Faculty of Music

Research in the News

Emily Abrams Ansari, Assistant Professor in Music History at Western University is the recipient of two prestigious awards for her article: “'Vindication, Cleansing, Catharsis, Hope': Interracial Reconciliation and the Dilemmas of Multiculturalism in Kay and Dorr’s Jubilee (1976),” published in American Music 31/4 (Winter 2013): 379-419, University of Illinois Press.

Dr. Ansari’s article has garnered both the ASCAP Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award and the Kurt Weill Prize for outstanding article on Music Theater.  The [Kurt Weill] prize panelists noted that Ansari’s work “forces some profound—if at times uncomfortable—questions about art and politics in a difficult decade, and also about just what it might mean to write an ‘American’ opera. Ansari grounds her work deep in the archives, and also supports it with careful critical thinking. This is a truly impressive article that has already made a significant impact on the field.”

(Posted Nov 4 15)

Kevin Watson, Assistant Professor of Music Education, and the Western University Jazz Ensemble presented a workshop entitled, "Teach Styles Not Charts: A Conceptual Approach to Jazz Ensemble Rehearsals” at the Annual Conference of the Ontario Music Educators’ Association and the Canadian Music Industry Education Committee, iInspire#15, on Nov 7, 2015, Toronto, ON.

(Posted Nov 17 15)

Norma Coates, Associate Professor of Music and Media Studies at Western University, was a guest panelist at the Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival’s Symposium:  Transfixed: TV & Addiction, Saturday, Nov 7, 2015 at the Workman Theatre, 651 Dufferin St., Toronto ON.  

Dr. Coates was a panelist for Affliction Fiction (12:30 – 2:00 PM) which was the second of three panel discussions from 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM that day.

(Posted Nov 5 15)

Brian McMillan, Director of the Western Music Library, was invited to give a pre-concert talk for the Canadian Opera Company on:  Friday, Oct 23;  Sunday, Oct 25;  and twice on Saturday, Nov 7, 2015.  His presentation: "Orchestrating Memory: Barbara Monk Feldman's Pyramus and Thisbe" explored Canadian composer Barbara Monk Feldman's interest in the myth of Pyramus and Thisbe and introduced her musical aesthetic, using examples from her one-act opera recently premiered by the Canadian Opera Company. The talk is part of the COC's BMO Financial Group Pre-Performance Opera Chats.

(Posted Nov 4 15)

Patricia Green - Mezzo-soprano and Associate Professor at Western University
Livewire 6: Poetry of Song, Music of Words
Thursday – Saturday, Oct. 22 – 24, 2015
Earl and Darielle Linehan Concert Hall
University of Maryland Baltimore County

In its sixth season, this year’s Livewire contemporary music festival at UMBC explored the connection between words and music with Resident Guest Artist Patricia Green. How have poetry and literature influenced the development and trajectory of contemporary music movement? What writings have inspired individual composers? How does poetry exist in music that doesn’t have words?

Hailed for her “singing with molten resonance,” mezzo-soprano Patricia Green was the featured soloist with Ruckus, UMBC’s faculty new music ensemble on October 22nd, and in a chamber music concert with faculty members on October 24th. Both performances linked historic texts to modern text and music.

Works performed included:

(Posted Nov 20 15)

Lisa Philpott, Research and Instructional Services Librarian, Western Music LIbrary and Joanne Paterson of Library Information Resource Management, Western Libraries, presented at the Canadian Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centers (CAML): "The Louis Achille Delaquerrière Album: Using Flickr as an Aid to Collaborative Research." Ottawa, ON, Jun 4 2015

Lisa also presented a revised version of the same paper at the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentations Centres (IAML) and the International Musicological Society (IMS) joint IAML/IMS Congress in New York, The Julliard School, Jun 21-26, 2015.

(Posted Nov 11 15)

Robert Toft has been awarded a Distinguished International Visitors Fellowship, funded by the Australian Research Council, for a two-month visit to the Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions in Sydney (April and May 2016). During the fellowship, Robert will work with singers in several cities on the old bel canto style of delivery and co-write a paper on singing in Handel’s operas with one of the Centre’s Australian associate investigators.

(Posted Sept 22 15)

Katie Overy has returned as a Visiting Professor in Brain, Mind and Music Learning in 2015. Overy is Director of the Institute for Music in Human and Social Development at Edinburgh University an interdisciplinary research and teaching centre investigating and applying music as a therapeutic, educational, artistic and social tool.

Overy holds degrees in music and psychology from the University of Edinburgh and the University of Sheffield, UK and has also studied at the Zoltan Kodaly Pedagogical Institute of Music, Hungary. She conducted postdoctoral work in fMRI techniques and neuroimaging of musical processing with Gottfried Schlaug at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre and Harvard Medical School.

Overy’s groundbreaking research in the field of the Neurosciences and Music has established her as a leading international scholar in the field. During her visiting professorship at Western she is expected to be working to establish research relationships between the Don Wright Faculty of Music, Western’s Brain and Mind Institute and the Auditory Development Lab at McMaster University.  Plans are also underway for a pilot research project to consolidate these research relationships. This will provide exciting opportunities for students.

(Posted Sept 22 15)

Western Music professor James Grier was awarded the 2013 Margaret Wage Labarge Prize for books published in 2012. His book, Ademari Cabannensis, Opera Liturgica et Poetica: Musica cum Textibus, was selected by a committee of peers as the best book published by a Canadian scholar in that year. Here is what the committee had to say about the work:

The committee unanimously agreed that Grier’s monumental two-volume critical edition of the works of the eleventh century monk Adémar of Chabannes was a scholarly achievement of the highest order. Many of the musical texts transcribed here have not previously appeared in modern editions. Committee members praised the meticulous scholarship evident in the introduction and the transcriptions, and they noted the similarly high quality of the philological work. They also drew attention to the elegance and clarity of the written presentation. The committee believes that this work not only makes a significant contribution as to medieval musicology, but that those contributions will be of lasting scholarly value. 

The prize consists of an honorary membership in the society for three years, $300, and a calligraphic</x> certificate commemorating the achievement. Dr. Grier has also been invited to share his work at a future congress in Ottawa in 2015 and Calgary in 2016.

(Posted Jun 20 14)

Norma Coates was featured in an article in the Western News
'It was 50 years ago today': Sullivan, Beatles strike early chords of rock mythology (January 2014)

(Posted Jan 30 14)

Hear our researchers talk about their research. View the video interviews below:

Dr. Robert Toft

Dr. Emily Ansari