News

  • Brock faculty and staff to shine during next Music@Noon concert

    Percussionist Devon Fornelli will perform during the next RBC Foundation Music@Noon concert on Jan. 29 at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.


    (From The Brock News, January 25, 2019 | By: Jaquelyn Bezaire)

    A group of Brock’s own faculty and staff will bring their musical talents to the stage next week in the next instalment of the RBC Foundation Music@Noon recital series.

    Percussionist Devon Fornelli, pianist John Sherwood and guitarist Max Holten-Andersen will come together to perform on Tuesday, Jan. 29 at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines.

    Pianist John Sherwood will perform Jan. 29 during the next RBC Foundation Music@Noon concert.

    Fornelli is a percussion instructor at Brock University and has extensive experience as a soloist, orchestral percussionist and chamber instrumentalist. He has performed with the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the UBC Wind Ensemble among many others. His range of talent spans orchestral percussion, contemporary art music and drum set traditions from the big band era to the present.

    Sherwood began his career with a strong foundation in classical music and is now known as one of the top jazz pianists in Canada. He performs regularly with Peter Appleyard and has also worked with a range of other talented musicians including Moe Koffman, Guido Basso, Rob McConnell, Ed Bickert, Jake Hanna, Kenny Wheeler and Butch Miles.

    Holten-Andersen was born and raised in Argentina and is heavily influenced by South American harmonies, rhythms and techniques. He actively teaches guitar at his home studio as well as sound design and music programming at Brock, where he is also the Visual Arts Department’s Media Resource Co-ordinator.

    Thanks to the generous donation of the RBC Foundation, the three will join together on stage as part of the Music@Noon Recital Series, which takes place most Tuesdays at noon in the Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

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

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

  • Brock Encore! Series continues with hit show

    TorQ Percussion Quartet will perform as part of Brock’s Encore! Series on Friday, Jan. 25 at 7:30 p.m. in Partridge Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre. (Photo by Bo Huang)


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

    It’s going to be hard to resist the beat at Brock’s latest Encore! Series performance.

    With more than 70 instruments used in their lively show, the TorQ Percussion Quartet plans to get feet tapping and the crowd moving on Friday, Jan. 25 at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines.

    Held in Partridge Hall beginning at 7:30 p.m., the concert is the second performance of the Department of Music’s Encore! Professional Concert Series.

    TorQ is a four-piece Toronto-based ensemble that utilizes everything from marimbas and vibraphones to tom-toms, cowbells and even tin cans and garbage cans in their energetic performances.

    Music Department Chair Matthew Royal is looking forward to the unique performance and invites Brock faculty, staff and students, as well as members of the community, to attend.

    “The Music Department is delighted to welcome the accomplished percussion quartet, TorQ, back to Brock,” said Royal. “The concert promises to be entertaining, informative and chock-full of inspired musicianship.”

    Formed in 2004, TorQ features the talent of Richard Burrows, Adam Campbell, Jamie Drake and Dan Morphy. The ensemble has developed a dedicated following and has worked to make percussion music accessible to audiences of all ages.

    The group has performed across Canada and internationally, including shows at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in San Antonio and Indianapolis, and the International Percussion Quartet Festival in Luxembourg.

    TorQ will perform a wide variety of pieces during Friday’s concert, including some composed by members of the Quartet themselves. Guests will also hear works by Canadian composers Dinuk Wijeratne and Ken Shorely.

    Tickets to the TorQ Percussion Quartet performance on Jan. 25 are available through theFirstOntario PAC website.

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

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

  • Free recital series returns with an international twist

    Pianist Karin Di Bella will perform Tuesday, Jan. 8 as part of the Music@Noon Recital Series at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.


    (From The Brock News, Friday, January 4, 2019 | By: Jaquelyn Bezaire)

    The RBC Foundation Music@Noon Recital Series returns next week with a concert blending Canadian and Maltese influences.

    On Tuesday, Jan. 8, Brock Associate Professor Karin Di Bella will be joined by Maltese-Canadian flautist Rebecca Hall in The Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

    Hall holds a Doctorate of Music from the University of Malta and has performed with the Malta Philharmonic and the Cosmos Wind Ensemble.

