April 23, 2021
For Immediate Release
Waterloo – Wilfrid Laurier University has appointed Cynthia Johnston Turner as dean of the Faculty of Music. Johnston Turner, currently the director of bands, artistic director of Contemporary Chamber Ensemble and professor of music at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia, brings a plethora of experience to her new role.
“The experience that Dr. Johnston Turner brings to this position is equally impressive as it is inspiring,” said Anthony Vannelli, provost and vice-president: academic. “Her seasoned professional appointments and achievements to date make her the ideal candidate, as we remain committed to producing future-ready graduates. I look forward to her bringing her experience from south of the border to our unique Canadian post-secondary landscape.”
Johnston Turner, a dual citizen of Canada and the United States, earned her Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY and her Master of Education in Music Education from the University of Victoria, B.C. Her professional success is readily apparent on both sides of the border and abroad. She has also been a conductor for the Eastman School at the University of Rochester; the Society for New Music Ensemble in Syracuse, NY; the Paris Lodron Ensemble in Salzburg, Austria; the Orquesta Sinfonica de Heredia in Costa Rica; the Performing Arts Institute at Wyoming Seminary in Pennsylvania; and numerous honour ensembles in Canada, the U.S. and Australia. She has also presented her research on innovating the rehearsal and performance experience at numerous national and international conferences.
“I am deeply honoured to be chosen by the Laurier community to be the dean of the Faculty of Music,” said Johnston Turner. “From our conversations, I think the music community resonated with bold and forward-looking ideas for pedagogy, curriculum and growth with the need to prepare our students for an evolving and exciting music career landscape, and with my commitment to diversity, equity, Indigeneity and inclusion work. For my part, I am drawn to the focus at Laurier on ‘community’ – community wellness, community building, community initiatives. I know we can grow into these and other important areas in the years to come.”
During her time at the University of Georgia, she was also chair of the Committee for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, the Committee for Innovation and several staff and faculty hiring committees. Before joining the University of Georgia, she was director of wind ensemble activities and an associate professor at Cornell University.
“I am impressed with the innovative programs of study offered at the Faculty of Music, including the bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Community Music; the diplomas in chamber music and opera; the improvisation ensemble and other large ensembles; and undergraduate degrees in integrated musical arts and self-directed studies. I sense a strong desire from all to continue to innovate and lead with programs, partnerships and degrees that move beyond the traditional,” said Johnston Turner.
Johnston Turner succeeds acting Faculty of Music Dean Anna Ferenc, who was appointed last August. Ferenc took over from Glen Carruthers, who served as Laurier’s Dean of Music for 10 years. Carruthers passed away on Dec. 24 from cancer.
“I have tremendous gratitude for the work and dedication that Dr. Ferenc has consistently demonstrated since she began to lead the faculty last summer,” said Vannelli. “The growth and quality of education for our music students has improved in part because of her commitment to excellence. Please join me in celebrating her time as acting dean.”
Johnston Turner will formally begin in the role of dean of the Faculty of Music on July 1, 2021.
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