Dean's Greetings - September 2022

Dear alumni, friends, and colleagues,

Dean Michael KimIt is hard to believe that over a full year has passed since I began my term as Dean of the Don Wright Faculty of Music. There is so much to be grateful for, whether it is preparing to welcome a new entering class of talented undergraduate and graduate music majors; the dedication and very hard work of our staff and faculty in ensuring the best possible, in-person, educational experience for our students; the continued generosity and enthusiasm of our audiences, alumni, and donors; and as always, our strong collective sense of community responsibility and family-like atmosphere that are the long-standing, foundational hallmarks of our dynamic and caring community.

We have an exciting year of live, in-person scholarly presentations and musical performances planned for our audiences. In addition to showcasing the talents of our exceptional students and faculty, many of Canada's top performers will grace our stage, including Artists-in-Residence New Orford String Quartet (with our own Juno award-winning Sharon Wei on viola) and Tafelmusik; violinist Scott St. John, the TorQ percussion quartet, Parsons and Poole Concert and Masterclass artist Louise Bessette, and chamber group Musicians from Marlboro on their only Canadian stop this season. (view all events)

Our community is also pleased to welcome two new faculty members this year. Dr. Adam Bell, Associate Professor of Music Education and Canada Research Chair nominee (Music, Equity, and Social Justice) returns home to Ontario from the University of Calgary and brings an impressive track record in securing SSHRC grants as principal investigator, and considerable experience with equity, diversity, social justice, decolonization, and disability justice issues. Dr. Denis Jiron, Assistant Professor of Trombone, comes to us with superlative performing credentials, including regular performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Detroit Symphony, and collaborations with luminaries such as Stevie Wonder, Queen Latifah, and Sting. He will bring his considerable experience and talent to students in our trombone studio and coaching popular/salsa band music combos and ensembles.

As we move forward this year, stay tuned for more details of our academic and strategic planning processes, including our first student cohort of CLEE (Don Wright Faculty of Music Community Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Engagement Laboratory) awardees. We are also excited to announce a new collaboration with London Symphonia, which will provide five of our string students with a vital experiential learning opportunity with London’s professional orchestra, designed for students studying to become professional musicians. These London Symphonia fellows will be invited to perform as part of London Symphonia’s 2022-23 Main Series Concerts. The Don Wright Faculty of Music gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Western’s Strategic Priorities Fund which has made these wonderful opportunities possible.

Never has your ongoing support as our ambassadors and donors been more vital to fund and sustain our students through these unprecedented and turbulent times. On behalf of the students, staff, and faculty in the Don Wright faculty of Music, I warmly thank you for your continued generous support and engagement with our community.

Michael Kim
Dean, Don Wright Faculty of Music

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