Change of season brings change of leadership for music programs
MacEwan University marks the start of a new era with Allan Gilliland at the helm of its internationally renowned music programs.
As of September 1, 2012, Gilliland took over as Chair of the music diploma and degree programs in addition to remaining as composition head, a post he has held since 2004.
Gilliland, who has written music for solo instruments, orchestra, choir, brass quintet, wind ensemble, big bands, television and theatre and has been performed, recorded and broadcast by ensembles around the world, certainly has a lot to contribute. "If I can be recognizable to people outside the Centre for the Arts and Communications and help promote the programs, students and our amazing faculty, then that is a great thing," says Gilliland. "So far I've heard nothing but positive feedback about my appointment from other programs and universities as well as others in the community."
With MacEwan University recently launching its new Bachelor of Music in Jazz and Contemporary Popular Music degree as well as plans underway for a new building in downtown Edmonton, Gilliland is certainly taking over during a period of change. "It's very exciting. There will be a lot of planning, fine tuning, and every year will bring new challenges," he says. "During my time as chair I also want to help raise the profile of our world class faculty. They are very active across Canada, and around the world, and I want to celebrate that with a new faculty concert series."
Gilliland, who accepted a three-year contract as chair, took over from Bob Gilligan, who was with MacEwan University for 35 years. "Bob did an outstanding job and I get to reap the rewards of that solid foundation," he says.
One of Canada's busiest composers, Gilliland holds a diploma in Jazz Studies (trumpet) from Humber College, a Bachelor of Music degree in performing and a Master of Music degree in composition from the University of Alberta and is finishing a PhD in Composition from the University of Edinburgh.
Gilliland is up for two Western Canadian Music Awards (Classical Composition of the Year and Classical Recording of the Year) at the end of September and will be heading to New York City for a performance at Carnegie Hall in October.