Director & Faculty

Artistic Director

Amici String ProgramFIONA CARNIE    violin, Artistic Director

Fiona Carnie is the co-founder of the Amici String Program and currently maintains a large teaching studio and performs often locally while organizing and providing vision for the Amici String Program. Ms. Carnie has guided generations of string players to the fulfillment of their individual goals. Her students perform with major orchestras and teach at major institutions across the country.

In 1989 Fiona Carnie was invited to follow her mentor and much-loved teacher Dr LIse Elson as senior violin instructor in the Academy Program at Mount Royal College. In accepting this position, she interrupted a successful freelance career in Toronto where she played professionally in the National Ballet Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and many other groups.

Her academic credentials include a Bachelor of Music with Distinction from the University of Calgary and a Master of Music from Yale University, where she studied under New York Philharmonic concertmaster, Sidney Harth, and Syoko Aki. In 1996, Ms. Carnie was invited to join the College of Examiners of the Royal Conservatory of Music and she regularly tours Canada as an examiner and festival adjudicator. She recently completed the Rosza Arts Management Program.

Faculty & Staff

“Great teachers and coaches make it possible for students to stretch beyond the ordinary.”

RACHEL BALJEU    collaborative artist

Since arriving in Calgary in 2014, Rachel Baljeu has become active as an accompanist and has started a private teaching studio.  She keeps bus with a variety of jobs including playing piano for the Ambrose University vocal program, the choirs One Accord and Arietta, as well as other vocalists and instrumentalists.
Ms. Baljeu graduated from Michigan State University with Master of Music degrees in both Piano Pedagogy and Collaborative Piano.  Her teachers included opera conductor and pianist Alan Nathan for collaborative piano, and Deborah Moriarty and Derek Polischuk for solo piano.  She received her Bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University, where she had the invaluable opportunity to study piano pedagogy with Helen Marlais and piano with the esteemed collaborative pianist and Mark Markham.


Cellist Andrea Case has a Master’s Degree in cello performance from McGill University where she studied on scholarship with Antonio Lysy. Andrea is co-founder and cellist of the Lily String Quartet, a group that has completed multiple tours across Canada, has performed for CBC Radio and released a jazz CD with HAT Trio. She co-directs The Kensington Sinfonia, performs on baroque cello with String Theory Music Collective, was recently principal cellist of the Cambridge Philharmonic (UK) and enjoys performing at folk festivals across Western Canada with folk duo 100 Mile House. At home in a recording studio, Andrea has credits in the classical, pop, folk, jazz and film score genres. Andrea adjudicates regularly at festivals throughout Alberta and British Columbia and teaches at the Amici String Program and Mount Royal University.

EMILY FULKERSON    collaborative artist

Emily Fulkerson completed her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Appalachian State University in 2011, studying with Dr. Rodney Reynerson. She went on to study with renowned pedagogue Barbara Lister-Sink, completing her program in Injury-Preventive Keyboard Technique in 2013. In addition, Emily has her A.R.C.T. in Piano Performance, studying with Allen Reiser. Returning to Calgary in the summer of 2013, Emily has been ac companying both instrumentalists and vocalists in the area, as well as teaching piano.

EVA HORDOS    collaborative artist

Eva Hordos was born in Budapest, Hungary and began her piano studies at the age of seven.

Eva completed her degree in Music Theory, Choir Conducting and Kodaly Method at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest in 1983, studying with Erzsebet Szonyi. In the following years Eva studied with Edit Hambalko and received her degree in Piano and Piano Education in 1985. During her years of study at the university, Eva recorded as a piano soloist for the Hungarian National Radio children’s program.

In 1987/88 Eva taught piano master classes throughout Spain on a contract with Real Musical, Madrid.

Since immigrating to Canada in 1992, Eva has continued to teach piano and accompany singers and other musicians, including students of the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University. Eva actively participates as an accompanist at the Calgary Performing Arts Festival, for Royal Conservatory of Music exams, at the Canadian Music Competition, as well as in recitals and auditions.

Eva lives in Calgary with her family and golden retriever Molly, and in her free time she loves baking and listening to jazz.


