Concert Organizer


Kimberly Barber, mezzo-soprano

Canadian mezzo-soprano Kimberly Barber’s eclectic and varied career combines not only the standard repertoire sung on some of the great opera house and concert stages of the world for the last 30 years, but also contemporary and baroque works with smaller, experimental companies. With performances at Opéra de Paris, Opéra de Marseille, Frankfurt Opera, English National Opera, New York City Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Seattle Opera, L’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Wigmore, Barbican, Avery Fisher and Weill Concert Halls, and every major opera company and orchestra in Canada, her operatic repertoire encompasses more than 50 roles, many of them from 20thand 21stcentury or lesser-known works, and her concert repertoire stems from every genre. In May 2017 she returned to Toronto’s Tapestry Opera to create the role of Asa in the world premiere of OKSANA G (the entire cast nominated for two Doraawards—Best Ensemble and Best Opera Production), and premiered a newly commissioned work, THIS LAND, with TorQ Percussion Quartet and Rene Meshake for NUMUS. The 2018-19 season features concerts in Lyon (with jazz pianist Franck Avitabile) and Vienna, Ottawa and Waterloo (with pianist Anna Ronai and flutist Ulrike Anton). She has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon (Concepciónin Ravel’s L’HEURE ESPAGNOLE with the LSO under André Previn), CBC Records,Naxos, Teldec and Dutton Classics.  Professor of Voice at Wilfrid Laurier University since 2002, Kimberly Barber is Administrative Coordinator for Opera Laurier, and was appointed Associate Dean: External for Laurier’s Faculty of Music in July 2017. She is a passionate advocate for mental health and suicide prevention awareness, and has been concert lead for Mysterious Barricades at Laurier since its inception.

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Performers & Speakers

Guy Few, trumpet

Stephanie Mara, piano

Rene Meshake, pipigwan

Rene Andre Meshake is an Ojibwe elder, visual and performing artist, award-winning author, storyteller, flute player, new media artist and a Recipient of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. He works to fuse Ojibwe and English words into his stories, poetry and spoken word performances, Rene communicates his Ojibwe spiritual heritage to the contemporary world. He was born in the railway town of Nakina in Northwestern Ontario and was raised by his Okomissan grandmother. His education includes: Anishinaabe oral tradition, language, arts and culture. Rene has a diploma in Graphic Design from Sheridan College and a certificate in Creative Writing from the Humber School for Writers. Rene’s body of artwork, stories and his flute improvisations create a strong, expressive, and entertaining presentation for an ever-increasing audience. He also has an active on-line and performing presence as a Funky-Elder.

Penderecki String Quartet
Jeremy Bell, Katie Schlaikjer, Jerzy Kaplanek, Christine Vlajk

The Penderecki String Quartet, approaching the third decade of an extraordinary career, has become one of the most celebrated chamber ensembles of their generation. These four musicians from Poland, Canada, and the USA bring their varied yet collective experience to create performances that demonstrate their “remarkable range of technical excellence and emotional sweep” (Toronto, Globe and Mail). Their recent schedule has included concerts in New York (Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall), Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Los Angeles (REDCAT at Disney Hall), St. Petersburg, Paris, Prague, Berlin, Rome, Belgrade, Zagreb, Atlanta, as well as appearances at international festivals in Poland, Lithuania, Italy, Venezuela, Brazil, and China. The PSQ champions music of our time, performing a wide range of repertoire from Haydn to Zappa as well as premiering over 100 new works to date. Described by Fanfare Magazine as “an ensemble of formidable power and keen musical sensitivity”, the PSQ’s diverse discography includes the chamber music of Brahms and Shostakovich (Eclectra and Marquis labels) and their recently released Bartok cycle. They enter their 20th year as Quartet-in-Residence at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.

Safe as Houses
Elliot Anton, Bensen Carter, Andrew Laughton, Thomas Laughton, Lauren Taylor

Gerard Yun, shakuhachi

Dr. Gerard Yun, conductor, composer, and global music improvisor, specializes in large group improvisations, cross­cultural and interfaith collaborations, and contemplative, sacred musics. He conducts choirs at Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario and teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in music and meaning, community music, music and social justice, and global citizenship at the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary. He teaches and performs on the Japanese Zen Buddhist Shakuhachi (vertical, bamboo, meditation flute) in the World Music program at York University in Toronto, Ontario. Dr. Yun researches cross­cultural music ethics and community musics.



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Thank you to Wilfrid Laurier University for their continued support and encouragement. We are especially indebted to the Faculty of Music and the Office of the Dean of Students for their sponsorship of this concert.

We respectfully acknowledge that this concert is being held on the Haldimand Tract, traditional territory of the Attawandaron (Neutral), Anishnaabeg, and Haudenosauonee peoples.