News

  • Singing to National Success!

    Dr. Brian Power is seen here (wearing a red bow tie, centre-right) singing with Pax Christi Chorale at the Christmas concert for 2016.

    Dr. Brian Power, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Professor in the Department of Music and tenor in the Pax Christi Chorale (Toronto) sung to national success when the Pax CC Chamber Choir won first place in the chamber choir category of the 2017 CBC Choral Competition, announced Sunday.

    Says Dr. Power, “Some of Canada’s finest choirs participated in this event. The competition was stiff and the rules were strict, so we’re feeling quite satisfied with the result.”

    The biannual National Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs  is ‎a project of Choral Canada  in partnership with the CBC and the Canada Council. A treasured Canadian choral tradition, the National Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs inspires choirs to strive for excellence, provides visibility for amateur choirs of all ages, and encourages the creation and performance of Canadian works. The Competition is open to all Canadian amateur choirs and attracts diverse participants from coast to coast. The finalists and winners are selected by a national jury of esteemed Canadian choral conductors. Each choir that enters the Competition must perform an original Canadian piece and prizes are given for the Best Performance of a Canadian Work and the Best Performance of a Canadian Contemporary Work. Cash prizes are awarded for the top performances in each category. The national jury may also award special accolades to outstanding choirs. Seventy choirs from across the country participated in the 2017 competition.

    Pax Christi Chorale is known for presenting dramatic choral masterpieces, performing with passion, conviction and heart. Past Artistic Director Stephanie Martin’s imaginative programming engages audiences with dramatic story-telling through oratorio and rarely-heard masterworks. Since its inception in 1987, the choir has grown to over 100 singers, and has performed ambitious works including the North American première of Parry’s 1888 oratorio Judith and Elgar’s masterpiece The Kingdom at Koerner Hall, Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ, and Britten’s Saint Nicolas. The Pax Chamber Choir also participated in R. Murray Schafer’s monumental 1000-performer extravaganza Apocalypsis at the 2015 Luminato Festival. Martin’s final concert, capping 20 years at the helm of Pax Christi, took place in April, 2017: the Canadian première of Elgar’s The Apostles. Stephanie Martin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Music of the Faculty of Arts at York University.

    The intense recording project by the Pax Christi Chorale was prepared by Stephanie Martin over a period of many months and submitted to the jury in March, 2017. The winning entry featured “How sweet the moonlight sleeps” (text from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice), a new work by emerging Toronto-based composer Jared Tomlinson. Recordings made by the Pax Christi Chorale for the 2017 competition can be heard on their Soundcloud channel. Winners were announced on CBC Radio 2’s Choral Concert on June 25th, 2017.  Choral Concert, hosted by Katherine Duncan, presents great choral music from the Renaissance to the present day, sung by the top choirs from Canada and around the world.

    BRAVO! To Dr. Brian Power and the Pax Christi Chorale!

    prepared with material supplied by Choral Canada, Pax Christi Chorale  and CBC Radio 2.

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    Categories: Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News

  • Brock Music instructor nominated for St. Catharines Arts Award

    The Department of Music is proud to announce that Gordon Cleland has been nominated for the Emerging Artist award at this year’s St. Catharines Arts Awards! Gordon teaches cello here at the MIWSFPA, and plays principle cello with the Niagara Symphony, as well as working with the Niagara Youth Orchestra.

    More information can be found at this news entry on the main MIWSFPA website. Congratulations, Gordon! Good luck!

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    Categories: Announcements, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Dr. Brian Power joins the choir of Central Presbyterian Church, Hamilton, in their Good Friday performance

    Dr. Brian Power, choral tenor, will be singing in the first modern performance of the Requiem Mass by 18th-century French composer François Giroust, chapel composer to King Louis XVI of France. The work has likely not been heard since its composition in 1775, when it was performed for the King and Marie Antoinette at Versailles.

    Power joins the choir of Central Presbyterian Church, Hamilton for this modern premiere of a pre-Revolutionary French work performed as part of their annual Good Friday concert, April 14, 2017 at 8:00 PM.

