Alumni Updates

Joseph Wearing (BA’58, far right), Deanne (Distefan) Bogdan (BA’59, far left) and Lenore (Chambers) Beatty (BA’49, seated) are members of the Master Class Players. The group gives piano recitals for fundraising and community events in the Toronto area. Lenore teaches privately in Toronto. Deanne is professor emerita, OISE, University of Toronto; and Joe is professor emeritus, political science, Trent University.

Berthold Carrière (MMus’72) was named Director of Music Emeritus by the Stratford Festival.

“Bert has made an enormous contribution to music at Stratford,” said Antoni Cimolino, artistic director. “It was under his tenure that the performance of musicals became such a source of strength and renown for our Festival. He is also, to my mind, one of the finest composers for the theatre. He is especially gifted in setting Shakespeare’s words to music. In his setting, the words and their meanings never seemed so clear and touching. And his melodies sweetly stay in your mind as a fond memory to savour.”

Lida Szkwarek (BMus’09, MMus’11) won first place in the Upper Midwest Regional competition of the Metropolitan Opera National Auditions in Minneapolis in February. More than 1,500 singers from around the world participated. Lida was one of 20 singers – and the only Canadian - to progress to the semi-finals at the Met in New York.

Three of four winners of the NYCO Mozart Vocal Competition were Western alumni: Leigh Allen (BMus’04, MMus’10), Keith Lam (ArtDip’07), Lauren Phillips (BMus’04, MMus’06). Released by NYCO Feb. 11.

John Noubarian (BMusA’79) was inducted into the London Music Hall of Fame with Garth Hudson April 12 at the Jack Richardson Music Awards. James Reaney wrote in the London Free Press: “Noubarian was already one of London’s top pianists in the 1950s, when Hudson emerged from Medway Secondary School as a top player. Noubarian had arrived from Brantford as a teenager to play with the old Ted Pudney dance band. After working in the United States during the 1950s, Noubarian returned here. He has played at London clubs and concerts over the decades, including a celebrated stint in the 1960s at the old Campbells, where his trio backed such jazz giants as Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Carmen McRae, Ernestine Anderson and a host of others.

“In the early 1960s, Hudson went on the road with Bob Dylan, Ronnie Hawkins as a member of the legendary Hawks and then became famous with the other ex-Hawks as the keyboardist with The Band.” Hudson studied piano with Clifford von Kuster and theory with T.C. Chattoe.

Caroline Colantonio (BMus’10) was a member of the cast for Mirvish production in Toronto of Les Miserables. Caroline was in the ensemble and understudy for Cosette.

Barbara (BMus’97) and Jason Hill (BMus’95, BEd’96) are two grads who continue their music through their careers and their family. Barbara is principal horn with the Hartford Symphony in Connecticut. She has been a member of the Vancouver Symphony, and performed with numerous Canadian orchestras, including Calgary Philharmonic and Orchestra London Canada. As a freelance artist, Barbara played with groups throughout North America, and has been featured on CBS broadcasts. Jason teaches music and is band director for North Shore School District in Long Island. They have four children, age four to 11, who form their own string quartet.

Andrea (Sherlock) Kalyn (BMus’87, MMus’90) was appointed Dean of the Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College. In her previous position as the Conservatory’s associate dean for academic affairs, Andrea led a team of faculty and administrators to form the Creativity & Leadership Project, a cross-campus initiative fostering entrepreneurship. She also secured more than $2 million in startup funding for a business-accelerator program, LaunchU, which began in 2013.

Piano Technology graduates are working around the world. Two of the latest include James Beckwith, (2012), hired by Ulrich Gerhartz to work at Steinway Hall in London, England; and Scott Matsuda, (2013), hired by the University of British Columbia as a full-time technician.

Adrianne Pieczonka (BMus’85) is the recipient of the Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award. Given biannually in areas of keyboard artistry, art photography and singing by the Ontario Arts Foundation, the award honours the career of a working artist. The only other singer to receive the award (started in 1998) was Judith Forst in 2003.

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