...there are many paths
Welcome to UofT Music! To what we hope will be one of the great adventures of your life!
Home to a diverse and dynamic community of scholars, performers, composers, and educators, the University of Toronto Faculty of Music has long been a Canadian leader. Our central mission is academic and artistic excellence in musical creation, performance, education, and research. Our role is to provide our students with the best possible range and quality of academic and artistic experiences. Yours is to explore those many opportunities and to create new ones in your own unique voice. Make the most of your opportunities with our faculty, facilities, and location—as part of one of the world’s great universities, in the heart of one of North America’s great cities. Music and the performing arts in general have major roles to play in helping secure the global future. As musicians and musical thinkers you will contribute to that enterprise as tomorrow’s creative leaders.
With best wishes for your artistic and academic studies, and for the life-changing experiences that lie ahead,
Don McLean, B.Mus., ARCT, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor, Faculty of Music, University of Toronto
You will find support everywhere on the University of Toronto campus, starting with the Registrar’s Office. The Registrar's Office at the Faculty of Music is your "reliable first stop" for information and advice on academic, personal, and financial issues. The office is also responsible for the administrative operations of the undergraduate program, including registrarial and student records, course administration, convocation, examinations, marks, information on scholarships and bursaries as well as policies on academic regulations.
If you are a current student, you can access our Portal for access to detailed information and often requested forms, information on Student Services and Resources as well as important information on Rules and Regulations.
Check here for often requested Contact information.
If you are a current graduate student, you will find more information here.
Check out Ulife - your one-stop website listing a large and diverse directory of student clubs, organizations, activities and opportunities on all three campuses.
You can also build your supporting cast just by getting out there. Explore the campus. Try something new. Meet new people. Be active. Contribute something to the community. The more you explore, the more friends you’ll make, the more you’ll know about the services, and the more you’ll know about how to get what you need when you need it.
Browse the important websites and discover the many services that will serve as your advocates and as your cheerleaders. They’re here to hold you up when you struggle and to help you grow when you’re ready.
Someone you know and are close to is following up on a dream…and we are here to support and enhance his or her future.
Your words and presence are invaluable in their thoughts and in their lives.
More than educators, we also live and breathe music – performance, research, education, and new areas of opportunity.
We are privileged to have bright, passionate and talented students to colour our world and we invest ourselves in furthering their ambitions and helping them to realize their potential.
While you are with us, we hope you will experience our music with us by attending one of our many concerts and events.
Please also check out We Live Here for more on things to see and do in Toronto.
We hope to see you around…we’re the ones with music on our minds
Filling positions under the CUPE 3902 Unit 3 Collective Agreement
The Faculty of Music hires Sessional Lecturers to deliver some of its undergraduate and graduate courses. Teaching positions for individual courses are posted below. Decisions concerning hiring are made in June for Fall or Winter courses. Some decisions may be made earlier or later depending on enrolment and unexpected vacancies. Persons who submit applications and CVs will receive emailed job posting information for specific positions for the subsequent 24 months.
We create new music through programs in Composition, Jazz, Film/Media and Large Ensembles. We create new music through our composer-in-residence programs, our Electronic Music Studio and our GamUT Contemporary Ensemble. And we celebrate new music annually through our New Music Festival with its Distinguished Visitor and our Karen Kieser Composition Prize.
We produce new music through our Opera and Early Music programs. New stagings of classic and contemporary operas that train professional singers, instrumentalists, stage directors, repetiteurs, and coaches. And we celebrate annually with a new fully staged, orchestrated opera on an original libretto through UofT Opera and our Opera Student Composer Collective.
Many languages make reference to the ludic qualities of music making: play in English, jouer en français, spielen auf Deutsch.
Do you play an instrument? Are you interested in performing at the highest level?
