About Us

A proudly Canadian independent business for the past 18 years!The Canadian owned and operated Leading Note music store was founded by the husband and wife team of Gary McMillen and Tina Fedeski in December 1999 and is located in the heart of downtown Ottawa, Ontario. Sheilah Craven joined on in mid 2000 and has been our knowledgeable store manager and choral music expert for the past several years.

The Leading Note's storefront on Elgin Street - conveniently located directly above the Manx Pub!The view of our store from just inside the front door - the piano and strings room.

From the start, our goal was to become the classical print music specialist in Canada. In addition to stocking a large amount of repertoire, we have always specialized in ordering music very quickly (everything from larger orders for schools, choirs and orchestras to more obscure repertoire from tiny publishers on the other side of the world). We quickly became the resource for classical print music in the Ottawa area for local musicians, teachers, choirs and orchestras. And, as a result of our specialized customer service and excellent online store, we continue to serve more and more customers all across Canada and the United States.

Inspired by the vibrant choral community in Ottawa, choral music is a special focus for us. In addition to stocking the larger choral repertoire, we have developed an extensive choral octavo perusal library. Our choral/vocal room includes a keyboard that can be used by choral directors and singers to assist them in choosing new repertoire. We are now pleased to supply music to choirs all across Canada.

In addition to providing classical print music, we also actively promote local concerts, composers, artists, educational events, etc. We stock a large number of CDs by local musicians and are happy to sell tickets for concerts put on by local, community groups.

Studio A with baby grand pianoThe OrKidstra program's year-end concert.

In September of 2018, we expanded our local service by providing two studios for rent in the space adjacent to our store on Elgin Street! These studios are intended to be used by both teachers and all musicians looking for a place to rehearse.

In 2007 we formed a charitable organization, The Leading Note Foundation*, which saw the birth of the OrKidstra youth music program. With extraordinary support from the Ottawa community, this Sistema-inspired program proudly provides free music instruction for over 700 children from 42 different linguistic backgrounds from underserved areas of Ottawa. For more information about the OrKidstra program, visit the program’s web site.

Building Community Through Music - The Leading Note music store and OrKidstra

* In 2016, the official name of the charitable organization was changed from The Leading Note Foundation to OrKidstra in order to reduce branding confusion.

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