Brandon University has hired Anishinaabe violist and award-winning composer Melody McKiver to teach at the institution’s School of Music starting this fall.
McKiver will be teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in composition as an assistant professor on a tenure-track appointment, according to a Friday news release from the university.
"I’m looking forward to getting to know the faculty and students at such a highly-regarded School of Music," McKiver said in Friday’s release. "I hope to encourage students to develop their own creative voices while reflecting critically upon the wider social context of our musical works."
Friday’s release also provided some insight into McKiver’s accomplishments as a musician, with their work aiming to integrate electronics and Western classical music into traditional Anishinaabe composition.
Because of this, McKiver has received the Canada Council of the Arts’ 2020 Robert Fleming Prize, which is awarded annually to exceptionally talented young Canadian composers.
As a collaborative violist, McKiver has performed alongside similarly talented musicians, including Polaris Prize winners Lido Pimienta, Tanya Tagaq and Jeremy Dutcher, as well as filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin.
On top of that, McKiver, who originally hails from Sioux Lookout, Ont., holds a Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology from Memorial University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music from York University.
They were also a participant at the Banff Centre of the Arts’ inaugural Indigenous Classical Music Gathering in 2019 and were featured in the 2020 BU Indigenous New Music Festival.
"Melody is a rising star in Canadian music, and we are thrilled to have them join us at Brandon University," dean of music Greg Gatien said.
"Melody’s knowledge of traditional Indigenous and Western music, as well as current trends in new music, is going to be a fantastic resource for our students. I think they’re going to enjoy getting to know Melody and learning from the experiences that they have to share."
McKiver will be in good company this fall, since BU also recently hired veteran musician Ken Gold to teach saxophone and contemporary popular music on a three-year appointment.
» The Brandon Sun