Teachers & Staff
Steffi Petch: Deputy Head and English teacher After completing a Master’s degree in Modern Languages at Oxford University, Stephanie spent a couple of years working in business in London before moving to Belgium where she has pursued a career in education. She spent 12 years at the Catholic University of Louvain where she completed a Master’s degree in Linguistics and taught in the English Linguistics department. After this she moved to an International School where she taught English for 15 years and worked as Head of English for six. She has also worked as a translator and text editor.
Harriet Gibson: Academic Advisor, English teacher Harriet was born in London and studied for her first degree, in English & Educational Psychology, at London University. In her late 40’s, she gained a MA in Education as well as a diploma in Special Needs. After teaching briefly in London she came to Belgium 40 years ago. Here she taught privately before running the English department at Ecole Internationale Le Verseau for 25 years, taking a year out in 2005 to run a charity devoted to helping children with learning difficulties find appropriate help and back up in Belgium. She retired from Le Verseau 6 years ago but can’t stay out of the classroom (!) so she is now not only teaching again but enjoying helping Musica Mundi School in its early stages.
Kate Morrison: history & global perspectives teacher Kate grew up in Canada, New Zealand and Scotland and has lived in Luxembourg and Belgium in the last 10 years. She is a qualified secondary school teacher (UK) and has taught the CAIE curriculum in History, English, Global Perspectives as well as EAL, Drama and worked in school leadership. She has also worked in the non-profit sector and co-founded a Belgian non-profit that promotes citizenship education. In spare time Kate enjoys yoga, hiking, gardening, writing and spending time with family.
Naguissa Bostaille: science teacher Naguissa has a Masters in Biochemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology from ULB. Her research for her Ph.D in 2017 focussed on neurovascular development which she followed with a short post-doctoral research post in the Laboratory of Neurovascular Signaling. Some of the results have been published in different scientific journals, such as Science.
Paul Anthony Motwani: maths teacher Paul was the World Under-17 Chess Champion, and the youngest-ever Scottish Chess Champion, at age 16 in 1978. He later became Scotland’s first-ever International Grandmaster, and also successfully wrote and published five chess books. ‘Mr. Mo’ is now even happier to be a Christian family man and the Mathematics teacher at Musica Mundi School, Waterloo. His keen, puzzle-loving students could spot and remember that oh memory plus and employs humor are anagrams of Mr. Mo helps you!
Christine Van Esch : French Teacher Christine has a Master’s degree in modern languages and literature from the Catholic University of Louvain. She spent 12 years working for an international company in the Education and Sales departments. After that, she worked as a language teacher in a Flemish secondary school for 10 years. At the same time, she started her own small language school where she organizes French classes and workshops, mainly for children and teenagers.
Christine is a mother of 3 boys, sings in a choir and enjoys reading, walking and playing badminton.
Julia Weisbrich: German teacher Julia has an MA in from the University of Bremen where she specialised in English & Arts in secondary education. Following her MA from University of Bremen in English, Arts and Pedagogy, Julia then studied costume design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. She is a qualified teacher and works as a teacher and costume designer spending her time between Berlin and Brussels. Julia has three daughters.
Svetlana Kochenova: Physics teacher Svetlana has a Master’s degree in physics from the Department of Physics, Moscow State University, Russia, and a PhD degree in satellite remote sensing from the Department of Geography, Boston University, USA. For more than 15 years she had worked in the field of satellite measurements at different scientific establishments in Belgium and in the United States. Her main duties included development and modification of computer programs used to extract atmospheric data from Earth observation satellites. Teaching was always part of her scientific activities.
Helen Coyne-Wincott: English teacher Helen studied Language and Linguistic Science at the Universities of York (UK) and Toulouse (France). An unusual career path led her to become an International Tax Consultant for several years before she moved with her family to Belgium in 2005. She then qualified with the UK’s Chartered Institute of Linguists and spent ten years working as a freelance translator and teacher of English to adults. More recently, Helen has obtained a Specialised Masters from the University of Mons in the teaching and learning of languages. Music is also an important feature of Helen’s life; she plays the flute in a number of ensembles in and around Brussels and sings in both a small choir and a close harmony trio.
