Walker Cultural Leaders Series

Beginning in 2011 the academic programs of the Marilyn I. Walker School have celebrated the legacy of Marilyn, her gift and her vision by programming the Walker Cultural Leaders (WCL) Series. The ongoing development and refinement of the WCL program facilitates invitations to recognized cultural leaders, top researchers, visiting artists, scholars, professionals, theatre companies, producing and presenting organizations, associations, and others to contribute to the intellectual and creative life of the School and the Niagara region.

Our guests will engage in professional activities such as public lectures, performances, exhibitions, workshops, laboratories, and demonstrations, and will participate in other pedagogical and creative activities including guest teaching, the professional mentoring of faculty and staff, critiques of student work, and community engagement activities.

In addition to generally intensifying the creative, scholarly and teaching cultures of the School, special emphasis is put on developing knowledge and familiarity of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts as an incubator in the arts and culture sector of Niagara, exploring potential intersections of the School and the surrounding community/region, and promoting inter‐ and trans‐disciplinarity within the School and beyond.

Walker Cultural Leader Program for 2019-20:

Guitar Extravaganza 2020!
The 2020 concert is a special Walker Cultural Leader program for the Department of Music.
Niagara natives Paul Wiebe and James Bryan join special guests and internationally-renowned soloists René Izquierdo & Elina Chekan, and Emma Rush.
The music is composed and/or arranged by three Niagara-native musicians: James Bryan, Timothy Phelan & Floyd Turner.
Directed by Tim Phelan.
Feb. 1, 2020 — 7:30 p.m.
Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

The Mighty Niagara Guitar Orchestra presents The Guitar Extravaganza 2020.  Always a popular annual event, join us for this remarkable evening of student, community, and professional performances on the stage of the Recital Hall.

Saturday February 01, 2020 – 7:30 pm
The Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

Brock University’s annual celebration of the guitar continues, featuring The Mighty Niagara Guitar Orchestra, comprised of 70 classical guitarists from Niagara and Southern Ontario.  Orchestra members travel from as far as Sarnia, Sudbury, Ottawa and even Boston – all under the direction of Artistic Director/Conductor and Brock University Guitar Instructor, Timothy Phelan.

Tickets: $18.00† adults; $13.00† seniors/students; $5* eyeGo program. General admission.
Tickets available as part of the Brock Student Experience Package.
† Includes the $3 FOPAC Cultural Capital Improvement Fund (CCIF); other applicable fees and taxes are extra.
*No CCIF applied; other applicable fees and taxes are extra.

Purchase tickets from the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, Box Office: 905 688 0722; 1 855 515 0722; firstontariopac.ca

See the concert listing for more details.

This year’s program features 3 World Premieres:

BEATLES – George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, arranged by Floyd Turner.
Written especially for GUITAR EXTRAVAGANZA 2020, an arrangement that masterfully incorporates four beloved songs by The Lads from Liverpool: “Michelle”, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, “The Long & Winding Road”, and “She’s Leaving Home”. (World Premiere)

I Know. Deep Breath. by Timothy Phelan,
Elina Chekan & René Izquierdo, Soloists
Composed especially for GUITAR EXTRAVAGANZA 2020, and dedicated to René Izquierdo, Elina Chekan and members of The Mighty Niagara Guitar Orchestra.
(World Premiere)

Follow Me. by James Bryan, arranged by Timothy Phelan.
James Bryan, Soloist
Composed especially for GUITAR EXTRAVAGANZA 2020. Three Songs originally written by James Bryan for Solo Guitar (“The Chase”, “Falling Deeper” & “Follow Me”) and re-imagined for Guitar Orchestra by Timothy Phelan. (World Premiere)

Walker String Quartet
Performing:
Mar. 3, 12:00 p.m.

The Walker String Quartet (WSQ) is the Department of Music’s quartet in residence. The group gives prominence to the department through public performance and working with students in high school string programs to share in the joy of music and promote Brock’s music program.

The Quartet features: Vera Alekseeva, Faith Lau (violins), Roman Kosarev (viola) and Gordon Cleland (cello)

Visit brocku.ca/miwsfpa/music/walker-string-quartet for more information.

The Moon is the Message

Artist talk by Landon Mackenzie

March 12, 2020 — 7:30p.m.
Robertson Theatre,
FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

Free public event

A survey of works traversing over four decades. A revealing personal exploration of creativity, painting and mapping.

