Special Events

  • Brock Choir sings new tune for virtual 2020-21 season

    (including content published THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 03, 2020 | in The Brock News by )

    Choir at Brock University will look a little different this fall by moving to a virtual rehearsal format.

    “Given the known risks of singing together in groups, we will not attempt to do what we normally do until health guidelines permit us,” says Rachel Rensink-Hoff, Associate Professor of Music and Choir Director.

    While not being able to safely gather and practice in person together is a challenge for those in choir, Rensink-Hoff sees it as an opportunity.

    “We have a unique opportunity to get to know and learn from one another in new ways through online discussion and active engagement.”

    Rensink-Hoff will focus the choir on pursuing some of the things they haven’t usually had time for, such as building individual skills in vocal technique and stage presence, analyzing music as a vehicle for storytelling, and reflecting on the historical and cultural contexts of songs. There will also be a “Shared Perspectives” series of guest interviews and workshops with conductors, composers and vocal-choral specialists from across Canada and the U.S.

    Choir members will need headphones, a video recording device such as a phone, computer or tablet, as well as internet connection.

    The Treble Choir (sopranos and altos) will rehearse together virtually on Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m., and the Mixed Voices choir (sopranos, altos, tenors and basses) will meet Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:30 to 4 p.m.

    “Our work will emphasize the process, rehearsing, over the product, performing,” says Rensink-Hoff. “This is a tough transition for those of us in the arts, but it is also a chance to for us to strengthen our performance skills and to reflect on the significance of live performance to individuals and communities.”

    Choir auditions are open to Brock students, faculty, staff as well as members of the wider Niagara community. Both new and returning choir members may book their auditions online before the deadline on Thursday, Sept. 10 at 11:59 p.m.

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:
    * Michelle Pressé, Brock University Communications, mpresse@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x4420 or 905-246-1963


    SING@BROCK ONLINE EDITION: audition for choir 2020-21

    Open by audition to all students, faculty, staff and members of the Niagara community!

    For the 2020-2021 academic year, choir will be fully online until guidelines allow for other forms of gathering. As such, the course will be less about performance outcomes and more about the process of learning, connecting, exploring and innovating as key elements of ensemble participation.

    Singers will engage with a diverse body of choral repertoire in sessions on vocal technique and choral skill development, explorations of movement and stage presence, analysis of music and text, workshops with guest artists, and collaborations through innovative singing projects. Rehearsal and performance skills will be developed in the context of a supportive community that promotes cross-cultural understanding and self-expression.

    Previous singing experience and ability to read music is required.
    For more information contact:
    Rachel Rensink-Hoff, rrensinkhoff@brocku.ca
    SEE >>> brocku.ca/sing

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    Categories: Alumni, Alumni, Announcements, Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, Future Students, In the Media, Media Releases, News, Special Events, Uncategorised

  • HUGH AND MARIE LOGAN JAZZ SERIES presents Feels so Good

    EDITOR’S NOTE: The March 27 concert has been cancelled as part of Brock University’s ongoing efforts to protect the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and the community in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

    HUGH AND MARIE LOGAN JAZZ SERIES
    THE BROCK BIG BAND DIRECTED BY ZOLTAN KALMAN

    A High-Octane Tribute to Chuck Mangione including:
    Chuck Mangione: Children of Sanchez
    Gershwin: Embraceable You
    Ellington: Caravan
    Santana: Europa

    Special guests:
    Mylon Clarke, Tenor Saxophone
    Keith Woodend, Vocals

    Friday March 27, 2020, 7:30pm
    Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre
    250 St Paul’s Street, St Catharines

    Order tickets from the
    FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office:
    905 688 0722; 1 885 515 0722
    firstontariopac.ca

     

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    Categories: Events, Faculty & Instructors, Hugh and Marie Logan Jazz Series, News, Special Events, Uncategorised

  • Join us for Guitar Extravaganza 2020! A Walker Cultural Leader Event.

    The Mighty Niagara Guitar Orchestra presents The Guitar Extravaganza 2020.  Always a popular annual event, join us for this remarkable evening of student, community, and professional performances on the stage of the Recital Hall.

