Cosmopolitan Music Society

CMS History

Cosmo’s 300+ members rehearse at the Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre, as well as keep administrative offices there.
Each music group participates in concerts at Christmas, a CMS Spring Series featuring the separate ensembles at in-house concerts, and a season finale at the Winspear Centre. CMS produces and its members perform in, “Lest We Forget: A Musical Tribute” under the auspices of the Royal Canadian Legion in November. The CMS Summer Band, made up of musicians from across the bands, performs for the public on Canada Day. CMS bands and chorus are also open to opportunities to perform at community events as they arise and tours are always a possibility.


  • 1st Place – Federation of Canadian Music Festivals, Centenary Festival of Music, St. John, New Brunswick – 1967
  • Government of Alberta Centennial Award – 1967
  • City of Edmonton – Performing and Creative Arts Award – 1968
  • Official Band – Athlete’s Village, Commonwealth Games – 1978
  • Alberta Achievement Award of Excellence – Harry Pinchin, CMS Director – 1978
  • National Music Award, Canadian Band Association – Harry Pinchin, CMS Director – 1978
  • Official Band – Athlete’s Village, World University Games – 1983
  • Completion of $500,000 Renovation & Addition Project – Cosmopolitan Studios – 1988
  • City of Edmonton Cultural Achievement Award – Harry Pinchin, CMS Director – 1989
  • City of Edmonton inducts into Cultural Hall of Fame – Harry Pinchin, CMS Director – 1993
  • American Bandmasters Association invites into Membership – Harry Pinchin, CMS Director – 1997
  • Canada Day Celebrations, Featured Band – Edmonton City Hall 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and Alberta Legislature, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2003, 2005
  • Paul Harris Fellowship (Rotary Club of Edmonton) – Harry Pinchin, CMS Director – 2001
  • Mid West Clinic International Award presented at the 55th Annual Mid West Clinic – An International Band and Orchestra Conference – Chicago, Ill. – Harry Pinchin, CMS Director – 2001
  • City of Edmonton – Special Commendation for the presentation of Edmonton: A City Called Home – A Musical Portrait – April 13, 2004
The Beginning

The society originates in the early 1960’s as a 26-member music ensemble with Leonard Whiteley as the band’s conductor. Original band member Bill MacKay secures donated music equipment from a local service organization, the Cosmopolitan Club. The Club, with Ben Banks (father of Senator Tommy Banks) as treasurer, also supports the “Cosmopolitan Club Band” financially.


When Whiteley retires in 1964, fellow trumpeter, friend, and Canadian Armed Forces band mate, Harry Pinchin is appointed conductor. Pinchin was not unknown to the band, having worked with the band when Whiteley had professional performance conflicts. The Cosmopolitan Club Band soon doubles in size and begins a “junior” band.


In 1967, the Cosmopolitan Club supports Pinchin’s proposal to develop a full-fledged youth and amateur adult instrumental music program. The program, unique in Canada, appoints Pinchin as Music Director and Program Administrator. The same year, the program’s band wins first place in a national band competition sponsored by the Canadian Centennial Commission.

Early 70's

By the early 1970’s, the program boasts 400 members, four concert bands (Red, Gold, Blue and Green), two jazz bands (A and B), a new string program, a jazz dance program, and a marching band. The bands continue to win competitions nationally and internationally. Rehearsals take place in school gyms until the Cosmopolitan Club purchases the Church of the Nazarene off 109 Street.

During the 1970’s, public schools begin to introduce student bands, and the Cosmopolitan Music Program becomes an adult amateur program. Membership declines with the loss of youth participants. The Cosmopolitan Club decides to accept an offer for the 109 street building

Late 70's

In the late 1970’s, Pinchin rebuilds the program’s membership with the popular Adult Beginner Band. In 1979, the program leases what was once an auto-body shop in Old Strathcona.


The Adult Beginner Band grows into three bands, and the Cosmopolitan Chorus starts in 1985. The same year, with the encouragement of the Cosmopolitan Club, the Music Program goes out on its own and forms the Cosmopolitan Music Society. Society members make up the board of directors.


In January 2007, Harry Pinchin retires after over 40 years of dedicated service to Cosmopolitan Music and the arts community of Edmonton. Garry Silverman is appointed the new Music Director of Cosmopolitan Music Society.


In 2008 Cosmopolitan Music Society became an anchor tenant of the Old Strathcona Performing Arts Centre. A a major renovation to the stage area of the building is undertaken and a flat stage with hardwood flooring is added as a show case to the building.


In 2011, members of the Cosmopolitan Music Society enjoy a successful tour to Europe in the summer, where they participated in the Ticheli Festival in Italy


In 2013, Cosmopolitan Music Society celebrates its 50th Anniversary Season, including the recording and production of our "Cosmo @ 50" CD


In 2014, Cosmo bids Garry Silverman a fond farewell on his retirement. Taina Lorenz is appointed the new Music Director of Cosmopolitan Music Society.


In 2018, the Cosmopolitan Chorus had their inaugural tour. They performed Dan Forest’s “Requiem for the Living” to a standing ovation at Carnegie Hall, as part of a massed choir. 

CMS Family

Taina Lorenz

CMS Music Director
Monday Band Conductor
Tuesday Band Conductor

Hailing from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, this self-proclaimed “band geek” earned her PhD in music perception and cognition, interpersonal and social dynamics within musical ensembles, and wind conducting from the University of Washington in Seattle. Her research has been presented at conferences in England, Florida, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Illinois, and New York. She also holds a Bachelor of Education in Music Education, and Master of Music in Wind Conducting from the University of Alberta.

