Kathryn Walker is the visionary and creative force behind the formation of the Saint James Music Academy. Kathryn’s leadership role at Saint James Music Academy has helped the organization to fulfil its vision of bringing social change through music.
Kathy has lived in the Downtown Eastside for the past twenty years with her family and has worked as a community advocate to alleviate homelessness and poverty through her work in many community initiatives. Her support and commitment to the Downtown Eastside, along with her work with children and families has allowed her to build a strong network of support for the vision and work of the Music Academy.
Paul began his life as an inveterate “people person’” with the help of an identical twin and a rash of other siblings. He brings to Saint James Music Academy a diverse professional career which began washing cars, peeling onions, and hammering nails, graduated next to administering group homes, teaching, community leadership, and lately includes writing, speaking, and farming. He holds a Master of Christian Studies (Regent College), a Master of Divinity (Vancouver School of Theology, UBC) and a Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies de Troisième Cycle, summa cum laude (Faculté Libre de Théologie Protestante de Montpellier, France).
Paul is the author of several award-winning short stories and articles, and one book, Rooster in the Cathedral: Reflections of a Pilgrim, which has also been translated into French. An accomplished communicator, he has given many public addresses, and appeared on regional and national television broadcasts.
With his spouse Dawn, Paul also owns and operates a small scale organic farm. www.Brookbankfarm.com
Paul redeems himself from ennui with various outdoor activities and pastimes, including toolcraft, cooking with leftovers, hiking, and very slow running.
From a very early age Melodie Mallinder was blessed to experience what is meant by the expression “it takes a village”. Lots of people. Lots of people together. Growing up in her family home, the door was always open and all were welcome. It was no surprise that she was drawn to and fell in love with Saint James Music Academy.
Melodie has a passion for community and a love of the DTES. Her years of fundraising experience comes from a background in social service. As Development Officer at SJMA, Melodie is responsible for maintaining, growing and connecting potential and current partners, while creating awareness of funding opportunities, providing updates and sharing the story of the Academy.
Melodie and her husband live in the mountains of Port Moody with their two energetic children and a guinea pig who answers (sometimes) to “Reggie.” Spare time can be limited with little ones; however there is always time enough for family dance parties, loud singing and outdoor exploring. When her kids and husband are not around, Melodie has been known to relish a sweet treat or two.
To connect with Melodie, you can email her at email@example.com
José Cerón Ortega
Music Director Orchestras
José Cerón-Ortega has developed intense musical activity in various countries as an instrumentalist, adviser, coach and conductor of groups and musical ensembles.
As a close collaborator of the State Foundation for the National System of Youth and Child Orchestras of Venezuela (FESNOJIV), and the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestras, José has worked with diverse levels and ages. He is the Founder Director of the Amadeus Orchestra in Trujillo State, and National Coordinator of the Cerón’s Musical Initiation System (CMIS), a method used as a starting point for the social and cultural project of the world renown Venezuelan musical organization known as “El Sistema”.
Born in México City, graduating as a violinist from the National School of Music of the National University of Mexico (UNAM), José studied orchestral and operatic conducting at the Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory in Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation; and obtained a Certificate with honours in Music Conducting from the University of Capilano in North Vancouver.
He has been Chief Conductor of Tachira’s Simón Bolivar Regional Symphony Orchestra in Venezuela, Director of Bahia Blanca’s Regional Symphony Orchestra in the Province of Buenos Aires, Professor of Chamber Music and Orchestral practice in the National University of San Juan, Argentina and a Musical Director of the Sunshine Coast Community Orchestra in Gibsons B.C.
Community Life Coordinator
Senior Reception & Design
Ryan is a Calgary import with an eclectic skill set. But, at Saint James he does Senior Reception, website/design things, and is loudest voice when cheering on the kids.