Youth4Music National Advisory Council.

Who We Are.


The Youth4Music Network represents youth from across the country working together with a common goal of advocating for the importance of music in our schools, communities and lives. These youths want to make a difference for music. Youth4Music is a network of youth leaders on a local, provincial/territorial and national level.

The National Youth4Music Advisory Council includes representatives from regional Youth4Music leadership teams across Canada. Guided by the Youth4Music Manifesto, this council will oversee national issues, events and projects, linking and supporting provincial leadership teams in their own work.

Council Members.

Tom Davis (Vancouver, BC)

Bio coming soon.


Xiaoyu Huang (Vancouver, BC)

Xiaoyu Huang is a pianist, conductor, and choral arranger from Vancouver, British Columbia. A frequent prize winner at the Richmond and Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festivals, he holds the highest score awarded at the former with a 99% adjudicated mark, leading to a Scholarship for Best Beethoven Sonata. A seasoned accompanist, he has appeared at the New Westminster and Abbotsford Symphony Orchestras’ concert series, the Vancouver In-House Festival, and various recitals supporting solo instrumentalists, vocalists, and choirs, while also debuting the works of local composer Spencer Tsai on five occasions. In April 2015 he made his duo recital debut with cellist Tate Zawadiuk (Colburn School of Music) in a charity recital featuring works by Shostakovich, Piazzolla, Beethoven, and Martinu. This June, Huang made his solo recital debut with a program of Chopin, Brahms, and Beethoven, and conducted choral performances of the Sir Winston Churchill Secondary VOX Choir at Queen Elizabeth Theatre. A co-founder of, and outreach coordinator at, Pansophy Education Institute Ltd. (Richmond, BC), he is an active private teacher of theory and keyboard performance at all RCM levels. A former Co-Chair of the Music Council at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School, he has for two years advocated against the continual cuts to elementary band and strings programs in the Vancouver School Board, the work of which has been featured on the CBC’s Early Edition, the Vancouver Co-op Radio, and various printed media in the Lower Mainland area. Huang holds an ARCT in Piano Performance and is a graduate of the International Baccalaureate Bilingual Diploma Programme, and will begin a triple concentration program in Economics, English, and Music at Brown University this fall. He is honoured to join the Coalition for Music Education this June in Toronto and is excited to continue his advocacy from the East Coast.


Kate Stevens (Calgary, AB)

“Calgary based Kate Stevens is a 17-year-old emerging singer-songwriter, set to release her debut EP with a double header performance at Festival Hall in Calgary on June 3rd, 2017. A chance find of an old ukulele at a garage sale when she was 12 started her on her musical journey and five years later, Kate pens sweet, nylon-string songs as a way to express herself and recount her narrative, and the emotional experiences therein. Kate is an engaging and powerful live entertainer that can captivate audiences of all ages and demographics and draw them into her introspective lyrics. Kate’s deep, expressive vocals bring clout to her eclectic mix of emotive folk and soulful pop. Stevens self-describes her music as ‘if Amy Winehouse and Carol King had a love child.’ A charming and exuberant young talent, with an old soul, and a warm heart.”

Kate is a passionate young musician who cares deeply about the possibilities around youth and music. She is the creator and key driver of Youth Musicians of Music Mile Alliance, YoMomma, which focuses on connecting, mentorship and performance opportunities for aspiring young musicians. She has collaborated with the Blues Can to create “Blues’cool”monthly sessions for young musicians and hosts’ youth singer songwriter night at Gravity Cafe. She is striving to ensure that both can have more opportunities within the community.


Mariam Busari (Winnipeg, MB)

Mariam Busari is a freshman at the University of Winnipeg Collegiate. She’s 15 years old and lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She grew up in Nigeria with loving family of six. Mariam grew up in a music oriented family, where music was always a way of life. Growing up in Nigeria allowed Mariam to have an appreciation for the little things in life and allowed her to be exposed to all different genres of music from traditional to classical. Quickly understanding the importance of preparation, hard work, and respect Mariam continues to improve her knowledge and fight for the value of music in all lives. Her upbringing has completely supported her development as an individual and a musician. Mariam has played the clarinet and the bass clarinet for 6 years now. She became a part of Coalition for Music in late 2016, when she attended a Youth4Music leadership symposium in November and was later chosen to be the co-president and a youth leader for the Winnipeg hub. She went on to co-hosting the Winnipeg 2017 Music Monday event which was a complete success. We believe she is an inspiring young person who has a strong voice. She told us music is important to her because it allows her to adapt herself, it helps her to overcome barriers, and it allows her to develop skills by learning from others and makes her a more rounded individual. “For me music is the way that I express myself and it moves me in a way that nothing else does. Music is like my kindred spirit, it can be soothing and relaxing or cheer someone up. Music has the power to do that, music is power! I’m extremely honored and blessed to have such an amazing opportunity to be invited to be on the National Youth4Music Advisory Council and excited for every opportunity it holds!”


