The Musicanto team
The Musicanto team is lead by Founder and General Director, Mrs. Johanne Poirier-Ledoux, assisted by Mrs. Heather Miller, Administrative Assistant, by Mr Jon Wiersma, Event Coordinator, by Mr Étienne Chagnon, Pianist, by Mrs. Cathy Doyle, music coordonator, and by Mr Stéphane Jacques, Multimedia Specialist.
Mrs. Johanne Poirier-Ledoux
With a Bachelor of Education in hand, Johanne (Mme Jojo) started teaching French Immersion in 1977 at Edinburgh Elementary School where she remained until her retirement in 2011. Her eight years of piano, her own background as a chorister, and her love of music lead her to conduct her first choir in 1981. She has since directed various choir groups with members ranging in age from 8 to 22.
Along the way, Mme Jojo developed a repertoire of popular songs in various languages to which were added choreographic pieces under the guidance of a close collaborator. Her musical passion and great sensitivity inspire her to often choose songs with a social message which her choir singers deliver in a most original and entertaining fashion, to the great pleasure of their audiences. It is with the clear intent of pursuing in this tradition that she founded Musicanto in 2012.
Mrs. Heather Miller
Heather has known Mme Jojo since 2006 when her daughter had her as a teacher at Edinburgh Elementary School. Heather volunteered extensively at that institution while her children were attending, notably for four years as Co-Chair of the Edinburgh Home & School Association. During her time as an Edinburgh parent, she occasionally worked in the After School and Lunchtime Programs. And while her children have since moved on to high school, she remains involved at Edinburgh Elementary as the second Community Representative on its Governing Board.
Her other volunteer activities include weekly work at the Royal West Academy library as well as a membership on the board of the Grant Vallinis Volleyball Club. She is also employed part time as an administrative assistant at Assante Capital Management.
When Mme Jojo restarted the Edinburgh Choir in 2009, Heather’s son, also one of Johanne’s students, joined the group. Heather helped Mme Jojo with the administration part of it. Years later, she is happy to be continuing in this role with Musicanto.
Mr. Jon Wiersma
Jon (also known as Rusty), has known Mme Jojo since the late 80s. Over the years, he has often chaperoned her school trips and past choir tours as well as other Edinburgh Elementary School class outings. Rusty was also employed by the Edinburgh After School Program and was one of the Community Representatives on the Governing Board at the school. Jon Wiersma actively volunteers for both the Town of Montreal West and the Montreal West Scout Group. Since 1990, Rusty holds the position of Executive Director of Scouts Canada, Québec Council.
As Event Coordinator for Musicanto, Rusty arranges all transportation and accommodation as well as schedules all the group’s performances around Montreal and out of town.
Mr. Étienne Chagnon
At the age of 35, Étienne has already left his mark on the Québec musical scene. After earning his Bachelor’s degree in piano from the Université de Montréal, with a major in jazz interpretation, he has become a passionate multi-instrumentalist specializing in large-scale productions. He has played with several well-known Québec artists such as Annie Villeneuve, Marie-Chantal Toupin and Marie-Denise Pelletier, to name but a few. Étienne also serves as pianist at the Gala Les Olivier. For the last three years at numerous events, he has accompanied four emerging artists from the French, Swiss and Belgian musical scenes.
In Sherbrooke, he founded Les Productions Oblik whose purpose is to produce albums for young up-and-coming lyricists, composers and singers. For several years, he has mentored CÉGEP house bands throughout the Eastern Townships as they prepare for their performances. Since 1999, he has worked closely with Mme Jojo in coordinating the musical arrangements for the accompanying musicians.
Mrs. Cathy Doyle
Cathy was introduced to music at a very early age. She began playing the organ at 11, at Sainte-Dorothée Parish, for Sunday celebrations, baptisms, weddings and funerals, where she continues to be the principal organist while regularly substituting in other churches. She first met Mme Jojo in 1988 when she joined the choir Les enfants de la chanson as keyboardist. For several years she was Mme Jojo's right hand as assistant director and the person in charge of a group of ten musicians. She has also given music lessons for beginners and participated in the musical entertainment of several neighbourhood events.
A legal secretary with over 25 years of experience in various areas of law, she is now a paralegal for Air Canada's litigation group and is working on the implementation of the company’s electronic legal matter management system.
Cathy is the mother of two daughters, whose youngest joined Musicanto in January 2014. It was only natural therefore for her to lend a helping hand when needed. Cathy collaborates with Mme Jojo in the development of musical arrangements while ensuring a link with Étienne in the preparation of practice CDs and scores for the choristers. She reviews as well all documents of a legal nature.