Program Staff


Anita McAlister – Hannaford Youth Program Director

Anita McAlister received a BMUS in Performance from the University of Toronto and a MMus in Solo Performance and Literature from the University of Western Ontario.  An active freelancer in the Toronto area, Anita has an interesting and varied career performing with the Toronto Symphony, the National Ballet Orchestra and the Canadian Opera Company.  Anita is a member of the Esprit Orchestra, the ARRAYMUSIC Ensemble and the Hannaford Street Silver Band, and has been a contracted member of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and the Stratford Festival. She has toured as Principal Trumpet of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Orchestra, and performed with a number of theatre productions such as Phantom of the Opera.  As a student, Anita studied with the Canadian Brass in Banff and went on to be a member of the Great Lakes Brass Quintet, the Composers Brass, and for many years performed with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Brass Quintet.  As a soloist, Anita won the National Competitive Festival of Music at age 18, and has since performed as a soloist with a number of orchestras and in recital.  Anita has taught at Interprovincial Music Camp, the Scarborough Board of Education Music Camp, the Mount Allison Summer Music Program, Music by the Lake, and is on faculty at the National Music Camp of Canada. Anita is an active adjudicator and clinician, has taught for the Royal Conservatory, was on trumpet faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University for 11 years, and is presently on Faculty at the University of Toronto, teaching trumpet, coaching chamber music and teaching music education classes.  Dedicated to the development of brass education, Anita is the Director of the Hannaford Youth Program and conducts the Junior, Community and Youth Bands.


Denise Simpson – Program Assistant

Being the first member of her family to pursue postsecondary studies, Denise has her Master’s degree in music performance from the University of Toronto (UofT) after attaining an Honours Bachelor’s degree in music education (UofT), and a Bachelor’s degree in education (OISE).

During her undergraduate and graduate studies, Denise studied with Canadian euphonium soloist Robert Miller, and also had the opportunity to perform for world-renowned euphonium soloists Steven Mead and David Childs. In 2012, Denise studied and performed in Rome, Italy through the RomeSMART summer program at UofT, and taught at various music camps including the Durham Intergraded Arts Camp and National Music Camp.

Following her graduate studies, Denise’s passion for fostering the love of music in students inspired her to go to the United Kingdom to teach music at an all-boys secondary school in Hertfordshire and returned to Canada in 2017 to continue her career as a music educator.

Being a euphoniumist and baritonist has lead Denise to perform with various groups in the Toronto area including the Hannaford Street Silver Band, the Weston Silver Band, Kingston Brass, and is currently a founding member of the Euba Tuba Quartet. Presently, Denise is teaching music at The Sterling Hall School and with the Hannaford Youth Brass Band Program, conducting the new concert band at Ryerson University, and will be starting her Ph.D. in music education at the University of Toronto in September 2019.


Gillian Chreptyk – Fundraising

Gillian recently graduated with a Bachelor of Music in performance from the University of Toronto and is a currently freelance trumpeter, arts administrator and music educator.

Throughout her career, Gillian has performed with many different musical groups, including the Toronto All Star Big Band, The Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Hannaford Youth Band, as well as an Indian wedding band, brass quintets, and various pit bands.​

As a soloist, Gillian is often requested in churches around the GTA, playing at many services around Toronto during the Remembrance Day, Easter and Christmas seasons. In 2016, Gillian won the University of Toronto Wind Concerto Competition, and had the honour of performing with the UofT Wind Symphony as a soloist. In the 2017 Toronto Kiwanis music festival, she received the highest mark in the open trumpet category, and Gold in the open brass category.

As an educator, Gillian manages a studio of 30 piano and trumpet students with ages ranging from 6 to 60. She is always enthusiastic about teaching and sharing her love of music with such a diverse group of people.

In addition to performing and teaching, Gillian has vast experience as an administrator. She has worked in recreation customer service, real estate, music licensing, and within a musician booking office. Gillian is excited to expand on this experience as Fundraiser for Hannaford Youth.


Harry Rollo

Harry Rollo is a freelance trumpet player and music educator located in Toronto, Ontario. Harry has performed with various groups around the GTHA and various styles, from gospel choir to orchestral music and is a member of the Toronto based group Re:Selfcare. Harry graduated from the University of Toronto in 2018 with a degree in Trumpet Performance and is a Hannaford Youth Alumni.