The Accompanist: Mathew Walton
A recent doctoral graduate of the University of Alberta, Ontario native Mathew Walton completed his undergraduate studies at Wilfrid Laurier University (’08), and graduate degrees in performance (’10) and musicology at the University of Ottawa (’12). In 2013, he studied the performance of German lieder at the Franz-Schubert-Institut in Baden bei Wien, Austria. His areas of interest include the works of Franz Liszt, Frederic Rzewski, and Canadian composer John Burge. The winner of the University of Alberta’s 2013 concerto competition, he performed John Burge’s Prelude Variations with the University Symphony Orchestra in February, 2014. As part of his doctoral studies, Mathew recorded Burge’s Twenty-Four Preludes for Piano Solo, a work dedicated to him by the composer upon its publication in 2015. In addition to his solo work, Mathew is active as a collaborative pianist, and enjoys working with vocalists, instrumentalists, and choirs. During the 2014-2015 season, he served as the invited guest pianist for both the Alberta Youth Choir (AYC) and Alberta Children’s Choir North (ACC), and this summer he took part in MusiCamp Alberta as the collaborative staff pianist for nightly faculty recitals.
In addition to his work as performer, Mathew maintains an active interest in musicology, and enjoys teaching numerous subjects at a post-secondary level. During the 2015-2016 academic year, he served as a full-time sabbatical replacement instructor at Grande Prairie Regional College, where he taught courses in music theory, aural skills, women in music, and music appreciation, in addition to teaching all piano students. Mathew is currently active as a sessional instructor at the University of Alberta, where is teaching Piano Literature I and II during the 2016-2017 year.
The Former Accompanist from 2005 to 2016: Robert Casgrain
An integral part of the choir and its success, the title “Accompanist” just didn’t seem to do justice to the considerable talents which Bob brought to this group. In his role as Accompanist he often acted as a sectional leader, filled in for the Conductor when necessary, even set the tempo for many of the selections, and always enhanced the singing experiences with exquisite and supportive musicianship. Being with Sound Opportunity is just one of his many commitments as a vocal, instrumental and choral accompanist.
Bob was an early winner of the prestigious Johann Strauss Foundation Scholarship. He is also a piano instructor, having taught at the Alberta College Conservatory of Music since 1982.