Auditions open for UBC Okanagan master class with Dame Emma Kirkby

NOTE: Due to illness, Dame Emma Kirkby is unable to visit Canada for her fall 2007 tour. In her place, acclaimed soprano Suzie LeBlanc will both perform and lead the Minds and Music masterclass on Nov. 19.

World-renowned soprano Dame Emma Kirkby will perform and teach during a visit to Kelowna on Nov. 19.

Invited to the Okanagan by the Minds and Music series with help from the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences Endowment Fund at UBC Okanagan, Kirkby will perform in the afternoon, then lead a master class with four voice students selected from the Okanagan region by an audition process that will open immediately.

"We hope this special event builds on the tremendous success of our first master class earlier this year," says Minds and Music Series founder and organizer Manuela Ungureanu. "We're in a great position to accomplish just that with Dame Kirkby coming to lead a master class and also performing for an Okanagan audience -- we're sure people in our region will be very excited about the opportunity to hear this distinguished Early Music specialist sing and coach young artists."

An associate professor of philosophy at UBC Okanagan, Ungureanu says education through experiential learning is a big part of the Minds and Music initiative. "With someone like Dame Kirkby providing instruction, we have a very special and enriched learning environment," she says. "This is education through the arts for the public. As well, through the instructor's teaching and role modeling, it's a powerful learning experience for our students, whether or not they are active participants."

Kirkby will give a public performance starting at 4pm on Nov. 19, followed by the 1.5-hour master class in the early evening. Audience tickets for the performance and master class are $23, and are available for purchase through Ticket Master. Proceeds from the master class and any donations will go towards the purchase a baby grand piano for the UBC Okanagan campus.

The venue for the event is Kelowna's First Lutheran Church, 4091 Lakeshore Road. "Two generous contributions have made this event possible," says Ungureanu. "We are grateful for the support from the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences Endowment Fund, and the donation of a harpsichord by Lorne Peaker of Vernon for the performance part of the event. The UBC Okanagan Campus Life office has also been a great supporter of our program."

Tickets for the performance and master class will be $23, and will be available for purchase by late September through Ticket Master, she says. "We recommend that people watch the UBC Okanagan website for the latest information about this event and the rest of the Minds and Music Series." The website is:

Call for Auditions

Voice students from the Okanagan region have until Oct. 22 to submit audition recordings for a chance to study with internationally renowned Early Music singer Dame Emma Kirkby.

Four singers will be selected through a blind audition process to participate in a UBC Okanagan Minds and Music master class led by Kirkby on Nov. 19 at Kelowna’s First Lutheran Church, 4091 Lakeshore Road.

Senior-level voice students interested in participating in the 1.5-hour master class must be 32 years of age or younger and reside in the Okanagan region.

To audition, candidates are asked to submit five copies of an audio CD featuring their performances of two or three pieces -- an operatic aria, German Lied or French art song, and one selection from the Baroque repertoire.

Along with five copies of the audio CD, candidates are asked to include a separate page with their name, contact information, a brief note about their record of relevant performance and study, and their interest in pursuing a career in vocal performance.

Applications should be mailed to:

Minds and Music Series
c/o Manuela Ungureanu
Arts Building ART236
UBC Okanagan
3333 University Way
Kelowna, B.C. V1V 1V7

To ensure blind judging, the CDs should not bear any identifying information about the voice student. The final selection for the master class will be announced by November 5.

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