Current Students

  • Student performances to wrap Music@Noon season

    Voice student Marcus Tranquilli (right) performed last semester with professional accompanist Gary Forbes as part of the RBC Foundation Music@Noon Recital Series in the Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.


    (From The Brock News, March 8, 2019)

    It’s time once again for Brock University Music students to take over the stage as part of the Music@Noon Recital Series.

    For the next five weeks, guests will hear performances by voice, guitar, piano and instrumental students.

    The next performance of the series, which features piano students, will take place Tuesday, March 12 in the Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, and will be followed by additional student performances on consecutive Tuesdays.

    Instrumental students will perform March 19, followed by voice, guitar and piano students March 26, and piano students April 2.

    Brock’s instrumental students will close out the season on April 9. This performance was rescheduled from Feb. 12 due to inclement weather.

    Thanks to the generous donation of the RBC Foundation, Music@Noon is a free one-hour concert that occurs most Tuesdays at noon during the academic year. All are invited to join the Department of Music in the Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines.

    For more information on upcoming concerts, please visit the Department of Music Website.

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    Categories: Current Students, Events, News

  • Brock alumna returns to speak with VISA students

    Brock alumna, Natalie Hunter, spent the afternoon with VISA 4F06 students as they discussed their upcoming exhibitions. Back row from left: Teresa Badgley, Amber Williams, Shawn Serfas, Sarah Martin
    Front row from left: Gianna Aceto, Emma Hutchison-Hounsell, Cynthia Richards, Natalie Hunter


    On Feb. 7, Brock Visual Arts students in the VISA 4F06 Honours course were visited by Brock alumna Natalie Hunter (BA ’11) to discuss their upcoming exhibitions that begin in March. Hunter and the students discussed the pieces they are working on and how to move forward in order to create a cohesive exhibition. During each student’s session, they received a small piece of translucent film that Hunter used in her exhibition, Staring into the Sun, which is currently on view at Rodman Hall Art Centre.

    During her time at Brock, Hunter was part of the VISA 4F06 Honours course, where students work all year to put together an exhibition in Rodman Hall. Staring into the Sun features photo-based sculptures and installations that explore the relationship between memory and physical space. The exhibition runs until April 28.

    At the Bottom of Everything, the first of two Visual Arts Honours exhibitions, runs from March 23 to April 7, with the opening reception on Friday, March 22 at 7 p.m. at Rodman Hall.

    The second exhibition runs from April 13 to 28, with the opening reception on Friday, April 12 at 7 p.m. at Rodman Hall. More details to come.

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    Categories: Alumni, Current Students, Events, News

  • Community discussion to focus on King Ubu’s relevance to today

    Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts is excited to bring King Ubu to the mainstage this weekend at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre in downtown St. Catharines. The show runs from Friday, March 1 to Saturday, March 9. Cast member Emma McCormick (centre) was interviewed during last week’s media call.


    (From The Brock News, February 28, 2019 | By: Sarah Ackles)

    St. Catharines city councillor Karrie Porter will join a group of Brock Dramatic Arts (DART) students and Brock faculty members next week in a roundtable discussion on the relevance of King Ubu to today’s political climate.

    The free, public event, “Folly, feces and fake news: King Ubu, then and now,” will be held in the Scotiabank Atrium in the Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex on Wednesday, March 6 from 10 to 11 a.m.

    “We’re really happy to have Karrie’s participation,” said Director and DART Associate Professor David Fancy. “She has a rich background in social justice, community engagement and lived experience of being a woman in politics in the age of social media.”

    Students in Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts are excited to bring King Ubu to the mainstage this weekend at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre in downtown St. Catharines. The show runs from Friday, March 1 to Saturday, March 9.

    The plot follows Pa Ubu (a patriarchal, racist, megalomaniac who constantly talks about poop, loves himself a lot and kills everybody around him) and his wife, Ma Ubu (who pushes her husband to increasing feats of violence and narcissism), as they go on a bloodthirsty quest to take over the world.Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts is staging the classic French production in a run from March 1 to 9.

