• Music and Dramatic Arts collaborate with the Niagara Symphony Orchestra


    The Niagara Symphony Orchestra on the stage of the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre of the Centre for the Arts at Brock University. Pictured below are Elizabeth Pereira, Virginia Reh and Evan Mulrooney.

    Many Canadian orchestras have brought Classical Kids’ Beethoven Lives Upstairs program to their stages over the years, but the Niagara Symphony has brought a fresh new approach to this classic event. Brock Dramatic Arts student Elizabeth Pereira and alumnus Evan Mulrooney will play the roles of Christoph and the Uncle respectively, in performance with the Niagara Symphony (led by music director Bradley Thachuk) in April 2015.  They earned the roles through competitive auditions at the school, and will be directed by Brock Professor of Drama Virginia Reh.

    It’s part of a many-faceted partnership between the NSA and the university.  The Niagara Symphony is Orchestra in Residence at Brock University, NSO concert notes are prepared by Brock Music Department faculty member Dr. Brian E. Power, the NSO participates in the Community Arts Partnership with the Brock Department of Music, Brock Music Ed Plus ensembles are featured in as part of Spotlight On!, Music Ed Plus students mentor and volunteer at Summer Music Camp, Brock faculty members coach, and adjudicate practice auditions, for students in The Academy @ SMC, NSO musicians Laura Thomas, Brent Adams, Gordon Cleland, Steve Fralick, Zoltan Kalman, Vera Alexeeva and Patricia Dydnansky are on faculty with the Brock Department of Music, and the NSO offers special PSSTnso (post secondary student ticket) pricing for university students.

    from the article posted September 17 in the Orchestra NewsWeekly Newsletter

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  • The University Wind Ensemble With Conductor Zoltan Kalman

    windensemble_0The University Wind Ensemble enjoys a rich heritage of musical excellence, bringing together both university and high school students as well as members of the Niagara musical community to explore and perform major symphonic wind band works, both original and transcribed. Talented brass, woodwind, and percussion performers engage with their peers and conductor while pursing their passion and enjoyment of music through creative expression.

    Click here for event poster.


    When: April 1, 2014, 7:30pm – 9:30pm
    Location: Sean O’Sullivan Theatre, Brock University
    Contact: Marie Balsom,


    Brock University
    Media Release
    March 21, 2014
    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    905.688.5550, x4765

    The University Wind Ensemble presents a Spring Concert of classic and modern works
    Come celebrate the rebirth of the spring season with the Brock University Wind Ensemble on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 7:30 p.m., in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre.
    Under the baton of conductor Zoltan Kalman, this ensemble performs a wide range of styles representing different cultures: from Ottorino Respighi, a brilliant Italian composer of richly descriptive symphonic poems, to Andrew Lloyd Webber, the celebrated British song writer.
    The University Wind Ensemble showcases the talent of 60 musicians drawn from the Brock community and regional high schools, as well as performers from the wider music community, including Kelly Hindrichs, Michael Hindrichs, Peter Macdonald, Frances Cohen, Mary Ann Pearson and David Pearson from Hamilton’s Symphony on the Bay.
    High school students from the Niagara Region and Southern Ontario include: Austin Meisel from Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary School, Grimsby; Rebecca Heathcote from Bishop Ryan Secondary School, Hamilton; Lindsey Cook from E.L. Crossley, Fonthill; and Makayla Todd and Todd Morgan both from Laura Secord Secondary School, St. Catharines.
    The Wind Ensemble’s Spring Concert program features masterworks of the past and present, including “Flying the Breeze,” by Philip Sparke; “Lincolnshire Posy,” by Percy Grainger; “Symphonic Songs for Band,” by Robert Russell Bennett; “Laideronnette, Impératrice des Pagodes,” by Maurice Ravel (with conductor Conor Cooper); “Manhattan,” by Philip Sparke (featuring a trumpet solo by Ryan Baker); “The Pines of Rome,” by Ottorino Respighi; “Fiddle-Faddle,” by Leroy Anderson; and “Selections from Phantom of the Opera,” by Andrew Lloyd Webber (featuring singers Victoria Hoshowsky, Tim Stacey, and Conor Cooper).
    Kalman states, “The upcoming performance offers audiences an intriguing musical kaleidoscope which will undoubtedly demonstrate the brilliance, virtuosity as well as the lyrical qualities of the Wind Ensemble. There is something truly exciting for everyone,
    from the majestic “Pines of Rome” by Respighi, to a refreshing walk on the POPS side featuring the concert version of “Phantom of the Opera.”
    Such performances from the Department of Music are a key part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate in building connections between the community and the breadth of talent and creativity at Brock University.