Olena Kilchyk, native of Odessa, Ukraine, graduated from the Odessa State Music College and the Odessa State Conservatory. Since the age 14 Olena was the winner of numerous concerto competitions. While in Ukraine, she was a principal cellist and soloist of the Acedemia Odessa Chamber Orchestra and Virtuosi of Odessa Chamber Orchestra. She also worked for the Odessa State Philharmonic and Odessa Opera.

After immigrating to Canada, Olena received Master of Music Degree in Cello Performance from the University of Calgary. In 2000 she was the winner of the Department of Music Concerto Competition and performed with the U of C String Quartet. She had the opportunity to study with such renowned cellist as Shauna Rolston, George Nikrug, Tania Prochazka, Raphael Wollfish, Aldo Parisot and Amanda Forsyth. Olena was invited to perform at the Banff Summer Festival, Resound Festival, Enbridge Festival, Orford Summer Festival, U of C Chamber Music Festival, Mountain View Festival and Bach Festival.

Olena has been a member of the Prince George, Okanagan, Red Deer and Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra as well as Sinfonia Alberta Chamber Orchestra, Baroque Modern Chamber Orchestra, Players Chamber Ensemble and Saint Crispinis Chamber Ensemble.

Ms. Kilchyk toured extensively throughout Russia, Ukraine, Europe, Canada and China. She is a co-founder of Sempre la Musica Chamber Ensemble, Helia Chamber Ensemble, Denali Duo and Bel Canto Strings. Many of her performances have been broadcast on CBC and other radio and television networks.

Presently Olena is the principal cellist for the Calgary Bach Festival Society. Over the past three years, she has performed the complete cycle of Bach’s Cello Suites for the Bach Society. In addition to her performing schedule, Olena has a very busy teaching studio. She is a Branch instructor and faculty member of the Conservatory at Mount Royal University.

KATHERINE MIHYUN KIM     collaborative artist

Korean-Canadian pianist Dr. Katherine Mihyun Kim enjoys a versatile career as both a performer and teacher. Dr. Kim holds a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from the University of Calgary, where she studied with Marilyn Engle. She also holds a Master of Music degree at the New England Conservatory of Music (Boston) under the tutelage of Gabriel Chodos, and a Doctorate of Music degree at the University of Minnesota under the guidance of Alexander Braginsky.

As an active pianist, she appeared as a soloist with the Kenwood Symphony and collaborated with numerous distinguished colleagues such as Arnold Choi, Rafael Hoekman, Hojean Yoo, Hyewon Kim, and Maria van der Sloot. She has also performed in a number of music festivals as a solo pianist and chamber musician, such as the World Piano Meeting in Coimbra, Portugal, the International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New York, the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, the Academie Franco-Americaine/Music Studies Abroad in Vaison-la-Romaine, France, and Oberlin’s summer program in Casalmaggiore, Italy. In addition, she has performed at several piano masterclasses with Anton Kuerti, André Laplante, Victor Rosenbaum, Aquiles DeleVingne, and Makoto Ueno.

Dr. Kim currently teaches and serves as a collaborative pianist for the Academy for Young Artists at Mount Royal University Conservatory, and the Amici String Program. Her students have been prizewinners at Canadian Music Competition and the Calgary Performing Arts Festival. In addition, many of her students have received First Class Honours with Distinction from the Royal Conservatory of Music exam, and have been accepted for undergraduate studies at the University of Calgary, the University of Ottawa, and McGill University.

DIANE LANE    Violin & Amicini Coordinator

Born in Claresholm Alberta, Diane began her violin studies in Lethbridge before attending the Mount Royal Conservatory in Calgary. Diane graduated from McGill University with her Bachelor of Music degree under the tutelage of Yehonatan Berick. She continued her studies with Edmond Agopian at the University of Calgary and graduated with a Master’s degree in violin performance.
Diane has attended The Banff Centre for the Arts as a resident and has returned many times, both as a solo performer and chamber musician. Diane is a founding member of Calgary’s Lily String Quartet. The quartet participated in seminars at The Julliard School of Music and Stanford University and has performed across Canada.
Diane is a highly sought-after orchestral and chamber performer; playing with various ensembles in and around Calgary. She is currently the Assistant Concertmaster of the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra, a member of Kensington Sinfonia and a member of Rosa Barocca.  Diane has adjudicated at numerous music festivals throughout Alberta and British Columbia. Diane is on faculty with the Amici String Program and maintains a violin studio at Mount Royal Conservatory.

