DARLENE CHEPIL REID
Composer, musician, teacher, and mother of three, currently pursuing a Doctor of Music Composition at the University of Alberta. Recipient of the 2003 Lakehead U Chancellorís Medal awarded to the highest-ranking part-time student, a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship, as well as numerous awards and scholarships from the University of Western Ontario and the University of Alberta.
I am both an acoustic and electroacoustic composer. I am planning to do my doctoral dissertation (composition) for orchestra, real time electronics, and chorus. Being a Professor of Composition and Music Theory will allow me to continue as a composer in an enriching research atmosphere.
I am a Sessional Lecturer at the University of Alberta and I love teaching. Period. Teaching at the university level is extremely exciting, and I feel strongly that to teach at this level, you have to have a strong academic background yourself. It helps to put into your head all the information and problem-solving abilities in order to answer the really tough questions that inspired university students will ask. Although you may not know the answer, you have the passion and really deep understanding that can help you face yourself when you say ďI donít know that. Letís investigate!Ē
It is so hard to be away from Thunder Bay and my partner, Terry Reid (MEdí95). My parents, my two sons, and my daughter Ė I miss everyone. I try really hard to fit in with my colleagues who are generally 22 to 26 years of age but at age 47, it has always been hard on me. After a few months of making overtures to them, they get more comfortable with me but honestly, I have more in common with my professors.
The Lakehead Experience
While I was at Lakehead, the whole Department of Music operated around two full-time faculty, and these professors would leap small buildings in a single bound for their students. It is a great music program and, because of these professors, I and several other graduates have gone on to be noteworthy musicians both in Canada and in the United States.
Aris Carastathis gives of himself. He cares. He cares about students. He cares about the University. And in every composition lesson and all his teaching he cared about every note and rhythm that I wrote. He expects nothing less than perfection from himself, and he radiated that philosophy to me. I work to achieve the best I can because of the values Aris has shared with me.
If I were rich enough to pay for three more full-time professors in the Department of Music thatís what I would do, but, sorry, I donít think that is ever going to happen. However, I talk about Lakehead as a wonderful and warm place to be, where stress is not the determining factor to success, and where there is an openness and connectedness with the professors that is exemplary.
Editorís Note: The Department of Music now has three fulltime professors: Aris Carastathis, Glenn Colton, and Dean Jobin-Bevans. Dean Jobin-Bevans has a background in choral conducting and was Director of the McGill Conservatory of Music before coming to Lakehead in August 2005.