Articles tagged with: Department of Music

  • Sounds of clarinet and piano to fill Music@Noon stage

    Clarinetist Zoltan Kalman will perform Tuesday, Oct. 23 as part of the RBC Foundation Music@Noon Recital Series.


    (From The Brock News, Friday Oct. 19)

    Headshot of Gary Forbes

    Pianist Gary Forbes.

    Clarinetist Zoltan Kalman and pianist Gary Forbes will combine their sounds for the next RBC Foundation Music@Noon Recital Series performance on Tuesday, Oct. 23.

    The show, which include works by composers Aaron Copland, Johannes Brahms and Luigi Bassi, is part of the free weekly concert series hosted by the Department of Music and generously sponsored by the RBC Foundation.

    Kalman performs as principal clarinetist for both the Niagara Symphony and Symphony Hamilton, and also acts as the conductor for the University Wind Ensemble at Brock University.

    Along with his work at Brock University as Staff Accompanist, Forbes is a freelance collaborative pianist, Director of Music at St. Cuthbert’s Anglican Church and founder of the Reverberations Concert Series.

    Kalman and Forbes are among many talented musicians who will grace the Music@Noon stage throughout the academic year. Performances in the concert series take place most Tuesdays at noon in Cairns Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines.

    For more information about upcoming performances please visit the Music@Noon web page.

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

  • Brock cello instructor to take stage for Music@Noon

    Cellist Gordon Cleland will perform on stage for the RBC Foundation Music@Noon series on Oct. 16 at the Cairns Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre


    (From The Brock News, Monday, Oct. 15)

    The 2018-19 RBC Foundation Music@Noon series continues with its second performance of the season on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

    Generously sponsored by the RBC Foundation and hosted by the Department of Music, the free concert series performance will feature Brock cello instructor Gordon Cleland. All are invited to attend the recital, taking place in the Cairns Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines.

    Currently performing with the Niagara Symphony as the principal cellist, Cleland has also performed as a soloist for the Debut Series in Montreal as well as across North America.

    Music@Noon takes place at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre most Tuesdays at noon during the academic year.

    For more information on upcoming performances, please visit ExperienceBU.

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

  • Brock mourning the death of Peter Partridge Sr.

    (From The Brock News, Friday, Oct. 5, 2018 | by )

    One of the longest-standing supporters of Brock University has passed away.

    Peter Partridge Sr., a former Brock Board of Trustees member and the longtime Chair of the Rodman Hall Advisory Committee, died suddenly Thursday night.

    Partridge’s ties to Brock go back to the late 1960s when he was asked by then-President James Gibson to run a new University choir. A talented musician who studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Partridge’s support for the arts at Brock and across Niagara was unwavering. He was a generous contributor to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. The Partridge Family Music Suite at the downtown arts school is named in his honour. At the nearby FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, one of the main halls — frequently used for music classes by Brock University students — also bears his name.

    “Peter provided outstanding leadership and support to Brock and the Niagara community,” said Pamela Shanks, Executive Director, Development and Alumni Relations. “Peter’s passion for music and art, and his generous philanthropy, have created a lasting legacy that will not be forgotten.”

    Partridge served on many boards and committees over the years at Brock, including serving on the Board of Trustees from 2004 to 2010. When Rodman Hall was taken over by Brock University in 2003, Partridge was named Chair of the Advisory Committee, a role he was still serving in at the time of his death.

    “Peter was asked by President David Atkinson at the time to take on that role and he was honoured to do it,” said Rodman Hall Director Tom Arkell. “During his 15 years as chair, Peter offered leadership, guidance, encouragement and support. He will be missed dearly by all of us who had the chance to work with him.”

    Partridge was also an ardent supporter of Brock athletics, and was a devout fan of the Badgers men’s basketball team. Partridge and his son, Peter Jr., were regular faces at Brock home games, and the pair travelled to Halifax earlier this year to watch the team compete in the U SPORTS National Championships. The men’s basketball team dressing room was renamed the Partridge Family Locker Room after a contribution in 2016 allowed it to be completely renovated.

    “Every university program should be able to experience the type of support, passion, commitment and dedication someone like Peter Sr. and his family provided,” said former Badgers men’s basketball coach Charles Kissi, who is on a one-year leave to coach with the Raptors 905 development team. “I learned a lot from him in terms of my coaching and the way he was always smiling and vibrant and how he engaged with others.

