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Class Notes - Don Wright Faculty of Music

We want to hear from you. Have you taken on a new job, got married, had a baby, taken the trip of your dreams? Please let us know so we can share your news with former classmates and with the Western alumni family around the world. Submit your class note today!

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Stephanie Tritchew

Stephanie Tritchew, BMus’10, MMus’12, was an Emerging Artist with Calgary Opera for the 14/15 season. She performed the role of Madeline Audebert in the Canadian premiere of Silent Night, Jean in Le portrait de Manon, and covering Cherubino and Mercedes. Recent roles for Stephanie include Nancy (Albert Herring), Mrs. Grose (Turn of the Screw), Cherubino (Marriage of Figaro). She competed as a semi-finalist in the 2014 Eckardt-Gramatte competition and toured southern Ontario with The Bicycle Opera Project. At Western Stephanie studied with Professor Sophie Roland.

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Dennis Carpenter retirement

Friends, colleagues and music classmates gathered in Unionville in mid-October to celebrate the career of Dennis Carpenter, BMus’75, who retired from the Toronto District school board in 2014. Dennis taught instrumental music for many years at Dr. Norman Bethune CI, and Sir John A. Macdonald CI, as well as other schools. Pictured with Dennis (second from right) are (L to R) are John Phillips, BMus’76; Ray Tizzard, BMus’77, MMus’82; Dennis Beck, BMus’77; and Bill Gale, BMus’77.

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Due to her success in “The New York Tang Dynasty Competition,” the Shen-Yun Performing Arts Centre asked Cindy Zhang, BMus’12, MMus’14, to audition in New York for their world tour, after which she was invited to join the tour. After much deliberation Cindy decided to continue her planned path to accept a scholarship to attend Queen’s University to study Law. As Cindy says, “The work load is, of course, insane, but lucky for me (at least for now)... it is as demanding as my dual undergrad, EXCEPT none of the added anxiety or worry about performing a song in class and forgetting the words!”

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After several decades of teaching music, Judith Setton, BMus’82, MMus’15, received her Master's of Music in Music Education at Convocation in 2015 – one week after her youngest son graduated with his degree and began working in his field and her eldest son moved out on his own to pursue his dreams!

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Peter Cavell, BMus'04 and Megan Phillips, BMus'05, teamed up to write the brand new musical PEOPLE SUCK, which premiered at the Randolph Theatre as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival. In addition to featuring Arthur Wright, BMus'07, in the caset, if was directed by and featured various Second City MainStage Alumni. They were thrilled to have a mini reunion in a professional capacity.

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David Palmer, BMus’81, was re-appointed as vice-president (advancement) at University of Toronto.

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Selana Fung

Selana Fung, BMus'98, became a research fellow at the Institute of Education, London, in September 2015. Her research is funded by the Hong Kong Government through the Arts and Humanities Research Council in the UK.

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Dr. Jamie Hillman, BMus’05, accepted a position as assistant professor of music at Gordon College (on Boston's north shore) and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in music education and directs the Gordon College Choir and Men's Choir.

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Cheryl Campbell

Cheryl Campbell, BMus’97, Art. Dip’98, released a fundraising CD of classical music for babies. All proceeds go to establish music therapy in the NICU at Mount Sinai Hospital. The CD is called Once, in a Lullaby. More information can be found at musicforpreemies.ca.

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Darcea Hiltz, BMus’79, is retired music teacher who creates vocal jazz quartet and sings with high school and local swing bands as part of education and community outreach programs to educate and promote the jazz vocal group idiom.

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Dennis Beck, BMus’77, returned to Western as a member of the Faculty in the Department of Music Performance Studies, where he is conducting the Symphonic Band and teaching Instrumental Ensembles Techniques in the winter term. Beck, already a member of the DWFoM Alumni Wall of Fame, for 20 years taught music, coached soloists and chamber ensembles, and conducted bands at Unionville High School’s Arts York program in Markham, ON.

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Katy Clark, BMus’13, received a $40,000 scholarship to the University of Michigan’s Masters in Performance Program where in 2014 she played Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte as well as Sister Rose in Dead Man Walking. Katy also played Cunegonde in Candide as well as Blanche in Dialogues des Carmelites with Opera NUOVA.

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After three critically-acclaimed recordings as a member of The Ambassador Duo (with saxophonist Clifford Leaman), Derek Parsons, BMus'83, has released his first solo CD recording. The disc features piano music of Franz Liszt, mostly based on inspirations from his Italian experiences. It is available through Equilibrium Recordings, and through the usual download channels.