    Plan to join us on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre. Tickets are $10 general admission, or $5 eyeGo for high school students, and can be purchased at the Centre for the Arts Box Office, 905.688.5550 x3257, or at the door.

    Media call: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 5:30 p.m., held in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre, Brock University
    For interviews please contact:
    Marie Balsom, Communications
    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    T: 905.688.5550, x4765 | E: | W:

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  • Viva Voce! Choral Series & The Regional Women’s Choirs present a concert for International Women’s Day: “She Rises”

    sherisesThe Viva Voce Choral Series includes Brock’s student choral ensembles (men’s and women’s choruses) as well as the Avanti Chamber Singers, a mixed ensemble including several Brock staff and Music alumni. Under the direction of conductor Harris Loewen, the ensembles perform multiple concerts throughout the academic year, and engage in community outreach, collaborative work with other Ontario choirs and special recording projects.

    When: March 8, 2014 – 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
    Location: St. Thomas Anglican Church, 99 Ontario St., St. Catharines
    Admission: $17 adults; $15 seniors & students; $5 for the eyeGo ticket program for high school students.

    Click here for the event poster.

    Regional Women’s Choirs present a concert for International Women’s Day: “She Rises”

    On Saturday, March 8, 2014, at 7:30 pm, the Brock University Women’s Chorus hosts guest ensembles: the McMaster University Women’s Chorus and the Queenston Ladies Choir, in a concert showcasing the beauty and power of women’s voices. This event, in celebration of International Women’s Day, takes place at St. Thomas Anglican Church, 99 Ontario Street, St. Catharines.
    Conductors Lisa Brillon (Queenston), Harris Loewen (Brock) and Rachel Rensink-Hoff (McMaster) will conduct their individual choirs, as well as the massed chorus of over 100 women’s voices, in this rare festival performance by three elite, treble-voice ensembles.
    The concert will have a clearly contemporary flavour. The majority of works to be performed were written in the 20th and 21st centuries – a number of them published in just the last few years. The program will also include works by 19th century composers Bruckner and Mendelssohn, as well as wonderful arrangements of traditional folk songs and spirituals.
    One of the featured works is the Canadian premiere of “She Rises” (2011), a piece for double women’s chorus with lyrics and music by American composer Catherine Dalton. The words speak of the inspiring Celtic sun goddess Brigid, as well as St. Brigid of Kildare (Ireland). The music, a Celtic-style melody accompanied by rich harmonies and creative vocal sound effects, is “a jubilant celebration of the energy and light that resides without and within all of us.”
    Other massed choir works include Eric Whitacre’s lyrical “Seal Lullaby,” Clifton Noble’s exciting spiritual arrangement “Hold On,” Dale Warland’s pensive “Sed Amore,” and Canadian songwriter Leon Dubinsky’s inspiring “We Rise Again,” in an arrangement by Toronto’s Lydia Adams.
    Dr. Harris Loewen, Associate Professor Music at Brock University, states: “This celebratory and wide-ranging program, presented by the very best women’s choirs of the region, will appeal to a really broad audience. If you’ve never been to this kind of choral feast, exclusively by women’s voices, this is a terrific way to celebrate International Women’s Day, and support choral endeavours by women.”
    Concerts in the Viva Voce Choral Series are presented by the Department of Music as a key part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate in building connections between the community and Brock University.
    Join us for this moving celebration on March 8 at 7:30 p.m., held at St. Thomas Anglican Church, 99 Ontario Street, St. Catharines. Tickets are available at the Centre for the Arts Box Office, or at the door.

