Carleton University's music department was founded in 1967 with John Churchill (b London, 29 May 1920, d Sidbury, England, 1 Dec 1996) as its first chair. Besides establishing the B MUS program, Churchill, who retired in 1981, introduced Canadian music as a subject in the Canadian graduate studies program in 1975. He was succeeded as chair by Alan Gillmor in 1976, Gillmor by David Piper (see Deirdre Piper) in 1980, and Piper by Bryan Gillingham in 1984. In 1991 the department joined Carleton's School for Studies in Art and Culture (SSAC). John Shepherd was the School's first director 1991-7, followed by Bryan Gillingham as director and chair of music 1997-2009.
The music program at Carleton University has concentrated on academic and sociological topics. Although performance programs were introduced in 1975, the department has continued to follow a humanist and interdisciplinary approach. In addition to emphasizing Canadian music - Carleton held the first courses on Canadian and Aboriginal music in Canada - the department offers classes ranging from composition to popular music studies. Students may also enrol in the department's practicum program, which has provided practical training at such cultural institutions as the CBC, Library and Archives Canada, and the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada.
In 1990-1 Carleton offered the following music degrees: BA (music major, general); B MUS (honours, musicology, composition); and MA (Canadian studies). In 2011 degrees included the BA, B MUS, and an MA in music and culture (begun in 2008). In 1979 a diploma was introduced, designed for private music teachers wishing to upgrade their qualifications; the program was discontinued in 1984. The department also offered a diploma in sonic design from 2000 to 2008.
In 1988-9 there were 55 teachers (6 full-time and 49 part-time), 101 undergraduates registered in degree programs and 872 students enrolled in music courses. In 2008-9 the music department comprised 41 undergraduate and graduate students, with a faculty of 17 teachers (11 full-time, 6 sessional). Carleton University has conferred honorary LLDs on Oscar Peterson (1973), Maureen Forrester (1979), R. Murray Schafer (1980), Barbara Clark (2006), and Buffy Sainte-Marie (2008); and honorary D MUS degrees on Mario Bernardi (2001) and Marc-André Hamelin (2005).
Carleton's faculty has included Willy Amtmann, Michael Bussière, Lisette Canton, Patrick Cardy, James Deaville, William Echard, Robert Fleming, Jennifer Giles, Anna Hoefnagels, Elaine Keillor, Alexis Luko, John Shepherd, Jesse Stewart, Paul Théberge, and James Wright. Joan Maxwell and Iain Phillips were among the part-time staff, which has included instructors in traditional instruments and voice, as well as in harpsichord, harp, early music instruments, jazz piano, guitar, and saxophone.
Music Facilities, Resources, and Ensembles
In addition to the Audio-Visual Resource Centre, which has housed approximately 8,000 recordings, the music department at Carleton University has had access to a computer music studio and an electronic music studio, established in 1971 and originally equipped for recording, signal processing and voltage-controlled analog synthesis. Facilities and equipment were updated from the mid-1970s to 1999, and in 2000 a new computer studio was added. Carleton also owns the largest collection of early music instruments in eastern Ontario.
In addition to the Carleton University Choir and the National Capital Concert Band, performing groups have represented a variety of styles, including early music, jazz, chamber and contemporary music, Indian classical music and African drumming. Weekly student recitals have also been presented. In 2010 the department initiated a five-day, auditioned summer jazz camp, offering master classes, courses in improvization, and performance opportunities for teens and adults.
Music Events, Conferences, and Research Projects
In 1979 the music department, in co-operation with TVOntario, produced a 20-program TV series entitled Music in Western Civilization directed by John Churchill. The series engaged staff and students of the music department and was well received when it was broadcast 1981-2.
In 1987 an exchange agreement was signed with Humboldt University, Berlin, which provided for joint efforts in the study of popular music. Staff, student, and research exchanges between the two universities were held from 1986 to the late 1980s.
Major conferences hosted by the department have included "Popular Music in the University" (1985); the international symposium "I Feel the Air of Another Planet: Schoenberg's Chamber Music, Schoenberg's World" (2007); "Transcendence, Reality, and Universality in the Music of Joseph Haydn" (2009); and the annual conference of the Society for American Music (2010). The Carleton University music department has maintained research affiliations with the Canadian Musical Heritage Society, the Centre for First Peoples' Music and Research, and the Centre for Indigenous Research, Culture, Language and Education (CIRCLE).
Author J. Paul Green, Philip M. Wults, Sarah Church
Churchill, John. "Rumours now Carleton reality," The Music Scene, 251, Jan-Feb 1970
"Early music at Carleton," Continuo, Dec 1979
Keillor, Elaine. "Canadian music at Carleton University," Institute for Canadian Music Newsletter, vol 1, no 3, Sep 2003
Links to Other Sites
This Carlton Sound website features sound clips of recordings that document the historical development of Canadian music. Includes the recording: "By A Canadian Lady", Piano Music 1841 – 1997, with Elaine Keillor, piano. From Carleton University, Ottawa.
The Native Drums web project traces the history and mythological significance of the drum in Canada’s aboriginal societies. Their very extensive website focuses on aboriginal drums, drumming, singing and dancing. Features stories, interviews, downloadable learning resources, multimedia (click on “Mediabase”) and the Canadian Aboriginal Research Database. Produced by Carleton University, the Sumner Group Inc., and other partners.
Carleton University Choir
The website for the Carleton University Choir. Offers a history of the chior, a brief bio of the chior's music director and accompanist, and more.
A profile of Elaine Keillor (in French with additional information available in English). From the University of Ottawa.
Album notes and music clips from the recording "Remembered Voices," featuring Ralitsa Tcholakova, violin and Elaine Keillor, piano. From the Carleton Sound website.