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May 5, 2017
For Immediate Release

Waterloo – Wilfrid Laurier University is hosting the first international community music conference in North America May 11-13, 2017. The conference, “Walking the Boundaries, Bridging the Gaps,” will give researchers, practitioners and the public an opportunity to explore the role that music plays in the lives of people, especially those who might be considered on the margins of society, or in challenging circumstances.

The conference, to be held at Laurier’s Waterloo campus, is hosted by the Laurier Centre for Music in the Community (LCMC) in partnership with the International Centre for Community Music at York St. John University, with support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Connection program.

“Music is an integral part of the human experience,” said Lee Willingham, associate professor in the Faculty of Music, director of the LCMC and co-chair of the conference. “At this conference, we want to explore how community music can address and impact people who find themselves in challenging circumstances, or in the margins as we recognize how participatory music making enhances communities.”

The international community music conference at Laurier will feature live and participatory performances, workshops and jam sessions; interactive workshops and symposia including topics on music and First Nations people, music and older people, music and diversity and leisure; and more. Keynotes will be delivered by Associate Professor Brydie-Leigh Bartleet from Griffith University in Australia, Associate Professor Mary Cohen from the University of Iowa, and Dean of Laurier’s Faculty of Music Glen Carruthers.

The origins of community music can be attributed to work in the United Kingdom, where the intervention of music amongst at-risk youth is a means to create positive change in their development. Laurier’s Faculty of Music offers the only Master of Arts in Community Music and Bachelor of Music in Community Music in Canada.

The conference is open to the public. Community musicians and facilitators, undergraduate and graduate music students, music educators, studio instructors, improvisers, composers, songwriters, ensemble leaders, social innovators and change makers, and activists who care about community building and justice issues are all invited to attend. Everyone interested in growing in community music practice will learn from this event.

For more information, visit the conference webpage.

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Media Contacts:

Lee Willingham, Director, Laurier Centre for Music in the Community

E: lwillingham@wlu.ca
T: 519.884.0710 x3621

Kevin Crowley, Director, Communications and Public Affairs

E: kcrowley@wlu.ca
T: 519.884.0710 x3070

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