News

  • 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

  • New for 2019! The Hugh and Marie Logan Jazz Series

    seen above: the first rehearsal of The University Jazz Ensemble: The Brock Big Band.Zoltan Kalman, Director.

    Through the immense generosity of Mrs. Norma Bassett, this new series offers jazz lovers three unforgettable evenings over the concert season: two end-of-term concerts by the newly minted University Jazz Ensemble, and a guest-artist concert in February. All concerts honour the memory of Niagara-based jazz enthusiast and amateur musician, Hugh Logan, and his late wife, Marie.

    Don’t miss the first concert on November 22, 2019!

    For more information see the event page brocku.ca/miwsfpa/music/hugh-and-marie-logan-jazz-series

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    Categories: Announcements, Events, Hugh and Marie Logan Jazz Series, Uncategorised

  • Tier 2 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Indigenous Art Practice

    Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) invites applications for a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Indigenous Art Practice at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor.

    The CRC in Indigenous Art Practice will be appointed to one or more of the School’s academic units, depending on the successful applicant’s area(s) of knowledge and expertise. We recognize that in Indigenous art there may be no formal divisions between visual, theatrical, and musical art forms. Brock embraces diverse perspectives and pedagogical practices; it is hoped that the CRC in Indigenous Art Practice will help foster new collaborations across academic units and assist the School and university to move towards Indigenization. The CRC will be welcomed into a tight-knit, friendly, and dynamic community of artists, scholars, staff, and students that respects, promotes, and actively engages with Indigenous arts and culture within the University and Indigenous communities.

    Review of applications will begin on October 31, 2019, and will continue until the position is filled.

    For more information see the complete posting at brocku.wd3.myworkdayjobs.com/brocku_careers/job/St-Catharines-Downtown-Campus/Canada-Research-Chair—Tier-2—Indigenous-Art-Practice—Assistant-Associate-Professor-Tenure-Track_JR-1002413

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    Categories: Announcements, Faculty & Instructors, News, Uncategorised

  • We are hiring!

    Two positions available:

    Marketing and Communications Officer

    full-time, this position includes full comprehensive benefits coverage, including tuition waiver.
    closing on August 24. see https://brocku.ca/careers/
    direct link: https://brocku.wd3.myworkdayjobs.com/brocku_careers/job/St-Catharines-Downtown-Campus/Marketing—Communications-Officer_JR-1004102

    Communications Assistant (Coop student position)

    full-time, 9 months, beginning September 2019
    tailored for Brock students in Marketing and Communications but other disciplines should apply
    closing on August 17 or until filled. see https://careerzone.brocku.ca

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    Categories: Announcements, News, Uncategorised

  • First students to complete entire four-year degree at downtown MIWSFPA graduate June 14

    Brock’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in downtown St. Catharines.


    The first group of students to have completed their entire four-year degree at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ downtown St. Catharines facility crossed the stage at Spring Convocation on Friday, June 14.

    Sixty-three students from Brock’s Departments of Music, Visual Arts and Dramatic Arts graduated from the downtown arts school, which opened its doors in 2015. Nine students who minored in programs at the MIWSFPA will also graduate on Friday.

    The milestone is not lost on the 2019 graduating class.

    “It’s a cool honour to be part of Brock history and I’m grateful to have trained in such a professional environment,” said Emma McCormick, who completed a Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic Arts, Performance Concentration. “I feel that I’ve gained a lot of skills that will serve me in my career, specific to the learning I received at the MIWSFPA.”

    The London, Ont. native is the recipient of the Jean Harding Prize, which is awarded to the student who achieves the highest standing in fourth-year Dramatic Arts. She plans to remain in St. Catharines after graduation, where she will continue her studies in Brock’s Adult Education program and working in the performing arts sector.

    Providing students like McCormick with a purpose-built, state-of-the-art facility was the vision of the School’s namesake, the late Marilyn I. Walker.

