Board Members & Volunteers

John French, Founder and Artistic Director - 705-528-0521

John French Brookside Music AssociationBorn and raised in Midland, John French began his music studies at the age of five with piano lessons.   From these early piano lessons, the love of music lead to a B.Mus. Degree from Wilfrid Laurier University, an ARTC in piano performance and studies in Salzburg, Austria.

John French is on the examining board of Conservatory Canada and is highly involved in other community organizations in Huronia.

Learn more about John French.


Angela Monaghan, Secretary


Angela Monaghan is a teacher at St. Theresa’s Catholic High School and counsellor (OACCPP) with On T.R.A.C. for BULLYING PREVENTION. She studied music, geography, psychology, sociology, and anthropology at Bishop’s University (Quebec) and University of Lethbridge (Alberta) before attending Brock University (Ontario) to earn her B.Ed.  

As a vocalist Angela has done solo and choral work in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, British Columbia, and Utah. She also played trombone with Westwinds and now plays flute with One in the Spirit. Since playing flute is her favourite form of prayer, Angela feels music is essential to a full life. Thus, she is thrilled to support Brookside Music Association. 


Anne Wilkes, Board Member

Anne Wilkes Brookside Music AssociationAnne is a retired elementary school music teacher. She has conducted choirs for many years as well as being part of local choirs herself ( Serenata and Cellar Singers). During her teaching years in Terrace Bay Ontario she was the Northwestern Ontario representative for TVO as well as the chairperson for Northwestern Ontario Overture Concerts Association. She was responsible for choosing programs, organizing and producing the series, fundraising and essentially bringing exceptional musicians and artists to the local communities. She will bring this valuable experience to the organization.

She presently volunteers at several schools with their music programs and has been the Midland Music Festival teacher co-ordinator for several years choosing the music and co-ordinating rehearsals for elementary schools in the Midland area.


Conrad Stenton, Board Member

Conrad Stenton Brookside Music AssociationConrad Stenton, has a masters degree in optical engineering from the University of Rochester. In 1970, he then joined Ernst Leitz Canada in Midland, Ontario as an Optical Engineer where he progressed to the Chief Scientific Officer of Raytheon ELCAN Optical Technologies. During his time at ELCAN Mr. Stenton worked on the development and production of precision optics (Panavision, Leica, Picker x-ray), military optics (mostly classified & rifle sights) and medical optics . Most recently Mr. Stenton has held the roles Chief Scientific Officer with Raytheon ELCAN Optical Technologies in Midland and Leica Camera AG in Wetzlar Germany before retiring after 40 years in the Optics industry. He is currently consulting on various projects, teaching photography, singing in a choir, and helping his wife Patricia teach ballroom dancing.


James G. Young, Board Member

James G. Young - Brookside Music Association

Dr. Young has held prominent positions during numerous national and international disasters and emergencies. He had a long career with the Ontario Government and served as Chief Coroner of Ontario for 15 years, as the first Commissioner of Emergency Management and as the Assistant Deputy Minister of Public Safety for the Solicitor General. In the later role the Centre of Forensic Sciences, Emergency Measures Ontario and the Ontario Fire Marshal reported to him.

As Ontario’s former Commissioner of Emergency Management, Dr. Young provided guidance on a number of unprecedented provincial emergencies. He led the central operation during the 1998 ice storm, which devastated eastern Ontario. He played a pivotal role in the Government of Ontario’s management of SARS and was honoured with the President’s Award from the College of Physicians and Surgeons for effective emergency coordination and public communications during the outbreak. During the August 2003 power blackout, he ensured a coordinated government response and effective communication with the public. In recognition for these efforts and his role as one of Canada’s foremost forensic scientists, Dr. Young was honoured with the Order of Ontario in 2005.


Ken MacDonald, Board Member

Ken MacDonald Photo

Ken MacDonald was introduced to the joys, rewards and terrors of musical and theatrical performance during his formative years in Cambridge Ontario.  After studying at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music and Montreal’s National Theatre School he became a card-carrying member of Actor’s Equity and ACTRA, leading the hand to mouth existence of the working and sometimes not working actor. After about ten years of this he discovered that there are easier ways of making a living. A passion for long distance running led to Ken being the one to feed the addictions of all the other runners in the St. Catharines area, where he had settled for a time, by supplying them with their running shoes. It was a seamless transition from show business to shoe business and it’s over 20 years ago now that Ken opened his own business, Naturestep Shoes, in the Mountainview Mall in Midland. He still loves to perform however, when given the opportunity. He has trod the boards with Huronia Players, sung with Serenata, Chorus Niagara and the Mendelssohn Choir, plays clarinet with the Orillia Wind Ensemble and is the Choirmaster for the Huronia Hash House Harriers Glee Club – perhaps not the area’s most accomplished musical group but certainly one of its most enthusiastic. His second favourite thing next to performing is sitting in the audience enjoying the performances of the first class talent that Brookside Music brings to our area – performances that he hopes to see continue for many years to come. 


Claudia Cochrane, Board Member

Claudia Cochrane has a Master’s degree in Geology, specializing in invertebrate paleontology from Western University in London. Her career was largely spent wandering, physically and mentally, through the outcrops and subsurface rocks of Southern Ontario in search of fossils and petroleum. Currently she oversees production from two oil fields in Lambton county. As an adjunct professor at Western, she has taught petroleum geology to fourth-year students and now mentors and supervises fourth-year theses. She has sat on professional boards, edited field-trip guide books, and led geological field trips for professionals and amateurs.

Her love of music was fostered during her youthful years in Edmonton where she studied piano and theory with Avenir Nizoff. That career path was abandoned with the realization that her personality was not suited to public performance; nonetheless she still enjoys the piano as a private indulgence.

Claudia has recently moved to Penetanguishene where she has family ties. She is pleased to have the opportunity to use her administrative experience in helping to bring music to the Georgian Bay area.