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Carmen Gassi, BMus’79, BEd’82, MMus’06, White Oaks Secondary School, Oakville was one of five Western alumni named recipients of the 2014 Prime Minister’s Award in Teaching Excellence.

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Vanessa Oude-Reimerink

Vanessa Oude-Reimerink, BMus’11, joined the Emerging Artist Development Program with the Calgary Opera for the 2014/2015 season. With Calgary Opera, she will be singing Barbarina in the mainstage production of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and she will be covering Frasquita in Bizet’s Carmen. In the “Christmas at the Opera” emerging artist showcase, she will be singing the role of Aurore in Massenet’s Le Portrait de Manon. Recently, Vanessa has performed the roles of Tytania in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte.

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David Diston

A native of Niagara Falls Ontario, David Diston, BMus’12, joined Calgary Opera last fall as a member of their 2014-2015 Emerging Artist Program. He will appear as William Dale in the Canadian premier of Silent Night by Kevin Puts, and Le Dancaire in Carmen. Mr. Diston’s past performance credits include the Male Chorus in the premier of Antigone, presented as part of the 2013 Toronto New Music Festival hosted by the UofT. Most recently he made his debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in C. Nielsen’s Symphony No. 3 under the direction of Maestro Thomas Dausgaard. At Western David studied with Professor Sophie Roland.

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Andy Braet in uniform

Andy Braet, BMus’07, in 2012 enlisted in the British Army as a musician and shortly thereafter became a member of Her Majesty’s Irish Guards band, based in London, UK. Wearing the iconic red tunic and bearskin hat, Andy regularly performs in the Changing of the Guard ceremony as well as many high profile events, including Trooping the Colour, The Edinburgh Tattoo, and private functions for members of the royal family and other diplomats. He has toured internationally with the band and was featured as a soloist in Canada, Belgium, Cyprus and across the United Kingdom. Most recently, Andy was awarded top prize in the Household Division Musician of the Year competition.

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Sarah Morrison, BMus’01, is in her eighth season as the Artistic Director of the Oakville Children’s Choir. She is also the Director of Choral Music at Appleby College where she has taught vocal music for 10 years. Her choirs have been recorded by CBC radio and have won awards at both the national and international level. Most recently, Sarah led the OCC Senior Choir to a gold medal win at the 8th World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia in July 2014 and made her Carnegie Hall conducting debut in 2013 with her Cantus Chamber Choir. Sarah is the 2010 winner of the Ontario Arts Council Leslie Bell Award for Choral Conducting. Sarah was excited to return to the Don Wright Faculty of Music in the Winter semester to present a guest lecture to undergraduate choral conducting students.

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Hip Hop Within and Without the Academy

Karen Snell, PhD’07, is the co-author of Hip-Hop Within and Without the Academy (Lexington Books) which explores why hip-hop has become such a meaningful musical genre for so many musicians, artists, and fans around the world. Through multiple interviews with hip-hop emcees, DJs, and turntablists, Snell and co-author Johan Söderman explore how these artists learn and what this music means in their everyday lives.

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Jarrett McCourt, BMus’13, recently accepted the Principal Tuba position of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida, which is an elite training orchestra for musicians who are on the cusp of winning a playing job in an orchestra. He recently completed his Master's degree in Tuba Performance at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, on full scholarship, as well.

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Karina Miki Douglas, MLIS’07, and James Mits Ballard Takayesu, BMus’87, MLIS’89, were engaged Nov. 29. Douglas works as a reference librarian at the Timmins Public Library, while Takayesu is the principal bassoon player for the Timmins Symphony Orchestra and woodwind instructor for the symphony’s Geoffrey James Lee School of Music. They plan to wed in late 2016 or early 2017.

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Zachary Read, BMus’12, Nova Scotia, was named a semi-finalist for the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition, open to emerging singer-actors ages 19-32 worldwide.

Please note: Gazetteer notices, like all portions of the print magazine, appear in an online version of Alumni Gazette and the contents may turn up during a web search. Publicly available personal information may be collected for the purpose of updating alumni records as well as for the purpose of recognizing outstanding achievement or distinguished service by alumni in University publications. Western respects your privacy. At any time you have the right to request that your personal information cease to be used to recognize outstanding achievement or distinguished service in University publications. For more information or to make a request about the kinds of contact you would like to receive, please contact the Operations Administrator, Advancement Services, 519-661-4176 or 1-800-420-7519, fax 519-661-4182, e-mail advser@uwo.ca. Inclusion is at the discretion of the editor.

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