    Hall and Di Bella first connected over their shared interest in Canadian composer Jack Behrens, whom Di Bella has been researching during her sabbatical leave this year.

    Di Bella said that connecting with Hall has been extremely beneficial to her research, given they each approach Behrens’ repertoire from different perspectives.

    “She knows everything that I don’t know,” said Di Bella. “When the two of us get together, it’s really fun to talk about what we know about Jack because we know it from different sides of his output and can learn from each other.”

    Di Bella recently had the opportunity to travel to Malta in October to give a performance with Hall at the University of Malta, featuring highlighted works by both Canadian and Maltese composers. Di Bella also gave a lecture-recital at the university, where she performed her research on Behrens.

    “Meeting in person is so important when you’re doing work like this,” she explained. “Being able to work through ideas together is really valuable because there’s only so much you can do over the phone or email and it also gets the wheels turning about future projects.”

    Di Bella is looking forward to sharing the work of Behrens with a new audience at the upcoming recital.

    “What’s interesting about Jack’s pieces is that even though they’re more modern in style, they’re still really accessible,” explained Di Bella, “He may not be a composer that most people think to go to, to learn repertoire from, but I think his pieces are great and people always like them when they hear them.”

    Di Bella is also looking forward to sharing the stage with her Maltese colleague once more, and encourages everyone to attend.

    The Music@Noon recital series is generously sponsored by the RBC Foundation and takes place most Tuesdays at noon during the academic year in The Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre. This is a free event that is open to the public.

    For more information on upcoming performances, please visit the Brock University Music page.

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

  • Brock’s new Women’s Choir preparing for inaugural concert

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    Categories: Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, News, Viva Voce Choral Series

  • Brock’s String Orchestra and Wind Ensemble kick off holiday season with tributes to music legends

    Brock University’s Wind Ensemble will perform its Tribute to the Legends concert on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m. in Partridge Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.


    (From The Brock News, Friday November 16, 2018 | By: Sarah Moore)

    Brock University’s String Orchestra and Wind Ensemble will bring captivating melodies from legendary composers to the stage in their first performances of the season.

    As part of the Brock University Music Department’s instrumental series, the Orchestra’s Simply Strings concert will take place Wednesday, Nov. 28 in the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre’s Cairns Recital Hall. The Ensemble will perform its Tribute to the Legends recital on Tuesday, Dec. 4 in Partridge Hall.

    The String Orchestra brings musicians from the University together with members of the community to perform standard masterworks and lesser-known gems of the string repertoire. It was added to the ensemble roster of the Brock University Choirs and Brock University Wind Ensemble in September 2017 to provide a place for university and community string players to perform together and share their talents.

    Led by conductor George Cleland, the String Orchestra will perform Mozart’s Adagio and Fugue, Warlock’s Capriol Suite, Sibelius’ Canzonetta, Op. 62a and Britten’s Simple Symphony at the Nov. 28 concert.

    Under the baton of conductor Zoltan Kalman, the University Wind Ensemble features the talents of 64 musicians drawn from Brock University, community members and Niagara region high schools. Musicians from the Hamilton Symphony on the Bay and Niagara Symphony will also join in the concert on Dec. 4.

    The program will feature works of the past and present, including Bernstein: Three Dance Episodes, Gillingham: Galactic Empires, Grainger: Lincolnshire Posy, Bourgeois: Trombone Concerto, Barker: Cole Porter on Broadway, Bennett: Symphonic Songs and Bourgeois: Trombone Concerto.

    Kalman said the ensemble is thrilled to pay tribute to some of the world’s most influential composers in the state-of-the-art Partridge Hall.

    “We’re going to perform a diverse repertoire of timeless classics and easy-listening charts that will surely leave our audience breathless,” he said. “The evening also includes a brilliant trombone concerto, featuring our very own, supremely talented Alyssa Shanghavi.”

    Such performances from the Department of Music are a key part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate of building connections between the community and the breadth of talent and creativity at Brock.