    When the famed textile artist and philanthropist donated $15 million to Brock University in 2008, she envisioned the creation of an arts facility that would revitalize downtown St. Catharines and encourage students to study and practice the arts here in the Niagara region.

    Her generosity and foresight allowed for the historic Canada Hair Cloth Building to be converted into the new home for the Departments of Music, Dramatic Arts and Visual Arts, and the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture, which had previously been housed at Brock’s main campus.

    The $45.5-million project also received a $26.2-million investment from the Ontario government, numerous private and corporate donors, and relied heavily on the insight and contributions of hundreds of partners such as then-Dean of Humanities, Rosemary Hale, and the City of St. Catharines.

    MIWSFPA Director Elizabeth Vlossak, who joined the School on an interim basis from the Department of History, said she has seen first-hand the impact the facility and its programming has on students.

    “Although the School is a cultural hub that acts as a living, breathing connection between the city’s past and future, it’s also so much more than that,” she said. “In my short time here, I have seen how these incredible facilities and engaged, passionate faculty benefit our students.”

    Graduand Alyssa Shanghavi, of St. Catharines, said she appreciated the availability of unique practice spaces on campus for music students like herself, which allowed her to focus on her studies and hone her skills on the trombone.

    The Bachelor of Music recipient said being around other artists all the time and in such close proximity to the downtown core was an invaluable complement to her education.

    Gianna Luisa Aceto, a graduand from Mississauga, said that as a painter, she “enjoyed and most definitely appreciated the space the MIWSFPA provided.”

    As well as making new friendships and plenty of memories, Aceto attributes the successful completion of her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Studio Art to the artistic identify she forged while studying at the School.

    “One of the biggest takeaways for me is finding my passion, my niche,” she said.
    “I struggled a lot in finding out what I wanted to create and the reasons for creating it. My time spent within the walls of the MIWSFPA allowed me to uncover that knowledge.”

    She also said she has an undeniable gratitude for her professors, and that “the drive they instilled in me has not gone unnoticed.”

    Faculty of Humanities Dean Carol Merriam said this milestone serves as time to reflect on the importance of the arts and its ability to create healthy and flourishing communities.

    “This first class of students to have spent their entire Brock careers in this splendid facility serve this mission in downtown St. Catharines and in the broader community, but they have also been a defining force within the MIWSFPA itself,” she said. “They have been largely responsible for creating the culture of the School as a place to learn, create and serve as a community. Their impact will last a very long time, and we are proud to see their graduation day.”

    Longstanding former MIWSFPA Director Derek Knight echoed Merriam’s sentiments.

    The Associate Professor said the class of 2019 should receive their degrees with pride having been part of an extraordinary university experience and contributing to the legacy of the arts, both at Brock and in the community.

    With the MIWSFPA’s fifth anniversary on the horizon, the School will continue to offer students unique teaching and learning experiences while honouring the spirit of its benefactor, he said.

    “What was interesting about Marilyn is that she was always very curious and engaged with how we, the faculty, envisioned the future,” Knight said. “She thought it was our job to rise to the challenge and define the potential of what she had given to us in the form of this extraordinary gift. I think, in many ways, we’ve done that.

    “Now, we are charged to think about not only what we will offer today, but in the long-term, and how we will define pedagogy and the School’s identity long into the future.”

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    Categories: Alumni, Alumni, News

  • 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

  • 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

  • Avanti Chamber Singers preparing to end Brock Music season on a high note

    The Avanti Chamber Singers will perform for the final time this season on Saturday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. in St. Thomas Anglican Church. (Photo courtesy of Julie Hoff)


    (From The Brock News, April 16, 2019 | By: Jaquelyn Bezaire)

    The Avanti Chamber Singers will close an eclectic Brock Music season with their final performance, The Road Home.

    Led by Assistant Professor Rachel Rensink-Hoff, Brock’s Ensemble-in-Residence will perform at St. Thomas Anglican Church on Saturday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Viva Voce! Choral Series.

