True North Brass burst on to the scene in 1997, and has since solidified its reputation as one of the world’s finest brass ensembles. With a roster of some of Canada’s finest brass instrumentalists, True North’s membership includes two outstanding composer / arrangers who create the ensemble’s fresh and unique programming. Proudly Canadian in focus and expression with a truly international outlook, True North Brass has been welcomed not only in Canada but in China and throughout North America.  True North Brass has released four critically acclaimed recordings, been featured on CBC Television’s Opening Night program, is heard frequently on public and private radio and collaborated on other recording projects with such artists as the Elmer Iseler Singers, Rick Fox, Lori Cullen, Eleanor Daley and St. Michael’s Choir School.

True North Brass is….

STUART LAUGHTON was principal trumpet of the Hamilton Philharmonic and an original member of Canadian Brass at age 19. Before graduating from Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music he was appointed principal trumpet of La Scala, Milan by Claudio Abbado. In Canada, Laughton became a soloist and chamber musician, founded Opening Day Recordings (5 JUNO nominations from 18 releases), the roots/rock band Porkbelly Futures and The Forest Festival (theforestfestival.com) in Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve. He has premiered many Canadian works, including a trumpet concerto by R. Murray Schafer. Stuart is currently developing Radio Dial (radiodial.ca) in which he performs in many styles on many instruments. In 2015 Stuart was inducted into the Burlington Performing Arts Centre Hall of Fame.

BARTON WOOMERT, the former Associate Principal Trumpet with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for thirty-two years, is an active free-lance musician who performs regularly with the True North Brass. In addition to his work as trumpet instructor at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, he also enjoys other teaching opportunities including the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. He also served as Brass Musician-in-Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University for one year.

A native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, he received his music degree from the Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Upon graduation, he traveled to South America where he played Principal Trumpet in the Orquesta Sinfonica Venezuela (National Orchestra of Venezuela) and in the Metropolitan Opera of Caracas. While there, he worked in the newly developing “El Sistema” music program for young Venezuelan musicians. He also served as soloist for four years with the United States Marine Band, “The President’s Own,” in Washington, D.C., and performed regularly at White House functions. Before moving to Toronto, he held the position of Principal Trumpet with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra.

CHRISTINE PASSMORE recently completed her Doctor of Music degree at Indiana University. She performs regularly with the National Ballet Orchestra, the Esprit Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hannaford Street Silver Band. Christine has been a member of the Shaw Festival Orchestra since 2009, and where she also plays chamber concerts on modern and natural horns. Christine also has a busy teaching schedule and a very busy two-year old son.

AL KAY is busy as the Head of Brass at Humber College, a clinician, arranger, composer, and a virtuosic jazz and classical trombonesoloist. He has performed with leading artists and entertainers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Rob McConnell, Diana Krall, Tony Bennet, and Frank
Sinatra. Al has recorded hundreds of jingles, albums, film and tv soundtracks, and performs regularly around Toronto with the bands of John MacLeod, Roberto Occhipinti, and Kirk MacDonald. He has also played for most of the musicals in Toronto for the past 40 years. Al’s
association with Yamaha has led him to Japan helping design the YSL697Z and 897Z trombones, and an Al Kay Artist mouthpiece.

SCOTT IRVINE cannot be categorized. His arrangements and compositions are regularly featured by a variety of ensembles and have been documented on several CBC discs. His remarkable instrumental gifts (Don Ferguson of The Royal Canadian Air Farce calls him “Tuba Tyrant Extraordinaire”) have found him in constant demand in musical situations ranging from the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra to Sharon, Lois and Bram’s “Elephant Show”, to the Esprit Orchestra…Beware!


Alastair Kay
Scott Irvine
Joan Watson
Raymond Tizzard
Stuart Laughton

  • Remembering Joan

    Remembering Joan
    March 12, 2015, the True North Brass family lost a passionate, fearless, supportive and inspiring musician. Our very own Joan Watson succumbed to cancer, something she kept very private from all but her closest friends for the past two years. The funeral was March 18, and TNB’s Scott Irvine, recounted so wonderfully the life of his partner, ...
    Read full item



True North’s Managing Director, RAYMOND TIZZARD, is a founding member of True North Brass and for the past 30 years has been active in Canada’s classical music scene as a trumpet player and arts administrator. In addition to his duties with True North Brass, Ray is the Executive Director of The Hannaford Street Silver Band, Canada’s professional brass band, www.hssb.ca and is the Orchestra Personnel Manager and Music Administrator for the National Ballet of Canada. Last year his Alma Mater, Western University in London Ontario inducted Ray to the Faculty of Music’s Wall of Fame.

True North Brass
42 Jessie Crescent
Sharon, ON
L0G 1V0
905 478 1882