Improvisation in Bach, Mozart, and Newfoundland Traditional Music

With Vernon Regehr, Patrick Cashin, Duane Andrews, & Aaron Collis

Arts and Culture Centre MMAP Gallery (2nd Floor, above MMAP offices)
Tuesday, March 8th from 7:30pm-9:30pm

Join us at 7:30pm in the MMAP Gallery for an evening of discussion of the improvisatory aspects of classical and folk music. Our panelists for this evening are all accomplished and diverse musicians and fostering a discussion about improvisation across their fields of practice promises to be enriching.

This event and the two following sessions of Improvising Spaces will begin with our panel discussion (7:30-9pm) which will be followed by an open sound and movement jam hosted by Sara Pun. We encourage you to bring instruments or clothes you are comfortable moving in and to spend half an hour (9-9:30pm) sounding and moving with us after the discussion.

Duane Andrews:

DUANE ANDREWS’s music is the product of a great ear, an adventurous spirit and a love of music that is beyond category. Uniting what would seem to be impossible – traditional Newfoundland music with the Gypsy Jazz of the legendary Django Reinhardt, Andrews makes it not just work – he makes it soar. The award winning guitarist, composer, producer and international performer’s latest album, Conception Bay, is the best evidence yet of his truly unique musical vision and is the sound of him, literally, bringing it all back home.

Aaron Collis:

Aaron Collis quickly gained a reputation as one of Newfoundland's outstanding traditional music interpreters. As a member of local trad band, The Dardanelles, Aaron performed on stages across Canada, the US, and as far afield as Scotland and Australia. Aaron is also a recipient of The Dermot O’Reilly Legacy Award for promoting traditional music and demonstrating leadership and creativity in the tradition-bearer community of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Patrick Cashin:

Pianist Patrick Cashin has been heard in most major Canadian cities. His performances have been broadcast nationally by the CBC as well as many times across his native province of Newfoundland. He is currently leading parallel careers as a soloist, collaborative pianist and teacher based in Montréal, Québec.

Patrick has appeared as guest soloist with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, Memorial University Orchestra, l’Orchestre philharmonique des musiciens étudiants de Montréal, and in Germany with the Jena Philharmonic in a workshop presented by the Weimar Master Classes. He is a past winner of the Atlantic Young Artist Competition, Petro-Canada Young Artist Competition, and the “Prix d’interprétation en piano” from University of Montreal in 2014. He holds an artist diploma from The Glenn Gould School in Toronto as well as a master’s and doctorate from the University of Montreal, completed under the guidance of Marc Durand. Over the years he has studied additionally in master classes with Leon Fleisher, Ferenc Rados and Robert Levin, among others.

Alongside his classical career, Patrick maintains a long-standing involvement with jazz and other forms of improvised music. In recent years this has led him to join the growing community of classical musicians integrating improvisation into their practice and performance. In particular he has devoted substantial effort to an ongoing study of improvisation in Mozart’s piano concertos, which have become a central focus of his performing activity.

Dr. Vernon Regehr:

A native of Winnipeg, cellist Vernon Regehr is an active recitalist, chamber and orchestral musician, conductor and teacher. Richard Dyer of the Boston Globe remarked of a Tanglewood Music Festival performance of Elliott Carter’s first string quartet, “…an extraordinary event…performed with outstanding aplomb and degree of understanding, and deservedly won one of the summer’s sturdiest ovations.” Regehr has performed as soloist with the Winnipeg Symphony, Newfoundland Sinfonia, Memorial University Chamber Orchestra and the Cantata Singers of Ottawa. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with the Shanghai, Penderecki, Fitzwilliam and Lafayette string quartets, Andrew Burashko, Mark Fewer, Suzie Leblanc, and Leon Fleisher. In a recent performance at the Groundswell New Music Festival commemorating Elliott Carter’s 100th birthday, the Winnipeg Free Press said his performance of the cello sonata “…showed a clear understanding of the work, while handling its hefty technical demands with finesse.”

Regehr has made festival appearances with the First Avenue Chamber Players of New York City, at the International Festival of Ensembles in St. Petersburg, Russia, University of Victoria, Artspring, SoundaXis New Music Festival, Hilton Beach, Toronto Summer Music Festival, Music in the Barns and the Chamber Music Societies of Quebec and Kitchener-Waterloo. As a member of the faculty at the Tuckamore chamber music festival in St. John’s Newfoundland he has performed numerous commissioned works for national radio broadcast. He is a founding member of the Spectrolite Ensemble, a clarinet trio with Sean Rice and Patrick Cashin, and of Ora Ensemble, which specializes in the fusion of new music, visual art and performance theatre. Full Spectrum, his first solo record recently released on the Centrediscs label, features previously unrecorded Canadian works for unaccompanied cello written in the past decade. John Terauds writes “…it is beautifully varied, highly textured writing that Regehr executes with elegant ease, as he does every other one of the very difficult pieces on this album.” Lamentations, by Clark Ross, was awarded the 2014 ECMA for Composition of the Year.

Regehr completed his undergraduate training at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, where he studied with Kim Scholes, Shauna Rolston and Thomas Wiebe. Regehr earned both his Masters and Doctoral degrees at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he studied with Timothy Eddy. He was the recipient of the Ina Gordon Fellowship for two seasons at the Tanglewood Music Centre, and also performed at the Taos School of Music, Banff Centre for the Arts, Colorado College Conservatory, and the Oberlin Conservatory Summer Festival in Casalmaggiore, Italy.

While living in New York, Regehr taught cello in East Harlem with the renowned music school Opus 118, which was featured in the major motion picture Music of the Heart, starring Meryl Streep. He also appeared in Atom Egoyan’s 1997 film Sarabande, which was the fourth of six films from theInspired by Bach series featuring Yo-Yo Ma.

For many years Regehr served on the performance and teaching faculty of the Kinhaven Music Festival in Vermont, and has taught at numerous other festivals. He has given master classes at the Universities of Toronto, Montréal and Ottawa, the Glenn Gould School, Wilfred Laurier University, the Winnipeg Violoncello Society, and the Maritime Conservatory in Halifax. During a recent sabbatical leave from the University, where he teaches cello, bass and conducts the chamber orchestra, he served as a member of the teaching faculty at the McGill Conservatory of Music in Montréal. His wife, Amy Henderson, is a choral conductor.

Sara Pun:

Sara Pun, MMT, MTA, ARCT, is a music therapist and music educator. Currently she is a PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology at Memorial University in Newfoundland. Her thesis project is about leading a community-engaged gamelan group to promote musical and intercultural dialogue. Her most recent publication is Song Resources for Music Therapists (Lee and Pun, 2015) and Composition and Improvisation Resources for Music Therapists (Lee, Pun, and Berends, 2015). Her passions are in sharing music with the community, applied ethnomusicology, and social justice. She has special interests in human rights, democracy, and the environment. Sara plays the piano, clarinet, guitar, Balinese and Sundanese gamelan, and Japanese taiko drums. She is currently an apprentice with Midnight Taiko Kai in Calgary and a performer in the Sundanese gamelan at Memorial University. Sara’s working philosophy is eclectic, music-centered, improvisational, collaborative, and psychotherapy based.


School of Music

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000