    Fancy said he is looking forward to generating discussions on the work’s timeless themes at the upcoming roundtable.

    “Whenever we’re programming productions, we attempt to provide students and the department, and by extension the wider community, the opportunity to work through a set of themes that resonate with what is going on with the world,” Fancy said. “Given this is about a person who is obsessed with their own power, King Ubu seemed like a good fit, thematically.”

    The controversy surrounding the play’s opening run is also going to be discussed. Panelists will debate whether King Ubu opened and closed in a single night because of its controversial content, or, whether the hubbub was an example of 19th century “fake news,” intentionally manufactured and exaggerated to promote the production.

    Panelists will also explore Fancy’s adaptation of the play and the queering of main character Pa Ubu (who will be played by female cast member Emma McCormick in the Brock production).

    In addition to Fancy and Porter, panelists will include Professors Leah Bradshaw (Political Science), Tim Conley (English) and Karen Fricker (Dramatic Arts), and DART students McCormick, Kristina Ojaperv (Assistant Director), Mae Smith and Catherine Tait.

    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts Director Elizabeth Vlossak will moderate the discussion.

    “The roundtable provides a unique opportunity to foster discussion and the sharing of ideas and debate between people who may not interact academically otherwise,” she said. “Hosting the event on the main campus with a variety of different panelists also brings the work taking place at the MIWSFPA into the community, showcasing the connections that visual arts, music and theatre can have to our everyday lives.”

    The roundtable discussion is free and open to the public.

    No registration is required but seating is limited and first-come, first-served. Light refreshments will be served, and attendees will be eligible to enter into a draw for free King Ubu tickets.

    King Ubu runs at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts from March 1 to 9. For more information, visit the Department of Dramatic Arts website. Tickets are available through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre box office at 905-688-0722 or on the PAC website.

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    Categories: Current Students, Department/Centre News, Events, News

  • Scrap textiles to be turned into artistic treasures at Brock workshop

    Fifth-year Visual Arts student Emma Mary Sked will lead a workshop Feb. 27 to teach participants how to transform scrap fabric into unique sculptures, similar to the animals she created in her recent exhibition, Maybe You Should Drive.


    (From The Brock News, February 21, 2019 | Sarah Ackles)

    Bits of fabric set to be thrown away will instead be used to create unique sculptures during a workshop held on Brock’s main campus next week.

    Fifth-year Visual Arts student Emma Mary Sked, who is also part of the upcoming VISA 4F06 Honours Exhibition, will show participants how to transform the scraps into works of art on Wednesday, Feb. 27 in the James A. Gibson Library.

    The workshop is the third event in the new Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) Wellness Series, which is hosted by the MIWSFPA and features free monthly activities that promote well-being and the benefits of engaging in the arts.

    Sked recently worked with textiles to construct brightly coloured fabric animals as part of her Maybe You Should Drive exhibition at the MIWSFPA in November.

    She is excited to now teach others how to bring their own creations to life.

    Everyone in the Brock and broader community looking to relax and unwind, while harnessing their inner creativity and learning a new skill, is welcome to attend. The event runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in ST231 of the Library’s Matheson Learning Commons.

    No previous art experience is required and all necessary materials will be supplied.

    The event is free, but registration is required at ExperienceBU or by contacting sackles@brocku.ca

    For more information about the event and others in the series, visit the MIWSFPA Wellness Series web page.

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    Categories: Current Students, Events, News

  • King Ubu coming to Marilyn I. Walker Theatre

    Cast and crew members of the upcoming mainstage production King Ubu have been busy preparing for opening night on Friday, March 1. Tickets are on sale now for the production, presented by Brock University’s Department of Dramatic Arts.


    (From The Brock News, February 13, 2019 | By: Sarah Ackles)

    Alfred Jarry’s controversial classic King Ubu will bring audiences face-to-face with the absurdity of modern life when the production comes to Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker Theatre starting Friday, March 1.

    Presented by Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts (DART), the show is an avant-garde and hilarious commentary on human folly and the dangers of unchecked political ambition.