    Saturday February 01, 2020 – 7:30 pm
    The Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

    Brock University’s annual celebration of the guitar continues, featuring The Mighty Niagara Guitar Orchestra, comprised of 70 classical guitarists from Niagara and Southern Ontario.  Orchestra members travel from as far as Sarnia, Sudbury, Ottawa and even Boston – all under the direction of Artistic Director/Conductor and Brock University Guitar Instructor, Timothy Phelan.

    Tickets: $18.00† adults; $13.00† seniors/students; $5* eyeGo program. General admission.
    Tickets available as part of the Brock Student Experience Package.
    † Includes the $3 FOPAC Cultural Capital Improvement Fund (CCIF); other applicable fees and taxes are extra.
    *No CCIF applied; other applicable fees and taxes are extra.

    Purchase tickets from the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, Box Office: 905 688 0722; 1 855 515 0722; firstontariopac.ca

    The 2020 concert is a special Walker Cultural Leader program for the Department of Music. Niagara natives Paul Wiebe and James Bryan (Philosopher Kings, Prozzak, Nelly Furtado, Shawn Mendes) join the special guests and internationally-renowned soloists René Izquierdo & Elina Chekan, and Emma Rush.  The music is composed and/or arranged by three Niagara-native musicians: James Bryan, Timothy Phelan & Floyd Turner.

    This year’s program features 3 World Premieres:

    BEATLES – George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, arranged by Floyd Turner.
    Written especially for GUITAR EXTRAVAGANZA 2020, an arrangement that masterfully incorporates four beloved songs by The Lads from Liverpool: “Michelle”, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, “The Long & Winding Road”, and “She’s Leaving Home”. (World Premiere)

    I Know. Deep Breath. by Timothy Phelan,
    Elina Chekan & René Izquierdo, Soloists
    Composed especially for GUITAR EXTRAVAGANZA 2020, and dedicated to René Izquierdo, Elina Chekan and members of The Mighty Niagara Guitar Orchestra.
    (World Premiere)

    Follow Me. by James Bryan, arranged by Timothy Phelan.
    James Bryan, Soloist
    Composed especially for GUITAR EXTRAVAGANZA 2020. Three Songs originally written by James Bryan for Solo Guitar (“The Chase”, “Falling Deeper” & “Follow Me”) and re-imagined for Guitar Orchestra by Timothy Phelan. (World Premiere)

    Performers and Composers (in order of appearance):

    The Mighty Niagara Guitar Orchestra
    Classical guitar orchestras have experienced an immense surge in popularity in recent decades. One of the first such orchestras with international recognition and influence was that of the University of Toronto, under the artistic direction of Professor Eli Kassner, and including founding member Timothy Phelan, who arranged much of its repertoire, and later became its Conductor/Instructor. (One such international performance was at the Havana International Guitar Festival, where a very young René Izquierdo first met and studied with Eli Kassner!). The Mighty Niagara Guitar Orchestra was formed for the very first Brock University Guitar Extravaganza in 2015 with approximately 30 guitarists, primarily from the Niagara Region, and later more than doubling in size, with this year’s members joining us from as far away as Sarnia, Sudbury, Ottawa and Boston! The concert that you are enjoying this evening was accomplished through the diligent individual practise of the guitarists involved, two preliminary optional rehearsals on the preceding weekends for primarily local members who were available, and one very full day of rehearsal today!

    A native of Minsk, Belarus, Elina (Ella) Chekan holds Master of Music degrees in Orchestral Conducting, Pedagogy and Classical Guitar Performance from theBelarus Academy of Music and a Master of Music degree from Yale University. She is currently finishing a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from Northwestern University in Chicago. Combining active performance and teaching careers, Elina performs as a soloist and chamber musician around the world. Some of her recent appearances include Iserlohn Guitar Festival, Germany; Barcelona, Spain; The Volterra Project, Italy; Guitar Festival in Lanciano, Italy; Series of Concerts in the Camino de Santiago, Spain; Festival in East Carolina University; Barrios Festival in Manaus, Brazil; Brussels Royal Museum of Musical Instrument, Belgium; Yale University; Guitar Festival in Mannes College, New York; Tucson Classical Guitar Society; Guitar Festival in Salamanca, Mexico among others. Elina is a frequent conductor of the Milwaukee Mandolin Orchestra and the Usdan Center for the Performance Arts Guitar Orchestra. Guitar faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee since 2005, Ella is working with musicians and composers encouraging them to write appealing and musically interesting pieces for the next generation of guitarists. In her quest for present-day student repertoire, Ella commissioned Jorge Morel to write a series of solo and ensemble pieces which have been published by Mel Bay. Morel also dedicated to Ms. Chekan his composition Campanas published in The Magnificent Guitar of Jorge Morel. Elina enjoys arranging a wide variety of music for solo and ensemble settings.

