d'arcy blunston

Catching Up with Our Students: Concerto Competition winners, NYO positions, and student leadership awards

Aydan Con and Dean Gage Averill

Aydan Con and Dean Gage Averill

In March, dual BMus/BSc student Aydan Con won the Dean’s Outstanding Leadership Award for Contribution to the UBC Community and Beyond, for playing “a crucial role in two projects involving curricular redesign. Through these projects, [he] supported the introduction of new evaluation and teaching methods to deepen Music students’ connections to transferrable workplace skills, as well as evaluation of undergraduate student mental and physical wellbeing in relation to academic workload demands.” Aydan helped launch ChamberFest in February and also volunteered at the Downtown Eastside Saint James Music Academy and the Canadian Blood Services. This is the first time a UBC Music student has received the distinction. The award was given by Faculty of Arts Dean Gage Averill at the Dean’s Reception for Graduating Arts Student Leaders.

A number of School of Music students have won spots with the 2019 National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYOC). Congratulations to BMus students Jonathan López (clarinet), Katelynn Whittle (oboe), Jesse Guo (percussion), Nina Weber (viola), Alexander Knopp (violin), and Alexander Beggs (viola)! The NYOC Residency runs from June to August, with the orchestra embarking on a two-month tour across Canada and Spain.   

MMus conducting student Jaelem Bhate

MMus conducting student Jaelem Bhate

MMus conducting student Jaelem Bhate (BMus’17) was awarded the 2019 Nestor Korchinsky Student Leadership Award at the UBC Student Leadership Conference, in recognition for his work as a conductor (National Academy Orchestra, UBC Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Philharmonic), with the 45th Ave Jazz Band, and as a composer. Bhate also released his first album, On the Edge with the Jaelem Bhate Jazz Orchestra in March.

 

DMA student Benjamin Hopkins advanced to the semi-finals of the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Piano Competition held this March in New York.

BMus students Nina Weber (viola), Markus Masaites (piano) and Jonathan Lopéz (clarinet) performing at the Friends of Chamber Music competition

In March, two School of Music chamber groups won prizes at the Friends of Chamber Music’s 65th Annual Young Musicians Competition. Genesis Trio, featuring BMus students Nina Weber, viola, Jonathan López, clarinet, and Marcus Masaites, piano, won co-First Prize in the Senior Group (up to age 26), for their performance of Beethoven’s Piano Trio in B flat major, Op. 11, No. 3. Third Prize (and the Audience Prize) went to MMus students Carlos Savall-Guardiola, clarinet, Susie Jiwon Yoo (BMus’18), cello, and BMus student Ayunia Indri Saputro, piano. They performed Brahms’s Clarinet Trio in A minor, Op. 114. The competition was adjudicated by Prof. Sara Laimon, Director of the McGill Conservatory of Music.

Concerto Competition winner D’Arcy Blunston (Photo: Takumi Hayashi)

Concerto Competition winner D’Arcy Blunston (Photo: Takumi Hayashi)

Congratulations to everyone who competed in the 2018–19 UBC Concerto Competition! Open to all School of 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. This year’s winner was lyric soprano D’Arcy Blunston. She performed Britten’s Les Illuminations de Rimbaud, Op. 18. First runner-up was pianist Markus Masaites, who performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto in No. 18 in B-flat major, K. 456. Second runner-up was pianist Yu-Hsien Lin. She performed Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54. D’Arcy will perform with the UBC Symphony Orchestra on April 6th at the Chan Centre.


UBC student Andrea Wong demonstrates CHIMIRA, a kind of interactive mixing board that combines LEGO Duplo, a webcam, and code

Kinesiology major and Music and Technology student Andrea Wong recently received one of six sound Place and Sound artist residencies from the Media Arts Committee, for her Applied Music Technology capstone project. Inspired by people who experience synaesthesia, Andrea designed an instrument that translates data associated with specific colours into sonic effects — which she has dubbed CHIMIRA (Colour-Hearing Interface + Motion-Image Relaying Apparatus). Andrea provided a simple example of how the instrument might work when it’s completed: “When CHIMIRA ‘sees’ a red object, this could trigger, say, bell sounds, and moving the red object up and down would cause the sounds to move up and down in pitch. This could be volume, amount of reverb, or any other aspect of sound that can be manipulated. Several red objects could create a denser, more rich texture of bells that, when moved, change in that processed aspect of their sound. There are countless combinations of audiovisual art this instrument can produce!” She will demonstrate the instrument at the UBC Bang! Festival on April 17th.