Music at University of Prince Edward Island
University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown. Non-denominational university established in 1969 by the amalgamation of Prince of Wales College, founded in 1834, and St Dunstan's U, founded in 1855. In 1991 bachelor degrees were offered in arts, science, business administration, education, and music, and there was still no graduate department. Music had been taught in both merging colleges. Thomas Hahn, the first chairman of the new university's Dept of Music, also served 1969-70 as conductor of the Prince Edward Island Symphony Orchestra. Hahn was succeeded in both positions by Alan Reesor in 1970. Peter Ellis (concertmaster of the PEI SO 1968-77 and a member of the Faculty Trio with the cellist Hubert Tersteeg and the pianist Frances Gray) succeeded Reesor as chairman in 1976. Reesor returned as acting chairman 1978-9, and was succeeded 1980-6 by Hubert Tersteeg. In 1986 Alan Reesor again became chairman. In the 1989-90 academic year there were eight full-time and six part-time faculty members. One of the former, Carl B. Mathis, who became the conductor of the University Chorus and the Chamber Chorus in 1972, was chairman of the Prince Edward Island Council for the Arts in 1974. William A. Bartlett was responsible for the university band 1972-7 and was succeeded in turn by Marc Apelstadt, Hubert Tersteeg, David Shephard, Eila Peterson, and Gregory Irvine. The UPEI Jazz Ensemble was started in 1980 by James Montgomery, who directed it until 1987, followed by Tim Skelton 1987-8, and Wendy Grasdahl 1988-90, succeeded in 1990 by David Shephard, who teaches percussion at both UPEI and Mount Allison University.
Degrees offered in 1990 were a B MUS in music education, history, theory, or applied music, and a BA with a major in music. In the 1989-90 academic year, 55 students were working towards these two degrees. The department's first graduates (1972) were Allan MacLean, Faye Rogerson, Gerard Rutten, and Frederick Shepherd. The university has a concert hall equipped with modern recording facilities. The department has sponsored an annual series of recitals and concerts by students, faculty members, and guests, and the university's performing ensembles have appeared with the PEI SO. The Chamber Chorus has received grants from the Canada Council to commission works by Keith Bissell and Harry Freedman. Through its concerts and its traditional connection with the PEI SO, the Dept of Music has established a close relationship with the musical public of Charlottetown and with the schools and churches of the province. Maureen Forrester was awarded an honorary degree in 1986.