Leading up to our show at Celebration of Nations on September 7 we will be featuring each of our artists! Today’s second Artist Spotlight is Unsettled Scores’ Artistic Director, Composer and Librettist Dr. Spy Dénommé-Welch.
is a multi-disciplinary scholar, composer, producer, and librettist/playwright.
He wrote and co-composed the Dora Mavor Moore-nominated opera Giiwedin.
Other credits (as writer and co-composer) include: Contraries: a
chamber requiem (2018, premiered at the Royal Conservatory of
Music), Sojourn (2017; commissioned by Signal Theatre for the
dance opera Bearing, premiered at Luminato Festival); HATE
MAIL & Irreconcilable Trolls (2017; premiered at Native Earth’s
Aki Studio); Bottlenecked (2017); Victorian
Secrets (2014, presented at Native Earth’s Aki Studio); Spin
Doctors (2014); Bike Rage (2013).
academic research focuses on Indigenous topics in education, arts, and
decolonizing through music and performance. He is Principal Investigator of two
SSHRC-funded projects. His project, Beyond the Rainbow: Investigating
representations of gender and sexuality in Indianist music and production,
received SSHRC-Insight Development Grant funding (2016-2019), and examines the
implications of gender and sexuality representation in historical Indianist
music and cultural production. His second project, Sonic Coordinates:
Decolonizing through land-based music composition, received the inaugural
New Frontiers in Research Fund Award (2019-2021), and explores land-based
approaches to Indigenous music, visual culture, and
Artistic Director of Unsettled Scores, an Associate Composer with the Canadian
Music Centre, a member of the Canadian League of Composers and the Playwrights
Guild of Canada, and an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at
Leading up to our show at Celebration of Nations on September 7 we will be featuring each of our artists! Today’s first Artist Spotlight is Unsettled Scores’ Managing Director, Composer and Conductor Catherine Magowan.
Composer and bassoonist Catherine Magowan is principal bassoonist of the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra, the Southern Ontario Lyric Opera orchestra (SOLO), and regularly freelances throughout Ontario. Catherine is co-founder of the world’s first electric bassoon band, DFM, and has appeared at festivals including Pride Toronto, World Pride, Buskerfest, and the Northern Lights Festival Boreal.
She was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore award for the opera Giiwedin (Native Earth Performing Arts/Unsettled Scores, 2010) which she co-composed with her collaborator, Dr. Spy Dénommé-Welch. Together they premiered Contraries: a chamber requiem at the Royal Conservatory of Music in 2018, and their work for voice and orchestra Sojourn premiered at the Luminato Festival as the finale of the dance opera Bearing (Signal Theatre, 2017). Their chamber work Bike Rage took first prize by audience vote in Baroque Idol (Aradia Ensemble, 2013), and their comedy duo Professor Quack & Grunt has lectured at cabarets, poetry festivals, book launches, and universities. Magowan and Dénommé-Welch are currently completing their second full-length opera.
Together she and Dénommé-Welch have presented at conferences on topics such as
decolonization and intercultural collaboration in music, and run workshops for
youth and young adults on music creation and the politics of music.
Catherine is a member of the Canadian League of Composers, and an Associate Composer with the Canadian Music Centre.
She’s a doggy mama to hound dogs Maeve and Samson, and in her spare time she likes fidgeting with databases and spreadsheets, and her vegetable garden.
Leading up to our show at Celebration of Nations on September 7 we will be featuring each of our artists! Today’s second Artist Spotlight is our Project Knowledge Carrier/Project Grandmother Jean Becker.
Jean Becker is Inuk and a member of the Nunatsiavut Territory of
Labrador. Jean has lived in Ontario for forty years and has been involved in grassroots
urban Indigenous community building throughout that time in Wellington and
Waterloo regions. As the Senior Advisor Indigenous Initiatives at Wilfrid
Laurier University, Jean is responsible for overseeing the strategic direction
of the university related to Indigenous activities. She continues to be involved
in Indigenous ceremonies and advocacy work for Indigenous people outside of the
academy and is actively engaged with local Indigenous communities.
Leading up to our show at Celebration of Nations on September 7 we will be featuring each of our artists! Today’s first Artist Spotlight is guitarist and Assistant Music Director Benjamin Stein.
Benjamin Stein is a singer, lutenist, pianist, guitarist composer,
music director and writer. He has played or sung for ensembles as such
Tafelmusik Baroque Chamber Choir, Opera Atelier, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir,
Elora Festival Singers, Toronto Masque Theatre and Soundstreams Canada. He has
an MA in Musicology/Theory from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor of Music
in voice and classical guitar from McGill University, and is currently pursuing
a PhD at York University, focusing on the re-emerging art of Western classical
music improvisation. He is the proud founder of Musicians on the Edge, an
initiative devoted to creating opportunities for classical musicians to
reintegrate improvisation practice into music education and concert
performance. He works an associate music director at Metropolitan United
Church of Toronto, and has written articles on music and culture for the
Toronto Star and Wholenote Magazine. More information on his
activities can be found at benjaminstein.ca.
Leading up to our show at Celebration of Nations on September 7 we will be featuring each of our artists! Today’s second Artist Spotlight is singer Nicole Joy-Fraser.
