Announcements

  • Brock Chamber Choir and Women’s Choir holding auditions for upcoming season

    Brock’s Women’s Choir (pictured above) is holding auditions for its second season this summer. Photo courtesy of Julie Hoff.


    Brock’s Chamber Choir and Women’s choir are looking for new voices for the upcoming 2019/2020 season!

    Both the Chamber Choir and Women’s Choir are open by audition to all Brock students, and the Women’s Choir is also open to community members.

    Singers can opt to take choir for credit, but are not required.

    HOW TO AUDITION

    Auditions will begin in August.

    Click here to access the audition sign-up sheet and schedule an audition time.
    *Please arrive at your audition early to complete an audition form.

    Previous singing experience and the ability to read music is required.

    All singers accepted into the choir are expected to attend all rehearsals and performances throughout the year. Dates for the entire year will be posted before the end of August, prior to your audition.

    Auditions will be 10 minutes in length and will include the following:

    1. Vocal range check
    2. Listen and sing-back
    3. Sight-singing
    4. Rhythm-reading and clap-back
    5. Singing of Shenandoah (click on the link for a pdf of the music)

    If you are accepted into one of the choirs, you are invited to register for the course (if you wish to receive credit). Permission to register will be granted after the auditions are completed.

    Rehearsals begin the week of September 10, 2019

    Rehearsal times:

    CHAMBER CHOIR: Rehearsals Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3 to 4:20 p.m.

    WOMEN’S CHOIR: Rehearsals Thursday evenings, 6 to 8:45 p.m.


    For more information about opportunities and the audition process please contact Rachel Rensink-Hoff, Conductor, at rrensinkhoff@brocku.ca  or the Department at music@brocku.ca.

    Learn more about the Brock choirs.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Faculty & Instructors, Future Students

  • 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, Media Releases, News

  • Active attacker info sessions to be held at MIWSFPA Nov. 8 & Nov. 14

    (From The Brock News, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018)

    Would you know what to do if there was an active threat or shooter on campus?

    It’s a scenario most people could never imagine happening at Brock University, but one that Campus Security wants to ensure the community is prepared for.

    Campus Security at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) will be holding two information sessions for staff, instructors, faculty and students of the School this month to discuss emergency preparedness in an active attacker situation.

    Rick Fraser, Brock’s Manager, Emergency Management and Life Safety, will be presenting material on the active attacker protocol that has been adopted at the University during these sessions.

    The information and training sessions will take place in MWS 156 on:

    • Thursday, Nov. 8 from 8 to 9 a.m.
    • Wednesday, Nov. 14 from 1 to 2 p.m.

    No registration is required, but the sessions are currently limited to those who study or work at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, due to space limitations.

    For more information on the MIWSFPA sessions, contact Rick Tollar, Supervisor, Campus Security Services, at 905-688-5550 x 6399.

    Information on the active attacker protocol adopted at Brock University is available on the Campus Security website.

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

  • Brock mourning the death of Peter Partridge Sr.

    (From The Brock News, Friday, Oct. 5, 2018 | by )

    One of the longest-standing supporters of Brock University has passed away.

    Peter Partridge Sr., a former Brock Board of Trustees member and the longtime Chair of the Rodman Hall Advisory Committee, died suddenly Thursday night.

    Partridge’s ties to Brock go back to the late 1960s when he was asked by then-President James Gibson to run a new University choir. A talented musician who studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Partridge’s support for the arts at Brock and across Niagara was unwavering. He was a generous contributor to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. The Partridge Family Music Suite at the downtown arts school is named in his honour. At the nearby FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, one of the main halls — frequently used for music classes by Brock University students — also bears his name.

    “Peter provided outstanding leadership and support to Brock and the Niagara community,” said Pamela Shanks, Executive Director, Development and Alumni Relations. “Peter’s passion for music and art, and his generous philanthropy, have created a lasting legacy that will not be forgotten.”

    Partridge served on many boards and committees over the years at Brock, including serving on the Board of Trustees from 2004 to 2010. When Rodman Hall was taken over by Brock University in 2003, Partridge was named Chair of the Advisory Committee, a role he was still serving in at the time of his death.

    “Peter was asked by President David Atkinson at the time to take on that role and he was honoured to do it,” said Rodman Hall Director Tom Arkell. “During his 15 years as chair, Peter offered leadership, guidance, encouragement and support. He will be missed dearly by all of us who had the chance to work with him.”

    Partridge was also an ardent supporter of Brock athletics, and was a devout fan of the Badgers men’s basketball team. Partridge and his son, Peter Jr., were regular faces at Brock home games, and the pair travelled to Halifax earlier this year to watch the team compete in the U SPORTS National Championships. The men’s basketball team dressing room was renamed the Partridge Family Locker Room after a contribution in 2016 allowed it to be completely renovated.

    “Every university program should be able to experience the type of support, passion, commitment and dedication someone like Peter Sr. and his family provided,” said former Badgers men’s basketball coach Charles Kissi, who is on a one-year leave to coach with the Raptors 905 development team. “I learned a lot from him in terms of my coaching and the way he was always smiling and vibrant and how he engaged with others.