Our goal is to give you the best foundational technical and finest advanced artistic training possible through private studio teaching with many of Toronto’s top professional teachers and players. While with us, you will play in well-coached UofT chamber music ensembles (strings, winds, brass, percussion, piano, guitar, early music, contemporary music, world music) and perform in UofT’s renowned large ensembles (opera, orchestra, winds, choirs, early music).
And you can also get professional playing experience through our Music Booking Office.
Schoenberg introduced his 1911 Theory of Harmony text with the words “I have learned this book from my students.”
At UofT Music we believe that the Teaching / Learning relationship is a powerful dialogue where enthusiasm meets experience and together we act in the service of musical creation, expression, and understanding.
We love teaching...and we’re still learning.
Our award-winning professors, lecturers, and professionals work with undergraduates from day one. Our graduate students are mentored by outstanding professionals in their fields.
One of the added-values of being at a great music school inside a great university is the level of thinking that goes on.
Our academic programs in music—from Theory and Composition, to History and Culture, along with your training in Education and Performance—develop your critical thinking abilities to an exceptional level.
So that you not only do music, you think music.
Your undergraduate music degree program also includes opportunities to take a range of courses in Arts & Science or other subject areas from the greater UofT and its distinctive College system...and you have access to a Music Library that ranks as one of the best in the world.
As you build your fluency and expertise relation between Think and Do, between thought and action becomes seamless.
Established in 1918, UofT Music is Canada’s leading institution for higher education in music and is a growing global presence in musical training, interdisciplinary research, and digital media content development.
UofT Music is committed to preparing our students for successful careers in and beyond music in a swiftly changing global environment. We embrace the global challenges of building culturally informed, healthy, sustainable societies, and preparing global citizens for leadership roles.
Space for UofT Music includes 3 sites:
(1) The Edward Johnson Building (EJB) (1964) with its MacMillan Theatre (MT 815 seats) and Walter Hall (WH 490 seats) performance spaces, large ensemble rehearsal rooms, classrooms, and studio offices, and its renowned Music Library (1990 additional wing).
(2) The Faculty of Music South (90W), a satellite building at 90 Wellesley, a converted dormitory built in 1955, used by Music since 2007 and partially renovated in 2011 for Jazz, graduate student offices, and other Performance functions.
(3) The transformative new major New Building Project now in the planning stages for 90 Queen’s Park (90QP) in partnership with other university and external stakeholders, which will connect the EJB directly to the 90QP facility and will include a New Recital Hall for Music as well as other related spaces for performance, conferences, and special events.
With one of Toronto's largest stages, an orchestra pit for 50 musicians, and a full fly-tower, UofT Music's MacMillan Theatre is the city's busiest stage.
The MacMillan Theatre seats 815 people and has complete lighting and recording facilities.
Designed to present operas, orchestral works, and recitals, MacMillan Theatre is ideal for guest productions, conventions, filming, and private events.
Named for Arnold Walter, Dean of UofT Music (1952-1968), with 490 seats, Walter Hall is Toronto's finest small auditorium. Designed for chamber music and solo recitals, Walter Hall also has a Casavant Organ.
The intimacy of Walter Hall makes it an ideal venue for your event. To make rental arrangements please contact our Concert Office Manager, Mary Ann Griffin our Building Manager Joe Lesniak.
Walter Hall General and Technical Information
Exciting news - we are building a new recital hall located in a new facilty at 90 Queen's Park Crescent. If you are interested in a naming opportunity for our new hall at 90QP, please contact Don McLean, Dean of the Faculty of Music.
Our season is well underway…with so much to choose from!
Chamber Music, Early Music, our UofT Symphony, Concert Jazz and 11 O’clock Jazz Orchestras, Opera, Voice, the Wind Symphony and master classes, gamUT, PianoFest, Guitar Orchestra, World Music Ensembles and our visitors – Atom Egoyan, Michael Colgrass, Lawrence Shragge, Pedram Khavarzamini and Scott Burnham.
