The Cosmopolitan Music Society is a nonprofit organization named for its original sponsor, The Cosmopolitan Club of Edmonton. Founded in 1962 by professional musician and conductor Harry Pinchin & collaborators, it has come to occupy a uniquely special role in Edmonton’s robust arts and cultural scene. The society, originally made up almost entirely of students, met in school gyms and community halls to rehearse long before band programs were made available across Alberta.
CMS ensembles grew rapidly, as they provided the opportunity to learn music from seasoned professionals to all, so that band practice would not have to stop at high school. Needing a permanent performance and practice space, the society turned an old warehouse building into a home, opening right in the heart of Old Strathcona in 1988. Now the Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre, the building hosts everything from school band rehearsals to community events, to craft markets, to Fringe festival shows. Cosmo’s humble beginnings have grown into a number of concert band ensembles, as well as a chorus, a jazz orchestra and a handbell group, which have performed at a range of events across Edmonton, Canada and overseas. These include, but are not limited to the Tommy Banks Tribute Concert, annual ‘Lest We Forget’ musical tribute concerts (in honor of Canadian veterans) in collaboration with the Royal Edmonton Legion, and Christmas concerts, as well as various performances at the Alberta legislature, the Commonwealth Games, and Carnegie Hall.
The Cosmopolitan Music Society continues to pride itself on helping music lovers become music makers, making music instruction and performance broadly accessible to the local community.
CMS Executive Director
CMS Music Director
Monday Band Conductor
Tuesday Band Conductor
Hailing from Edmonton, Alberta, this self-proclaimed “band geek” earned her PhD in Music Education and Cognition, and Wind Conducting from the University of Washington in Seattle. Her research focuses on how our brains interpret and navigate the multi-sensory environment of instrumental ensembles, interpersonal and social dynamics within large ensembles, and the relationship between the two. Taina’s research is published in the journals, Psychology of Music, and Canadian Winds, and has been presented at conferences in Europe and North America. Taina also holds a Bachelor of Education in Music Education, and Master of Music in Wind Conducting and Music History from the University of Alberta.
As Director of the Cosmopolitan Music Society, Taina oversees all aspects of music performance and programming. She has introduced unique and innovative adult music education programs that include a levelled Beginner band program, modern and classic jazz ensembles, handbells, and multi-disciplinary collaborations. Taina conducts the Monday (Advanced) and Tuesday (Intermediate) Bands, as well as special event performances including the annual memorial tribute event Lest We Forget, and CMS Tour Band performances. Over the past nine years, she and the CMS ensembles have worked closely with composers around the world to premiere new works for wind band in Canada and Europe.
With over 25 years of classroom experience teaching music from kindergarten to college, Taina is a consummate educator. She teaches instrumental ensemble pedagogy, conducting techniques, brass foundations, band history, and music psychology to youths and adults. Coupled with her skills and experience as a trumpet, horn, and tuba player, Taina is a frequent clinician and guest conductor in Canada and the United States.
Taina serves as a board member for the Alberta chapter of Women Band Directors International, and is a member of the international bandmasters fraternity, Phi Beta Mu.
When not engaged in music, Taina enjoys good food, good wine, and a good story, especially when shared with her friends, family, and cats.
A graduate of the music education program at the University of Alberta, Rita Burns is retired from thirty-seven years of teaching junior high band musicians and conducting church choir musicians in Edmonton. Rita’s first professional music experiences were in solo singing and in choral music with many fine choirs in the province including Edmonton’s professional choir, Pro Coro Canada.
Throughout her music education career, Rita has been active in the music community serving provincial arts organizations that create opportunities for amateur and professional musicians. She is a past-president of the Alberta Band Association, Music Alberta, Sing for Life Society of Alberta, Choir Alberta, and Pro Coro Canada Society. She is currently on the boards of the Alberta Summer Music Workshop Association and Sing for Life Society of Alberta.
