John JowettKey Artistic Director
Over the past seventeen years, John has been responsible for designing, delivering and refining music programs for children and adults with complex disabilities. He collaborated with a core group of over 60 students in one-to-one private sessions, band/ensemble coaching, workshops, audio and video recordings, and live performances. The results were powerful. Beyond the satisfaction, confidence, and increased self-esteem gained by the students themselves, a wider audience found a brand new appreciation for the potential expressiveness of these students and the value of such programs. John’s extensive work in this community, which has given him a deep awareness of the specific needs involved, as well as a vision of innovative possibilities, places him in a unique position to conceive and lead Keys To The Studio.
John brings to the project his extensive musical training and collaborative experience. He is an instrumentalist (trombone, euphonium, piano), conductor, composer, arranger and music teacher. He is classically trained (Master of Music, The Juilliard School) and studied privately with famed conductor Gustav Meier privately. He has acted as Music Director or Co-Artistic Director for Hemispheres Music Projects (a jazz/new music fusion orchestra), Dancemakers, and In Absentia: The Memorial Project. He has conducted a symphony orchestra, improvised and composed for a microtonal music ensemble, recorded tracks and toured with a variety of Toronto bands and he currently plays with Tres Bien Ensemble. This varied career, and his involvement in Toronto’s music community over the past 30 years, has allowed him to gather together a group of professional musicians who provide personal mentoring for the participants in the program.
Salina EldonKey Advisor, Specialized Services
Salina has over 25 years experience working with children, youth and young adults who require specialized support and alternative approaches to learning. With a B.A. in Psychology and Early Childhood Education, and a Graduate Diploma in Counseling and Assessment from the University of Toronto, Salina began her career as an Educator and Psychometrist. In recent years she has gained significant supervisory/management experience in children’s treatment services at a non-profit agency in Toronto. In her most recent role, Salina was responsible for managing day treatment services in two school-based programs, in partnership with the Toronto and York Region District School Boards.
Salina’s work in the field of developmental disabilities has involved ongoing training in new and innovative approaches to working with people who have a variety of learning, communication and social difficulties. She has extensive experience in program development, strategic vision planning, staff training and supervision, and direct working partnerships with school board principals, community agencies and counterparts in the Ministry of Community and Social Services.
Salina has also been involved in the local music scene, primarily as a vocalist, and believes strongly in the benefits of a creative arts based learning environment and the positive impact it can have on an individual’s quality of life. She has worked with John Jowett on music projects in the past, and has actively engaged in collaborations with John’s music students.
Salina has been a longtime advocate for persons with disabilities who require specialized services in order to increase their quality of life. Her continued involvement and interest in the field stems from her strong belief in the importance of providing safe, accepting and creative environments for people who have different abilities, to enable them to build their self-esteem and develop strength in their uniqueness and diversity.