Christina Beharry (Toronto, ON)

As a musician, community leader, and budding researcher, Christina has taken an interdisciplinary approach to music. She is particularly interested in the ability of music to strengthen and empower communities, as well as its ability to improve mental health. She graduated with her degree in psychology from the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), and shortly after worked as frontline staff at the East Scarborough Storefront, a community centre in Scarborough. Currently, she is completing a post-graduate certificate in autism and behavioural science at Seneca College, working with Professor Lynn Tucker at UTSC and is the co-chair of the Youth4Music Toronto hub. From these experiences, she has seen the ways in which music intersects with community and mental health, and is interested in researching these connections further.


Cole Forrest (North Bay, ON)

Cole Forrest is an Ojibwe artist and spoken word poet based out of Nipissing First Nation in North Bay, Ontario. He strives to bring his understanding and compassion for arts to a level that is perpetual. By always seeking new horizons and pushing to be the best he can be, Cole is forever learning new techniques to hone his craft. Currently, Cole is enrolled in college for film studies and works in the arts sector. Cole Forrest is regarded as an emerging cultural leader of Northern Ontario. He is proficient in movement, theater, multi media, music, and most notably, writing.


Galen Boulanger (Ottawa, ON)

Pursuing a double degree in classical voice performance and biology, Galen Boulanger is a second year student at the University of Ottawa and 2015 Loran Scholar. Recognized both provincially and nationally for his trumpet and vocals, Galen believes in the capacity that music has to empower youth leadership and bring a community together.

Originally from the rural, musical community of Nelson, British Columbia, Galen has been involved with a number of youth based community initiatives which combine the power of youth leadership and music to promote awareness for humanitarian initiatives including Keep the Beat Music Festival which raised over $40 000 in the last three years for War Child Canada.
Galen’s passion for music continues in Ottawa with involvement in Youth4Music Ottawa executive, and as a student liaison between the University of Ottawa Music School and the National Arts Centre.


Conlin Delbaere-Sawchuck (Ottawa, ON)

Conlin is a dynamic performer, drawing inspiration from his heritage to fuse Métis folk traditions with contemporary musical genres and styles. He completed his Bachelor of Music in 2011 at the University of Ottawa, majoring in classical voice performance. Conlin’s university experience was diverse: In addition to multiple recitals and lead roles in several operas, he explored jazz on electric bass, sound production, and multimedia art projects.

He has toured extensively as a guitarist and singer along with his three siblings in the Métis Fiddler Quartet. Recent performances include: the 2015 Parapan Am games opening ceremony, La Grande Gigue collaboration with the Caprice Baroque Ensemble for the 2016 Montreal Baroque Festival which aired nationally on Radio Canada, and the 2017 Music Monday National Showcase at the National Arts Centre, which was live-streamed to schools across Canada.

In addition to his performance practice, he works extensively as a presenter and workshop facilitator, sharing his passion for Métis history, Canadian music, and creative processes.


Émilie Fortin (Montreal, QC)

Émilie Fortin is based in Val-d’Or, in Abitibi-Témiscamingue. She began learning trumpet with her high school band, then expanded those studies at the Conservatory of Music in Val-d’Or, where she will complete her college studies diploma in the class of Frédéric Demers, in parallel with a degree in social sciences and humanities. Of a curious nature, she then turns to a bachelor degree in musicology at the University of Montreal. However, the desire to perform was stronger than everything else, so she decided to refocus her studies in classical interpretation instead, with Lise Bouchard. In the spring of 2017, she completed her Master’s degree at McGill University, under the tutelage of Russell DeVuyst.

