U-Rock Royalty


We’ve taught thousands of students since our school opened in 1997. We remember every one of them. We thought you’d like to find out how some of our alumni are doing. This section showcases some of our best and brightest…and where they are now in their music careers.

Andrew Waines

I’m working hard to build a career as a professional musician, when I have time between classes at Carleton University. I recently recorded my first single, Lovin’ Carefully, in Nashville, and I perform regularly around Ottawa. My first professional music experience happened when I was 15 – I was hired to play in Jordan Macintosh’s band. I toured with Jordan for two years, and I was fortunate to perform at Ottawa Bluesfest, the Boots & Hearts country music festival, the Cavendish PEI Beach Festival and other big stages. It was a gas. I have a dozen original songs now, and I’m always writing and playing. Check out my website at http://www.andrewwaines.com.

-Andrew Waines

Hailey Kruse

I started taking lessons with Cathy when I was 10 years old. I was shy and extremely nervous to perform. Over the course of 6 years of lessons I completely came out of my shell and found my voice. Since then I have been fortunate enough to have sung the national anthem for the 67s, perform at venues such as Centerpointe Theater, Algonquin Commons Theater and the Canadian Tire Center. I have also had opportunities to record and collaborate with many other talented local artists. I have been writing music continually over the last couple of years and continue to find inspiration in my experiences and the people I meet. Thank you Cathy for helping me find my voice!

-Hailey Kruse

Jake Brennan

I’m currently singing full time in a pop punk band called Portside.  We play frequently in Ottawa, and plan to tour all over Canada and the U.S. in the future.  I also maintain a solo project on the side for fun.  I’m constantly writing and recording all sorts of music. If you want to listen to my band, you can download our two singles for free at www.portside613.bandcamp.com

-Jake Brennan

Akshay Vig

For the past few months, I’ve been recording new music in the studio. Although it’s been a lengthy process, I’ve really enjoyed getting to work with different people who’ve helped me develop my original material. Things are starting to take shape after a lot of work. I can’t wait to finish these projects and finally release them!

-Akshay Vig

Chris Blackstone

Growing up in a musical family, it was a matter of “when” not “if” I would start playing music. I started playing guitar at 10, but at 16 (or was it 17? I’m getting old.) I decided it was time to learn how to sing. At the recommendation of another U-Rock music student, I enrolled with Cathy to step up that part of my game. Currently, you can find me at various open mics across the city playing covers and originals, as well as getting up onstage with friends! Music, while not something I do professionally, is a big part of my life, and I’m definitely better for it.

-Chris Blackstone

Cameron James Reed

My band Quarry, performs at several pubs in Toronto, including The Cloak & Dagger on College street where we are the feature band. We also played the El Macombo in Toronto (The Rolling Stones played there!) along with lots of open mic nights at university and local pubs near campus. Quarry has also opened for several big name bands. We were originally called ‘Glass Ghost’ and have several sound recordings on SoundCloud. You can also find several of my own songs (search Cameron James Reed, Cameron J Reed) on SoundCloud too. ‘Toy Boats’ is an original song that I wrote and won awards and professional studio recording time for.

-Cameron James Reed