    Director and Associate Professor David Fancy said Ubu’s references to populism and the blurred lines between celebrity culture and politics are fitting themes for our current climate. Although first performed in 19th century France, King Ubu, he added, offers “an invitation to look critically at, but not disengage with, the current moment in time.”

    The play centres on Ma and Pa Ubu’s bloodthirsty quest to become the new king and queen of a fictionalized version of Poland.

    Between their continuous bickering, Pa, an egotistical and inept tyrant who wields an enormous toilet brush while speaking nonsense, and Ma, his enabling and devious wife, scheme to take over the world through a series of antics that play out like a reality show gone wrong.

    To emphasize the theatrical nature of Ma and Pa Ubu’s political exploits, the show features puppets, karaoke numbers and a giant puppet head that eats half the cast.

    Although the production stays true to the absurdist spirit of Jarry’s original work, Fancy said there is also a layer of introspection that exists beneath all the silliness.

    “On one side we’re being playful, irreverent and sarcastic like Jarry, but on the other side there are also lots of heartfelt moments,” he said. “We can use laughter on some level to celebrate, criticize and escape, but we will also be forced to confront the fact that these are real people having difficult experiences. We question what caused them to become such trainwrecks — and whether we need to have compassion for these people who are perhaps not so different from us.”

    The show’s gender-bending lead role selection also provides a unique twist.

    Ubu admonishes supremacy logic in all of its forms and casting a woman as Ubu helps heighten the critique of patriarchy. At the same time, this casting points out that anyone, given the right context, can engage in human folly,” Fancy said of the distribution of roles across genders. “Everybody can behave like a dangerous fool.”

    All these aspects of the production, combined with intense and moving performances, make for an entertaining experience, he added.

    “I think a big part of it is tapping into the creative possibility of what theatre can be as an art form,” Fancy said. “The experience gives our cast and crew the creative confidence to respond to the world around them, like Jarry did, using their own, creative voices.”

    King Ubu is translated by David Edney and directed by David Fancy, with costume design by Jo Pacinda and scenography and scenography by James McCoy.

    The production showcases the talents of students in the DART undergraduate program, including Ash McEachern, Avery Delaney, Chris Murillo, Emma McCormick, Jackson Wagner, Jasmine Case, Juan-Carlos Figueroa, Lauren Reid, Leah Eichler, Rachel Frederick, Samuel Donovan, Taylor Bogaert and Tsipporah Shendroff.

    Brock students, staff and faculty members of the creative and production team include Kristina Ojaperv (Assistant Director), Jordine De Guzman (Stage Manager), Alicia Bender (Assistant Stage Manager), Meryl Ochoa (Assistant Lighting Designer), Trevor Copp (Choreographer), Holly Kurelek (Wardrobe Supervisor), Diego Blanco and Molly Lacey (Dressers), Brian Cumberland (Production Manager), Gavin Fearon (Technical Director), Ed Harris (Shop Supervisor), Dawn Crysler (Theatre Technician), Danielle Wilson (Shakespeare Coach) and Roberta Doylend (Head of Wardrobe).

    King Ubu runs from Friday, March 1 to Saturday, March 9 at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in downtown St. Catharines. Showtimes are March 1, 2 and 9 at 7:30 p.m., March 3 at 2 p.m. and March 8 at 11:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

    Tickets for the show are $18 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. A group rate is also available. Tickets are available through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre box office at 905-688-0722 or on the PAC website.

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    Categories: Current Students, News, Uncategorised

  • Avanti Chamber Singers to give a cappella performance

    The Avanti Chamber Singers will perform an a cappella concert at St. Thomas’ Anglican Church on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m. (Photo: Julie Hoff)


    (From The Brock News, February 15, 2019 | By: Jaquelyn Bezaire)

    Guests at the upcoming concert performed by the Avanti Chamber Singers are in for a surprise.

    Voices Raised, led by Rachel Rensink-Hoff on Saturday, Feb. 23, is a chance for Brock University’s choir-in-residence to celebrate the raw power of the human voice.

    The group will be performing an a cappella concert, with pieces ranging from early classical works to contemporary repertoire. The show promises to be the most diverse concert to date, with everything from open-throated chant singing to spoken word poetry.

