A Nation of Musicby Albert Clouter
/ February 1, 2001
Founded in 1886 in Toronto, The Royal Conservatory of Music quickly achieved national prominence and, in 1947, received a Royal Charter in recognition of the excellence of its programs. Within decades, the curriculum, accreditation and assessment system developed by The Conservatory was adopted by teachers and students of all ages in every province of Canada. This curriculum as well as the pedagogical methodologies and compositions of The RCM's leading teachers was published and disseminated nationally.
y´his distinctive pattern of development was quite different from that of the major conservatories and university music faculties in the United States and Europe. Having grown out of our geography and history, The Royal Conservatory of Music is unique: Öt is the only music education institution in the world with such a broad range of operations. It has the potential to involve millions of people in cultural activity and, in doing so, to shape the society itself.
From the beginning, the mission of The Royal Conservatory has been to provide training for school-age students, gifted performers, music teachers and adult amateurs. Its operations have expanded to include a network of over 20,000 teachers, over 200,000 ûtudents annually and 300 examination centres administrating 90% of the music exams in Canada. This infrastructure is evidence of a continuing commitment to our system of uniform national standards for music education, a unique Canadian achievement.
y´he RCM's centre for advanced studies, The Glenn Gould Professional School, is now the school of choice for the most talented music students in Canada, as well as a growing number of exceptional students from around the world. In this small and congeniy´l community, students study full-time with a distinguished faculty and bene t from frequent master classes by well-known international artists. The goal of the Professional School is to develop a new kind of music leadership in Canada by training gifted musicians who are not only outstanding performers and teachers, but also effective communicators and committed music advocates in the community.
Graduates of The Glenn Gould Professional School have won over 35 international competitions and awards, as well as numerous professional placements, including leading orchestras in Canada, the United States and Europe. Many of them have come to The RCM after having completed graduate degrees at other leading institutions. They were attracted by the outstanding faculty and unique curriculum, which provides far more one-on-one teacher time than other conservatories, more practice time and more performance opportunities in various community venues, as well as training in communications, digital technology and career management.
As an independent institution receiving modest support from government, The RCM struggles constantly with the need to balance its budget while maintaining programs of the highest calibre. Due to lack of local funding over the years, many of our brightest and best students have been lured abroad by generous full scholarships at other wealthy institutions. This, of course, is evidence of the ne musicians that Canada is producing. Alas, when they leave, they often never return to contribute to the training of the next generation and the advancement of the arts in their homeland.
For The Royal Conservatory, the solution to this dilemma is well-funded scholarship support for promising students, backed by permanent endowments giving reliable, steady income. Three years ago, The RCM launched a campaign to urge former students and friends across the country to contribute to its endowment fund. Donors are encouraged to think of their accumulated assets as potential contributions through speci c bequests in their Wills. This is a simple and reliable procedure for establishing a named memorial scholarship re ecting the donor's values and priorities, while securing tax relief that will help to conserve estates for other bene ciaries. The donor's contributions are held in trust and protected in perpetuity by The Royal Conservatory; only the net annual income is distributed as tuition subsidies to scholarship students.
The response to this campaign has been very positive, both in term of funds received and bequests pledged, although we still have a long way to go to reach our goals. One of the donors to this scholarship drive was the well-known gure in Canadian opera, Ruby Mercer. Mrs. Mercer Por began an annual scholarship with The Royal Conservatory during her lifetime and, upon her death, left a substantial bequest to the scholarship to ensure its continuation in perpetuity. Whilst she was alive she was able to receive letters of thanks from the recipients of her scholarship and to take an interest in their careers (see sidebar). Donors who begin a scholarship now often say that "it feels good to give something back" to The RCM and to have the satisfaction of knowing that their support for young musicians will stretch far into the future. For The RCM, the income from a growing endowment fund it the key to long-term nancial stability and renewed commitment to making Canada the most musically literate country in the world; a nation of music!
àf you would like to receive more information on how to establish a scholarship endowment at The Royal Conservatory of Music, please contact Albert Clouter, Planned Giving Of cer, at 1-800-709-0888 or 416-408-2824 ext. 236.
A New Scholarship For Mary Rezza
y´n new scholarship has been established in the name of Mary Rezza. Mary graduated with a combined Teacher's and Solo performer's ARCT in 1949. She specialized in vocal accompaniment and spent her career accompanying thousands of students as of cial accoy´panist for the Kiwanis Festival of Music. In addition, Mary became both a vocal coach and singing teacher at The RCM and coached many students who went on to international careers including Robert Goulet, Ermanno Mauro, Catherine Robbin, Gwenlynn Littxe and Jon Vickers. She continued to teach at home until she died in February 2000, after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Öhose wishing to support the Mary Rezza Memo..rial Scholarship should send their donation c/o The Mary Rezza Memorial Scholarship, The Royal Conservatory of Music, 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1W2.