September Music at MERA

Music at MERA brings 2 performances to the schoolhouse in September:
Sunday, September 11 – Karen Donnelly & Frédéric Lacroix
Sunday, September 18 – Neville Wells & Frank Koller

Karen Donnelly & Frédéric Lacroix

Sunday September 11, 2:00 pm



Karen Donnelly –Trumpet

Karen Donnelly has been with the National Arts Centre Orchestra since 1996, first as Acting Principal Trumpet and since 1999 as Principal Trumpet. Karen began playing trumpet in elementary school, and eventually went on to a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree at the University of Regina and later a Master’s of Music from McGill University. Between 1994 and 1996 Karen held the position of Principal Trumpet with Orchestra London (Canada) and performed with many ensembles in southwestern Ontario during her time there.

In addition to the NAC Orchestra, Ms. Donnelly has been involved in performances with the CBC, Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Rideau Lakes Brass Quintet, the Capital BrassWorks, Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra, Kingston Symphony, Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra London, Hannaford Silver Street Band, Maple Leaf Brass Band, Parkdale Orchestra and the Reginal Catholic Schools Honour Band.

Music education is another priority for Karen. Her work with the Rideau Lakes Brass Quintet and Capital BrassWorks creates opportunities for educational concerts and workshops in schools. Through the NAC Music Education programs, Karen has given master classes in Switzerland, Mexico, China, United States, United Kingdom and Canada from coast to coast.  Ms. Donnelly joined the teaching staff at the University of Ottawa in 2002, and since 2009, Karen has been assisting with the Leadingnote OrKidstra program.

Frédéric Lacroix – Piano

Frédéric Lacroix holds the distinction of playing for Music at MERA more times than any other musician (6 times and counting). Along with his musicianship and enthusiasm he always brings a varied repertoire of quality and some interesting background on each piece.   When not at the schoolhouse, Frédéric has managed to fit in performances in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia as a soloist, chamber musician and collaborative pianist. He is a frequent collaborator with members of the NAC Orchestra both in chamber music and recitals.

Frédéric has devoted part of his time to the study and performance of music on period keyboard instruments, presenting numerous concerts as harpsichordist and fortepianist and being recognized as the Westfield Center Performing Scholar for 2008–2009. His interest in composition and new music has led to collaboration with various composers and performers in the premiere of a number of Canadian and American works.

Frédéric Lacroix teaches piano and composition at the University of Ottawa. He recently completed his doctorate degree in keyboard performance practice with Malcolm Bilson at Cornell University.

Tickets are $25.00 plus service fees available through
The MERA schoolhouse is located at 974 Dalhousie Concession 9A, McDonald’s Corners, ON.

Neville Wells & Frank Koller

Close to Home
Sunday September 18, 2:00pm


New Date to be Announced Soon

Due to events beyond our control this performance is being postponed until later this fall, likely in November. If you are a current ticket holder you will have received notification by email along with information regarding refunds if you so chose. As soon as a new date has been confirmed it will be posted here and on the Tickets Please website. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused.

Close to Home – a Musical Tribute to the Ottawa Valley.

Close to Home, a Sunday afternoon concert, where MERA welcomes the musical duo of Neville Wells and Frank Koller.

Close to Home is Neville’s creation, based on a lifetime in country music … an afternoon of songs written by country and folk artists from across the Ottawa Valley.

Neville Wells …. “one of Canada’s most accomplished country music artists”, has been performing for 7 decades. In 1984, he was named Person of the Year by the Canadian Country Music Association, was inducted into the Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall of Fame and the Land o’ Lakes Traditional Hall of Fame in 1994 and 2017 respectively, and he was a founder of Canadian Country Music News.  Neville toured regularly across Canada with his band Sweetwater, and his recordings have been hits many times.

Born in Newfoundland, Neville was raised in Ompah, Ontario. Neville was at the heart of Ottawa’s folk music explosion, at the famed coffee house Le Hibou. He was in bands with his friends Sneezy Waters, Bruce Cockburn, David Wiffen and Bill Hawkins.

Through the decades, many Canadian country musicians recorded Neville’s songs. Most recently, he was lead singer (along with former Almonte resident Peggy White) of One More Last Chance, an 8-piece traditional country music band based in Ottawa.

Frank Koller has been playing guitar since he stole his cousin’s battered acoustic in 1962.  A decade later, surviving a slew of garage bands while studying engineering, Frank turned professional: his first gig was in October 1972 with Neville and Sneezy Waters in Shawville, Quebec.

Frank was soon hailed as a “session-guitarist extraordinaire” by the Globe and Mail, playing for Canadian and international performers including David Wiffen, Ian Tamblyn, Sneezy Waters, Colleen Peterson, Anne Murray, Tom Jones, Englebert Humperdick, Bobby Vee and Roy Rogers. For three years, he was music director of the Canada Day TV shows on Parliament Hill. His 1980 pop-jazz LP Single Malt won rave reviews across Canada.

From 1985 to 2015, journalism distracted Frank. As a foreign correspondent for CBC News, he covered the democracy protests in Tienanmen Square, the fall of Asian dictators, and New York City on  9/11. Now he returns to his first, true love – music.

Tickets are $25.00 plus service fees available through
The MERA schoolhouse is located at 974 Dalhousie Concession 9A, McDonald’s Corners, ON.