Music at University of Victoria | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Music at University of Victoria

University of Victoria. Non-denominational university in Victoria, BC. It is the successor of Victoria College, affiliated 1903-62 first with McGill University, then with the University of British Columbia.

Music at University of Victoria

University of Victoria. Non-denominational university in Victoria, BC. It is the successor of Victoria College, affiliated 1903-62 first with McGill University, then with the University of British Columbia. After gaining its autonomy in 1963 as the University of Victoria it expanded rapidly to offer undergraduate and graduate programs in the arts and sciences.

Music Instruction

Administration and Faculty
Although it accepted its first students in 1966, the Department of Music at the University of Victoria commenced officially in 1967. Prior to that date, some music instruction had been offered by the Faculty of Education. The department moved into its own new building in 1978 and became the School of Music in 1979. The English musicologist Gerald Hendrie 1967-9, Phillip T. Young 1969-77, and Rudolf Komorous 1977-80 were chairs of the Deparment of Music. The School of Music has had as its directors Komorous, violinist Paul Kling (1980-7), Gordana Lazarevich (1987-93), Michael Longton (1993-8; 1999-2004), Ian McDougall (1998-9), and Gerald King (beginning 2004).

In 1990-1 there were 24 full-time and 20 part-time members of the teaching staff, and in 2007-8 the School employed 21 full-time and 20 part-time faculty members. These have included Dániel Péter Biró, Benjamin Butterfield, Christopher Butterfield, John Celona, Eugene Dowling, Michelle Fillion, Jonathan Goldman, Kurt Kellan, William Kinderman, Patricia Kostek, Harald M. Krebs, Susan Lewis Hammond, Bruce E. More, Alexandra Pohran Dawkins, Lanny Pollet, Louis Ranger, Arthur Rowe, János Sándor, W. Andrew Schloss, Erich Schwandt, Colin Tilney, Bernard Turgeon, Bruce Vogt, Robin Wood, and Susan Young. Ian (Leonard) Bradley (b New Zealand 1925), the author of several bibliographical and analytical studies of Canadian music, taught 1971-87 at the university's Faculty of Education, where the staff has also included Benjamin Boldon, Frank Churchley (cross-appointed to the School of Music), Mary Kennedy, Gerald King, and R. Dale McIntosh.

Degrees and Programs
Music degrees offered at the University of Victoria by 1990 were B MUS (comprehensive, composition and theory, history and literature, performance, music education), MA (historical musicology, musicology with performance), M MUS (performance, composition), and PH D (historical musicology, composition - by special arrangement). In 2011 degrees also included a combined program in music and computer science. Student enrolment in 1990-1 included 180 undergraduate students and 25 graduate students; in 2007-8 there were 200 undergraduates with 35 graduate students. The first music graduates (spring, 1970) were Cheryl Borris and Christine Chester. The first PH D graduate was Paul Rice (1985). Maureen Forrester and Robin Wood received honorary LLDs in 1978, Honorary D MUS degrees have been awarded to Oscar Peterson (1981), Murray Adaskin (1984), Frances James (1984), Ida Halpern (1986), John Beckwith (1999), Henryk Gorecki (2000), Raffi Cavoukian (2004), and Gary Karr (2005).

Up to the mid-1970s applied music instruction at the University of Victoria was made available through an arrangement with the Victoria Conservatory. This was terminated after the school acquired its own complete performance faculty. By 1990 instruction was offered in all orchestral instruments, piano, harpsichord, organ, saxophone, voice, and classical guitar. The musicology program has expanded over the years to include subjects in ethnomusicology, and beginning in 1986, courses in jazz theory, history, and performance.

Performance, especially of contemporary music, has been emphasized at the University of Victoria. All undergraduate students have taken individual instruction in an instrument or voice. The undergraduate program in music education is administered jointly by the School of Music and the Faculty of Education, which is also responsible for pedagogy and methodology courses. The graduate programs in musicology focus on 18th- and 19th-century topics. Interdisciplinary approaches to musicology have been encouraged through the School's graduate student publication Musicological Explorations (formerly Fermata), begun in 2004.

Music Facilities and Resources

The Music Building at the University of Victoria includes 40 practice rooms; 24 studios and faculty offices; and 3 digital studios that contain professional recording and post-production equipment, sophisticated computer software, vintage analog and digital synthesis hardware, and a large general purpose digital signal processor. The School's large ensembles rehearse and perform in the university's 1300-seat University Centre Farquhar Auditorium, while smaller concerts are held in the 220-seat Phillip T. Young Recital Hall. Teaching and research are both supported by the extensive collection of scores, books, and recordings in the McPherson Library. The School also has a collection of Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque replica instruments (some acquired after 1970 from the Manitoba University Consort collection), and an organ, built by Georges Mayer of Alsace and donated by Joyce Clearihue.

Music Performances and Events

The School's student ensembles, all of which give regular public performances, have included the University of Victoria Orchestra (established 1969), the Wind Symphony, Chorus, Chamber Singers, the Jazz Big Band, the Philomela Women's Choir (formed 1994), Opera Workshop, Sonic Lab (new music ensemble), and Collegium Musicum (Victoria). The School of Music at the University of Victoria presents about 130 concerts a year, including the Faculty Chamber Music Series and weekly student recitals. Faculty ensembles at the school have included the Lafayette String Quartet (Ann Elliott-Goldschmid and Sharon Stanis, violins; Joanna Hood, viola; and Pamela Highbaugh Aloni, cello), artists-in-residence beginning September 1991; and the brass quintet Brass West.

The School of Music at the University of Victoria has hosted a number of conferences, including an international Beethoven symposium (1986), "The Adaskin Years" (1988), the International Double-Reed Society's conference (1988), "Alternatives to Monotonality" (1989), "Schubert and the Wanderer" (1993), and "Bartók's String Quartets: Tradition and Legacy" (2008).

Further Reading