We hope to see you soon …
UofT Music is the privileged host of many Resident & Visiting Ensembles. Hosting ensembles is another way we provide rich experiences for our community. The ensembles bring scholarship, performance, and mentorship to our stages and classrooms...we bring the opportunity to work with students.
Our partnerships extend to all of the major performing ensembles and arts organizations in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)...proximity to great sounds and organizations is one of the best features of our location in Toronto—a world city for music.
Our students are among the very best. Their talent and passion is reflected in their music and in their expression. They are professionals that we are justly proud to have here at UofT.
We actively support our students through our Booking Office by promoting and coordinating opportunities for them to perform at public and private functions.
For information as to how you can elevate your special occasion with their exciting musical performances, please contact us.
UofT's Faculty of Music is the engine that drives the performers, composers, scholars, and educators who will shape tomorrow's musical experience and sustain Canada's cultural economy.
Intensive classroom teaching and performance coaching by distinguished faculty and visitors pushes our students to explore new possibilities. Not a day goes by without lectures, master classes, and performances of special note. Our mentorship program connects alumni with current students helping them make the transition from the academy to the working world.
We rely on donors like you to ensure that our exciting programs continue. Donors like you ensure that our young musicians have the financial support necessary to be able to focus on their studies to achieve their artistic and academic goals.
The University of Toronto Boundless Campaign
In his previous position, Dean McLean was in part responsible for the largest naming gift to a performing arts faculty in Canada’s history. The Faculty of Music was not named in UofT’s previous campaign. What a Boundless opportunity for a visionary philanthropist! It is now Toronto and UofT’s turn.
State-of-the-art when it opened in 1964, this home venue for our renowned UofT Opera and large ensemble programs, with its still awesome stage and fly tower, is overdue for a transformative renewal that will return it to world-class status as a theatre for opera production and related performing arts presentations, training, and digital presence.
In September 2014, UofT announced exciting plans for the transformation of the 90 Queen’s Park site in partnership with multiple stakeholders inside and outside of the University. For the Faculty of Music, the 90QP project will create a “New Recital Hall” (a world-class space and high-profile naming opportunity), and will provide direct connection from Philosopher’s Walk to Queen’s Park Crescent and Avenue Road through the Edward Johnson Building and into the Atrium of the new complex with its New Recital Hall and related spaces for performance and conference activities.
UofT’s Music Library collection is a national treasure and one of the top four music research libraries in North America. Moved to a largely subterranean new wing in 1990, the Music Library offers a stellar naming opportunity for an enlightened donor. Renovation plans focus on creating a modern teaching and learning environment to complement our ongoing responsibility for the preservation and development of this amazing collection.
Established in 2012, MaHRC is quickly moving to create a global leadership position in the emergent interdisciplinary field of music and health, to enhance our understanding of the role of music and sound in individual and societal health and wellbeing. With already over 50 researchers from Music, Medicine, and other faculties, the UHN (University Health Network), other clinical research teams, and partners for other universities, MaHRC is seeking support for its innovative mission, projects, and collaborative programs. A transformative naming opportunity for someone, a target for directed support from several individuals already.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary season this past year, since its inception soon after WW II UofT Opera has been Canada’s pre-eminent university-based opera training program. Over the years UofT Opera has been the training ground for many of Canada’s greatest singing, coaching, conducting, directing, and theatre design talent. Today our graduates continue to win major competitions and to move on to professional companies and young artist programs. UofT Opera: a legacy naming opportunity for some great philanthropist and a popular direction for support from our loyal annual donors.
Many Areas in performance, teaching, and research at UofT Music have outstanding potential and they need to attract and retain high-profile faculty in an increasingly global talent pool. Support for Faculty Leaders helps secure and sustain excellence.