Studying with great maestros such as James Watson, Karen Donnely, Thierry Champs and Paul Merkelo, to name a few, Émilie always strives to surpass herself and find balance in her personal practice. It is with this in mind that she participated, in the summer of 2013 and 2014, to advanced training at Domaine Forget, then to Chosen Vale (Vermont) in 2014. Furthermore, she was selected to be part of the Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy orchestra training in the summer of 2015, and then the Montréal Contemporary Music Lab in the summer of 2016.

In the summer of 2017, she visits the United States and Italy as part of courses by Fresh Inc, SICPP and Soundscape, in order to explore music creation, as well as Orford, in Quebec, to perfect her skills in contemporary improvisation.

She is a freelance musician for several formations and orchestras, and is attached to various groups of the University of Montreal and McGill, such as the CME, the Brass Quintet, the Oum, the Brass Ensemble, l’Atelier de musique contemporaine and l’Atelier de musique baroque.

Versatile trumpeter, she was a member of the Wind Orchestra for film music, of the funk band The Funky Bastards, and currently plays within the Griffon Brass Band.

Additionally, Émilie teaches both privately and in various secondary schools in the region. She also had the opportunity to teach trombone and trumpet in an orphanage in Croix-des-Bouquets (Haiti) for three weeks in the summer of 2016, and will be able to repeat the experience in 2017.


David Peretz-Larochelle, (Montreal, QC)

David Peretz¬‐Larochelle is a 2015 graduate of the Music Education Concurrent Program at McGill University. He was granted the Quebec’s Lieutenant Governor’s Youth Medal for his academic and community involvement.
David is an active music educator in high school and community settings. He is an instrumental music teacher at Collège Jean‐Eudes, a private school in Montreal. He is the Principal conductor of the beginner band at the Montreal New Horizons Band (nhmontreal.ca). The Montreal New Horizons Band is a non‐profit organization that operates in the format of a bilingual and intergenerational community concert band. The organization strives to provide quality musical education to everyone, with a focus on the senior population.

While committing to full‐time teaching and involvement with various organizations, David has remained an active performer. As a classical percussionist, he has performed with various ensembles including Stu&Jess opera productions, symphonic orchestras, the McGill percussion ensemble, the McGill University Chorus, and the McGill Wind Symphony. In addition to being an active music educator, David taught alpine skiing at Mont Orford for eight years.
David Peretz¬‐Larochelle has been an active member of the Youth4Music network since 2014. David’s advocacy work for music education began with the organization and hosting of Montreal’s 2014 Music Monday event. He was thrilled to be hosting the showcase celebrations in Montreal in 2015.


Madison Lockman (Charlottetown, PEI)

Madison Lockman is the definition of the word “Band Geek.” A little late to the game, she began her musical career in the summer of 2012, playing the clarinet at band camp. Since then, she has spent her time making music any chance she can get. Having thrown herself into everything her high school band program can provide, her resumé includes participation in Colonel Gray’s Concert Band, Senior Jazz and Little Big Band as a saxophonist. In addition to instrumental performances, she was a chorus member of the recent musical production “The Little Mermaid,” which was performed at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in May of 2017.

She hails from Prince Edward Island, living in Charlottetown with her parents, two cats and six sisters. Madison attributes P.E.I.’s tight knit and diverse musical community as the source of her progress and opportunity for musical exploration. Now, a Youth Representative for the Coalition for Music Education in Canada, she is enthusiastic to share her love for the craft with youth on a national scale. It is her hope that many other young Canadians can get as much out of our music programs as she did.


Sarah Veber (St John’s, NL)

Currently a Loran scholar at the University of Ottawa, Sarah is pursuing a BMus in Harp performance paired with science studies. She believes in the potential to empower individuals through music and influence youth development. As a harpist, Sarah enjoys collaborating with other musicians and has performed with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra and Memorial University Chamber Orchestra among other groups. She recently completed a piano performance diploma with the royal conservatory of music and has taken her studies internationally with acclaimed artists including Judy Loman.

Sarah’s passion for music extends beyond performance. She has explored an interest in music education as an instructor with the Ottawa Symphony Youth Orchestra and has had a taste of neuroscience research focused on pitch perception. With a range of various experiences, Sarah carries a desire to advocate for the value of music education and the opportunities that music involvement can lead to.

Upcoming Events.


June 16-18: Inaugural Council Meeting in Toronto

Fall 2018: Council National Summit

Stay tuned for more updates!