SOPA Teaching Faculty 2016-2017
What an incredible group of artists and teachers we have at SOPA this year. I couldn't be more thrilled to
give our students the chance to interact with these beautiful, talents and genuine people. Thank you to each one of them!
We are looking forward to an exciting 2016-2017 as an ever growing #RuBarbFamily!
Brodie Mohninger, Guitar and Bass
Brodie Mohninger has been engineering, recording, and performing for over
15 years. Starting by creating his own music out of children's toys and found instruments in his parents basement with one microphone and old Fostex 4 track tape recorder. Around that time he also formed the band Brain Sauce which he fronted for 7 years.
Throughout those years Mohninger gained significant experience in numerous elements of the industry including producing, engineering, artist management, and other elements of art administration.
He produced Brain Sauce’s Debut Album “Individuality is an Old Commodity” which went on to become a significant album in the local music scene, inspiring many up and coming artists.
Mohninger’s focus has grown into session playing on records for artists of various genres including Megan Nash, Steve Palmer, and Tex Emery. He has been busy producing and engineering his own material as well as other Saskatchewan artists. He is an established guitar player and multi-instrumentalist working around the country playing with artists like Jeff Straker and JJ Voss.
Mohninger currently runs a studio in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan under the name LabourLove. He has produced albums and EPs for PandaCorn, The Faps, and Megan Nash. He is currently beginning pre-production with Megan Nash on her highly anticipated sophomore release and just finished sessions with Jeffrey Straker for his upcoming album. Mohninger's is now in pre-production for a solo effort of brand new material.
“It's highly possible that I’ll never personally meet a more talented musician than Brodie Mohninger.”
– Nick Murray,
Greengrass Radio, Moose Jaw, SK
Tara Trumbley, Intro to Theatre Dance
After several years of being out of the industry Tara has decided to step back
into the studio! Having done most of her training right here in Moose Jaw at the
Doris Sitter School of Dance, Tara has 24 years of Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Hip Hop training behind her. Tara also started her teaching career in Moose Jaw with the incredible Doris Sitter as one of her mentors. She holds a certificate of Merit with the Royal Academy of Dance and an Associate certificate with the Canadian Dance Teachers Association.
I'm very excited to join this team. I look forward to meeting everyone and wishing all students a fun and successful year!
Brett Everett Mitchell, Voice Lessons
Hello! My name is Brett Everett Mitchell and I am from Caronport, Saskatchewan. I recently received a Master's Degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Montana. I am currently a professor at Briercrest College teaching music theory and choir as well as a full docket of private voice students. I have been involved in many operatic and musical theatre productions, the most recent being RuBarb's production of Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella in which I played the role of Prince Topher. I am looking forward to teaching for RuBarb and can't wait to start making music with all of you! Let's have wonderful year full of singing, learning, and laughing.
Kristi Kozun, Voice Lessons and Music & Theatre Fun
I grew up in the small town of Caronport, just outside of Moose Jaw, where I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in Music with an emphasis in vocal performance from Briercrest College. This past year I was studying voice performance at the University of Toronto, and I am so excited to be back teaching and performing in Saskatchewan this year! In recent years I have performed the roles of Josephine in HMS Pinafore, Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof, Sister Margaretta in The Sound of Music, Patience in Patience, and Marian Paroo in The Music Man. I can’t wait to share my love of music with you as we learn together!
Andre Harden, Co-teaching Acting for Film and Stage 1 & 2
Andre is a writer, director and consultant. His original screenplay Numb was produced in 2015 and has played all over the world. He's written over a dozen work for hire films, television pilots and plays. His short story Curse of the Mummy was produced by Pseudopod. His fantasy novel The Greenmire Expedition is being released as a serial through Patreon. He has directed several works for RuBarb Productions, including Girl in the Goldfish Bowl, Hockey, Mom, Hockey Dad, and Beauty and the Beast.
I look forward to working with you in class. We are going to build some stories together and make one of them into a short video. You'll learn a lot about how storytelling for film works, how to give your ideas to the group, how to discern what works or plays with the needs of the scene, all ultimately building something satisfying together.
Joanne Olmstead, Piano Lessons
Joanne has 25 years of experience in teaching all ages and levels. She holds a Royal Conservatory of Music ARCT in piano pedagogy and as a piano performer. She is an RCM Certified Advanced Specialist for piano and theory and a member of the Saskatchewan Registered Music Teachers.
Joanne regularly attends professional development workshops and conferences. Most recently in June 2016 she completed the course “Piano Pedagogy for Young Beginners” by Irina Gorin with a revolutionary blend of Russian and North American teaching methods at Heidelberg University in Ohio.
She looks forward to working with RuBarb students to make music – for life!
Evie Koop Sawatzky, Voice Lessons, Musical Theatre 1, 3, 4
and co-teaching Musical Theatre 2
Evie Koop Sawatzky is the Artistic Director of RuBarb Productions Inc. and The RuBarb School of Performing Arts. Her performance experience is diverse from actress to Coloratura Soprano. She has performed for The Regina Symphony Orchestra, Persephone and many Lieutenant Governors and Premiers. She began conducting and choreographing children’s choirs over 20 years ago. She has directed over 27 plays and musicals and produced even more! BA Vocal Performance & AA Music (Briercrest College). CPPT (American Musical And Dramatic Academy, NYC). Jazz, Tap and Ballet (Doris Sitter, Atelier Ballet -Toronto, AMDA). Opera Lab (University of Manitoba), Lovetri Method (University of Michigan - Ann Arbor). She has taught voice/dance/drama at Doris Sitter School of Dance, Briercrest College, the Florentine School in Chinatown, NYC and many Elementary and High Schools in Saskatchewan. Recipient of CBC Future 40 under 40 and Moose Jaw’s Top 40 under 40. Evie performs with her husband Jeffrey Allan Sawatzky and is featured on his remastered CD - Fields of Gold. They have toured Saskatchewan and Manitoba sometimes even bringing their Big Band along. She is the mother of two and step mother to three… and considers her many students a part of her #RuBarbFamily.
Kaitlyn Semple, Co-teaching Acting for Film and Stage 1 & 2 , Musical Theatre 2
Kaitlyn is so happy to be returning to the wonderful Moose Jaw students at the RuBarb School of Performing Arts! Since completing her BFA in Acting from the University of Regina, Kaitlyn has trained in Toronto with CBC’s Triple Sensation, Edmonton at the Banff/Citadel Professional Theatre Program, and in Regina with the Globe Theatre Conservatory. Select theatre credits include: The Last Five Years (The Golden Apple Theatre), Shout Sister; Mary Poppins; Man of La Mancha; Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story; The Wizard of Oz; Jake and the Kid and Metamorphoses (Globe Theatre), It’s A Wonderful Life; Little Women and Ring of Fire (Persephone Theatre), Cope (Persephone Theatre Youth Series, Sandbox Series at the Globe, Live Five in Saskatoon), Ring of Fire (Rainbow Stage); The Fan (Odyssey Theatre in Ottawa), As You Like It (Citadel Theatre), and Alice In Wonderland(Sum Theatre). As a movement coach/choreographer: Driving Miss Daisy(RuBarb Productions); The Drowning Girlsand Romeo and Juliet (Globe Theatre), Legally Blonde and Shrek (Sheldon Williams Collegiate). (You may also remember Kaitlyn from our summer musical theatre camps, Cinderella, or from classes at SOPA last year.)