School of Music faculty and alumni nominated for 2018 Juno awards

Three UBC School of Music faculty and alumni have been nominated for 2018 Juno Awards!

Composer and sessional instructor Jocelyn Morlock (MMus’96, DMA’02) is nominated for Classical Composition of the Year for her orchestral work, My Name Is Amanda Todd. The 10-minute composition honours the memory of the Port Coquitlam teenager who died tragically in 2015. Watch Jocelyn talk about the piece, and the inspiration behind it, here.

Alumnus Fraser Walters (BMus ’03) and his group The Tenors received a nod for Adult Contemporary Album of the Year for Christmas Together, which "captures the joy and magic of the season, combining a mix of holiday classics, contemporary favourites and original songs." This is The Tenors' third Juno nomination — they won the same category in 2013. 

Sessional instructor and harpsichordist Alexander Weimann is nominated alongside Arion Orchestre Baroque for Classical Album of the Year (Large Ensemble). Their album, Rebelles Baroques, is hailed for the "clarity and freshness of [its] interpretations" and attention to detail. Weimann is the Principal Artist and Director of the School of Music's Baroque Orchestra Mentorship Program.

Congratulations, Jocelyn, Fraser and Alex! 

 

“You don’t have to fit in a box”: Debi Wong on opera’s potential to create spaces for underrepresented voices

By Aryn Strickland

Alumna Debi Wong (BMus '08)

Alumna Debi Wong (BMus '08)

Mezzo soprano Debi Wong (BMus ’08) believes that opera has the potential to create dialogue about underrepresented groups that all too often it goes unrealized. Even at major houses like the Metropolitan Opera, modern productions are still trapped in traditions and tropes which she says have consequences for our society.

“If we are always telling the story about the woman in distress and the man who saves her, does that affect our cultural values?” she asks. Wong’s adaptation of Acis and Galatea premiere in September brought that question directly to Vancouver audiences.

In the production Wong played the character Acis, who in the original opera is a shepherd in love with Galatea, a nymph. The two are persecuted for their love by the god Polyphemus. By changing one character’s gender and the mythical elements of Handel’s pastoral opera, Wong sought to create a space for the LGBTQ community in opera and make it more accessible to modern audiences.

“I think someone who produces opera can have an influence on the way people think about relationships. By putting two women who fall in love we can give voice to underrepresented people that we don’t traditionally see on an operatic stage.”

But it was no easy feat.

To change the character of Acis, Wong had to make significant changes to the libretto. It meant rewriting some of the text, adapting the 18th century language, pulling some songs from different places and then piecing the score together. Wong also looked at all three of Handel’s different written versions of the opera. Using these different versions she lined up the story points and when something was missing it gave her more music materials to draw on. One of the biggest hurdles came from needing a passionate duet between Acis and Galatea which she ultimately decided to pull from Handel’s Rodelinda

WATCH: The trailer for Debi Wong's Acis and Galatea


“I knew  what I wanted to say. It was just a matter of making it fit with the musical rhythms and that is actually a little tricky and some of it I am not completely happy with,” she says.

One of the easiest parts was looking at Acis’s sections which in the end did not have to be adapted at all. “Handel had created a version of Acis and Galatea for one of his favourite castratos, Senesino, and it fit my range very well,” she says. “When I found that version written for him I didn’t have to change any keys or move anything at all. It is a bit lower, but that suits me well.”

Although taking the work of a legendary composer like G.F. Handel might sound daunting to some, for Wong, “It felt great.”

“When I first started studying classical music and singing in my undergrad, I was always afraid of ruining a composer's work,” she says.  “I think of the composer— whether they are a living composer, or whether they are G.F Handel— as one, equal, collaborative voice in a performance.”

Then of course there was putting the actual production together. Wong developed the piece for Re:Naissance, a theatre company Wong helped form three years ago, with a mission to rewrite opera for the 21st century by mixing genres and adapting period pieces. While Re:Naissance is still relatively small, there were a number of different collaborators, namely BC Living Arts and Early Music Vancouver that helped produce show, as well as the Finnish Orchestra, Ensemble Nylandia to help perform it.

To change the character of Acis, Wong had to make significant changes to the libretto. It meant rewriting some of the text, adapting the 18th century language, pulling some songs from different places and then piecing the score together.
— Debi Wong

From the beginning of the project collaborators were interested in Wong’s unique approach to the beloved story. “The other companies that we connected with were really enthusiastic and supportive of the adaption,” Wong says. And it wasn’t just Vancouver opera companies that loved it: the adaptation was named one of Vancouver Classical Music's best operas of 2017.

“Even though we are completely unknown and doing something completely different we had lots of people write to us and come to talk to us afterwards to tell us how much they enjoyed it,” Wong says.

Following the show’s success in Vancouver, Wong is planning on bringing her adaptation of Acis and Galatea to Finland, where a more than half of her career is based. Since starting her doctoral studies at Sibelius academy in Finland, Wong is a part of a couple different experimental ensembles, including a guitar, lute and voice trio. Through being able to play with different genres of music and theatre Wong regained her passion for performing. It was something she says she struggled with after she graduated from UBC.

“I used to have really bad stage nerves, so I didn’t think that I could actually be a performer,” she says, “but then I realized that I was really interested in creating new kinds of performance. My stage fright never really left me and I realized it was because of the performing I was doing.”

A combination of stage directing, solo singing, working with her ensembles and producing new adaptations for Re:Naissance has given Wong an outlet to perform the kinds of productions she hopes will create dialogue about the importance of representing different voices and communities in the classical arts.

Her advice for new emerging musicians are along those same lines: “You don’t have to fit into a box, especially singers. I feel like for singers we are taught to sing a certain way and perform a certain way and that didn’t work for me and it took me a long time to figure out it didn’t have to work for me.”

Wong has more progressive opera projects in the works. Through re:Naissance Wong has a new commission in development, called Sanctuary and Storm. with composer Tawnie Olson and librettist Roberta Barker. The opera will focus on the lives of Hildegard Von Bingen, a 12th-century abbess & composer, and Eleanor of Aquitaine, a 12th-century Queen Consort of France, and their struggles to understand their places in the world as women. It continues Wong’s interest in addressing the underrepresentation of women in opera both on and off the stage.

There will be a free, public reading of excerpts from Sanctuary and Storm on March 7, 2018 at the Canadian Music Centre. 

Debi Wong performs with guitarist Otto Tolonen and lutist Mikko Ikäheimo on March 7th as part of our Wednesday Noon Hours series. The program "The Last Rose of Summer" includes texts by William Shakespeare with contemporary music of Hans Werner Henze and historical music of Dowland, Campion and Johnson.

