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Dual winners mark the 16th annual Verna Mae Janzen Music Competition

Tuesday, April 6, 2021 @ 2:47 PM

For the past 16 years, the CMU School of Music hosts the Verna Mae Janzen Music Competition for music students capable of performing at a high skill level. It is a time, as adjudicator Henrietta Schellenberg puts it, "of comradery and competition for music students, a chance to bring their art to the public, a jewel in the life of the musical calendar at CMU."

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Final Performances from the 2021 Verna Mae Janzen Music Competition (videos)

Thursday, March 25, 2021 @ 7:30 AM

The 16th annual Verna Mae Janzen Music Competition finals are held virtually in 2021, with performanaces recorded to comply with COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.  

This year's edition of the competition features two seperate categories and winners in both voice and piano performances. The winner of each category is announced by adjudicators Henriette Schellenberg (voice) and Dr. Edmund Dawe (piano) at the conclusion of each video below. 

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Student assistantship with Li Keur project yields golden opportunities for two PACTS majors

Monday, October 5, 2020 @ 12:00 PM

Peacebuilding students Bryna Link and Hannah Connelly describe joys and challenges of their work on the Li Keur Podcast, interviewing creators and collaborators from the eponymous new opera.

Bryna Link and Hannah Connelly joined the production team of celebrated new opera Li Keur: Riel's Heart of the North as student assistants back in July. What began as a summer position—and for Connelly, a practicum placement ahead of graduation next Spring—has developed into a long-term student assistantship that will take both women all the way through Summer 2021.

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CMU choir continues to connect during cancelled tour

Friday, July 10, 2020 @ 11:39 AM

From April 27 to May 4, the Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) Singers were to spend a week singing and travelling across the country, all the way from Manitoba to British Columbia. Unfortunately, the choir tour had to be cancelled—one of the many casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Production Update: Dr. Suzanne Steele and Neil Weisensel’s Li Keur, Riel’s Heart of the North

Wednesday, July 8, 2020 @ 12:00 AM

Two CMU Peace and Conflict Transformation Studies (PACTS) students will assist completion of Indigenous Language pronunciation database essential to new opera.

Co-creators of the new opera Li Keur, Riel's Heart of the North—Dr. Suzanne Steele, Métis poet and scholar, composer Neil Weisensel, Adjunct Professor of Music at CMU—have hired two CMU students to learn and assist on the opera's production team as they move towards the show's first staged production in 2021. Senior PACTS students Bryna Link of Peguis First Nation and Hannah Connelly of Saskatchewan will take on the roles of Communications Assistant and Production Assistant respectively.

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CMU’s Anna Schwartz wins Canada Music Week’s Student Composer Competition for Manitoba

Friday, June 19, 2020 @ 9:02 AM

Anna Schwartz is drinking in the opportunities CMU's vibrant musical community provides. Following her provincial win last month, her original work "Prairie Sunrise" now goes to compete at the national level.

CMU's Anna Schwartz has taken first place at the provincial level of this year's Canada Music Week Student Composer Competition, hosted by the Manitoba Registered Music Teachers' Association. Schwartz's original composition for orchestra, "Prairie Sunrise," earned $200 in prize money and will now go on to be entered in the nation-wide summer competition. Schwartz also entered an original piece for choir that garnered honourable mention.

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CMU School of Music alumna awarded prestigious Yamaha Fellowship

Tuesday, May 26, 2020 @ 9:18 AM

CMU alumna Anneli Loepp Thiessen has been awarded the University of Rochester's coveted Yamaha Fellowship: a full-ride scholarship to study for one intensive week at the university's Eastman Leadership Academy this summer.

Limited to just 25 people, the program will include mentorship from faculty, training in essential skills like grant-writing, and support in developing a personal project of each Fellow's choice. Loepp Thiessen says her passion project will, "as always," have a feminist objective:

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Children in the classroom

Monday, April 6, 2020 @ 12:16 PM

If you had walked into Dr. Janet Brenneman's Early Musical Development course last semester, you might have been surprised at what you would have found: a group of preschoolers.

Brenneman, Associate Professor of Music at CMU, invited children from Assiniboine Castle Daycare to come to her university class for five weeks, so her students could gain hands-on teaching experience.

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2020 Verna Mae Janzen Music Competition winners (videos)

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 @ 3:05 PM

The Verna Mae Janzen Music Competition, open to CMU music students, is made possible each year through the generous contributions of the event sponsor and prize donor, Peter Janzen of Deep River, Ontario. Janzen established the competition in memory of his wife, Verna Mae, who died of cancer in 1989 at the age of 53, and who shared the joy of singing with her husband.

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Baritone Nathan Dyck winner of 15th annual Verna Mae Janzen Music Competition

Thursday, March 26, 2020 @ 1:05 PM

Despite uncertainty and the changing circumstances of campus life under COVID-19, competitors in this year's Verna Mae Janzen Music Competition kept their focus.

Singing to a closed auditorium of adjudicators only instead of the usual community audience, seven finalists gave it their all: Michelle Fast (soprano), Georgeanne Van Helden (piano), Katy Unruh (soprano), Anna Schwartz (piano), Nathan Dyck (baritone), Anne Kelm (piano), and Johanna Klassen (soprano).

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