    “It’s a tremendous loss to his family and to the community and I would say to the world.”

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    Categories: Announcements, News

  • Music majors to make an impact in Niagara with new Practicum course

    A group of Music majors are taking their learning into the real world this fall as they complete the new Music Practicum course. Led by Music Chair Matthew Royal (back left) and Course Co-ordinator Tim Stacey (back right), this year’s students include (front, from left) Jesse Day, Shaniqua Goodridge, Brielle Kaminsky, Sarah Hollick, Ryan Baxter and Gavino Oresta.


    (From The Brock News, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2018 | by Sarah Moore)

    A group of Brock Music majors will put their classroom learning into practice this fall as the first students enrolled in the new Music Practicum course.

    The multi-year conjunction course allows students to complete for-credit volunteer placements in either music education, music health/therapy, music administration or music in the community.

    Music Chair Matthew Royal said the course is unique because it provides real-world learning experiences while also giving students course credit and volunteer hours that are often required for those applying to Faculties of Education down the road.

    “The idea is to introduce students to real-world settings that might line up with their future career goals and to have them apply the skills and knowledge they’ve learned from their courses in those settings,” he explained.

    It also helps students discover what they are interested in career-wise and how they can achieve their long-term goals, added Koreen McCullough, Experiential Education Co-ordinator, Faculty of Humanities.

    “Learning what you don’t like is just as valuable as learning what you do like,” she said. “Students are not only getting the valuable placement experience through this course but are also being taught up front to set their own goals. At the end of term, they will have a chance to reflect on challenges and achievements, access resume coaching and really apply what they’ve learned to help achieve their future career goals.”

    Six Music majors signed up to work in schools and community organizations around the Niagara region this year.

    Course Co-ordinator Tim Stacey (BA ’15) said the students have already shown themselves to be extremely dedicated and enthusiastic.

    “They’ve worked on these placements over the summer, made connections and did their own research to find them,” said Stacey, who has worked for community choirs as well as the Niagara Symphony and Youth Orchestras since graduating from Brock’s Music program. “They didn’t get to just pick a selection from a list. They had to find the placement themselves, so it’s evident how engaged they are.”

    Gavino Oresta, a fourth-year Music student, will be completing his placement working with music classes at Saint Michael Catholic High School in Niagara Falls, alongside his former high school music teacher, coincidentally.
    With plans to become a music teacher himself, Oresta is looking forward to the challenge of leading his own lessons with the high school students this year.
    “For anyone interested in teaching, it’s a great environment,” he said. “It’s also good to get different perspectives on how teachers go about their lesson structure because every school goes about their music program a bit differently.”

    Learning about different teaching styles was what piqued the interest of second-year student Brielle Kaminsky, who will be working with extracurricular music ensembles, such as the choir, jazz band and string ensemble, at Ridley College in St. Catharines.

    “I’m going to be working with students from all over the world in my placement and it’s really cool seeing how different cultures practice music,” she said. “Not only am I learning in the classroom myself, but I also get to go out and teach what I’m learning in the class to students, too.”

    Adds Oresta: “Plus, you’re hanging around in a music class, which is just fun and exciting to me on its own.”For the first few weeks of the course, students will engage in workshops that will identify their learning outcomes for the term and outline the benefits of experiential learning. They will begin their work placements in late September, with the aim of completing 50 volunteer hours by April.

    The course is open to all Music majors in second year and above and can be taken consecutively year after year. Applications for next year’s practicum course will open in the spring and anyone interested in applying is encouraged to  contact Matthew Royal or Tim Stacey.

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    Categories: Current Students, News

  • Sabina’s Splendid Brain opens at MIWSFPA Sept. 14

    Cellist Grace Snippe (BMus ’16), left, and Danielle Wilson bring the story of 20th century psychoanalyst Sabina Spielrein to life in Sabina’s Splendid Brain. The performance opens on Sept. 14 at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. (Photo by George Enns.)


    (From The Brock News, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018 | by Sarah Moore)

    While Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung have become synonymous with psychoanalysis, the name Sabina Spielrein might leave you drawing a blank.