    Rene Izquierdo, a native of Cuba, graduated from the Guillermo Tomas, Amadeo Roldan Conservatory and Superior Institute of Art in Havana. In the United States, Mr. Izquierdo earned a Master of Music and an Artist Diploma from the Yale University School of Music, where he studied with Benjamin Verdery. While at Yale he represented the university in an exchange program with the Conservatoire National de Musique et de Danse du Paris and worked with guitarists Olivie Chassain and Roland Dyens. Rene has appeared as a guest soloist and in chamber music concerts throughout the United States, Cuba and Europe. He has shared the stage with prestigious guitarists including Eliot Fisk, Benjamin Verdery and Jorge Morel, as well as renowned flutist Ransom Wilson, soprano Lucy Shelton, David Jolley and Paquito d’Rivera. Renowned composers such as Jorge Morel and Carlos R. Rivera have dedicated works to him. Mr. Izquierdo is a recipient of numerous awards. He is a winner of the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Competition in 2004, Extremadura International Guitar Competition, Schadt String competition, Stotsenberg International Guitar Competition, among others. He is currently a professor of classical guitar at the Wisconsin State University in Milwaukee and an active solo performer and chamber musician worldwide. Rene has studied with Leo Brouwer, David Russell, Shin-Ichi Fukuda, Eli Kassner, Pepe Romero, Angel Romero, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, David Starobin, Eduardo Fernandez, Jorge Morel, Robert Beaser and Anthony Newman, among others.

    Guitarist/Conductor/Composer/Arranger/Educator (and St. Catharines native) Timothy Phelan made his CBC debut recording at the age of eighteen as concerto soloist with Orchestre Symphonique de Québec and American conductor James DePreist, and he has since been heard in solo, concerto and chamber music broadcasts over CBC Radio & Television, Radio France, Radio Caribbean, Cuban Radio & Television, and Radio Jalisco (Mexico). He performs internationally as a solo guitarist, chamber musician and conductor, with concerts in many places throughout the world, including Canada, the USA, Mexico, Cuba, Martinique, Europe, Scandinavia and China (including performances in the megacities of Chongqing & Chengdu, and masterclasses at the Sechuan Conservatory of Music). Tim’s recent chamber music collaborators include fellow Canadian guitarist Emma Rush, violinist Julia Wedman (Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra), Swedish cellist Kristin Malmborg, and Niagara Symphony Principal Flutist Doug Miller. As a member of The Gallery Players of Niagara, Tim collaborates with artists including world-renowned Canadian baritone Brett Polegato, the Eybler String Quartet and members of Tafelmusik. Tim is a prolific composer & arranger of music for solo guitar, guitar ensemble, and chamber music combinations with guitar. He has performed his compositions for guitar & choir with several of Canada’s finest choral ensembles, including Chorus Niagara & the Niagara Symphony, and he regularly conducts his guitar orchestra compositions at international guitar festivals. A former faculty member at both The University of Toronto and Mohawk College, Tim has taught at Brock University for the past decade.

    Composer/arranger/guitarist Floyd Turner (b. 1955) began his guitar studies in 1962. His fate was sealed when, on the February 9, 1964 Ed Sullivan Show, he witnessed the first North American appearance by The Beatles. While in high school, he studied Piano and Theory with Ethel Kindy, and later, Classical Guitar performance with Jonathan Earp at Brock University. He subsequently studied Jazz Guitar performance with Lorne Lofsky and Jazz Theory with Shelly Berger at Humber College. Floyd currently focuses on new repertoire for solo Classical Guitar – both original compositions and concert-level solo arrangements of popular songs with a special focus on the 1960s. Many of these solo compositions and arrangements have been performed internationally by Timothy Phelan, in places as far-reaching as Mexico, Sweden and China, and several of his arrangements of Canadian music were recorded by Emma Rush on her Canadiana CD. Floyd’s large-scale work, Carpe Noctem, for Guitar Soloist with Guitar Orchestra (2017), was premiered at Brock University’s Guitar Extravaganza III with internationally-renowned Scottish guitarist Matthew McAllister as soloist. Floyd lives in Niagara Falls.