As part of the University of Toronto the Faculty of Music is committed to providing access and opportunity to the best and brightest students regardless of means. Graduate Fellowships are absolutely essential to attract the best national and international prospects. Though our students do quite well in securing limited available external research funding, we need major philanthropic support to provide graduate fellowships across all program areas at the master and doctoral levels. UofT Music has benefited from significant scholarship support (both endowed and annual) from many donors over several decades. But to remain competitive in a global context we need to be able to offer more substantial Undergraduate Scholarships and Graduate Fellowships, and to provide deeper Program Support to enhance student experience, notably to assist individuals and ensembles with travel to competitions, conferences, master classes, international exchanges, and summer programs.
In addition to the Alumni Annual Fund, the Dean’s Discretionary Fund provides resources to take advantage of opportunities as they arise: to provide ‘seed money’ or start-up funding for a new course, program, or research project, to purchase instruments and technical equipment, to ‘match’ other partnership sources. We hope to grow this fund substantially through direct funding and endowment.
Music students are inspired by the sounds around them. The noises and rhythms of UofT and of Toronto are written into song.
The world premier of a composition becomes a sold-out event. Performance takes flight.
For our students, it is another great musicial achievement, perhaps their first.
And people like you helped to make it happen...
Truth be told, giving sometimes goes unrecognized...
At other times, it is acknowledged...beautifully.
At UofT Music we want to work with you to support our students and programs and we make every effort to acknowledge and thank our donors.
At this year's season launch/welcome, Dean Don McLean shared this story about the emotional and relational importance of philanthropy from higher-education fundraising legend Don Gray:
Never Forget the Rose to the Widow and the Drum Serenade...
A middle class family who enjoyed the music of their local University gave a modest donation to its Music Faculty in memory of a late father and husband. The Dean immediately thanked them for their kind generosity and suggested that they might like to meet the beneficiary, the young student that their scholarship would support. They had the opportunity to meet her and to hear her graduating recital.
At the end of four years the family was also invited to attend convocation. As the young student stepped up to receive her diploma, she also received, as was custom at that school, a single rose. She turned, crossed the stage, and handed her rose to the widow who had made her graduation possible through that funded scholarship... a beautiful and graceful moment.
Years later, that same family made another donation to the marching band drum corps at another school. On a particular game day, the drum corps met the donor in front of the football stadium gate, surrounded her and, without any words exchanged, performed a drum serenade salute for her and then peeled off into the stadium.
When you are thinking about the power of philanthropy, particularly philanthropy in Music and performing arts:
Never Forget the Rose to the Widow and the Drum Serenade.
Imagine visiting a parent in a seniors' home. Today he may be withdrawn, confused, and agitated, he may have lost the ability to communicate, perhaps even recognize you. It is hard.
But, suddenly, when he listens to music...his toes start to tap, he calms down, and he begins to sing along...
MaHRC (The Music and Health Research Collaboratory) brings together experts in music, medicine, and clinical practice. MaHRC's researchers study diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, stroke, chronic pain...and how music can and does make a difference.
Through UofT Music, UofT, UHN (The University Health Network), and other external partners, we are quickly moving to a global leadership position in this emergent field. You can support MaHRC and Music Research.
At UofT Music we are a national leader in Music Research in composition, performance, theory, musicology, ethnomusicology and education, and we offer a wide range of respected and renowned performance programs in many domains: classical, jazz, early music, contemporary, opera. Our humanities-based research on music & society, as well as our groundbreaking work in music & health, and our national leadership through the Institute for Canadian Music (ICM) need your support to sustain our award-winning efforts.
UofT's Boundless Campaign provides many high profile and transformative naming opportunities for Music.
For more information on Naming Opportunities or other ways to give, please contact our Director of Advancement, Bruce Blandford.
UofT Music offers numerous undergraduate scholarships and graduate level fellowships annually. The need remains far greater than our remarkable current capacity. At the present time, and notwithstanding our students' extraordinary levels of success in receiving outside scholarly grants, we still need to fund too many of our graduate students through scarce operating resources. Supporting graduate students annually can have an extraordinary positive impact on them personally and on the Faculty's overall ability to carry out our mission.
