In the Media

  • Music@Noon concert series goes virtual

    Former Music students Gavino Oresta (left) and Eric Godfree perform their recitals during a previous Music@Noon Series event. This year, the concert series will be held online in accordance with public health guidelines.

    The RBC Foundation Music@Noon Series returns Tuesday, Nov. 17, albeit with a new format.

    The anticipated concert series will be held virtually this season, with Brock Music students recording solos from their own homes.

    In the past, performances have taken place live on the stage of the Recital Hall at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (PAC), adjacent to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA). This year, the PAC and Brock’s Department of Music changed the format in accordance with public health guidelines.

    Self-recorded performances from the solo recital students will be streamed Tuesday through the MIWSFPA and PAC YouTube channels and Facebook pages, marking the first online presentation of the 2020-21 concert series.

    Generously sponsored by the RBC Foundation, the free concert series takes place most Tuesdays at noon throughout the academic year. The recitals are open to the public and feature Brock’s performance faculty and special guests, as well as talented students and alumni.

    For full event details, please visit the Music concert listings page.

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    Categories: Alumni, Alumni, Announcements, Events, Faculty & Instructors, Future Students, In the Media, Media Releases, News, RBC Foundation Music @ Noon Series, Special Events, Student Solo Recitals, Uncategorised

  • Upcoming: The Department of Music virtually attends Royal Conservatory of Music College & University Music Fair 2020

    The Department of Music at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts at Brock University is excited to virtually host future musicians at their online booth! The Royal Conservatory College & University Fair is going virtual this year. Set for October 3, 2020, registration is FREE. It has never been easier for future students to learn about the programs offered, admission requirements and much, much more. See you there!

    Register for free: https://bit.ly/2ZS1cLR

    To learn more about the programs offered through the Department of Music at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, drop by our degree programs page.  

     

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

  • 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

  • Redesigned course explores global music and identities

    (Published FRIDAY, JULY 31, 2020 | in The Brock News by )

    This fall, Brock University students will have the opportunity to explore how music shapes, and is shaped by, global cultures.

    Music in Global Cultures (MUSI 1P50) will explore how music expresses and shapes identity around themes of race, gender, spirituality, disability and sexuality.

    “Every unit will have case studies from all over the world,” says Nina Penner, Assistant Professor of Music. “We’ll be doing a lot of non-western music.”

    For those who may associate music appreciation classes with symphonies and string quartets by predominantly white men from previous centuries, this course will offer a fresh angle with a diverse repertoire.

    “We’ll be talking about music and its relation to the society and culture in which it is a part,” says Penner.

    Students will be exploring music from countries such as Gambia, India, Nepal, Japan and Cuba in genres including hip hop, jazz, sufi, disco and blues.

    Students will explore issues of race through the music of the Black Lives Matter movement and American blues and examine disability through the music of the Goze, a group of female Japanese musicians with visual disabilities, and the Deaf West Theatre in Los Angeles. They will investigate how Buddhist chant, the Whirling Dervishes of the Mevlevi Sufi order and traditional Jewish music express spirituality, and explore gender expression in opera and Balinese gamelan music.

    Penner hopes students from all disciplines across Brock will consider taking the course.

    “I really enjoy teaching music for non-majors,” she says. “I find it really exciting to take people who like music but think they aren’t skilled in music and show them how much they can learn and develop skills to listen to and describe things about music.”

    In North America, Penner says, students traditionally don’t get a lot of instruction in thinking about and discussing music critically.

    “It’s exciting to see students develop this vocabulary and to talk about music in a precise and informed way.”

    Course enrollment is open to any students who are interested. There are no theory requirements or prerequisites. The course is offered entirely online and the enrolment cap has been lifted to reflect the online learning environment.

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Faculty & Instructors, Future Students, In the Media, News, Uncategorised

  • Brock University Wind Ensemble performs Musical Treasures

    EDITOR’S NOTE: The March 31 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.

    A Concert of Magnificent Works Including:

    Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio Espagnol
    Moussorgsky: Night on Bald Mountain
    Debussy/Razek: Reverie
    Chaminade: Flute Concerto featuring Carolann Moisse

    Tuesday, March 31, 2020, 7:30 pm
    Partridge 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: Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, Media Releases, News, The University Wind Ensemble, 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

  • Music@Noon is on the stage for November 12, 2019

    Today’s performance of the Walker Quartet will commence as scheduled at noon in the PAC Recital Hall.  Please join us!