    “It’s a tremendous loss to his family and to the community and I would say to the world.”

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    Categories: Announcements, News

  • Sabina’s Splendid Brain opens at MIWSFPA Sept. 14

    Cellist Grace Snippe (BMus ’16), left, and Danielle Wilson bring the story of 20th century psychoanalyst Sabina Spielrein to life in Sabina’s Splendid Brain. The performance opens on Sept. 14 at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. (Photo by George Enns.)


    (From The Brock News, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018 | by Sarah Moore)

    While Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung have become synonymous with psychoanalysis, the name Sabina Spielrein might leave you drawing a blank.

    The Stolen Theatre Collective hopes to change that by bringing the rarely told story of the Russian-Jewish psychoanalyst to life in a new production at Brock beginning next week.

    Sabina’s Splendid Brain, which opens Sept. 14 at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA), chronicles the life of the tenacious and passionate Spielrein as she struggles through the circumstances of her family, her education and her therapy, the professional barriers facing women and wartime anti-Semitism.

    Spielrein was often known in relation to her famous colleagues: first as a patient, then as a lover of Jung, and later as a student and friend of Freud. As a psychoanalyst in her own right, however, she moved beyond them both to become one of the great thinkers in 20th century psychology.

    Her work was all but wiped from the history books due to Joseph Stalin’s repression of intellectuals and the Nazi invasion of her hometown of Rostov-on-Don, where she and her daughters were killed. Her diaries were recently discovered, however, and her publications were re-examined to reveal the profound impact that her work had on her teachers and peers.

    “Sabina had to fight for her voice,” said Brock Associate Theatre Professor Gyllian Raby, the production’s Director. “She walks the boundary between genius and delusion, and this production invites the audience to experience her journey from a screaming teenager with spittle in her hair to the woman who wowed Freud’s intellectual Vienna Circle.”

    Scripted by Carol Sinclair, Sabina’s Splendid Brain is rendered on stage in sets by Nigel Scott, projections by Karyn McCallum and lighting by James McCoy (BA ’14), and features performances by Brock Assistant Theatre Professor Danielle Wilson and cellist Grace Snippe (BMus ’16).

    “This is a project that fully explores the interdisciplinarity between the arts that was the founding dream of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts,” said Wilson, who is also the co-founder and co-artistic director of Stolen Theatre Collective. “Music, theatre and philosophy are a natural trio in this story of how psychoanalysis helped shape modern consciousness.”

    Fides Krucker, a Canadian interpreter, vocalist, opera singer and teacher, collaborated on the interdisciplinary production with Stolen Theatre. Her innovative vocal techniques and interdisciplinary work will be further highlighted later this month as part of the Walker Cultural Leaders Series on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at the MIWSFPA.

    Sabina’s Splendid Brain opens with back-to-back weekend performances Sept. 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22, all beginning at 7:30 p.m. Additional matinee performances will take place on Sept. 16 and 23 at 2 p.m.

    All performances are held at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre in the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, located at 15 Artists’ Common in St. Catharines.

    Tickets are pay-what-you-can-afford ($10, $25, $40 and $55) and can only be purchased in advance through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre box office.

    Limited paid parking is available on-site, but city parking is available within close proximity to the venue.

    For more information on the production, please contact info@stolentheatrecollective.ca

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    Categories: Alumni, Announcements, Events, News

  • Auditions for Brock’s new Women’s Choir open to the public

    Brock’s new Women’s Choir, to launch this fall, is open by audition to Brock students and Niagara community members.

    (from The Brock NewsWednesday, June 20, 2018 | by )

    Voices from the Brock and wider Niagara community will come together in harmony this fall as the Department of Music launches a new Women’s Choir.

    The all-female ensemble will be open by audition to Brock students as well as the general public.

    “I am hoping that this choir brings together women from the University and the Niagara region to offer something very special to our local arts community,” says Rachel Rensink-Hoff, Assistant Professor of Music who will direct the new group.

    The Women’s Choir will rehearse on Thursday evenings beginning this fall, readying for performances with Brock’s Chamber Choir on Dec. 1 and March 30 at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

    The department’s established mixed-voice Chamber Choir is also open by audition to all Brock students and staff.

    Also included among Brock’s choirs, an integral part of the Music program, is the Avanti Chamber Singers. The community-based adult ensemble, also directed by Rensink-Hoff, is the department’s Choir in Residence.

    “The choirs allow students the opportunity to rehearse and perform in the fantastic FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre,” says Rensink-Hoff. “My hope is that more students from across campus and members of the public will consider joining us.”

    To audition, previous singing experience and some ability to read music are required.

    Students who successfully audition can enrol in choir for academic credit.

    For more information or to schedule an audition, please visit the Music Department’s website.

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Future Students, Media Releases, News

  • Student completes music degree started 18 years ago in Mexico

    Mexico’s Luis Gerardo Molina will graduate from Brock Friday with a degree in Music.

    (from The Brock News,  Tuesday, June 05, 2018 | by )

    For 20 years, Luis Gerardo Molina worked his way up the corporate ladder of a growing computer software firm in his home country of Mexico.