Announcing the winner of the 2018 Royal Over-Seas League UK Scholarship for a BC Emerging Musician

Carlos Savall-Guardiola (center) with Jesse Read (left) and Geoff Parkin (right)

Carlos Savall-Guardiola (center) with Jesse Read (left) and Geoff Parkin (right)

Congratulations to clarinetist and first-year Master of Music student Carlos Savall-Guardiola, selected as the winner of the 2018 ROSL UK Scholarship for a BC Emerging Musician! As scholarship winner, Carlos will receive full financial support for four weeks of performance and study opportunities in London, Edinburgh, and elsewhere in the UK.

The live competition for this generous scholarship took place on Saturday January 20, in Roy Barnett Recital Hall. The winner was selected by two adjudicators, Mr. Geoff Parkin, Director of ROSL Arts Programs, and UBC Professor Emeritus Jesse Read.  The adjudicators were particularly impressed by Savall-Guardiola's technical and expressive virtuosity in his performance of two movements from "Clarinetics" by composer Stephen Davies.

Carlos Savall-Guardiola

Carlos Savall-Guardiola

Three finalists competed for the scholarship, cellist Charlotte Tyhurst, saxophonist Mia Gazley, and clarinetist Carlos Savall-Guardiola.  Each performed a short program including at least one unaccompanied selection and contrasting selection(s) with piano.  "I was delighted by the confident performances and articulate introductions from all three competitors," said Dr. Richard Kurth, Director of the School of Music. "They all displayed skill and poise, and also their individual personality.  It was wonderful to witness their expressive and communicative accomplishment and confidence." 

"It was wonderful that Geoff Parkin was able to visit UBC on this occasion and participate in the selection of the competition winner," said Kurth.  "We are deeply grateful to the Royal Over-Seas League for the generosity of this scholarship, and especially to Mr. Parkin and to Elizabeth Murray, President of the BC ROSL Chapter, for their very active engagement and ethusiastic support for UBC Music students!" 

Pictured (left to right): Dr. Richard Kurth, Jesse Read, scholarship finalists Mia Gazley, Charlotte Tyhurst, and Carlos Savall-Guardiola, with Geoff Parkin and ROSL BC chapter representative Elizabeth Roy.

Pictured (left to right): Dr. Richard Kurth, Jesse Read, scholarship finalists Mia Gazley, Charlotte Tyhurst, and Carlos Savall-Guardiola, with Geoff Parkin and ROSL BC chapter representative Elizabeth Roy.

How 'situated' is your ear? Listen to the new episode of the podcast and find out!

Graphic by Dina MacDougall/UBC School of Music

Graphic by Dina MacDougall/UBC School of Music

What notes are hiding between the keys on your piano? How 'situated' is your ear? And most importantly, what does the music from Battlestar Galactica have in common with Balinese Gamelan?

In episode two of On That Note, we try and answer these questions and much more.

Join host Graham MacDonald as he sits down with UBC professor and ethnomusicologist Michael Tenzer for a discussion about the different ways we hear, play, and define music (hint: it's all about context!) and how breaking out of our musical bubbles might help us communicate better.

Subscribe on iTunes or play the episode below:

The 2018 UBC Concerto Competition winners

Carter Johnson

Carter Johnson

Congratulations to everyone who competed in the 2017/18 UBC School of Music Concerto Competition!

Open to all music students, the annual competition is an opportunity for young musicians to earn a coveted spot as a solo performer with the UBC Symphony Orchestra.

Competitors select virtuoso works which highlight their exceptional technical and expressive abilities as musicians. There were many entries in the competition and the performance level was extremely high, as always.

Carlos Savail-Guardiola

Carlos Savail-Guardiola

This year's winner is Carter Johnson (piano) for his terrific performance of Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, Op. 26

The runner-up is Carlos Savail-Guardiola (clarinet), for his excellent performance of Francaix's Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, Op. 36.

Carter wins the opportunity to perform as the soloist with UBC Symphony Orchestra on Friday, March 9th at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. Carlos will perform with the Orchestra next autumn — details to be confirmed. 

 

Photos: Takumi Hayashi/UBC

The Conservatory and the Future: Lessons from the Past, Lessons from the Present

Note: The Shanghai Conservatory of Music was founded in 1927. On November 27, 2017, the Conservatory hosted an International Forum for Directors of Music Institutions, as part of its 90th anniversary celebrations. Directors and other representatives from major conservatories and universities in Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Tokyo, Taipei, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Auckland, Vancouver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, London, Paris, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Vienna, and Minsk, gathered together for a lively international dialogue on advanced training in music performance, and a gala concert that showcased the wonderful artistry of the conservatory’s faculty and students. The text below was presented as my contribution to the dialogue. I welcome your comments and responses (richard.kurth@ubc.ca)!
 

Photo courtesy of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, November 2017

Photo courtesy of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, November 2017

By Dr. Richard Kurth
Director, UBC School of Music

 

Dear President Lin Zaiyong, esteemed colleagues here at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, and from institutions around the world: I am delighted and honoured to participate with you in this memorable anniversary celebration, and I thank you all for your contributions to our stimulating time together. Above all, I congratulate the Shanghai Conservatory of Music on the many impressive and inspiring achievements of its first 90 years, which attest to the abundant energy and talent of its leaders, faculty members, and students!

My remarks today address the Role of Professional Music Institutions in Contemporary Society. My subtitle, in seeking “lessons from the past,” and “lessons from the present,” considers how conservatories have reacted to historical change in ways that inadvertently limit our current and future vitality. Although I will critique certain practices that impede our energies, I also affirm that we are all introducing innovations into our teaching and artistic practice to address these problems and vitalize our work. 

My aim today is to encourage our efforts in refreshing our pedagogies, by reminding us that some problematic practices have deep roots that are still reinforced every day.  The more clearly we can perceive ingrained habits, the sooner we can liberate our work from their negative impacts.

Let us first consider the global establishment of music conservatories, mainly from about 1870 to 1950, which aimed to preserve privileged modes of music creation that had flourished in golden periods of artistic cultivation. Conservatories were established precisely because the conditions for artistic activity were changing rapidly — with waning and waxing political and economic forces, redistribution of wealth, and large-scale migration into modern cities. The use of pastoral folk music elements in 19th-century art music was not only a means of building national identity, but also a strategy of assimilation related to changing dynamics of urban musical activity.  With migration into the cities, a burgeoning everyday musical life also grew from folkloric traditions, featuring music that was accessible in idiom and content, was heard in everyday performance venues, and was later widely circulated through recording and broadcast technologies. Indeed, these technologies were quickly emerging when the Shanghai Conservatory of Music was founded in 1927, one hundred years after the death of Beethoven. 

