World-Renowned artists to lead Minds and Music master classes

Two world-renowned artists will offer master classes with Okanagan students as part of UBC Okanagan'sMinds and Music series this year. Dame Emma Kirkby, a British soprano singer and one of the world’s most respected early music specialists, will lead a voice master class on Nov. 19, 2007, while Angele Dubeau, with the all-female string ensemble La Pieta, will work with violin students in a master class on Mar. 2, 2008.

The master classes will follow a model introduced to the Minds and Music series last January when Ben Heppner, one of the world's top dramatic tenors, worked with five Okanagan vocal students at the Rotary Centre for the Arts, notes Minds and Music organizer Manuela Ungureanu, Associate Professor of Philosophy at UBC Okanagan. "The Ben Heppner experience brought to the forefront the strong desire of Okanagan music lovers and music students to have master classes offered closer to home. The feed-back we received from a diverse section of the public after the event highlighted the need to tap into the creative powers of this form of education through the arts."

But this year's events will offer a great deal more than master classes, as they include a one-hour performance during which the artists will be offering a selection of pieces from their favorite repertoires. Dame Emma Kirby will be accompanied by Sylvan Bergeron (lute) and Christopher Jackson (harpsichord), both of Theatre of Early Music Montreal, and will perform a Baroque program. Angele Dubeau will lead La Pieta in a program of mainly 20th century music, including music by Canadian composers.

This year's Minds and Music series will also offer concerts with commentary on campus. A total of eight events -- concerts and other performances -- are already planned, with more likely to be added in upcoming weeks.

Yamabiko Taiko, one of the Okanagan's most exciting and powerful drumming groups, opens the 2007-2008 Minds and Music series at UBC Okanagan on Sept. 12. The group will play in the UBC Okanagan campus courtyard at 2 p.m. in a free public performance.

"There's something for everyone this season," says Ungureanu, "from Yamabiko Taiko drumming to classical opera to chamber music. We have one of Canada's finest classical guitarists, Daniel Bolshoy, performing in January while Kelowna's Dawn Mussellam, an acclaimed soprano whose recital concerts include opera, oratorio, musical, and song repertoire, will perform Music to Stir the Heart on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14."

Most of this season's performances will be at UBC Okanagan in the theatre or in the foyer of the Student Services Building, while others such as the March 26 UBC Opera Ensemble presentation of The Dream Healer will be at the Rotary Centre for the Arts in downtown Kelowna. The Minds and Music series will feature the following performances:

  • Sep. 12, 2007 -- Yamabiko Taiko
  • Oct. 16, 2007 -- Vancouver Opera Touring Ensemble
  • Nov. 13, 2007 -- Gryphon Trio
  • Nov. 19, 2007 -- Soprano Emma Kirkby with Sylvain Bergeron and Christopher Jackson
  • Jan. 23, 2008 -- Classical Guitarist Daniel Bolshoy
  • Feb. 14, 2008 -- Soprano Dawn Mussellam, Music to Stir the Heart
  • Mar. 2, 2008 -- Angele Dubeau, La Pietà
  • Mar. 26, 2008 -- UBC Opera Ensemble, The Dream Healer
  • Date in 2008 to be announced – Robert Silverman piano

Concert updates and the full Minds and Music schedule are online at:

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