{President's Report 2003}
Vital Signs
* Community
Access Labrador
Music in the Air
Glad to Shad
Making Herstory
Educational Reform in Labrador
Digging into the Past
Telemedicine Moves Forward
Volunteer Sector Partnering with MUN
Campus Life
Honour Roll

About This Report
Contact Us

Traditional music conference - Music in the air

Musicians and academics alike flocked to Memorial's School of Music for the annual conference of the Canadian Society for Traditional Music (CSTM) in November 2002. The conference brought interested parties together to discuss and perform traditional music in all its forms.

According to Dr. Peter NarvŠez, CSTM is a unique society because its members are academics and performers, often both.

“This links the study of tradition with its public enactment in ways that benefit both groups,”said the MUN folklore professor and musician. “At times this can lead to some tensions, but these windows on two related worlds often shed much light.”

Norman Stanfield, based at the University of British Columbia's Music Department and the current CSTM president, felt that this year's complement of papers were “thought provoking and exciting, with an especially Canadian outlook.”Topics covered were diverse, including studies on folk tunes, traditional musicians, music and popular culture, and ethnochoreography.

The interdisciplinary nature of the CSTM often garners great interest from those in related disciplines. Dr. Philip Hiscock, Folklore, said, “Much of my [folklore] research lately has been in the area of song and music though I was not trained as a musician.”

Of course, the conference provided an opportunity for local students and faculty to easily attend and participate. Jodi McDavid, a doctoral student in folklore, gave a paper based on her master's thesis. “I think it is great that the CSTM was held in St. John's. Otherwise, I wouldn't have been able to attend a very exciting event.”

Saturday night featured a jam session at Bitters Pub on campus. The house band for the evening was headed up by local traditional musicians Graham Wells and Colin Carrigan, and included an open mike session that encouraged participation by all.

The society's annual general meeting will took place on Sunday. As well as the feature film titled Mummers and Masks, a film comparing the mummering traditions in Newfoundland, Ireland and England.

Anita Best was the organizational driving force behind this year's conference.. “It's really interesting to get a chance to hear about Canadian music. Also, people who have never been here before had a chance to come and hear our folk musicians play. It's terrific for them, and it's great for us.”The CSTM conference was also open to the general public.