Recording and distribution technologies have chiefly amplified the pervasive impact of popular music forms. Conservatories have adjusted slowly and incrementally to technological change, while the popular music industry embraces a constant flow of new production and competitive change, with new styles and idioms replacing old ones, often along with the application of new technologies. To survive in this competitive environment, art music has also adopted recording and distribution technologies, with many positive outcomes, but also some negative impacts on performers, audiences, and training. 

In fact, it is interesting to note that our traditional performance pedagogies are also a kind of proto-recording practice, in the sense that (and to the degree that) they still emphasize imitation and reiteration. Although conservatories now take steps to engage diverse musical idioms, we still devote most of our energy to the standard repertoire. And our pedagogy is still based mainly on constant practice and repetition, which risk an emphasis on echoing and reiteration, and reduce the likelihood of creative re-discovery. Practice is essential, of course, but practice techniques must maximize efficacy and liberate creativity, building reliability without dulling the imagination.

The technologies of recording worsen our addiction to repetition and imitation, by surrounding us with copies.  The ubiquity of edited recordings forces performers to focus on technical precision and consistency in order to match the recorded standard in a live performance. But repetition is dulling our capacity for discovery, and even understanding. Familiarity and repetition are the deadliest foes, lurking everywhere in our deeply-ingrained routines, especially in practice rooms. The risk is that performances become reiterations, to be compared with other reiterations — a circular process of making copies from copies.

Instruments and singing are very, very difficult to master, and we must meet that challenge.  But artworks are deeply complex and can only be grasped if approached from many angles. If we believe in the works in the legacy, we must always rediscover each one through changing perspectives, and adjust our learning processes so that each encounter and performance makes the musical work unfold with vivid presence, as though emerging for the first time.  Every student and teacher must guard against the unnoticed habits of repetition, by finding ways to make daily work more spontaneous, but still informed by understanding and taste.

Photo courtesy of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, November 2017

Photo courtesy of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, November 2017

How can we change our training methods to break the pernicious cycle of repetition, but still sustain the repertoire as a living legacy? I believe we can profit greatly by rethinking aspects of our lessons and performance training, to change the energy, character, and purpose of daily work.

The individual lesson is both sacrosanct and necessary, but the advantages of one-to-one mentorship come with drawbacks and complications that are familiar to every student and teacher. In addition to the complex interpersonal dynamics, emphasis on individual training reinforces ideas about career development and professional identity that isolate the individual, rather than cultivate an ethos of collaborative music making. The individual lesson will remain essential, but should play a less dominant role, and be complemented by numerous opportunities for active collaborative learning and peer mentoring. 

Until students acquire a toolbox of targeted and efficient practicing techniques, unsupervised practising can simply reinforce unwanted habits. A new daily regimen that includes guided group practice, sight-reading, and coaching could help steer students clear of pitfalls, and would foster peer-mentoring, collaboration, and more rapid acquisition of confidence. Team-sports training can provide models for new approaches to skills acquisition in group contexts. Students need careful guidance in effective practice routines, and a hands-on approach involving advanced students as mentors can have benefits for all.

Teamwork is even more important in collaborative co-creation of musical interpretations. Here too, responsiveness and spontaneity should play a larger role in daily training, through coached sight-reading and fully-engaged peer learning, so that more repertoire is played, and stylistic differences are actively learned. A young quartet can make more progress through mentored reading of all six of Beethoven’s Op. 18 quartets, than by preparing just one of them for performance. With more teamwork, engagement in the spirit of the moment, and immediate learning from mistakes and misfires, students can more quickly achieve confidence and success, and recognize that it comes from collaboration.

By reducing unnecessary repetition in our daily work, we can hone skills that bring music to life anew each time, thriving on spontaneous responsiveness and living presence.  We can liberate ourselves from pernicious effects of recording and repetition, by learning to make unreproducibility a vital element of every performance, while of course still striving to be faithful to the work and stylistically cultivated.

Recordings will not go away, but we will show that they cannot substitute for a much richer and livelier concert experience.  Above all, our performances will not imitate recordings.  Of course, the great artists already achieve this.  Our students must cultivate this ability.

Many concerts, and the majority of student recitals, are still curated in outmoded ways that involve dated assumptions about the knowledge and interest of the audience, and about the performer’s role and persona. Audiences are thirsty to learn about the music, and to understand the experience and insight of the performer. Performers can find liberation and new authenticity when they embrace the role of communicator, and don’t limit themselves to mere reproduction. Happily, new performance formats are emerging everywhere, bringing richer immediacy and multifaceted understanding to audiences. Peter Sellars’s concert stagings come to mind, including their lively use of supplementary video images. At the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the “Hear it Twice” Series (Zweimal Hören) features two performances of a major work, surrounding an interview with the performer. At Le Poisson Rouge in New York, classical and contemporary chamber music are part of a wider-ranging musical menu, and the setting allows performers and audience members to interact more. 

Conservatories and universities are perfect crucibles for developing new formats of musical presentation. In my own institution, my colleagues are presenting themed ensemble programs with a variety of multimedia components; symposia to complement opera productions; and art song programs that use projected video and subtle elements of staging, to weave songs and cycles into an insightful larger narrative conception. I’m sure new approaches are likewise developing at your institutions. There is much we can share, and also broad momentum in our collective efforts. 

The graduating recital offers another opportunity for liberating change. Students should of course encounter a wide repertoire across their studies, but their graduating recitals should showcase projects that express their individuality, and their ability to collaborate and communicate.  Each recital should be unique, so that we no longer train every performer on a single model.  One size does not fit all.

Our conservatory curricula and professional institutions are evolving, and there are many exciting new practices to be emulated.  We are gradually casting off obsolete economic, technological, and pedagogical conditions that were already becoming outdated in 1927. To ensure our future vitality, let us liberate our pedagogy from the suffocating effects of repetition, and design fresh ways to learn. Let us teach our students to be engaging communicators, and give listeners as many points of contact as possible, so that the concert experience excites a lively collective present. Let us actively forge a new sustainable economics of live concert music, featuring the unreproducible uniqueness of the shared moment. Let us cultivate the joys and energies of shared active experience — the most vital, universal, meaningful, and unreproducible aspect of our shared musical spirit.  Our profession can then shape its destiny with renewed vitality.

