June 29, 2021Print | PDF
Cynthia Johnston Turner will begin her five-year term as the new dean of Wilfrid Laurier University’s Faculty of Music on July 1. Johnston Turner, who was most recently the director of bands, artistic director of Contemporary Chamber Ensemble and professor of music at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia, took some time to answer a few questions about life outside of the classroom.
What is the best advice you've ever been given?
"Be yourself." Which is a lot harder than it sounds and takes real practice. And time.
What is your most-used app?
What is your most-visited website?
Right now? It's wlu.ca.
What is the last book you read?
I always have a few stacked up on my bedside table. Currently, they are Community Music at the Borders edited by my new colleague Lee Willingham, Dare to Lead by Brené Brown, How to Be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi, and A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. I just picked up Beach Read by Emily Henry for some fun summer reading. And I’m trying to sign out The Vanishing Half (Brit Bennett), but so is everyone else! Books are like music in the sense that I'll never be able to consume everything I'd like to in my lifetime.
The last Netflix series you watched?
I'm not sure if I watched these on Netflix or Amazon Prime, or Apple TV or some other streaming service (the new cable?), but Ted Lasso and Schitt's Creek come to mind. Both are brilliant in their ability to be sweetly touching and pretty hilarious at the same time. I've watched all seven seasons of The West Wing an embarrassing number of times. I'm a huge fan of Aaron Sorkin dialogue and wit. Recent documentaries that I've found incredibly illuminating and important are Disclosure, which challenges our stereotypes regarding gender, and The Social Dilemma, a film that convinced me to delete a lot of apps and find a new search engine (check out qwant.com).
Who are you most inspired by?
I find inspiration in many, many people – authors, family, social activists, musicians, teachers, students, leaders, change-makers, deep thinkers – but also in nature. I'm constantly inspired by my dog, Mister Mulligan, who practices joy, simplicity, love, humour, non-judgement, vulnerability and unwavering focus balanced with a healthy amount of “chill” every single day.
Who sent the last text message you received?
Probably my sister-in-law, Beth. Or my husband, Peter. Or one of my grad students. Oh wait, no... it was Canadian Tire telling me that my Mazda passed the Ontario safety test!
What is your dream vacation destination?
There are some beautiful sites in China that I've only seen in pictures which I would love to explore. I lived in Paris, France for a time in my youth and would love to revisit some old haunts. A “dream vacation” would depend on how tired I was, but essentially anywhere there is water to swim in, warm temperatures, places to explore on a walk or hike or run, interesting food and people, and good wine... not necessarily in that order!
For more information about Johnston Turner and her background, read the April 23 appointment announcement.
We see you are accessing our website on IE8. We recommend you view in Chrome, Safari, Firefox or IE9+ instead.×