Beyond the Gates: The Western Canadian Music Awards, a B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame induction, Bands tour, and more

Robert Taylor, Nancy Hermiston, and Turning Point’s Jeremy Berkman

Robert Taylor, Nancy Hermiston, and Turning Point’s Jeremy Berkman

This November, Prof. Nancy Hermiston was inducted into the British Columbia Entertainment Hall of Fame alongside renowned tenor and School of Music alumnus Ben Heppner (BMus’79). Prof. Hermiston this year also received the Faculty of Arts 2017-18 Dean of Arts Award, the most prestigious award that the Faculty bestows on a colleague, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to creative research, teaching, and service to UBC and the broader community. As part of the award, she was bestowed with the title of Professor Emerita.

In October, composer and instructor Jocelyn Morlock (MMus’96, DMA’02) won Classical Composer of Year at the 2018 Western Canadian Music Awards. The award is the latest highlight in a big year for Morlock that also includes a Juno Award for Best Classical Composition for her orchestral work, “My Name Is Amanda Todd” and the Jan V. Matejcek New Classical Music Award from SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada).

The WCMA Classical Composer category was dominated by faculty and alumni from the School of Music’s vibrant Composition Division, including Morlock, Prof. Keith Hamel, and Prof. Stephen Chatman.

In March, Director of Bands Dr. Robert Taylor and the UBC Symphonic Wind Ensemble were invited by peers to perform at the College Band Directors National Association regional conference held at Sonoma State University. The tour included residencies with several of the San Francisco Bay Area’s top high school bands, and culminated in a featured performance at the Green Music Centre’s acoustically-stunning Weill Hall.

Harpist and adjunct professor Elizabeth Volpé Bligh was featured on the cover of Harp Column and interviewed in a story about her long and varied career as a teacher and performer.

This fall, Dr. Terence Dawson, chair of the keyboard division, partnered with soprano Theresa Plut from the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia to give two recitals sponsored by the Honorary Consul of Slovenia, Dr. Margaret Rudolf. The recitals featured songs of Strauss, Mahler and Wolf as well as Slovenian composers Benjamin Ipavec, Anton Lajovic and Vasilij Mirk. These concerts were in addition to Prof. Plut's work as a visiting scholar with voice and opera students and in the Collaborative Piano classes of both Dr. Dawson and Prof. Rena Sharon.

In June, the award-winning Turning Point Ensemble — which features UBC faculty members Brenda Fedoruk (flute), Jeremy Berkman (trombone), Ingrid Chiang (bassoon), and School of Music admissions manager Katherine Evans (trumpet) — toured Asia, performing concerts in Taiwan, Beijing, and Singapore. Turning Point also performed this year at the New Opera Days Ostrava Festival in the Czech Republic, where they premiered The Mute Canary by composer Rudolf Komourous.

At the Spectrum in Brooklyn, New York, Prof. Corey Hamm performed Frédéric Rzewski’s hour-long solo piano epic The People United Will Never Be Defeated! as the first of a series of concerts celebrating Rzewski’s 80th Birthday year. While in New York he gave a piano masterclass at NYU Steinhardt.