    Emma Rush’s career has commanded world recognition. Recent touring highlights include a four-city tour in China, starting with the Altamira Shanghai International Guitar Festival, appearances at major guitar festivals including Festival de Guitarras Lagos de Moreno (Mexico), the Nyköping Gitaarseminarium (Sweden), and a prestigious concert at the Internationales Gitarren Symposion, Iserlohn (Germany). She tours throughout North America and in 2016-17 toured extensively in Eastern Canada as a Debut Atlantic artist. She performs regularly as Azuline Duo with flutist Sara Traficante and in 2018-19 the duo toured throughout Western Canada in the Yukon, BC, and Alberta. Rush recently appeared in the McMichael Gallery’s Group of Seven Guitar Project documentary alongside such notable guitarists as Bruce Cockburn, Jesse Cook, and Don Ross. In 2018 Rush completed two residencies to both create and research at the Sointula Art Shed in British Columbia and in Lübeck, Germany. She has received three City of Hamilton Arts Awards, and has had her work supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Hamilton City Enrichment Fund, and FACTOR. Rush is on faculty at Mohawk College in Hamilton. She has been a guest lecturer at colleges and universities throughout North America and was an Artist-in-Residence at the Fountain School of Performing Arts at Dalhousie University in the fall of 2016. Rush is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Guitar Hamilton concert series that includes the Hamilton Guitar Festival.

    Paul Wiebe was born and raised in St. Catharines, Ontario. After completing a B.A. in Music at Brock University, he went on to receive his M.A. and Ph.D. in Historical Musicology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, with a focus on music of the early modern period. Paul studied guitar with Timothy Phelan and Jonathan Earp. He has performed solo recitals and as an accompanist, and spent several years as a vihuelist in the University of Michigan’s El Mariachi Michicano. He has sung in numerous choirs, including the Avanti Chamber Ensemble. Paul currently lives with his family in St. Catharines, where he is an elementary school teacher.

    James Bryan (b. James Bryan McCollum) is a Juno and Latin Grammy-winning Canadian guitarist, songwriter and producer. From his contributions as a member of 90’s acts Philosopher Kings and Prozzak, to his solo career and work with international artists Nelly Furtado, Luis Fonsi, Shawn Mendes and more, James has played on countless recordings and performed on stages from Wembley Stadium to Madison Square Gardens and Massey Hall. At the heart of all this music is the passionate, soulful and uplifting sound of James’ guitar. Hailed as one of Canada’s top guitarists, few songwriter/producers balance musicality and inspiration in the studio as effortlessly as James, and his track record with artists such as Nelly Furtado, Yuna, Backstreet Boys, Olly Murs, Luis Fonsi, Shawn Mendes and many more have proven the success of his approach. James grew up in St. Catharines and local guitar mentors include Timothy Phelan, Guy Cayen, and Warren Stirtzinger. While studying at the University of Toronto, James and some friends formed the Philosopher Kings, signing his first record deal with Sony at the age of 18. Platinum albums, a Juno award for best new group and tours across North America, Japan and Brazil gave James his first taste of success. His next band, Prozzak, became a pop culture phenomenon in Canada, further proving James’ skills as a songwriter and producer. His reputation for crafting hit songs, along with James’ instantly recognisable guitar style, began attracting other acts including Fefe Dobson and Nelly Furtado. After playing on her Grammy-winning debut Whoa Nelly and followup Folklore, James travelled the world with Nelly on the Loose Tour, including the Princess Diana Memorial Concert at Wembley Stadium in 2007, sharing the stage with Sir Elton John, Pharrell, Rod Stewart, Kanye West and more. Since then, James’ credits include co-writing and producing songs for Nelly’s Latin Grammy-winning album Mi Plan, work in London UK with Jessie J, James Morrison, Jason Mraz, James Blunt, and more, co-writing several songs for Lisa Marie Presley’s album Storm & Grace, and work with Malaysian singer/songwriter Yuna that led to MTV Europe Music Award and World Music Award nods. James has released three albums as a solo guitarist: Beautiful World (2005), By Your Side (2017), and Hush (2019).