LEILA (Chiacchia) LINTON    collaborative artist

Leila received a MMus in vocal coaching and chamber music from the University of Western Ontario. While there she studied collaborative piano with Dr. John Hess and was the chorus master of the UWO Opera Company. She also holds a BMUS from the University of Calgary where she studied piano with Charles Foreman, French horn with Kurt Kellan, and secondary music education.

Since returning to Calgary, Leila toured Europe as the accompanist for the U of C Chamber Choir, was the assistant director for the Savridi Singers – a women’s choir, was an accompanist with the MRU Conservatory Academy Program and took part in the Mountain View Festival of Song.

While raising three boys with her husband Kirk, she maintained an active piano studio, adjudicated for music festivals, and worked as a collaborative pianist at the University of Calgary and Ambrose University. She continues to work with the Amici String Program while pursuing a Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Calgary.


Violist Jesse Morrison is currently in his third season as a member of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. He was recently living in Toronto where he frequently played with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, as well as the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Jesse graduated in May 2017 with a M.M from the New England Conservatory (NEC) in Boston, studying with Kim Kashkashian. He had his solo debut in Jordan Hall when performing as the winner of the Chamber Orchestra Competition at NEC in 2016 and again in 2017 with the Symphony Orchestra. Recipient of the 2016 Sylva Gelber Award, Mr. Morrison is an avid chamber musician and is an alumnus of festivals such as Yellow Barn, Kneisel Hall, the New York String Seminar, the Banff Centre and Domaine Forget. Jesse has also participated as artist in residence at the Flatirons Chamber Music Festival in Boulder, CO, “Concerts in the Barn” in Quilcene, WA, Sunset Chamber Music Festival in Los Angeles and NEXUS Chamber Music in Chicago. He was a member of the Neruda String Quartet in 2015-16 in Boston and from 2011- 2015, he was the violist in the Arkadas String Quartet based in Toronto. A native of Toronto, Ontario, Jesse received a B.M. from the University of Toronto under Teng Li and an A.D from the Glenn Gould School under Steven Dann. Mr. Morrison is an artistic director for Music for Food – Canada, which is a musician-led initiative that raises resources and awareness in the fight against hunger.


Completed her BMus in performance with honours from the University of Toronto, her MMus in performance, as well as her Pre-Doctorate Diploma (D.E.P.A) from Université de Montréal. Andrea has been very fortunate to have studied with Fiona Carnie, Katharine Rapoport, and Jutta Puchhammer-Sédillot.

As an avid ensemble musician, Andrea has had the opportunity to play with many diverse chamber ensembles and orchestras across the country and Europe. In 2019 Andrea, along with Timepoint Ensemble, premiered Ghost Opera as after completing a residency at the prestigious Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.


Canadian violist Ronelle Schaufele is an active solo, chamber, and orchestral musician who performs frequently throughout Western Canada as well as performances in Cuba, Brazil, United States, New Zealand, and Europe. As an avid lover of new music Ms. Schaufele has been delighted to play works composed for her and looks forward to upcoming collaborations. In addition to performing music being create today, Ronelle greatly enjoys performing on period instruments and exploring the rich baroque tradition.

In addition she has served as principal violist for the Urban Village Chamber Orchestra, and is currently assistant principal violist in the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra.

Her education includes a Music Performance Diploma from Mount Royal College with William van der Sloot, a Bachelor of Music with distinction from the University of Calgary, with Nicholas Pulos and an Artistic Diploma at The Glenn Gould School studying with Steven Dann. An active instructor, Ronelle is currently on faculty at the Amici String Program. Ronelle was recently the Artistic Advisor for the Szekely/Rolston Young Musicians Program in cooperation with the Banff International String Quartet Competition.

In the Fall of 2012 Ms. Schaufele founded the Banff String Academy of Music which offers gifted young students in the Banff area advanced musical instruction.