    After high school, he had made what he viewed as a responsible decision to choose a stable career in technology over a fragile one as a classical pianist, but his love of music kept pulling at him like a magnet.

    Eventually, he gave in, and on Friday, June 8, at the age of 48, his career change will be official when he graduates from Brock University with a degree in Music.

    “It means everything,” said Molina. “That was a dream that I always wanted to make happen and I really struggled to get it.”

    Born into a family of talented musicians, Molina grew up around choirs and instruments, and by the age of six it was obvious he had a gift. At nine, he started working with a piano teacher and for eight years he attended a specialized school of music that turned his hobby into a craft.

    “I finished my high school and I had that dilemma many people face — should I devote my life to music? Is that a safe path for the rest of my life?” Molina said. “I decided to follow an alternative career. I always really liked the maths, so I decided to choose engineering.”

    A literal flip of a coin at the age of 17 made Molina choose computer engineering over civil engineering, and that set in motion a software career that lasted 20 years.

    But while his career progressed to the point of becoming a manager, so did his ongoing love of music. Having never truly given up his dream of being a professional pianist, Molina went back to the University of the Americas part time in 2000, completing two years of a four-year degree before realizing the workload wasn’t sustainable.

    Luis Molina’s music career has taken him to competitions and performances around the world.

    “It was just too much,” he said.

    But an invitation to an international piano competition in Paris in 2003 ramped up his duelling interests. After beating out nearly 100 competitors from 35 countries to win the contest, he was invited to more international performances and competitions, leading to the production of his first album of live recordings.

    “I got very good support from the company I was working for. The owner was a kind guy who was also involved in music and he always felt proud to tell them he had an employee with this background in competition and music,” said Molina, who traveled to the U.S., Germany, Russia, Poland and elsewhere over the years.

    “After doing all that, I decided the music is calling me more and more,” he said. “The company I was working for was growing and every day it was getting more complicated to do both things together.”

    Finally in 2015, the door opened to make music his full-time endeavour. He was hired as a pianist with a philharmonic orchestra in Mexico and went back to university for his third year of music school.

    Then, in 2017, a trip to Canada to visit friends in Niagara led to another big change.

    “I loved the Niagara region so I thought, if I’m going for my passion in music, I found the perfect place to do it,” he said.

    A tour of Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts and a meeting with Associate Professor of Music Karin Di Bella confirmed that Brock was where Molina would finish his degree.

    “I fell in love with what I found here. And now that I’m almost done, I feel very lucky to have had this great opportunity in this great country and at this great University,” he said.

    Di Bella called Molina “the real deal.”

    “He possesses a rare combination of drive, discipline, musical maturity, technical facility, innate musicality and a true flair for performance,” she said. “Despite his many accomplishments, he is very humble and always eager to learn, making him a true joy to work with.”

    After graduating Friday in the final day of Brock’s Spring Convocation, Molina will move on to do his master’s in musical literature and performance at Western University.

    From there, a PhD and potentially a teaching career are in his sights.

    “I’ve been performing for more than 30 years and I want to continue doing that, but I’d like to share my perspectives and teach others,” he said.

    Molina credits his wife, Marcela Lagunas Burgos, herself a talented musician who plays the cello, as playing a major role in his career success.

    “We’re definitely on the same frequency. She has supported me with everything and all the decisions.”

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Future Students, In the Media, News

  • New for 2018: the Marilyn I. Walker Textile Art Award

    Beginning in 2018 the Executive of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts will be awarding the Marilyn I. Walker Textile Art Award.

    This award will be made to an undergraduate student who is graduating from the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA), Brock University; who is awarded, by vote of the Executive Committee of the MIWSPFA, the top prize for a piece of textile art produced and submitted by said student.

    As the award must be granted to a student for the purposes of his or her continuing education and or development, students must also submit an expression of their intention to continue this education and or development.

    For the purposes of this award, textile art is defined as a work of art that utilizes any and all forms of textiles, either natural or man-made, and in any form of original artistic expression.

    For the purposes of this award, continuing education or development is defined as any form of post graduate education and development which the student may wish to pursue whether at a college, university, by way of apprenticeship at a technical institute or at a research facility.

    For more information about Marilyn I. Walker see: brocku.ca/miwsfpa/marilyn-i-walker

    We thank Marilyn I. Walker and her estate for the legacy of her generosity.

    See the article about the first recipient of the new award, Victoria Reid (Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Studio Art, with First-Class Standing, 2018).

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  • 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

  • Music@Noon season to end on high note

    Sherry Yu is one of six pianists who will perform in the last Music@Noon concert of the 2017-18 season on Tuesday, April 3.

    The curtain will close next week on this season’s RBC Foundation Music@Noon Recital Series.

    The final performance of the 2017-18 season takes place Tuesday, April 3, with first- and second-year Bachelor of Music piano students taking the stage at Cairns Recital Hall.

    Short videos of this season’s Music@Noon performances are available on the Department of Music Instagram page.

    The free recital series will return to the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in late September.

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Events, News, RBC Foundation Music @ Noon Series