Previous Newsletters

2013-14 Faculty of Music Highlights and News

2014-15 Faculty of Music Highlights and News

2015-16 Faculty of Music Highlights and News


2016-17 Faculty of Music Highlights and News


· In January 2017, after a year of consultation, the Faculty of Music has completed and released its Strategic Academic Plan. We will achieve our academic goals through leveraging our location, creating exceptional experiences, and innovating through development of infrastructure, sustainability, and communications. Read at:

· On November 9 2016, Mary Morrison, the illustrious musician and voice teacher, turned 90. We are pleased that an anonymous donor has generously pledged $50,000 to match gifts made to the Mary Morrison Award in Voice Performance at the Faculty of Music in honor of this milestone birthday. The scholarship was originally established on the occasion of her 80th birthday. Matching funds are still available.

· He retired last year but is still working! Professor Emeritus Russell Hartenberger published his book Performance Practice in the Music of Steve Reich with Cambridge University Press. The book provides a performer’s perspective on Steve Reich’s compositions from his iconic minimalist work, “Drumming,” to his masterpiece, “Music for 18 Musicians.” It addresses performance issues encountered by musicians in Reich’s original ensemble and the techniques they developed to bring his compositions to life.

· In addition, in November the Faculty held a 3-day symposium called Reich, Rhythm, and Repetition: Patterns in Music, Speech and Science that included performances by Nexus Percussion, Russell Hartenberger, Professor Midori Koga, Gregory Oh (MMus 1997, BMusPerf 1996) and jazz voice instructor Christine Duncan.

· Longtime piano instructor Marina Geringas passed away on June 20, 2016. A celebration concert in her memory was held in March.

· A longtime friend and frequent collaborator with faculty, students, and alumni, vocal coach Stuart Hamilton passed away on January 1, 2017.

· Written and produced by Professor Lorna MacDonald with music by Dean Burry (MMus 1996), The Bells Of Baddeck – the Alexander Graham and Mabel Bell Story was named the winner of the 2016 Parks Canada CEO Award of Excellence. Nominated in the visitor experience category, “The Bells of Baddeck” was chosen from finalists across Canada.

· Professor Steven Vande Moortele is Director of the newly established Centre for the Study of Nineteenth-Century Music (CSNCM), for the study of all aspects of music in the long nineteenth century (c. 1789-1914). Bringing together scholars from musicology, music theory, performance studies, and other fields of enquiry, it intends to build collaborative relationships with other scholars across the humanities at the UofT and with scholars at other universities.

· This past year has seen much change in our library with retirements of Jan MacLean and Joann Potma, and at the end of June 2017, Suzanne Meyers Sawa! We are pleased to announce that Jan Guise has accepted the Head Music Librarian position, as of July 1, 2017. Currently Head of the Eckhardt-Gramatté Music Library at the University of Manitoba, Jan brings almost twenty years of experience in music librarianship and has held numerous leadership roles with the Canadian Association of Music Libraries (CAML), including several years as President.



· The Faculty hosted multiple “instrument days” throughout the year including Flute Day, Bass Day, Clarinet Day, PianoFest, and Horn Day, the latter of which was co-coordinated by Gabriel Radford (BMusPerf 1997) and included over 200 Canadian horn players in a flashmob outside the Royal Conservatory of Music playing Hockey Night in Canada.

· In the fall, organ doctoral student Sarah Svendsen (BMusPerf 2012) performed with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra at Westminster United Church to celebrate its magnificent Casavant pipe organ with a a triumphant organ concerto by Belgian Joseph Jongen, Camille Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony, and Brahms’s Academic Festival Overture.

· UofT Jazz released two recordings this academic year: the UTJO’s Sweet Ruby Suite with the music of Kenny Wheeler featuring Norma Winstone and Dave Liebman, directed by Professor Gordon Foote, and the UofT’s 12tet recording Trillium Falls directed by Professor Terry Promane.