David Baltuch: music history and music literature teacher David is a pianist, conductor, composer and pedagogue. He studied in Belgium, France and the UK. He achieved a PhD from the Birmingham Conservatory on a thesis about orchestral conducting. His wide background leads him to perform works from Baroque to contemporary music, jazz and avant-garde. David has performed in many European countries, the USA and Israel. As a pedagogue, he taught piano, harmony and music analysis in several Belgian music academies, and was the Director of the Music Academy in Farciennes for 23 years.
Jan Van Landeghem: Music theory teacher Jan Van Landeghem is a composer as well as an organ, harpsichord and piano player. He was a professor at Brussels Royal Conservatory and Director of Bornem Music Academy. He has composed more than 300 works, won several national and international composition-awards, and performed worldwide as a solo player and in chamber music formations. Recently he achieved a PhD in Arts. www.janvanlandeghem.be
Rik Ghesquière : Conductor Rik is a versatile artist who is known as a stimulating and sensitive conductor. He builds on his extensive experience as a musician in the “Brussels Philharmonic”. This allows him to present an impressive repertoire from classical to contemporary. He studied orchestral conducting with Lucas Vis, Frank Shipway and Norbert Nozy at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. Internationally he has collaborated with the “Gauteng Philharmonic Orchestra” and the “Windworx Orchestra” (South Africa), the opera company “Stichting Klein Podium” (Netherlands), the “Thüringen Philharmonie Gotha” (Germany) and the Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra (Thailand). In 2018 he conducted in Nashville, United States. Rik Ghesquière is also the artistic director of the professional “ORFEO” orchestra and permanent conductor of the “Symfonieorkest De Lier”, the “Vlaams-Brabants Symfonie Orkest” chief-conductor of the “Brussels Young Philharmonic” from 2018 till the end of 2022. In 2019 Rik was appointed as “Extraordinary Associate Professor of Music” at Stellenbosch University and in September 2022 he became the first ever Belgian to conduct the renowned “Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra” in South Africa.
Dirk De Nef : music Dirk De Nef was born in 1957 in Ghent. As a boy he sang in a choir and played the guitar. Only when he was fifteen he started the solfège course at the Conservatory of Mechelen. He received first prizes in solfège, harmony, choral conducting and music history at the Royal Flemish Conservatory in Antwerp. At the Royal Conservatory in Brussels he received first prizes in counterpoint and fugue with Rafaël D’Haene, composition with André Laporte and higher music analysis with Frans Geysen.
Julietta Kocharova: Voice coaching At the age of 4, Julietta started musical studies for violin and piano. At 16 she was admitted as youngest student ever for “Academic singing” in the Saratov State Conservatory’s history. After graduating Julietta was engaged by the Saratov Opera and Ballet Theatre. So at the young age of 21 years she made her debut on opera stage with the role of Adelie from the Kalman operetta “Die Fledermaus”. Later on she performed about all the leading opera characters. Julietta acquired a Master in Voice and Postgraduate in Chamber Music at the Brussels Conservatory, and her PhD at Sholokhov Moscow State University for Humanities. Julietta has won many International Competitions for Opera Singers. She learned from great musicians as Cheryl Studer, Daniel Blumenthal, Christoph Pregardien, Anna Samuil, Julius Drake, Christianne Stotijn, and many others. In 2014 she founded and became president of the Belgian musical association Triomphe de l’Art, asbl. Since 2020 she’s part of the Musica Mundi School staff for Voice coaching.
Héloïse Stevins : sport teacher Héloïse is an experienced physiotherapist and passionated about rugby, physical preparation and well being. She used to work with aged people for 6 years and is high level player in the Belgian rugby seven national team. This made her familiar with high level sport, recovery, nutrition and well-being, and it gave her good knowledge on strengthening via weightlifting.