In 1984, Rita became the first Albertan woman invited to join the international fraternity of band directors, Phi Beta Mu. She has received several honours during her career: the David Peterkin Award for excellence in band music from the Mu Alpha Chapter of the band directors’ fraternity, Phi Beta Mu; the Elkhorn Award for band director of the year from the Alberta Band Association; a provincial Excellence in Teaching Award; a Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence; the Vondis Miller Legacy Award from the Alberta Band Association for long service to the band world in Alberta. Rita was named an Honorary Life Member of the Alberta Band Association in 2020.
In addition to conducting the dedicated and talented members of the Cosmopolitan Music Society Wednesday Band, Rita enjoys serving as an occasional band clinician, adjudicator, conference presenter, and guest conductor. She is grateful to be back to music-making on the best night of the week and to be performing together again after the recent hiatus.
Wednesday Band Conductor
CMS Choral Conductor
The 2021-2022 season marks Jamie Burns’s eighteenth as conductor of the Cosmopolitan Chorus. He is also a past conductor of the CMS Beginner Band. Jamie currently teaches music and photography at W. P. Wagner High School. He holds a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Alberta, where he also earned bachelor degrees with distinction in music and education. He has enjoyed an active performance career as a conductor, singer, trumpeter, pianist, percussionist, and jazz musician.
In addition to his work with CMS, Jamie played trumpet in the New Edmonton Wind Sinfonia for over 10 seasons, the Mill Creek Colliery Band, and JUBILOSO! Bells of Concordia, as well as a former Assistant Conductor with the U of A Mixed Chorus and the Festival City Winds. Jamie has had the pleasure to guest conduct such diverse ensembles as the U of A Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the Mission Hill Brass Band, the Festival Singers, the Concordia Community Chorus, the Faculty of Education Handbell Ringers, and CMS’s own Monday and Tuesday Bands, and has served as clinician on many occasions to local and touring school bands, choirs, and jazz bands.
Jared Samborski brings to the Cosmopolitan Music Society twenty-nine years of choral accompanying experience and the Associate of Music Diploma in piano performance (Western Board of Music), completed under the tutelage of Willa Meyers. Also an avid violinist, Jared carries the practical portion of Grade X Violin (Royal Conservatory of Music) from his studies with Ranald Shean.
Over the years, Jared has been a festival adjudicator, and instructor of piano, violin, viola, and theory, a vocal accompanist, a player of the glockenspiel, a marching band member, a composer, an actor, a conductor, and a director.
CMS Choral Accompanist
CMS Beginner Band Conductor
CMS Year II Band Conductor (Alternating Years)
Craig Goueffic is a trombonist who plays in the Cosmopolitan Music Society Monday Band. Craig is also employed by the Edmonton Catholic School District and is currently serving as the music director at Cardinal Leger Junior High School.
Craig graduated high school in 2005 and pursued a Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Alberta from 2005 until 2012. During his time as a student, Craig has performed in the University of Alberta Jazz Band, Concert Band, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and Symphony Orchestra. During that time, Craig has worked under the direction of Dr. Angela Schroeder, Dr. Tom Dust, Fordyce (Duke) Pier, Malcolm Forsyth, John McPherson, Chris Taylor, Wendy Grasdahl, and Tanya Prochazka. Craig has also performed with world renowned euphonium performer Brian Bowman as well as trumpet player Jens Lindemann.
Craig joined the Cosmopolitan Music Society conducting team in 2016 and is extremely proud and excited to conduct the Year II Beginner Band. Craig is also in demand as a trombone clinician within the city of Edmonton.
Allen Jacobson is a Trombonist, Vocalist, Composer, Arranger, and Educator who has performed throughout Canada and internationally for many years. He is in his 8th year with CMS and 7th year of conducting the Cosmopolitan Jazz Orchestra and is honoured to be working with such dedicated and creative musicians.
He has performed with, among others, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Baden Baden Philharmonic (Conductor & Soloist), the European Philharmonie (Conductor & Soloist), Tommy Banks Band; musicals including Cats, Chicago, Cabaret, West Side Story (and many more!). Mr. Jacobson has performed in a wide variety of musical contexts at Jazz and World Music Festivals throughout Canada and in Europe, Scandinavia and Asia.
