Board of Directors

Patricia Frehlich, ARCT, RMT, NCTM (Chair)

Patricia Frehlich teaches a large class of  piano and theory students in her studio in Sherwood Park, Alberta . Many of her students have achieved top honours locally, provincially and nationally, being awarded gold and silver medals for their examination results . She holds a Teachers ARCT from the Royal Conservatory of Music, is a member of the Alberta Registered Music Teachers’ Association (RMT) and the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Associations (CFMTA) and is recognized as a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM) in the USA. 

Ms. Frehlich served on the board of Music Alberta (1998-2002) and became the first president of the Alberta Music Education Foundation during that time. Involved in the Alberta Registered Music Teachers’ Association since1980, serving in numerous roles including Edmonton Branch President, Ms. Frehlich became National President of the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Associations in 2005. She remains involved at the national level as Public Relations and Marketing Chair, as well as Professional Development and Research Chair.  Having sat on the board of Conservatory Canada since 2008, she became Chair in 2012. Ms. Frehlich is currently a practical and theoretical examiner for Conservatory Canada. She supports the Laureate Circle Recitals sponsored by the Honens International Piano Competition as the Edmonton  Chairperson. 

In 1999 she founded  Keyboards for Kids in Edmonton, a music program for at risk children in inner city schools , taught by qualified music teacher volunteers. This program has provided hundreds of children with free music lessons in the past 15 years and has expanded to two others centers in Alberta.

 Ms. Frehlich has received numerous awards for her contributions to music education in the province of Alberta and throughout Canada.

Robert (Bob) Bruer

Toronto-born Robert (Bob) Bruer brings decades of real-world music experience, having worked as a performer, teacher, music director and most recently, an accredited music therapist with the Canadian Association for Music Therapy. Bob holds an Associateship in Piano Teaching from the Royal Conservatory of Music, an honours degree in Music from Wilfrid Laurier University where he majored in both piano and voice, and a graduate degree in research from Washington University in St. Louis Medical School. Bob is proud to note the outstanding musicians he has studied with, including Boyd McDonald (piano), Linda Mieske (voice), and Jan Overduin (organ and improvisation). 

Bob has taught piano, voice, theory, keyboard harmony, improvisation and sight-singing. As a vocal and instrumental accompanist, he has worked with both professionals and students. Bob’s experiences as a music director include choral leadership of award-winning church choirs and musical theatre work with both professional and amateur groups. Shows that Bob has provided musical direction include Chorus Line, Little Shop of Horrors, Nunsense, Dames at Sea, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

A published writer, Bob most recently (2011) completed the first level of an innovative course in Sight Singing. Also in 2011, Bob was one of three judges for Conservatory Canada’s first Creative Composer’s Contest. Bob currently lives in Midland Ontario, where he is a much sought after accompanist, clinician and consultant.

Catherine Gardner 

Catherine Gardner is Senior Director, Corporate Training & Development, Human Resources, CIBC. She is an experienced senior business leader with a progressive 30+ years financial services experience who has specialized in operations management, leadership & strategic planning, marketing communications, training & team development and information technology. Catherine brings strong business change & people leadership, relationship building, project and general management skills coupled with a passion for music and the arts; she is involved with community theatre and has been an avid 'vocal' student for a number of years.

Mark Nelson

Mark Nelson completed a Cross-Discipline BA with a business major at King's College, London, ON. He has completed several Microsoft Certifications. In the summer of 2000 Mark started his own computer consulting and service company called FULL Nelson Computer Services. The company assists organizations with the design and implementation of new policies, investigation and selection of relevant products, and at times informs and educates members of the Boards and Committees. Ongoing he is the liaison with third parties who supply software, hardware, or both, that integrate at a client's site.

Volunteer time has been mixed and quite busy. Primarily, Mark has been a member of the Knight's of Columbus for fourteen years serving on the Executive as Treasurer and President. 

Stephen R. Smith

Stephen Smith is Vice President, Finance, of Ideal Supply Company Limited. He holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the Ivey School of Business, UWO. He is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and holds a Business Administration Diploma from Fanshawe College, London, Ontario.

Mr. Smith is a regular guest lecturer at the Ivey School of Business, speaking to MBA students on analytical business applications for excel. He has served as Treasurer for Open Arms to International Adoptions, a non-profit international adoption agency.

Joan Woodrow

A native of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Joan Woodrow received her early musical training from the Sisters of Mercy. She obtained her Bachelor of Music degree from Mount Allison University and went on to further her studies at Ithaca College, New York, University of Wisconsin, as well as Queen’s University, Kingston. Mrs. Woodrow has won numerous awards and scholarships, and was a frequent winner in both piano and cello at the Kiwanis Music Festivals. She also holds two Music Exhibitioner Awards from Trinity College of Music, London, England for the highest marks in Canada in Pianoforte playing.


Mrs. Woodrow has composed a collection of pedagogical pieces for children entitled “A Stroll Through Old St. John’s”. These compositions are performed frequently at local festivals and have received national coverage on CBC Radio.


An active member of the Newfoundland Registered Music Teacher’s Association, Joan is Provincial Past President and is a delegate to the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers Associations. In 2003 she was a member of the host committee for the CFMTA National Convention. Mrs. Woodrow is also the chairperson of the advisory board for the St. John’s Kiwanis Music Festival, and is the Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Advisor for the National Music Festival. She is an active adjudicator, having adjudicated extensively in Canada from coast to coast. Joan is also an examiner for Conservatory Canada.


Joan should also be recognized for being a member of the founding board of the Suzuki Talent Education Program and as the originator of the Atlantic Canada Suzuki Institute. The Suzuki institute is an international camp for student and teacher training which Ms. Woodrow, not only established in Newfoundland but also directed and organized for 10 successful years.


In 2011, Joan was inducted into the Kiwanis Music Festival Association Hall of Honour for significant contribution to the Kiwanis Music Festival and the music community. In 2012 she was elected to the national executive board of the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals.


Joan Woodrow currently lives in St. John’s where she operates a successful music studio and is a sought after accompanist.

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