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 Our Teachers 

Magdalena Melax 

Meet Magdalena


Hi!  I'm Magdalena Melax (also known as Maggie or Agnes).  I am proud to be the owner and director of the Leduc School of Music!  My intent is to make quality music instruction available to students of all ages in the Leduc area. I believe that a musical education is crucial in developing a society of whole, well-rounded, and cultured young people. I also believe that learning to play an instrument is about more than just playing notes, rather it is about learning to engage the heart, the mind and the imagination.

I have chosen the teachers who work with me because they agree with this philosophy. A common thread that links all of the teachers at the Leduc School of Music, is that we have each had a solid training in our respective disciplines, and we all love sharing what we have learned with our students!

Owner and Director

Arlyn (Jennifer) Manzo


Arlyn Manzo (also known as Jennifer) holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music and has over a decade of experience teaching piano and voice in private lessons and groups from ages 6 and up. She believes that music is not simply a natural ability or something that you have to be “born” with, rather, she believes it can be learned with the addition of hard work and dedication.

Her process of teaching music involves listening, singing, playing, and improvising, which parallels the development of learning a native language. This helps her students learn piano and voice in an enjoyable way and make progress confidently and gradually.

Arlyn performs for concerts, weddings, and church services as a piano accompanist, often for vocalists, instrumentalists, and choirs as well as duos, trios, and other chamber ensembles. She accompanies musicians in everything from music festivals to private events.

Ben Smith


Ben Smith is very well known to this music school. He himself was a child prodigy, and he studied here at our school with Carla Thompson for many years, and has occasionally with Dr. Michael Massey at the U of A. During his years as a student, he was always making us proud with his achievements at local and provincial levels, as well as achieving first class honors with distinction in his RCM exams, his last being Grade 9.
As a teacher, Ben credits Carla Thompson with his solid foundation in piano technique and classical literature, yet he also has a personal interest in all genres of music, and is able to support a students' interest of non-classical genres. Ben is engaging and likeable, and his youth and great talent inspires his students. Ben also studies Political Science and Economics, with an eye towards studying Law in the future. We recommend Ben as a great overall teacher for an enormous variety of students.

Brett Cole

Banjo, Drums, Guitar, Ukulele

Brett is a multi-instrumentalist, who teaches drums, guitar, banjo and ukulele. He is our one dedicated "online-only" teacher. Originally from Leduc, he has since moved to Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia, which is why he teaches for us online. Despite the distance, he remains dedicated to his studio of virtual students. We have a number of families who are very happy with their weekly online lessons, and who have chosen to continue with their lessons in this way.

Brett enjoys the music scene in his adopted Nova Scotia community. He has a non-music day job, but also hosts karaoke in his town, and is actively involved in writing and recording music, Brett’s main music genre is rock and metal, but can adapt and teach any music genre including country, R&B, jazz, folk and more.

Carmen Lucia Vachon

Voice, Piano, Songwriting

Carmen Lucia has a Music Performance Diploma from Grant MacEwan University, and is developing her career as a singer and songwriter. She has written, recorded and released two albums to date, and has often sung on other albums as a session vocalist. Carmen performs at a variety of venues, festivals and private functions. She maintains a teaching studio and teaches voice, songwriting and piano.

Charlene Dubrule

Piano, Music for Young Children, Music Therapy

In her teens, Charlene completed her Royal Conservatory of Music voice (Grade 10, 1977) and piano (Grade 9, 1987) and, during the past 30 years, she has enhanced her music education with various specialty courses and studies at several colleges and universities.
● Rural Small Business Management (Olds College, 1992)
● Early Childhood Development Certificate (Keyano College, 1995)
● Music Certificate (Keyano College, 1997)
● Music for Young Children Certification (MYCC, 1999)
● Bachelor of Music Therapy (Capilano College, 2004)
● Music Certificate in Conducting (Capilano University, 2015)

Clarence Samuelson

Brass, Woodwind, Band Instruments

Clarence Samuelson, nicknamed "Sammy" by his students, is a much loved retired band teacher from Devon, where he taught at Riverview Middle School and John Maland Highschool, and where he was credited with creating a large and vibrant band program in the town of Devon. In 2022, Clarence was honored for his 35 year legacy when current and alumni students gathered to create a big band at his farewell retirement party. Clarence is respected by his musical colleagues, and was able to engage music and jazz icons like Senator Tommy Banks and Dominik Sperra, and Tom Dust to come to Devon and play with the high school band for dinner jazz concerts. Clarence's students appreciate him for being a mentor and instilling confidence and sense of accomplishment.