Nicole Joy-Fraser (Bear Clan/ Dene Zaa, Métis, European) has had the opportunity to work across Turtle Island with many celebrated companies such as Mirvish Productions, Factory Theatre, Native Earth, Red Sky, Nightwood, YPT, Stratford Festival, Blyth Festival, Charlottetown Festival, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, TSO, National Ballet, Nathaniel Dett Chorale and most recently Carousel Players as Mary Jane Mosquito. She also enjoyed performing across the pond in the multi-award-winning musical “Jerry Springer-The Opera” (West End) and in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” (UK and Athens Tour). Nicole is grateful and honoured to be collaborating with these talented artists and loves storytelling with Spy and Catherine. She still cherishes singing in their Dora-nominated, premiere production of “Giiwediin” which helped kickstart the reclamation of her Indigenous identity and healing journey. She currently lives in Niagara-On-The Lake with her partner and son.
Leading up to our show at Celebration of Nations on September 7 we will be featuring each of our artists! Today’s first Artist Spotlight is oboist Colin Maier.
Born and raised in Calgary, Colin Maier graduated from the University of Calgary in 1997 with a degree in oboe performance studying with David Sussman. Since 2009, Colin has been the oboist for the internationally renowned and critically acclaimed ensemble “Quartetto Gelato” playing 50-70 international concerts a year. During that time he has been heard on international radio broadcasts, seen on the BRAVO network, received the 2010 INDIE award for best classical ensemble. He has released 3 albums with Quartetto Gelato and 2 solo albums and has been a guest lecturer/recitalist at universities in Canada, US, Mexico and Bahamas.
Outside of being a musician, Colin has also worked for over 20 years as a dancer, actor, stuntman, singer, choreographer, acrobat and martial-artist. Colin had the honor of playing the devil fiddler in the flying blue canoe for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Opening Ceremonies.” Colin had also been seen in; “Lord of the Rings” (Mirvish), Fire (CanStage), “Forbidden Phoenix” (LKTYP), “KA” (Cirque du Soleil), “Amadeus” (Alberta Theatre Projects), “That Dance Show” (Saltance Productions), “Cats” (Neptune Theatre), Joseph’s Dreamcoat (StageWest/Drayton), “A Chorus Line” (StageWest), Sarah Brightman’s World Tour, and TV’s “Honey I Shrunk the Kids!”.
This combination of music and theatre is quite unique and he continues to find new, exciting and ground breaking ways to combine his two passions.
Leading up to our show at Celebration of Nations on September 7 we will be featuring each of our artists! Today’s second Artist Spotlight is singer Rebecca Cuddy.
Métis/Canadian Mezzo-Soprano Rebecca Cuddy’s recent career highlights include performing La Métisse, in the world premiere of Riel; Heart of the North (Steele/Weissensel) with Regina Symphony Orchestra, Mercedes (Cover Carmen) in Carmen, Frau Viehmann in Brothers Grimm and Toronto Concert Orchestra’s tour of Voice of a Nation in which she premiered a Métis song cycle by Ian Cusson.
Rebecca is proud of her Métis heritage and has a keen interest in Indigenous relations and music, along with contemporary composition. Earlier this season she joined Tapestry and Opera on the Avalon for the world premiere of Shanawdithit as Kwe/Spirit Chorus (Nolan/Burry). Rebecca is very pleased to join Unsettled Scores for Contraries and looks forward to her next Indigenous classical music performance in Soundstreams’ Two Odysseys in November 2019.
Rebecca completed her MA in Voice at the Royal Academy of Music, UK in 2017. www.rebeccacuddy.com
Leading up to our show at Celebration of Nations on September 7 we will be featuring each of our artists! Today’s first Artist Spotlight is percussionist Laura Savage.
Laura Savage splits her music career
between performing and teaching. She is the drum instructor at Royal St.
George’s College and co-owns the Mill House School of Music in East Toronto. As
a freelance performer she has appeared with numerous ensembles, including the
Toronto Symphony Orchestra. She has appeared many festivals and events
including the Toronto International Film Festival, the Canadian National
Exhibition, Luminato, the Northern Lights Festival, and at the Ottawa Chamber
Music Festival. Laura performs regularly with Savage Groove Dance Band, the
Regimental Band of the Queens Own Rifles of Canada, DFM Bassoon Quartet, and is
the Principal Percussionist for the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra.
Research at Brock University is featuring Dr. Spy this week for their “Find the answer” series. In this video, Dr. Spy talks about land-based composing and how he views the land as an artistic collaborator.
Leading up to our show at Celebration of Nations on September 7 we will be featuring each of our artists! Today’s second Artist Spotlight is singer Conlin Delbaere-Sawchuk.
Conlin Delbaere-Sawchuk is a singer and
steel-string guitarist who draws inspiration from his heritage, fusing Métis
folk traditions with contemporary musical genres and styles. He
holds a Bachelor of Music in classical voice performance from the University
of Ottawa. In addition to his performance practice, he has
worked extensively as a presenter and workshop facilitator, sharing his passion
for Métis history, Canadian music, and creative processes. He is currently
a JD candidate at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law.