    Members of the Avanti Chamber Singers have been working hard since their performance last November to build confidence with pitches and tuning, since there are no accompanying instruments this time around.

    “I am proud of what Avanti has accomplished in the short period of time since our last concert,” said Rensink-Hoff. “We can’t wait to share this program with our audience next week.”

    The group will also be performing a bit of beat-boxing and a deeply moving text by Indigenous poet Rita Joe titled I Lost My Talk. The singers will also be premiering two new compositions — one by Niagara-based composer James Moffett and the other by Laura Hawley.

    The Avanti Chamber Singers will also be inviting the audience to join in a singalong during the concert.

    Seating at St. Thomas’ Anglican Church is limited and guests are encouraged to purchase their tickets as soon as possible.

    Voices Raised takes place Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m. Advanced tickets are available through the Avanti Chamber Singers website, at Thorold Music and Booksmart, or from choir members for $20 for adults and seniors. Tickets at the door are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors. A $5 ticket is available for students and eyeGo program members.

    Rensink-Hoff is also the conductor for the Brock University Choirs, which includes both the chamber choir and the new women’s choir. Their next performance is Saturday, March 30.

    For more information about upcoming choral performances, visit the Brock University Music website.

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    Categories: Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Spotlight on students for next Music@Noon recital

    Music student Jessica Tigchelaar performed last term as part of the RBC Foundation Music@Noon Recital Series.


    (From The Brock News, Friday, Feb. 8, 2019)

    For the second week in a row, Brock University’s Music students are the focus of the RBC Foundation Music@Noon Recital Series.

    The instrumental students will perform on Tuesday, Feb. 12 in the Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines.

    The upcoming recital will include performances by Jacob Gill, Synthia Khairallah, Rebecca Heathcote, Zack Guo, Alyssa Shanghavi and Jessica Tigchelaar.

    Music@Noon is a free, one-hour recital series that takes place most Tuesdays at noon during the academic year. The Department of Music invites and encourages staff, faculty, students and the community to attend.

    For more information about the Music@Noon Recital Series, please visit the Music@Noon web page.

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    Categories: Current Students, Department/Centre News, Events, News

  • Students ready to shine for Music@Noon

    Music student Ruth Jones performed last semester as part of the Music@Noon Recital Series, which continues Feb. 5 in the Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.


    (From The Brock News, February 1, 2019)

    It’s time once again for Brock University Music students to take over the RBC Foundation Music@Noon Recital Series.

    Instrumental, Piano and Voice students will perform on Tuesday, Feb. 5 in the Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

    This week brings both previous performers and newcomers to the stage including Divya Iyer, Alyssa Shanghavi, Ruth Jones, Marcus Tranquilli, Patrick Tanner, Nicole Abbruscato, Can Kilic, Donglan Liu, Grace Martins, Taj Crozier, Cassandra Sullivan and Ryan Baxter.

    Music@Noon is a free, one-hour recital series that takes place most Tuesdays at noon during the academic year. The Department of Music invites and encourages staff, faculty, students and the community to attend.

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  • Local musician’s legacy lives on through new Brock University jazz ensemble

    A new community jazz ensemble and concert series is being established at Brock University in honour of the late musician Hugh Logan and his wife, Marie. Photo courtesy of the St. Catharines Standard.


    (From The Brock News, January 28, 2019 | By: Sarah Ackles)

    If you’re a jazz lover in Niagara, you’ve likely crossed paths with Hugh Logan.

    Affectionately known as ‘Hughie,’ the Toronto-born musician was a prominent part of the local music community for decades — known as much for his upbeat demeanour and quirky antics as he was for being a valued and dedicated member of a number of bands.

    Logan died in 2016, but his legacy will live on for years thanks to a generous gift to Brock University’s Department of Music.

    Brock students and members of the community are invited to audition for the Department of Music’s new jazz ensemble, which is funded by a generous gift from the Bassett family in honour of late musicians Hugh and Marie Logan. Pictured is Brock Music student Aaron Cardona.

