Posted February 5, 2009

Juno nominations music to U of T's ears

Numerous nominations for faculty, students and alumni
By Anjum Nayyar

Toronto - U of T's renowned Faculty of Music was recognized this week as Juno nominations were announced by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. A total of fourteen musicians and two ensembles affiliated with the Faculty of Music, including faculty members, students, alumni and staff, are involved in eleven nominated albums in ten different categories.

The Juno Awards are presented annually to Canadian musical artists and bands to acknowledge their artistic and technical achievements in all aspects of music. This year's awards will be handed out on March 28 and 29 in Vancouver.

"The nine Juno nominations this year that involve musicians from the Faculty of Music represent the broad spectrum of performance areas at the Faculty including jazz, opera, world music, classical music, composition, and Aboriginal music. The musicians who are being honored range from current undergraduate students to graduates, and also include two ensembles-in-residence, The Gryphon Trio and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra," said Dean of Music Russell Hartenberger. "It is rewarding to see that the outstanding quality of our students and faculty members is being recognized by these significant awards. The large number of nominations and the wide representation of musical genres is indicative of the importance of the contribution of the University of Toronto to culture in Canada."

Both faculty and alumni received recognition for their work in the jazz and classical music categories. Professor Chris Donnelly, who received his Master of Music in jazz performance from the Faculty of Music, was nominated for Traditional Jazz Album of the Year and Roberto Occhipinti's album, A Bend in the River, received the nomination for Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year. Double bassist Occhipinti is a graduate of the Faculty of Music.

Barry Romberg's Random Access Large Ensemble also got the nod for Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year, Existential Detective. Members of the band include faculty and alumni of the Jazz Department: John Johnson, saxophone, William Carn, trombone, Andrew Jones, Geoff Young and David Occhipinti, guitar.

For Classical Album of the Year, Solo or Chamber Ensemble, the Gryphon Trio earned a nomination for Schubert: Complete Piano Trio. All three members of the Gryphon Trio teach chamber music at the Faculty of Music. Jamie Parker, Annalee Patipatanakoon and Roman Borys all teach at the Faculty of Music, and. Parker was recently appointed the R. E. Edwards Chair in Piano Performance.

The Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, directed by Jeanne Lamon, is the Baroque orchestra-in-residence Bat the Faculty of Music. The ensemble's album, Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 7 & 8 received the nomination for Classical Album of the Year: Large Ensemble or Soloists with Large Ensemble. The renowned orchestra hosts an annual Baroque summer institute at the faculty.

In the Classical Album of the Year, Vocal or Choral Performance category, Shannon Mercer earned a nomination for Bach and the Litrugical Year. Mercer studied with the opera division of the Faculty of Music. For Classical Composition of the Year, alumnus John Burge's Flanders Fields Reflections was nominated.

The album Auk/Blood received the nomination for Aboriginal Album of the Year. The album features a performance by drummer Graeme Peters, a third-year student.

The Barenaked Ladies, whose bassist Jim Creeggan studied at the Faculty of Music, scored the nomination for Children's Album of the Year, Snacktime!

Drummer Colin Kingsmore, who received his bachelor's degree at the faculty in performance, performed on Elizabeth Shepherd's album, Parkdale, which is nominated for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year.

And finally, music alumni George Dimitri Sawa and Suzanne Sawa received the nomination for World Music Album of the Year. Dimitri Sawa studied ethnomusicology at the University of Toronto, and obtained his doctorate in historical Arabic musicology at the Department of Middle East and Islamic Studies. Meyers Sawa received master's degrees in both musicology and library science from the University of Toronto, where she is currently a librarian at the Faculty of Music.

For more information on the awards, visit the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) website at

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