By Pam Buckway
The band adjudicator in this year’s Yukon Rotary Music Festival is Dr. Wayne Jeffrey, Director of Ensembles at Kwantlen University College on BC’s Lower Mainland.
Dr. Jeffrey gives his view of the role:
“When I’m adjudicating, I always remember that music is an aural art form that exists to communicate with people. The three most-important active verbs in our music-making are see, hear and feel!
“I listen for the spirit of a piece that I’m observing on a written page and as a ‘trained’ audience member. I listen for ‘beauty’: Do the phrases reflect the architecture of the music? Do the notes and chords ‘ring’? Does the melody ‘sing’? Is the balance intact and do the rhythms have energy that move the music forward?
“I listen for the ‘soul’ of the music. For workshops, I often use the title of the Christmas carol, Do you Hear What I Hear.”
Music started early for Dr. Jeffrey:
“At the age of four, living in Toronto, I began piano lessons with Mrs. Kirby at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Avenue Road Branch. I realized, very soon, that this lady didn’t just teach the piano, she taught music.
“We played, clapped, sang, listened and danced. Years later, I learned that she was very strongly influenced by the Dalcroze Eurhythmics approach, and Mrs. Kirby became the model for my teaching and musical philosophy.”
Dr. Jeffrey soon turned to both the horn and the conductor’s podium. He received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting and music education from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, and has been an associate conductor of the Eastman Wind Ensemble on many concerts.
He has broadcast and performed in Canada and abroad and has recorded with groups including the Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the Toronto Chamber Winds and the Hannaford Street Silver Band. He’s a freelance hornist with orchestras on Vancouver Island and throughout the Lower Mainland.
If he could choose only one, would he choose solo work or conducting?
“As things change in life and age comes upon us, I expect that conducting and teaching will increase in significance in the latter stages of my career. Last month, I performed the Dvorak New World Symphony on horn, for the 18th time, and thought about how much fun it would be to conduct it some day.”
In 2010, Dr. Jeffrey will be music director of a special group that young Yukoners should be aware of.
“The National Youth Band of Canada is an awesome organization that meets yearly and represents the best young players who audition across Canada. I believe that we can always try out for something, do our best and learn so much about ourselves in the process.
“You never know how far an audition tape will take you. If a young person is chosen for this group, it is an honour to represent your family, teachers and home province or territory.
“The reward of meeting other like-minded and industrious youth will be with you for the rest of your life.”
This column is an introduction to Rotary Music Festival adjudicators and is courtesy of the Rotary Music Festival, which will be held April 16 to 25.