Music courses for Winter 2015!

New music courses:

MUSIC 290: Choral Music 

Instructor: Mark Vuorinen (

Class Schedule and Location: Mon & Wed, 1:30-2:50pm, Conrad Grebel University College Room 1208

Course Description:  This course explores the vast repertoire of vocal ensemble music through an historical lens, examining the lives and music of composers who made significant contributions throughout a variety of historical and stylistic periods.  The course will progress from early Medieval examples to music of the 21st Century through listening, reading and lecture.  Topics will range fromAllegri and a cappella to Vaughan Williams, Victoria and Villancico.  By the end of the course, students will identify musical details that define a specific period of vocal music history, discuss prominent composers and their music, and identify, by listening, music from a variety of styles and genres.

Pre-requisite: Music 100 and/or departmental consent (contact instructor)


MUSIC 391/PACS 301: Music, Peace and Conflict

Instructors: Maisie Sum ( & Reina Neufeldt (

Class Schedule and Location: Mon & Wed 9:30-10:50am, Conrad Grebel University College Room1300

Course Description:  From theme songs at political rallies, to blaring AC/DC as a weapon of war, to using music for mourning and healing, music is powerful. This course explores the power of music and its relationship to peace and conflict using examples from around the world. We will examine topics such as how music expresses political dissent and is used to mobilize resistance (violent and non-violent); how music helps people to cope with and recover from trauma, violence and war; and, how it brings people together across conflict lines. Fundamental questions we consider include: Why is music so powerful?  How is music used both for conflict and peace? How can we better use music to transform conflict?

Pre-requisite: Second year standing or above (PACS); Departmental consent (MUSIC-contact instructor)


Also offered Winter 2015 term:

140: Intro to Jazz

245: World Music

246: Film (I think this is already full – or almost)

253: Medieval/Renaissance history

254: Baroque/Classical history

271: Theory 2

322: Conducting II

362: Piano Literature (only offered every 3 years!)

371: Theory 4


Course Descriptions –

Class scheduling –

Course Outlines (old) –


New at Laurier:

“Sounds of the Sacred” (course code is GC 354) taught by Gerard Yun

This course examines global “sacred” musics within their indigenous and appropriated contexts and explores questions of philosophy (aesthetics), globalization, economics, politics, culture, religion, nationalism, identity, and cultural ethics.

Held on Wednesdays and Fridays at 10:30-11:50 in the morning, in room 202 of the seminary building. If
anyone is interested in taking it, they have to fill out a cross-registration form and have it signed by their academic advisor and one of the secretaries in the seminary office. Cross-registration forms can be found on the registrar’s office section of the UW webpage (there’s a whole section with different forms you can fill out and print off).

Christmas carolling!

Interested in doing some Christmas carolling?
We’ll be practicing Tuesday Dec 9 and Thursday Dec 11 from 7-9pm (location TBD) and carolling in Uptown Waterloo on Friday or Saturday. Invite your friends :)
Please respond if you are interested in participating. We’ll be using 100 Carols for Choir, let us know if you have a copy.
Update: we’ll be practicing in the Ensemble Rehearsal room

Love of Music Marathon 2014

Joan is part of the organizing committee for the Love of Music Marathon 2014.

The Music Marathon is a low stress performance opportunity for musicians of all ages instruments, backgrounds and skill levels.

We get a whole range of performances: five-year-olds playing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, video game music, Broadway tunes, folk music, improv. (Add shakuhachi, fiddle or erhu anyone?)

Registration deadline Oct 29th!

Event on Saturday, November 15th at First United Church. Free admission, donations support the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony.

Check out or email to find out more!


(PS: Choir members, if you’d like share something on this website about an musical event send an email to


Rehearsal Notes for October 28

Memorization exams are coming up quickly. If you are singing in the choir, you must take the exam – no exceptions.

The following pieces are expected to be prepared and memorized for the exam.

Ave Maria – Busto
The Snow – Elgar
Go Where I Send Thee – Caldwell
O Magnum Mysterium – Lauridsen
From the Gloria:
Laudamus Te

Students will sign up in small groups each consisting of S1, S2, A1, A2, T1, T2, B1, B2 (essentially, these are mini-choirs). Groups will be called up in the middle of the Chapel and will be asked to perform selected passages (or the entirety) of a set of assigned pieces while Gerard walks around listening to you. You will individually be given a score out of 10 based on how well you have memorized the pieces. If your group is not being called up, you will likely be sitting in the Chapel listening in. You may sing the passages multiple times with different groups.

If anything, the exams themselves are an excellent chance for you to hear and sing the pieces over and over again to internalize them. I highly recommend you sing the exam multiple times, because when else will you get to sing the pieces with all the other parts repeatedly?

Tickets and CD sales available tomorrow before and after rehearsal and at break. See you all tomorrow!

Carmina Concert Grand Phil Fri and Saturday!

Hey Choristers!

The Grand Philharmonic Choir is doing Carmina this week! Friday and Saturday. Might be fun to hear a super gigantic choir do the work (they probably won’t be better than us. .. uh. . .so. . .). Maybe let’s get a group together and go. Could be seriously fun.

Section leaders and managers, Yes?



Bravo Sing Fires Festival Choir! Share your comments!

On Saturday and Sunday we did just a little bit to help change our world, bond disparate communities, and create a space for mutual understanding. Sing Fires of Justice for Hope was an amazing experience — far more moving than I had anticipated. A special thank you for all those who participated from our UW Choir and UW Community. I am always amazed at the magic that can happen in live performance and without fail something absolutely unique and magical happens at Sing Fires. A special congrats to the brave souls who played instruments for the improvisation and those who braved singing into the empty spaces at the edges of range. There is a great richness to explore in our cross-cultural improvisations. I am thrilled for your participation ( I am not kidding.  .  it’s like you’re in a special club now  . . . how many choristers get to improvise with First Nation drummers and Islamic folk singers? That’s right. . a very few. Let’s share what we can on Tuesday night with our choir. And perhaps next year, the tenth anniversary of Sing Fires of Justice will have us all present. Please share your comments about the evening with others in the choir.

Bravo to you all!


UW University Choir and Sing Fires of Justice


This coming weekend is Sing Fires of Justice where we gather with members of other university, church, and community choirs to engage in a weekend of social justice through song. This is the 9th year of this event and each year the choirs from Conrad Grebel University College have played a role. This year the university is represented by our choir members and I am counting on as many of us as possible to inspire the community singers (yes, they love being with all of you. . .yes, they go on and on about it).


Sing Fires is in two parts:

Saturday, Oct. 4 — 930 am – 1200noon (I will confirm) Choral Workshop / Rehearsal (coffee provided)

Sunday, Oct. 5 — 4pm Run though (rehearsal), 700pm concert/performance (dinner is provided).

We will be putting together a massive choral improvisation using a Tamil Song interlaced with readings, songs, meditations. It’s quite a project. I have a feeling there is no way to make it work without our choir’s particular skills.

We’ll need to confirm each singer’s participation so adequate food can be provided.

We will talk more at rehearsal. See you all soon!



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