I am a specialist of contemporary music and free improvisation and have performed as a soloist and chamber musician across Canada and abroad. Several works by some of Canada’s most distinguished composers have been composed for me to perform as a soloist and in my ensembles.
I hold a Master’s Degree in Bass Clarinet Performance from the University of Calgary and an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from the University of Waterloo. My performance instructors have included Stan Climie, Tilly Kooyman and world-renowned bass clarinetist and improviser Lori Freedman. I have participated in workshops and masterclasses with world-renowned musicians such as bass clarinetist Harry Sparnaay, legendary improviser and percussionist Eddie Prévost and have studied electroacoustic composition with Richard Windeyer and jazz improvisation with Sundar Viswanathan.
I am currently the artistic director of NUMUS concerts, the Director of Improvisation Concerts Ensemble, teacher of improvisation studio at Wilfrid Laurier University and the bass clarinet instructor at the University of Waterloo.
As an enthusiast of improvisation in the classroom and bass clarinet repertoire, I have guest lectured in university classes and conducted workshops across Canada for both teachers and students. I have also recently spoken and performed at conferences such as the 2013 Summit on Improvisation Pedagogy and Community Impact in Guelph, the 2014 McGill University Music Graduate Symposium, the 2014 International Society for Improvised Music Conference in New York City and the 2015 Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium. My first published article on free improvisation as a therapy for performance anxiety was released in 2016 in a volume called "Jamming in the Classroom", published by Routledge. I also won the Cook Homes Music award in 2016 at the Waterloo Region Arts Awards.
Currently, I perform as a soloist and in a number of ensembles that specialize in new music and free improvisation such as In Orbit and Stealth, my duo with percussionist Richard Burrows, which released its debut CD, "...listen" in 2015. I also completed my first cross-Canada tour in 2015, performing as an improvising soloist and in collaboration with local musicians, and I am currently completing my PhD at York University under the supervision of Casey Sokol and will graduate in the Spring of 2018.
Currently, I am researching how the practice of free improvisation can greatly benefit musicians with performance anxiety, and the next stage of my research will investigate how the practice of group improvisation may help musicians with social anxiety disorder.
Other research interests include improvisation pedagogy and the use of free improvisation as therapy for musicians with various anxieties.
I believe very strongly in the value of creative work as part of a music education. This type of work extends not just to our work as musicians, but also into all aspects of our lives, which is one of many reasons why I love working with my students in the Improvisation Concerts Ensemble.
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