    The Stolen Theatre Collective hopes to change that by bringing the rarely told story of the Russian-Jewish psychoanalyst to life in a new production at Brock beginning next week.

    Sabina’s Splendid Brain, which opens Sept. 14 at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA), chronicles the life of the tenacious and passionate Spielrein as she struggles through the circumstances of her family, her education and her therapy, the professional barriers facing women and wartime anti-Semitism.

    Spielrein was often known in relation to her famous colleagues: first as a patient, then as a lover of Jung, and later as a student and friend of Freud. As a psychoanalyst in her own right, however, she moved beyond them both to become one of the great thinkers in 20th century psychology.

    Her work was all but wiped from the history books due to Joseph Stalin’s repression of intellectuals and the Nazi invasion of her hometown of Rostov-on-Don, where she and her daughters were killed. Her diaries were recently discovered, however, and her publications were re-examined to reveal the profound impact that her work had on her teachers and peers.

    “Sabina had to fight for her voice,” said Brock Associate Theatre Professor Gyllian Raby, the production’s Director. “She walks the boundary between genius and delusion, and this production invites the audience to experience her journey from a screaming teenager with spittle in her hair to the woman who wowed Freud’s intellectual Vienna Circle.”

    Scripted by Carol Sinclair, Sabina’s Splendid Brain is rendered on stage in sets by Nigel Scott, projections by Karyn McCallum and lighting by James McCoy (BA ’14), and features performances by Brock Assistant Theatre Professor Danielle Wilson and cellist Grace Snippe (BMus ’16).

    “This is a project that fully explores the interdisciplinarity between the arts that was the founding dream of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts,” said Wilson, who is also the co-founder and co-artistic director of Stolen Theatre Collective. “Music, theatre and philosophy are a natural trio in this story of how psychoanalysis helped shape modern consciousness.”

    Fides Krucker, a Canadian interpreter, vocalist, opera singer and teacher, collaborated on the interdisciplinary production with Stolen Theatre. Her innovative vocal techniques and interdisciplinary work will be further highlighted later this month as part of the Walker Cultural Leaders Series on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at the MIWSFPA.

    Sabina’s Splendid Brain opens with back-to-back weekend performances Sept. 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22, all beginning at 7:30 p.m. Additional matinee performances will take place on Sept. 16 and 23 at 2 p.m.

    All performances are held at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre in the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, located at 15 Artists’ Common in St. Catharines.

    Tickets are pay-what-you-can-afford ($10, $25, $40 and $55) and can only be purchased in advance through the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre box office.

    Limited paid parking is available on-site, but city parking is available within close proximity to the venue.

    For more information on the production, please contact info@stolentheatrecollective.ca

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    Categories: Alumni, Announcements, Events, News

  • Orientation activities planned for first-year Music students

    As a new student enrolled in the Department of Music, you are invited to The New Student Welcome and Academic Orientation as your official welcome to Brock University on September 4! The orientation begins at 8 a.m. in the Ian Beddis Gym, where you’ll hear from President Gervan Fearon and enjoy an inspirational keynote to begin your day and kick-start your term. Afterwards, you are welcome to connect with your faculty and upper year student mentors to receive important information about academic supports and resources. Then, go check out the vendor and welcome fair, take a campus tour and to locate your classes, and get an orientation to the Brock Library. * Don’t forget to register for this orientation at Experience BU.

    You are invited to then attend the Faculty of Humanities orientation session, beginning at 10:00 a.m. in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre on Brock’s main campus.

     


    FIRST-YEAR MIWSFPA MIXER AND LUNCH
    OPEN TO STUDENTS IN ALL DEPARTMENTS AT THE MIWSFPA

    SEPTEMBER 4

    12 TO 1:30 P.M.

    MIWSFPA LOBBY

    DOWNTOWN ST. CATHARINES

    15 ARTISTS’ COMMON

     


    There will also be a special orientation planned for Music students specifically, taking place the second week of September:

    music ORIENTATION

    September 11: 12 -12:50 p.m.
    Cairns Recital Hall.
    For all Music majors, single or combined.

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    Categories: Events, Future Students, News

  • Auditions for Brock’s new Women’s Choir open to the public

    Brock’s new Women’s Choir, to launch this fall, is open by audition to Brock students and Niagara community members.

