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Meet the Instructors

NEIM is thrilled to boast an outstanding ensemble of educators!

With unique expertise and a diverse repertoire of instrumental experience, our instructors all have a passion for music education. We look forward to sharing the joy of collaborative music-making with our students, and trust in music’s power to strike a resonant chord, echoing within the hearts of a new generation of aspiring musicians.

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Craig Inglis

Brass, Woodwinds & Concert Band

Craig has been a dedicated instructor with the Niagara Elementary Instrumental Music program since 1994. Having once been a student in the same outstanding program, he thoroughly enjoys sharing his enthusiasm for music-making with the generations of students he has instructed, while helping them to discover their own lifelong love for the world of music.

Along with his extensive past experience as a multi-instrumentalist performer, Craig is also a prolific arranger with an extensive repertoire including hundreds of solo, duet, trio, quartet, small ensemble, jazz band, and concert band arrangements. Craig also acts as the lead coordinator of NEIM’s popular band trips to New York City, Disney, Halifax, Cleveland, Calgary, Washington, Edmonton, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, and beyond!

Outside of NEIM, Craig enjoys coaching for Special Olympics, and spending time with his wife and family. He is extremely proud of the wonderful young adults his 3 children have become.

Craig looks forward to continuing to share his enthusiasm for coaching, teaching, and music-making with students for many years to come!

Sarah Kukoly

Brass, Woodwinds & Concert Band


Sarah is a music teacher from the Niagara Region. Her love of music began with piano lessons, continued with a few years of violin through NEIM, and she eventually discovered her passion for the flute in high school.


Sarah completed her Bachelor of Arts in Music at Brock University, followed by her Bachelor of Education at Queen’s University. An active music teacher since finishing school, she specializes in flute lessons, as well as beginner and intermediate piano.

Through her teaching experiences, Sarah has developed skills for introducing young students to the world of music with enthusiasm!

Andrew Carruthers

Brass, Woodwinds, Percussion & Concert Band

Andrew has enjoyed teaching for the Niagara Elementary Instrumental Music program since 1999 and has enjoyed it ever since! He graduated from Brock University in 1989, receiving his B.A. majoring in Music and has been lucky enough to know music and music education as his profession, his entire adult life.

Andrew is passionate about conducting and has been the director and conductor of the Thorold Reed Band (est 1851) for over ten years now. Just recently he has also accepted directing positions with both the Niagara Falls Concert Band and Fort Erie Legion Band.

Andrew's hope is that through his position with NEIM he is able to instill the feeling he receives from music in his students, so that they may know the same joy!

Danielle Marconi

From a young age, Danielle Marconi was drawn to music, and chose the violin at age 11. She continued her studies, has a Bachelor of Music from Brock University, and is a certified teacher in the Suzuki Method.


She has been teaching violin since 2002, instructing individual and group lessons, student ensembles, masterclasses, summer camps, music classes for toddlers, and teenage/adult string groups.

Danielle also has extensive experience performing on stage with many well-known bands and musicians, and has been featured as a studio musician on countless albums as well as in music videos.

Danielle enjoys playing all genres of music including classical, folk, alternative, hip hop; and loves composing/arranging. Danielle writes music with her sister in the song-writing duo Zusters, the most recent album Resonate is available on all online listening platforms.

Grace Snippe

Grace Snippe is from St. Catharines, Ontario and has recently completed her Bachelor of Music degree at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. A Niagara Elementary Instrumental Music graduate herself, Grace fell in love with the cello at 13 years old and has been voraciously studying the instrument ever since.

She has a passion for the growing arts culture in St. Catharines and is excited to be part of this aspect of Niagara. Grace often has multiple burners going at once with simultaneous music projects and also teaching several music students every week.


She's happiest when creating new sounds with various local groups in Niagara and adding that unique cello-flavouring to various ensembles including: Grace Notes String Ensemble, Moonfox, The Bends, and other groups such as Windfall Found, Wow Sound Studios, Strange Pumpkin Studio, Niagara Youth Orchestra, Mercredi Music, Gallery Players of Niagara, Avanti Chamber Singers and Brock University Women's Choir and local solo artists such as Emma Fleury, Melissa Shriner, Ola Kiermacz, Luke Gillet, and Chloe Rabideau.

Daniela Cruz

Daniela Cruz, music educator, violist and violinist, recently relocated to Canada from the USA. Her love for music inspires her to share it with others and help them experience the benefits that music can bring to their lives. She has been teaching, either in Brazil or in the USA, for more than 10 years now.


She has recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Master of Music-String Pedagogy, and she is a certified Suzuki violin teacher, trained by Mark Mutter and Ronda Cole. Other education includes degrees from Valdosta State University and Faculdade Santa Marcelina.

She truly believes that every student can achieve their potential and they can have a successful experience learning and making music.

Besides her teaching experience, Daniela has performed with several orchestras in the states of Florida, Georgia and Michigan. She has been teaching at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp since 2015, has been mentored by Darcy Drexler (UWM) on teaching practices, and has attended teacher's workshops led by Mimi Zweig (Indiana University).

Ian Slade

Strings & String Orchestra

Ian Slade is a freelance double bassist from St Catharines. He graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2018 with a Bachelor's Degree in Orchestral Performance. Ian learned to play from a young age through the NEIM program, & quickly fell in love with performing music, pursuing it throughout his education in as many forms as he could manage.


He has had the honour of playing with such groups as the Guelph Symphony, The Newark Singers, Classic Albums Live, both the Niagara and Kitchener-Waterloo youth orchestras, The Brock University String Ensemble, The Niagara Falls Concert Band, and the Penderecki String Quartet. While relatively new to the teaching sphere, Ian has years of experience playing and strong fundamentals, as well as a keen understanding of how important fun is when it comes to learning music at a young age.


He looks forward to contributing to the program that helped him discover his passion for music in the first place.

Hannah Autumn FLAKE

Strings & String Orchestra

As a 2018 graduate from Wilfrid Laurier University, Hannah Autumn Flake is a well-rounded, passionate musician and teacher within the Niagara Region. She has taught elementary and high school music courses and facilitated after-school programs and concerts in the private school system.

Hannah teaches students of all ages and abilities,. She loves all things creative, and finding unique ways to bring out the best in her students. Her private lesson studio, Encore Violin Academy, is located in Ridgeway and hosts concerts and events throughout the year.

Hannah can most often be found performing for weddings as a solo musician, with Grace Notes String Ensemble, or as a market busker. She has been a resident musician at the Ridgeway Farmers Market for over a decade and can also be heard at the Port Colborne, St. Catherine's and Stevensville Markets each season.


Hannah loves bringing her students to the market to gain performing experience and so they become confident performers. 

Strings & String Orchestra

Strings & String Orchestra

Strings & String Orchestra

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