I am a specialist of contemporary music and free improvisation and have performed as a soloist and chamber musician across Canada and abroad. I hold a PhD in Musicology from York University, 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 the Improvisation Concerts Ensemble (ICE) and teacher of improvisation 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 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 "Improvisation and Music Education: Beyond the Classroom", published by Routledge. I also won the Cook Homes Music award at the 2016 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 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. In 2018 I completed my PhD at York University under the supervision of Dorothy de Val and Casey Sokol. My dissertation, "The Improvising Musician's Mask: Using Musical Instruments to Build Self-Confidence and Social Skills in Collective Free Improvisation", was nominated for a university-wide dissertation prize.
Having recently completed my PhD, I am now working to extend and continue my dissertation research. I will be presenting my findings at conferences around the world, releasing parts of my research as published articles, and I will begin work on two books. One of these will be primarily based on the research findings in my dissertation and the other will be a new method book for teaching, learning, and practicing free improvisation.
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 students and helping them find their creative voice via musical improvisation.
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