Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra (HPO)
Bethany Bergman, violin
Bethany is a member of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra as well as Principal 2nd violin of the Hamilton Philharmonic and Esprit Orchestra. Active in and around Toronto she can be seen and heard with the Toronto Symphony and the National Ballet among others. She loves to play a variety of styles from Baroque to popular and alternative music having played Baroque as a member of the Aradia Ensemble, and as a guest with Tafelmusik. She has recorded and performed in Canada and abroad for film, television, and radio, with popular musicians including Kanye West, Barbara Streisand, Earth, Wind, and Fire, The Canadian Tenors, Andy Stochansky, Patrick Watson, Belle and Sebastian, Sarah Slean, and Royal Wood, as well as making the Polaris Prize winning "He Poos Clouds" CD with Indie artist Owen Pallett/Final Fantasy. She also performs and records for television and film.
Lyssa Pelton, violin
Originally from Upstate New York, Lyssa is currently based in Toronto where she is establishing herself as a sought after orchestral and chamber musician. Lyssa recently joined the Hamilton Philharmonic in September 2018 as a first violinist. She also performs as Principal Second violin with the Etobicoke Philharmonic, and plays regularly with the Toronto Symphony, Canadian Opera Company, and National Ballet of Canada. Her chamber group, The Charis Collective, is now in their second season, whose aim is to make classical music more accessible to families with young children throughout the Toronto area. Lyssa graduated from The Glenn Gould School in 2015, where she received both a Performance and Artist Diploma, after studying with esteemed violinist Marie Bérard for six years. During her time at The GGS, Lyssa was a participant in the Banff Summer Music Festival in Alberta, as well as the St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar at Stanford University. Soon after completing her studies, Lyssa was Assistant Concertmaster with the Kingston Symphony for the 2016/2017 season. Aside from performing Lyssa teaches at Dixon Hall Music School and Midtown Music School, where she strives to share her passion for music with children from all walks of life. In her spare time Lyssa enjoys baking, and was recently considered for The Great Canadian Baking Show.
Elspeth Thomson, viola
Elspeth Thomson has played viola with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra for more than 10 years. She is also a busy freelancer in Southern Ontario and has performed with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Orchestra London and the Talisker Players. She has played with the Canadian Tenors, Sarah McLachlan, Diana Krall and Led Zeppelin. Elspeth completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Western Ontario and has also studied at the Banff Centre and Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. She received her Master of Music at the Mannes College of Music in New York City where she studied with Karen Ritscher and has also played with the Secord String Quartet and Trius String Quartet.
Laura Jones, cello
Laura Jones’ kaleidoscopic career comprises solo, chamber and orchestral performances on both cello and viola da gamba. Laura has been a member of the HPO since 1989, and is the cellist of the Windermere String Quartet and a core member of the Talisker Players. She performed the solo viola da gamba part in George Benjamin’s Written on Skin with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and has played to sold-out halls with Ensemble Ritmo Flamenco. She appears on recordings The Golden Age of String Quartets with the Windermere String Quartet, Serenade Française, a CD of music by French composers recorded with her father, pianist Lawrence Jones, and Where Words and Music Meet with the Talisker Players.