Mount Royal Conservatory speech arts hits golden jackpot

calgary speech arts, mount royal university conservatory, mount royal conservatory, jennifer orr
Mount Royal University Conservatory Speech Arts and Drama coordinator Jennifer Orr with six of her seven students who won gold medals for top marks through the Royal Conservatory of Music convocation last week.

Sunday was a golden day for Mount Royal University Conservatory’s Speech Arts students.

Seven young students earned medals from the Royal Conservatory of Music for receiving the highest mark in their grade in the province.

The awards were presented Sunday at the RCM convocation in Calgary.cons_img_fac_orr

Of the 16 provincial speech medals awarded in Alberta, 10 were students from Mount Royal Conservatory.

Mount Royal University Conservatory Speech Arts and Drama coordinator Jennifer Orr, who was a member of the team that produced the 2000 edition of RCM Examinations Speech and Drama syllabus and works as an adjudicator and specialist consultant, said she is proud of her students.

“Only piano had more medalists in Alberta than speech, which speaks to the size of the program here and to our support and leadership. Of the 16 provincial speech medals in Alberta, 10 were taught at MRU.  I’ve had lots of medalists over the years, but seven is quite the jackpot,” said Orr.

Mount Royal instructor Jilliane Yawney had two speech medalists (preparatory and Grade 3), Jim Dobbin taught the Grade 10 medalist, and Susan Duska taught student Heather Macnab, the national gold medalist for ARCT Speech and Drama Performance.

A partnership between RCM Examinations and Mount Royal Conservatory’s speech program has yielded the RCM Examinations’Speech Arts and Drama Syllabus, 2011 edition. The Conservatory speech program and faculty continue to provide leadership in curriculum and teaching as speech teachers throughout Canada meet the challenge of this new syllabus.

Speech arts and drama training truly exemplifies the benefits of arts education. It is both a remarkable artistic endeavor and a fundamental, empowering life skill. It is founded on two main areas of study: training the speaking voice, and performance and presentation in such forms as verse-speaking, acting, storytelling and public speaking. Students gain a deep appreciation of literature and the power of language, and develop clear thinking and speaking abilities that they will carry into every aspect of their lives.

Speech arts and drama is for everyone; it is a boost for shy children, a haven for children that love literature, and a magical outlet for children that are driven to perform. it gives students the confidence to speak, to communicate, and to be heard. The confidence and ability it offers its learners is a gift they will benefit from for the rest of their lives.

The Speech Arts & Drama program at Mount Royal Conservatory is the largest in Canada, with faculty and programs recognized as the finest in the nation. Our teachers are professional speech instructors with backgrounds in speech, voice, literature and drama.

Sherri Zickefoose, Nov. 4, 2014

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