COVID-19 Updates at Don Wright Faculty of Music

To all members of the Don Wright Faculty of Music community,

Along with Western University, we continue to monitor the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic situation and take direction from federal, provincial and local health authorities.

Western’s main website remains the central source for up-to-date information from the University. Please follow this as your primary source of information. I will also continue to regularly email you directly with updates specific to our Music community.

To address additional and unique circumstances applicable to the Don Wright Faculty of Music and its diverse community, additional information and/or specific contact information for you are available below.

The information below will be updated when new information is available.

Betty Anne Younker
Dean, Don Wright Faculty of Music

Last updated July 28, 2020

Current students

Fall planning - important update from Western's President Alan Shepard to all students - added May 29, 2020

Student Resources Hub - one-stop resource for all Western students

Digital Student Experience - support and resources for all Western students

Fall planning: For us in the Don Wright Faculty of Music, we are committed to having some face-to-face experiences within the mixed model detailed by President Shepard, all of which will adhere to physical distancing, room capacity, and other protocols related to health and safety. Safety and health is critical, as is offering students a musical experience. Our current working model plans for approximately 40% of face-to-face for lessons, ensembles, aspects of first-year classes, some tutorials, some lab based courses, and aspects of the GIM classes. As always, all is subject to health and safety guidelines issued by our local health authorities and Western.

Access to Practice Rooms (updated June 26, 2020)
Music Building and Talbot College remain closed, per direction from Western and local health authorities. Students will have access to practice rooms when the Fall Term begins. If practice spaces come available before the beginning of the Fall Term we will notify the student body and update this webpage. We are working on various plans to ensure that health and safety are at the core of our decisions but also understand that access to practice rooms is essential.

Graduate students who need access to space in either Talbot College or the Music Building for research purposes require permission from the Dean, in consultation with the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Department Chair. Please contact Dean Betty Anne Younker by email for next steps

As always, Music Building practice rooms (when they are safe to re-open and protocols are in place) are solely designated for students registered in Music programs and courses (including lessons and ensembles). Please email with additional questions specific to the use of practice rooms.


Please continue to check your UWO email address for the latest updates specific to your Music studies at the Don Wright Faculty of Music. All Departments and Administrative Offices continue to be fully operational virtually to meet all your academic needs. In addition to important Western-wide information, you will continue to receive updates from the Dean, your Department Chair, and/or Associate Dean (Undergraduate or Graduate Studies) with pertinent information. We know you continue to receive many emails given the ever-evolving situation and we thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding. Please reach out or reply to any of the emails you have received if you have questions. Again, we remain available, virtually open and fully operational to support you and address any issues. You will continue to receive information about the fall by email as soon as possible.  

Primary staff contacts for current students:


Graduate students
In addition to information provided for all students above, look for additional and continued updates by email from your program and refer to the dedicated webpage from the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS). General inquiries: 


Future and incoming students

Thriving Foundations - Western-led 3-part transition program designed to make sure you can thrive as a Mustang.

Virtual Open Houseexplore virtual connections and opportunities at Western Music from home

Welcome to Western - main Western site for all future students

Accepted your offer to Western Music? Congratulations! We're proud to welcome you to the Don Wright Faculty of Music. Undergraduates, we look forward to working with you and helping you during Summer Academic Orientation (SAO) and Thriving Foundations. Please continue to check your email for important updates and deadlines from Western and from us directly. If you have questions at any time, please reach out to our Student Services team: Undergraduate - or Graduate 

Regardless of your planned program of study at the undergraduate or graduate level, we assure you the Admissions Office continues their work processing applications and offers, and remains committed to processing offers in a timely manner. You can review your status on your Student Center ( at any time. Please continue to monitor your email for continuing updates. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. We remain available, virtually open and fully operational to support you throughout the application process. The undergraduate (including artist diploma) admissions and admission webpage will also be updated as decisions and updates are made available, although please note that email remains the primary means of direct and personal communication with you.

Whether you are planning to join us in 2020, 2021, or beyond if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reply to our emails or reach out directly to Sasha Gorbasew at 

Undergraduate applicants can also visit Western's main "Welcome" website for general updates relating to University admissions.


