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CMU Co-sponsors New Rosamunde Summer Music Academy

Canada’s Newest Summer Strings Program Features Top Instructors

Music students of all ages have the opportunity this summer to study with some of Canada’s finest string teachers at CMU as it hosts the inaugural Rosamunde Summer Music Academy, Canada’s newest summer music program. RSMA, which will run from August 21 to 26, 2011 is the brainchild of Yuri Hooker, Artistic Director, and Elation Pauls, Managing Director.

“I have always wanted to offer Manitoba’s aspiring string players an opportunity to learn in an intense and supportive program,” says Hooker, who also serves as Principal Cellist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. “I’m very excited about the possibilities that our partnership with CMU will inspire.”

RSMA is attracting students from across the country, Hooker says.  It is the first program of its kind in Winnipeg, emphasizing each student’s individual growth with an eye to inspiring them with new ideas and approaches as well as setting them on a good path for their year of musical study. Qualities that make the program unique are its inclusiveness and its holistic philosophy to music making.

The RSMA offers programs for string players of all ages and skill levels, from young ones just starting out through to advanced teenagers and university age students all the way to keen adult amateurs.

“I love the idea of young kids being mentored by the older students, and the mutual inspiration that will be sparked between the more mature and the younger students,” says Pauls, Assistant Principal Second Violin in the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

“I want students to see how music can be an integral part of their daily lives, regardless of whether they choose to pursue it as a career,” she says. “Often times, young kids and adults don’t get the opportunity to study with performers/teachers at the top of their career—when I’ve seen it happen it has invariably sparked a greater joy in their music making as well as a depth and freshness of experience that they can then take back to their studies with their primary teachers.”

Pauls and Hooker believe music should flow as an outpouring of each individual’s daily experience. For that reason, they’ve devised a schedule that will emphasize the development of music as a natural part of daily life, as an infectious expression of the soul. Before the official start each morning, drop-in yoga classes will be offered on campus.

Hooker enthuses: “Yoga helps people to get in touch with what is essential: breathing well, moving through space thoughtfully, thinking clearly, observing oneself objectively. At RSMA, students will have an opportunity to begin each day meditatively with a progression toward the more interactive large ensemble rehearsal at the end of the day.” Hooker notes that individual study can often be an isolating experience, and the work alone is essential, but adds, “What we’re aiming to do is to bind everyone’s solo efforts together in music-loving community throughout each day of study.”

The overall program structure is based on the model that Hooker refined during the four years of his Winnipeg Summer Cello Institute, which RSMA now replaces. Each student will have the opportunity to participate in daily technique and master classes, a generous amount of private lesson time, accompanying sessions with experienced coaches, chamber music and string orchestra rehearsals, and Alexander technique sessions.

“Having performed and taught at summer music festivals around the world, I am a great believer in their power to inspire students to new heights of music making and give them a great head start on their studies,” says Gwen Hoebig, one of RSMA’s faculty members and Concertmaster of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. “I am thrilled to see the establishment of the Rosamunde Summer Music Academy here in Winnipeg and I’m excited to be a part of this new project!”

“A week of intensive study in this kind of nurturing environment can really fire up a student’s interest and commitment level, sustaining them throughout the year,” adds Pauls. “The rate and quality of improvement during one intense week is often miraculous.”

Out of town students will stay at CMU’s excellent dormitory facilities. The week will kick off with a faculty recital on August 21 and culminate with a student recital on August 26.

RSMA 2011 Faculty (See online biographies at

Elation Pauls, Violin/Managing Director Assistant Principal Second Violin, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

Gwen Hoebig, Violin Concertmaster, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

Daniel Scholz, Viola Principal Viola, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

Yuri Hooker, Cello/Artistic Director Principal Cello, Winnipeg Symphony Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

Andrea Bell, Cello Cellist, Rembrandt String Quartet

Meredith Johnson, Double bass Principal Bass, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

Michelle Mourre, Conductor/Collaborative Piano & Ensemble Coordinator Former Conductor-in-Residence, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

The vision of the Rosamunde Summer Music Academy is:

tune: to tune in, tune the body, tune the instrument, fine-tune abilities, harmonize musical and interpersonal relationships

train: to be afforded the opportunity to learn with innovative teachers at the top of their careers who are dedicated to the development of the whole musician

try: to gird up each student as they try out new ideas, letting them fail or succeed in a supportive, non-competitive environment, finally enabling each student to

“Tear It Up!”


Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) is a Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, offering undergraduate degrees in arts and science, business and organizational administration, communications and media, peace and conflict resolution studies, music and music therapy, theology, and church ministries, as well as graduate degrees in Theological Studies and Christian Ministry. Located in Manitoba, CMU has over 1,700 students at its Shaftesbury Campus in Southwest Winnipeg, at Menno Simons College in downtown Winnipeg, and enrolled through its Outtatown discipleship school. CMU is a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC).

For RSMA information, contact:

For CMU information, contact:
Nadine Kampen, Communications & Marketing Director

Tel. 204.487.3300  Ext. 621
Canadian Mennonite University | 500 Shaftesbury Blvd. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3P 2N2