Photo courtesy of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, November 2017

Photo courtesy of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, November 2017

Banner image: Interior view (architect's rendering) of the new opera house currently under construction at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. 

© Richard Kurth 2017

High Notes | Fall 2017 Edition

HN_main-image.jpg
 
 

Welcome to the Fall 2017 edition of High Notes

In this issue, we talk to conductor and composer Hussein Janmohamed about using choral music to reframe the conversation about race in Canada; catch up with Professor Emeritus Robert Silverman as he reflects on a lifetime performing Beethoven’s “Emperor Concerto”; highlight a new scholarship from the Royal Over-Seas League UK; and introduce On That Note the new School of Music podcast that asks, How does music work? 

Also in the issue:

  • Singer/songwriter Nat Jay on music licensing, grant-writing, and getting her first big break in television 

  • Pianist Lucas Wong on Mostly Debussy and finding new ways to inspire audiences and students

  • Fall ConcertsUBC Symphony Orchestra, Bands, Choirs, and Turning Point Ensemble on Livestream

  • Alumni Making WavesAn outstanding new book, a (very) modern adaptation of Handel, orchestra news, and more 

  • Research & Publications: The American Ballad in Popular Music, the female "citoyenne" in 18th century French opera, rhythm and cognition, and more

  • Beyond the Gates"Northern Star" by Dr. Dorothy Chang, an award for Standing Wave, and many faculty performances and juries

  • Catching Up with Our Students: Awards, publications, and a Metropolitan Opera competition

  • "On Texture" a playlist by Colleen O'Connor

  • Thank you! A piano donation from a graduating student and artwork in remembrance of former faculty member Mary Tickner 

As always, we want to hear from you! Send us your comments and story ideas.


hussein-inline.jpg
 

Composer and conductor Hussein Janmohamed on choral singing, identity, and fostering cultural understanding

As a composer, conductor, and teacher, Hussein Janmohamed (BMus'96, MMus'98, MMus'14) has built a career using choral music to challenge cultural stereotypes and reframe the conversation about race in Canada.

Growing up as an Ismaili Muslim in rural Alberta taught him that discrimination was an unfortunate fact of life, even in a country celebrated for its multiculturalism. And for Muslims and many other groups, he says, the issue is as pressing now as ever.

“[W]e are in a society in which there are a lot of negative representations of Islam, not only from the media but from small minorities within the faith,” he says.

For Janmohamed, challenging these stereotypes starts with combating self-stigma. After graduating from UBC with the first of two Master’s degrees, he founded the Vancouver Ismaili Youth Choir to help Muslim youth understand their dual and often plural identities.

Read the full story

Top


Photo: Sian Richards

Photo: Sian Richards

“Decades later, you see the whole landscape”: Robert Silverman on performing Beethoven and finding your way as a young musician

On Nov. 10th, renowned pianist and Professor Emeritus Robert Silverman performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 73 with the UBC Symphony Orchestra to a packed house at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts.

Silverman, who first studied the Beethoven concerto as a student nearly 50 years ago, brought a lifetime of knowledge and accomplishment — and a continued sense of wonder — to the legendary work. And it showed.

“I can’t tell you how different the piece is [to me] now,” he says. “Some people who’ve been around for a while, every time they get asked to do something, they just take the music off the shelf, blow the dust off, and play it. Telephone in their last performance. I just can’t do that. I never have. This [concert] gave me the opportunity to relook at this great piece.”

For Silverman, the “Emperor” — as the concerto is popularly known — has lost none of its freshness and excitement. If anything, his appreciation of the concerto has deepened over years of studying, teaching, and performing.

Read the full story

Watch Robert Silverman perform "The Emperor" with UBC Symphony Orchestra

Top

 


KCooke_horiz.jpg
 

Oboist and DMA student Kristen Cooke experiences UK music life thanks to new scholarship

Over the summer, Doctor of Musical Arts student Kristen Cooke received an opportunity of a lifetime. 

As the first winner of the Royal Over-Seas League UK Scholarship for a BC Emerging Musician, the UBC oboist got a taste of professional music life in the UK, working with British and Commonwealth musicians, and performing at London's Church of St Martin-in-the-Fields, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and British Isles Music Festival.

The Royal Over-Seas League (ROSL) has had a long history of supporting and nurturing talent from Commonwealth countries. Along with existing scholarships for aspiring professional musicians from Australia and New Zealand, ROSL has now offered their first musical scholarship in Canada. Each scholarship package includes an incredible itinerary of performing concerts at iconic venues and attending coaching sessions with prominent musicians in London. To top it off, recipients enjoy an all-expenses-paid trip with time to explore.

“We are thrilled and grateful that the Royal Over-Seas League has generously offered this opportunity to a UBC student,” said Richard Kurth, director of the UBC School of Music. 

Read the full story

Top


Dina MacDougall/UBC School of Music

Dina MacDougall/UBC School of Music

Introducing On That Note, the new School of Music podcast

How does music work? Why do we respond to a particular piece of music in a particular way? What can music tell us about ourselves and the world?

These are some of the big questions that the new School of Music podcast grapples with. Now available on iTunes, On That Note is a monthly deep-dive into the music you love — and music you may have never heard of. Join host Graham MacDonald and musicians and scholars from the UBC School of Music as they investigate everything from Beyoncé to Bach to Balinese Gamelan.

In the debut episode, Graham talks to Prof. David Metzer about his new book, The Ballad in American Popular Music: From Elvis to Beyoncé. They discuss how we define ballads, how they change with the times, and why they continue to grab us. Listen to the interview:


Watch Nat Jay perform "What I'm Made Of."

 

Singer-songwriter Nat Jay on music licensing, grant-writing, and getting her first big break on TV

While the rise of Spotify and other music streaming services has been a boon for major artists like Taylor Swift or Drake, this new economic model has arguably made it harder for independent and emerging artists to make a living by selling their music. The alternative, says singer-songwriter Nat Jay (Minor’04) is to diversify.

Jay has won national awards for her lyrical pop-folk songs and shared the stage with top Canadian artists like Juno-winner Dan Mangan. But instead of signing with a record label, Jay followed a less traditional path to musical success. She has built a thriving career by licensing the rights to her songs for use in TV and movie productions.

Her songs have been heard on popular shows and movies across North America, including Heartland on the CBC and Awkward on MTV. And while she performs mostly in local festivals— like Vancouver’s Folk Fest and Spirit of the Sea Fest— she has amassed a following that stretches a lot further because of the exposure from these placements.

