I left home in Prince Edward Island to enter McGill University at age 16. Homesick at first, I was soon surrounded by mentors and new friends. After my bachelor’s degree, I performed for CBC, toured and obtained a MMus (Indiana) and a DMA (Stony Brook). My teachers were Frances Gray, Dorothy Morton, Menahem Pressler, Gyorgy Sebok and Gilbert Kalish. I have produced 5 solo albums. A New York critic, Greg Sandow, has profiled my work helping students improvise, find their unique voices and develop community venues. I often hear from former students, now musicians, teachers, composers and professors around the world.
I design, learn and perform solo concerts. I also perform with other musicians, compose and arrange music, improvise, create digital sound art and write essays. Right now I am working on a program of the music of displaced peoples. I am active in the local sustainability community.
Since winning such major government awards as a Canada Council Arts Grant and a 3 year Quebec fellowship for my graduate work, I consider my biggest academic career achievement to be the opportunity to return that investment to Canadians through my performances in a wide range of settings and my teaching at Laurier.
As a student, I kept this T.S. Eliot quote close by:
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate
With shabby equipment always deteriorating
In the general mess of imprecision of feeling,
Undisciplined squads of emotion. And what there is to conquer
By strength and submission, has already been discovered
Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope
To emulate – but there is no competition –
There is only the fight to recover what has been lost
And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions
That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.
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