My research champions contemporary Canadian clarinet music through performance and links the diversity of Canadian clarinet music to multiculturalism. I am actively seeking new works for the clarinet by Canadian composers and performing, recording, studying, and integrating these pieces into clarinet pedagogy.
My DMA thesis looks at Canadian clarinet music from 1971 to present through the lens of one of Canada’s core values, multiculturalism. Using Canadian clarinet works, I have demonstrated how the depth-of-thought and critical evaluation by the performer, specifically within a Canadian context, is an act of multiculturalism. The act of multiculturalism is working towards a tolerant pluralist society which recognizes the need for cultural accommodation and actively celebrates and thrives on diversity rather than simply acknowledging it as a fact.
DMA Thesis Abstract
Despite the wealth of Canadian clarinet repertoire, there are few studies which champion this music. The majority of studies on Canadian clarinet music focus on pedagogy for student performers. Additionally, there are no studies that look at Canadian music from the perspective of Canadian identity. Canada’s social framework directly impacts its musical output and reflects Canada’s core values including multiculturalism. This study satisfies both of these needs in scholarship. The most comprehensive survey of Canadian clarinet music is an LP album, New for Now Volume 2 Clarinet, compiled and performed by Canadian clarinetist Avraham Galper from 1971. Also in 1971 multiculturalism became government policy and a core Canadian value. Using multiculturalism as a focal point for examining Canadian clarinet repertoire, this study explores the ways in which music performance is a multicultural action rather than simply stating the fact of social pluralism.
Empty Sky by Elliot Weisgarber, Sitpatsimoyi by Robert Rosen, Anerca II by Milton Barnes, and Between the Shore and the Ships by Derek Charke are four Canadian works which use the clarinet as a solo instrument. These works also reflect the ethnocultural groups the Canadian Multiculturalism Act accommodates: immigrants, First Nations, and French-speaking people. Each work is examined from contextual and musical perspectives for representations of ethnocultural identity. Likewise, performance decisions are discussed revealing how performance is a multicultural gesture requiring musical, contextual, and social analysis. The evaluation of these factors are consolidated into performance which musically illustrates an understanding and sensitivity to ethnocultural accommodation and comments on social issues making each performance a multicultural action.