“My sync placements made me realize it was actually possible to have a career and generate an income in the music industry,” Jay says. 

Read the full story

Top


Lucas Wong - 2.jpg
 

Pianist Lucas Wong on Mostly Debussy and finding new ways to inspire audiences and students

It is difficult to give Lucas Wong (BMus’04) a specific label or title.

The UBC School of Music alumnus is a concert pianist and recording artist, but his career goals extend far beyond performance. He is also a university professor, a collaborator in a computer software project for piano students, a textbook writer, and the founder of the lecture-recital series, Mostly Debussy.

“I always enjoyed talking about music as much as I enjoy playing music,” Wong says. “As pianists, we have to look for new ways to engage the audience in our programs. One of the ways is by interacting with the audience and introducing pieces to them.”

 Mostly Debussy was featured at the Roy Barnett Recital Hall in September, a concert in which Wong performed Debussy’s Pagodes from Estampes, as well as several selections from his collection of Préludes and Etudes. As part of the concert he also explained how the pieces work and what makes them so compelling.

Read the full story

Top


Fall concerts available on Livestream

2017_1117_CHOIRS_webbanner.jpg

The School of Music’s large and small ensembles staged ambitious concerts and events this autumn. You can watch some of them on Livestream:

Estacio, Respighi, BrahmsUBC Symphony Orchestra with Student Concerto Competition winner Benjamin Hopkins.

anyMOMENTnow: UBC Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Concert Winds perform music inspired by Gabrieli, Sweelinck, Bach, Karrick, Nelson and more.

World premiere of Ana Sokolović’s “Evta”: Turning Point Ensemble and Ensemble Contemporain de Montreal (ECM+) perform the composer’s new violin concerto, along with works by Bauck, Torio, and Pieniek. Featuring UBC faculty and alumni.

We Can Mend the Sky: Canadian premiere! UBC Choirs perform Jake Runestad’s powerful musical depiction of an immigrant’s journey, inspired by the poetry of 14-year-old Warda Mohamed. With a 400+ voice finale!

MOMENTmakers: UBC Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Concert Winds perform Boysen, Lauridsen, Camphouse, Chance, George, Hailstork, Blackshaw, and Grainger. 

For upcoming School of Music performances, check out our concert calendar.

Top


New research and publications

images.jpg

Dr. Hedy Law’s essay on the female “citoyenne” in 18th-century French opera — including Sapho (1795) by librettist Constance-Marie de Salm and composer Jean-Paul-Gilles Martini — was published this spring in The Opera Quarterly.

This November, Dr. Ève Poudrier presented a talk entitled “The influence of grouping and tempo on subjective metricization” at the Auditory Perception, Cognition, and Action Meeting (APCAM) in Vancouver, British Columbia. The presentation slides are available here.

Dr. Nathan Hesselink gave three talks in the past year: "The Backbeat as Expressive Device in Popular Music," presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Music Theory in Vancouver; "Korean Drumming and Cosmology: Music Reflecting and Shaping Local Culture," presented at Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon; and "Radiohead’s OK Computer," presented as part of Rain City Chronicles “The Record Club” Series, Macmillan Space Centre, Vancouver. The Korean translation of his first book on Korean folk drumming, P’ungmul: South Korean Drumming and Dance (University of Chicago), was published by the Academy of Korean Studies.

Dr. David Metzer’s new book, The Ballad in American Popular Music: From Elvis to Beyoncé, was published by Cambridge University Press.  It is the first history of the ballad in recent popular music.

Continue reading research and publications news

Top


Wreck Beach - Playlist photo by Colleen OConnor.jpg
 

On Texture: a playlist by Colleen O'Connor

Our semi-monthly Playlist column features music curated by our faculty, students, and staff around an interesting idea or theme. To celebrate the release of her excellent début, 17 Hoops, we asked singer/songwriter/pianist (and School of Music Communications Assistant) Colleen O'Connor to talk about music and "texture." 

Read the column or load the playlist in Spotify (login required)

Top


Pictured (left to right): Julie Chien, Debi Wong, and Rose-Ellen Nichols

Pictured (left to right): Julie Chien, Debi Wong, and Rose-Ellen Nichols

 

Alumni Making Waves: An outstanding new book, a (very) modern adaptation of Handel, orchestra news, and more  

This November, Rose-Ellen Nichols (BMus ’05, MMus ’08) performed the role of the Native Mother in Missing, the new Pacific Opera Victoria/City Opera Vancouver co-production that “gives voice to the story of Canada's missing and murdered Indigenous women.” 

This fall, Julia Chien (BMus ’14) won the Principal Percussion position with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra and the Principal Timpani position with the Kamloops Symphony, while Stephanie Bell (BMus ’14) is the new Second Flute with the Victoria Symphony. Catch Julia at Barnett Hall on Feb. 14th, 2018.

Music theorists and editors Laurel Parsons (MA ’91, Ph.D ’03) and Brenda Ravenscroft (Ph.D ’93) won the Society for Music Theory’s 2018 award for the Outstanding Multi-Authored Publication for Analytical Essays on Music by Women Composers: Concert Music, 1960-2000 (Oxford University Press, 2016). It is the first of a four-volume series. 

Debi Wong (BMus ’08) debuted Acis & Galatea: A Gender Liberation Opera, her adaption of the Handel opera, in Vancouver this fall. The production also featured performances by UBC alumni Rachel Fenlon (BMus '10, MMus '12) and Peter Monaghan (BMus '14, MMus '15), with Alan Corbishley (BMus ’98) directing. Debi performs in Barnett Hall on March 7th, 2018 as part of the Wednesday Noon Hour series. 

Continue reading alumni news

Top


Dr. Robert Taylor

Dr. Robert Taylor

 

Beyond the Gates

"Northern Star,” a new composition by Dr. Dorothy Chang, débuted at the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra in October. Dr. Chang composed the piece as part of a large-scale work for orchestra and dancers, in collaboration with four other composers, Vince Ho, Dinuk Wijeratne, Maxime McKinley, and Derek Charke, along with choreographer Yukichi Hattori. The performance is available online, along with a documentary that includes interviews with the composers.

Standing Wave won the 2017 Western Canadian Music Award for Classical Artist/Ensemble of the Year at BreakOut West for their album New Wave. The ensemble includes UBC Music faculty members Vern Griffiths and Christie Reside, as well as alumni Allen Stiles (BMus ’84, MMus ’86) and A.K. Coope (BMus ’90). The recording includes contributions from composer Michael Oesterle (BMus ’92) and producer Will Howie (BMus ’04).

