Our Conductors

Joseph Resendes, Principal Conductor (on sabbatical)


The East York Concert Band’s conductor since 2012, Joseph Resendes was born in Toronto into a musical family of Portuguese heritage, one which has inspired and encouraged his pursuit of a career in music. Today, Joseph holds extensive professional credits as an active composer, conductor, musician and educator.

As a composer and arranger, he has written for various ensembles, and earned several premiere performances across Canada, the USA, and Europe. As a conductor and performer, Joseph has had the privilege of working with a diverse group of music professionals such as earning recording opportunities with The Canadian Tenors, working with Grammy award-winners such as producer Steve Thompson and composer Christopher Tin, performing internationally with the “Musica Em Viagem” (Azores Musical Journey) Portuguese touring ensemble, and conducting highly-acclaimed ensembles such as the University of North Texas Wind Symphony.

Joseph currently holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in classical saxophone performance, a master’s degree in composition, and is currently completing a PhD in musicology at York University, focusing on the history and development of wind ensembles in Canada. As a conductor, he has studied with Eugene Migliaro Corporon, Dennis Fisher, Colleen Richardson and Christopher Morehouse, and attended symposia with Richard Blatti, Paula Holcomb, Craig Kirchhoff, and Jack Stamp.

With regular invitations to serve as a clinician, guest conductor, and adjudicator, Joseph is currently a sessional instructor at McMaster University, conductor of the McMaster University Concert Band and Assistant Music Director of ECOS of Portugal. Joseph also has held recent positions conducting the Milton Concert Band, St. Mary’s Church Choir and the VL sax quartet.

To contact Joseph, email conductor@eastyorkconcertband.ca.

Captain (retired) Graziano Brescacin, CD, BMus, BEd, Interim Conductor

Graz Brescacin filled in for our 2016-17 season, He’s done now, but leaves with our grateful thanks.

Graz completed a B.Mus (honours) degree in performance at the University of Ottawa and later continued his studies at Humber College. He has been a freelance woodwind specialist since 1970 playing in various theatres in Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, and for the Stratford and Shaw Festivals.
He has played in orchestras backing star performers including Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Rich Little, Jack Jones, Shirley MacLaine, Petula Clark, and others.
Captain Brescacin retired from the Canadian Forces in 2014 having completed a 42 year career as a military musician playing flute, clarinet, and saxophone and for the last 19 years was the Director of Music for the 7th Toronto Regiment Artillery Band. From 2004 to 2014 he was also the Staff Officer of Army Bands for the Ontario Area. He has taught conducting, flute, and clarinet classes at Canadian Forces Base Borden.
In civilian life, Graz Brescacin taught band, strings, choir, and keyboard classes for the Toronto Catholic District School Board from 1981 to 2005. From 2005 to 2015 he was the school board’s Instrumental Music Resource Teacher where he was responsible for all instrumental music programs in the 200 Elementary and Secondary schools and coordinated many special music projects. He has been the Pit Orchestra Conductor for the TCDSB Staff Arts Musical Productions since 2010.
Graz continues to be in demand as a guest conductor, performer, clinician, and adjudicator. 

Ernie Walker, Conductor Emeritus


Affiliated with the East York Concert Band since 1969, Ernie Walker served as conductor from 1985 to 2007. A former educator, Ernie’s infectious love of music encompasses a broad array of styles and genres. He continues to perform with the band on French horn, and as Conductor Emeritus can be seen conducting the ensemble at numerous community performances throughout the year.