· Led by conductor Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt (BMus 1974) and Master’s student Tracy Wong, the MacMillan Singers recorded a CD of works by composer Stephen Chatman in March 2017.

· Professor Daniel Taylor with the Trinity Choir (including current students Bronwyn Thies-Thompson, Rebecca Genge (BMusPerf 2015), Ellen McAteer (MMus 2014), Emma Hannan and Ryan Patrick McDonald) released The Tree of Life on Sony in December to high acclaim.

· Congratulations to this year’s UTSO Concerto Competition winners: 1st year Master’s student Naoko Tsujita, marimba; 3rd year student Aisa Sayama, piano; and 2nd year Master’s student Brittany Cann, voice. As winners they will perform with the UTSO in the 17-18 season.

· Master’s student pianist Rudin Lengo won this year’s Graduate Student Recital Competition and will perform as part of the 2017-18 Thursdays at Noon concert series in Walter Hall.

· Instructor Vanessa Fralick (BMusPerf 2008) took the UofT Trombone Choir, along with the Glenn Gould School Trombone Studio, to Washington DC for the 2017 American Trombone Workshop.

· Master’s voice student Daniel Robinson (BMusPerf 2016) coordinated new art song compositions with various performances in winter 2017: The Sounds of Silence brought together 15 UofT Music student composers and 15 poets to collaborate and create 15 new performance pieces. “The poets are members of GTA communities that are often considered under-represented and/or repressed. The poets involved in the project identify with Indigenous, queer, immigrant, and Black communities (with varying degrees of intersectionality). The goal of the project is to give a platform on which their voices can be shared while promoting collaboration and discourse.”

· This winter 2nd year Master’s student composer Matthew Emery released a new CD Sing Your Song with Amabile Choirs of London on Centrediscs label.

· A burgeoning leader in the field of music medicine Dr. Alicia Howard (PhD 2017) was the first person from the Faculty of Music to collaborate with the UofT Faculty of Dentistry and the Wasser Pain Management Center. The end result of her dissertation research demonstrated music to be an effective treatment for assisting people with Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) related pain, a condition that affects an estimated 15% of adults.

· Congratulations to Master’s student accordionist Michael Bridge (BMusPerf 2015), mezzo Emily D’Angelo (BMusPerf 2016), Master’s student composer Matthew Emery, composer & pianist Matt Poon (BMus 2009) and DMA student composer Bekah Simms (MMus 2015) for making the CBC’s 30 hot Canadian classical musicians under 30 list.

· We are pleased to announce that Bekah Simms (MMus 2015) is the winner of the Canadian Music Centre Toronto Emerging Composer Award for 2017. Bekah had a work performed by the Madawaska Quartet and Ensemble in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s New Creations Festival.

· Along with his appointment as Composer-in-Residence of Symphony Nova Scotia, current DMA candidate composer Dinuk Wijeratne won the 2016 JUNO Award Classical Composition of the Year with ‘Two Pop Songs on Antique Poems,’ which was on Instrumental Album of the Year-nominated Spin Cycle by Afiara String Quartet.

· Congratulations to doctoral student Yun Emily Wang in receiving the Wong Tolbert Student Paper Prize from the Society for Ethnomusicology for her paper, “Exercising Citizenships: The ‘Use’ and ‘Re-use’ of Radio Calisthenics in Contemporary Taiwan”. The purpose of the Wong Tolbert Prize is to recognize the most distinguished student paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society on women and music that demonstrates a deep engagement with social theory, including but not limited to feminist, queer, and/or gender theories.



· Luksimi Sivaneswaralingam (BMusPerf 2015) has already had quite a year performing on the song “Senthoora” on the soundtrack of the Tamil film Bogan. The “Senthoora” official music video has over 5 million views on YouTube in less than 2 months and has charted #1 on iTunes India music videos.

· Congratulations to Dean Jobin-Bevans (BMus 1992) who was named Principal of Orillia Campus at Lakehead University.