    (from The Brock NewsWednesday, June 20, 2018 | by )

    Voices from the Brock and wider Niagara community will come together in harmony this fall as the Department of Music launches a new Women’s Choir.

    The all-female ensemble will be open by audition to Brock students as well as the general public.

    “I am hoping that this choir brings together women from the University and the Niagara region to offer something very special to our local arts community,” says Rachel Rensink-Hoff, Assistant Professor of Music who will direct the new group.

    The Women’s Choir will rehearse on Thursday evenings beginning this fall, readying for performances with Brock’s Chamber Choir on Dec. 1 and March 30 at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

    The department’s established mixed-voice Chamber Choir is also open by audition to all Brock students and staff.

    Also included among Brock’s choirs, an integral part of the Music program, is the Avanti Chamber Singers. The community-based adult ensemble, also directed by Rensink-Hoff, is the department’s Choir in Residence.

    “The choirs allow students the opportunity to rehearse and perform in the fantastic FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre,” says Rensink-Hoff. “My hope is that more students from across campus and members of the public will consider joining us.”

    To audition, previous singing experience and some ability to read music are required.

    Students who successfully audition can enrol in choir for academic credit.

    For more information or to schedule an audition, please visit the Music Department’s website.

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Future Students, Media Releases, News

  • 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

  • Choral season to wrap with final show

    The Avanti Chamber Singers, under the direction of Rachel Rensink-Hoff, will close out the 2017-18 Department of Music season on Saturday, April 28 at St. Thomas Anglican Church.

    The curtain will close on Brock’s 2017-18 Music season with a final performance by the Avanti Chamber Singers.

    Boundless, the last concert of the academic year, will be presented by the Department of Music and the Avanti Chamber Singers on Saturday, April 28 beginning at 7:30 p.m. at St. Thomas Anglican Church, 99 Ontario St., St. Catharines.

    The show features celestial-inspired music, exploring the harmony and mystery of the universe with a range of primarily 21st-century works.

    The program includes pieces such as Gloria Patri by Urmas Sisask, And Einstein Said by Trent Worthington, Stars by Eriks Ešenvalds, and the centerpiece of the program, Lux Aeterna by Morten Lauridsen.

    The Avanti Chamber Singers is a mixed chamber choir comprised of experienced choral singers from across the Niagara region. The group performs under the direction of Artistic Director Rachel Rensink-Hoff, who is also conductor of the Brock University choirs, Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music Education at Brock University.

    “It has been a wonderful year,” she said when describing the choral and concert season as a whole. “We are seeing more and more people from the local community coming to our concerts, which is so exciting and motivating for our performers.”

    Looking forward to the 2018-19 Music season, there will be new choral opportunities for students and the community. The Brock choirs are being restructured to feature two ensembles: a mixed chamber choir and a women’s choir. Both are open by audition to all Brock University students, staff and faculty. New for this year, the women’s choir will also be open to the wider Niagara community “in hopes that it will function as a bridge between Brock’s music program and the wider singing community here in St. Catharines,” Rensink-Hoff said.

    Women’s choir rehearsals will be on Thursday evenings from 6 to 8:45 p.m. in the Cairns Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre. Interested singers from the community are encouraged to contact Rensink-Hoff by email at rrensinkhoff@brocku.ca for an audition.

    Advance tickets for the last choral concert of the season are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and $5 for students and under the eyeGo program. They can be purchased at Thorold Music, 289 Glendale Ave.; Booksmart, 350 Vine St.; online through Eventbrite; or through members of the Avanti Chamber Singers.

    Tickets will also be sold at the door for an additional $5.

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    Categories: Announcements, Events, Special Events, Viva Voce Choral Series

  • Music@Noon season to end on high note

    Sherry Yu is one of six pianists who will perform in the last Music@Noon concert of the 2017-18 season on Tuesday, April 3.

    The curtain will close next week on this season’s RBC Foundation Music@Noon Recital Series.

    The final performance of the 2017-18 season takes place Tuesday, April 3, with first- and second-year Bachelor of Music piano students taking the stage at Cairns Recital Hall.

    Short videos of this season’s Music@Noon performances are available on the Department of Music Instagram page.

    The free recital series will return to the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in late September.

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