    The conductors said their ensembles serve as cultural ambassadors of the Niagara region and encouraged, “faithful audience members and other music lovers to come out and experience these concerts.”

    Tickets are on sale now for both performances.

    Simply Strings takes place on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 7:30 p.m. in Cairns Recital Hall. Tickets are $12 general admission and $5 for children 14 and under, as well as high school students through the eyeGo program. Complimentary tickets are available to current Brock students with valid student ID.

    Tribute to the Legends takes place Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m. in Partridge Hall. Tickets are $12 for general admission and $5 for high school students through the eyeGo program. Complimentary tickets are available to current Brock students with valid student ID.

    All tickets can be purchased through the FirstOntario PAC Box Office.

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

  • Students wrap up Music@Noon series for the semester

    Music student Divya Iyer was one of four performers for the first student performance of the year on Oct. 30. The next group of students will perform on Nov. 20 at Cairns Recital Hall.


    (From The Brock News, Friday Nov. 16, 2018 | By: Jaquelyn Bezaire)

    Over the past two months, professors and senior music students in Brock’s Department of Music performed on stage as part of the RBC Foundation Music@Noon Recital Series. Now, in the final three performances of the semester, first-year music students will have the chance to showcase their talents on stage, as well.

    The next concert in the series will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 20 in the Cairns Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre. Vocal, guitar and piano students will perform.

    Brock’s instrumental students will then perform on Nov. 27 and piano students will follow with a recital on Dec. 4. Music@Noon will return in the new year with a performance on Jan. 8 featuring flutist Rebecca Hall and Brock Professor and pianist Karin Di Bella.

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

    For more information about the Music@Noon Recital Series, please visit the Music@Noon website.

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

  • Avanti Chamber Singers to commemorate the Christmas Truce at first concert of the season

    The Avanti Chamber Singers are led by conductor Rachel Rensink-Hoff during rehearsal for their upcoming performance Saturday, Nov. 24 at St. Thomas’ Anglican Church in St. Catharines.


    (From The Brock News, Wednesday November 14, 2018 | By: Jaquelyn Bezaire)

    On Christmas Day, 1914, French, British and German soldiers along the Western Front laid down their weapons, emerged from the trenches and joined in song to celebrate the season. Now referred to as the Christmas Truce, the unofficial ceasefire was a symbolic moment of peace and humanity amid the violence of the First World War.

    To mark the 100th anniversary of the 1918 armistice, conductor Rachel Rensink-Hoff will lead the Avanti Chamber Singers in a performance to remember the truce on Saturday, Nov. 24 at St. Thomas’ Anglican Church in St. Catharines. This marks the first performance of the season for Brock’s choir in residence.

    Titled And on Earth, Peace, the concert will include Remembrance Day tributes, popular songs from the time of the First World War and classic Christmas carols. Songs will be performed in English, German and French, and the audience will be invited to sing along to carols that soldiers would have sung.

    “The moving story of the Christmas Truce was fitting inspiration for our first performance of the season,” said Rensink-Hoff, Assistant Professor of Music in the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. “As we look back to Remembrance Day and forward to the holiday season, we will join together in song — just as those soldiers did more than 100 years ago.”

    Many differing stories about the Christmas Truce have been shared. Even today, it is still unclear exactly what happened on Christmas Day all those years ago.

    The most commonly shared account is that soldiers all sang carols together in celebration on Christmas Eve before emerging to wish their enemies a Merry Christmas the next day. After the soldiers ceased fire, they met to exchange small gifts and souvenirs.

    The Avanti Chamber Singers is comprised of 30 musicians from around the Niagara region.

    Rensink-Hoff said she works with different individuals every year, and hopes to showcase the hard work and talent of this year’s choir at the opening concert.

    “The challenge with a new choir is gelling together as a group — not just musically, but interpersonally,” she said. “This is now my second season with Avanti and it makes a big difference when you know people more closely because it helps all of us feel that we are in this together.”

    Accompanying the Avanti Chamber Singers will be pianist and organist Lesley Kingham and guest trumpeter Timothy White.