Every annual gift has an impact on UofT Music students...the Faculty of Music trains performers, scholars, composers, and music educators for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. The Annual Fund and the Dean's Discretionary Fund together help support many student and program activities, and are often used to leverage additional outside resources that help us realize projects that would otherwise be impossible. You can support our Annual Fund and Dean's Discretionary Fund online, or please contact our Director of Advancement, Bruce Blandford.
We are privileged to be teamed with several corporations and foundations who support our students and our programs, often by providing matching gifts. With help from your employer, your generous gift can double or triple in size . To find out how we can work better together, contact our Director of Advancement, Bruce Blandford.
Leave a lasting legacy by including UofT Music in your estate planning. A gift by will or bequest provides you with the opportunity to support UofT Music once your needs and those of your loved ones have been met.
For more information, please contact our Director of Advancement, Bruce Blandford .
...a tour. Our city, our campus, our faculty...
…in a concert… over 600 annual performances plus lectures and masterclasses…many of them free…talent, passion, insight
…a moment – our ongoing story, highlights of our year and a taste of what is yet to come
…some magic…our booking office proudly represents our talented students… from solo performers to ensembles…we can help create that memorable event.
The Province of Ontario has declared a state of emergency in response to increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in the province. As of Thursday, January 14, 2021, at 12:01 a.m., the government has issued a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for permitted purposes or activities, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for work where the work cannot be done remotely. Please visit the university's Campus Status page for further information.
For university-wide information visit UTogether, your guide to the 2020-21 school year at U of T, including resources for students, resources for faculty, librarians and staff, COVID-19 self-assessments, health and wellness and frequently asked questions.
Summer Session 2021 Update: The Faculty of Music does not offer courses in the summer session; Music students can enrol in courses offered through the Faculty of Arts & Science, and should consult the Faculty of Arts & Science for course delivery information. Students from outside of the Faculty of Music who plan to enrol in MUS courses offered through the Faculty of Arts & Science in Summer Session I and Summer Session II should note that all MUS courses will be delivered fully online.
U of T Music Registrar's Office SharePoint Site
(updates for undergraduate students)
U of T Music Graduate Education SharePoint Site
(updates for graduate students)
Messages from U of T Music
U OF T MUSIC COVID UPDATE ON THE WINTER TERM:
Dear members of the U of T Music Community:
You will have received a message today from President Meric Gertler outlining several decisions concerning the upcoming winter term. This supplementary message addresses how some of these decisions will affect the Faculty of Music.
We realize that there will be a lot of adjustments to make and details to work out. We will update you through additional messages and postings to our website in the still uncertain times ahead.
Next Tuesday, November 24, at 12 noon, is our final Faculty Council of this semester. We are also scheduling a virtual Town Hall for faculty, staff, and student representatives for Tuesday, December 15, from 12 to 2, to take stock and to spend some time together as a community before the break.
And tomorrow, Saturday, November 21 at 12:00 p.m. EST, I invite you to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of our music graduands by tuning in to U of T’s Fall Convocation 2020 ceremony on the CONVOCATION WEBSITE, featuring music by alumnus Aaron Tsang and a Zoom gallery performance of O Canada by our UTSO.
In closing, I want to echo the President’s gratitude to our faculty members, sessional lecturers, teaching assistants, research associates, administrative staff, tradespeople, student service providers, and extend it our undergraduate and graduate students. Everyone has risen to the occasion under extremely trying circumstances, at work, and at home. I am inspired by your resilience and your creative adaptability. And I wish you and yours good health and some highly warranted downtime over the break.
Office of the Dean
Faculty of Music
University of Toronto
Latest update: September 4, 2020
MESSAGE FROM THE MUSIC LIBRARY
Dear Music Faculty, Staff, and Students:
I am pleased to announce that we will re-open the Music Library on an appointment basis on Tuesday, September 8 at 9 am. Please read our latest Blog post (and watch the embedded video!) for more information. If you have any questions, please reach out to Head Librarian Janneka Guise at 416.978.6920.
