A native of Nova Scotia, Rita received her musical training at The University of Toronto, Faculty of Music, studying French Horn with Fred Rizner, Harcus Hennigar, and Eugene Rittich. Her introduction to conducting came through her involvement with the Canadian Forces Primary Reserve unit, The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, for which she was their Director of Music for 15 years. During this time Rita earned her Master of Music (Wind Conducting) from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Music, studying with Gillian MacKay. She continued to study conducting through workshops and seminars with Mark Scatterday, Dale Lonis, Craig Kirchoff, Tim Reynish, Richard Blatti, Paula Holcombe, and others. As part of her military duty, Rita taught Basic Conducting to Reserve Musicians at the Canadian Forces Music Training Cadre in Borden, Ontario, for several summers. She is currently the Officer for Bands for the 32 Canadian Brigade Group where she is responsible for the coordination of taskings and training, and developing and implementing professional development sessions for seven of Canada’s finest Army Reserve Bands in the Greater Toronto Area.
Other ensembles Rita has conducted are the Silverthorn Silver Band, the Oakland Brass Band (now the Five Lakes Brass Band), the East York Concert Band, the Northdale Concert Band, the Mississauga Pops Concert Band, and started her own chamber group A Little Wind Music last year. As a member of CBA (O) Rita has conducted several times at the Community Band Weekends. During the spring of 2014, she will be Guest Conductor of Intrada Brass of Oakville.
In addition, Rita is an accomplished clinician, private teacher, and freelance horn player (French Horn and Tenor Horn).