    In conjunction with Guitar Extravaganza 2020, guest artists René Izquierdo & Elina Chekan will also give masterclasses, plus a concert of their own featuring Solo and Duo Guitar Music.

    Open to the public, Rene will give a class on Cuban Music at the Marilyn I. Walker School from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday January 31 in MWS 156.

    Also open to the public (with an auditor’s fee of $20) will be masterclasses for advanced students from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sunday February in MWS 104 and 107.

    The concert of Solo and Duo Music will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday January 31 at St. Barnabas Church in St. Catharines. (Poster, left)

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    Categories: Announcements, Events, Media Releases, Special Events, Uncategorised

  • The MOSAÏQUE PROJECT arrives in St. Catharines to launch the ENCORE! Professional Concert Series for 2020

    This Friday, January 24, at 7:30 pm the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts and the FirstOntario Performing Arts will be co-presenting the final performance of the massive musical initiative by Ensemble Made In Canada: The Mosaïque Project.

    The project is a suite of new compositions by 14 Canadian composers, inspired by each province, territory, and the Indigenous regions of Canada. The thrilling new works from composers including Ana Sokolović, Sarah Slean, Kevin Lau, Samy Moussa, Julie Doiron, Barbara Croall, David Braid, encompass a wide variety of musical genres – from classical, jazz, singer-songwriter, electronic, and First Nations traditions – making up a richly inspiring whole to represent the beauty and diversity of Canada.

    Travelling to almost every corner of the country – from Iqaluit, Nunavut to British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast to Pouch Cove, Newfoundland, and beyond, Ensemble Made In Canada has chosen St. Catharines as the final performance of the two-year long tour, featuring a live-streamed concert and album launch in Partridge Hall.

    The evening promises an extraordinary cinematic concert experience featuring multiple screens providing close-ups of the musicians and their instruments, footage from the tour across the country, as well as newly-created images inspired by the music.

    Friday’s performance will also be the first ENCORE! Professional Concert of the decade for the 250 students enrolled in MUSI 1F10 Introduction to Classical Music, a Humanities context elective course offered by the Department of Music.

    Many of the students attending Friday’s concert have traveled from international destinations to pursue their university studies in Canada. Ensemble Made in Canada’s performance will be an introduction to the piano quartet as a genre and an opportunity to discover a wide variety of musical styles from geographically and culturally diverse regions of the country.

    This course is offered as part of the Walker School’s commitment to exposing Brock students to a broad range of cultural experiences, and nurturing future audiences for the performing arts.

    Ensemble Made In Canada (EMIC) is rapidly gaining recognition as Canada’s premier piano quartet. Awarded the 2006 CBC Galaxie Stars Award from the Banff Centre for the Arts, EMIC was featured in 2008 Chatelaine Magazine’s 80th anniversary issue as “Women to Watch” and called “an ensemble that is leading the next generation of classical musicians.” The members of the group: Angela Park (piano), Elissa Lee (violin), Sharon Wei (viola) and Rachel Mercer (cello) have been forging outstanding individual careers and bring together a wealth of experience having already appeared at prestigious festivals such as Marlboro, Ravinia, Orford, Verbier, Prussia Cove, Pablo Casals and Evian. EMIC has been Ensemble-in-Residence at Western University since 2014.

    The concert will be live-streamed on Ensemble Made In Canada’s website as well as via the streaming service Stingray, reaching millions across Canada and 156 countries around the globe. The same day features the release of the Mosaïque Project album, which will be available on CD, download and streaming channels.

    Maestro Johannes Debus will be hosting a pre-show chat with composers Kevin Lau, Sarah Slean, David Braid and Richard Mascall at 6:45pm

    To purchase tickets visit the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre website.

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    Categories: Announcements, Encore! Professional Concert Series, Events, In the Media, News, Special Events, Uncategorised

  • Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Indigenous Art Practice: Candidate Research Presentations

    The Brock and wider community is invited to attend the presentations by the three Indigenous artist/researchers who are finalists for the Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Indigenous Art Practice at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

    Our candidates are visiting the Marilyn I. Walker School in January. Each will give an hour-long presentation and engage in an additional half hour of discussion about their current research interests and focus, and about what they would hope to achieve as a Canada Research Chair at Brock University in the next five years.

