Alan  Sonia Braxton

Dr. Alan Shiner
Creative Director & President, Nova Sounds Entertainment

He was barely out of Junior High in Toronto when, on a dare, Alan Shiner entered a local talent show with his band Nova Sounds....and won. Who knew that would be the beginning of a career that has seen him write songs for pop icons like Mariah Carey, play keyboards on some of Boz Scaggs biggest hits and work as Music Director/Conductor for such incredible acts as The Pointer Sisters, Harry Belafonte and The Diamonds plus famous comedians George Burns, The Smothers Brothers and Rich Little.

Along the way, he's turned out more advertising jingles and copy than he can even remember, starting with that never-to-be-forgotten one for what was then a relatively unknown player in the fast food industry - "967-11-11, phone Pizza Pizza, hey hey hey!"

Oh, and let's not forget that running tandem with much of that career has been Alan's dental practice. Even while writing exams at The University of Toronto to get his degrees in Science, then Dentistry, he's never stopped composing, producing and playing on everything from African Lion Safari, Marineland, Sleep Country Canada, Sleeman's Brewery, Coca Cola, Quaker, Petro-Canada and Sunwing commercials, to playing gigs at clubs, corporate events, galas, private parties and on cruise ships, to leading live bands for T.V. awards shows, to leading the band on a nationally televised C.B.C. variety series (Paul Shaffer was his sub).

In his "spare" time, he penned and recorded, showcasing the Nova Sounds, the uplifting anthem "Voyage of a Lifetime (Follow Your Dreams)", used at the Athens Olympics and conceived as a tribute to all of the past, present and future athletes of the world. Even more recently, he created all of the new music for the Broadway-styled show "You Don't Have To Be Jewish", starring Jamie Farr (of Mash T.V.fame). He also composed the new theme song for "Unique Lives & Experiences", North America's always-sold-out celebrity women's lecture series.

Alan continues to pitch his mainstream pop and hip-hop compositions to recording and publishing companies. As the chief cook and bottle washer of Toyhouse Media Creations ™, he feels just as motivated now as the day he started in "the business". He attributes much of his inspiration to his daughter and twin sons and, of course, the many talented performers he is privileged to surround himself with in the Nova Sounds.

Vocalist & Performer

Nova Sounds Entertainment is proud to feature Sonia Collymore as a lead female vocalist and performer in the Nova Sounds Band. She is a two-time JUNO Award winning artist (2003, 2005) with a unique sound supported by a bold yet warm and accessible stage presence.

Although Sonia's recording niche is Reggae, she is equally adept in all vocal stylings. She can easily segue from Pop, Jazz, R&B and Rock to Latin, Disco, Broadway and even Classical. As well as English, Sonia can sing in Spanish, Italian, French and Hebrew. Her extensive repertoire and team playing attitude provide great assets for the Nova Sounds Band.

Sonia's talent, beauty and style are not only obvious while she is on stage with the band. She also has a unique ability to interact with and wow the guests at any kind of event. Although you may only get to know her for a few minutes, she will make you feel as if you have know her for years!


Saxophone and Woodwind player (tenor sax, alto sax, soprano sax, flute, piccolo, and clarinet) Braxton Hicks is an exciting addition to the Nova Sounds. He is a versatile instrumentalist, equally comfortable in an incredible range of styles, including Pop, R&B, Caribbean, Rock, Latin, and Jazz.

Playing woodwinds for 18 years, and classical piano for 23 years, Braxton’s musical education is as diversified as his playing.  He first studied woodwinds with multi-instrumentalist Don Englert (Buddy Rich, Lighthouse), and while attending the Humber College Jazz Studies Program, studied with world-renown saxophonist Pat LaBarbera.  He was also fortunate enough to study at Loyola University 
in New Orleans and recently studied with saxophonists Harry Allen (John Pizzarelli), Norbert Stachel (Tower of Power, Roger Waters) and Lenny Pickett (Saturday Night Live Music Director).


Guitarist Chris Smit is at home in a wide array of musical environments: from Classical to Jazz, or from Funk to Hard-Rock. As an accomplished session player, Chris' playing has been featured on the radio, TV, feature-film, and on numerous recordings. Chris is also a respected educator, having been on the guitar faculty of the Thornhill School of Music for the past fifteen years, and is currently finishing work on a modern. three-volume guitar method. Chris' musical breadth, musically, and dynamic performances, make him an exciting component of any Nova Sounds event.

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