Music@Noon series returns to the stage with grad performance

Lunch hour for the local community will sound sweet again with the return of the popular RBC Foundation Music@Noon Series presented by Brock’s Department of Music at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (PAC) in downtown St. Catharines.

The series opens on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at noon featuring Brock Music graduate and pianist Ryan Baxter (BMus ’19).

As a classically trained musician who developed his skills through The Royal Conservatory and at Brock, Baxter explores piano repertoire from the Baroque era to the present. In his upcoming Music@Noon performance, Baxter will play works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Liszt, Glenn Buhr and Alexander Scriabin.

“I enjoy programs that have a lot of variety, which I have tried to offer with my musical program. I love to play a little bit of everything in classical piano,” Baxter said.

Baxter’s love of music was sparked by a children’s music program he attended in his youth when he was introduced to the piano. He played many instruments growing up and was part of the Niagara Youth Orchestra, but he was always drawn to the keyboard.

Pursuing his music degree to launch him into his professional career, Baxter enjoyed the small class sizes at Brock, as well as the tight-knight community at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA).

“I really loved my time at Brock. A big part of the experience was being in the Marilyn I. Walker building. It is a very special place,” he said.

The piano masterclasses given at the adjacent performing arts centre by Karin Di Bella, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Music, also had a large impact on Baxter.

“Dr. K runs a truly excellent masterclass, and I always carry that training with me,” he said.

After earning his Bachelor of Music with a concentration in performance from the MIWSFPA, Baxter went on to complete a master’s degree in piano performance at the University of Manitoba and a diploma in composition at Humber College. Currently, Baxter is pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in piano performance at Western University.

In the future, Baxter hopes to work in university music education and integrate his knowledge of distance education and adult learning into his teaching and research.

Baxter said he is thrilled to be welcomed back to the PAC as a Brock alumnus and performer, bringing his education full circle from the times he played on the same stage in the Recital Hall during student solo recitals and rehearsals.

“It’s great to see the public at university performances in the community, it is so important. I hope I see some familiar faces in the audience.”

Generously sponsored by the RBC Foundation, free concerts are offered at the PAC most Tuesdays until the holiday season. The fall program will feature faculty performances as well as recitals from Music students later in the year. The livestream concerts can be viewed on the Facebook pages and YouTube channels of the MIWSFPA and PAC as well as on the PAC website.

For a full lineup of upcoming performances, please visit the Music website.

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