Landon Mackenzie is an acclaimed visual artist based in Vancouver. Her international exhibiting and teaching career has been awarded the inaugural Ian Wallace Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Golden Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee Queen Elizabeth II Medals for outstanding contribution to culture in British Columbia and Canada, and the
Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts (2017).

Visit ExperienceBU for more information.

– past events –

Pipeline to a Better Way:
Public Lecture and Play Reading: A weekend of theatre, discussion, and community-building

Nov. 10th, 2019
3:00pm to 6:30pm at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre, 15 Artists’ Common, St. Catharines ON

3:00pm to 3:45pm   Keynote by Ravi Jain  “Alternative Visions of Existence”

4:00pm to 5:15pm   Staged Reading of Pipeline by Dominique Morisseau
Directed by Lisa Karen Cox

A series of events around questions of equity, diversity, and inclusion in the Brock and St. Catharines theatre community and beyond, co-produced by the Walker Cultural Leaders Program at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts at Brock University and the theatre company Suitcase in Point.

Activities at Brock include a keynote address by Ravi Jain, artistic director of Why Not Theatre; a staged reading of Dominique Morisseau’s award-winning play Pipeline (directed by directed by Toronto-based actor, director, and producer Lisa Karen Cox; with a cast and creative team of professional actors and Brock Dramatic Arts students); and discussions about the St. Catharines artistic and cultural landscape.

On Nov. 9, Suitcase in Point Theatre Company presents a forum, roundtable and a cabaret in downtown St Catharines.
Details at suitcaseinpoint.com

Nov. 10th, 2019
3:00pm to 6:30pm at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre, 15 Artists’ Common, St. Catharines ON

3:00pm to 3:45pm
Keynote by Ravi Jain
“Alternative Visions of Existence”

“While working in Nairobi, Kenya I learned of Ngugi wa’Thiongo. He was a pioneer of Kenyan theatre, who was exiled for rediscovering a Kenyan theatre which challenged the British rule and history of the country. Someone wrote of his work, ‘he was searching for alternative visions of existence’. That phrase has stuck with me ever since, and is the bedrock of everything I do.” – Ravi Jain

How do we challenge the status quo and use the arts to create a vision of the world we want to see, a version of the world we want to live in? This talk will look at how artists can challenge their own assumptions of what theatre is, who gets to tell it, who it is for and what its purpose is. An exploration of the imagination, activism and the story of an artist who is always looking for a better way.

4:00pm to 5:15pm
Staged Reading of Pipeline by Dominique Morisseau
Directed by Lisa Karen Cox

In this play, which premiered in 2017 in New York City, a mother’s hopes for her son clash with an educational system rigged against him. The title refers to the widespread perception of a school-to-prison pipeline for young African-American men.

5:30pm to 6:30pm  Q & A discussion

The event is presented by the Department of Dramatic Arts for the Walker Cultural Leader Series, generously founded by Marilyn I. Walker. The Walker Cultural Leader series brings leading artists, performers, practitioners and academics to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts at Brock University. Engaging, lively and erudite, these sessions celebrate professional achievement, artistic endeavour and the indelible role of culture in our society. Please join us.

Tickets are required for this free public event

brocku.universitytickets.com

see the event posting

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Walker String Quartet
Performing:
Nov. 12, 12:00 p.m.

The Walker String Quartet (WSQ) is the Department of Music’s quartet in residence. The group gives prominence to the department through public performance and working with students in high school string programs to share in the joy of music and promote Brock’s music program.

The Quartet features: Vera Alekseeva, Faith Lau (violins), Roman Kosarev (viola) and Gordon Cleland (cello)

Visit brocku.ca/miwsfpa/music/walker-string-quartet for more information.

GUEST ARTIST RESIDENCY
with CHARLES BRUFFY

November 26-30, 2019. 

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.

On Invisibility
an Artist’s Talk by Donna Szőke

21 January 2020, 7- 8:30 pm MIW 156

Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
15 Artists’ Common, St Catharines

The Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture presents artist and Brock faculty member Donna Szőke, Chair of Visual Arts. Szőke discusses the motif of invisibility in her work and her current book project, The Dark Redacted, to be published in 2020 by the Small Walker Press.

Visit ExperienceBU for more information.

Generously funded by Marilyn I. Walker, The Walker Cultural Leader series brings leading artists, performers, practitioners and academics to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts at Brock University. Engaging, lively and erudite, these sessions celebrate professional achievement, artistic endeavour and the indelible role of culture in our society. Please join us.