Clarence's main instrument is the trumpet, but he is an able teacher of all the typical brass and woodwind instruments. He does defer to his wife Melanie, when it comes to teaching the flute, as she is also a staff member of the Leduc School of Music.

Cormac Burke

Guitar, Sound Engineering, Rock Band

Cormac is one of our store clerks at Leduc’s Own Music Shop, and he is expanding his involvement with the Leduc School of Music by teaching private guitar lessons, Rock Band classes, and Sound Engineering and Recording. Cormac is the lead guitarist for the heavy metal band Hollow Point, and he is eager to share his practical skills with students. Cormac studied Digital Audio Production at Pixel Blue College, and he interned at Two Bodies of Water. He has recorded local bands Lacerator, The Provocateurs, Mad John and Co, as well as his own band Hollow Point.

Darrell Soetaert

Violin, Viola, Fiddle

Darrel has a Bachelor of Music degree from the U of A, where he first majored in the violin and later moved to the viola. Darrell is currently the principal violist for the Concordia Symphony. Darrell founded the Wildrose String Quartet in 2008, and he continues to be the manager, violist and arranger for this group. The success of the Wildrose Quartet as a steadily booked ensemble, is largely due to its repertoire, which Darrell arranges for the group. He takes popular music (Coldplay, Bruno Mars, Beatles, etc.) and arranges it for string quartet.

In addition Darrell teaches violin, viola and fiddle in Edmonton and at the Leduc School of Music, where he has been teaching since 2007. As a long time valued teacher, Darrell was made Assistant Store Manager at Leduc's Own Music Shop in 2022. He is the store's knowledgeable staff member when it comes to violin repairs and sales.

Debbie Regehr


Debbie is a well-loved and respected teacher who has been teaching in the Leduc area for many years. Debbie most often teaches intermediate and senior students, and her students all seem to absorb Debbie's own artistry and beauty in playing. Debbie is the accompanist for Leduc's Piatta Forma Community Choir, and the accompanist for the Leduc High School choir. Debbie is the very capable president of the Leduc Music Festival Association. Besides working at the Leduc School of Music, Debbie maintains a home piano studio at her rural Leduc sheep farm. She also very much enjoys spending with her very young grandchildren.

Emily Slade

Musical Theatre

Emily Slade began her studies at the Leduc School of Music when she was just 4 years old in the Music for Young Children Program, first studying with Magdalena Melax and later with Carla Thompson. She grew up performing in theatre productions, piano recitals and dance showcases. She studied voice and piano, but it has always been clear to Miss Emily that musical theatre is her passion. Emily began volunteering as assistant teacher with our Musical Theatre class in the fall of 2018, and has moved on to becoming the director of her own productions since 2022, and is now the lead teacher for our entire Musical Theatre program. She has tremendous passion for teaching theatre and connecting with students. This passion shows, as her students clearly love her right back.

Striving to create a cooperative, driven environment, her students have fun expressing and exploring themselves through characters. You know her class is taking place when you hear the exuberant noise of rehearsal in Room 1! Outside of the studio, Emily is an assistant coach of the Leduc Composite High girls' soccer team. Emily is completing her Bilingual Bachelor of Education degree with a minor in Fine Arts and Artistic Expression at Campus Saint-Jean, University of Alberta.

Eugene Poholka

Violin, Fiddle

Eugene has been playing and teaching fiddle, violin and general music for over 50 years. He received his Bachelor of Education from the U of A 1968, and spent 29 of those years as an elementary music teacher, and was also for some time, the principal of Bretton Elementary School.

Eugene is primarily known as a fiddler, and has decades of experience playing at weddings, dances and other events. Eugene has a true passion for passing on his knowledge of fiddle music to future generations. He likes to involve his students in the Leduc West Antique Society Fiddle Championship. He regularly goes well out of his way to accommodate his students, helps out with instrument set-ups and repairs out of his own time, and genuinely loves what he does.

Eugene works well with students of all ages, but is especially good at working with young kids due to his experience as a school teacher. He can easily simplify concepts to explain them easily and has a great approach to his lesson plans and structures. Eugene is an amazing energetic player, teacher and person and a delight to have at the music school.

Eva Francis


Eva was a long-time violin student at Leduc School of Music herself, where she studied with Darrell Soeataert. She currently studies with Vladimir Rufino at Alberta College, with whom she studies all the great classical repertoire for violin, as well as working on obtaining admission to the U of A music program. Eva plays in the Edmonton Youth Orchestra, senior division. She is often heard practicing at the music school, and she is a beautiful, artistic, and expressive player. Besides classical repertoire, Eva loves fiddle music, and can often be seen busking at local events. Eva has a great love of music, and loves to share that with her young students.