Mr. Jacobson has many years of experience as an adjudicator, providing workshops/seminars throughout Western Canada and Europe and in private teaching. He has taught Jazz Trombone, Vocals and Ensembles at the Hochschule fur Musik Rheinland-Pfalz-Mainz, and Jazz Trombone, Vocals, Improvisation, Ensembles and Big Band at the Frankfurt Musik Hochschule (University of Performing Arts). Mr. Jacobson has also been on the faculty of the Peter Cornelius Conservatory (Mainz) and as Visiting Professor at the Mannheim University of Performing Arts.
Allen’s annual sojourns to Europe include masterclasses, workshops and guest soloing/conducting.
Of significance are the tours and recording with the Social Activist Project: Jazz Against Apartheid (JAA) that presents and celebrates the music of exile and change, sharing and connecting disparate cultures.
“JAA is about the music and its message: of liberation, the possibility of individual and collective freedom, of the necessity of political struggle while retaining one’s humanity” ~ Johnny Dyani & Juergen Leinhos
CMS Jazz Orchestra Conductor
CMS Jazz Big Band Conductor
Dale is pleased to conduct the Cosmopolitan Big Band. Although his background in music was founded with classical piano he soon found jazz in the halls of his high schools. Bitten by the (jitter?) bug, he moved to Edmonton to study at what was then known as Grant MacEwan Community College – now MacEwan University – to further his skills in popular and jazz styles on the keyboard.
Through his musical adventures he lived and moved through genres: pop, rock, folk, Celtic, reggae, Senegalese; not always playing keyboards, but always making music. Dale now teaches music at Archbishop MacDonald High School, directs the Edmonton Catholic School Division Senior All City Band, and feeds his jazz demons here at the Cosmopolitan Music Society.
Tammy-Jo Mortensen has been involved with handbell ringing for over 25 years as a ringer, conductor, soloist and adjudicator of handbell festivals and compositions, and as a workshop clinician. She was the Music Director at Robertson-Wesley United Church in Edmonton for 16 years, where she worked with two five octave handbell groups – the Robertson-Wesley Ringers and Nova Bells as well as the choir, and she also volunteered with several elementary school handbell groups during that time. She has performed, conducted and given workshops internationally at handbell and choral events in Korea, Australia, England, and Denmark as well as all over Canada.
Throughout her career, Tammy-Jo has sought out education and experiences which have advanced her skills to a higher level. She has a Bachelor of Music in Organ from the University of Alberta, a Master of Music in Organ from McGill University (Montreal) and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting also from the U of A.
Currently, Tammy-Jo is the Operations Manager of the Kokopelli Choir Association, the Music Editor of the United Church of Canada’s “Gathering Magazine”, the harpsichordist for the Alberta Baroque Ensemble and has a radio show on bigeradio.com.
Carol has been playing and directing handbells for over 40 years. She is the Handbell Director at Highlands United Church where she has directed beginner to advanced choirs and handbell ensembles of varying sizes for 30 years. Over 150 ringers of all ages have participated in the program using five octaves of bells and four octaves of hand chimes. These groups have participated in local, provincial and national handbell events, produced a number of recordings, and performed a wide variety of concerts while continuing to provide regular musical leadership in worship services.
A founding member of the Alberta Guild of English Handbell Ringers, Carol has conducted workshops over the years on a wide variety of topics. She began ringing under her father’s direction and continued ringing with church and community choirs in university, before moving around the tables to direct. Carol is an accomplished solo and duet ringer.
She also maintains a full-time career as an urban planner with the City of Spruce Grove.
President: Karen Atkinson
Vice-President: Aidan McBride
Treasurer: Marg Zapf
Secretary: Greg Yanda
Director at large: Roger Abbott
Director at large: Tom Love
Director at large: Michelle Mark
Executive Director: Dr. Taina Lorenz
Office Manager: Dr. Jan Olson
Administration: Lynn Turnbull
Public Relations & Communications: Nash Calvert