Meet Our Teachers

Eleanor Gummer is the founder and director of Whitby School of Music. Eleanor holds both Bachelor and Master’s degrees in performance as well as FTCL, LTCL, and ARCT diplomas. Eleanor is active as an examiner and adjudicator as well as the co-author of the Pianokids® series and author of Violinkids® and Guitarkids®. Many of her students have been winners in local competitions as well as at the Provincial level. A number of her former students have pursued careers in music and as teachers in the school system. Mrs Gummer teaches piano, violin and all levels of theory.

Donna Sykes has been a private studio instructor for over 30 years and holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance and Music Education from Wilfrid Laurier University. Donna teaches at Trafalgar Castle School and Trinity College School and has taught band programs at several Catholic elementary schools. Donna also volunteers with DDSB high schools to provide coaching and has been an instructor at DIAC (Durham Integrated Arts Camp) for the past 15 years. Many of her students have gone on to degrees at top Universities. Donna teaches all brass and woodwind instruments, specializing in flute.


Sharon Tikiryan has been a teacher at Whitby School of Music for over 10 years. Sharon holds both Bachelor and Master’s degrees in vocal performance/pedagogy. Her students have gone on to win at the Provincial level and many have pursued careers in the music field. One of her former students is now staring in a Mirvish production in Toronto. Sharon teaches voice, piano and guitar.


Michael York has been at Whitby School of Music for over 5 years. Michael holds Bachelor and Master’s degrees in voice and can be found singing in the Canadian Opera Chorus. Michael has an extensive background in performance in many genres, from opera to singing back-up for Supertramp. Michael teaches voice and piano.


Jessica Huang is working toward her Associate diploma in both piano and violin. She has been a winner in local competitions and is actively involved in her school’s music program. Jessica has a wonderful rapport with young children and a gentle manner. Jessica has been teaching for 2 years and teaches violin and piano.


David Powell holds a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees, majoring in saxophone. David was an entertainer on multiple cruise ships for many years, sailing and entertaining the world. Proficient in many instruments, David has extensive experience teaching experience of all ages.

Scott Purchase holds Bachelor’s degrees in both music and education and has been a teacher in the school system since 2009. Scott taught instrumental and vocal music in addition to musical theatre. Scott is proficient in many instruments including brass and woodwind instruments, guitar and piano. Scott teaches all brass and woodwind instruments as well as guitar, drums, voice and piano.

Evan Gomes has been teaching guitar in the Durham Region for many years and is an accomplished guitarist. Evan is working toward a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and holds a Certificate in General Arts and Science. Evan teaches guitar and piano.

Madelyn Pecchia is currently working toward her Associate diploma and has an extensive music background in numerous instruments. Madelyn began as a student at Whitby School of Music and progressed quickly through the grades. Madelyn comes from a background of early childhood educators and uses many of these skills in teaching young children. Madelyn teaches piano, guitar and drums.

Jaeda Grant is an accomplished musician working at the senior level of piano. Jaeda has a wonderful rapport with children and is also accomplished in Marshall arts. Jaeda teaches piano at Whitby School of Music.

Grace Hoskins holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Wilfred Laurier University and is wonderful working with students of all ages. Grace has experience in dealing with children on the Spectrum and is proficient not only in flute, but piano, guitar, and a variety of other instruments. Grace teaches all the woodwind instruments, piano and guitar.

Chris Yip is working toward his Grade 10 Royal Conservatory of Music and has been a Provincial finalist with the Ontario Music Festivals' Association. He is active in his school's music program and enjoys working with students of all ages. Chris teaches piano.

Raven Paulo is an accomplished pianist and is active in the music program in her church. She enjoys working with children and is aiming for a career in social services. Raven teaches piano.

Mary Chilvers has been teaching piano in Whitby for over 30 years and is a patient and kind teacher. Mary is also a competitive curler and coach. She has been a commentator the Title Sport Live (Streaming network). After retiring from OPG, Mary has devoted herself to teaching piano.

Pamina Neote has a Bachelor’s degree in Music and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Education degree. Pamina was a flute major in University but has training in all Woodwind instruments as well as piano and guitar. Pamina has extensive experience in working with children and is actively involved with MusicFest Canada. Pamina teaches all Woodwind instruments, piano and guitar.