Calgary musical prodigy attracts global attention | video

Photo courtesy Calgary Herald, Christina Ryan Mount Royal Conservatory oboe student and composer Trevor Mansell is in demand. The talented teen is off to study at Florida's prestigious Lynn University on a full scholarship.
Photo courtesy Calgary Herald, Christina Ryan Mount Royal Conservatory oboe student and composer Trevor Mansell is in demand. The talented teen is off to study at Florida’s prestigious Lynn University on a full scholarship.

Calgary musical prodigy attracts global attention | video.

Conservatory oboist Trevor Mansell has made front page news.

The 18-year-old Advanced Performance Program student found himself in the middle of a bidding war as four universities were competing to land him with full music scholarships.

In the end, he went with Florida’s prestigious Lynn University in Boca Raton to study under the great Joe Robinson. Student and teacher met in Calgary in recent years after Mount Royal Conservatory invited “Oboe Joe” to teach masterclasses here.

Today’s Calgary Herald reports:

Mansell recently declined multiple Canadian scholarships to study under Robinson at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. Once his education is complete, many believe he will go on to perform in the some of the world’s most prestigious orchestras.

“There are special kids, and then there is Trevor,” said Mount Royal Conservatory director Paul Dornian, who considers Mansell a “double threat” because he is as skilled at writing music as he is at playing.

“It’s very rare to be an outstanding instrumentalist and also compose. His talents have many dimensions.”

Trevor’s mother Tina Hazard tells us she’s gaining a new appreciation for Conservatory programming. Through the family’s travels to prospective universities vying for Trevor in recent months, it became clear that his Mount Royal training had prepared him at the highest level.

“I realized going to these universities how special Mount Royal is. Trevor’s already had lessons from those same people, and he’s played most of that repertoire already. He’s already kind of done an undergrad, in a way,” Tina says.

“The quality of Mount Royal’s faculty and the fact they give so much to making those kids better is amazing.”

 By Sherri Zickefoose, May 30, 2014

Conservatory offering new program in music, transmedia this fall


Mount Royal Conservatory is pleased to announce a new music course this fall, bringing the world of digital sound to musicians.

The Extension Certificate in Music and Transmedia is an online program designed for post-secondary music students and professional musicians interested in visual media and interactive storytelling.

The Music and Transmedia program prepares participants to enter a career path in gaming and animation, video production, web and app development, and other forms of transmedia practice. Students will investigate the digital materials and techniques of music and sound environments in today’s transmedia world.

“The music world has gone digital and the best creative minds now work anywhere at any time on their laptops to create the music we live by,” said Mount Royal Conservatory Director Paul Dornian.

“When training musicians to become part of today’s reality it just seemed right to do it online rather than the old model of sitting in a classroom. Creativity is never out of date, but changing digital formats do go out of date. This certificate plugs creative people into the channels that talk to today’s audiences. We don’t tell you what your music should sound like but we will show you how to create it so that the world can listen.”

Watch the video: 

The program consists of eight required courses (180 hours). It includes field experience or a collaborative project with peers. Participants create an electronic portfolio as well.

Registration begins June 9.

Young violinist to solo at NYC’s Carnegie Hall


Amilia playing

An 11-year-old Mount Royal Conservatory violinist is preparing to play solo at Carnegie Hall in New York City this month.

Read story in Metro here.

Watch Global News story here.

Hear CBC Radio story here.

Young violinist Amilia Hildahl won an honourable mention in this year’s American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition.

The talent competition sees young musicians ages six to 18 from across North America, Europe, China, Korea, Mongolia, Poland, and Russia vying for top spots.

Amilia is taking to the famed concert hall’s stage May 26.

“It doesn’t feel real when I stop and think about it,” said Amilia, who has been a Conservatory student since she was six years old.

“I really do think I was suprised at the outcome. I didn’t think I didn’t have the potential, but I didn’t think I was there quite yet. But it’s something new and different to try out and it paid off,” she said.

Amilia studies violin under Conservatory faculty member Elisabeth Szojka.

She also plays second violin in the Conservatory’s Junior Orchestra under Benn Neumann.

One of the great advantages of studying at the Conservatory is the extensive array of musical activities that provide a complement to private instruction.

“For our string students, an important adjunct to private lessons is our orchestra program – a series of six string ensembles that progress from a child’s first ensemble experience, culminating in the Calgary Youth Orchestra, a full symphonic orchestra that plays professional repertoire,” says Sheldon Nadler, the Conservatory’s Manager of General and Orchestral Programs.

Amilia’s mother, Violetta, submitted an audition recording of Amilia performing Oskar Rieding’s Concertino in G op. 24, Sonata 4 in D minor variation 1 by Johann Christoph Pepusch and Hornpipe by George Coutts.

“I recorded her playing and thought whatever would happen would happen. I was just looking to see what her potential is,” said Violetta.

“She’s been really happy playing the violin and performing, so we’re just very happy she’d been able to reap the rewards. What she does later is up to her. It’s her choice entirely.”

Music runs in the family for three generations: not only is Amilia’s mother Violetta a piano teacher, but her grandmother Isabella is also a violinist and teacher.

“She’s always been around music,” said Violetta. “We’re very happy she’s been exposed to all this her entire life.”

For Amilia, the experience is worth the hard work and is sure to make a lifelong memory.

“I work hard, that’s typically my goal. I work hard and get something done and get my breaks, do whatever else I need to do,” she said.

“I think the violin will always stay as part of my life regardless if I take it on professionally.”

by Sherri Zickefoose, May 12, 2014

Jazz workshop heating up summer at the Conservatory


rubim-bw-new-smallCalgarians are at long last celebrating the darling buds of May, but Rubim de Toledo already has his eye on summer.

This week, the jazz bassist will be visiting four different Calgary high schools — Central Memorial, Lord Beaverbrook, Western Canada and E.P. Scarlett.

He’s singing the praises of the Conservatory’s summer jazz workshop Aug. 11-15. REGISTRATION OPEN NOW!

“I love that the camp has something for everyone; junior high, senior high, university and adult students all benefit as we have seven different combo levels,” says de Toledo, director of the summer jazz workshop.

“Everyone can be comfortable and be assured that they will surrounded by students at their level but will also get that push that helps students improve,” he said.

“Jazz music is all about exploration and collaboration. It’s about improvising and creating in the moment, performing with a group of musicians who share the same passion you have for music and finding new and exciting ways to express yourself through music.”

The credit-free summer jazz workshop features Conservatory faculty jazz greats you can see playing here:

Tyler Hornby, drums

Jon Day, trumpet

Carsten Rubeling, trombone

Sheldon Zandboer, piano

Ralf Buschmeyer, guitar

Jim Brenan, saxophone

The workshop is for all students of piano, bass, guitar, drums, trombone, trumpet and saxophone, ages 13 and over. Adults are welcome.

Novice students will be introduced to the essence of jazz—namely improvisation and performance— while those already acquainted with jazz will benefit from the week’s immersion in improvisation, rehearsal and performance:

  • Enhance your understanding of jazz styles and history
  • Explore jazz theory and apply techniques, scale exercises and chord constructions from jazz masters to your own playing
  • Expand your repertoire with jazz standards chosen to challenge all levels of skill and experience
  • Improve your combo/improvisation playing skills; Interpret lead sheets through ensemble work as combos, rhythm and horn sections, during jam sessions, rehearsals and in performance

 Register today! 

2014SummerJazzWkshop Sherri Zickefoose, May 7, 2014