    (Central Presbyterian Church: 165 Charlton Avenue West, Hamilton ON , L8P 2C8  – (905) 522-9098)

    See more in today’s Hamilton Spectator.

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    Categories: Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News

  • Avanti Chamber Singers – Choral Flora

    Avanti Chamber Singers presents “Choral Flora: A Garland of Song” for spring.  Successor to conductor Harris Loewen to be named.

    On Saturday, April 29, Avanti Chamber Singers (ACS) will present their final concert of the season, and their very last with conductor Harris Loewen. In celebration of spring, the theme is “Choral Flora,” which will include colourful choral suites and part-songs on the topic of flowers and trees.

    Joining Loewen and Avanti Chamber Singers will be Zoltan Kalman, clarinetist extraordinaire, who will perform with the choir alongside soprano soloist Melissa-Marie Shriner, as well as playing several solo works. Kalman is Loewen’s colleague at Brock University, and conducts the University Wind Ensemble.

    Avanti Chamber Singers will also take this opportunity to announce Harris Loewen’s successor as Conductor and Artistic Director.  Loewen founded ACS in 2006, at the encouragement of his former students, and has had a very successful 11 years as their conductor, producing three CD recordings.  He will be retiring this spring from a long and active career as a choral conductor.

    The concert “bouquet” will feature lyrical works by both Canadian and international composers. The main items on the program will be three delightful short suites by acclaimed Vancouver composer Stephen Chatman (“How Sweet and Fair”), as well as prolific American composers James Mulholland (“Robert Burns Ballads”) and Gwyneth Walker (“The Great Trees”).

    The program will also include several premiere performances of new arrangements by Niagara composers.  The choir will perform John Butler’s take on the French-Canadian folksong “The Rosebud”, as well as Loewen’s own version of the famous “Heidenröslein” by Heinrich Werner.  Works by famous composers such as Dvořák, Mendelssohn and Vaughan Williams will round out the program.

    Loewen states, “A floral arrangement in choral music is not only a fitting seasonal program, but a beautiful way to wrap up my career. I have loved making great music with the dedicated singers of Avanti, as well as our guest artists, and promoting the music of Niagara composers along the way.
    It’s been just a fabulous community experience in all of its various aspects.”

    The Viva Voce Choral Series, presented by the Department of Music, is a key part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate in building connections between the community and Brock University.

    Come and enjoy this choral celebration on Saturday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m., held at Covenant Christian Reformed Church, 278 Parnell Rd, St. Catharines. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors & students, $5 for the eyeGo high school ticket program, and are available to be purchased at the door. A $5 discount is available on advance tickets in St. Catharines from Thorold Music (289 Glendale Ave.) and Booksmart (Scott/Vine Plaza, 350 Scott St.), or from members of Avanti Chamber Singers. Discount is not applicable to eyeGo pricing.

    For an interview or more information contact:
    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    T: 905-688-5550, x 4765 | E: miwsfpa@brocku.ca | W: brocku.ca/miwsfpa

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

  • The Brock University Wind Ensemble presents “Music for the Soul” on stage in Partridge Hall

    Plato states, “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” On Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at 7:30 pm, join us as the Brock University Wind Ensemble explores their full breadth of repertoire with music that will move your soul.

    Under the baton of conductor Zoltan Kalman, the University Wind Ensemble features the talents of 60 musicians drawn from Brock University, elementary, and high schools within the Niagara Region and the broader music community. This concert also includes musicians from Burlington’s Symphony on the Bay: Peter Macdonald, Mary-Anne Pearson, David Pearson, and Graham Young.  As well as Patrick Beard from the Niagara Symphony.

    Elementary and high school students performing with the Wind Ensemble include: Christine Kim, a grade eight student from Glynn A. Green Public School (Fonthill); Lucas March from Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School (St. Catharines); Jessica Traynor and Synthia Khairallah from Lakeshore Catholic High School (Port Colborne).

    Zoltan Kalman states: “Our concert features a captivating mix of classical, romantic and easy listening works that will highlight the brilliance and versatility of the Brock University Wind Ensemble. From the amazing love story of “Romeo and Juliet” to the high energy “A Weekend in New York” this evening aims to capture the celebration of love, power and passion.”