She’s also experienced as sports physiotherapist and trainer in group gym class
At the ULB she obtained her diploma of Master Physiotherapy and rehabilitation. Furthermore she specialized in chronic and recurrent muscle and tendon rehabilitation
Jan Vanderwegen: IT Manager Jan Vanderwegen was born in 1963 in Mechelen, Belgium. He started his violin studies at the age of 9, was accepted to the Antwerp conservatory in 1981, and there received his first prize as a student of V.Lenaerts. At the Brussels conservatory he studied viola with Ervin Schiffer and also obtained a first prize for this instrument. He concluded his viola studies between 1993-1994 in New-York under Emannuel Vardi. In 1992 he became principal violist in the Nieuw Vlaams Symfonisch Orkest and remained there until 1994, the year he became principal violist in the Collegium Instrumentale Brugense. Jan Vanderwegen has participated in different chamber music ensembles such as SPECTRA (specialising in contemporary music), FUGA-in Paris, and many other trios, quartets, quintets etc. From 1994-1999 he participated in the Sewannee Summer Music Festival (U.S.A.) as a teacher, soloist and chamber music player.
Christophe Gillain: Visual Communication Christophe has a degree in marketing and communication. In 2009, after 17 years as a graphic designer and creative director in different communication agencies, he founded his own company, Studio89. Since 1998, when he met Hagit and Leonid Kerbel, International Musica Mundi Course and Festival founders, he started collaborating with them to assist with Festival communications and promotion. As this collaboration became stronger friendship and business became intertwined, and in 2017 Christophe became part of the Musica Mundi School project and took its communication under his wing.
Jacqueline Hasson Arsin : Counselor Jacqueline Hasson Arsin was born and lived in Congo ( RDC) for 32 years before moving to Belgium. She was licensed in clinic psychology in ULB in 1975. As a personal development therapist she was working in counselling, breath work and meditation and looks back on over 20 years of experience. She’s a mother of three children and proud grandmother. Jacqueline is very happy to join the Musica Mundi team.
Peter De Vleeschhouwer: housefather Peter was born in St.-Niklaas in a musical family. He studied music (trumpet) at the Royal Conservatories of Antwerp and Ghent. After playing as a freelance musician for many years, he was able to expand his experience by combining his musicianship with the function of assistant stage manager at the Belgian National Orchestra in 1998 until recently. Looking for a new challenge, he applied for the function of housefather at the Musica Mundi School. He wants to make good use of all his expertise in the musical world, in order to take care of our students, and to support the school in every possible way.
Annabel Mantilla Adolfo: housemother I am born in the Philippines raised in a loving family, I pursued and completed my studies at University of Cebu Master in Junior Secretarial Course year 1991, before coming to Belgium I works as s Quality Control for a fashion industry in the Philippines. I arrived in Belgium on February 26,2006 then started working as well as a staff member for Musica Mundi Course and Festival. In 2018 I became the housemother of the Musica Mundi School.
Patrick Vandenbergh: chief-cook Patrick studied hotel & catering at CERIA in Anderlecht and has been working in the catering sector for the past 30 years. After working for large companies, in 2002 he decided to start his own business specialising in school meals and school events. He became involved with Musica Mundi 15 years ago, in the beginning organising food for the Festival and he is now responsible for running the kitchen in Musica Mundi School.
Chanoine Laetitia: cook Depuis toute petite, j’ai toujours rêvé de devenir pâtissière. J’ai réalisé des études d’ hôtellerie à l’Institut Cardinal Mercier. Après avoir travaillé dans divers restaurants de Waterloo et Braine-l’Alleud, j’ai travaillé durant 9 ans chez Exki. Il y a 2 ans j’ai décidé de changer de vie. J’ai eu la chance d’être engagée à Musica Mundi. Habitant non loin de l’école, ma vie est bien rythmée entre mon travail et mes enfants.
Bastien Vecchio: cook Bastien Vecchio had his education as a cook in l’Institut du Sacré-Cœur de Nivelles. From the beginning of his professional career, he worked for Clarie Catering, the company of our chief cook. He’s a cook for Musica Mundi School since 2018.