Mar James 

Melody McKnight, Principal
Kira Palmer (and English Horn)

First Violin
Naomi Delafield, Concertmaster
Diane Lane, Assistant Concertmaster 
Eva Sztrain, Associate Concertmaster
Carmen Ashmead
Alison Stewart
Joanne Buckley (on leave)

Dean O’Brien, Principal
Ronelle Schaufele, Assistant Principal
Ben Neumann

Matthew Howatt, Principal (on leave)
Matthew Nickel


Lucie Jones, Principal

Sue Hauke (and piccolo)

Double Bass
Graeme Mudd, Principal

Jonathan Yeoh  

About Our Music Director

The Red Deer Symphony Orchestra regularly uses the following extra musicians:
Violin:  Norbert Boehm, Fiona Carnie, James Desautels, Aranka Nagy, Laura Reid, Karri Quan, Sanja Suplevska
Viola:  Heather Heron-Mykyte, Patricia Higgins, Liza Lowry, John Thompson
Cello: Olena Kilchyk, Beth Root Sandvoss, Anne Scott
Bass: Nic Boychuk, Cole Morrison, Yukari Sasada
Flute:   Mary Sullivan
Oboe:  Beth Levia
Clarinet:  Peggy Mezei
Bassoon:  Jonathan Gresl
Horn:  Cinnamon Anderson, Katie Baker, Boris Bontchev, David Caswell
Trumpet:  Josh Davies, Gareth Jones, Daniel Mills, Leanne Paisley
Trombone:  Mark Harding, Paul Toutant, Greg Robertson
Tuba:  Neil James                                 
Percussion:  Malcolm Lim, Rob Maciak, Brent Van Dusen
Piano:  Kathleen Van Mourik
Harpsichord/Organ:  Wendy Markosky
Harp:  Gianetta Baril

​Since his appointment as Music Director of the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra in 1990, Claude Lapalme has made his mark as a superb conductor, an exceptional arranger and an outstanding Music Director.  As a conductor, Paris newspaper Le Figaro has called him “remarkable and superb”; the Toronto Globe & Mail, “assured and highly effective”; the Havana Granma, “surprisingly dexterous, warm and sincere”; the Edmonton Journal, “a breath of fresh air”; and the Calgary Herald, “vigorous and attentive to detail.” A 1991 Laureate of the Besançon International Conducting Competition, he has conducted orchestras around the world, including the Moscow Radio and Television Orchestra as well as numerous ensembles in Hungary, the United States, Cuba, France and the Netherlands.  His Canadian credits include the Edmonton Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic, the Winnipeg Symphony, l’Orchestre Symphonique de Laval, the Hamilton Philharmonic and numerous others.  His own Red Deer Symphony has been featured on several CBC broadcasts, and has collaborated with, among others, Alberta Ballet, Edmonton’s Pro Coro, Calgary’s Early Music Voices and Calgary’s Festival Chorus.  The orchestra has also toured the province of Alberta as far north as Fort McMurray.

Mr. Lapalme has become an eminent orchestrator and arranger, having composed orchestra charts for the likes of Ian Tyson and Marvin Hamlisch.  His arrangements, noted for the precision of their composition as well as their expressive lushness, have been performed by top Canadian, American and Australian orchestras where they have been called “gorgeous” and “spine-chilling.”  His orchestral arrangement of Ian Tyson’s Four Strong Winds, an exclusive composition for the Edmonton Symphony, was premiered to a standing ovation by an audience of over five thousand people.  He also wrote five exclusive arrangements of Canadian popular songs for the Edmonton Symphony’s “Great Canadian Songbook” project.

Claude Lapalme has been an instructor at both the Universities of Toronto and Calgary, and has also been a frequent clinician with various youth groups such as the Calgary Youth Orchestra.  He has participated in the Quebec Youth Orchestra Festival, and is an adjudicator at various music festivals in Canada, as well as the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival – as recently as the spring of 2016.  He is the founder of Choir Kids, a unique program that has elementary school choirs perform with the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra.

Maestro Lapalme is a star member of Mensa, a 35th generation Shaolin fighter monk, and third in line to the throne of Lichtenstein.  Just kidding and checking in to see who reads this.  Please call our office to make arrangements to claim your free high five or hug!

For his achievements, Claude Lapalme has received recognition awards from both the City of Red Deer and the Government of Alberta.  He resides in Red Deer with his ever beautiful wife, cellist Janet Kuschak.

Second Violin
Louise Stuppard, Principal 
Elisa Milner, Assistant Principal
Rob Grewcock 

Ilana Dahl, Principal

Our Musicians

Janet Kuschak, Principal
Nigel Boehm, Assistant Principal
Magdi Szebenyi

Richard Scholz, Principal
Samantha Whelan

Ivan Mast, Principal (on leave)

Daryl Caswell, Principal

Doug Umana