Events

  • New for 2019! The Hugh and Marie Logan Jazz Series

    seen above: the first rehearsal of The University Jazz Ensemble: The Brock Big Band.Zoltan Kalman, Director.

    Through the immense generosity of Mrs. Norma Bassett, this new series offers jazz lovers three unforgettable evenings over the concert season: two end-of-term concerts by the newly minted University Jazz Ensemble, and a guest-artist concert in February. All concerts honour the memory of Niagara-based jazz enthusiast and amateur musician, Hugh Logan, and his late wife, Marie.

    Don’t miss the first concert on November 22, 2019!

    For more information see the event page brocku.ca/miwsfpa/music/hugh-and-marie-logan-jazz-series

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    Categories: Announcements, Events, Hugh and Marie Logan Jazz Series, Uncategorised

  • Brock students embrace partnership with French music festival

    First-year Brock Music student Cassandra Sullivan, right, learns the mechanics of performing opera in French with the guidance of Suzanne Leclerc, an arts teacher at École élémentaire LaMarsh in Niagara Falls. Leclerc led one of the numerous workshops in the Monde le Son Festival that took place at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts May 13 to 15.


    (From The Brock News, May 16, 2019 | By: Sarah Ackles)

    Brock University students got to offer some musical insight and even take in a lesson or two during a recent French festival held at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

    For the first time in its four-year history, the annual Monde le Son Festival, or World Sound Festival, was hosted at the MIWSFPA by French school board Conseil scolaire Viamonde.

    The event drew about 200 elementary and secondary school francophone students from across Ontario to participate in workshops from Monday, May 13 to Wednesday, May 15. Students learned how to play instruments, sing in different vocal styles, compose music and perform in front of live audiences in several performances held at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (PAC).

    Brock Music students were invited to participate in the workshops and to observe the different strategies teachers had for leading the sessions.

    Brock Recruitment and Liaison Officer Madison Roca said she jumped on the opportunity to host the festival when the board initially suggested it last year.

    “It was a great chance to welcome new students to our campus and expose them to the possibility of pursuing the arts beyond high school, while also building a meaningful relationship with a new school board and supporting their initiative,” she said.

    Event organizers said the MIWSFPA seemed a fitting choice for the event after the decision was made to move the festival from its former home in the Greater Toronto Area. Students interested in music were attracted to the downtown arts school’s music facilities and close proximity to the PAC, and embraced the opportunity to enjoy a taste of the university experience while staying in Brock’s Earp Residence.

    “I liked the idea of joining a post-secondary institution to give the kids that experience and to also entice them to do further studies after they graduate from secondary school,” said Jeffrey Hughes, Viamonde’s Director of Educational Services. “It was a winning combination.”

    Mark Nouhra, the board’s Cultural Co-ordinator, said the opportunity to foster interaction between current Brock students and Viamonde’s younger learners was also a plus.

    “Knowing we could have some Brock students talk to and interact with our students, to see how things really happen here in a university music environment, was a priceless experience,” he said.

    First-year Brock Music student Cassandra Sullivan said participating in the festival’s workshops meant hands-on learning experience applicable to her future career path.

    With the goal of one day working as a vocal teacher and choir director, she said that “observing how teachers are teaching and what strategies they are using to engage with the young people was really useful for me.”

    Sullivan also felt the festival was an opportunity to embrace and celebrate her francophone roots.

    “I’ve had the opportunity to learn music and to learn French, but I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to learn music in French,” she said. “I really appreciated the opportunity to learn that new vocabulary and to combine my two favourite subjects.”

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    Categories: Events, Future Students, Special Events

  • Avanti Chamber Singers preparing to end Brock Music season on a high note

    The Avanti Chamber Singers will perform for the final time this season on Saturday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. in St. Thomas Anglican Church. (Photo courtesy of Julie Hoff)


    (From The Brock News, April 16, 2019 | By: Jaquelyn Bezaire)

    The Avanti Chamber Singers will close an eclectic Brock Music season with their final performance, The Road Home.

    Led by Assistant Professor Rachel Rensink-Hoff, Brock’s Ensemble-in-Residence will perform at St. Thomas Anglican Church on Saturday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Viva Voce! Choral Series.

    Rensink-Hoff explained this concert is quite different from Avanti’s first two performances this season.

    “We’ve had a very diverse year,” she said. “We did the big classical piece at the beginning of the year and have explored probably every style chorally that we could throughout the season.”

    The concert repertoire was inspired by This House of Peace, a choral number by contemporary composer Ralph Johnson, commissioned for the opening of the Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend in Springfield, Ore. The song reflects on conversations Johnson had with people staying in a medical centre guesthouse while their loved ones were in hospital.

    As well as Johnson’s number, the choir will also perform songs that reflect on the idea of “home” as a space where individuals feel at peace.