    MATTHEW MACKENZIE

    Research presentation 5 – 6:30 pm,
    Friday January 10, 2020
    MWS 156

    Edmonton playwright, director and producer Matthew MacKenzie (Métis) is Artistic Director of Punctuate! Theatre, as well as the founder and an Artistic Associate with Pyretic Productions. In 2018, his play Bears won Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Production, was named a co-winner of the Toronto Theatre Critics Outstanding New Canadian Play Award, and won the Playwrights Guild of Canada’s Carol Bolt National Playwriting Award. This past fall, Punctuate! premiered MacKenzie’s play The Particulars, which was named one of the top ten productions of 2019 by The Globe and Mail.

    MARK IGLOLIORTE

    Research presentation 11:30 am – 1 pm,
    Friday January 17, 2020
    MWS 156

    Mark Igloliorte is an Inuk artist born in Corner Brook, Newfoundland with Inuit ancestry from Nunatsiavit, Labrador. His artistic work is primarily painting and drawing. Igloliorte’s work has been featured in several notable national exhibitions including the 2015 Marion McCain Exhibition of Contemporary Atlantic Canadian Art, curated by Corinna Ghaznavi; Inuit Ullumi: Inuit Today: Contemporary Art from TD Bank Group’s Inuit Collection; Beat Nation, curated by Kathleen Ritter and Tania Willard; and The Phoenix Art-The Renewed Life of Contemporary Painting, curated by Robert Enright. In addition, Igloliorte has been profiled in features in Canadian Art magazine and Inuit Art Quarterly. Igloliorte is an Assistant Professor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

    SUZANNE MORRISSETTE

    Research presentation 5 – 6:30 pm,
    Wednesday January 22, 2020
    MWS 207

    Suzanne Morrissette is a Métis artist, curator, and writer. Using various research-creation methods Morrissette addresses the philosophical roots of historical and contemporary forms of injustice facing Indigenous peoples. Her current and future research looks at the role of locally-based Indigenous knowledges within Indigenous community-based curatorial practice as a way of entering into conversations about robust and unexpected strategies for representing Indigenous art both within Canadian and international contexts. Currently she holds the position of Assistant Professor at OCAD University.r University of Art and Design.


    Please share and post this poster in your community.

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  • 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

  • Choral season to wrap with final show

    The Avanti Chamber Singers, under the direction of Rachel Rensink-Hoff, will close out the 2017-18 Department of Music season on Saturday, April 28 at St. Thomas Anglican Church.

    The curtain will close on Brock’s 2017-18 Music season with a final performance by the Avanti Chamber Singers.

    Boundless, the last concert of the academic year, will be presented by the Department of Music and the Avanti Chamber Singers on Saturday, April 28 beginning at 7:30 p.m. at St. Thomas Anglican Church, 99 Ontario St., St. Catharines.

    The show features celestial-inspired music, exploring the harmony and mystery of the universe with a range of primarily 21st-century works.

    The program includes pieces such as Gloria Patri by Urmas Sisask, And Einstein Said by Trent Worthington, Stars by Eriks Ešenvalds, and the centerpiece of the program, Lux Aeterna by Morten Lauridsen.

    The Avanti Chamber Singers is a mixed chamber choir comprised of experienced choral singers from across the Niagara region. The group performs under the direction of Artistic Director Rachel Rensink-Hoff, who is also conductor of the Brock University choirs, Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music Education at Brock University.

    “It has been a wonderful year,” she said when describing the choral and concert season as a whole. “We are seeing more and more people from the local community coming to our concerts, which is so exciting and motivating for our performers.”

    Looking forward to the 2018-19 Music season, there will be new choral opportunities for students and the community. The Brock choirs are being restructured to feature two ensembles: a mixed chamber choir and a women’s choir. Both are open by audition to all Brock University students, staff and faculty. New for this year, the women’s choir will also be open to the wider Niagara community “in hopes that it will function as a bridge between Brock’s music program and the wider singing community here in St. Catharines,” Rensink-Hoff said.