· For a Canada 150 performance, composer Vincent Ho (MMus2000) worked with Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Chinese musician Wu Man, and fellow UofT grad Dashan (Mark Rowswell) on a Chinese New Year performance Rejuvenation: A Taoist Journey.

· In February Tiana Feng (BMus 2010) celebrated the 6th year of her website, which is “dedicated and proud to continue supporting music across all genres, sexes, races, backgrounds from this diverse country we call home.”

· Congratulations to Dr. Amy Clements-Cortes (PhD 2009, MMus 2005) on her new book Voices of the Dying and Bereaved: Music Therapy Narratives, published by Barcelona Publishers.

· Congratulations to Cait Nishimura (BMus 2014) on winning the 2017 Canadian Band Association Composition Competition for her work “Chasing Sunlight”!

· Many congrats to co-writer & film composer Miles Barstead (BMus 2007), Associate Producer Vita Carlino (BMus 2007) & the many grads performing on soundtrack of the film Dim the Fluorescents, the Grand Jury Prize Winner for Narrative Feature at the 2017 Slamdance Film Festival in Utah.

· Congratulations to soprano Andrea Núñez (MMus 2014) winner of the 2016 Toronto Mozart Vocal Competition (coordinated by Dr. David Bowser (DMA 2015, MMus 1995)). Honorable mentions go to mezzo soprano Lyndsay Promane (OpDip 2016, BMusPerf 2014) and tenor Daevyd Pepper (current Master’s student).

· Dr. Roseen Giles (PhD 2016, BMusPerf 2010) begins a musicology tenure track position at Duke University in January 2018.

· Last fall Drew Quiring (MMus 2009) was appointed staff pianist at the Department of Music at Fresno State University.

· Composition alumna Britta Johnson (BMus2015) graced the cover of NOW magazine last summer and since then has had performances of Stupidhead! with Theatre Passe Muraille, announced Life After (book, music, and lyrics by her) will be a part

of the 17-18 Canadian Stage Company season, and inked a deal with The Musical Stage Company to compose three new musicals in three years.

· In June 2016, Barbara Hannigan (MMus 1999, BMusPerf 1993), guitar Professor Emeritus Eli Kassner and Dr. Elaine Keillor (MusDoc 1976) were named members of the Order of Canada. In January 2017, baritone Russell Braun (OpDip 1991), Westben founders Donna Bennett (BMus 1982) and Brian Finley (MMus 1984, BMusPerf 1982), and Orchestras Canada ED Katherine Carleton (BMusPerf 1984) were made Officers of the Order of Canada!

· Congratulations to David Braid (BMusPerf 1998) recipient of the Ontario Arts Foundation 2016 $20,000 Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award for Keyboard Artistry.

· In September, Dorian Cox (BMusPerf 2011) was named program manager for the Canadian Opera Company’s Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre.

· This fall Barry Shiffman (BMusPerf 1988) was named Artistic Director of the Rockport Chamber Music Festival in Massachusetts.

· In February Nick Zekulin (ArtDip 1999) took over as CEO & Artistic Director of National Youth Orchestras of Scotland.

· In November composer Alice Ping Yee Ho (MMus 1984) won the 2016 Louis Applebaum Composers Award via the Ontario Arts Foundation.

· Retiring at the end of January, we congratulate pianist Pat Krueger (BMus 1966) for her long fine career with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra!

· Congratulations to alumnus Kevin Lau (DMA 2012, MMus 2007, BMus 2005) on his first ballet score for the National Ballet of Canada’s Le Petit Prince which premiered in June 2016. · Congratulations to alumnus Dr. Mark Vuorinen (DMA 2014) on winning the Ontario Arts Council 2017 Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting.

· File under special bucket list goals: Canada Post issued new stamps in February honouring opera in Canada including one featuring Adrianne Pieczonka (OpDip 1988).