HYEJEONG (HAZEL) SEONG   collaborative artist

hyejeongHyejeong Seong began studying piano in South Korea at the age of four and made her debut at the age of six. She received a Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance from the Kyoung-won University at South Korea and a Master of Music Degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music. While earning her Bachelor and Master of Music degree, she received many scholarships. In Korea, Hyejeong  Seong won the 1st prize at the 1990 National Instrumental Music Competition, and also received the 1st prize at the Kyoung-hyang National News Piano Competition in 1992. She was the 1st prize winner at the Dae-Jeon Art High School Competition in 1997 and was given a three year scholarship. In May of that same year, Hyejeong Seong won the Choong-Nam Philharmonic Orchestra competition and performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.3 with the Choong-Nam Philharmonic Orchestra.
Hyejeong has performed as a soloist in numerous locations such as Cleveland, Columbus, Germany, and Seoul. She has enjoyed a career that has given her the opportunity to perform in solo and chamber recitals. While studying in South Korea, Hyejeong collaborated with numerous graduate students for their recitals. She also performed in a Mozart Piano Duo recital. At the Cleveland Institute of Music, Hyejeong performed in concerts featuring the sonatas of Beethoven and Mozart. In addition to these performances, Hyejeong has attended master classes led by famous artists such as Klaus Schilde, Patrick O’Byrn and Yonghee-Moon.
Hyejeong Seong was working towards her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Iowa. She was a student of Dr. Uriel Tsachor and was awarded a TA position and scholarship to attend the University. In 2008, she had the pleasure of being a part of the performance of the Butterfly Lovers Concerto for Erhu at West High School. She was also chosen to perform at Piano Sundays, a concert for both faculty and students in 2009. Before arriving in West Virginia University, in 2011-2012, she joined a private music institute as a member of the faculty. From 2012 to 2014, She attended West Virginia University for her doctor of musical arts on a scholarship and now is a doctoral candidate with interests in both piano performance and chamber music.


Donovan Seidle is a versatile musician, working steadily as composer, arranger, orchestrator, violinist, teacher and coach.

He holds a BMus in Performance and Composition from the University of Calgary (studio of Edmond Agopian, violin; and William Jordan, composition) and a MMus in Performance from Northwestern University (Roland and Almita Vamos, violin).

Since 2003, he has served as one of the three concertmasters of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, which has included soloing and new works commissions. He is an active participant in the city’s artistic community, working regularly in chamber ensembles and multi-disciplinary projects outside of the orchestra, including having directed Calgary’s own Kensington Sinfonia for 13 years. He travels to contribute with the I Musici Chamber Orchestra of Montreal, and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, among others. His past projects have included the inaugural YouTube Symphony Orchestra project at Carnegie Hall, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, and the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble; amongst numerous recording sessions, summer festivals and guest-solo spots locally and internationally.

Donovan is a commissioned composer/arranger writing for various media, including for the concert stage, television and film, live theatre, orchestra shows, and interactive media (games and VR); and he spent his 09/10 sabbatical from the Philharmonic as Associate Music Director for the Emmy Award-winning ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Since then, he has written for such production shows as the 2011 Pan-Arabian Games in Qatar, and the Guinness Record-breaking projection show at the 2011 Moscow City Day. He held a 5-year commissioning contract with the GlobalFest International Fireworks Festival, for supplying the ‘required piece’ each international team must incorporate into their presentation. Most recently, he has returned from a sabbatical over 2017/18 where he was exploring interactive and video-game music projects in Vancouver.


Barbara Smith has enjoyed a life full of music training. She was the first person to complete a double major, music diploma, in violin and voice, from Mount Royal University. She continued her education in Toronto at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music, and there completed a Bachelor of Music and an Artist Diploma of Music in Violin Performance under the tutelage of Erica Raum. Barbara has also studied numerous times at the Banff center. 

Mrs. Smith has performed professionally throughout Canada in many ensembles including, the Canadian Opera Company, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Red Deer Symphony, and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. She continues to freelance and perform regularly with many groups including as a founding member of the Black Dress String Quartet.

Barbara is thrilled to share the gift of music. She has had an active violin studio for 20 years and is a certified Suzuki and Kodaly instructor.  She currently teaches in the Amicini section of the Amici String Program and as a Kodaly instructor at Mount Royal University, as well as maintaining her private studio.

Barbara has four young children that cannot escape her constant music making.