With over 25 years of classroom experience teaching music from kindergarten to college, Taina is known as a consummate educator. She teaches brass pedagogy, music education, and music psychology to youths and adults. Coupled with her skills and experience as a trumpet, horn, and euphonium player, Taina is sought after as a clinician and guest conductor in Canada and the United States.

As Music Director of the Cosmopolitan Music Society, Taina oversees all aspects of music performance and programming, including the creation and implementation of adult music education programs, levelled Beginner band programs, jazz bands, and small ensemble projects. She leads the research team which recently explored alternative and engaging approaches to music programming during COVID-19 pandemic, and continues her personal research into the social and cognitive nuances of ensemble music-making. Taina conducts the Monday (Advanced) and Tuesday (Intermediate) Bands, as well as special event performances including the annual memorial tribute concert Lest We Forget, and CMS Tour Band performances, most recently to Wales, Ireland, Denmark, and Sweden.

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 in Edmonton and conducting church choir musicians. Rita is in her fourteenth year conducting the Cosmopolitan Music Society Wednesday Band. It is a pleasure and a privilege for her to rehearse, create, and perform with such a dedicated group of talented adult musicians.

Throughout her career, Rita has been actively involved in the music community serving provincial arts organizations that strive to create opportunities for amateur and professional musicians. She is a past-president of Music Alberta, Sing for Life Society of Alberta, Choir Alberta, Pro Coro Canada Society, and the Alberta Band Association twice. She is currently serving on the boards of the Alberta Summer Music Workshop Association and Sing for Life Society of Alberta.

Rita Burns 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, and an Honorary Life Membership in Alberta Band Association. In 1984 she became the first Albertan woman invited to join the international fraternity of band directors, Phi Beta Mu, Mu Alpha Chapter. Rita is active as a clinician, adjudicator, conference presenter.

Rita Burns

Wednesday Band Conductor

Jamie Burns

CMS Choral Conductor


Jamie Burns currently teaches at W. P. Wagner High School. In 2005, he completed a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting at the University of Alberta, under the supervision of Dr. Robert de Frece. Prior to graduate work, Jamie earned bachelor degrees in music and education, also at the U of A. He continues to maintain an active performance schedule as a conductor, singer, trumpeter, pianist, and jazz musician.

In addition to his work with the CMS, Jamie plays trumpet in the New Edmonton Wind Sinfonia. He is a former member of JUBILOSO! Bells of Concordia, the U of A Madrigal Singers, and the Mill Creek Colliery Band, and is a former Assistant Conductor of the U of A Mixed Chorus.

Jamie’s teaching credits also include jazz history and improvisation sessions at the U of A Summer Jazz Camp and an undergraduate aural and keyboard skills class in the U of A’s Music Department. He is in demand as a high school choral and band clinician, and has received numerous provincial and institutional awards for academics, leadership, and musicianship.

Jared Samborski brings The Cosmopolitan Music Society eighteen 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, an 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. He also accompanies the University of Alberta Mixed Chorus.

Jared Samborski

CMS Choral Accompanist

Craig Goueffic

CMS Beginner Band Conductor 
CMS Year II Band Conductor (Alternating Years)

Craig Goueffic is a trombonist currently playing 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 Leggier 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 performed in the UofA Jazz Band, Concert Band, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and Symphony Orchestra, and 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 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. During the course of his career he has established a reputation as an outstanding performer and educator.

He has performed with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Baden Baden Philharmonic (Conductor & Soloist), the European Philharmonie (Conductor, Soloist) the Citadel THEATRE, Tommy Banks Band, The Joan Rivers, Rich Little and Red Skelton Shows, European productions of Cats, Chicago and Cabaret, West Side Story (among numerous others), The EdJE (the JUNO nominated Edmonton Jazz Ensemble), film scores, jingles, modern dance collaborations and numerous commercial recordings.
Mr. Jacobson has performed in a wide variety of musical contexts including Theatrical, Symphonic, Mainstream Jazz, Contemporary Pop, Afro-Cuban, Latin Jazz, Blues, Big Band, Modern Dance, Avant Garde/Free Improvisation and numerous others and has performed at Jazz and World Music Festivals throughout Canada and in Europe, Scandinavia and Asia.
As an Educator, Mr. Jacobson has many years of experience as an adjudicator, providing workshops/seminars and in private teaching. He has provided workshops/seminars to schools, Colleges and Universities throughout Western Canada and Germany, and was a faculty member of the Performing Arts Universities of Frankfurt, Mannheim and Mainz.

Allen Jacobson

CMS Jazz Orchestra Conductor

Dale Chapman

CMS Jazz Big Band Conductor


Dale Chapman is pleased to be working with the Cosmopolitan Jazz program. He currently teaches instrumental music at Archbishop MacDonald High School and the director of the Edmonton Catholic Schools Senior All City Band.

A musician since he was six years old, Dale studied classical piano through Royal Conservatory of Music, jazz piano, composition, and arranging at Grant MacEwan College, and received a B.Ed. in secondary music education from the University of Alberta. Through his life he has played in various bands performing jazz, folk music, Reggae, West African dance music, concert band, Marching Band, Big Band, Small Combo. Teaching, directing, or playing: he is always making music.

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

Tammy-Jo Mortensen

Handbell Conductor

Board of Directors:

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



General Manager: Cheryl Balay
Music Director: Taina Lorenz
Administration: Lynn Turnbull
Public Relations & Communications: Nash Calvert