Principal and Author
Talent CAN Be Taught Studio
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Stephen Riches - Principal
Stephen Riches is an experienced teacher, conductor, pianist, accompanist, vocal coach, adjudicator, arranger, and composer. He is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers, holding Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education degrees from the University of Toronto, and an ARCT in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory.
In 1977, he was winner of Canada’s elite Dr. Heinz Unger Conducting Competition. This is a talent that he had been encouraged to develop during the years studying with renowned Canadian pianist and composer, Clifford Poole.
Over the years, Stephen has performed both as a piano soloist and conductor with a number of community orchestras, as well as for numerous special charitable events. He is also frequently in demand as a piano accompanist for concerts, festivals and auditions, in addition to which he has conducted many Broadway shows and operettas. In 1993, he was Founding Music Director and Conductor of the Pickering Philharmonic Orchestra, and later the Festival Players Philharmonic Society, providing memorable concerts in local Durham communities for many years.
Stephen’s experience in education extends to teaching in both the private and public school systems, where for many years he has directed bands, choirs and orchestras in both elementary and secondary school panels. He has also served as an adjudicator for music festivals, and has been a guest presenter of professional activity day music workshops for secondary school teachers. He continues to regularly present seminars and workshops on a variety of topics relating especially to music and education.
In recent years, he has also been providing leadership in Christian music ministries, especially working with contemporary praise and worship teams. And now, adding author to his long list of credits with "Talent CAN Be Taught," Stephen implements the successful strategies from his book to the great benefit of his students.