    The opening piece, titled Ambe by Indigenous composer Andrew Balfour, is rhythmic in style and based in an Ojibway dialect.

    The program also includes All of Us by Craig Hella Johnson, and Stephen Paulus’ The Road Home, for which the concert is named.

    The Avanti Chamber Singers will also be joined by oboist Marta Agnieszka for a few pieces during the performance, including Gabriel’s Oboe arranged by Jon Washburn.

    This is the third and final performance of the season for the choir, who have spent the last eight months rehearsing and growing together as singers.

    “Concert themes can be quite personal and so, as I work with Avanti and get to know them more, it’s easier to create programs that I believe will resonate with the members of the choir,” said Rensink-Hoff.

    The Avanti Chamber Singers will perform for the final time this season on Saturday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Thomas Anglican Church, 99 Ontario St. in St. Catharines.

    Tickets purchased in advance for the show are $20 for adults and seniors. Tickets at the door are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors. There is also a discounted price of $5 for students and eyeGo program members. Tickets are available through theAvanti Chamber Singers website, at Thorold Music, Booksmart Books or from choir members.

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    Categories: Events, News, Viva Voce Choral Series

  • Season-ending Brock Choirs concert to explore stages of life

    The Brock University Women’s and Chamber choirs, shown at a recent performance, will again take the stage in the Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines on Saturday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m.


    (From The Brock News, March 26, 2019 | By: Jaquelyn Bezaire)

    The Brock University Women’s and Chamber choirs are back for the second and final performance of the school year, with a program exploring the different stages and seasons of life.

    Led by conductor and Brock Assistant Professor Rachel Rensink-Hoff, the two choirs will perform together on Saturday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

    The performance is part of the Viva Voce! Choral Series, which sees the University’s choral ensembles come together as the Brock Choirs in recitals that take place throughout the year.

    Since their most recent performance in November, the two groups have been working on new and diverse pieces for their upcoming concert.

    “Second semester always has more experimentation,” explained Rensink-Hoff, “so we do a lot of moving around in terms of our seating and how the voices work together.”

    The two choirs will perform a wide range of repertoire, from traditional pieces by Schubert, Mendelssohn and Brahms, to more contemporary songs by Canadian composers Nancy Telfer, Jane Siberry and Jon Washburn.

    Rensink-Hoff selected poems to include by authors Christina Rossetti, Robert Burns and Charles Dickens, which she believes will resonate with the audience.

    The choirs will also perform a few pieces in different languages. Rensink-Hoff said working with that material has been both challenging and rewarding for the groups.

    “When you work with languages a lot through singing, you really get an understanding of how a language works,” she said. “From an educational perspective, it’s really wonderful to see.”

    Along with pieces in Latin and German, both choirs will perform a composition in Xhosa arranged by South African composer Michael Barrett.

    Brock Choirs in Concert II will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 30 at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (PAC) in downtown St. Catharines.

    Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. There is also a $5 option available for eyeGo program members. Tickets are available through the PAC box office at 905-688-0722 or on thePAC website.

    The final performance in the Viva Voce! Choral Series is also approaching on Saturday, April 27 featuring the Avanti Chamber Singers. For more details on upcoming concerts, visit the Department of Music website.

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    Categories: Current Students, Events, News, Viva Voce Choral Series

  • Brock String and Wind orchestras to hold final concerts of the season

    George Cleland and the Brock University String Orchestra will be back on the stage soon to conclude its season.


    (From The Brock News, March 25, 2019 | By: Sarah Ackles)

    The Brock University Wind Ensemble and String Orchestra will conclude their seasons with popular repertoire and world-premiere performances in two upcoming recitals.

    Presented by Brock University’s Department of Music, the Wind Ensemble will host its recital, A Touch of Latin, on Tuesday, April 2 in Partridge Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (PAC).

    The Orchestra’s recital, A Spring Serenade, will take place on Wednesday, April 3 in the PAC’s Recital Hall.

    Conducted by Zoltan Kalman and George Cleland, respectively, the Wind Ensemble and String Orchestra bring Brock University students together with members of the community to perform for the public. These performances are a key part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ (MIWSFPA) mandate of building connections between the Niagara community and the breadth of talent and creativity at Brock.

    At A Touch of Latin, Kalman said concertgoers will be treated to an evening of brilliant works from a range of composers such as George Gershwin and John Mackey.

    “Our show will also feature an intriguing mix of different musical styles and three soloists — Mark Roberts, Rebecca Heathcote and myself — performing a world premiere under the baton of Sarah McKean,” he said. “From the high energy Redline Tango, to the splendid melodies of Cuban Overtureand the grandiose Music for a Festival, our repertoire will highlight the versatility and brilliance of this dedicated group and offer non-stop entertainment for all ages.”