Janneka L. Guise, MMus, MLIS | Head Librarian | 416.978.6920
Latest update: July 24, 2020
Dear members of the Faculty of Music community:
I hope this update finds you and yours doing well in these unanticipated times. It has now been over four months since our COVID-19 shutdown! Although more detailed information will be coming to you next week, I felt that a brief update might help reassure everyone that much progress is being made.
Since my last general communication to U of T Music on the pandemic, the administrative team has been working hard to prepare timetable and space allocations for the fall semester. You will be receiving considerable additional information within days that will outline the steps already taken and the timeline for additional decisions. We know there remains a great deal of anxiety out there and we will do our best to work with you to answer questions and alleviate concerns. We are all in this together. And, given the unprecedented challenges of the current situation, I want to thank all of our colleagues and support staff for the extraordinary amount of extra work they have done (from the workgroups, to area chairs, to the tech team, to the student services support staff). In particular, the assignment of academic and performance class courses—already a difficult job under normal circumstances—has required exceptionally detailed levels of oversight this year. (Thank you to Nalayini, Eddy, Ryan, Jeff McFadden, Sebastian Bisciglia, and so many others for their amazing work!)
Now that the main timetable is in place and workload letters are being issued, students have begun to register for their courses. It will take a bit more time to work through the detailed scheduling of spaces and times for applied lessons in their various remote and in-person permutations—as teachers (and their students) confirm, by the second week of August, their personal plans for the fall with their Areas and the Performance Office.
Protocols for practice spaces are also part of the equation. The next communications will provide significant additional layers of information on various music-specific health & safety protocols that will be put in place in support of our wide range of teaching & learning activities. These protocols necessarily build on the general workplace guidelines that continue evolve in communications from the province, the city, and the university as the different phases of recovery unfold. We are also required to get back to U of T Environmental Health & Safety and university senior leadership to have one-up approval of our protocol recommendations. In addition, we are drawing widely on current scientific research (through our Music and Health Research Collaboratory and aerosol epidemiology specialists in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and other officials), which we will continue to share, and from broad reports (including many noted by some of you) from major performing arts organizations and other higher education institutions as we all strive to achieve a cautious, gradual, and effective path to recovery.
I do understand how trying the current situation is for everyone, both personally and professionally.
But I am confident we will get through it together.
Meanwhile… Stay patient. Stay well. Stay in touch.
With best wishes to all,
Latest update: May 20, 2020
Dear members of the U of T Music community:
The purpose of this communication is to bring you up-to-date with our current situation and to fill you in on the actions being undertaken as we move from the end of last term in April towards the beginning of next term in September. We know that some of our community members have experienced sickness and loss in this global pandemic, and I want to begin by extending our sympathies, and in some cases condolences, to those tragically affected by COVID-19. In addition, the economic impact of the shutdown has been overwhelming, its effect on many individuals and families enormous, and the results for our professional and educational performing arts sectors and for the community at large quite devastating.
The Shutdown. Scarcely two months ago, we took the unprecedented action of shutting down all in-person teaching and all public concerts and recitals in the face of the alarming acceleration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake, this is the last thing any of us wanted to do in Music. So much of our activity is, by definition, socially proximate—this is, after all, the meaning of ensemble. I want to thank everyone for working together, in a very different kind of ensemble, to get us to the end of the term. It has been an impressive accomplishment, but still deeply disappointing for us all.
Academic Disruption. We had to approach the Provost for an unprecedented “declaration of academic disruption” in our lessons (over 500 individual) and recitals (over 250 scheduled for April–May), since it was not possible to deliver them publicly, or even technologically, without compromising the safety of the many students, faculty, and staff involved. (To state the obvious, even “solo” recitals typically involve several people on stage, including technical support crew.)
