has been awarded the Alberta Band Association 2001 Young Band Director of the Year as well as the 2006 Alberta Excellence in Teaching.  Karen’s enthusiasm for music continued with her move to Deep River in 2007 where she became involved with the Deep River Choral Group and the Deep River Community Band.  Currently Karen is a member of the Ontario Music Educators Association, and teaches music, drama and math at Bishop Smith Catholic High School in Pembroke.

Karen Christian

Karen Christian

Faculty Assistant

Lauryn Conway grew up in Toronto but has spent many of her summers with family in Deep River. She started playing violin at Summermusic ten years ago and has been taking lessons ever since. Lauryn is excited to return to Summermusic to help the staff. She will soon graduate from an arts high school in Toronto where she conducts and plays in student ensembles. Lauryn also coaches competitive and recreational trampoline and enjoys helping children reach their artistic and athletic goals!