Jason McCoombs


Originally from Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Jason McCoombs came to Leduc in 2002. His musical start was as a trumpet player first, but then switched to the drums. Jason is a worship band drummer at Leduc Community Baptist where he is also a youth leader. Jason is the drummer playing in the pit for Leduc Drama Society productions. He teaches drums for the Boys and Girls Club of Leduc, as well as at the Leduc School of Music and Art. Jason's favorite music genres are rock and funk, however he works with all kinds of repertoire in lessons and connects well to students of all ages.

Jordyn Whitehouse


Jordyn studied violin and fiddle with Eugene Poholka at the former Turner Guitar Studio, and she grew from being a student to becoming a teacher herself. She is a patient and encouraging teacher, and we find she is a good fit for young students.

Jordyn enjoys creative, artistic pursuits. She has a 2 -year diploma in photography from NAIT, she works in the Leduc Flower Shop, and she teaches violin at the Leduc School of Music and Art.

Kathy Reimchen


Kathy is delighted to join the teaching team at Leduc School of Music and Art. She has been providing piano accompaniment to voice students here and in the communities of Leduc and Beaumont since 2006. She has two A.R.C.T. diplomas as Piano Performer and Piano Teacher, and taught private piano students for seven years. Later on, she took further educational opportunities in Kodaly instruction (University of Calgary), a Seminar in Elementary Music Education with Dr. Amanda Montgomery (University of Alberta) and the two-year Early Childhood Development Diploma from Grant MacEwan College. This provided a good background for her twelve years of working in preschools as a teacher assistant and specialized music teacher. She once again looks forward to fostering full, well-rounded musical development of individual piano students.

Leanne Snellen


Leanne Snellen is an artist from Leduc County. She graduated from MacEwan University with a Fine Art Diploma in 2011 and then received a Bachelor of Fine Art with distinction in 2015. Keenly interested in art education, Leanne is excited about helping others to learn the classical steps of drawing and painting in a new Beginner Art Series developed for the Leduc School of Music, called "Look, then See". As well as being an artist and art teacher, Leanne works as a registered nurse, is a nursing instructor at Grant MacEwan College, and is a dairy farm wife, mother, and grandmother.

Lisa Jesperson

Piano, Music Therapy

Lisa comes to us from Spruce Grove. She is a piano teacher whos specializes in teaching all of the grade levels of the Royal Conservatory exams. Lisa is also a registered music therapist.

Magdalena Melax

Music for Young Children

Magdalena "Miss Maggie" has been a Music for Young Children teacher since 2002, and has a designation of MYCCT (MYC Certified Teacher), which is a designation given to MYC's most experienced teachers. She thoroughly enjoys helping her students progress the way they do in this fun and engaging method of learning! Magdalena loves the deep foundation in musical literacy, composition, chording and listening skills that Music for Young Children provides for its students. Magdalena can barely believe that she has taught MYC for over 20 years! Time flies when you are having that much fun with students! Magdalena is the owner of the Leduc School of Music and Art Inc, and of Leduc's Own Music Shop.

Magdalena Melax

Voice, Musical Theatre

Magdalena has been teaching voice for over 20 years, preparing her many students for local and provincial Festivals, Exams and College-entry Auditions. She has an Associate Teaching Diploma in Vocal Performance with the Royal Conservatory of Music, a Vocal Pedagogy Certificate with Conservatory Canada, and a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Music. Throughout her career, she has invested highly in her own continuing professional development. This has brought her to studies in Vancouver (Early Music Festival), Boston (Crittendon Opera Workshop), Germany and Austria (University research studies), and more locally, participation in the Vocal Arts Institute of Alberta under the direction of Heather Meyers from 2005 to 2015.

Magdalena has taught an enormous number of students over the years, and is able to assess which elements of technique each singer needs to be able to sing beautifully and expressively. Magdalena uses vocal music that spans all genres, however, she most enjoys passing on a love for classical and art song repertoire to new generations. Magdalena and her vocal students enjoy coming together for group Masterclasses that have students practicing their performance skills under her guidance, and in doing so, Magdalena actively creates a community of friendship among the singers in her studio.