Graduating Students. For many of our graduating students, this meant that not only were their capstone recital projects cancelled, the University went on to declare Convocation would not take place in person—so, no graduating recital, and no graduation, at least in not in the forms to which we are accustomed. This has been extremely upsetting for us all. I am pleased to say that Music will play an important role in the official virtual Convocation, slated for online broadcast June 2, 2020 at noon EDT. And that we are still planning for a Music-specific celebration together when possible. More information on Convocation will be sent to graduands soon.
Administrative Response. All of us in the Faculty of Music Senior Leadership Group—which consists of the Dean, the four Associate Deans—Ryan McClelland (Academic & Student Affairs), Jeff Packman (Graduate Education), Steven Vande Moortele (Research), and Gordon Foote (Performance & Public Events), now joined by Jeff McFadden, who will take over that portfolio as of July 1, and the CAO/Assistant Dean (Operations) Kevin Howey, with Mary-Beth Campbell (Manager, Office of the Dean)—have been working closely with student organizations, support staff, faculty members, the community of donors and concert-goers, and, extensively, with the university administration to determine our next steps forward to ensure that we will be able to deliver our programs optimally under evolving conditions and with proper health & safety protocols in place as the pandemic plays out in the fall and beyond. The University provides regular status updates and useful COVID-19-related links. We in Music will be providing regular updates to different constituencies on specific issues in the coming weeks.
Workgroups. In particular, we have formed Workgroups that are reviewing the different distinctive modalities of music teaching and learning to assess how best to deliver our programs and to determine what additional infrastructure (from technology acquisitions, to space upgrades, to health & safety protocols, etc.) will need to be in place to do so. The Workgroups are focused on: applied lessons, lectures & tutorials, chamber music & jazz combos, performance practice & pedagogy classes, and large ensembles, with an additional group on technology. We expect delivery decisions to be made by end-of-May/early June, with timetabling as part of that process.
To our continuing undergraduate students, we are confident that you will be able to continue your artistic and academic programs in the fall, although we expect that we will be operating under a combination of online and in-person instruction. We appreciate the ongoing resourcefulness of the FMUA as they work with our administrative team to help students through the current crisis with many creative initiatives. University Student Life provides regular updates, including aid information. Returning students should seek academic counseling through the Music Registrar’s Office. Information on course registration will be sent from the Registrar’s Office in mid-June, and an interim update on course delivery will be provided in late May.
To our continuing graduate students, we realize that many performance and research projects have been disrupted and that you are looking at program extensions and clarifications of ongoing financial support. Many of you have been meeting with your mentors and supervisors to review progress, and we will continue to work with you to plan any adjustments to your program path. Course registration is expected to take place in the normal late-July timeframe. We appreciate the work of the MGSA in collaborating with the faculty administration to monitor student conditions as we navigate through the disruption together. In addition to our Music Graduate Office, SGS provides regular updates. One important item to report: the university has recognized the creative research focus of many of Music’s graduate programs and is including our music cohort in discussions of the protocols for reopening university “labs” (recognizing for us that this includes practice facilities, studios, etc.). We are also pleased to report that a number of doctoral final oral examinations have taken place successfully over the past months, and that several of our students continue to win major awards and artistic/academic positions.
To our incoming students, both undergraduate and graduate, we know that you are facing difficult decisions and uncertainty about the fall, particularly those of you coming from distant and international destinations. We will do everything we can to assist everyone’s access to our programs in whatever timelines and formats are possible. The University (through Student Life or the School of Graduate Studies) will be providing regular updates on registration, residences, travel, and campus access. Rest assured that our first priority is the health and safety of our entire community. We believe we are on a good trajectory to move toward a hybrid form of program delivery in the fall (some things online, some in-person in appropriate-sized groups), but we will continue to proceed cautiously, and will update everyone more regularly through the coming weeks and months. Please reach out to the Music Registrar’s Office or the Music Graduate Office should you require additional information.
