Music at Trent University
Trent University. Non-denominational, predominantly undergraduate institution in Peterborough, Ont, with some graduate programs at the master's and doctoral levels. Trent University was opened officially in 1964 by the governor general, Georges Vanier. Emphasis has been on small-group teaching in the liberal arts. Its interdisciplinary BA in Cultural Studies, established in 1979, was the first of its kind in North America; the university initiated Canada's first PH D program in Cultural Studies in 2007.
By 2011 Trent still did not have a music department but offered two credit courses in music and society and world music through the Cultural Studies program. Streams of study include Image, Sound, and Performance; Writing and Narrative; Film, Video, and Media; and Social/Critical Theory. Honorary degrees have been conferred on Edith Fowke (1975), whose folksong collecting has included shanty songs from Peterborough County; Gilles Vigneault (1975); Gordon Lightfoot (1979); Maureen Forrester (1983); R. Murray Schafer (1989); John Kim Bell (1992); Donnell Leahy and Natalie MacMaster (2008).
Music Activities and Resources
In 1969 Joseph Wearing, a professor at the university, instituted the Town and Gown Concerts, a joint university-community series presenting local and touring Canadian artists which continued until 1979. The various colleges of Trent have sponsored occasional concerts including Jazz Goes to College, and an annual one-day Trent Music Festival featuring rock, blues, jazz, and folk.
In 1973 the Chamber Players of Toronto inaugurated the university's 350-seat theatre. Extra-curricular music has included Gilbert & Sullivan productions, a music society, and a jazz club. Champlain College created an in-residence appointment 1975-7 for the conductor of the Peterborough Symphony Orchestra. The Trent University Choir was formed circa 1985.
Trent formed the Institute for Popular Culture in the early 1980s, headed by Andrew Wernick into the early 1990s. Its Audio Archive housed a major collection that included more than 19,000 tapes of Canadian music recorded between 1950 and 1980 that were made available by arrangement with PROCAN and the National Library of Canada (now Library and Archives Canada). Material was also received from CAPAC and the CBC.