Forest City String School

Delight must be the basis and aim of this art.


FCTE is a truly world class experience that provides incredible opportunities to young and developing musicians. In my travels as a musician, I have come to realize the value of this amazing program and the environment of enjoyment/community it creates to nurture musical growth.

Matt Piché, International performer (Violinist) - Juno nominee - Music Educator and Composer


Matt Piché Website

Forest City for Talent Education provided me with an extremely rich musical environment outside of school. I was surrounded by respectful and caring faculty and students where I could achieve my personal best as a cellist. Participating in Senior Cello Ensemble, Orchestra, and Chamber Music made me a more complete and well-rounded musician.

FCTE provided me with access to fantastic teachers, and experiences which would have not been otherwise possible in London. Two experiences that stand out for me were performing at Stars of the Festival with my quartet in 2013, and performing as a soloist with the Senior Cello Ensemble in 2015 at the Kiwanis Music Festival.

With the support of everyone at FCTE I was able to gain the necessary performing experience, skills and confidence to pursue music at the post-secondary level.

Dylan Murphy, Cellist - Performance Major at Wilfrid Laurier University


Dylan Murphy - YouTube

FCTE provided me with an incredible learning experience during the 6 years that I was a member of the program. I met incredible musicians that have become lifelong friends and colleagues, with whom I now get to share many of my musical endeavours. I also made professional connections with many wonderful teachers who willingly shared their expertise and continuously inspired me during the many chamber music coachings, violin group classes, and orchestra rehearsals that I received. FCTE truly prepared me for my university-level musical pursuits, and I will always be grateful for the experiences and memories that I took away from this fantastic, life-changing program.

Jessica Timmermans, Violinist-Perfomance Major, Wilfrid Laurier University


Jessica Timmermans with NYO Canada

I began at FCTE when I was 3 years old and continued in the program for 14 years. That’s 360 play-ins! This is where I first learned to hold a violin, began to read music, and performed in front of an audience. Attending FCTE every Saturday morning quickly became part of my routine and something I looked forward to on a weekly basis. It was a time where I got to share my love for music with my family and with like-minded individuals who quickly became some of my closest friends. Since I finished in the program, Saturday morning has never been the same.

As I developed as a musician, FCTE provided me with the opportunity to participate in a string quartet which became one of my most cherished memories. Together with my quartet members and supportive coach we were able to learn and master challenging music, compete across the province, and attend workshops with world class musicians.

The faculty at FCTE supported me on my music journey and instilled in me not only an immense appreciation for music but the values of hard-work and dedication.

Kate Richert, Violinist - Queens University Science Major

I was so fortunate to grow up in the FCTE program more than 20 years ago. It provided a wonderfully nurturing atmosphere where I not only felt at home to grow and develop as a young musician and violinist, but was able to connect with other like-minded young people. In retrospect, the program - its values, community, teachers, environment and tradition - played an integral role in helping me grow into the concert artist and teacher I am today.

Dr. Mary-Elizabeth Brown, Professional Violinist


Mary-Elizabeth Brown Website

I was fortunate to be a part of Forest City Talent Education for 16 years, where I played the violin in numerous string ensembles and orchestras. FCTE is where I learned to read music, to perform music, and to collaborate with others in a nurturing and stimulating environment, with passionate and dedicated teachers who patiently guided me through every stage of my musical development. In my teenage years, FCTE provided me with the opportunity to play in a string quartet with like-minded musicians who are now lifelong friends. Together with our coach, we learned and interpreted, practiced and polished challenging pieces of music, which we had the opportunity to perform in music festivals and other venues.

Being able to discover and create beautiful music with other young musicians in this ensemble was one the most enriching and rewarding experiences of my formative years. FCTE does not simply provide you with a musical education, it nurtures the whole individual: it has built my confidence and self-esteem, has fostered my creativity, sensitivity, and work ethic, and above all, has instilled in me a deep appreciation for music that I will cherish for a lifetime.

Though I have not pursued a career in violin, I can truly say that FCTE prepared me for higher education and adult life more than any of my other youth experiences. Thank you FCTE!

Madeleine Chin-Yee, Violinist - Osgoode Law School Student


Madeleine Chin-Yee on Twitter

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