    The evening program includes: Philip Sparke: Prelude to a Celebration; Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Variations on a Theme of Glinka, featuring Nicholas Cooper, Oboe; Charles Gounod: Faust Selection; Roger Cichy: Geometric Dances; Leroy Anderson: The Waltzing Cat; Jan Van der Roost: Flashing Winds; Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet Overture-Fantasy; Alexander Arutiunian: Trumpet Concerto, featuring Tim White; Samuel R. Hazo: Arabesque;
    Philip Sparke: A Weekend in New York; and Bill Holcombe: Lennon/McCartney Portrait.

    The Department of Music is 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.

    Experience “Music for the Soul” on Tuesday, April 4th at 7:30 pm, held in Partridge Hall at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre. Tickets are $10† general admission; $5† child (14 and under); $5† eyeGo high school program (†applicable fees and taxes are extra). Current students of the MIWSFPA may each redeem a complimentary ticket with valid ID.

    Purchase tickets through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office: 905.688.0722; long distance toll free: 1.855.515.0722; online: firstontariopac.ca; e-mail: boxoffice@firstontariopac.ca; or at the door.

    -30-

    Media call: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 5:15 pm in Cairns Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, 250 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines

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    Categories: Events, Media Releases, News, The University Wind Ensemble

  • Brock Department of Music to add string orchestra

    (Source: The Brock News, Monday, March 20, 2017 | by )

    A new string orchestra coming this fall will help attract new students and community musicians to Brock University’s Department of Music.

    For the first time in its 47-year history, the Department of Music will offer String Orchestra as part of its ensemble bank starting in September. The addition will make the Department’s programs more appealing to potential students, as it brings a much stronger string presence to its activities.

    “We have been trying to attract quality string students to the Department, and our lack of in-house orchestra has definitely been a detriment,” says Department of Music Chair Karin Di Bella.

    The string group will be added to the existing ensemble roster of the Brock University Choirs, and the Brock University Wind Ensemble.

    The String Orchestra has been developed to serve two key needs: filling a need in the Department’s curriculum; and providing a place for community string players to share their talents.

    “We have appreciated a partnership with the Niagara Symphony Youth Orchestra and the community-based Mercredi Musique in the past, but incoming students really want their ensemble experience to be housed at the University,” says Di Bella.

    Based on the successful model of the Wind Ensemble, the String Orchestra will work as a partnership between the Department and the community, welcoming community members to the group to fill out the numbers needed for the ensemble to be viable.

    Mercredi Musique is a key partner in the development of this new ensemble. Following the loss of their long-time music director Paul Van Dongen, the group ceased activity at the end of the 2015-16 season.

    “We are enthusiastic in our support of this endeavour. It’s an ideal direction for both the community and the University,” says Chris Thorne, former concertmaster of Mercredi Musique.

    Community string players are welcome to audition for the new Brock University String Orchestra. Auditions will be held this summer, with information posted on the Department website in the coming months. Auditions for an ensemble conductor will also be held. Any string specialists interested in applying for the conductor position should check Brock’s Human Resources listings, and let the Department know of their interest.

    The String Orchestra will rehearse during the academic year from 7 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays in Cairns Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

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    Categories: Announcements, News

  • Music Ed Plus Chamber Music Ensembles

    Friday, April 7, 2017 from 12pm-3pm. “Music in the Hallway”

    The performance will feature a five-piece jazz ensemble, coached by Zoltan Kalman, performing jazz standards and old favorites. In addition, there will be a flute, vocal and piano ensemble who will be singing and playing a more classically-oriented program, coached by Colin Maier.

    The Music Ed Plus co-curricular program – a specialized Experience Plus program – is currently in its fourth year of operation and looks forward to showcasing the musical talents of its chamber music ensembles. These concerts are part of their mandate for community engagement in both the Brock community as well as for the general public in the Niagara Region.

