Pandemic forces closure of long-standing music school in Edmonton
Concordia University in Edmonton.
EDMONTON -- The curtain will come down on the University of Concordia’s School of Music next month.
The school is closing the program after several decades.
“The Concordia Symphony Orchestra has been operating since 1988,” said Concordia spokesperson Bridget Burgess. “The School of Music has been a really important part of our history, and it's been a really great way for Concordia University of Edmonton to reach out to members of the community and to serve as a convener bringing people together to share in different musical programs and ensembles.”
But on March 31, the members of the program will play their last notes. The decision had to be made because of the changing academic landscape due the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The music program itself has been operating at a loss, and school staff say that shutting it down was the best option. But they also want to make it clear that the closure has no reflection on the quality of the classes, teachers, and students.
"Unfortunately with that we really haven't had a lot of interest from our student population. It really has been community members that have been coming together, and while it's been such an honour to serve as that convener, that host, our focus really needs to be on our students and our academic programs as we reemerge from the COVID-19 pandemic," explained Burgess.
While the School of Music is closing, Concordia will continue to operate its Department of Music.
"No implications for our academic programs with the closure of the School of Music. So any student who is looking to get involved in a really immersive and engaging musical program on the academic side, we have lots of different options for that under the department of fine arts."
School officials hope some of the programs and ensembles from the School of Music will be able to continue operating outside of the university.