· With a pop/jazz sound, Sintja Baba (BmusPerf 2015) front woman & songwriter of The Naïve released their debut EP Saw the Sun in January. The Naïve features alumni bassist Jeff Deegan, guitarist Brandon Wall (BMusPerf 2011), and drummer Stefan Hegerat (BMusPerf 2012). · Congratulations to Marie Berard (ArtDip 1983), Steven Dann (BmusPerf 1977), Erika Raum (BmusPerf 1993) and Dianne Werner (BmusPerf 1979) of ARC Ensemble for their GRAMMY nomination for Chamber Works of Jerzy Fitelberg.

· Congratulations to Rashaan Allwood (BMusPerf 2016) who was the first organist to win First Prize in Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal competition history.

· Guitarists Jeffrey McFadden (DMA 2010, MMus 1990) and Michael Kolk (MMus 2011, BMusPerf 2005) released Mauro Giuliani: Music for Two Guitars Vol. 1 on Naxos in December 2016.

· This fall Mary Kenedi (MMus 1979, BMus 1977) organized concerts in Toronto marking the 60th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution.

· In January Measha Brueggergosman (BMusPerf 1999) released Songs of Freedom, an album of African-American spirituals.

· David Visentin (BMusPerf84) was named Director of Postsecondary Studies at the Victoria Conservatory of Music in BC.

· Many thanks to Riki Turofsky (OpDip 1970) for 10 years of support of the Riki Turofsky Master Class in Voice at the Faculty of Music. This year’s guest was Stephen Lord.

· For this upcoming summer’s Shaw Festival, Claudio Vena (BMusPerf 1983) has created original music and sound design for Shaw’s Saint Joan.

· Cassandra Luftspring (MMus 2013) was recently appointed as Conductor of Vancouver Youth Choir’s newest ensemble, VYC Kids, and is launching VYC’s graduated musicianship training program for singers grades 3-10.

· Congratulations to composer Brian Harman (BMus 2004) on winning a 2016 K.M. Hunter Artist Award from Ontario Arts Foundation last spring.

· Last June Ben Dietschi (MMus 2009) was named Executive Director of Soundstreams.

· Last May the Eckhart-Gramatté National Music Competition for the performance of Canadian and contemporary music announced pianist and composer Matt Poon (BMus 2009) as the top prize winner with $10,000 cash prize, a three-week residency and debut recital in Italy at the Casalmaggiore International Music Festival, and a 10-15 city 2016 Canada tour.

· Last spring Katarzyna Sadej (MMus 2008) made debut as Kate Pinkerton in San Diego Opera’s Madama Butterfly.

· Jazz pianist Amanda Tosoff (MA Music 2014) won 2016 Emerging Jazz Artist Award from the Toronto Arts Foundation.

· At the 2016 Dora Mavor Moore Awards in Toronto John Kameel Farah (BMus 1996) won for Outstanding Sound design/composition for Peggy Baker Dance Project’s Phase Space and in the opera division Against the Grain Theatre led by Joel Ivany (OpDip 2008) won for Outstanding Performance-Ensemble for their Messiah production (that featured many alumni singers).

· Jazz ensemble Circles, led by bassist Matt Roberts (MMus 2011), released their fourth CD This Troubled Land in October, an exploration of Toronto’s identity with each track on the album taking inspiration from a different moment of the city’s history.

· The band Featurette with Lexie Jelilyan (BMusPerf 2013) released Crave in fall 2016 and their song “Give A Little” has been in continuous rotation on Toronto’s Indie88 radio station and radio stations across Canada.

· Hogtown Brass Quintet released their debut EP Introducing last August and is 4/5 alumni: Ira Zingraff on trumpet, Jay Austin (BMusPerf 2007) on horn, trombonist RJ Satchithananthan (MMus 2011, BMusPerf 2005) and Ian Feenstra (BMusPerf 2009) on tuba.

· From Toronto to Fort Meade, Staff Sgt. Daniel Jamieson (BMusPerf 2008) joined the United States Army Field Band as an arranger last year.

