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Memorial presents first Masters of Music students

In fall 2002, Memorial became the first school in Atlantic Canada to offer a graduate program in music. In the spring of 2004, students who enrolled in the first class officially became Masters of Music. On May 28, David Chafe, piano, Julia Halfyard, soprano, Jonathan MacInnis, saxophone, Michael Snelgrove, instrumental conducting, Katie Sullivan, trumpet, Jeff van den Scott, saxophone and Kellie Walsh, choral conducting, crossed the stage at convocation to receive the first ever master of music degrees presented by Memorial University. But this wasn’t the only appearance on stage that day by Ms. Halfyard, Ms. Sullivan, Ms. Walsh and Mr. Chafe, who also joined together musically, to give a memorable performance to the convocation attendees.

Director of the School of Music, Dr. Tom Gordon says the program was a long time coming. Given that Memorial’s School of Music is the only fully comprehensive music school in Atlantic Canada and was already offering a large and diversified program, offering graduate study in music was the next logical step.

Dr. Gordon explained that the M.Mus. programs in performance, performance pedagogy and conducting directly address the variety of career and life skills that the contemporary musician must possess. And, in addition to the necessary academic side and core research skills, students also have a range of performance and learning opportunities, providing experience in teaching and allowing students to refine their entrepreneurial skills.

“The first master of music class is truly first class in every respect,” says Dr. Gordon. “Hugely talented musicians, each member of the class brought energy to the School of Music, stimulation to their faculty mentors and an example of professionalism to the undergraduates.”

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