An Ottawa music teacher who played with the prime minister has been charged with sexually assaulting two young students. 43-year-old Philip Nolan was charged today with 5 counts each of sexual assault, sexual interference and sexual exploitation.  The charges date back to incidents that occurred between 1998 and 2000 and allegedly involved two female victims at an Ottawa elementary school. Nolan plays drums in a Celtic band called Herringbone. It's a band that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has played with on a number of occasions, including at 24 Sussex.

Until recently, Nolan had also been a music teacher at Avalon Public School in Ottawa’s east end. Some of his students say he was a really good teacher.

“He taught us everything,” says Grade 8 student Guillaume Delia.

“He was a drum teacher and we’re drummers and we’re good because of him,” added Grade student Prosper Luanda.

Nolan turned himself in to police today to face five counts each of sexual assault, sexual exploitation and sexual interference involving two female students in grades 7 or 8.

Staff Sergeant Angela McDade is with the Ottawa Police Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Unit, “We want to ensure there aren't any victims.  If there are, we want them to give us a call at 613-236-1222, extension 5944 and that will put you through to the sexual assault and child abuse unit.”

Stephen Harper's office responded almost immediately upon hearing about the arrest and issued a statement.

“We are obviously shocked and disturbed by these serious charges,” said Jason MacDonald, the Director of Communications in the Prime Minister’s Office, “No allegations of this nature have ever been brought to our attention. Anyone found guilty of these charges should face the full force of the law.”

Nolan taught music and band to grade 7 and 8 students at Avalon School.  One parent said his daughter had taken music but that Nolan had been off for some time.  Students were told he was sick and off for personal reasons.

“No one knew,” said student Guillaume Delia, “we thought he was sick.  They never told us anything.”

The Ottawa Carleton District School Board says Nolan had been reassigned to administrative duties during the investigation but not that criminal charges have been laid, he has been suspended.

"This is an extremely difficult situation,” said director Jennifer Adams in a statement, “and as a parent myself, I share the concerns that our community is feeling. "

“He’s a really nice guy.  It’s crazy,” says band student Paul Geddes.

“I’m shocked,” added Grade 8 student Layla Ahmed.

This is the second major incident involving Avalon Public school. Last year, several students got chemical burns on their bottoms from toilet seats and now these charges against a much-loved music teacher.