Dr. Robert Taylor recently completed a one-week residency at the Singapore American School, where he worked with band students in grades 6-12, provided professional development sessions for music faculty, and guest conducted a program of 13 works with five different ensembles. 

Continue reading faculty news

Top


Azura Quartet's Mo Miao, Mia Gazeley, and Haley Heinricks.

Azura Quartet's Mo Miao, Mia Gazeley, and Haley Heinricks.

 

Catching up with our students

The Azura Quartet, featuring School of Music students and alumni Mia Gazeley (BMus student), Mo Miao (BMus student), Chinley Hinacay (BMus ’17), and Haley Heinricks (BMus’17), won first prize and $1,500 in the Chamber category at the 2017 National Music Festival in Ottawa, Ontario. Alumnus Ryan Hofman (MMus ’17) won second place and $1,000 in the Voice category. Congratulations to all! 

UBC Opera students and alumni made a sweep of the 2017 Metropolitan Opera National Council Western Canada District Auditions, which took place on Nov. 12, 2017 in the Old Auditorium. The winners were BMus student Shane Hanson and alumna Francesca Corrado (BMus ’12, MMus ’14). Honourable mentions went to Marie Civitarese (MMus ’17) and BMus students Yeeun (Yenny) Lee and Ian McCloy. Francesca and Shane move on to the regional auditions in Seattle. Best of luck!

Musicology PhD student Christina Hutten recently began a one-year residency at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel, Germany, for her dissertation research. She is the recipient of a fellowship from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (German Academic Exchange Service).

Continue reading student news

Top


Thank you!

Recent graduate Lorna Yeates (BMus’17) has generously donated a new hydraulic piano bench for use in Roy Barnett Recital Hall.

Artist Pnina Granirer has donated a work of mixed media on paper, entitled "Solo (1977)", in memory of piano faculty member Mary Tickner, who dedicated her life to music and her students. It graces the chamber music rehearsal room, located on the 4th floor of the music building. There are two other works created by Ms. Granirer that may be seen in the foyer of the Old Auditorium as well.


Do you have a story? Let us know!

If you're a UBC Music alumnus and you have news to share, please send a note to tyler.stiem@ubc.ca. We're always looking for stories for upcoming editions of High Notes and our other networks.

 

Playlist: On "Texture"

Our semi-monthly Playlist column features music curated by our faculty, students, and staff around an interesting idea or theme. To celebrate the release of her excellent début, 17 Hoops, we asked singer/songwriter/pianist (and School of Music Communications Assistant) Colleen O'Connor to talk about music and "texture." You can listen to the tracks below via Spotify (if you have an account) or YouTube (if you don't). The full playlist is also available here.


By Colleen O'Connor

One of the features I love most about music is texture. Many of my favourite musicians use contrasting textures to create diverse musical landscapes that I find mesmerizing. Here are some of my favourites: 

Bonobo, "Migration" from Migration

In "Migration," electronic layers are blended with piano and sparse percussion, which become more dense and varied in texture as the atmospheric work develops. 

Arvo Pärt Silentium from Tabula Rasa

When I was studying composition, I found Minimalism particularly captivating. In this piece by Arvo Pärt, subtle, progressive alterations to repetitive melodic and harmonic patterns draw the listener's focus toward the changes. Plaintive strings coupled with the unsettling sound of the prepared piano creates an ambiance that is elegantly sad. 

Bokanté, "Jou Ké Ouvè" from Strange Circles

The newly-minted group Bokanté was formed by Michael League of Snarky Puppy, and Malika Tirolien, who sings in French and Créole. Jou Ké Ouvè weaves a tapestry of blues and world fusion.

Prokofiev, Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, iii. Intermezzo

The third movement of Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 2 begins with a heavy walking bass theme, punctuated by ominous horns, followed by sneaky, chromatic, descending triplets in the clarinets. The piano enters with thin chromatic flourishes, creating a stark contrast. I imagine a giant stomping and loping back into his castle after a night of carousing.

Bjork, "Stonemilker" from Vulnicura

Björk is an artist who creates masterful electroacoustic arrangements. Stonemilker combines electronic beats with lush strings and Björk's unique vocal tone.

John Stetch, "Zabava" from Green Grove / Ukrainianism

John Stetch recently came to the School of Music to study for a Master’s degree in composition. His piece Zabava is a masterclass on the different textures the piano can create. The piece employs a variety of techniques, including the strumming of the piano strings at the start of the piece, and the muting of the keys at the end.

Radiohead, "Decks Dark" from A Moon Shaped Pool

I'm drawn to the cascading sounds in Radiohead's Decks Dark — broken descending chords in the piano, gently oscillating electronic sounds in the upper register, and the choral effect of the layered vocals.

Aaron Diehl, Le tombeau de couperin iii. Forlane (Ravel) from The Bespoke Man's Narrative

Aaron Diehl re-imagines the Forlane from Ravel's Tombeau de Couperin in a jazz setting.

Super Pyramid, "Devoid"

The aesthetic of this piece includes a juxtaposition of smoky, ethereal vocals with crisp layers of Rhodes and Wurlitzer keyboards, electronic percussion, and other ambient acoustic sounds. The mixture creates a texture that I find both calming and intriguing.

Colleen O’Connor is Marketing and Communications Assistant for the School of Music. She holds a Diploma in Music Writing from MacEwan University and a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree from Portland State University. Colleen just released her first recording, 17 Hoops. Listen on Spotify or at colleensong.com/music.

Banner image by Colleen O'Connor.

Alumni Making Waves: An outstanding new book, a (very) modern adaptation of Handel, orchestra news, and more  

This November, Rose-Ellen Nichols (BMus ’05, MMus ’08) performed the role of the Native Mother in Missing, the new Pacific Opera Victoria/City Opera Vancouver co-production that “gives voice to the story of Canada's missing and murdered Indigenous women.” 

Julia Chien (BMus ’14, MMus student) has won the Principal Percussion position with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra and the Principal Timpani position with the Kamloops Symphony, while Stephanie Bell (BMus ’14) is the new Second Flute with the Victoria Symphony. Catch Julia at Barnett Hall on Feb. 14th, 2018.

Left to right: Julia Chien, Debi Wong, and Rose-Ellen Nichols

Left to right: Julia Chien, Debi Wong, and Rose-Ellen Nichols

Choral composer Matthew Emery (BMus ’14) has been awarded the University of Toronto’s 2017 William and Phyllis Waters Award. The $25,000 award recognizes “graduating students… who are deemed to have the greatest potential to make an important contribution to the field of music.” 

