[This letter was sent to Kwantlen Polytechnic University]
The news of KPU’s decision to cancel the intake of music students in September 2019 comes as a huge disappointment.
Müzewest Concerts has been presenting high quality classical and jazz music concerts since August 2013 and have featured KPU faculty such as Jane Hayes and Juno-nominee Jodi Proznick. Last summer, we presented KPU alumnus Christopher Knopp who played a stunning art song recital with tenor Lucas van Lierop (rising star at the Dutch National Opera). Mr. Knopp is currently preparing for graduate school auditions and successfully completing his Bachelor of Music at the prestigious Schulich School of Music at McGill University.
KPU’s music faculty are some of Canada’s leaders in the music industry; it is no surprise that the instruction of people like Ms. Hayes and Ms. Proznick cultivates the artistic forerunners of the next generation.
The timing of this announcement is devastating for music students because the deadline for auditioning at other post-secondary institutions has long passed. KPU offers a unique opportunity for students to study music in the Fraser Valley with exceptional faculty.
The decision to slash the music budget is misguided and will have dire consequences on the current program that you have at KPU. The consequences ripple beyond the doors of your institution.
Moreover, this short-sighted choice does not factor in the impact that music has on society. In a time when the political climate is negative and divisive, music remains one of the elements that restores our humanity and reminds of the beauty that we can attain together.
As a non-profit organisation in the arts, we empathise with having to balance a budget but surely a different path must be found in order to minimise the destruction that the choice will have.
Ms. Jennifer West, artistic director and co-founder, Müzewest Concerts, Vancouver