    For more information contact:
    Marie Balsom, Communications
    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    T: 905-688-5550, ext. 4765 | E: | W:

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    Categories: Events, Media Releases, News, Viva Voce Choral Series

  • Local choral groups release debut CD of Christmas music

    (Source: The Brock News, Thursday, November 08, 2012 | by )

    The Avanti Chamber Singers and Brock University Festival Chorus have released a new CD, entitled Voices of Niagara 3: Glorious Light, which features Christmas choral music written by local Niagara composers.

    This is first CD released featuring the 30-voice Avanti Singers and 60-voice Brock Chorus. Conductor and Brock associate professor of music Harris Loewen leads both ensembles, as well as other regional instrumentalists on the recording.

    The main work on the CD is the six-movement piece Gloria, composed by Peter Landey, associate professor of music at Brock, and sung in Latin by the combined groups. All of the works on this recording are unpublished and presented here for the first time.

    The music on Voices of Niagara 3: Glorious Light was recorded in multiple sessions at St. Mark’s Anglican Church in Niagara-on-the-Lake in May 2011 and May 2012, and at St. Thomas Anglican Church in St. Catharines in November 2011.

    The CD will be launched Saturday, Nov. 17 at the Avanti Chamber Singers concert happening at St. Barnabas Anglican Church, 31 Queenston St., St. Catharines.

    Information about tickets and start times for this event.

    The CD will also be on sale at the Brock University Choirs’ performance of Cantemus that takes place Saturday, Nov. 24 at Knox Presbyterian Church, 53 Church St., St. Catharines.

    The CD is available for online purchase from Brock’s Department of Music and the Avanti Chamber Singers.

    This is the third CD in the Voices of Niagara series. The previous two CDs by the Niagara Vocal Ensemble, also conducted by Loewen, are also still available.

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

  • Brock Music professor elected Chair of national committee

    Dr. Brian E. Power, Department of Music

    (Source: The Brock News, Thursday, June 16, 2011)

    At the Annual Meeting of the Canadian University Music Society, held June 3-5, 2011 at Mt. Allison University, Brian E. Power was elected Chair of the Standing Committee of Institutional Members, a national body charged with consulting and advising on new university Music programs in Canada, monitoring existing programs, and providing nationally recognized guidelines for best practices in University Music curriculum and administration. Power has just completed two terms as Chair of Brock’s Music Department.

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  • Recent Community Work By Harris Loewen

    (Source: The Brock News, Thursday, February 4, 2010)

    Harris Loewen served as clinician for a choral workshop for regional United Church choirs, held at First Grantham United Church, St. Catharines, on Jan. 16. He also served as a vocalist with the Lincoln and Welland Ambassadors Swing Band for a series of community service and dance events in Beamsville and St. Catharines on Nov. 7 and Dec. 10, 2009, and Jan. 2 and 23, 2010.

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  • Music Faculty, Instructors & Staff Featured in New CD

    (Source: The Brock News, Thursday, January 21, 2010)

    Harris Loewen is the conductor on the Niagara Vocal Ensemble’s seasonal CD (released December 2009) entitled Voices of Niagara 2: A Niagara Noël. Instrumental musicians also performing on the CD include present and former faculty, instructors and staff: Karin di Bella, Jonathan Earp, Devon Fornelli, Ross Inglis, Michael Phelan and Laura Thomas.  As with the Niagara Vocal Ensemble’s first CD, all of the repertoire is by composers with a Niagara connection, including works by former Brock instructor John Butler, the late Professor Emeritus Ronald Tremain, alumni Penny Blake and  Matthew Tran-Adams, and current staff and faculty Anne Adams and Harris Loewen.

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  • New Book by Dr. Brian Power

    (Source: The Brock News, Wednesday, December 2, 2009)

    Brian E. Power’s new book, The Sounds and Sights of Performance in Early Music (co-edited with Maureen Epp) received its official launch by Ashgate Publishing (U.K. and U.S.A.) at a special event held in conjunction with the 75th Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society in Philadelphia, Nov. 13, 2009.

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