Magdalena Melax

Preschool Music, Sunrise

Magdalena "Miss Maggie" loves to play games of imagination with her preschoolers - from visits with the Maiden in the Tower, the Dragon, the Knight and the Frog; to splashing in the rain with a Teddy Bear Band! She also thinks it's fun to develop personas for Buzz the Fly and Mellow the Dog and many other silly characters. All of these are from Music for Young Children's class for preschoolers called "Sunrise".

Besides teaching Sunrise, Magdalena is also a very experienced teacher of the Music for Young Children program, as well as a teacher of private voice and piano students. As if that wasn't enough, Magdalena is also the owner of the Leduc School of Music and Art Inc. and of Leduc's Own Music Shop.

Melanie Samuelson

Piano, Flute, Recorder, Woodwind

Melanie Samuelson is well known and loved in the community of Devon, and in particular the band program at John Maland Highschool. This is where she helped out for many years as a flute specialist while her husband Clarence was the band teacher there. Melanie has a Bachelor of Music degree with a major in flute and a minor in piano. As a piano teacher, Melanie is gentle and patient. She enjoys teaching traditional piano lessons, as well as preparing students for graded exams up to grade 4.

Neal Smedegaard

Guitar, Bass Guitar, Songwriting, Rock Band

Neal has been playing guitar and bass since he was ten, and later learned to play piano and drums as well. Neal has a Bachelors of Contemporary Music from Grant MacEwan University. Neal also plays bass guitar for Edmonton Alternative band 'Darryl Saves Lives' as well as freelancing as a sessional guitarist.

Neal teaches beginner to advanced bass and guitar lessons. He likes to include music theory into his lessons, to lay a solid foundation for technical skills. Neal also enjoys teaching composing, song writing, and Rock Band. Besides teaching, Neal is on staff at Leduc's Own Music Shop, where he is gaining acclaim in the community as the lead guitar repair technician.

Randy Rink

Guitar, Bass Guitar, Ukulele, Mandolin, Banjo

As a young man, Randy was a touring professional guitarist for countless rock, country and blues bands all throughout the 1980's and 1990's. As such, he likes to say that he survived the 80's Rock & Roll scene. To date, he has played every major rock and country festival throughout Canada. As a lead guitarist hired by numerous bands and solo artists, he has appeared in CMT videos, has played in Las Vegas, and has played on television live from Parliament Hill on Canada Day in 2011. He is an integral member of the Big Stein Band, playing alongside his long-time friend, Gord Steinke. Randy maintains a busy performing schedule, appearing locally at the Beaumont Blues Festival and numerous other shows around Edmonton and Alberta in general. Randy teaches guitar, bass, mandolin and ukulele at the Leduc School of Music and at Innovations Music in St. Albert.

Richard Van Oosterom

Piano, Songwriting, Composing

Richard Van Oosterom teaches piano, songwriting and composing. Richard is Dutch, but spent his teenage and University years in New Zealand, with a brief stint playing in small rock and roll bands in England. As well, Richard worked for Zomba Music writing in-house lead sheets and arrangements for artists such as Iron Maiden, Twisted Sister, Thomas Dolby and Billy Ocean. Mostly though, Richard studied piano and received a music degree from the University of Aukland. He then worked on his Masters Degree in composing from the University of Chichester, England.

Richard enjoys composing music for students, and has written his own program to use with young beginning piano students. Richard is always intrigued and interested in meeting students where they are at, and helping them to achieve what they want to achieve musically. He is currently doing online Masters’ level study with a mentor in Seattle focusing on teaching neurodiverse students.
Richard has his own website and Facebook page

Ryan Hoffman


Cellist Ryan Hoffman has a Doctor of Musical Arts from James Madison University, a Master of Music from Penn State University, and a BA in Music from Susquehanna University. Ryan is originally from Virginia, where he taught in several schools, including Eastern Mennonite University and Bridgewater College. He performed in several orchestras, including Altoona Symphony, Fairfax Symphony, Huntington Symphony, and Waynesboro Symphony, and as a chamber musician with Two Rivers Chamber Music and Melodious Strings. Now residing in Edmonton, Ryan is active with Alberta String Association, Opus@12 Chamber Music Society, and Concordia Symphony. As a cello teacher, Ryan enjoys getting to know his students and loves introducing them to new skills, awareness, and knowledge through music.

Scott Bergevin

Guitar, Bass Guitar, Drums, Sound Engineering

Scott grew up in Leduc, where he studied piano, guitar and drums locally. He completed a Music Diploma from Grant MacEwan, majoring in recording. Scott maintains a home recording studio, and has recorded a number of local bands and musicians. Scott regularly jams and creates music with friends. Scott has been teaching guitar and drums at the Leduc School of Music since 2010.

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