Ensembles and Studio Lessons
Western's senior leadership team is working all-out on developing a mixed model that would preserve the safety of the University community, carefully follow ministry and public health regulations, and preserve as much of the in-person educational experience for which Western is known.

At the Don Wright Faculty of Music, as noted above, we are committed to having some face-to-face ensemble experiences, all of which will adhere to physical distancing, room capacity, and other protocols related to health and safety. Safety and health is critical, as is offering students a musical experience.

Ensemble auditions: Auditions for Music students will take place virtually in the summer, with complete details shared via email from the Music Performance Studies Department. Audition excerpts for 2020-2021 are available online (scroll to the bottom of the page for access information)

Non-Music students: We continue to welcome and encourage non-Music students to audition for ensembles. Auditions for non-Music students will take place virtually. Deadline to submit your virtual audition is September 11. Visit the non-Music student ensemble information webpage for details.

All questions relating to Ensembles and Studio lessons should be directed to the Music Performance Studies Department 


Music Library - Western Libraries
Visit Western Libraries COVID-19 webpage for up-to-date information, including new information added on June 22, 2020 about expanded access to print collections. Faculty, staff and graduate students should also continue to read important email updates from Music Library Director Brian McMillan. Contact with any Music Library-specific questions after you've reviewed Western Libraries central website.


For additional information not covered on Western’s main website main website, please refer to emails from the Dean, your Department Chair, and/or Associate Dean (Undergraduate or Graduate Studies), and Assistant Dean of Research. Significant resources and support are available to all instructors and researchers at all levels. Please contact the Chair of your Department if you are unsure of next steps after reviewing all the information available to you.

The latest Western-wide communications from Research Western are available here:


In addition to monitoring Western’s main website, please look for emails from your supervisor, the Dean, and Western’s central HR Department. Thank you for all you are doing to keep our community informed and safe during these unprecedented times. Understandably, it is also a time of uncertainty and stress. As such, please remember that the Employee and Family Assistance Program is available 24/7 to all Western Employees, By phone: 1-844-880-9142, on the web, and by downloading the My EAP app


Audience members
All in-person events (including recitals, concerts, lectures, conferences, etc.) are cancelled or closed to the public until further notice. No in-person public events are being scheduled at this time. We look forward to sharing our music with you once again in the future! Our community continues to be strengthened by your ongoing support during these unprecedented times. Please continue to connect with at any time if you have any questions, or call 519-661-3767 to leave a message. We are working remotely but will get back to you promptly during business hours.

If you haven't already done so, please join our email list to receive up-to-date information this summer once plans have been made for our 2020-2021 concert season. We are committed to offering you musical experiences, and are working towards our usual timeline of mid-August to launch next year's season. Complete the sign-up form or email to sign up. 


Public facility bookings (including theatre rentals)
The University has cancelled all public room/facilities bookings (regardless of the size of the gathering) until further notice. This includes all performance spaces (Paul Davenport Theatre, von Kuster Hall, Studio 242) and any other facility that is available for public rental. We will review future bookings on a case-by-case basis, based on University and local Health Unit direction. Please reach out to Concert Manager Louis D’Alton to discuss options.


Guest artists
All public events and in-person instruction have been cancelled until further notice, which means a number of guest artists and visitors are no longer able to physically come to Western. If you have not yet been contacted by a representative from the Don Wright Faculty of Music, please contact them directly or email and we’ll put you in touch. As planning for the fall and winter terms continue, thank you for your continued support and patience! We look forward to welcoming you to Western - whether in person or virtually - as part of our commitment to students to bring world-class artistry to our stages and classrooms.


Outreach programs
New Horizons Band is cancelled for the Fall 2020 term. Young Winds has been cancelled for the Winter 2021 Term. Russian Lyric Diction and Romance Intensive has been cancelled. Atlantic Music Festival 2020 has been cancelled. Accademia Europea Dell’Opera (AEDO) has been cancelled. All public Music Education programs and workshops previously scheduled for July have been cancelled (grad students may still complete these courses - connect with your Graduate Studies contact above for more details).


In the news

Pandemic has led to global outbreak of music - via Western News, March 25, 2020

More news


We know this is not a comprehensive list and information is evolving. If you are unsure who to turn to with your specific Don Wright Faculty of Music question, please reach out to and we will respond or re-direct your inquiry ASAP.