    The Walker String Quartet is: Vera Alekseeva, Faith Lau (violins), Roman Kosarev (viola) and Gordon Cleland (cello)

    see the event listing: experiencebu.brocku.ca/event/132926 

    FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre
    250 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines, ON

    Please drive safely!

     

    Categories: Announcements, Events, In the Media, RBC Foundation Music @ Noon Series, Uncategorised

  • GUEST ARTIST RESIDENCY with CHARLES BRUFFY. A Special Walker Cultural Leader Event!

    Director of the Kansas City Chorale and Chorus Master of the Kansas City Symphony, Charles Bruffy is a distinguished choral conductor, pedagogue and clinician. It will be our privilege to have him conduct masterclasses with our choirs during the week of November 26-30, 2019. He will also be visiting a few local school and community ensembles throughout the week. His visit is generously supported by the Walker Cultural Leaders Fund, the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation and the Humanities Research Institute.

    One of the most admired choral conductors in the United States, Charles Bruffy began his career as a tenor soloist, performing with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers in recordings and concerts in France and in concerts at Carnegie Hall. Shaw encouraged his development as a conductor. He received his undergraduate degree from Missouri Western University in St. Joseph, and completed his master’s degree in conducting from the Conservatory of Dance and Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

    He has been Artistic Director of the Kansas City Chorale since 1988 and Chorus Director for the Kansas City Symphony since 2008. He is also Director of Music for Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church.

    Respected and renowned for his fresh and passionate interpretations of standards of the choral music repertoire and for championing new music, he has commissioned and premiered works by composers such as Jean Belmont Ford, Ola Gjeilo, Matthew Harris, Anne Kilstofte, Libby Larsen, Zhou Long, Cecilia McDowall, Michael McGlynn, Stephen Paulus, Steven Sametz, Philip Stopford, Steven Stucky, Eric Whitacre, and Chen Yi.

    Under his supervision, MusicSpoke and the Roger Dean Company, a division of the Lorenz Corporation, publish choral series specializing in music for professional ensembles and sophisticated high school and college choirs. His eclectic discography includes five albums on the Nimbus label and eight recordings for Chandos Records, three of which have been recognized by the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences with Grammy® awards for Best Choral Performance. In 2017, Bruffy was recognized with the Signature Sinfonian award conferred by national fraternal society Phi Mu Alpha, recognizing “alumni members who have achieved a high standard of accomplishment in their field.”

    In his spare time, Bruffy breeds and raises Arabian and Saddlebred horses on his ranch just south of Kansas City in Cass County, Missouri.

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    Categories: Announcements, Events, Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, Uncategorised, Viva Voce Choral Series

  • 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

  • Brock calendar packed with high school events

    Port Colborne High School students were taken on a tour of campus Tuesday, May 8.

    (excerpted from: Brock News Tuesday, May 08, 2018 | by 

    Now that Winter Term has come to an end, it’s high season for high school students on campus.

    Brock has been buzzing with activity over the past two weeks, with secondary students from across Niagara and the GTA taking tours, listening to presentations, participating in lab demonstrations and getting a taste for life on campus.

    That jam-packed lineup continues this week, with the addition of the popular Scientifically Yours event May 10 and 11, and the Ontario Classics Conference May 10 to 12.

    “For many high school students, University campuses can seem very intimidating at first,” said Jamie Mandigo, Brock’s Vice-Provost, Enrolment Management and International. “Some have never set foot on a University campus while others may be the first in their family to apply and attend University. Providing students with a welcoming first impression of Brock is critical to reassuring them that they will have a positive student experience during their time with us.”

    Included in the many high school events that have happened recently or are scheduled to take place on campus this week are:

    • April 27 — Stamford Collegiate performed at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) as part of In the Soil Arts Festival.
    • May 5 — The Department of Dramatic Arts held its invitational and weekend tours for high school students.
    • May 7 — About 500 students from the District School Board of Niagara rehearsed at the MIWSFPA for Music Monday, before performing at the Meridian Centre that evening.
    • May 8 — About 60 Grade 10 and 11 students from Thorold High School, Eastdale Secondary School and Port Colborne High School visited for campus tours, presentations and a Dramatic Arts activity with Professor Joe Norris and his improv students; The Grade 9 drama students from Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School performed their original self-produced children’s play in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre for elementary and secondary school students of the NCDSB.
    • May 9 — Niagara Catholic District School Board students will be rehearsing and participating in workshops at the MIWSFPA for Music Day before performing at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines.
    • May 10 — The Grade 9 drama students from Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School performed their original self-produced children’s play in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre for elementary and secondary school students of the NCDSB;

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    Categories: Events, Future Students, In the Media, News