Debi Wong (BMus ’08) debuted Acis & Galatea: A Gender Liberation Opera, her adaption of the Handel opera, in Vancouver this fall. The production also featured performances by UBC alumni Rachel Fenlon (BMus '10, MMus '12) and Peter Monaghan (BMus '14, MMus '15), with Alan Corbishley (BMus ’98) directing. Debi performs in Barnett Hall on March 7th, 2018 as part of the Wednesday Noon Hour series. 

Music theorists and editors Laurel Parsons (MA ’91, Ph.D ’03) and Brenda Ravenscroft (Ph.D ’93) won the Society for Music Theory’s 2018 award for the Outstanding Multi-Authored Publication for Analytical Essays on Music by Women Composers: Concert Music, 1960-2000 (Oxford University Press, 2016). It is the first of a four-volume series. 

Fiona Blackburn (BMus ’82, BEd (Sec) ’02, MMus ’10) was recently appointed as Conductor of Pacifica Singers, a select vocal ensemble that exists as part of the Vancouver Chamber Choir organization. Fiona's eclectic musical career has included performing as a classically trained soloist and recording artist, teaching voice, adjudicating festivals, conducting choirs, and educating in classrooms.

Natalie Calhoun (BMus ’95) was nominated for an East Coast Music Award as part of the ensemble Atlantic String Machine. Their album, Lost Time, was nominated in the category of Classical Recording of the Year.

Shang Ko (Sunny) Chan (BMus ’16) was named as a finalist in the Shean Strings Competition. The finals were held May 18–20, 2017 in Edmonton, Alberta. 

Nicole Linaksita (BMus ’15) has had a busy few months. She was Guest Artist for Music Without Borders, performed Moszkowski’s Piano Concerto Op. 59 at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, and won a Silver Medal and Best Performance of a Canadian Work at the Vancouver International Music Competition. She also performed numerous concerts with Musica Moderna Camerata and others.

In May, world-renowned pianist and former School of Music student Jon Kimura Parker, O.C, received an honorary Doctorate of Lettershonoris causa, from the University of British Columbia in recognition of his countless contributions to the world of classical music. 

Jocelyn Morlock (MMus ’96, DMA ’02) and John Estacio (MMus '91) were among four composers commissioned by the National Arts Centre Orchestra for Life Reflected, an “immersive symphonic experience” that celebrated four exceptional Canadian women. Jocelyn’s piece, “My Name is Amanda Todd” tells the story of the vibrant 15-year-old who, after suffering for years from cyber abuse, spoke out against harassment and bullying on YouTube. For his piece, “I Lost My Talk,” John draws inspiration from the life and work of acclaimed Mi'kmaw elder and poet Rita Joe. Life Reflected premiered in Vancouver in October.  

Violist Sarah Kwok (MMus ’11, DMA student) and percussionist Julia Chien made their debuts with the award-winning Turning Point Ensemble during International World Music Days in November. You can watch their performance here

New research and publications

images.jpg

Dr. Hedy Law’s essay on the female “citoyenne” in 18th-century French opera — including Sapho (1795) by librettist Constance-Marie de Salm and composer Jean-Paul-Gilles Martini — was published this spring in The Opera Quarterly.

This November, Dr. Ève Poudrier presented a talk entitled “The influence of grouping and tempo on subjective metricization” at the Auditory Perception, Cognition, and Action Meeting (APCAM) in Vancouver, British Columbia. The presentation slides are available here.

Dr. David Metzer’s new book, The Ballad in American Popular Music: From Elvis to Beyoncé, was published by Cambridge University Press.  It is the first history of the ballad in recent popular music. Prof. Metzer chronicles a musical history of the ballad, looking at how such celebrated singers as Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Barry Manilow, and Whitney Houston have shaped the genre. He also offers a history of emotions in popular culture, showing how ballads capture the changing ways in which feelings have been understood and experienced. You can listen to Prof. Metzer talk about his book on the School of Music podcast.

Music theorists and editors Dr. Laurel Parsons (MA ’91, Ph.D ’03) and Dr. Brenda Ravenscroft (Ph.D ’93) won the Society for Music Theory’s 2018 award for the Outstanding Multi-Authored Publication for Analytical Essays on Music by Women Composers: Concert Music, 1960-2000 (Oxford University Press, 2016). It is the first of a four-volume series.

Dr. John Roeder gave the keynote address at a conference in London about the operas of Thomas Adès. At the Society for Music Theory annual meeting in November, he also presented papers on music of Chen Yi, and on teaching musical meter.

P’ungmul: South Korean Drumming and Dance

P’ungmul: South Korean Drumming and Dance

Dr. Nathan Hesselink gave three talks in the past year: "The Backbeat as Expressive Device in Popular Music," presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Music Theory in Vancouver; "Korean Drumming and Cosmology: Music Reflecting and Shaping Local Culture," presented at Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon; and "Radiohead’s OK Computer," presented as part of Rain City Chronicles “The Record Club” Series, Macmillan Space Centre, Vancouver. The Korean translation of his first book on Korean folk drumming, P’ungmul: South Korean Drumming and Dance (University of Chicago), was published by the Academy of Korean Studies.

The School of Music’s Rhythm Research Cluster hosted its first symposium, "Entrainment and the Human-Technology Interface," in September. UBC faculty, students, and guest lecturers together explored the history and nature of interactions between live human agents (performers and composers) and an externalizing and regulating entraining agent (both metronomes and click tracks). The next symposium, titled "Modeling Rhythmic Complexity," will focus on the cognition and production of complex rhythmic structures (such as polyrhythm and syncopation) using tools and methods from fields as diverse as linguistics, music information retrieval, behavioural psychology and neuroscience. It is scheduled for January 2018.

Elizabeth Volpé Bligh published a new article in the November issue of Harp Column

During his first year at UBC, Dr. Claudio Vellutini was invited to present at the conference London Voices, 1820-1840 hosted by King's College London and at the Rossini 2017 Conference organized by the Rossini Foundation in Pesaro, Italy. He also gave a paper at the Second Transnational Opera Studies Conference in Bern, Switzerland. His article "Opera and Monuments: Verdi's Ernani in Vienna and the Construction of Dynastic Memory" has been accepted for publication and is forthcoming in the Cambridge Opera Journal. In Vancouver, he was a guest of the radio programme Place à l'opéra on Radio Canada), and gave pre-concert talks on Verdi's Macbeth and Otello at the Italian Cultural Institute and at the Vancouver Opera Festival.