    Rensink-Hoff explained this concert is quite different from Avanti’s first two performances this season.

    “We’ve had a very diverse year,” she said. “We did the big classical piece at the beginning of the year and have explored probably every style chorally that we could throughout the season.”

    The concert repertoire was inspired by This House of Peace, a choral number by contemporary composer Ralph Johnson, commissioned for the opening of the Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend in Springfield, Ore. The song reflects on conversations Johnson had with people staying in a medical centre guesthouse while their loved ones were in hospital.

    As well as Johnson’s number, the choir will also perform songs that reflect on the idea of “home” as a space where individuals feel at peace.

    The opening piece, titled Ambe by Indigenous composer Andrew Balfour, is rhythmic in style and based in an Ojibway dialect.

    The program also includes All of Us by Craig Hella Johnson, and Stephen Paulus’ The Road Home, for which the concert is named.

    The Avanti Chamber Singers will also be joined by oboist Marta Agnieszka for a few pieces during the performance, including Gabriel’s Oboe arranged by Jon Washburn.

    This is the third and final performance of the season for the choir, who have spent the last eight months rehearsing and growing together as singers.

    “Concert themes can be quite personal and so, as I work with Avanti and get to know them more, it’s easier to create programs that I believe will resonate with the members of the choir,” said Rensink-Hoff.

    The Avanti Chamber Singers will perform for the final time this season on Saturday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Thomas Anglican Church, 99 Ontario St. in St. Catharines.

    Tickets purchased in advance for the show are $20 for adults and seniors. Tickets at the door are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors. There is also a discounted price of $5 for students and eyeGo program members. Tickets are available through theAvanti Chamber Singers website, at Thorold Music, Booksmart Books or from choir members.

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    Categories: Events, News, Viva Voce Choral Series

  • Season-ending Brock Choirs concert to explore stages of life

    The Brock University Women’s and Chamber choirs, shown at a recent performance, will again take the stage in the Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines on Saturday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m.


    (From The Brock News, March 26, 2019 | By: Jaquelyn Bezaire)

    The Brock University Women’s and Chamber choirs are back for the second and final performance of the school year, with a program exploring the different stages and seasons of life.

    Led by conductor and Brock Assistant Professor Rachel Rensink-Hoff, the two choirs will perform together on Saturday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

    The performance is part of the Viva Voce! Choral Series, which sees the University’s choral ensembles come together as the Brock Choirs in recitals that take place throughout the year.

    Since their most recent performance in November, the two groups have been working on new and diverse pieces for their upcoming concert.

    “Second semester always has more experimentation,” explained Rensink-Hoff, “so we do a lot of moving around in terms of our seating and how the voices work together.”

    The two choirs will perform a wide range of repertoire, from traditional pieces by Schubert, Mendelssohn and Brahms, to more contemporary songs by Canadian composers Nancy Telfer, Jane Siberry and Jon Washburn.

    Rensink-Hoff selected poems to include by authors Christina Rossetti, Robert Burns and Charles Dickens, which she believes will resonate with the audience.

    The choirs will also perform a few pieces in different languages. Rensink-Hoff said working with that material has been both challenging and rewarding for the groups.

    “When you work with languages a lot through singing, you really get an understanding of how a language works,” she said. “From an educational perspective, it’s really wonderful to see.”

    Along with pieces in Latin and German, both choirs will perform a composition in Xhosa arranged by South African composer Michael Barrett.

    Brock Choirs in Concert II will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 30 at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (PAC) in downtown St. Catharines.

    Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. There is also a $5 option available for eyeGo program members. Tickets are available through the PAC box office at 905-688-0722 or on thePAC website.

    The final performance in the Viva Voce! Choral Series is also approaching on Saturday, April 27 featuring the Avanti Chamber Singers. For more details on upcoming concerts, visit the Department of Music website.

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    Categories: Current Students, Events, News, Viva Voce Choral Series