    And on Earth, Peace takes place Saturday, Nov. 24 at 7:30 p.m. Advanced tickets are available through the Avanti Singers website, at Thorold Music and Booksmart, or from choir members for $20 for adults and seniors. Tickets at the door are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors. A $5 ticket is available for students and eyeGo program members.

    The Avanti Chamber Singers will also be performing on Feb. 23 and April 27 at St. Thomas’ Anglican Church.

    Rensink-Hoff is also the conductor for the Brock University Choirs, which includes both the chamber choir and the new women’s choir. Their first performance will take place Dec. 1.

    For more information about upcoming choral performances, visit the Brock University Music website.

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    Categories: Events, Faculty & Instructors, Media Releases, News, Viva Voce Choral Series

  • Award-winning pianist returns to Brock for Walker Cultural Leaders Series

    Award-winning Canadian concert pianist David Jalbert will give a recital Friday, Nov. 16 as part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ 2018 performance season.


    (From The Brock News, Wednesday Nov. 7 | By: Sarah Moore)

    Renowned Canadian concert pianist David Jalbert is returning to St. Catharines Friday, Nov. 16 as the next performer in the Walker Cultural Leaders Series.

    The performance will also open this year’s Encore! Professional Concert Series, hosted by the Department of Music at Brock’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA).

    Jalbert, who performs regularly as a soloist and recitalist across North America and Europe, last came to Brock as part of the MIWSFPA’s 2013 performance season.

    A national and international prize-winner, he has won five Opus Awards, was nominated for three Juno Awards and was the 2007 laureate of the prestigious Virginia Parker Prize of the Canada Council for the Arts.

    Music Department Chair Matthew Royal said the accomplished performer will be a highlight to the School’s 2018 event season, both for the public and music students alike.

    “We are delighted to have David Jalbert return to Brock to give a master class to our piano students, and to perform a solo piano recital,” he said. “He is a superbly expressive pianist whose musicality and intelligence are supported by a flawless technique.”

    Jalbert will perform in Partridge Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Art Centre, where attendees will be treated to a program of solo piano works by Bach, Schumann, Liszt and Fauré. The recital will conclude with a performance of Prokofiev’s monumental Sonata No. 7, Op. 83, in B flat major.

    “The highlight of this concert will, I believe, be the Prokofiev 7th Piano Sonata,” Royal noted. “This is one of those pieces that all pianists worth their salt must conquer at some point in their careers. I predict it will be a ‘tour de force.’”

    Tickets are available by contacting the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office at 905-688-0722 or firstontariopac.ca

    Tickets are $29 for adults, $23 for seniors and students and $13 for children 14 and under. Special $5 tickets are also available through the eyeGo program.

    The Walker Cultural Leaders Series brings leading artists, performers, practitioners and academics to Brock’s MIWSFPA.

    The sessions celebrate professional achievement, artistic endeavour and the indelible role of culture in society. The education program is generously funded by Marilyn I. Walker.

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    Categories: Encore! Professional Concert Series, Events, 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

  • Guitarist to conclude faculty Music@Noon performances

    Guitarist Tim Phelan will perform as part of the RBC Foundation Music@Noon series on Nov. 6.


    (From The Brock News | Friday, Nov. 2)

    Fans of Queen are in for a treat during the next RBC Foundation Music@Noon concert.

    Guitarist Tim Phelan will take the stage of the Cairns Recital Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 6 with an arrangement of Bohemian Rhapsody by Niagara composter Floyd Turner.

    The performance will also include Turner’s Twelve Preludes as well as solo guitar works by Tárrega, Villa-Lobos and Bach.

    Phelan is a classical guitarist, conductor, composer, arranger and educator currently teaching at Brock University and Mohawk College. At the age of 18, he made his CBC recording debut as concerto soloist with Orchestre Symphonique de Québec. Since then, he has been heard in solo, concerto and chamber music performances over CBC Radio and Television, Radio France, Radio Caribbean and Cuban National Television and Radio.

    The Department of Music invites faculty, staff, students and the community to come and experience his performance. The Music@Noon Series features free, one-hour concerts that occur most Tuesdays at noon during the academic year at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

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

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    Categories: Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, News, RBC Foundation Music @ Noon Series