· After a successful first year, the Toronto Creative Music Lab, a peer-mentored, 8-day workshop for early-career musicians and composers, will be back in June 2017 co-coordinated by Olivia Shortt (BMusPerf 2014), Janet Sit (BMus 2012) and Sara Constant (BMus 2015).


We are proud of our alumni and faculty members for their 2017 JUNO Awards nominations:

Vocal Jazz Album of the Year: You’ll Never Know – Heather Bambrick (BMusPerf 1997) with faculty members Chase Sanborn and John Johnson, and Davide DiRenzo (BMusPerf 1997) and Ross MacIntyre (BMusPerf 2001); I’m Still Learning – Barbra Lica (BMusPerf 2010); Words – Amanda Tosoff (MA Music 2014) with Alex Goodman (BMusPerf 2010), Jon Maharaj (BMusPerf 2003) and Rebekah Wolkstein (DMA 2013)


Jazz Album of the Year: Solo: Nudging Forever – Mike Janzen, features Kevin Turcotte (BMus 1991) on flugelhorn and 19-piece string orchestra led by UofT violin instructor Marie Berard (ArtDip 1983)


Jazz Album of the Year: Group: One Way Up – Dave Young Quintet includes jazz bass instructor Dave Young, jazz drums instructor Terry Clarke and Kevin Turcotte (BMus 1991); Twenty – Metalwood, with jazz saxophone Professor Mike Murley; Flux – Quinsin Nachoff (MMus 2007, BMusPerf 1997); Sweet Canadiana – Order of Canada Band With jazz bass instructor Dave Young and jazz drums instructor Terry Clarke


Instrumental Album of the Year: Flow – David Braid (BMusPerf 1998)


Classical Album of the Year: Solo or Chamber Ensemble: New Orford String Quartet – Brahms: String Quartets, Op. 51 NOS. 1 & 2 With violin Professor Jonathan Crow


Classical Album of the Year: Large Ensemble: Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation – Steve Wood and the Northern Cree Singers, Tanya Tagaq, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra ,Composed by Professor Christos Hatzis


Classical Album of the Year: Vocal or Choral Performance: The Tree of Life – Professor Daniel Taylor, The Trinity Choir;

Dark Star Requiem – Tapestry Opera, Gryphon Trio, Elmer Iseler Singers Gryphon Trio – ensemble in residence with faculty members Professor Jamie Parker and Professor Annalee Patipatanakoon, composed by Andrew Staniland (DMus 2006, MMus 2002) with voice instructor mezzo soprano Krisztina Szabó, baritone Peter McGillivray (OpDip 2003), percussion instructor Mark Duggan (DMA 2011, BMusPerf 1984) and Ryan Scott (DMA 2015, MMus 1997, BMusPerf 1996), conductor Wayne Strongman (MA Music 1974, BMus 1971)


Classical Composition of the Year: Going Home Star – Truth and Reconciliation – Professor Christos Hatzis; Dark Star Requiem – Andrew Staniland (DMus 2006, MMus 2002)


Faculty of Music update

· The Faculty of Music and University of Toronto honoured The Rex Hotel Jazz and Blues Bar with a 2016 Arbor Award, which is given for tremendous generosity and contribution to the experience of U of T students, faculty, staff and alumni. The Rex Hotel Jazz and Blues Bar is a vital partner of the Faculty of Music’s Jazz Studies program. For more than 20 years, owner Bob Ross and music manager Tom Tytel have hosted UofT Jazz on Monday nights.

· In the 2016-17 academic year Dean Don McLean was on sabbatical and music theory Professor Ryan McClelland has served as Acting Dean.

· On social media? Please like our Facebook page UofTFacultyofMusicAlumni or follow us on twitter @UofTMusicAlumni.

· In 2018 the Faculty of Music will celebrate its 100th year. We look forward to sharing our plans with you!


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Page updated 27 September 2017