    Event address:
    Dr. Charles A. Sankey Chamber (hallway outside)
    Located in A block of MacKenzie Chown Complex
    Brock University
    www.brocku.ca/blogs/campus-map/

    Free community event

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    Categories: Events, Music Ed Plus Chamber Music Ensembles

  • RBC Foundation Music@Noon – April 4

    Our Tuesday Music@Noon series is generously sponsored by the RBC Foundation. This free concert series takes places most Tuesdays at noon throughout the academic year. Held in the acoustically excellent Cairns Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, our Music@Noon series provides ample opportunities for artists to display their creativity.

    April 4, 2017: Piano & guitar students

     

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    Categories: Events, RBC Foundation Music @ Noon Series

  • Brock University Choirs and Brock Music Alumni – Finale

    Brock University Choirs and Music Alumni join conductor Harris Loewen in his farewell concert, “Finale”

    Saturday, April 1, 2017 marks the end of Dr. Harris Loewen’s career as conductor of the Brock University Choirs with a festive concert appropriately titled “Finale!”  The current men’s, women’s and mixed choirs will be joined on stage by 50 Music alumni, the Walker String Quartet and other guest artists to celebrate his 30 years of choral music-making at Brock University.

    The Department of Music invites all Music alumni and former choristers to attend this musical event, held in Cairns Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.   Additional activities for alumni are planned for the weekend, including social events and tours of the new Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts building.

    Joining the choirs and Music alumni on stage will be the recently established Walker String Quartet (WSQ), along with guest artists Fil Stasiak (double bass) and Devon Fornelli (percussion). The WSQ is a professional ensemble completing its first year as quartet-in-residence with the Department of Music.

    The concert program will feature a variety of repertoire, opening with Vivaldi’s “Magnificat,” which Loewen first performed with the choirs in his debut concert at Brock University in the fall of 1987.  Several new works written by colleague Dr. Matthew Royal will also receive their premiere performance.  This continues the tradition that Loewen has established throughout his career, in both concerts and recordings, as a champion of choral music by Niagara composers.

    Loewen has also been active as a community choral conductor throughout Southern Ontario, founding both the Niagara Vocal Ensemble (1991-2011) and Avanti Chamber Singers (2006) locally.  With these ensembles he has recorded five albums in the “Voices of Niagara” CD series, documenting the choral works of area composers.  He has also been active as a baritone soloist, performing in both classical and jazz styles, as well as an arranger, choral composer and choral clinician. Several of his choral arrangements and original works are now being published by Cypress Choral Music.

    Loewen states, “I have been privileged with an extremely rewarding career at Brock University.  I have enjoyed my students, had good collegial relations, and fulfilling opportunities to serve the university and community.  Most of all, I have loved the experience of making music, whether as a choral conductor, singer, clinician or composer.  I really can’t imagine having done anything else! ”

    The Viva Voce! Choral Series, presented by the Department of Music, is 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 choral celebration on Saturday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m., held at Cairns Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, 250 St. Paul St., St. Catharines. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students, and $5 for the eyeGo program. They are available from the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office: 905.688.0722 or Long Distance Toll Free: 1.855.515.0722; online: firstontariopac.ca.

    For more information contact:
    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    T: 905-688-5550, x4765 | E: miwsfpa@brocku.ca | W: brocku.ca/miwsfpa

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

  • Encore! Professional Concert Series presents: Anagnoson & Kinton, piano duo

    March 10, 2017 at 7:30 pm
    Partridge Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, 250 St. Paul St., St. Catharines

    Recognized as one of the world’s finest piano duos, their performances are repeatedly met with critical acclaim across North America, Europe, China, and Russia. Respected scholars and performers, Anagnoson & Kinton’s musicianship defines the art of true ensemble playing.

    “…an outstanding two-piano recital with formidable precision and panache”  – The New York Times

    Video teaser: http://bit.ly/28Lxxvz

    Tickets: $25† adults; $20† seniors/students; $10† child (14 and under); $5† eyeGo program
    †Applicable fees and taxes are extra.
    Order tickets from the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office: 905.688.0722 or Toll Free: 1.855.515.0722; online: firstontariopac.ca

     

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    Categories: Encore! Professional Concert Series, Events