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March 29, 2012 a.m.

It was a pleasure today for me to return to my alma mater, Western University (aka UWO), to give a master class to the voice students of Gloria Gassi. Gloria is working with some of my students for part of my sabbatical leave, and I am grateful for her help and guidance with my students. I have known Gloria since we met as students at UWO in 1979. She was doing a graduate T.A. as the conductor of the choir in which I was singing as a first-year undergraduate. Since that time, she has had a distinguished career as a teacher and singer.

I trust her ears, and her teaching talent is so strong and nurturing. (I invited her to work with some of my University of  Toronto students in the important weeks around their recitals, and I am grateful she accepted.)During the class at Western, I was delighted to have a visit from Dean Betty Anne Younker, who sat in for a few singers’ sessions. Lots of fun! I was especially happy to hear a peace that was new to me: “Nuit d’Etoiles” by London (ON) composer, Jeff Smallman. I know Jeff has composed more songs, and we should all take notice!

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