Ross Simonds

Ross was born in Carlton County, New Brunswick, and raised on the family farm. After hearing him “play by ear” at the age of eight, a neighbor and family friend decided that Ross should take music lessons, recognizing his family’s modest means, and purchasing for him his first piano. It was a very kind gesture, a generous offering, a wise decision, and a worthwhile investment as Ross chose to pursue music as his profession, birthing and nurturing a lifelong love of learning, performing, and teaching.

Ross completed his Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance at Gordon College, in Boston, Mass. in 1985, after having received several grants to do so, and won the Gordon College Academic Excellence Award in Music. There, he was student staff accompanist and a member of the Gordon Chamber Singers, touring internationally as its collaborative pianist. Immediately upon graduation, Ross moved to Nova Scotia where he began his love of teaching at the Maritime Conservatory of Music in Halifax.

After a few years of instructing, Ross began full time work as a church musician, most recently in Toronto, ON, where he acted as Minister of Worship, Music, and the Arts, for Bayview Glen Church. Earlier appointments included Minister of Music, Brunswick St. Baptist Church, Fredericton, NB, and Director of Music, First Dartmouth Baptist Church, Dartmouth, NS.

Ross loves to learn and has extensive continued education, having studied Religious Education, Church Music and Worship in various parts of Canada, the USA, and the UK. In addition, Ross’ education and teaching has been enriched by attending and/or having his piano students participate in several master classes over the years, led by leading pianists and piano pedagogues including: Anthony DiBonaventura, Boris Berman, John Browning, Anton Kuerti, and Marc Durand. Ross has studied Dalcroze Eurhythmics at the Longy School of Music of Bard College, in Cambridge, Mass., and through Dalcroze Canada, Toronto, Ontario. His principal teachers include Lucille Casely, Fred Broer, Alton Bynum, Tietje Zonneveld and Lisa Parker. Finally, Ross holds a Graduate Diploma from the Arrow Leadership Training School in Vancouver, British Columbia.

For the past sixteen years Ross has been teaching piano and voice from his Fredericton studio where he believes strongly that his students can achieve high standards of excellence through study rooted in tradition, while at the same time discovering their own innate musical senses, and pursuing their own individual musical goals through exploration, experimentation, and improvisation. His students have won 1st placement awards in local and provincial competitions, and gold medals from the Royal Conservatory of Music. During this time, Ross has also worked as Choral Director for TNB’s Music Theatre Department (Beauty and the Beast, Oklahoma); freelanced as a choral/ band/ music director and music consultant for Oromocto High School (The Wizard of Oz), Leo Hayes High School (Reflections on Crooked Walking, Alice in Wonderland), the Fredericton Playhouse (Christmas at the Playhouse), UNB’s Faculty of Education (Free To Be You and Me), and St. Thomas University’s Fine Arts Program (Urinetown, Newsies, Sweeney Todd); and mentored in NB Anglophone West School District’s Enrichment Program, “Journey into the Arts.” Ross retired from St Thomas University in the Spring of 2019 where he taught Voice Technique and directed the STU singers.

Ross is a member of the Dalcroze Society of Canada, the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators’ Association, the Canadian Federations of Music Teachers’ Association, the New Brunswick Registered Music Teachers’ Association (Past Council Member), and the Fredericton Music Teachers’ Association (Past President).

Accolades include:
Fredericton Music Society’s Robert Charlton Bayley Memorial Award “for his distinguished contribution to the musical arts in Fredericton, NB, as an outstanding piano/ voice teacher and collaborative pianist”; and Canada Council for the Arts Grant for Developing Musicians.474.29