Having joined Laurier in 1979, I have held many roles within the Faculty of Music. Currently I teach studio piano, keyboard literature, lyric diction, coach singers and direct the music for faculty operatic productions.
I am a solo and collaborative pianist, conductor and author and have released more than 25 solo and ensemble recordings. I am the regular keyboard player with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and the Elora Festival Singers.
I have conducted over 30 of the faculty operatic productions since 1991, including Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Albert Herring, Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges and L’Heure espagnole, Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Vaughan Williams’ Pilgrim’s Progress, Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites, Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Weill’s Street Scene, Ward’s The Crucible and the Canadian premiere of Louis Aubert’s La forêt bleue.
In recent years, I have devoted time to increasing attention to the recording medium, as a means of raising awareness of lesser-known and forgotten significant composers of past eras, particularly British and French composers from 1850-1950.
I combine recording activity with a scholar’s interest in the composer and period, resulting in extensive CD liner notes and published articles concerning the repertory.
A further research area of interest is lyric diction for singers. I am an associate editor of the Journal of Singing and am responsible for the standing column, "Language and Diction." This duty involves the regular authoring of articles on lyric diction and liaising with other authorities in the field as guest contributors.
In the studio, I work to establish a positive, mutually trusting and respectful relationship, without which real progress is inhibited. The process is a symbiotic one of learning and teaching for both student and instructor. I try to empower the student to feel confident in making technical and interpretive decisions, rather than just following the advice of the teacher. The studio lesson is also the best opportunity to take what is learned in other courses and make the connections with performing music. My job is to build confidence in performing, and the frame of reference into which each musical work fits.
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