Staff & Faculty

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John Bogardus

Music Director/ Executive Director

John Bogardus is a curious and passionate conductor who can often be seen waving his hands while humming scores as he prepares to lead a patchwork of eager musicians in rehearsal or performances.

From a young age, John has been playing violin, conducting ensembles, scoring and writing music. Growing up in upstate New York gave John a lot of valuable and memorable musical experiences, from helping run and organize music camps to performing in Carnegie Hall. Since moving to Nova Scotia over 10 years ago, John has inspired many musicians in addition to starting this accessible music program in the heart of Halifax.

In 2010 John started the music program we know today as the Halifax Music Co-op. Originally the Kings’ College Orchestra, John has devoted his life to nurturing growth the HMC and its membership . John conducts all the ensembles, teaches violin and voice, and was recently named the Interim Executive Director by the HMC’s Board of Directors. John’s undying passion for music and music education is the fire that keeps the HMC going.


Ryan Gray

Administrative Officer

Ryan Gray is an accomplished musician and aerial straps artist grown out of Sambro seaweed and Halifax harbour water. A drummer since the age of 6, Ryan is university educated in classical and modern percussion, as well as Benares tabla. He has performed in Canada, the US, Cuba, and South Africa, playing styles ranging from jazz and latin to blues, metal and EDM. After living in Montreal and South Africa, Ryan transitioned to circus arts, focusing on aerial straps and receiving an education at the National Circus School of Montreal. After working with Les Improbables, a troupe from Montreal, Ryan returned to Nova Scotia. Alongside his circus performances, Ryan composes music for himself and other artists. Recently, his music has been featured on UnisTV’s GALALA with performer Gwen Tremblay, in Estrela D’Alma, a short film that won the best short world film award at the Sherbrooke World Cinema Festival, as well as several of Atlantic Cirque’s performances. After returning from working with Zip Zap Circus, a social circus in Cape Town, South Africa, Ryan began work as a straps artist and music composer for the contemporary circus show, TU Processed, performed at the Halifax Music Co-op in December 2016 where he is currently part of the administration team.

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James Shaw

Jazz Director / Saxophone Faculty

James Shaw is an enthusiastic musician. He recently received a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz studies at Saint Francis Xavier University where he concentrated in saxophone(s). In addition to playing music, James also gained skills in composing and arranging for jazz ensembles during his undergrad. James has a strong jazz background that has shaped him into the musician he is today, but he is very curious in broadening his musical knowledge.

When you can’t find him composing at a keyboard or in the practice room you can find him on the big stage with Halifax based band Party Boots. He is eager to meet new musicians and is always excited to jam.

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Lucas Denison

Percussion Faculty, Director of Jazz Combos, Director of Sistema

Lucas comes from a family of musicians from Ottawa, ON. His numerous years of playing has crossed several genres of music, which has given him his own distinctive style and philosophy about the drumkit and percussion. He studied music at Carleton University in Ottawa, but left to continue his education on his own. His main influences come from jazz artists such as John Coltrane, Elvin Jones, and Tony Williams. He has had the opportunity to study under many influential musicians from across North America.

Lucas is proud and excited to be at the helm of Sistema NS and the HMC Jazz Combo program. You can contact him with questions about Sistema NS or the HMC Jazz Combo by clicking here.


Outside of music, Lucas has a profound interest in all things tech related and gaming.

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Andrew Mosher

Guitar Faculty

Andrew grew up in Cow Bay, Nova Scotia, and being from a musical family it was no surprise when he discovered his love for guitar. Andrew got a degree in Mathematics at Dal and studied both classical and jazz guitar under Ken Davidson. Andrew has been studying and playing guitar for almost 30 years, and has played with different local bands all around Halifax.  You can often find Andrew jamming in groups around town, putting together new jazz bands or teaching lessons.

When he’s not doing music, Andrew likes hiking with his dog, Zoe, and spending time gardening.

Work at the HMC!!!

Are you a highly trained musician interested in working with musicians of all ages and levels, performing great music, and helping a community grow? Send us your CV to!

Current Faculty and Staff Openings:

Faculty – Clarinet

Faculty – Bassoon

Faculty – Oboe