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UTSC community keeps making music


UTSC pulsed with music during the Winter Blues Festival this week – a lot of it made by UTSC musicians themselves. UTSC’s concert choir, concert band, small ensemble program, and community and alumni band held open house rehearsals this week to showcase the musical opportunities on campus.

Although the UTSC music program does not include a performance major, it does provide ample opportunities to perform for interested students as well as faculty, alumni and community members.

“We’re trying to encourage a life-long engagement in music,” says Lynn Tucker, lecturer in the Department of Arts, Culture and Media and conductor of the UTSC Concert Band. “Regardless of their career path, students can keep playing music throughout their lives.”

The UTSC Concert Band has about 50 performers. The UTSC Concert Choir, directed by Lecturer Lenard Whiting has about 60 and a new Small Ensemble course led by Instructor Brett Kingsbury has about 25 musicians.

Many of the performers are of course majors or minors in the music and culture program. But most of them actually come from other majors. They are students who sang or played in high school, and wanted to continue in university despite majoring in some other discipline.

For instance, Ainsley Lawson is clarinet player in the concert band, and a graduate student in psychology.  She had played clarinet in her high school band. When she came to UTSC to study psychology she assumed her band days were over.

It wasn’t until her fourth year here as an undergraduate student studying math and computer science that she discovered there was a concert band she could play in. She tried out and made it, and continues to play as a graduate student.

Tucker says many students are attracted to UTSC because of the opportunity to continue playing music regardless of what they’re studying.

Since 2010 there’s yet another music-making opportunity on campus – the UTSC Alumni & Community Concert Band, which is open to alumni, community members, and current students. The 40-member band was co-founded by alumni Angela Tran and Christopher Ng.

Discussions are also beginning about a possible Alumni & Community Concert Choir.


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