In 1956 the college was integrated within the university's Faculty of Arts and Science and offered a BA with music options. Among the teaching staff at this time was Alfred Rosé, who originally had come to the conservatory to direct summer opera workshops in 1946. Clifford Poole served 1957-9 as principal of both institutions, which were moved off campus to the A.E. Silverwood Building. School music courses in vocal and instrumental techniques were introduced by Earle Terry and Donald A. McKellar respectively. In 1960 Clifford von Kuster became principal of the college, the name of which was changed in 1961 to College of Music.
Major developments took place 1960-73 during Clifford von Kuster's term, and the college developed at an unprecedented rate. In the 1960s John McIntosh provided the leadership in theory and applied music and McKellar in music education and instrumental ensembles. School music courses were introduced in a new BA program in 1962; this program was phased out in 1964, at which time the B MUS was offered in several specialized fields: music history, theory and composition, applied music, and music education. M MUS programs were initiated in 1968, the year in which the first B MUS degrees were awarded. The college became the Faculty of Music in 1968 with von Kuster as dean. The continuing increase in student enrolment required additional full-time faculty, expansion of library resources, and construction of a new Faculty of Music Building which was opened officially in 1972.
Music Degrees and Programs
Honorary degrees have been awarded to Edward Johnson (1929), Reginald Stewart (1949), George Szell (1967), Guy Lombardo (1971), Margaret Ferguson (1972), Paul Henry Lang (1972), Jon Vickers (1972), Maureen Forrester (1974), Alfred Rosé (1975 posthumously), Robert Rosevear (1979), Anna Russell (1983), Donald Wright (1986), Oscar Peterson (1999), Clifford von Kuster (2000), Louise Pitre (2006), Anton Kuerti (2007), and Buffy Sainte-Marie (2009).
Programs of Study
In the 1970s Kodály courses were introduced and the department developed a Suzuki instructional program in the greater London community. In 1970, "Symposium II - The Baroque" was organized as a special project for school teachers in cooperation with the Ontario Music Educators Association. The music education department convened a series of research symposia 1976-81 and hosted the 13th World Congress of the International Society for Music Education 12-20 Aug 1978 and the Music and Lifelong Learning symposium 7-8 May 2003.
Music instructors appointed to the universitys Faculty of Education (Althouse College of Education until 1974) included Dawson Woodburn, who also conducted 1965-70 choral ensembles at the Faculty of Music; James White; Brian Strachan; Carol Beynon; and Patrick Burroughs.
Student opera productions have included Menotti's The Old Maid and the Thief, Beckwith's Night Blooming Cereus (1971), Purcell's Dido and Aeneas (1972), and Pergolesi's La Serva Padrona (1975). The opera workshop was expanded by Martin Chambers; in 1978 he directed The Magic Flute and in 1979 Poulenc's Les Dialogues des Carmelites and the premiere performance of A Masquerade of Dreams by Merwin Lewis. The Opera Workshop (renamed UWOpera in 1996) was subsequently directed by Reid Spencer, Brian McIntosh, and beginning in 1996, Theodore Baerg. Under Baerg, productions included Puccinis Suor Angelica (1997, 2007), Strausss Die Fledermaus (1998), Seymour Barabs Little Red Riding Hood (2002), Franz Lehar's The Merry Widow (2006), Lieber and Stollers musical revue Smokey Joes Caf (2008), Edwin Penhorwoods satire Too Many Sopranos (2009), Mozart's Don Giovanni (2010), and Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods (2011).
The growth of choral music under the direction of Deral Johnson included annual performances of large choral works and the premiere of R. Murray Schafer's Apocalypsis in 1980. Before the founding of the faculty, the most important performing ensemble was the university choir under Alfred Rosé. After 1968, however, the choir was superseded by the faculty's choral ensembles, particularly the Faculty of Music Singers (later named the University of Western Ontario Singers), conducted 1969-89 by Deral Johnson, succeeded by Ken Fleet, Gerald Neufeld, and beginning in 1998, by Victoria Meredith. Under Meredith, the Faculty of Music Singers and Les Choristes won several CBC radio choral competitions. Other choral ensembles have included the Chorale, the Thames Scholars, and the St Cecilia Singers.
The faculty has developed a number of instrumental ensembles. The cellist Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi was for some years an artist-in-residence and became a founding member of Quartet Canada, which was quartet-in-residence 1977-81. The Symphony Orchestra was first conducted by Donald McKellar, succeeded by Robert Skelton, by Clifford Evens in 1972, in 1977 by Simon Streatfeild, and in 1983 by Jerome Summers (who also developed the wind ensemble 1974-83); other conductors have been Herman Dilmore, Peter Odegard, James McKay, and Geoffrey Moull. The symphonic band was directed intermittently 1962-91 by McKellar, as well as Martin Boundy, Scott Clark, Charles Dalkert, Paul Green, Henry Meredith, David McKinney, Jerome Summers, and Gary McCumber. The stage band was led by Phil Nimmons beginning in 1979. The Faculty of Music has also offered chamber, jazz, wind, and early music ensembles.
Performance programs open to the public have included the New Horizons Adult Band Program, established in 1999; and the three-week Canadian Operatic Arts Academy, begun in 2009.
Music Research and Composition
The music history department has organized several symposia: "Crosscurrents and the Mainstream of Italian Serious Opera 1730-1790," in 1982; "Canadian Music of the 1950s," in 1983; "Mozart: A Celebration," held during the 1990-1 academic year; and the International Rachmaninoff Symposium and Festival, in 2003. Research projects have included the Gregorian chant database, CANTUS, established in 1997; and the Handbook for Metastasio Research. The student journal of musicology, Nota Bene, was begun in 2008.
An attempt to place greater emphasis on composition took place while Jack Behrens was chair of the theory and composition department 1976-80. He made a number of short-term composer-in-residence appointments, among them Larry Austin, Leon Kirchner, and R. Murray Schafer. The theory and composition department began presenting New Music Colloquia in 1970, and hosted Music Theory Canada 1990, a three-day conference co-sponsored by Western, Wilfrid Laurier University, and the University of Guelph. In 1995 the faculty upgraded its digital sound laboratory to accommodate studies in electroacoustic composition.
In 2008 the departments of music history and composition amalgamated to become the Department of Music Research and Composition.
Music Facilities, Resources, Special Events
Facilities and Resources
The universitys music library had acquired more than 50,000 recordings, 65,000 scores, and about 31,000 books by 2011. Special collections have included the Opera Collection, rare manuscripts and printed editions of 17th- to 19th-century operas and libretti; the Metastasio Collection; the Thomas Baker Collection; the Cherubini Collection; and the Gustav Mahler/Alfred Rosé Collection of Mahler primary source material.
Instruments in the faculty's string bank were purchased with the assistance of a grant from the Richard and Jean Ivey Fund. Two Stradivari violins and one Guarneri were bequeathed by Gordon D. Jeffery in 1986; the instruments were sold in 1997 to create an endowment fund. The music history department maintains a collection of early instruments for its collegium musicum, and there is an extensive digital sound laboratory.
The university has continued to serve an important role in enriching London's cultural life through recitals, concert series, and special events including large-scale works in which the faculty's choral ensembles have combined forces with Orchestra London Canada.
Author J. Paul Green, Sarah Church
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Links to Other Sites
The Don Wright Faculty of Music
The website for the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. Features information about faculty, scheduled events, and degree programs, a link to CANTUS, a database for Latin ecclesiastical chant, links to the Music Library's special collections, and online articles from "Nota Bene," a university professor-reviewed journal publishing undergraduate musicology papers from across Canada.