    Women’s choir rehearsals will be on Thursday evenings from 6 to 8:45 p.m. in the Cairns Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre. Interested singers from the community are encouraged to contact Rensink-Hoff by email at rrensinkhoff@brocku.ca for an audition.

    Advance tickets for the last choral concert of the season are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and $5 for students and under the eyeGo program. They can be purchased at Thorold Music, 289 Glendale Ave.; Booksmart, 350 Vine St.; online through Eventbrite; or through members of the Avanti Chamber Singers.

    Tickets will also be sold at the door for an additional $5.

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    Categories: Announcements, Events, Special Events, Viva Voce Choral Series

  • The Department of Music on stage!

    Pictured above is a previous season performance of the Guitar Extravaganza (top), The Walker Quartet (left to right: Anna Hughes (2nd violin), Faith Lau (viola), Gordon Cleland (cello) and Vera Alexeeva (1st violin)), and pianist Dr. Karin Di Bella (bottom right).

    This weekend the Department of Music is presenting two spectacular concerts that will surely be among the highlights of the fall season.

    On Friday Nov. 10, as part of the Walker Cultural Leader Series, Encore! Professional Concert Series presents: The Walker Quartet with faculty pianist Karin Di Bella. The Walker Cultural Leader Series was generously founded by Marilyn I. Walker.

    Now in its second season, the Department of Music’s resident Walker String Quartet and Karin Di Bella present a program of two of the most iconic works in the string quintet repertoire, the Piano Quintets by Schumann in E-flat Major and Shostakovich in G Minor.

    This concert takes place on Friday Nov. 10, 2017 in the Partridge Concert Hall at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, starting at 7:30 pm. For more information, please visit the Department concert events webpage and the ExperienceBU page.

    Then on Saturday Nov. 11 as part of our continuing celebration of Canada’s 150 year of Confederation, the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre is once again the venue for the ever-popular Guitar Extravangaza III including a special Canada 150 performance of Carpe Noctem.

    Brock University’s annual celebration of the guitar commences at 7:30 pm on Saturday Nov. 11 in the Cairns Recital Hall.  An orchestra of 60 guitars comprised of Brock students, local amateurs and professionals will be directed by Brock University Guitar Instructor, Timothy Phelan. Special guest soloists include Matthew McAllister (Scotland) and Emma Rush (Canada).  The concert features a tribute to the late Warren Stirtzinger with George Kane (USA) and James Bryan McCollum (Canada), music composed by Timothy Phelan and the World Premiere of Carpe Noctem – a six-movement work written especially for this occasion by Niagara composer Floyd Turner.  For more information, please visit the Department concert events webpage and the ExperienceBU page.

    Tickets for both events can be ordered from the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office (905.688.0722) or from their website.

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

  • Percussion Improv at the MIWSFPA

    Join us for an outdoor improv performance!

    Percussionist Devon Fornelli will converse in real time with the city soundscape using traditional instruments and found materials.

    Mr. Fornelli has extensive experience as a soloist, an orchestral percussionist, and as a chamber instrumentalist. His range of talent covers all the diverse areas of percussion and drums from the orchestral percussion section to contemporary art music, and most traditions in-between. This is his third improv performance in the Raceway that runs adjacent to the MIWSFPA.

    The performance will take place in the Lancaster, Brooks & Welch LLP Pathway, between the MIWSFPA and FOPAC.

    In case of rain, the performance will be relocated to the MIWSFPA lobby.

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    Categories: Events, Faculty & Instructors, Special Events

  • Guitar Extravaganza draws packed house

    (Source: The Brock News, Tuesday, October 25, 2016 | by )

    It was a full house at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre for Guitar Extravaganza II Saturday night. Fifty guitarists, including Brock University music students, alumni and faculty, as well as guitarists from Hamilton and Niagara region, joined together to celebrate the instrument. The evening featured solo and duet performances and concluded with the musicians coming together as The Mighty Niagara Guitar Orchestra to perform a special piece. Composed and conducted by Brock instructor Timothy Phelan, Fantasia para una dama was performed with renowned Canadian guitar virtuoso Emma Rush for the first time in North America.

    This is the second year for the Guitar Extravaganza. The event was organized by Brock University Department of Music, with support from the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

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    Categories: Events, In the Media, News, Special Events