The Orchestra

Music Director, Executive Director, Board & Staff

Michael Newnham, Music Director

Michael Newnham is best known for his intense and inspiring conducting style, based on a deep knowledge of the score and informed by a strong interest in languages, cultures and history. A born communicator, his open and direct contact with musicians and audiences creates performances full of expression and energy.

Along with being Music Director of Orchestra Toronto, he is also Music Director of the Peterborough Symphony Orchestra, and also held that title with Symphony New Brunswick, Camerata NB (2009-2018). Newnham has been instrumental in bringing these ensembles to new artistic heights and raising their profile on the provincial and national level.

Orchestra Toronto’s Conductor, Michael Newnham, photo by Amara Photo Studios

Along with his appearances in his native Canada, Newnham has also appeared at the helm of many orchestras and opera companies throughout Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Italy and South Korea.

Endowed with a special passion and gift for working with young musicians, Michael founded the Kawartha Youth Orchestra in 2002, and has been a faculty member as conductor and chamber music coach at Music at Port Milford for several years. His involvement in educating young musicians is not limited to Canada. He spent two years as Guest Professor and Orchestra Conductor at Taegu-Hyosung University in South Korea.

Originally from Hamilton, Newnham is a graduate of the conducting class of prof. Bogusław Madey at the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, Poland. He also studied at the Indiana University of Music and at the University of Toronto. A recipient of several awards, including the “Order of Merit” from the Republic of Poland, the “Best Conductor” Award from the East Slovakian State Opera, Newnham was recently granted the Turzanski Award for his services in promoting Polish music and culture in Canada.

Collaboration with Canadian composers has been central to Newnham’s life in music. In the summer of 2005, he was specially honoured to have been chosen by R. Murray Schafer to be the Music Director of an acclaimed production of Schafer’s “Patria: The Enchanted Forest”.

Before taking up the baton, Newnham began his musical career as a trombonist, playing with the Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphonies, as well as a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.

He currently lives in Peterborough with his wife, cellist Zuzanna, two daughters, and four cats, and is a home barista (not for the cats, though).

Julianna Cole, Executive Director

Julianna Cole is a renowned vocal teacher and theatre professional with over 10 years of international experience. She holds a Diploma in Children Studies, Teaching Skills for Educators and Educational Psychology. She also holds a Certificate of Distinction in Working with Students with Special Educational Needs.

Orchestra Toronto’s Executive Director, Julianna Cole, photo by Robert Deak Photography

Apart from her education, Julianna is an accomplished author and opera singer who studied with The Royal Conservatory of Music and Conservatory Canada for several years before becoming the owner and founder of Julianna’s School of Artistic Expression.

Julianna’s great passion for the arts has lead her to the position of Executive Director for Orchestra Toronto where she will continue to share her love of music with the community.

Executive Committee

Melissa Cavelti, Executive Committee, Vice Chair
Melissa Cavelti, Executive Committee, Chair
Melissa Cavelti, CFA*

Melissa studied music and business at Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois. She then pursued a career in finance at RBC, as well as at BMO Nesbitt Burns as a V.P. & Managing Director of Private Client Investing. Read more…

Trevor Fairlie, Executive Committee, Vice Chair
Trevor Fairlie

Trevor Fairlie is a lawyer called to the Bar of Ontario and an emerging corporate governance expert. A graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School, he currently practices as Legal Counsel in the Office of Mergers & Acquisitions at the Ontario Securities Commission, having previously worked as a securities litigator and a corporate governance consultant. Read more…

Alexis Paradis,
Executive Committee, Treasurer
Alexis Paradis

Alexis (Lexi) is the Tax Manager at an accounting firm in midtown Toronto, providing consulting and tax planning services to professionals, corporations, and high net-worth clients. Read more

Jennifer Lee, Executive Committee, Secretary
Jennifer Lee

Over her 20 years in corporate communications, Jennifer has become an expert strategic communicator, specializing in media relations, investor relations, thought leadership, transactions and issues management. Jennifer works in investor relations and stakeholder communications at a leading professional services firm in Canada. Read more…


Alexis Eun-Young Choi

Alexis Eun-Young Choi is a Legal Counsel at Hydro One Networks Inc., with a broad practice in securities and corporate finance, as well as real estate law. She graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School and obtained her MA and BA from the University of Toronto. Read more…

Alexis Eun-Young Choi, Board Member
Anna Halfpenny

Anna Halfpenny is a brand builder by profession with over 20 years of marketing & brand building experience helping global and national brands achieve their business goals – across every possible sector you can imagine. Some high-profile brands she has worked with include BMW, Canadian Tire, Molson Coors, Boston Pizza, Roar Organic, Ontario Charities Gaming Association, Winners, Havergal College.  Read more…

Anna Halfpenny, Marketing Chair
Annie Hu

Annie is an articling student at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP in Toronto. Annie graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2023 and obtained her Honours Bachelor of Arts in Music and Criminology from the University of Toronto in 2019.Annie’s involvement with music, specifically piano and violin, started at the age of 4 and led to several rewarding years with different orchestras and a lifelong commitment to the arts. Prior to university, Annie taught piano and violin to children. Read more…

Annie Hu, Board Member
Donna Walrond

Donna Walrond is a labour and employment lawyer at a Toronto Labour and Employment firm. Donna holds a Specialized Honours degree in Public Policy and Administration from York University and is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School. Read more…

Donna Walrond, board member of Orchestra Toronto
Donna Walrond, HR and Volunteers Chair

Mykyta Zhukov

Mykyta Zhukov is a legal professional currently studying remotely at Chicago-Kent College of Law. Mykyta has a rich background in government contracts and legal cases in Ukraine. Before moving to Toronto, he ran a law office in Ukraine where he built a strong team and managed the business effectively. Read more…

Mykyta Zhukov, Outreach Chair

* also a musician of Orchestra Toronto


Alysha Addetia, General Manager
Alysha Addetia

Alysha Addetia (she/her) is a renowned Canadian flautist, gaining prominence on the global music stage through her solo and ensemble performances. Most recently, she has recorded on the Toronto Tabla Ensemble’s albums, To Begin With (2023), For the Love of Tabla (2022), and Unexpected Guests (2020) and performs as part of Compañía Maria Serrano Flamenco.  Read more…

John McGregor, Music Librarian & Stage Manager
John McGregor

In 1984 John McGregor took on the position of Principal Trumpet of the East York Symphony Orchestra, now known as Orchestra Toronto.  Shortly afterwards he took on the positions of Stage Manager and Librarian and for ten years was Personnel Manager.  He studied music at the University of Toronto and Education at the University of Western  Read more…

Brittany Stout, Social Media Coordinator
Brittany Stout

Brittany Stout started working with OT in 2021 as a volunteer, helping with social media and on concert day. Over the years, she has enjoyed her time with OT so much that she has become our social media coordinator. Read more…

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