Every faculty member of the Department of Music is a career musician or music industry professional.
Dr. Ross Osmun regularly performs. An active professional on the international scene, he gave two papers at the New International Performing Arts Institute Conference in Austria and was a judge for the New Brunswick Provincial Piano Competition held at Mount Allison University during the summer of 2022.
Retired faculty such as Dr. Andrew MacDonald are well-respected scholars in their field, while also commercially releasing original recordings and compositions.
Dr. Mathieu Désy, Chair of the Department, is also a professional double bass player and producer who has been involved in over 50 distributed albums covering all genres of music. Musician skills professor and departmental accompanist Fannie Gaudette has a successful professional music recording career, with her most recent release of L’invention humaine.
Musique Chez Nous
In the Music Department, part of the academic approach is to bring students out of the classroom and into the world of music, a world that students seek to enter after graduation. Thanks to the support of the Bishop’s University Foundation, the Musique Chez Nous series of concerts have exposed the student body and wider Bishop’s community to diverse ranges of genres and styles. Concerts are free for students and form an integral part of the Bishop’s Music Department experience.
Each year, the artistic directors, consisting of department professors Mathieu Désy and Ross Osmun, as well as Sonia Patenaude, organize 6-8 concerts and determine artists and dates. Coordination of the concert series is managed by students, who communicate with the artists, handle logistics such as lodging and food, and prepare publicity materials for the series.
The series employs students – as stage managers, writing press releases, setting lighting, and working as ushers for the shows – which provides paid experience that prospective employers such as theatres or concert halls wouldn’t expect from recent undergrads. The Montreal Jazz Festival and Montreal Chamber Music Festival have hired students in part because of their experience working on Musique Chez Nous.
The series brings together the Department’s academics and culture. In addition to paid experience, students taking courses in sound recording technology often shadow the recording process or assist in stage setup/takedown as part of their course’s projects. As part of the concert series, masterclasses are given to music students by certain performers, providing an experiential learning component to their music education.
You’re a jazz guitarist? Well, you should maybe hear a classical voice concert or a chamber music concert. Or say you’re a classical piano player? You should go and hear a jazz pianist or a pop ensemble.– Dr. Ross Osmun, artistic director
The underlying philosophy of Musique Chez Nous is that students of music (and liberal arts) benefit from exposure to genres and artists outside of their personal taste or academic interest. By seeing how other musicians in other traditions and methods play and wield music as a means of personal expression, students are empowered to explore things they may not have ever encountered in the classroom. Attendance at the concerts is part of the course requirements for students enrolled in the Department’s music lessons, reflecting the value placed on experiential learning.