The Beginning

Something Michelle can definitely say about music, is that she has been involved since a very young age indeed!  Her family has a huge love of music in its many different styles and genres - exposing her to virtually every style there is.. from opera, bluegrass and old time country, to classical, funk, latin, fado, celtic and everything in between.  This has influenced Michelle considerably to encourage her students to be very well-rounded.  Michelle began playing piano at the age of 5, and started the flute at 8. When Michelle was 7 years old, she competed in her first music competition in Kipling, Saskatchewan.

Teaching

Michelle teaches a number of students in flute, whistle, piano and theory. As well Michelle has taught masterclasses and group classes, also called "clinics" or "sectionals", at various schools and other venues. Lessons are fun for both teacher and student. Michelle's students are of all ages. When Michelle's son was in Beavers (Scouts), she was a Leader known as "Songbird" and brought the group fun and silly songs that were requested again and again.  See "Lessons" for more information.

Some years ago Michelle created a flute ensemble called Fluterrific, which enables flute players to get together to rehearse and perform a variety of fun musical genres. Playing a variety of music including classical and baroque, Fluterrific also performs a large number of her arrangements of popular, broadway and jazz, latin and celtic music. 

Performing

Besides competing, Michelle has performed with many different groups with a wide variety of genres including classical, baroque, latin, jazz, classic rock and celtic, to name a few.

Michelle has been a member of the Celtic group Blackthorn since 1994. In that time, she has recorded four albums with them which include a number of her own compositions, and feature her playing her many different instruments as well as providing lead and background vocals.  Blackthorn has been performing and touring in venues all around BC as well as Alberta, Washington, Saskatchewan and other parts of the U.S. since 1989.

For the past twenty years, Michelle has also been a member of the local East-Coast/Classic Rock group Halifax Wharf Rats, performing at numerous venues from pubs to parties to weddings.  In this band, Michelle also plays the piano/keyboards.

In addition, Michelle performs with the Flanagans, Triskellion, Caviar & Lace, and Fluterrific.  See "Performance" for information on each group.  Michelle also freelances and performs with other groups and artists around town.

Musical History

  • Michelle performed as a soloist with the Okanagan Symphonia at age 14.
  • For several productions in high school, playing piano and flute for the musicals. Notably, with Bill Clarke on synthesizer.
  • Together with jazz and flamenco guitarist Dan Obradovic, and hand percussionist Trevor Salloum, Michelle played jazz and latin music on the flute, as a trio in Kelowna venues.
  • Michelle accompanied Kelowna choir Allegro Singers in concert.
  • Michelle on flute, Rachel Kwon on piano and Colin de Bourcier on vocals, performed at concerts in Kelowna under the name Summer Solstice.
  • Michelle performed with each of these last three groups at Expo ’86 in Vancouver
  • Along with harpsichordist, cellist, and recorder player, Michelle was a part of a Kelowna baroque group called 'The Baroque Ensemble'
  • Michelle was a member of the pit orchestra for “Pirates of Penzance” in Kelowna and on tour in Kamloops, also “Trial by Jury” in Kitchener, Ontario.
  • Ole!  Michelle performed with Tucan which featured renowed Guatemalan composer and performer Luis Galich, at local restaurants and venues.  Michelle played the flute, tenor sax, and percussion and sang in Spanish.
  • With keyboards, flute and vocals, Michelle was part of Vancouver-based classic rock/cover band This End Up, who performed at local clubs and restaurants.
  • As a duo with Joe Cruz on semi-acoustic guitar, Michelle and Joe performed various events, sometimes sporting specially designed Victorian costumes and played at Dickenzian Christmas concerts.
  • On keyboards, Michelle has performed arrangements with multiple highland bagpipe groups, including the RCMP E-Division Highland Bagpipe band, the Vancouver Police Pipe Band and others