Alumni Artists

Rashaan Allwood

Rashaan Allwood

Rashaan Allwood is a keyboard player and performer of great versatility. As a pianist, organist, and harpsichordist, he actively performs in a variety of solo, collaborative, and chamber settings, including performances with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, and the University of Toronto’s Collegium Musicum. Rashaan was the first prize winner for the organ category in the Canadian National OSM Manulife competition in 2016 and second prize winner in the Wadden Sea International Organ Competition and the Lynwood Farnham Organ Competition in 2017.

As a passionate recitalist, Rashaan strives to uses cohesive programming, lecture recitals, and multimedia performances to engage audiences. This has led to performances at venues such the Canadian Opera Company Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, the Montreal Maison Symphonique and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, UK.

Rashaan is a graduate of the University of Toronto where he studied piano performance with Professor James Parker and organ with Professor Kevin Komisaruk. He is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Organ and Church Music at McGill University and studying with Professor Hans-Ola Ericsson.

Trevor Cooper

Trevor Cooper

Trevor Cooper was one of 14 internationally selected guitarists to study in the III Master in Classical Guitar Performance at the University of Alicante, Spain. There he studied with Grammy award-winning artists David Russell, Manuel Barrueco (guitar), Paul O’Dette (lute/early music), Jose de Eusebio (conductor) as well as Paul Galbraith, Pepe Romero, Fabio Zanon and others. He currently is concluding his studies at the Universitaet Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, where he studies with guitarist Eliot Fisk.

When Trevor was 17 he was accepted into the University of Toronto Faculty of Music where he entered the Performance program. There he began studying guitar with Jeffrey McFadden and performance practice with Kevin Komisaruk (organ/keyboard). He won national recognition with the 1st Place in Guitar at the 2013 FCMF National Music Festival in Waterloo, Canada. After receiving his Bachelor of Music in Perfomance he traveled to Seville, Spain, where he studied with Spanish guitarist Francisco Bernier.

Born and raised in Edmonton, Canada, he started playing guitar at a young age, studying locally with Dale Besler and Michel Forestier. Apart from the guitar and music, Trevor enjoys philosophy, cooking, politics, nature, traveling, hockey and ideas. He speaks Spanish and is learning German. He plays an Alector (Greece) guitar.

John Paul Farahat

John Paul Farahat

Organist, accompanist, and conductor John Paul Farahat holds the post of Director of Music and Principal Organist of Saint Basil’s Catholic Parish, the collegiate church of the University of Saint Michael’s College in the University of Toronto.  Recent international engagements include Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, Saint Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey in London, UK, and Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, as well as the ORGANIX festival and the Cathedral Church of Saint James in Toronto, the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin and Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC, and Saint Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Buffalo.  John Paul Farahat completed the Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance degree from the University of Toronto in the organ studio of Kevin Komisaruk, with whom he also studied harpsichord and improvisation. He has received direct masterclass instruction from Peter Williams, Olivier Latry, Thomas Murray, Noam Sivan, and Martin Haselböck. Mr. Farahat is an alumnus of Saint Michael’s Choir School, Toronto, and a former chorister of Saint Michael’s Cathedral.

Zoe Kai Wai Lei

Zoe Kai Wai Lei

Zoe Kai Wai Lei recently completed undergraduate studies in Music Education and organ in the Department of Music of the Hong Kong Baptist University, under the tutelage of Kin Yu Wong, having previously studied organ with Wai Chung Wong and as a participant in numerous masterclasses.  As organist at the Tai Po Baptist Church, she regularly collaborated with the church choir and instrumentalists. In 2017, she performed a recital at the Concert Hall of Hong Kong Cultural Centre and was interviewed by the Radio Television Hong Kong to share her enthusiasm for organ and to promote this instrument.  In June 2019, she completed the Master of Music programme in organ performance, with Professor Kevin Komisaruk at the University of Toronto.

In addition to organ, Lei also found her passion in piano and under the tutelage of Siu Wai Shum. She was awarded the LTCL in piano performance with distinction in 2015.  She first studied the piano with Lai Ping Shek and Wai Chung Wong.  While attending the Pui Ching Middle School, she distinguished herself in numerous piano competitions.  As an active collaborative pianist, she accompanied the school’s house choir and performed in numerous other music competitions and performances there.  More recently, she served the Anglican Little Singers of the Diocese of Eastern Kowloon (Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui) as a part-time piano accompanist during her undergraduate studies at the Baptist University.

David Podgorski

David Podgorski

David Podgorski obtained a Masters degree in harpsichord performance from McGill University, where he studied with Hank Knox, and pursued further studies at the Royal Conservatoire of the Hague with Jacques Ogg. David completed a demo recording in Italy of the solo harpsichord works of d’Anglebert. He continues to perform regularly, and has performed in solo, chamber, and orchestral concerts in Canada, the US, and Europe. He enjoys exploring historical improvisation techniques, performing intimate salon concert recitals, and recording. David is a founding member of Rezonance Baroque Ensemble, and he currently writes Early Music columns and reviews for Musical Toronto.