I have been teaching voice at Laurier since 2002 and am currently the Coordinator of the Opera Program where I also teach creative process, passing on my knowledge of the performing arts industry to a wide range of students. I am Associate Dean: External for the Faculty of Music, expanding my reach into the wider community to build partnerships for the Faculty of Music and grow opportunities for our students current and future. I hold a Bachelor of Music and Opera Diploma from the University of Toronto, was a member of the COC Ensemble Studio and sang as a company soloist at Frankfurt Opera from 1989-94.
Nationally and internationally, I have performed on operatic and concert stages in Paris, Chicago, New York City, London, Rome, Tokyo, Montréal, Seattle and Toronto. In the spring of 2017 alone, I gave two world premieres—one of a new opera, Oksana G. for Tapestry Opera in Toronto, and one of a newly commissioned piece written specifically for me, TorQ Percussion Quartet and harp, called This Land, which was presented by NUMUS concerts here in Kitchener-Waterloo.
I interact with students in as many ways and different kinds of settings as possible — whether exploring vocal technique in my group class, leading auditioning, resumé and grant writing or Body Mapping workshops, or creating countless performing opportunities and professional connections. I enjoy discovering the unique capabilities and strengths that each student I interact with brings to the table, and helping them to grow artistically and personally throughout their time at Laurier and beyond.
A particular area of interest for me is music and movement and I am a licensed Body Mapping Educator®, teaching Body Mapping for musicians in workshops and private sessions, both at Laurier and in the larger musical community. In the last year alone, I have taught workshops all over Ontario, as well as in Calgary, AB. This practice, an outgrowth of the Alexander Technique, helps musicians of all stripes to learn how to use their bodies optimally, preventing pain, overuse and injury and enabling them to sing and play their best.
I am particularly excited by the potential for cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary connections in the concerts I give. Recent projects include Aki/This Land, a piece I commissioned in collaboration with TorQ Percussion Quartet and Ojibwe storyteller Rene Meshake. This work is continuing in development, as we expand its parameters to include dance, visual art and projections. I recently performed a program of Music of the Holocaust with colleagues Anna Ronai (piano) and Ulrike Anton (flute), which included works by composers and poets who were imprisoned at Theresienstadt concentration camp. The program was illuminated by slides of images, poetry and biographical details of the artists involved.
I frequently supervise upper level undergraduate and opera diploma students in directed studies projects ranging from in-depth role studies to arts creation projects. I also mentor many students (from all musical disciplines) as they develop their performing profiles, prepare CVs and other promotional materials.
What really resonates for me at Laurier is the feeling of community. It permeates everything we do—from the way we connect to one another as faculty and colleagues, to the relationships we build with our students in the studio, to the outreach we do with every performance. At Laurier we don’t just build strong performers, teachers and musicians, we foster the growth of whole human beings with a purpose in the world.
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