Laurier’s Waterloo campus displays musical talent on International Day of Music

Laurier’s Waterloo campus celebrated International Day of Music with many pop-up performances on campus to raise awareness not only for the faculty of music programs available at the university, but also to fundraise for the expansion Laurier’s Making Space for Music to extend facilities from University Avenue.

The spaces where pop-up performances took place were Veritas Café and the nearby Quad, the concourse, Byte 75 and Alumni Hall.

The giving day booth was hosted on the second floor of the John Aird Centre, with donors who pledged to give having their donations matched thank to an anonymous donor who wanted the university to leverage their $50,000 donation.

“It’s recognized and celebrated worldwide, it’s a little hard for us to do anything too out of the ordinary because of our own schedules here, they’re pretty packed with activities and a lot of our students were away Friday for the climate strike, which is great, but we’re always conscious that we don’t want to take too much time from curriculars, but there are pop-up performances from various students all over campus today,” said Glen Carruthers, dean of the faculty of music.

“It’s to raise profile not just for music per se, we all know how important music is and wonderful it is, but to remind people of the presence of music on campus and the importance of music in the greater scheme of things.”

The faculty has already expanded programming in the spring with an academic pathway partnership with Randolph College where Laurier music students can add Randolph’s performing arts diploma to their resumé to graduate with both a bachelor’s degree and diploma.

“The day has two purposes: one is to raise funds, obviously, but the second is to raise awareness. I think we have a tendency to take the faculty of music for granted because it’s been here for a long time and it’s great, but it’s good every now and then to be reminded orally just how high the quality they can make within the faculty is, as well as the diversity of music making that goes on,” Carruthers said.

“It’s different from ten years ago where this was mainly a Western classical traditional school and we still are very much that, but we’ve increased our breadth and scope to include a lot of different types of music and it’s very good for the campus to be reminded of on days like today.”

Laurier’s proposed expansion to the John Aird building includes not only freshening up the lobby and expanding the building but also enhancing practice rooms for students among other things.

“Part of the rebuild is simply to accommodate increased student numbers; in 2014 we had under 400 students, this year we have close to 580. While the renovations weren’t initially designed to accommodate a larger student body, the fact is we have one. Part of the process now is to have the architects reengaged to rejig the interior design to accommodate,” Carruthers said.

“We actually met on Friday to talk about expanding graduate programming. We have a number of different ideas and one of the things we need to do is decided what the priorities are. One of the challenges in my job is that there are people here every day with great ideas, somehow we have to decide what the highest priorities for the faculty as a whole are but graduate program expansions is one of those for sure,” Carruthers said.

The day of music is just one of many opportunities to see Laurier music students in action on campus, with their goal not only to raise awareness for the proposed new building, but for their talent as well.

“As a campus, we are fortunate to have such a substantial and such a fine music program, but also think we as a music program are fortunate to have a campus that recognizes the importance of the performing arts and music in particular. As we go into this campaign, we have the potential to make a change not just for the faculty but for the campus as a whole,” Carruthers said.

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