Friday, October 21 | 8:30 AM - 9:45 AM
Triffo Theatre, Allard Hall
The topic of diversity in music and music education has emerged as a key aspect of fostering inclusivity, relevance, and positive change. As a global shift continues to take place surrounding accessibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion, there are critical questions that must remain front-of-mind to prevent falling back into antiquated and exclusionary patterns. Gender, ethnicity, disability, age, sexuality, faith, and many other forms of heterogeneity deserve to be acknowledged not just in the repertoire that we choose or our language during rehearsal, but rather on a holistic, all-encompassing scale. Moderated by Dr. Adam Con, the keynote panel will discuss topics such as what it is like to work as a “diverse” person in music education, challenges surrounding appropriation and tokenism, and considerations in the creation of more inclusive and accessible environments.
Dr. Adam Con, moderator
Dr. Adam Jonathan Con is Head of Music Education and conductor of the UVIC Symphonic Chorus at the University of Victoria. In addition, Dr. Con coordinates Graduate Choral Conducting, and serves as graduate faculty supervisor for the accordion applied area. Adam has recently completed his role as principal investigator for the historic National Study on the State of Music Education in Canada. He was born and raised on the traditional lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, in the city of Vancouver, British Columbia. As a 4th generation descendent of the Chinese Diaspora in Canada, he is grateful to be able to embrace his rich cultural and spiritual lineage while living and working as a guest in the beautiful traditional lands of the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples in Victoria, British Columbia.
Shireen Abu Khader, panelist
Shireen Abu Khader is a Palestinian Jordanian Canadian artist, composer and educator. She holds a PhD in Music Education from the University of Toronto, a Master’s in Choral Music from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Oberlin College Conservatory. In 2002, Shireen founded Dozan wa Awtar Music Establishment which has been an important venture in her personal development as well as the evolution of choral music in Jordan.
The inspiration for the establishment stemmed from her work with The Edward Said Conservatory in Ramallah, from 1998 to 2000. Dozan wa Awtar performances were designed to inspire, create, unite, and respond to the changing socio-political context. Since then, this vision has been shaping the local musical identity through different compositions and arrangements, allowing room for the exploration of and experimentation with choral sounds and ideas. Her CD Introducing Dozan was released in 2008 showcasing some of her choral works.
In Toronto, Shireen continues to compose and work with choirs while introducing music from the Levant region (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Iraq) and collaborating with artists on various projects. She has recently evolved her company into Dozan World which aims to spread music of her region to the international community through sheet music publishing.
Andrew Balfour, panelist
Of Cree descent, Andrew Balfour is an innovative composer/conductor/singer/sound designer with a large body of choral, instrumental, electro-acoustic and orchestral works, including Take the Indian (a vocal reflection on missing children), Empire Étrange: The Death of Louis Riel, Bawajigaywin (Vision Quest) and Manitou Sky, an orchestral tone poem. His new Indigenous opera, Mishaboozʼs Realm, was commissioned by LʼAtelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal and Highlands Opera Workshop.
Andrew is also the founder and Artistic Director of the vocal group Camerata Nova, now in its 22nd year of offering a concert series in Winnipeg. With Camerata Nova, Andrew specializes in creating “concept concerts”, many with Indigenous subject matter. These innovative offerings explore a theme through an eclectic array of music, including new works, arrangements and innovative inter-genre and interdisciplinary collaborations.
Andrew has become increasingly passionate about music education and outreach, particularly on northern reserves and in inner-city Winnipeg schools where he has worked on behalf of the National Arts Centre, Camerata Nova, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and various Winnipeg school divisions.
In 2007 Andrew received the Mayor of Winnipegʼs Making a Mark Award, sponsored by the Winnipeg Arts Council to recognize the most promising midcareer artist in the City.
Dr. Kofi Gbolonyo, panelist
Dr. Kofi Gbolonyo is an ethnomusicologist and a specialist in Orff-Schulwerk and multicultural music education. He has over 30 years of experience teaching children and adults of all ages at different levels of education in many different countries and continents. Kofi is an internationally recognized clinician, music educator, performer, and scholar. Dr. Kofi Gbolonyo is currently a professor in Music and African Studies and the founder and director of the African Music and Dance Ensemble at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver; an instructor at the Capilano University’s Jazz Studies Program in North Vancouver; the founder and director of Nunya Music Academy, Ghana; and the Orff-Afrique Annual Summer Courses in Ghana.
Dr. Shelley Jagow, panelist
Dr. Shelley Jagow serves as Director of Bands and teaches conducting at the undergraduate and graduate level at Wright State University School of Music (Dayton, OH). As an artist clinician with Conn-Selmer, Vandoren, Meredith Music, and GIA Music, “Dr. J” enjoys working with school bands and presents clinics, performances, adjudications, and serves as honor band conductor at various state, national and international conferences and events. She is a contributing author to the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series (GIA Music), and is the author of several books: 1) Developing the Complete Band Program (2nd ed.) 2) Tuning for Wind Instruments 3) Intermediate Studies for Developing Artists on the Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone and Bassoon. Growing up riding horses and helping on the farm in her native Saskatchewan (Canada), Shelley continues to enjoy the outdoors, gardening, exploring independent craft breweries, and sharing a love for all animals. Website: www.shelleyjagow.com