To our support staff, who have literally had to take their already full workloads home with them, thank you. Thank you for your ongoing support to our students and programs. We are so fortunate to have such an extraordinary group of people. We realize that many of you are working under additional constraints due to conditions in your remote locations. The teams in Admissions & Recruitment, Registrar’s Office, Graduate Education, and Performance continue to provide exceptional service and to develop creative workarounds to keep accessibility going. In addition, the technical teams in Walter Hall and MacMillan Theatre are lending their expertise to technology planning, and the Concerts & Publicity, Finance, and Advancement teams are building our capacity and profile even further despite these difficult times.
To our faculty members. I also want to thank our faculty members—full-time, part-time, sessional—for your improvisational skills in getting us all to the end of term. Your dedication to your students and to our collective mission is inspiring. It hasn’t been easy. And I appreciate that many of you have now thrown yourselves into the task of figuring out our way forward. In particular, the collective effort going into the workgroups is testimony to the resilience and drive of our UofT artist-teachers and research-scholars. For many of our faculty, the research conferences and field trips that might have been squeezed in at this time of year have become impossible due to travel restrictions, and for our performing artists the live concerts, summer festivals, and recording projects are on hold. We know that these cancellations have caused many of you both professional disappointment and economic hardship, and we therefore doubly appreciate the commitment and expertise of your contributions to the planning process ahead.
To our donors, arts organization partners, and concert-goers. One of the corollaries of the shutdown has been that we are distanced from so many of our dedicated donors, arts partners, and concert-goers. For many of them, our concerts are essential elements in their social networks and overall sense of well-being. We pledge to work with our long-term arts organization partners who are facing difficult decisions about their upcoming seasons, including their use of UofT Music spaces. Through our Advancement team and our relatively new Faculty of Music Advisory Council (under the leadership of co-chairs Richard Phillips and Irene Miller) we have reached new levels of donor support, with significant matches from the university for scholarships, productions, and research. We want you to know how much our students and faculty members appreciate your ongoing support. And we hope to see you in person again soon.
Presence and e-presence. The shutdown of our public activities has led to a few unanticipated consequences. For example, we have had more people join some of our remote meetings than could normally join us in person. And we have been able to dedicate some of the human and technical resources normally given over to live concerts to increase our e-presence: through our social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; our participation in the new U of T Alumni Hub (including a virtual Thursdays at Noon series for July); our “from the Archives” project (that reaches back to provide samples of our extraordinary work); and our plans for “Aircasting” in the fall (various cross-area curated projects as partial supplements to live concerts).
As we move forward cautiously, we will be back together in our concert halls and theatres as soon as we safely can be. For we recognize, perhaps more than ever, across all of our constituencies—students, support staff, faculty, community members—how important our mission of music is to our collective health and well-being, and how determined we are to reaffirm our presence in music creation, performance, education, and research for the city, the university, and the world.
With best wishes to all.
Latest update: April 16, 2020
Dear Members of the U of T Music Community:
We hope you and your loved ones remain well. There is a tremendous amount of activity taking place in the very difficult context of the COVID-19 pandemic that has so devastated the normal activities of our performing arts professional and educational world. From time to time, we will be sharing information with you on various proactive responses from government and other organizations as come to us through our contacts. Today, the Toronto Arts Council circulated an update for the Arts Community.
The Faculty of Music is moving forward with various contingency plans for next artistic and academic season. And is working with other organizations and institutions. Please take a moment to let us how you are doing and how you are making use of resources as they become available.
With best wishes,
Don McLean | Dean and Professor | Faculty of Music, University of Toronto
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Home to Canada's largest number of musicians and music venues, Toronto is a creative and business hub for music in Canada.
Whole Note Magazine is always a good bet for information on current and upcoming performances in and around Toronto.
Blog TO’s Best Jazz Bars and Where.ca’s Best Jazz Clubs also have up to date information on jazz venues and shows, and if you are planning to be here in the early summer, consider the Toronto Jazz Festival… considered one of the world’s best.
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