Mr. Heffernan earned bachelor degrees in Music and Education at the University of Calgary. Upon completing his music history, theory, musicianship, private lesson, and ensemble courses, he chose to specialize in Secondary School Music. He studied woodwind, brass and percussion techniques as well as conducting. Mr. Heffernan completed practicums in choral and instrumental music before graduating to the Master of Teaching Program. In the MT program Jesse student-taught the flagship music program at William Aberhart HS. He played trumpet in the ska band, Five Star Affair, which was featured on the 2004 Vans Warped Tour, won second place in the Vibe 98.5 Star Search, and was chosen to be showcased in the 2008 JunoFest “Calgary: Music Lives Here.” In 2009, Mr. Heffernan recorded on the album Better Than What You Get At Home that won “Outstanding Urban Recording” at the Western Canadian Music Awards and “Reggae Album of the Year” at the Reggae Music Achievement Awards, which was also nominated for Juno Awards. He taught in the United Kingdom before joining the Calgary Catholic School District as a K – 9 Music Teacher. Mr. Heffernan joined the Notre Dame team in 2010. Whether at a rehearsal, meeting, or conference, Mr. Heffernan is constantly seeking new ways to enhance the Music program at Notre Dame. In everything he does, his objective is to offer a program of excellence and outstanding experience for his students.
Ms. O’Connell joined the Notre Dame High School music program in 2011 as a music parent as well as a Special Needs teacher at NDHS. As the Operations Director of the Music Department and an ex-officio member of the board of the Notre Dame Music Foundation, she contributes numerous hours of her time each week. Ms. O’Connell continues to enhance portions of her special needs curriculum by involving her students in a variety of ways with general music operations. Ms. O’Connell has a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, and is passionate about her three children, fitness, her students and, (fortunately for NDHS,) music and the arts. She is very proud to be a part of the music program at Notre Dame High School and is looking forward to continuing to support students through their successes in the years to come.
Mr. Santos, percussion clinician, received his Bachelor of Music in percussion performance in 2018 under the guidance of Dr. Rod Squance at the University of Calgary, where he held principal positions with their symphonic band, wind ensemble, and orchestra. Alongside the Rocky Mountain Symphony Orchestra, Chris is a percussion extra with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and Red Deer Symphony and a percussionist with the Alberta Winds. He has performed with other professional groups in Calgary and the surrounding area including the Symphony of the Kootenays, Cowtown Opera, Bow Valley Chorus, Festival Chorus, Bergmann Piano Duo, University of Calgary String Quartet, and Timepoint Music Ensemble.
He is also a very active and devoted music educator. He is currently in his third year as director and coach for the Notre Dame High School percussion ensemble and can also be found as a clinician at the Mount Royal Conservatory, University of Calgary, and local junior and senior high schools in the Calgary area. He is also a private percussion instructor and has helped prepare students for university entrance auditions. He is a firm believer in the transformative power of music and follows his mantra, “to inspire,” in every class and lesson he teaches.
When he is not playing or teaching music, Chris enjoys road cycling, hiking, video games and is a very avid player of Dungeons and Dragons.
Dr. Schneider returned to his hometown of Calgary in the Fall of 2013 after thirteen years studying, teaching and conducting at the post-secondary level in the United States, including seven years as Director of Bands and Orchestra and Coordinator of Music Education at the University of Jamestown. He joined the staff of Notre Dame High School in 2018 as part of “The Pride” to support the growing music program, continuing over twenty-three years with Calgary Catholic Schools as a clinician, guest teacher or music specialist.
Dr. Schneider has conducted youth performances at festivals in Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand and across Canada and the United States. He completed a doctoral residency at the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University as assistant conductor of the Peabody Wind Ensemble and a student of Dr. Harlan Parker and Mo. Gustav Meier. His dissertation focused on the revisions of the works of French-American composer Edgard Varèse, (1883 – 1965.) While in residence, he was also an adjunct faculty member in conducting at Morgan State University. Dr. Schneider previously served for two years on the State University of New York at Fredonia music faculty teaching theory, conducting, saxophone and both undergraduate and graduate courses in music education. As an ensemble conductor he directed the All College Band, the musical Damn Yankees, and guest conducted both student and faculty ensembles.
Dr. Schneider pursued graduate school following six years of part-time and three years of full-time teaching music in the Calgary schools in Alberta, Canada. During his master’s degree at the State University of New York Fredonia with Dr. Paula Holcomb, he was Assistant Conductor for a Hillman Opera production of Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, and a Fredonia Symphony Orchestra performance and recording of Corigliano’s Clarinet Concerto. He also conducted scenes from Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Rossini’s La Cenerentola, premiered student compositions, and regularly guest conducted large ensembles.
Dr. Schneider has worked with many prominent figures in festivals, workshops and symposia, including composers Samuel Adler, Leslie Bassett, Allan Bell, Warren Benson, Timothy Broege, Michael Daugherty, Johann de Meij, Lukas Foss, Libby Larsen, Timothy Mahr, David Maslanka, Bernard Rands, Alfred Reed, Gunther Schuller, Joseph Schwantner, Frank Ticheli, and Dana Wilson. He enthusiastically supports the commissioning of new works from composers worldwide, including the WASBE-sponsored Dance Sequence (2002) by composer Marco Pütz of Luxembourg, and as you were (2013) for the Jamestown Wind Ensemble by American composer and Guggenheim Fellow, Amy Kirsten.
Dr. Schneider is the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships, including an Alberta Arts Foundation Study Grant, the Peabody Conservatory Carol Jean and John R. Young Conducting Scholarship, and the Medal of the Governor General of Canada. He has served as a guest conductor or adjudicator to numerous regional festivals, and as a content specialist to assess other post-secondary music programs for the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board. Dr. Schneider currently serves as an Associate Conductor of the Calgary Wind Symphony. He continues to hold membership in both professional and honorary organizations promoting music and music education internationally.
Bruce Petherick, piano accompanist, is a neurodiverse (ASD) musician, and a creator of Acoustic Spaces living in Calgary, Canada. He has performed music around the world playing various styles from Classical, Jazz, to Musical Theatre. Having always distrusted the idea of the technical virtuoso, his own music has matured into a more subtle yet still complex style. His music is based on slower pulses but not restricted to simple harmonic or textual gestures.
In 2016 he attended the Banff Centre for the Arts for a workshop entitled “The Art of Stillness”. During this workshop he made connections with multi-disciplinary artists from around the world and has recently started collaborations with some of these artists exploring stillness, and the Japanese concept of Ma. The first recordings of his Acoustic Spaces were released in 2015, first with “5 Words of Love” and with his extremely successful recording “Raindrops”. His latest recording Winter Stillness was released in early 2018.