    Cleland said he is looking forward to the String Orchestra’s concert because preparations for the recital showcased a great period of growth for the players.

    A Spring Serenade will feature a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, which Cleland said is “one of the most popular pieces in the string orchestra repertoire, loved for its beautiful melodies and sensitive use of the tone colours of the orchestra.”

    Guests will also hear Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, which is “a rich and intricate work, playing with antiphonal sound by breaking the ensemble into a string quartet and two string orchestras,” Cleland added.

    Tickets to A Touch of Latin and A Spring Serenade are available for purchase from the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office by phone at 905-688-0722 or online at firstontariopac.ca

    For more information about the concerts or other music programming, visit brocku.ca/music

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    Categories: Current Students, Events, News, The University String Orchestra, The University Wind Ensemble

  • One-night-only performance set for Encore! trio

    Trio Amore, including Erika Reiman, Gordon Cleland and Christine Chesbrough, will perform on Friday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m. in Partridge Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines.


    (From The Brock News, March 19, 2019 |By: Jaquelyn Bezaire)

    Guests attending the next Encore! Professional Concert, presented by Brock’s Department of Music, will be the first to hear Trio Amore perform on stage.

    The trio is coming together for a one-time performance titled Clara’s Love Triangle on Friday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines.

    Comprised of cellist Gordon Cleland, pianist Erika Reiman and violinist Christine Chesebrough, the group has arranged a concert featuring works by Clara and Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms.

    With it being the bicentenary of Clara Schumann’s birth, the group thought this was the perfect time to play her trio. Brahms was a protégé and friend of the Schumanns, so the performers felt that adding Brahms’ Op. 8 to the repertoire was a fitting choice.

    “The fascinating relationship between Brahms and the Schumanns would also be an interesting angle for the audience,” Cleland said. “The musicians would all have known each of the pieces the other wrote and were probably mutually inspired by each other.”

    Although the musicians aren’t a full-time trio, they have played together in the past and enjoyed working together while preparing for their upcoming concert.

    “I think this concert is a great opportunity for us and we are grateful to be able to present these wonderful pieces in a fantastic hall,” said Reiman. “The repertoire promises to be full of drama, memorable melodies and originality.”

    Trio Amore will perform on Friday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m. in Partridge Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

    Tickets are on sale now through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre’s box office.

    For more information on upcoming performances, visit the Department of Music’s website.

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    Categories: Encore! Professional Concert Series, Events, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • 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, RBC Foundation Music @ Noon Series

  • String quartet returning to the Music@Noon stage

    The Walker String Quartet performed last season as part of the RBC Foundation Music@Noon Recital Series and will return to the stage March 5.


    (From The Brock News, March 1, 2019)

    The final faculty and guest recital of the Music@Noon season will feature the Walker String Quartet.

    The group will take to the Recital Hall stage in the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines on Tuesday, March 5.

    The Department of Music’s quartet in residence works with local students in high school string programs to share their love for music while promoting Brock’s Music program.

    The quartet will play Brahms’s String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 51, No. 2, one of the milestones of the romantic string quartet repertoire.

    Formed in 2016, the Walker String Quartet is now comprised of violinists Vera Alekseeva and Anna Hughes, violist Faith Lau and cellist Gordon Cleland.

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

    For more information on upcoming performances, visit the Department of Music’s website.

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    Categories: Events, News, RBC Foundation Music @ Noon Series

  • Brock prof to premiere new works by St. Catharines composer

    Pianist Karin Di Bella will perform at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines on Tuesday, Feb. 26.


    (From The Brock News, February 22, 2019 | By: Jaquelyn Bezaire)

    Following her recital with Maltese-Canadian flutist Rebecca Hall last semester, Associate Professor Karin Di Bella will give a solo performance on Tuesday, Feb. 26 as part of the RBC Foundation Music@Noon Recital Series.

    Focusing on one of her areas of expertise, contemporary Canadian repertoire, Di Bella will premiere a set of works by St. Catharines composer James Moffett during her performance in the Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

    Di Bella is currently working at Brock where she teaches studio piano, master classes, accompanying, keyboard harmony, piano literature and piano pedagogy. She has been sought after as an adjudicator for music festivals across Canada and is a senior piano examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music.

    The RBC Foundation Music@Noon Recital Series features free one-hour concerts most Tuesdays at noon during the academic year. Students, faculty, staff and the community are invited to join the Department of Music on Tuesday, Feb. 26 in the Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines.

    For more information on upcoming performances, please visit the Department of Music website.

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    Categories: Events, Faculty & Instructors, News, RBC Foundation Music @ Noon Series, 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: Events, Faculty & Instructors, News, Viva Voce Choral Series