Prof. Stephen Chatman published four new books of sheet music: Shine! shine! shine! from A Song of Joys, Dawn of Night, Forever, Remember Me, and O Clap Your Hands. All are available via Morningstar Music

In May, Dr. Brandon Konoval presented a conference paper for the Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science: "The Disenchanted Flute? Music, Max Weber, and Early Modern Science." He also published an article in Modern Intellectual History: "Between Aristotle and Lucretius: Discourses of Nature and Rousseau's Discours sur l'inégalité."

Catching up with our students

Azura Quartet, winners of a National Music Festival award

Azura Quartet, winners of a National Music Festival award

Musicology PhD student Christina Hutten recently began a one-year residency at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel, Germany, for her dissertation research. She is the recipient of a fellowship from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (German Academic Exchange Service).

UBC Opera students and alumni made a sweep of the 2017 Metropolitan Opera National Council Western Canada District Auditions, which took place on Nov. 12, 2017 in the Old Auditorium. The winners were BMus student Shane Hanson and alumna Francesca Corrado (BMus ’12, MMus ’14). Honourable mentions went to Marie Civitarese (MMus ’17) and BMus students Yeeun (Yenny) Lee and Ian McCloy. Francesca and Shane move on to the regional auditions in Seattle. Best of luck!

In October, DMA student and 2017 UBC Concerto Competition winner Benjamin Hopkins performed Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15 with the UBC Symphony Orchestra at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. You can watch the performance online. Benjamin also participated in the Aspen Music Festival, Van Cliburn Institute, performed numerous concerts with Concerts in Care, and won a Bronze Medal at the Vancouver International Music Competition. 

Two students and five alumni presented papers at the Society for Music Theory annual meeting in November: PhD students Antares Boyle and Grant Sawatzky and alumni James Palmer (PhD '15), Daniel Goldberg (MA '10), Chantal Lemire (BMus '06, MA '13), Caleb Mutch (BMus '08), and Eric Smialek (BA '06).

Shane Hanson and Francesca Corrado

Shane Hanson and Francesca Corrado

DMA student Aaron Graham recently joined the Scholarly Research Committee of the Percussive Arts Society. Instrumentalist Magazine recently published his article "Proper Playing Areas — Instantly Improve the Sound of Your Percussion Section,” while another article, “Practicing Tabla Without the Tabla: A Place to Begin for the Interested Student,” will be published in the January 2018 edition of the journal Percussive Notes. Aaron gave a percussion clinic at the recent B.C. Music Educators Association conference and won recognition for his composition “Manifesto,” which will be performed at Colorado State University as part of the 2018 Aries Composers Festival.   

The Azura Quartet, featuring School of Music students and alumni Mia Gazley (BMus student), Mo Miao (BMus student), Chinley Hinacay (BMus ’17), and Haley Heinricks (BMus’17), won first prize and $1,500 in the Chamber category at the 2017 National Music Festival in Ottawa, Ontario. Alumnus Ryan Hofman (MMus ’17) won second place and $1,000 in the Voice category. Congratulations to all! 

Beyond the Gates

The latest news from School of Music faculty

Dr. Robert Taylor

Dr. Robert Taylor

"Northern Star,” a new composition by Dr. Dorothy Chang, débuted at the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra in October. Dr. Chang composed the piece as part of a large-scale work for orchestra and dancers, in collaboration with four other composers, Vince Ho, Dinuk Wijeratne, Maxime McKinley, and Derek Charke, along with choreographer Yukichi Hattori. The performance is available online, along with a documentary that includes interviews with the composers.

In November, Vern Griffiths performed as soloist and host in his kids’ show Wall to Wall Percussion with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. In the coming months, he will perform the same show with the Edmonton Symphony and Calgary Philharmonic.

Prof. Nancy Hermiston received the Honorary Alumni Award for 2017 from Alumni UBC, recognizing her as “a devoted and enthusiastic educator. She has nurtured the development of many promising young singers, and her willingness to share her love of classical music with the wider community has enriched the cultural life of Vancouver.”

Dr. Robert Taylor recently completed a one-week residency at the Singapore American School, where he worked with band students in grades 6–12, provided professional development sessions for music faculty, and guest conducted a program of 13 works with five different ensembles. 

Standing Wave won the 2017 Western Canadian Music Award for Classical Artist/Ensemble of the Year at BreakOut West for their album New Wave. The ensemble includes UBC Music faculty members Vern Griffiths and Christie Reside, as well as alumni Allen Stiles (BMus ’84, MMus ’86) and A.K. Coope (BMus ’90). The recording includes contributions from composer Michael Oesterle (BMus ’92) and producer Will Howie (BMus ’04).

Turning Point Ensemble

Turning Point Ensemble

As part of World New Music Days, Turning Point Ensemble and Ensemble Contemporain de Montreal (ECM+) performed “Evta,” a new violin concerto by Canadian composer Ana Sokolović, along with works by Bauck, Torio, and Pieniek. The performance featured School of Music Faculty Jeremy Berkman (trombone), Ingrid Chiang (bassoon), and Brenda Fedoruk (flute), as well as alumnus Nick Anderson (horn), and alumni/current students Julia Chien (percussion, BMus ’14) and Sarah Kwok (viola). Watch the performance online

In September, Prof. Terence Dawson was the soloist for a Wednesday Noon Hour performance of Poulenc's "Aubade", with a chamber orchestra comprised of faculty and students, and conducted by Dr. Jonathan Girard. The concert, which also featured Popper's "Requiem for Three Cellos and Piano" (Prof. Eric Wilson, plus DMA students Laine Longton and Oskar Falta) was dedicated to the memory of Prof. Emeritus John Sawyer, and was a celebration of 50 years of concerts in the Music Building. Professor Dawson also sat on the piano jury for the 2017 Federation of Canadian Music Festivals National Competition in Ottawa this summer, where he gave a masterclass. Finally, he was a faculty member at the VSO Summer Institute in Whistler for the third consecutive year.

As a soloist, Dr. Corey Hamm performed Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26 with the Vancouver Island Symphony, and had engagements with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Nu:BC Collective, Vancouver Chamber Music Society, and Turning Point Ensemble. With PEP (Piano and Erhu Project, with Nicole Li) he presented four World Premieres and three Canadian Premieres at ISCM World New Music Days, and performed at the Shanghai Conservatory. He was a judge for the inaugural Vancouver International Music Competition and Boesendorfer Piano Competition.