Carla Safrany

Music Director

Carla Safrany is an accomplished music teacher and conductor, and is one of the founding members of the Watershed Ensemble. Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Carla played the trombone in high school and during her undergraduate degree at the University of Victoria. She completed a master’s degree in instrumental conducting and bachelor's degree in music education at Memorial University of Newfoundland. While at Memorial, Carla had the opportunity to direct the MUN Chamber Orchestra, Festival Choir, and Wind Ensemble. She has attended advanced conducting workshops at the University of Calgary, Acadia University, and the National Arts Centre.

Carla taught music and drama in Grande Prairie, Alberta for three years before deciding to return to Newfoundland. She is currently a teacher with the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District, and enjoys teaching music to students of all ages.

Gillian Sheppard

Dr. Gillian Sheppard is a professional flutist, born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Gillian enjoys playing solo and chamber repertoire, as well as larger orchestral works. She is a principal woodwind player with many Newfoundland Theatre companies including Atlantic Light Theatre, and Et Cetera Productions, and can often be heard in the woodwind sections of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra and Opera on the Avalon Chamber Orchestra. Gillian completed her Bachelor of Music at the University of Ottawa, and also holds a Master of Music from Memorial University and an Artist Diploma from The Royal College of Music (London, UK). Her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Piccolo Performance is from the University of Toronto.

Passionate about both music and social justice, Gillian founded Project Grace a community music program modeled on the Venezuelan program El Sistema, and its offshoot social enterprise, The Bethany Center for Arts and Community. Project Grace got its start in 2011 as a way to provide barrier-free access for children from all walks of life to the inspirational and engaging world of collaborative, classical music-making. Gillian also maintains a busy private teaching studio, Tutti Flutey, where she works one-on-one with flutists of all ages and abilities.

In addition to teaching and performing, Gillian works with Memorial University's Faculty of Business Administration as the educational support coordinator for the new MBA in Social Enterprise & Entrepreneurship.

You can read more about her work at or