    Logan’s sister, Norma Bassett, has created a fund that will support a new student and community jazz ensemble, an accompanying instrumental jazz techniques course and the Hugh and Marie Logan Jazz Series. The gift is Bassett’s way of honouring her late brother and sister-in-law, who were loved for their musical accomplishments and larger-than-life personalities.

    The ensemble and three-concert series will launch in the fall out of Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA).

    Brock Department of Music Chair Matthew Royal said he is “extremely grateful” for the generous contribution.

    “This is a fitting way to memorialize Hugh and his wife Marie and we are delighted to be able to offer this programming for our students and musicians in the broader community,” he said.

    Logan’s love of music was evident to those in the Niagara community who knew him — as was his wife Marie’s never-wavering support of that passion.

    “Music was integral to Hugh’s being,” Bassett said simply. “It really was his life, and Marie was very supportive.”

    Encouraged by his father’s musical talents, Logan began playing the flute and clarinet in his early teens in the Toronto neighbourhood where we grew up.

    Among his early musical accomplishments was earning a place in the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, which he played in at the age of 15.

    A few years later, his father passed away from cancer, leaving Logan on his own to support his mother and sisters.

    The love of music instilled in him by his father stayed near to Logan’s heart, however.

    Bassett laughs when she recalls a time that Logan was reprimanded at work because he couldn’t stop dancing and singing along to a jazz number while working on a factory line.

    Logan later moved to Niagara, where he played with a number of bands across the region until his death at 90 years old. He played alto sax in the Niagara Falls Concert Band, flute in the Thorold Reed Band, flute and lead tenor sax with the Ambassadors Swing Band and baritone sax in the American-based Dick Griffo’s Jazz Workshop.

    He would occasionally sub in with the Jimmy Marando Swing Band, too, and Bassett said her brother was known to always carry his instruments with him, so he would be prepared if an opportunity to play presented itself. It wasn’t unusual for someone to need a fill-in and phone Logan up to come jam.

    “We wanted to do something to honour that passion for music,” added Bassett, “and giving back to students at Brock and other musicians in Niagara was the right choice.”

    Pamela Shanks, Executive Director, Development and Alumni Relations at Brock, said the gift serves to strengthen ties between the University and the community.

    “We thank Norma for her generous gift to the University,” said Shanks. “It will create new programming for our students and the Niagara music community, and for that we are grateful.”

    Royal added that although the Department has traditionally focused on classical music, the jazz ensemble provides an opportunity to bring students and the community together to learn a popular musical style.

    “Having students play alongside experienced musicians is a great way for them to learn jazz because they benefit from that cross-generational interaction,” he said. “The jazz series will also afford an opportunity for jazz lovers in the region to perform together and develop new creative collaborations.”

    The jazz ensemble will add to Brock’s existing roster of string and wind ensembles and will be open to Music and non-music majors, as well as members of the broader community. Anyone interested in auditioning should contact Royal at mroyal@brocku.ca for more details.

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Media Releases, News

  • Join us for an Artist Talk with Phil Irish Jan. 30

    Artist Phil Irish


    The Department of Visual Arts is pleased to welcome Phil Irish to the MIWSFPA for an artist talk on Jan. 30.

    Irish, from Elora, Ontario, makes paintings that are both fierce and beautiful. He is known for cutting paintings into fragments, and installing those pieces to make architecturally scaled collages that engage your senses and your mind.  His new work is influenced by his time on an icebreaker in the Canadian arctic, with Canada C3, a 150-day expedition from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage that took place from June 1 to Oct. 28, 2017.

    He has shown in commercial galleries, artist-run centres, and public galleries, including the National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Guelph, Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery, Whyte Museum, Lonsdale Gallery and Angell Gallery, and was twice shortlisted for the Kingston Portrait Prize.

    He holds degrees from Guelph (BA) and York (MFA) and teaches studio at Redeemer University College.

    Irish will present at 1 p.m. on Jan. 30 in room 416 of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

    The talk is free and open to the public.

    Registration is not required, but space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Department/Centre News, Events, News